Town Manager Norman Khumalo, Select Board Chair Irfan Nasrullah and Assistant Town Manager Elaine Lazarus are pleased to share information with residents regarding the Town of Hopkinton’s upcoming Annual Town Meeting.
Town Meeting will be held on Monday, May 2 beginning at 7 p.m. To better accommodate social distancing guidelines, the meeting will be held in the gymnasium at the Hopkinton High School Athletic Center, 90 Hayden Rowe St.
To view the warrant for the Annual Town Meeting, click following link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1s7s9irY6CN-LMFf14MlgFU38lu6jDN4Q/view.
The Annual Town Meeting will begin with reports from town officials. Residents will then be asked to consider a 53-article Annual Town Meeting Warrant, which includes the town’s proposed operating budget for Fiscal Year 2023.
“For members of local government, the Annual Town Meeting really is like our Super Bowl,” Town Manager Khumalo said. “It is a chance for all of our residents to come together and participate in their community’s legislative process and have their voices heard in the most democratic of ways. A great deal of thought and attention has been given to each of the articles on the warrant. It is our sincere hope that residents will attend this meeting and contribute to the process of moving the Town of Hopkinton forward.”
Article 5 of the warrant will ask residents to vote on a proposed $104 million FY23 operating budget. The budget vote is the culmination of eight months of work by several boards and committees in town, including the Select Board, Appropriation Committee, and School Committee and staff.
The budget message and schedule were set back in September of last year. Since then several meetings and public hearings have been held to gain input from both town employees and residents. This included several public meetings by town boards, the Select Board’s Budget Listening Session, and a virtual public hearing held by the appropriation committee on April 13 for comment from any community members who wished to offer opinions on or ask questions about the proposed budget.
The resulting proposed budget reflects the town’s commitment to sound fiscal management, which meets the immediate needs of residents and positions the town to have a strong financial future for years to come.
“The budget process is highly collaborative and reflects the diverse needs of our population,” Chair Nasrullah said. “I would like to thank and recognize all of the boards and committees that contributed to this process and the residents who shared their thoughts and concerns along the way.”
A notable item on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant is Article 19, which will ask the town to vote on several capital improvement expenditures including replacing multiple public safety vehicles, replacing the rooftop HVAC system at the Main Street Fire Station and the roof at the Police Station, and funding major mechanical system upgrades at the Police Station.
Other notable articles include establishing a shared Housing Services Office revolving fund (Article 6), creating a fund to support public, educational, or governmental (PEG) access cable television services in the town (Articles 8-10), establishing a School Special Education reserve fund to support the fluctuating cost of out-of-district Special Education (Article 17), funding significant repairs to the Woodville Fire Station (Article 26), funding the proposed Fruit Street Fields turf replacement project (Article 28), and the creation of a seven-member Commission on Disability (Article 48).
"There is a great deal of behind-the-scenes work that goes into creating a Town Meeting Warrant and making sure the meeting runs smoothly, and I commend everyone in town who helped make it possible," Assistant Town Manager Lazarus said. "The articles being voted on impact a wide range of residents and town employees, and we thank all those who continue to go above and beyond making sure Hopkinton is a welcoming and inclusive community that always puts the health, safety and wellbeing of its citizens at the forefront."
For more information on the 2022 Annual Town Meeting, including links on the FY23 operating budget, the complete Town Meeting Warrant, information on Town Meeting presentations from various boards and committees and more, visit the town’s 2022 Annual Town Meeting information page here.
While mask and building capacity restrictions will be relaxed following the ease of all COVID-19 restrictions in town, the Town of Hopkinton encourages residents to exercise health and safety practices such as social distancing and proper hygiene while at the Annual Town Meeting.
The town will also be making a sign language interpreter available for any resident who needs those services.