Special Town Meeting Warrant Opens Tuesday, Closes Wednesday

Photo: A Brookline town meeting warrant from the time of Belmont incorporation in the late 1850s.

The Belmont Board of Selectmen voted at their Monday, Oct. 15 meeting on the dates in which the warrant for the Special Town Meeting beginning Nov. 13 will be open and closed.

The Special warrant will open at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16 and close a day later on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 4 p.m.

The most prominent of the eight article coming before “the special” is the authorization to borrow $213 million to construct a new 7-12 High School. The overlay district maps for adult retail marijuana sales and South Pleasant Street will be on the warrant along with changing the tax deferral for seniors from 8 to 4.5 percent, a Community Preservation Act off-cycle request for $400,000 for design work on the Alexander Avenue underpass, an extension of the DPW/Belmont Police Committee and a pair of financial issues.

The warrant is a document issued by the Board of Selectmen to call a town meeting. Warrants are essentially a list of items to be voted on by the approximately 300 Town Meeting Members which represents the residents in Belmont’s eight precincts.

The selectmen and town committees, boards and staff can place an article in the warrant. Residents can also insert an article on the warrant through the citizen’s petitions process. In a special town meeting, the citizen petitioner must gather 200 signatures to be accepted. Once received by the town clerk, the selectmen have 45 days to call a special town meeting or place it in the warrant of an existing town meeting. 

After the warrant is closed on Wednesday, the selectmen will meet with Town Moderator Micheal Widmer this coming Monday to determine the order the articles will be taken up and if there are any issues pertaining to conflicts with any of the articles. 

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