Town Meeting approves funding for school study
Shrewsbury – Town Meeting has authorized $1 million in funds to move forward with a feasibility study to determine if Sherwood Middle School qualifies for renovation funding from the state.
Town Meeting appropriated $404,000 in 2004 for the project, however a change in the process at the state level required Town Meeting action to secure additional funding to move forward.
The Board of Selectmen toured the facility prior to the meeting and recommended that the funding be authorized.
“[Public Buildings Superintendent] Bob Cox and his crew have done a wonderful job of sticking their fingers in the dike, so to speak, but it’s time to do something,” Board of Selectmen Chair Moira Miller said.
Heating breakdowns in the winter, a leaky roof, lack of adequate classroom and restroom facilities, and inadequate technology infrastructure are just some of the issues that qualified the school for the feasibility study.
In other Town Meeting news, several articles aimed at altering the way Shrewsbury government operates were easily defeated.
Town Meeting members overwhelmingly voted down petition articles to adjust the way the Finance Committee is chosen, to set term limits for elected offices, to prevent people from holding more than one elected or appointed position, to alter the way vacant seats are filled and to require people running for Town Meeting member to provide information regarding any town position they or family members have held.
The Finance Committee had recommended defeat on each of these articles, and Chair Gene Buddenhagen expressed frustration regarding each petition during Town Meeting May 21.
“I resent the amount of effort and time that’s going into these articles when we’ve got many, many more important things to do … than attack the current method of government in this town,” he said. “It’s really a slap in the face of people we have in professional positions, including Town Meeting members.”
Selectman Benjamin Tartaglia, who supported each of the petition articles, admonished Buddenhagen for criticizing the articles, saying that petitioning Town Meeting is the only way for residents to ensure a vote on issues they deem important.
Most people who spoke during debate of the individual petition articles requested background information as to what abuses or issues have arisen in the past to make such changes necessary.
Very little additional information was provided, and each was voted down.
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