‘Townie Baby’ petition defeated at Town Meeting

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‘Townie Baby’ petition defeated at Town Meeting
Residents get ready to deliberate at the Annual Town Meeting on Saturday, March 23, at the high school auditorium. Photo by Maureen Sullivan

WESTBOROUGH – Residents let their feelings known about the citizens’ petitions presented at Annual Town Meeting on Saturday, March 23.

This includes what Town Moderator John Arnold called the “penultimate” petition, the “Townie Baby Award” that would have presented $1,000 to babies born in Westborough.

Supporters said the award would help encourage families to stay in town. Opponents said the petition was “unjust.”

“As written, it makes little sense,” said John McGrath.

For example, McGrath wanted to know whether the award could apply to babies who were born in town, moved out, and come back years later.

“It’s a joke and it’s frightening,” added Geoff Spofford. “It’s hateful in many respects.”

The petition was defeated, 373-10.

The only petition that requested funding – Article 33, which asked for $3,500 toward an Afro Caribbean Festival – was defeated, 338-25.

The remaining petitions were nonbinding.

Article 34 (removal of LBGTQ+ iconography) – defeated, 313-24

Article 35 (end anti-racism initiatives) – defeated, 382-23

Article 36 (bar gender-affirming care for minors) – defeated, 367-24

Article 37 (end town and schools’ probable future mandates) – defeated, 359-26

Article 38 (Senior Center preservation) – defeated, 335-22

Article 39 (Golf Club preservation) – defeated, 360-21

Article 40 (Library Cost-Effective Repair) – defeated, 358-19

Article 41 (new affordable housing units located equally throughout town) – amendment approved, 248-131; amended petition approved, 300-90

Article 42 (repeal stormwater tax) – defeated, 343-36

Article 43 (return fireplace room at Westborough Public Library to community use) – amendment defeated, 231-140; original petition defeated, 312-66

Article 44 (opt-in process for sex education) – pass over, 353-29

Article 45 (Townie Baby award) – defeated, 373-10

Article 46 (“no political bias” in education teaching standards) – pass over, 323-20

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