Wrentham Recreation, Board of Health Amendments Get Denied at Town Meeting
The amendments would of given more funding to the Wrentham Recreation Department and to the Board of Health.
Emotions ran high at the first night of the Wrentham annual town meeting where residents dealt with issues ranging from the creation of a highway commercial district to dealing with the town budget.
With some hoping to restore services and some funding, article 12-B, which have provided more funding to the Wrentham Recreation Department and the Wrentham Board of Health proved to be a statement as far as what the town could and could not do.
Nearing the three hour mark of the meeting, emotions began to show with the voting of article 12-B. During the reading of the items listed in the FY2013 operating expense budget, three holds were placed on payroll services for the library, the payroll services of the board of health, and on the payroll services of the recreation department.
After a motion to amend the article to allow for a fulltime clerk for the board of health, frustrations were on display as several people told their story about how they needed something from the department only to find no one to help them.
Currently, the board of health employs a part-time clerk for 17 hours a week. The amendment would give the department a clerk for 35 hours a week.
Despite pleads from passionate speakers, including one resident who says that he couldn't even get on someone on the phone when he was in need of a health inspector, it was voted it down, 125-65.
In a plead to help youth athletics, an amendment was introduced to take $142,500 from the stabilization fund and give it to the recreation department.
Greg Klim, president of King Philip Lacrosse, noted that Rice Field is unsustainable with just user fees alone. Some of the money would have to come from tax revenue.
Finance committee chairman Jerry McGovern cautioned against using money from the stabilization fund, noting that it would mean bring the total money used from the fund to balance the budget to $900,000. Also, McGovern emphasized it was not about doing what was best for the children, but rather what the town could afford.
Resident Joe Heck made the point that this was an issue that shouldn't be dealt with through the stabilization fund due to the recurring nature of the recourses. Rather, it should be dealt with through an override.
Due to the use of stabilization funds, two-thirds approval would be needed for the amendment to pass. It was of no matter as the amendment failed, 100-63.
Linda Devore asked for a hold on payroll services for the library if only to ask for volunteers. Not requesting more money, Devore reminded attendees that the library’s staff was minimal and any help that could be given would be greatly appreciated.
After voting down the amdendemts, Article 12-B was passed as is with a voice vote.
As the 11 p.m. hour began, the meeting was adjourned until today where the town will attempt to go through the rest of the town warrant.
On tap for today will be Articles 11 and 13-28. Major articles include Article 16 which would address the issue of parking in the newly created highway commercial district and Article 18 that would define the height of buildings in town.
The meeting resumes at 7:30 p.m. at King Philip High School.