Canton braces for blockbuster town meeting season

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See this week’s Canton Citizen for a full-page preview of Canton’s 2015 town meeting.

The countdown to town meeting 2015 is officially underway, and Canton voters may want to rest up and get ready as this one could well be a blockbuster.

With a whopping 49 warrant articles to deliberate and vote on, including 13 zoning changes and seven articles pertaining to the proposed redevelopment of the Plymouth Rubber property on Revere Street, this year’s installment is expected to last multiple sessions — perhaps even three or more, according to many political observers.

It all kicks off this coming Monday, May 11, at 7 p.m. in the Canton High School auditorium, starting with the election of a moderator and adoption of procedural rules to govern the meeting. Voters will then immediately transition to a special town meeting, where they will act on the bundle of articles related to Plymouth Rubber — including zoning changes, land acquisition and disposition, and a District Improvement Financing (DIF) plan — before continuing with the annual town meeting and the remaining 40 articles contained in this year’s warrant.

According to the Finance Committee’s report, the calling of a special town meeting will help to ensure “optimum voter attention” for the Plymouth Rubber project — a major and potentially historic redevelopment plan that is now more than seven years in the making.

Approval of the project, as with all zoning articles, requires the backing of a super-majority (two-thirds) of eligible voters, whereas standard articles require only a simple majority to pass.

This year, voters will have their hands full with both types of proposals — from a new hotel overlay on Royall Street and a solar installation on Walpole Street to the elimination of salaries for elected officials and the establishment of tuition-free full-day kindergarten for all Canton students.

The entire experience will then culminate with the appropriation of the fiscal year operating budget, which the Finance Committee has set at $82.7 million — a 3.7 percent increase over last year’s budget.

Town meeting will adjourn at or around 11 p.m. on Monday, May 11. It will continue to meet on consecutive Mondays and Wednesdays, except for May 25, at 7 p.m. until all business has concluded.

Town Meeting Resources:

Annual Town Meeting Warrant (full text)

Special Town Meeting Warrant (full text)

Plymouth Rubber documents (development agreement, environmental reports)

Zoning Articles  (CCTV video)

Plymouth Rubber project (CCTV video)

See this week’s Canton Citizen for a full-page preview of Canton’s 2015 town meeting. Click here to order your subscription today. (Special May discount: $10 off 1 year)

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