BECKET -- Residents will receive more advanced notice and more information to make informed decisions at their Annual Town Meeting under a measure adopted Saturday at a special town meeting.
Thirty-two of the town's 1,374 registered voters, or 2,3 percent, came to Becket Town Hall to vote on the nine-article warrant, which was approved with minimal word changes in about 90 minutes.
The update to the Annual Town Meeting rules was devised by a three-person committee appointed more than a year ago by the Select Board. The revised bylaw would require the town to mail a copy of the warrant to all Becket households at least a week before the meeting. In the mailing, the Select Board would provide an explanation of the articles.
The Annual Town Meeting will be held May 10 at the Becket Washington School.
The Finance Committee will be expected to produce a report made available to the public that would outline the town's financial condition and its budget recommendations.
Any article that has been petitioned would include the name of the person or town board or committee that has made the request. Other stipulations would formalize the responsibilities of the moderator, allow for the moderator to appoint a deputy moderator in case he is unavailable, and outline how articles can be petitioned.
The most protracted discussion of the night centered around whether residents should have the right to appeal decisions made the moderator. That measure did not pass.
Residents also approved the creation of a new Bylaw Review Committee; a Community Preservation Committee to study the needs, possibilities, and resources of the town and the use of Community Preservation Act funds; and a single committee to oversee Parks and Recreations,.
The Highway Department Machinery Account received $7,500 for repairs to departmental vehicles and equipment. The Mullen House will receive a new water filtration system after bacteria was discovered in the well water.
The town transferred $20,000 from the Vocational Tuition Account to the Vocational Transportation Account. The town had one less student than anticipated, but any savings was re-allocated for the use of a new bus route to accommodate existing students.
To reach John Sakata:
or (413) 496-6240.
On Twitter: @jsakata