Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Select Board, October 11, 2023

Review of the Select Board Position on the Mugar Wetlands

The Select Board discussed reaffirming its opposition to development of the Mugar Wetlands. Board member Diane Mahon made a motion that “the Select Board is opposed to development of the Mugar Wetlands.” Board member Stephen DeCourcey seconded the motion. The Board has consistently opposed the proposed development of the Mugar Wetlands over the years, including in letters to MassHousing in 2015 and 2020. The Board unanimously voted 5-0 to reaffirm its opposition to any development of the Mugar Wetlands.

End-of-Year Budget Report

Comptroller Ida Cody presented the end of fiscal year 2023 budget report. She reported that free cash was certified at $8 million, the highest amount ever. She also reported healthy retained earnings for the water, sewer, Council on Aging, and Recreation funds. On the revenue side, building permits, motor vehicle excise taxes, ambulance fees, and interest income all exceeded projections, leading to a $6.2 million surplus. Board members asked questions about specific line items. The Board voted unanimously 5-0 to receive the report.

Health and Human Services Update on AEDs

Deputy Town Manager Christine Bongiorno, formerly Director of Health and Human Services, provided an update on the town’s efforts to install AED (automated external defibrillator) devices in all town buildings and train staff on their use. A recent assessment found some buildings lacked AEDs or had them in poor locations. Over the next 6 months, the town will install new AEDs where needed, move existing ones to more visible locations, and train building occupants on their use. This will ensure devices are available and staff are prepared to use them in a medical emergency until first responders arrive.

Appointment to Tourism Committee

The board interviewed and unanimously appointed Nicole Gustas to the Tourism and Economic Development Committee by a 5-0 vote. She has over 10 years of experience in tourism and is enthusiastic about promoting what Arlington has to offer.

Discussion of Article for Special Town Meeting

The board discussed a proposed warrant article to prohibit new fossil fuel infrastructure that was previously voted on September 27. The article will be part of the board’s report to the Special Town Meeting in November. The board unanimously voted 5-0 to approve the article.

Transportation Advisory Committee Recommendation for Downing Square

The Transportation Advisory Committee recommended installing advisory signs at the five approaches to the Downing Square intersection to help clarify that cross traffic does not stop. The Board discussed the options of signs at all approaches versus just higher volume ones before voting unanimously 5-0 to approve signs at all approaches.



Inside Arlington was created by two Arlingtonians who are deeply concerned by the decline in local news and its impact on civic life. Our mission is to provide accessible information to Arlington residents to foster an informed and engaged citizenry. And we want to do it in an economically sustainable way. More…


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