Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Select Board, April 24, 2024

Consent Agenda

The Arlington Select Board approved the consent agenda, which included minutes for previous meetings held on March 18, March 26, and April 1, 2024. The board also approved the request for a contracted drain layer license by Joseph DiPremio from Premio Paving and Seal Coating. Furthermore, the board granted special one-day beer and wine licenses for two events on April 27, 2024—one at the Fidelity House and the other at the Robbins Memorial Town Hall. Lastly, the board approved Art in the Park and Art on the Green Town Day events, both to be held at Whittemore Park on July 27 and September 21, 2024, respectively.

Lachlan Avenue Loading Zone

The board reviewed a proposal to establish a commercial loading zone on the west side of Lachlan Avenue at the intersection with Massachusetts Avenue. This request stemmed from the recent occupation of a development project at the 882-892 Mass Ave parcel. The board received information that the proposal had undergone review and revisions by town staff, including the engineering, police, and fire departments. The approved design would allow for the establishment of the loading zone at the developer’s cost, including pavement markings. The board approved the institution of the commercial loading zone and amended Schedule I parking regulations accordingly.

Warrant Article Hearings

The Select Board held hearings on two warrant articles for the upcoming special town meeting.

Article 2: Bylaw Amendment – Amend the Poet Laureate Screening Committee Membership

The proposed amendment sought to change the membership of the Poet Laureate Screening Committee by replacing a member elected from the town meeting with a former Poet Laureate. This adjustment aimed to enhance the committee’s capacity to attract candidates for the Poet Laureate position. With the board’s approval, the change would ensure that if there were no former Poet Laureate available, the town manager would appoint someone from the town meeting. The motion for favorable action on Article 2 was unanimously approved.

Article 5: Resolution for a Ceasefire Proclamation

Article 5, inserted by Shadi Sal and 100 registered voters, called for a ceasefire proclamation concerning the ongoing conflict involving Gaza. The proponents and other speakers emphasized the impact of this global issue on the Arlington community, appealing for a stance aligning with the town’s values of human rights and justice. The discussion grew with various members of the community expressing their views.

Following the comprehensive listening sessions conducted by the Arlington Human Rights Commission, the AHRC voted to endorse the Article, considering it a step toward affirming shared humanity. Due to the significant public interest and the need for a thorough hearing, the board tabled the Article 5 hearing with a unanimous vote to continue at a future meeting before the special town meeting. This decision allowed for those unable to attend due to a Jewish holiday to have an opportunity to participate.

Discussion and Potential Reconsideration of Warrant Articles 8, 9, and 10

After receiving feedback from the Town Meeting Procedures Committee, the Select Board reconsidered its previous votes on Articles 8 and 9, which pertained to starting and ending times for town meetings. The board moved to no action on Article 8 and instead adopted a favorable action on Article 9, focusing solely on implementing a 7:30 PM start time for town meetings. This shift was intended to simplify discussions at the town meeting and avoid prescribing an end time in the bylaw.

Correspondence Received

The board received and acknowledged correspondence without any discussion.

The meeting was suspended to reconvene downstairs at the annual town meeting at 08:00 PM, and adjournment was to be concurrent with the adjournment of the annual town meeting body itself.



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