The Board of Selectmen met Monday evening and there are these updates to report.
1. Town Manager John Mangiaratti provided these updates on upcoming virtual public forums:
Wednesday, October 7 at 7PM---Acton Center Design Project--25% percent design phase
Tuesday, October 13 at 7PM and Thursday, December 10 at 7PM--Seeking input on potential additions to zoning bi-law on drive-up windows
Monday, October 19 at 7PM (during Board of Selectmen meeting)--discussion of possible Dog Park sites
Date to be determined during third week in October--seeking ideas for the reuse of the Asa Parlin House
2. The Board discussed the results of the September 8 Special Town Meeting. We were very pleased with Town Meeting's approval of the Piper Lane land acquisitions, the name change of the Board of Selectmen, the Small Business Grant Program and the non-binding article declaring a climate emergency. We acknowledged we did an unsatisfactory job at explaining and presenting Article 8--the release of the restriction at 127 Strawberry Hill Road--and will bring the article back at Annual Town Meeting in 2021. Note the Board of Selectmen change of name amends the Town Charter and requires two votes to take effect: (i) a two-thirds vote in favor at Town Meeting (accomplished on September 8); and (ii) a majority in favor at the next annual town election (March 30, 2021).
3. We supported and advanced a proposal by Nathan Kleinschmidt, an A-B High School senior and avid mountain biker, to build a bicycle pump track on a one acre site on Quarry Road in NARA Park. (Think of a pump track as a skatepark with all dirt and no concrete.) Nathan is a Boy Scout from Troop 1 Acton and a varsity racer for the Acton area mountain bike team, the Gnargonauts. The pump track would be Nathan's Eagle Scout project.
4. During the meeting's COVID-19 discussion John Mangiaratti reported there is one active COVID case in Town. John received the Board's go ahead to prepare a gradual plan for the re-opening of Town buildings and facilities beginning with a limited re-opening of Town Hall in October. Noting that we have not seen a return of commuters to the reserved parking spaces, we approved John's request to reduce the monthly parking rate to $25 per month for July1 to December 31, 2020.
5. Following up on Special Town Meeting's adoption of the non-binding resolution declaring a climate emergency and the Board's long-standing goal of sustainability, we approved John's recommendation to hire a Sustainability Director to help oversee sustainability programs and initiatives in Town. John explained while it is customary to run new positions through the annual budget process, the magnitude of demand for the sustainability director suggests an out-of-cycle addition. The annual salary range for the position would be $75K to $90K.
6. We approved the nominations of eight full members and two associate members to the Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity Commission (DEIC). The full members are: Charmaine Williams, Dawn Wang, Makena Muindi, Nassra Mgeni, Nathan Cookson, Odeviz Soto, Sandra Hinds and Sunanda Pepalla. The associate members are Diane Randolph and Leela Ramachandran. Selectmen David will chair the Commission. The Commission will elect a vice chair. The Commission is made up of eight women and three men. Five members are Black/Brown, one member is Chinese, two members are Indian, one member is LBGT, one member is Latino and one member is White. Two members are A-B students and one is a college student and an A-B grad. David will be nominating two additional members to bring the Commission up to the full membership authorized under the Board's charge. Other than David Martin, this is the first Town service for all members. Note thirty residents applied for Commission membership.
The Selectmen will meet next, remotely, on Monday, October 5 at 7PM. Note the meeting scheduled for Monday, September 28 has been cancelled as it conflicts with Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.
Stay safe and well.
Jon Benson, Chair
A message from the Town of Acton, Massachusetts.
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