Special Town Meeting Warrant Includes Hockey Rink Studies, Strong Chief Law
There are 22 articles on the approved Special Town Meeting warrant for Nov. 15.
On Nov. 15 there will be a Special Town Meeting to discuss and vote on the 22 articles on the Town Meeting Warrant which was approved by the Board of Selectmen last week.
Article 5 on the warrant addresses the feasibility and traffic studies on the proposed Norwood hockey rink. While the article calls for the appropriation of funds for the study, at last week's Selectmen meeting the Recreation in Norwood Committee (RINC) presented the town with a donation check for $45,000 - which should cover the expense of both studies.
Selectmen Chair Michael Lyons said at the meeting that the vote of the Town Meeting members on this article would be basically conceptual, to find out whether or not the community would approve of the project in general.
Other articles on the warrant call for the appropriation of funds for new Police equipment, Police overtime pay, unpaid Fire Department wages and salaries, and Fire Department training, among other things.
Read the full text of the Special Town Meeting warrant in the document attached to this article.
Another article that has already garnered some attention around town is article 15, which calls for the rescission of the "strong chief" law.
The "strong chief" law in Massachusetts gives the fire chief sole control over hiring and firing in a department, as well as all fire department operations. According to the Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 48, Section 42:
Towns accepting the provisions of this section... may establish a fire department to be under the control of an officer to be known as the chief of the fire department.... He shall have full and absolute authority in the administration of the department, shall make all rules and regulations for its operation, shall report to the selectmen from time to time as they may require, and shall annually report to the town the condition of the department with his recommendations thereon....
If rescinded, Town Manager John Carroll would become the direct supervisor of the Norwood Fire Chief, under Section 42A.
The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 15. All residents are encouraged to attend the Town Meeting and will be allowed to speak on the articles, whether or not they are a voting member.