Dartmouth Town Meeting to vote on new positions, bylaws, budgets and more

DARTMOUTH — On Tuesday, June 6, Dartmouth Town Meeting voters will take up 31 articles between the annual and special town meeting sessions, including the creation of two new town staff positions, a new registration system for setting up a donation bin in town, and a school department budget that isn't quite what school officials thought they'd arranged with the town side.

Article 18 will ask voters if they'll approve the creation of a communications coordinator position and facilities supervisor position, both of which would pay $27.84 to $36.23 an hour, according to the warrant as written.

According to a presentation by Town Administrator Shawn MacInnes during a May 8 Select Board meeting, the communications coordinator — for a total cost of $70,000 in Fiscal Year 2024 — would work to provide communication and public outreach for all town departments. MacInnes also noted it that it would replace the existing licensing aide position.

The work of the facilities supervisor position, for a total FY24 cost of $65,000, would involve succession planning for Park & Recreation Department, support park and facilities operations, manage custodial staff and more.

"All of the town's recreation facilities, the use has increased dramatically in the last five years so it's important for the town to keep up with that...," MacInnes said.

Dartmouth Town Hall, seen here in a file photo, has been a busy place as officials have been preparing for Town Meeting on Tuesday, June 6.
Dartmouth Town Hall, seen here in a file photo, has been a busy place as officials have been preparing for Town Meeting on Tuesday, June 6.

School admin: Selectmen's proposed school budget still short after all

Back in May, school and town officials had been discussing how to resolve a $588,508 gap between the School Committee's budget request and the town's proposed school budget, concluding that a number of financial measures — including the schools foregoing the same amount in capital project funds — would make up the complete difference. However, as Interim Superintendent of Schools James Kiely shared at a May 15 School Committee meeting, the Select Board and Finance Committee ultimately voted to put forth a lower figure, amounting to a $12,000 gap.

Get some background: Dartmouth school and town officials closed a budget gap — but it's no long-term fix.

Kiely said at the time that even after consulting with town administration and finance heads that he did not fully understand the discrepancy, and, now that budgets have been voted into the warrant, remaining options to address the gap include proposing changes on Town Meeting floor.

Article looks to regulate donation bins

Article 25 seeks to establish a new bylaw that would subject those wanting to set up a donation bin in town to a registration process. Otherwise, unregistered donation bins would be prohibited.

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The proposed draft bylaw would forbid donation bin placements on any median or sidewalk, and require the names of registrants and their contact information to be "placed in a clearly visible location, and in a readable manner, on the donation bin, and updated immediately upon any change."

As it's written in the warrant, registrations would be valid for two years.

If you go

Dartmouth's spring Annual Town Meeting on Tuesday, June 6, is set to start at 9 a.m., with the Special Town Meeting set to follow. The meetings will be held in the Dartmouth High School auditorium, 555 Bakersville Road.

This article originally appeared on Standard-Times: Dartmouth Town Meeting to vote on new positions, budgets