Good evening and welcome back to a proud Greater Grafton tradition: the Town Meeting liveblog! The newest posts will appear at the top, so keep refreshing. I’ll also be updating from Twitter @lordpaluzzi, because when you’re a multimedia professor of journalism, you tend to go ALL OUT with the digital toys.
And we’re out. Hope you enjoyed the return of the liveblog, everyone!
9:48 p.m. Resident has a quibble with the moderator: he isn’t always reading the vote totals from our little electronic vote thingys. Ray takes note of this and now is reading the numbers.
And it passes. Can I beat up the guy building the house from hell across the street now?
Please don’t let your dog poop in the cemetery. Thank you.
9:33 p.m. Article 19, upgrade of wastewater facility, passes.
9:30 p.m. This is just authorizing the library trustees to apply for grants, etc. for a possible expansion that will lead to endless debate. It passed.
Guys, do a better job on your marketing this time.
9:29 p.m. We’re arrived at Article 17, Library expansion grant authorization.
Oh no, not again.
9:24 p.m. I grow weary of this not very active discussion and I’m reading this instead.
9:19 p.m. We’re still on Article 16. I’m so bored I’m finding random memes on Twitter
9:07 p.m. We are zipping though and we’re now up to Article 16 and we’ve voted for everything so far. We’re stalled because resident Ken Ware is having some difficulty reading aloud the warrant article instead of explaining it.
9:03 p.m. Loud rustling of papers as we start zipping through the warrant without any of those pesky debates.
8:59 p.m. We have moved the question and we are pressing 1 for yes, 2 for no.
8:57 p.m. Jim Gallagher is at the microphone. HI JIM. “The ones who aren’t in here, because Ray will not allow them, are the kids. … Reach back and remember who you were. Remember what it was like to go to the park and play. … Remember the joy of being a kid.”
8:53 p.m. Guy in his 80s at the mic: “This is cutting into my heirs’ inheritance.” Notes town has already spent $ on new police station, fire station, high school and is now also looking at a new DPW. $800,000 for Super Park?
8:45 p.m. “I just want to say one thing. It’s Article 5. It’s quarter of nine. And I’m having palpitations.” — Ray Mead, pleading for everyone to keep it short.
8:43 p.m. Selectman Brook Padgett notes Super Park is one of the items that’s been on the list for a while. Let’s go back to why.
8:37 p.m. Woman at the mic disses the existing playground, says it was promised as part of the high school. How wonderful it would be to go to the center of town, get ice cream at the Grafton Country Store, go to the library…
8:36 p.m. Neighbor Tim (Here’s where I make my usual disclosure that Town Administrator Tim McInerney is now my next-door neighbor) says something about capital planning.
8:34 p.m. Bill Yeomans also notes Grafton is on the hook for the costs of the failed suit against the Grafton & Upton Railroad, and maybe we should be a little frugal? He also feels this will be to the detriment of the current neighborhood parks.
8:32 p.m. I have never heard Bill Yeomans speaking in opposition to something. Wow. He says there are many other capital spending needs that should take priority.
8:29 p.m. “We live in a time when most people don’t get enough physical activity.” God, I should have made this a drinking game.
8:25 p.m. A note: I’ve been up since 4 a.m., since I teach at Emmanuel College at 8 a.m., then turn around and drive to Lowell to edit the Nashoba Valley Voice. I’m punchy, I’m tired, and some people at the microphone are kind of just going blah blah blah to me right now. Also, I’m predicting just about everything that is coming out of everyone’s mouth right now.
8:23 p.m. By the way, if you’re new to the area and wondering what Super Park looked like, here’s the original Greater Grafton post on the matter.
8:22 p.m. We have a line at the microphone.
8:20 p.m. Woman who has lived in Grafton about 40 years or so says she went to Super Park once or twice, has gone to Millbury Street playground with grandchildren and they love it. She doesn’t like the idea of a playground in the center of town, where the traffic is already so bad.
Man notes he also has grandchildren, kids can’t afford to live in town, worries the playground will be a “destination” which “A lot of other people besides people of Grafton will use.” Speaks of other towns “ruined” by destination playgrounds.
8:15 p.m. A note: FinCom does not support this article. Total cost of the full project would be $800,000 — they believe it should be put on the list of capital projects and considered as a part of the town’s capital plan. They do not understand why it has vaulted to the top of the list.
Some notes about Super Park — the original one was built pretty much by volunteer labor and used things like giant tires. The proposed Super Park would be accessible to children with disabilities and debate on it has been going on for SEVEN YEARS.
Discussion is now on the floor.
Scully-for-Everything is talking about Super Park — I just uploaded video and will share in a minute. About its location near the Grafton & Upton Railroad tracks, he notes the train goes super slow here and children love trains. He cites Thomas the Tank Engine as an example of this.
Not winning my vote this way. I HATE Thomas.
8:03 p.m. Here we go: Super Park
By the time I got to the front of the line, the warrants were all given out and I had to wait to get one of the brand-new electronic voter thingys. Town Moderator Ray Mead: “You don’t have to point it at me for the vote to be recorded.” The visual here: everyone pointed their clickers at Ray like they were hoping to change the channel. Maybe they wanted “Big Bang Theory” instead of the slide showing Article 3: Prior Fiscal Year Bills.
And it passed and I voted. Pointing it at Ray. Maybe if I press it hard enough, he’ll turn into Rob Gronkowski?