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The Select Board unanimously agreed to amend Article 14 of the town’s bylaws to add a new section -- “Fossil Fuel-Free Demonstration” -- at its Sept. 27 meeting. The vote was 4-0; Steve DeCourcey was recused because of a professional conflict.

For more information, go here>> 

The amendment updates the town’s previously approved clean-heat bylaw, enabling the town’s participation in the Municipal Fossil Fuel-Free Building Demonstration Program. It also restricts the “use of fossil fuel infrastructure in new building construction and major renovations, in furtherance of our goal to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” as stated in a memorandum by Sustainability Manager Talia Fox to Town Manager Jim Feeney.

“The journey we’re all on is to meet our net-zero goals, and Warrant Article 14 is part of that plan,” said Amos Meeks, Clean Energy Future Committee member and Precinct 3 Town Meeting member.

Select Board Chair Eric Helmuth said, “The revisions are really strong. I appreciate the changes in technology and state law. The clean-energy group has a vast amount of knowledge, and I’m inspired by their – and Claire Ricker’s group at planning and community development and Ms. Fox’s – commitment to sustainability. This community puts its money where its mouth is.”

“The board unanimously supported this back in 2021,” said Select Board Vice Chair John Hurd. Board member Len Diggins said, “This environmental aspect is good.”

Open Meeting Law complaint

The Select Board also unanimously approved having the town counsel’s office create and file a response on the board’s behalf regarding a recent Open Meeting Law complaint from Corey Spaulding of Natick.

The related agenda item is here >>

In a memo to the board, then-Town Counsel Doug Heim said that Spaulding had alleged that the Select Board, School Committee and Finance Committee violated the Open Meeting Law “by declining to put her on your respective agendas an item to discuss her allegations of system fraud throughout the Commonwealth . . .”

Heim’s memo also states that “public bodies are not required to place any item on their agendas for discussion. . . . As such, the allegations in the Complaint do not present a colorable claim under the Open Meeting Law.” 


This news summary by YourArlington freelancer Susan Gilbert was published Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023.

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