SHIRLEY — The Special Town Meeting warrant, currently in its third draft, should be ready for the Board of Selectmen to sign March 12.
The meeting is set for March 26.
The board has reviewed the 13-item draft, scrapped one article and forwarded the amended document to the Finance Committee, which will make recommendations on articles that involve spending town funds.
The warrant article the board voted to table called for a fund transfer to cover the current fiscal year.
Town administrator Kyle Keady said it would be better to wait until the June Annual Town Meeting. By then, all fiscal year 2007 bills should be in, he said, and the transfer amount will be more accurate.
The articles on the warrant seek to:
* Authorize the town moderator to declare a two-thirds vote.
* Establish a three-member Regional School District Planning Committee. Before moving on this article, however, the selectmen voted to officially disband a committee created on the topic in 1994.
* Ask voters to accept a provision in Massachusetts General Law that allows a board member who has been absent for part of a public hearing to vote, provided that member has read documents from the missed meetings and is up to speed on the issue.
According to town administrator Kyle Keady, this move will do more than streamline the process. Without it, he said proceedings can be derailed by a member’s absence.
* Adopt a storm-water management bylaw, as required by state law.
The selectmen scheduled a public hearing on this proposed bylaw for March 5.
* Ask voters to adopt provisions of a state law that allows communities to adjust their timetables for extended voter registration hours before a town meeting or election.
* Establish parking regulations and give police authority to issue tickets.
* Incorporate into town bylaws a provision in state law that says dog owners must pick up after their pets when they leave droppings on a public way, in a public park or on someone else’s property.
* Appropriate money to pay last year’s bills.
* Ask voters for permission to revise the FY07 Sewer Department budget. The revised version corrects minor mistakes, said Keady.
* Ask voters to accept August Lane as a town road.
* Obtain voters’ permission to participate in an economic development program called tax increment financing (TIF).
One firm has applied for the program, Keady said.
* Obtain voters’ approval to send a home-rule petition to state lawmakers on behalf of a former Shirley police sergeant who was shot while on duty 13 years ago and has been legally disabled since.
James Mickel, who briefly returned to work but subsequently retired on disability, has been receiving 72-percent benefits based on his former salary.
The special legislation Mickel’s attorney has asked the town to initiate is similar to a bill enacted for another Shirley police officer shot on duty. It would raise Mickel’s disability status to 100 percent based on the current pay scale for the job with annual adjustments until he reaches age 65. After that, payout shifts to the Middlesex County retirement fund.
The added cost to the town until Mickel turns 65 is $263,737, said Keady, and the annual cost increase is about $21,000.
Since the special legislation would add a yearly bill for the town, Finance Committee member Michael Swanton asked if one town meeting vote can bind the town permanently.
That authorization comes from the general court once the legislation is enacted, said Keady, and the annual assessment will be like any other bill the town has to pay.