SHIRLEY — The Annual Town Meeting segued to a second consecutive night this year.
After a fairly long first session that covered only six articles, including the town operating budget, part two dealt with articles 7 to 23 and wrapped in relatively short order, about two hours.
Most of the articles passed, with the exception of a few that were withdrawn.
Voters agreed unanimously to adopt the Sewer Department and Ambulance budgets for fiscal year 2008. They also agreed unanimously to appropriate state funds — Chapter 70 school aid and Chapter 90 highway aid — for their intended uses.
However, article 11, which sought to add $5,000 to the Conservation Commission land acquisition fund, collapsed under friendly fire. The Finance Committee recommended against it, and Selectman Chairman David Swain made a motion to take no action.
“The committee doesn’t think this request is prudent” said FinCom Chairman Frank Kolarik, adding that the $7,200 already in the fund “should be adequate.” And if it isn’t, he noted, the ConsCom can come before the selectmen or FinCom and ask for a transfer from reserves.
The ConsCom, for its part, had already agreed not to press for the additional funding and made a motion to withdraw the request. The question then became how best to do so.
Selectman Leonardo “Chip” Guercio suggested amending the amount to zero, while town moderator George Knittel said the simplest means to the same end would be to vote no.
But resident Sylvia Shipton argued for a solution that retains the spirit of the process. “Taking no action doesn’t honor the grace of the ConsCom’s decision to withdraw ” she said. Swain withdrew his motion and the second motion on the floor passed.
Voters passed article 13, which appropriated $3,333.33 as the town’s portion of a one-time assessment to pay for the management of a conservation restriction at Mirror Lake on Devens. The Trustees of Reservations oversee the restriction, with financial responsibility shared equally by Ayer, Harvard and Shirley, those towns with land interests on Devens. Together, the three tithes cover half the bill and MassDevelopment pays the rest.
Voters also passed article 13, which amends the wage and salary classification plan and appropriates salary adjustments. There was no discussion on these two articles.