Selectmen FY16 Budget Statement & Town Financial Projections

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Town budget season has begun. At their October 21 meeting, the Board of Selectmen approved the FY16 Budget Statement as recommended by the Town Manager. The budget statement calls for more directed spending on the core mission and frontline services, maintaining level funding for current municipal service operations while keeping costs as low as possible, and for strategic initiatives department heads should submit separate requests with proposals including the purpose, priority, performance measures, service outputs, and costs associated. Also on October 21, the town’s new Director of Finance, Chris Howell, presented the FY16 Financial Forecast.  Stayed tuned as budget season progresses and pay attention to opportunities for public input.

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FY16 School Budget Summaries to Date

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School budget season is in full swing. The various school departments have already begun presenting their preliminary budgets to the School Committee. There will be a public hearing on the budget on January 8, where you can give your feedback on the budget.

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State Election Tomorrow

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Tuesday, November 4 – Polls open 7:00am-8:00pm

Hopkinton Middle School Brown Gym

What’s on the Hopkinton Ballot:

Senator in US Congress

Governor and Lieutenant Governor

Attorney General

  • Maura Healey, Democratic http://www.maurahealey.com/
  • John B Miller, Republican http://millerforag.com/

Secretary of State

  • William Francis Galvin, Democratic (Incumbent) http://www.billgalvin.org/
  • David D’Arcangelo, Republican http://www.davein2014.com/
  • Daniel L Factor, Green-Rainbow http://www.electfactor.org/

Treasurer

  • Deborah B Goldberg, Democratic http://www.debgoldberg.com/
  • Michael James Heffernan, Republican https://www.mikeheffernan2014.com/
  • Ian T Jackson, Green-Rainbow http://www.ian-jackson.org/

Auditor

  • Suzanne M Bump, Democratic (Incumbent) http://www.suzannebump.com/
  • Patricia S Saint Aubin, Republican https://www.patriciasaintaubin.com/
  • MK Merelice, Green-Rainbow http://www.merelice.org/

Representative in US Congress

  •  Joseph P Kennedy, III, Democratic (Incumbent)

Councillor

  • Robert L Jubinville, Democratic (Incumbent)

Senator in General Court (2nd Middlesex & Norfolk District)

  • Karen E Spilka, Democratic (Incumbent)

Representative in General Court (8th Middlesex District)

District Attorney (Northern District)

  • Marian T Ryan, Democratic

 Registrar of Probate

  • Tara E DeCristofaro, Democratic (Incumbent)
  • John W Lambert, Sr, Republican https://www.facebook.com/LambertforRegisterofProbateMiddlesexCounty

State Ballot Question 1 - Eliminating Gas Tax Indexing

State Ballot Question 2 - Expanding the Beverage Container Deposit Law

  • A YES VOTE would expand the state’s beverage container deposit law to require deposits on containers for all non-alcoholic, non-carbonated drinks with certain exceptions, increase the associated handling fees, and make other changes to the law. http://www.massbottlebill.org/
  • A NO VOTE would make no change In the laws regarding beverage container deposits. http://www.noonquestion2.com/

State Ballot Question 3 - Expanding Prohibitions On Gaming

State Ballot Question 4 - Earned Sick Time For Employees

  • A YES VOTE would entitle employees in Massachusetts to earn and use sick time according to certain conditions. http://raiseupma.org/
  • A NO VOTE would make no change in the laws regarding earned sick time.  http://retailersma.org/

Ballot Question 5 – Non-Binding

Shall the state representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of a resolution calling upon Congress to propose an amendment to the US Constitution affirming that 1) rights protected under the Constitution are the rights of natural persons only and 2) both Congress and the states may place limits on political contributions and political spending? http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/article/20141101/NEWS/141109518

  • YES
  • NO

Hopkinton Veterans Links and Information

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Over the summer, Educate Hopkinton sponsored the July monthly Veterans’ Breakfast at the Senior Center. Thank you to everyone who helped us raise the money by participating in our June flamingo fundraiser. To learn more about Hopkinton’s Veterans in time for Veteran’s Day, please visit these links:

  • Hopkinton/Metrowest Veterans Services Department: http://www.hopkintonma.gov/home/government/departments/veterans
  • Hopkinton Veterans Celebration Committee: http://www.hopkintonma.gov/home/government/boards/veterans-celebration

Veterans Photo Galleries

  • http://www.hcamtv.com/series/veterans/slideshow.shtml …for each branch of service, click on arrows to advance photos one-by-one
  • http://www.sceneinhopkinton.org/p651094365 …sequence of pages with 12 photos each; not complete
  • http://hopkinton.wickedlocal.com/article/20140221/NEWS/140228759
  • http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/article/20080630/NEWS/306309921/0/SEARCH

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Elementary School Building Committee Update

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On October 21, the Designer Selection Panel of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) finalized the selection of the design firm for the Center School project.  Drumney Rosane Anderson, Inc (DRA) was selected by the Panel which included, as representatives of Hopkinton, Michael Shepherd, Vice Chair of the ESBC, Dr. Cathy MacLeod, Superintendent, and Jon Graziano, Chair of the School Committee.  DRA was the first choice of all three Hopkinton representatives.

The state requires the design firm determine the official list of potential sites.   Unofficial sites which have been discussed include the Center School property, Elmwood School property, Irvine property, Todaro property and more.  According to the Elementary School Building Committee (ESBC) timeline, a methodical site evaluation is expected to occur between November and February. Site selection is targeted for March/April.

At the September 29 meeting of the ESBC, soil testing was approved for potential sites in order to arm the design firm with as much information as possible on day one.

New Strategic Plan Now in Place

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At their September 18 meeting, the School Committee unanimously voted to adopt the 2014-2020 Strategic Plan:

Strategic Plan Objectives:

EFFECTIVE SCHOOL LEADERSHIP

  1. Attract, develop, and sustain an effective school leadership team
  2. Establish a clearly defined set of goals aligning the School Improvement Plans to the District Strategic Plan
  3. Foster a collaborative culture open to dialogue and trust amongst faculty and staff.

ALIGNED CURRICULUM

  1. Develop a consistently implemented and vertically aligned PreK-12 Curriculum
  2. Articulate common, well-defined learning outcomes with a focus on depth of understanding and critical thinking.

EFFECTIVE INSTRUCTION

  1. Communicate high expectations for all students
  2. Implement evidence-based high quality instructional practices

STUDENT ASSESSMENT

  1. Implement a variety of assessments that examine both short and long-term growth of students
  2. Use assessment results to evaluate and adjust instructional practices
  3. Provide opportunities for students to share in goal-setting and self-evaluation

LEADERSHIP, GOVERNANCE, and COMMUNICATION

  1. Develop a transparent budget that supports the district’s priority initiatives
  2. Evaluate and develop School Committee policy
  3. Cultivate effective partnerships with families and within the community

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Foreign Language Five-Year Plan

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This post was edited to better reflect the purpose and usage of the Foreign Language Plan presented to the school committee.

The Foreign Language Five-Year Strategic Plan was shared with the School Committee at their October 2nd meeting.  Several goals were outlined in the plan.  We have highlighted some of the key goals below.  You can read the Foreign Language Plan to see the complete list of goals and the research included in the plan.

  • 2015-2016: HPS will provide Foreign Language study in the 6th grade, pending approval in the FY16 budget.  Languages offered would be French and Spanish.
  • 2015-2016: HPS will study elementary foreign language instruction implementation for effectiveness, cost and methodology.
  • The plan outlines a potential timeline for implementation that will be refined and presented to the School Committee based on the results of the study.
  • 2016-2017: Implement foreign language study in kindergarten adding a new grade each school year through 2020-2021 as follows:
    2017-2018 – First Grade
    2018-2019 – Second Grade
    2019-2020 – Third Grade
    2020-2021 – Fourth Grade
    While the budget needs and personnel details will receive more refinement, this potential plan could mean the addition of one foreign language teacher to the budget for each of those school years.

A New Face at Town Hall and Several Key Positions Open

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Over the summer Chris Howell was hired as Hopkinton’s new Finance Director, replacing Christopher Ketchen who left last spring to become the Town Manager of Lenox. Howell comes to Hopkinton from Dedham, where he was a financial analyst. He has a masters degree in public administration from Suffolk University and a masters degree in business administration from Boston College. You can follow him on Twitter @HopkintonFinance or read a recent Metrowest Daily News article about him.

Due to several recent resignations, there are currently several key positions now open at Hopkinton Town Hall. Read more in the Metrowest Daily News. Open positions include:

  • Human Resources Director
  • Principal Assessor
  • Deputy Assessor
  • Parks & Recreation Director

 

Because Information Matters, a Civic League of Hopkinton, Massachusetts