Williamsburg voters got down to business at annual Town Meeting

  • Williamsburg Town Hall GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 6/9/2021 9:57:28 AM

WILLIAMSBURG — All 22 articles passed without any controversy at Monday’s annual Town Meeting, which drew fewer residents than normal perhaps due to the heat.

“Everything went very, very smoothly the whole meeting,” said Select Board Chairman William Sayre, noting that there were “no controversies” at the meeting.

Sayre said that most of the articles passed unanimously and no hand counts were required. He also said that “the annual Town Meeting really is a townwide effort” and that the ease and consensus by which the town passed articles this year really showed that.

Article 17, which proposed funding replacing the North Street entrance walkway to the Meekins Library, was amended from $12,500 to $3,000 for the project after Nick Dines offered to design and oversee the replacement of the sidewalk free of charge with the assistance of the Highway Department and volunteers

“We just have to pay for materials, not for labor,” Sayre said.

He noted that the town has a history of doing this — with volunteer labor overseen by Dines constructing the plaza outside the Williamsburg Market.

The fiscal 2022 operating budget passed at Town Meeting was larger than what was outlined in a Finance Committee report prior to the meeting, due to a $55,910 increase for the local school budget line item. The $8.42 million operating budget approved was a 1.6% increase over the $8.29 million for fiscal 2021.

The meeting took place outside on the grounds of the Anne T. Dunphy School, and Sayre said that everyone was grateful to meet outside, with the pandemic mostly under control and without masks.

“It felt like a real milestone had been reached,” he said.

The meeting also acknowledged that the 2020 Annual Report was dedicated to the town’s frontline employees, and the deaths of longtime moderator Eileen Stewart and longtime volunteer firefighter John Pope were also acknowledged.

Town Clerk Brenda Lessard said 88 voters attended the meeting out of the 2,058 registered voters, a little over the quorum of 60 voters needed. She said she thinks that hot weather kept people away.

She said Williamsburg normally gets between 110 and 150 people for Town Meetings.

Lessard said that since she became clerk in 2007, this might have been the lowest turnout that she’s seen for an annual Town Meeting.

Town Administrator Nicholas Caccamo, hired into the job this spring, experienced his first town meeting — in Williamsburg or elsewhere — on Monday.

“It was really nice to see,” said Caccamo.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.

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