Wellesley’s remote 2020 Annual Town Meeting has been dissolved.
For the first-time in the Town’s 139-year history, Annual Town Meeting took place by Zoom videoconferencing in order to keep all participants safe during the Coronavirus pandemic.
During the two-night meeting, Town Meeting Members considered and voted on all critical warrant articles related to the financial operations of the Town, including approving a more than $174 million omnibus budget and union contracts for the Wellesley Police Department, Fire Department, and Wellesley Free Library.
At a Special Town Meeting held within the Annual Meeting, members voted to extend the retirement age for the Town’s Assistant Fire Chief.
Non-financial articles on the Annual Town Meeting warrant will be considered at a Special Town Meeting currently planned for October 2020.
Six citizen petitions on the warrant were also considered. There were no motions on three of these petitions - a petition to amend a section of the Zoning Bylaws relating to the size of structures in General Residence Districts; a petition to improve efficiency in Town government; and a petition to amend the Town Bylaws to prohbit the sale of fur products in Wellesley. These will be reconsidered at the October Special Town Meeting.
Town Meeting members did approve a citizen petition to enroll all Town electricity customers in an opt-out Voluntary Renewable Energy Program in order to help Wellesley reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
A citizen petition asking that the second Monday in October be celebrated as Indigenous Peoples Day in Wellesley, rather than Columbus Day, was amended as a ballot question and approved by Town Meeting Members. Wellesley residents will vote on this question on Town Election Day in March 2021.
A corresponding citizen petition asking that the second Monday in October be celebrated as Italian American Heritage Day, and another to-be-determined day be celebrated as Indigenous Peoples Day, was also amended as a ballot question but not approved by Town Meeting Members.
Comprehensive information about Town Meeting, including presentations for the warrant articles considered and the scorecard for each article, is available on the Town Clerk’s webpages.