Whitman:Town Meeting to talk capital stabilization accounts, expanding police chief’s power

Whitman Town Meeting is expected to be quieter this evening compared to years past. The warrant for Special Town Meeting will feature 11 articles, while the annual features 39. However there are a few articles like one that looks to create a capital stabilization fund for the schools, that might stir up a discussion.  Town Administrator Frank Lynam took a moment to explains.

“We’re going to be looking at a request by Whitman Hanson (school district) to create a capital stabilization account,” Lynam said. “I have opposed that and am recommending that the town create its own stabilization account and its restricted for the schools.”

The article would create a fund the Whitman Hanson Regional Schools and South Shore Vocational Technical High School could use on capital projects but would still need town meeting approval to use the funding.  The sewer and water department have submitted requests totaling $180,000 to purchase backup generators for the town’s pumping stations.

Meanwhile, Lynam says there could be some discussion on purchasing a pedestrian light.

“We are going to have an interesting article for $15,000 to purchase solar powered pedestrian signals,” Lynam said. “That’s in relation to the area by the train station, where we have had some serious accidents over the years and we’re hoping that will help reduce risks in those locations.”

There’s also a Citizen’s petition that would give Police Chief Scott Benton additional powers. If passed, the chief will have the power to bring forth policies without seeking approval from the Board of Selectmen. He also can assign his officers to duties as he feels it’s necessary.

This will also be the final town meeting for Michael Hayes, who has been town moderator for 30 years.  Michael Seely will take over those duties after the May 17th town elections. Whitman’s Town meeting begins tonight at 7:30pm and will be held in the auditorium of Town Hall.

About Kevin Tocci

Kevin Tocci is a Brockton area reporter and correspondent, and Host of Monday Night Talk which airs on Monday nights at 6:15 p.m. on WATD.