Here’s what’s in store for Marion’s Town Meeting

Oct 12, 2021

MARION — On Tuesday, Marion Special Town Meeting voters will face choices on the Old Rochester Regional agreement, capital projects, and a new litter bylaw. 

All registered voters in Marion are eligible to participate in the town’s Special Town Meeting on Oct. 19.

The complete Special Town Meeting warrant can be viewed on the town website.

Regional agreement
After 35 years, the Tri-Town is finally set to update the regional agreement that governs Old Rochester Regional Junior High and High School.

The most significant changes to the agreement include the creation of a capital stabilization fund that would help pay for routine maintenance and a change to the way the schools are funded that will make each town’s annual contribution more consistent.

The new agreement would also change the start and end dates of school committee terms to better line up with the school year.

Capital projects
Voters will be asked to authorize the town to spend $175,000 on electrical upgrades for the Marion Town House.

The town will also ask voters to approve a $35,000 expenditure to match a Seaport Economic Council Grant for the design and build documents of a new Harbormaster facility.

Council on Aging handover
One proposition at the meeting would delete all mention of the Council on Aging from the town bylaws. The COA has long been managed by its full-time staff and director, making the town’s volunteer oversight body mostly redundant. The article would simply dissolve the unneeded board.

Town agents
Voters will also be asked to decide whether to create a new public position in Marion for a tree warden and modify the role of town moderator.

The tree warden would be tasked with maintaining and controlling trees in public places and for deciding where new trees could be planted. The position would be appointed by the Select Board for a term of one year.

The town moderator, who presides over and regulate Town Meetings, would become an elected position with a three year term.

Litter Bylaw
The town has also proposed a bylaw to the warrant that would formally outlaw littering in Marion. A state law already restricts drivers from throwing trash out of their vehicles, but no local law exists to punish littering by pedestrians. The new law would introduce fines of $25, $50, $100 and $200 for the first, second, third and subsequent offenses within a year, respectively.