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Select Board roundup: Members vote to suspend UCTC; Kramer elected chair

by | May 23, 2023 | Featured: News, News

At its meeting Tuesday night, the Select Board decided to suspend the activities of the Upper Charles Trail Committee in response to the non-binding vote at Annual Town Meeting earlier this month to disband the oft-criticized committee.

The vote to suspend the UCTC until at least July 11 passed 3-2.

Select Board members Irfan Nasrullah (who is the board’s liaison to the UCTC) and Amy Ritterbusch were appointed to a subcommittee that will develop a survey so that residents can offer their opinions on the process for moving forward.

“We have to listen to what the Town Meeting vote said,” offered Nasrullah. “We can’t ignore it.”

Nasrullah noted the need for public input and transparency. “We don’t have the answers,” he said. “So we need the answers from everybody.”

New Select Board chair Muriel Kramer put together a report suggesting that the Upper Charles Trail Committee (UCTC) and the Trails Coordination and Management Committee (TCMC) be replaced with one nine-member Hopkinton Trails Committee, which would have multiple subcommittees, including one focused on developing the Upper Charles Trail.

That was not well-received by members of the TCMC who spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting. TCMC chair Peter LaGoy noted that the TCMC is heading into its busy season now that the weather is warmer.

Kramer acknowledged her plan was roundly criticized from both sides and was simply a first suggestion. “I’m not sure how a one-committee structure would work, but the two-committee structure hasn’t worked,” she said.

Questions were raised about funding for Segment 1 of the Upper Charles Trail, proposed to run from Hopkinton State Park to East Main Street and approved at Town Meeting, and if suspending the UCTC might cause a delay. No determination was reached.

Kramer elected chair

During the board’s annual reorganization, Muriel Kramer was elected chair, with Shahidul Mannan vice chair. Both votes were unanimous.

Kramer has previous experience leading the Select Board. During her first stint on the board from 2005-08, she served as chair for two years. After a 13-year absence, she returned to the Select Board in 2021.

Kramer thanked outgoing chair Amy Ritterbusch for her service. Ritterbusch remains on the board, as does Mary Jo LaFreniere, who had served as vice chair for the past year.

Misc.: Town adds downtown parking lot

The board voted to execute an order of taking for the parking lot at 25-35 Main Street, which will provide a total of 55 spots (some of which only will be available during evenings) for people using the downtown area. …

The board welcomed interim Department of Public Works Director Thomas Temple and interim Parks & Recreation Director Patricia Savage, and confirmed the appointment of Charles Paquette as the town’s assistant treasurer. Town manager Norman Khumalo thanked retiring Parks & Rec Director Jay Guelfi for his “exceptional service.” …

The board accepted an anonymous gift of $50,000 to the Hopkinton Police Department “in recognition of the outstanding efforts over the years in providing order and security for the runners of the Boston Marathon.” …

Khumalo shared that local fundraising totals from last month’s Boston Marathon stand at $526,450.55, well more than last year’s total of $390,065.58. …

LaFreniere expressed sorrow over the loss of Boston Marathon legend Rick Hoyt, who passed away Monday at the age of 61.

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