SHIRLEY -- Monday night's Special Town Meeting might not have set a record for brevity, but it came close, wrapping up in about a half hour.

With two articles on the warrant, both noncontroversial money moves "from one place to another," as Moderator George Knittel said, turnout was predictably low. Just 41 voters were present as of 7:26 p.m., representing just over than 1 percent of the town's 4,002 registered voters.

Arguably, the highlight of the evening came when Knittel introduced new Town Administrator Patrice Garvin, who was attending her first Town Meeting, and invited her to say a few words.

Garvin kept it brief, well under the three-minute limit for speakers.

"I'm glad to be here," she said, adding that she anticipates a greater turnout and a "more lively" scene at annual Town Meeting in the spring.

Article 1 sought to add $29,000 to the capital stabilization fund.

Article 2 sought to add $60,000 to the general stabilization fund.

Town Accountant Bobby Jo Colburn explained that the term "raise and appropriate" used in the articles does not necessarily mean the money comes from additional taxation, which, in this case, it does not.

The term itself is set by the Department of Revenue for "buckets of money," such as the two stabilization funds, Colburn said, and applies to money originally obtained from several categories, including the tax levy, local receipts, including excise tax, and state aid, commonly called the "cherry sheet.


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The $89,000 came from the tax levy based on new-growth numbers finalized after annual Town Meeting, when the number was only an estimate, Colburn answered. The rest came from excise taxes and cherry-sheet figures higher than the estimates were in May.

The deposits into the two accounts were aimed at "building back our reserves," she said.

Motions on both articles passed by the required two-thirds majorities, declared by the moderator, who noted one raised voter card in dissent.