Monthly Archives: February 2012

Gatehouse & town plan meeting

Mike Sullivan told me today that Gatehouse today has asked to meet with the town about its proposed 40B project on West Street.  Mike will be setting up the meeting, and I have been asked to be the representative from the Board of Selectmen to attend.

I asked Mike to look into the availability of using the state grant monies Representative Denise Garlick referenced, to hire a 40B consultant to assist the town with those discussions.  The state consultant list I reviewed last week, of about a dozen approved consultants qualified for these grants, included one the town has used before and whose work we respect, so I suggested that a call to that consultant would probably tell us everything we need to know about how the state grants work.

Re-election – 3/26/12

To my fellow citizens of Medfield,

I am proud, honored, and excited to announce that I am a candidate for re-election as a Medfield  Selectman, and I ask for your vote on March 26.  I have been a Selectman for twelve years, and I truly believe that I am more effective than ever on your behalf.  In the coming weeks, I look forward to discussing with you in some detail what I have done in the past and what I would still like to do.

The job of Selectman is to act as the chief executive of the town and to run the approximately $52 million business that is our town.  While the town does have paid administrators who handle the day to day affairs of the town, the administrators technically work for and report to the Board of Selectmen, and legally the Selectmen are the final decision makers … the place where the buck ultimately stops.

At first glance, the job of Selectman may seem relatively simple and straightforward, but I have found that in order to do this job well, a Selectman needs to have many skill sets, including an  understanding of municipal finance and budgeting, labor relations and collective bargaining,  municipal law, and the state and municipal regulations.  I am proud to report to you that over the last 12 years, I have availed myself of regular educational opportunities to build and hone the many skills required by this job, by regular attendance at Massachusetts Municipal Association seminars, Selectman training, and seminars on municipal issues.

On average, I have spent almost ten hours a week working on Selectman activities during my work week as an attorney, where I track my time.  Outside of the office, I estimate that I spend another ten hours a week on being your Selectman.  Those twenty hours a week are devoted to acting as your eyes and ears at the myriad of municipal meetings needed to make the town run, and then to reporting back to you any useful information that I learn at all those meetings by means of the hundreds of my posts at my blog, http://medfield02052.wordpress.com/, on Twitter (@Medfield), and at  Facebook.

My past goals as your Selectman:  I made the process of our town government more predictable and more transparent; I made you better informed; I strived to make Medfield well run; and I have explored how, and questioned whether, things can or should be done differently – to see if  we can make Medfield even better.

My service has been an honor, and I remain challenged to do more.  I hope that I have earned your trust, your respect, and your vote for my proven leadership, so that the work begun can continue.

Sincerely,
Selectmen, Osler Peterson

40B meeting

Last night I attended the first quarter of Big Blue’s basketball playoff game, and the 40B informational meeting.  There was a huge turn out for the latter, as I would estimate that the Middle School auditorium was half to 2/3 full for the 40B meeting.  The basketball game did have a both a larger and noisier crowd, if not a better outcome.

It was a truly  impressive citizen turn out for the 40B meeting, and I thank all who attended for their interest and commitment to a major town issue.  Town counsel, Mark Cerel, ran the meeting, and was ably assisted by knowledgeable municipal law attorneys Barbara St. Andre of Pettrini Associates of Framingham and former Medfield resident, Jason (Jay) Talerman of Blatman, Bobrowski & Mead, L.L.C. of Millis.

The three attorneys explained and laid out the legal background of 40B, the processes by which 40B projects get permitted, and the options open to towns when presented by a 40B project.  Representative Denise Garlick told the forum that she has no position on the pending 40B, contrary to press reports, and that $15,000 of consultant monies are available by state grant.  She had previously reported to me after her investigation of the grants, that it is “highly likely” that Medfield would get those grant monies if we applied.  In a light moment, attorney Talerman, who grew up in Medfield, said that despite his age that he still had to address his former Medfield High School teacher as “Mr. DeSorgher,” when Richard DeSorgher questioned the validity of arguing against the 40B proposal due to the loss of the industrially zoned land.  Representatives of Gatehouse, the company proposing to build a 96 unit 40B complex on West Street attended, but did not want to address the meeting.

After the attorneys exhausted everyone’s questions about 40B, they turned the podium over to the Board of Selectmen and Bill Massaro for a quick update about the status of the Medfield State Hospital reuse and clean up.  The state is starting up a new feasibility study to determine what uses can be made of the site as part of the fresh look at alternatives, and there continues to be a basic disagreement between the state and the town over whether the clean up of the C & D area waste can be accomplished by the state’s proposed cap and cover versus the town’s suggested removal.

My wife Deb told me this morning that the electronic sign board was still in front of the Town House this morning advertising a 40B meeting “this evening” so perhaps people will show up again tonight.

Next steps -

1 – At the last Board of Selectmen meeting I proposed that the Board of Selectmen initiate the appointment of a resident study committee to look into what the town should be doing about our affordable housing and to report back with a suggested action plan for the town.  Ann and Mark wanted to consider that proposal.  If they do agree to move forward with that idea, then we will be looking for volunteers to serve.

2 – Also, it seems to me that it would be easy to get town agreement on building  a Tilden Village extension on the land next to Tilden Village, so we should start to explore that possibility right away.  The current Medfield Housing Authority board chair and executive director have both expressed a willingness to talk about doing so, and I will reach out to begin discussions with them on how that could be done.

Thermal imaging

Sagewell’s email reports residents will hear back from them in mid-April -

You will be pleased to hear that we have reached some milestones with the Medfield numbers!
601 requests for imaging (previously 592)
and
100 energy assessment requests (previously 96)
As you know we started imaging last week. We have now completed that process, and will begin the analysis. We expect to have the first homes analyzed by around mid-April,and will then start e-mailing residents to let them know that their property reports are ready for viewing online.
Best regards,
 Tim
 Tim D’Souza
Sagewell Inc.

MSH feasibility study starting

DCAM’s Joe Ruhl kindly called me this afternoon to let me know that DCAM is about to proceed with its feasibility study, during which local realtors will be getting calls.  I asked Joe to please follow up on the promise that was made earlier to me personally by Dana Herrell of DCAM, to give Medfield a place at the table in that feasibility study.

I also mentioned to Joe my disappointment that DCAM and Medfield no longer seemed to be working collaboratively on the Medfield State Hospital project.  I mentioned that the Board of Selectmen had vote at our last meeting to retain legal counsel to lay out Medfield’s options in light of our disagreement with the DCAM’s cap and cover clean up proposal.  I suggested that mediation, or our merely talking to each other, might be a much better way to see if we could agree to resolve our different opinions on the best clean up of the Medfield State Hospital C & D site.

Finally, I asked Joe if I was right that our two different clean up solutions cost about $4.1 m. versus $5 m., and I opined that if those numbers were right, that we should somehow be able to bridge such a gap.

DCAM cancels 3/8 PIP meeting

The 2/27 email below from Sandra Durand of DCAM cancelled their PIP meeting scheduled for 3/8 -

==========================================

I wanted to let you know that today, we decided to cancel the March 8th meeting as the draft Phase III required more editing/writing.  We want to make sure that we provide a good readable document and at this point are electing to take the extra time needed to accomplish this.   We will apprise you and the PIP group of our anticipated schedule of delivery of the Final Draft Phase III.  Our next scheduled PIP meeting is on March 22nd.  We will let you know as soon as possible of any change to this schedule.

Formal notification of the March 8thmeeting postponement to the PIP Group will go out tomorrow, February 28, 2012.

Give me a call if you have any questions.

Sandra

Sandra R. Duran

Director of Building Maintenance and Operations

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Division of Capital Asset Management

One Ashburton Place, 16th Floor

Boston, Massachusetts 02108

617-727-4050 x454 (telephone)

857-321-0467 (cell)

617-727-5363 (fax)

Dover pursuing Bay Colony Rail Trail

Dover selectman, Carol Lisbon reports -

Dover will have $5000 warrant article for the May 7 Town meeting to be used for further study of rail trail feasibility. We are hoping to have a brief presentation available for the March 19 Open hearing with a more detailed one for the Town Meeting.

Still time to get in on the thermal imaging

The email below came today from Sagewell, the company doing the thermal imaging, to those who had signed up.  However, there is still time for people to get the results of the thermal imaging of their homes , if they sign up at Sagewell’s website.  The thermal imaging was supposed to have been occurred earlier this week

==================================

Your independent energy efficiency advocate since 2008

Sagewell is coming to Medfield this week!

Dear Osler,

On behalf of Sagewell, the Medfield Energy Committee, Medfield Green, and Medfield Selectmen, thank you for requesting a thermal image analysis for:

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

NOTE: If this message has been forwarded to you by a friend and this is not your address, see “Include Your Home” below.

Sagewell will be coming to Medfield in a few days. You may see our vehicle driving by if you happen to be awake late at night or in the early hours of the morning! The heat loss measurement process is simple, quick, and non-intrusive, and our vehicle will drive by your house in about two seconds.

The equipment measures the heat escaping from your home – as long as the building is visible from the street. If there are fences, trees or bushes blocking the view of your house, we will not be able to measure the heat losses. On average, about 10 percent of homes have blocked views. When the analysis reports are produced, homeowners will only be able to log on and view the property reports of their own homes.

Please encourage your neighbors to sign up by forwarding this e-mail to them. Hit “FORWARD THIS E-MAIL” at the bottom of this e-mail to share with your friends and neighbors in Medfield.

What happens next?

Once the imaging is done, the analysis of the thermal images begins. Our proprietary software and expert analysts will review the homes for which we have received requests (which includes the address above). We will then send you an email within a few weeks announcing the availability of your report. The thermal imaging analysis reports are available free of charge to homeowners.

Our mission at Sagewell is to get homeowners to use information in the reports to take additional steps to improve their home’s energy efficiency.

About 100 Medfield homeowners have already requested a FREE MassSave energy assessment through www.sagewell.com/takeaction!  This is a great achievement and you can help make Medfield one of the most energy efficiency-focused towns in Massachusetts by requesting your FREE MassSave energy assessment as well.

Include Your Home

If this message was forwarded to you, and you would like to include your home in the list of homes to be analyzed, please visit www.sagewell.com to request your home be included.

On the Sagewell homepage, enter your address (e.g. 123 Main St, Medfield) in the “Find your home or building” box and click “Find Savings Now”. On the next screen, click the word “HERE” to enter your details. This service is FREE for Medfield homeowners.

Thank you for your interest in Sagewell and good luck with your energy efficiency efforts!

The Sagewell Support Team

Prefer to speak to someone? Call us at 617-963-8141

 

Calling and re-issuing bonds saves town $1.9 m.

Treasurer/Collector Georgia Colivas reported to the selectmen at last night’s Board of Selectmen meeting that her efforts to call and re-issue about $10.225 m. in town bonds will save the town $1.9 m. over the life of the bonds.

The municipal bonds had provisions that prevent them being called for the first ten years, and the town has passed that limit.  Another set of town bonds will pass that threshold this fall, and if rates have not changed, will also be re-issued, saving the town even more monies on the town debt.

The interest rates on the bonds that were re-issued went down from 4.4 – 4.6% to 1.265%.  The bonds were purchased by TD Securities.

The actual issue savings had the town substantially exceeding the preliminary pre-issue estimates that the town would save $1.7 m. on the current re-issue.  Ms. Colivas reported that the recent Moody’s ratings confirmed the town as rated Aa1, allowing the town to benefit from lower interest rates.  The town is reaping the benefits from years of being well run and generally parsimonious in its spending.

Organic lawn care program

Medfield Green and New ‘N Towne are teaming up to put on a program on organic lawn care at 7:30 PM at The Center.

See their letter and flyer which I posted at   http://medfield02052.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/20120210-medfieldgreen-lawn-program.pdf