Monthly Archives: January 2013

Needham’s marijuana moritorium article

The following is Needham’s warrant article for its annual town meeting (ATM), seeking to impose a moritorium on marijuana growing and clinics until 3/1/14, to give them time to plan -

ARTICLE 1 :   AMEND ZONING BY-LA W- INTERIM REGULATIONS FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA USES

To see if the Town will vote to amend the Zoning By-Law, as follows:
(a) By adding a new Section 8, Interim Regulations for Medical Marijuana Uses, to read as follows:

“8 Interim Regulations for Medical Marijuana Uses
8.1 Purpose
This section is intended to provide restrictions that will allow the Town adequate time to consider whether to allow facilities associated with the medical use of marijuana, to the extent that such facilities are pennitted under state laws and regulations, and, if so, where and under what conditions. Given that a law permitting the medical use of marijuana in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
shall be in effect beginning January I, 2013, and that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has yet to promulgate the regulations by which facilities that produce or dispense medical marijuana shall be registered and administered, a restriction on the establishment of such facilities in Needham shall provide the opportunity to study their potential impacts on adjacent uses and on
general public health, safety and welfare, and to develop zoning and other applicable regulations that appropriately address these considerations consistent with statewide regulations and permitting procedures.

8.2 Definition
A Medical Marijuana Treatment Center shall mean any medical marijuana treatment center, as defined under state law as a Massachusetts not-for-profit entity that acquires, cultivates, possesses, processes (including development of related products such as food, tinctures, aerosols, oils or ointments), transfers, transports, sells, distributes, dispenses, or administers marijuana, products containing marijuana, related supplies, or educational materials to qualifying patients or their personal caregivers, which is properly licensed and registered by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health pursuant to all applicable state laws and regulations.

8.3 Exclusion of other Marijuana Uses
Any establishment that acquires, cultivates, possesses, processes (including development of related products such as food, tinctures, aerosols, oils or ointments), transfers, transports, sells, distributes, dispenses, or administers marijuana, products containing marijuana, related supplies, or educational materials to qualifying patients or their personal caregivers shall not be permitted if such establishment has not been properly registered and licensed in accordance with applicable state and local laws and regulations, or is not operated as a notfor-profit entity, or otherwise fails to meet the definition of a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center.

8.4 Exclusion of Accessory Uses.
In no case shall the acquisition, cultivation, possession, processing, transference, transportation, sale, distribution, dispensing, or administration of marijuana, products containing or derived from marijuana, or related products be considered accessory to any use.

8.5 Interim Restriction
8.5.1 Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers shall not be permitted in any zoning district in Needham so long as this Section 8 is effective, as set forth in Section 8.6 below.

8.5.2 The cultivation, processing, sale, distribution and distribution of marijuana, products containing or derived from marijuana or related products shall not be permitted in any zoning district in Needham so long as this Section 8 is effective, as set forth in Section 8.6 below.

8.6 Expiration
This Section 8 shall be effective through March ], 20] 4.
(b) Amend the Table of Contents to add Section 8, Interim Regulations for Medical Marijuana Uses.

Or take any action relative thereto.

Town at max on trash levels

MassDEP gave me a town by town map of trash produced by each town in the state at the Massachusetts Municipal Association annual meeting last weekend.  This is a listing of the trash that goes to the incinerator.  Unfortunately, we are in the group of towns that produce the maximum amounts of trash.  On the attached map we are in the red category, the highest, producing something more that 2250 pounds of trash per household per year.

  • 1276 lbs/household/year = statewide average for towns using PAYT and/or Smart systems
  • 1914 lbs/household/year = non-smart towns average
  • >2250 lbs/household/year = Medfield

There has to be a way to save the town some money by cutting down on the high amounts of our trash.

Office hours this Friday 9-10

I hold monthly office hours from 9-10 AM the first Friday of every month at The Center.   Stop by to discuss any town matters, and to have coffee.  Representative Daniel Winslow asked permission to share my office hours at times, and so may be there as well.

Zoning suggestion for Marijuana clinics

Memorandum

To:                   Members of the Planning Board

From:               Sarah Raposa, Town Planner

Date:                January 18, 2013

Re:                   Medical Marijuana Dispensary Zoning

For your consideration:

To amend the Zoning Bylaw for the purpose of regulating the locations of medicinal marijuana facilities to create a new section “5.4.4.10.a” after section 5.4.4.10 so that it reads as follows:

  Use

A

R-E

R-T

R-S

R-U

B

B-I

I-E

5.4.4.10.a Medical marijuana treatment center (as defined by MGL)

NO

NO

NO

NO

NO

NO

NO

SP

Summary –

The intent of this bylaw amendment is to address possible adverse public health and safety consequences related to the passage of  Question 3 on the November 6, 2012 State Referendum. It is the purpose of this amendment to minimize any potential adverse impacts on the quality of life in the Town.  It is the intent of this bylaw amendment to establish specific zoning standards and regulations for medical marijuana centers (treatment and dispensing facilities), medical marijuana infused products, medical marijuana paraphernalia, etc;

To provide for the limited establishment of Medical Marijuana Treatment and Dispensing Facilities in appropriate places and under strict conditions in acknowledgment of the passage of Initiative Petition 11-11 (Question #3 on the November, 2012 state ballot);

To minimize the adverse impacts of Medical Marijuana Treatment and Dispensing Facilities on adjacent properties, residential neighborhoods, schools and other places where children congregate, local historic districts, and other land uses potentially incompatible with said  Facilities;

To regulate the siting, design, placement, safety, monitoring, modification, and removal of Medical Marijuana Treatment and Dispensing Facilities; and

To limit the overall number of Medical Marijuana Treatment and Dispensing Facilities in the Town to what is essential to serve the public necessity.

* The Board of Selectmen have requested a joint meeting to discuss this proposal.

Is February 5 available to the Planning Board?

MAPC on Gov’s budget

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council sent out the email below about the Governor’s budget proposal -

FY14 Budget – House 1

http://www.mass.gov/bb/h1/fy14h1/

For questions: Rebecca Davis (rdavis@mapc.org) or Charlie Ticotsky (cticotsky@mapc.org)

 

On January 23, Governor Patrick released his FY2014 budget recommendations including appropriations totaling $34.8 billion, a 6.9% increase from FY2013. The proposal recommends several significant changes to the tax code, but because most of these changes take effect halfway through the fiscal year, the plan borrows $400 million in anticipated revenue from FY2015 and FY2016, and withdraws $400 million from the rainy day fund. This budget is part of his long-term plan to significantly increase investments in education, transportation and innovation.

 

TAX CHANGES

 

The following changes to the tax code are included:

  • Sales: Decreases the state sales tax to 4.5% and modestly increasing the sales tax base by repealing exemptions on certain computer services, candy, and soda. Establishes the Commonwealth Public Infrastructure Fund that will dedicate sales tax revenue for public infrastructure. Estimates collection of $26.2 million in new sales tax from amazon.com purchases in FY2014.
  • Income: Increases the state income tax rate to 6.25% from 5.25%. Doubles the personal exemption to $8800 and eliminates several personal deductions.
  • Other: Indexes the gas tax to inflation. Taxes security and utility corporations like other corporations. Makes changes to the sales factor to benefit home-state companies over out-of-state companies. Repeals the FAS 109 deduction. Caps the film tax credit at $40 million per year. Increases the cigarette excise tax $1 to $3.51 per pack and increases other tobacco products taxes to achieve parity with cigarette taxes.

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

As part of the Governor’s ten-year transportation plan (read more here about the proposed $13 billion capital plan including an additional $100 million per year for Chapter 90 funding), the FY2014 proposal includes a $269 million increase for operating expenses for public transportation. This increase would eliminate the MBTA’s structural operating deficit, provide modest service enhancements for the MBTA, begin to end the process of paying for MassDOT personnel costs with bonds, and forward-fund the Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs).

 

LOCAL AID

 

Education:

  • Allocates $630 million, a $131 million increase over FY2013, to the early education and care system. This would eliminate the current birth to age-five waitlist.
  • Allocates $226 million in increased Chapter 70 local aid, ensuring that all districts are at foundation levels.
  • Proposes $5 million for expanded learning time initiative
  • Includes $9 million for comprehensive supports to students and their families in Gateway Cities
  • Level funds the Special Education Circuit Breaker
  • Establishes the Commonwealth Innovation Trust Fund, eligible to receive funds from the Commonwealth, non-profits, individuals, and businesses to foster innovation in public education.
  • Level-funds regional school transportation and McKinney-Vento school transportation reimbursement (post-9C cut level)
  • Increases charter school reimbursements by $9.8 million
  • Also increases Higher Education funding by $152 million

 

Other Local Aid:

  • Proposes $930 million for Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA), a $31 million increase over FY2013. Proposes distributing the first $899 million (based on FY2013 levels) to cities and towns, and the additional $31 million would be appropriated through a new formula called “Annual Formula Local Aid.” This formula would modify the existing lottery formula by adding a local income measure to the existing property wealth and population factors. Beginning in FY2015, 25 percent of the Annual Formula Local Aid will fund an incentive aid program promoting strong fiscal management, municipal health care cost management, and local government performance management.
  • Level-funds library aid

 

STATUS OF MAPC PRIORITIES/OTHER ITEMS OF NOTE

 

Senator Charles Shannon Community Safety Initiative

FY2013: $6.25 million

MAPC Request: $8 million

Governor’s recommendation: $6.25 million

 

District Local Technical Assistance Fund

FY2013: $2 million

MAPC Request: $2.8 million

Governor’s recommendation: $0

 

Community Innovation Challenge Grant Program

FY2013 (after 9C cuts): $2.25 million

MAPC Request: At least $4 million

Governor’s recommendation: $7 Million

 

Expanded Bottle Bill:

An expanded bottle bill would generate $24 million in FY2014 by subjecting bottled water and other non-carbonated beverages to the $.05 deposit.

 

Massworks

Allocates an additional $19.25 million to the Massworks Infrastructure program from anticipated expanded gaming license revenue.

 

The budget uses $83 million from expanded gaming license fees that would fund advanced manufacturing, transportation, and infrastructure.

 

The surplus from the end of FY2013 would be allocated as follows to the extent that funds are available:
1. $25 million to the Community Preservation Act Trust Fund.

2. $25 million to the newly established Housing Preservation and Stabilization Trust Fund (a flexible method for funding affordable housing for low income families and individuals in the Commonwealth, particularly those most at risk of becoming homeless).

3. The remaining balance to the Commonwealth Stabilization Fund.

 

 

 

 

PATRICK OUTLINES “GROWTH BUDGET” BUILT UPON SCHEDULE OF TAX INCREASES

By Matt Murphy
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, JAN. 23, 2013.. Gov. Deval Patrick rolled out an aggressive $34.8 billion spending plan for fiscal 2014 on Wednesday, calling it a “growth budget” that relies heavily on $1.2 billion in new revenue generated from higher taxes to support investments in education and transportation.

“This is a plan to grow jobs,” Patrick said at an early afternoon press conference, proposing a 6.9 percent spending increase and fully lifting the curtain on a spending plan he has rolled out in bits and pieces over several days.

Patrick is seeking $1.9 billion a year in new revenue driven by a major reform the of the tax code to increase the income tax to 6.25 percent and reduce the sales tax to 4.5 percent. Patrick’s budget proposes to repeal the exemption of candy and soda from the sales tax and increase the cigarette excise tax by $1 to $3.51 per pack, provisions not previously highlighted by the administration as it unveiled its plans for new state revenues.

The governor’s budget also includes $34 million to begin implementing last summer’s health care cost containment bill that administration and legislative leaders believe will save $200 billion over 15 years, and directs $30 million for rate increases to hospitals to help them shift away from fee-for-service to accountable care models.

MassHealth, the state Medicaid program, would receive a 13 percent budget increase under the plan, allowing for 325,000 new members to enroll through the increased eligibility standards under the federal Affordable Care Act, which includes federal reimbursement.

The administration also hopes to take advantage of new federal supports through ObamaCare to restore full adult dental coverage to income-eligible MassHealth enrollees, a benefit that was cut during the recession.

Because the tax code changes he is seeking would not take effect until next January, the administration is balancing its budget for fiscal 2014 on $1.2 billion in new tax revenue, an $838 million increase in existing revenue streams, and $555 million in one-time resources, including $400 million from the “rainy day” fund.

Money from the tax increases would be channeled back into transportation and education, including $550 million in new resources for early education, longer school days, college tuition grants and funding for community colleges and the University of Massachusetts.

The budget also includes a $269 million increase for transportation to close the MBTA’s budget gap, expanded evening and weekend operating hours in service regions that have been cut, moving employees off the capital budget and boosting Chapter 90 funding for local road and bridge projects by $100 million to $300 million.

“This budget begins paying for the 21st Century transportation system that the people and business of Massachusetts need and deserve,” Patrick said.

After steady rounds of budget cuts fueled by the recession and weak recovery, neither the governor, nor his budget team could point to a specific program that got cut in the budget proposal. Patrick said not every program has been fully restored to pre-recession levels, nor did every program and agency receive the full funding they requested to maintain services at the current levels.

Under the budget proposal to be filed with the House, Chapter 70 funding for local school districts would increase by $226 million to $4.39 billion in fiscal 2014, which starts on July 1. Unrestricted local aid would see a more moderate increase of $31 million to $930 million. The total amount of funding in the budget dedicated to local aid would increase to $5.57 billion, accounting for 14.6 percent of the total budget.

Patrick said he didn’t “submit this proposal lightly,” knowing that while the recession may be over families have still not recovered. But, he said his tax reform would create a more fair and simple system that would be less burdensome for low-income families by reducing the emphasis on the sales tax and doubling the personal tax exemption to $8,800.

The governor also rejected the notion that his plan would stymie economic growth and cost the state’s economy jobs, calling investments in infrastructure and innovation a historically proven strategy for growth.

“I reject the notion of this self-defeating strategy of not shaping our future . . . If we want growth then we’re going to have to have to invest in it,” Patrick said.

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the tax proposal carried “some risk to the economy in the short term.”

“There are probably more moving pieces in this tax proposal than anything I’ve ever seen from a governor,” Widmer said.

Widmer did not take a firm position against the income tax hike idea, but questioned whether it made sense to put more focus on the income tax as a revenue generator with an increase that would give Massachusetts the highest income tax burden – though not the rate – of any state in the country. “He’s really rolled the dice. This is a very aggressive budget and depends on a lot of things happening, but he’s put his stake in the ground,” Widmer said.

Patrick said he could not envision supporting an income tax increase to 6.25 percent without the accompanying decrease in the sales tax, suggesting they are a package deal that will only work when coupled together with the other reforms.

The reliance on new revenue to support significant increases in spending in key areas will complicate the budget process as the bill heads to the House. Any changes to the governor’s tax proposal will require lawmakers to scale back spending elsewhere.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo told the News Service on Wednesday that he asked House Democrats during a private caucus to “keep your powder dry” until the governor’s full proposal can be reviewed and the House crafts a response. “Quite frankly, I want to give the governor his due and see exactly what that means, especially to the middle class, the folks that I represent. Where’s this money going to be coming from?” DeLeo said.

Rep. Brian Dempsey, who chaired the House Ways and Means Committee last session and will likely remain in that post, said it’s “hard to rule things in or out right now.” “All of these priorities are ones that most members would agree with, in terms of education, higher education, early childhood. The question is at what pace can we solve for some of the challenges in those areas,” Dempsey said.

Dempsey said there are “obviously concerns” about the use of more than $550 million in one-time revenue, citing the importance of rebuilding the state’s stabilization account after leaning heavily on reserves to get through the recession.

Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor called the use of one-time revenue “completely in accord with the long-term fiscal plan,” and said the total would be significantly less that the $919 million being relied upon now to balance the current fiscal 2013 budget. The fiscal 2013 budget took $350 million in stabilization funds, and Patrick has asked the House and Senate to approve a new $200 million draw to help close a $540 million mid-year deficit identified late last year. That deficit caused Patrick to slash spending only weeks ago.

Sen. Stephen Brewer, last session’s chairman of Senate Ways and Means, said he anticipates taking “a hard look” at the use of $400 million in stabilization account funding.

“I think the Senate will have a few adjustments and that’s how we always do things,” said Brewer, who added that the fate of the governor’s plan could depend on the feedback senators receive from citizens during the seven public hearings they are planning on the budget.

“Clearly its am ambitious revenue leap at $1.9 billion, but we’re mindful the governor has a vision and two years from now on this very day he’ll be a private citizen, so we have to take into account the priorities of the members,” Brewer said.

House Minority Leader Brad Jones, a North Reading Republican, accused Patrick of “prioritizing his legacy over the needs of the Commonwealth’s residents.”

“The Administration’s method of reckless taxation as a means towards revenue, while tapping into the ‘Rainy Day’ fund, is both shortsighted and extremely irresponsible. I encourage Governor Patrick himself to engage the Commonwealth’s residents in the factual debate that he so desperately wants to conduct,” Jones said.

The governor’s budget includes $75.5 million in additional funding for innovation and job creation, including a $10 million increase to $25 million for the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, and $18.75 million from gaming license revenue to jumpstart the Advanced Manufacturing Futures Program created in 2012 that the administration projects will create or retain 1,856 jobs in the next five years.

Regional school transportation is level funded in the budget at $44.5 million, cities and towns will see $230 million through the special education circuit breaker, and library aid is level funded at $16 million.

The budget also recommends capping the popular, but also controversial, film tax credit program at $40 million a year, a response Patrick said was in part due to concerns that the money was being used to fund the excessive salaries of movie stars.

As he outlined two weeks ago in a series of announcements, Patrick is also proposing to freeze the unemployment insurance rate, reform the municipal unemployment benefit system, consolidate the more than 240 local housing authorities into six regional authorities and enhance oversight of sterile compounding pharmacies in the wake of the nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak.

The budget also relies on $83 million in gaming revenue the governor expects to collect in 2014 after the first licenses are issued, only a portion of which is being counted on for recurring operating budget costs, officials said.

The governor is estimating the state will also collect $26.2 million next year from its agreement with Amazon to begin collecting sales taxes on purchases made in Massachusetts, and proposes to collect an additional $24 million by expanding the bottle redemption law to bottled water and sports drinks. Like his candy, soda and tobacco tax proposals, Patrick’s bid to expand the bottle law failed to make it through the Legislature last session.

The budget also supports 30 new full-time positions at the Department of Public Health, and dedicates $1 million for staffing to allow the Board of Pharmacy to hire inspectors to conduct new spot check of sterile compounding pharmacies after New England Compounding Center was cited for unsanitary conditions that led to this year’s meningitis outbreak.

Similar to the process used by the federal government when considering military base realignments and closures, Patrick is also proposing to create a Courts Re-Alignment Commission to study the potential for court closures and realignment to better meet the judiciary’s needs within the constraints of its budget. The commission would report to Trial Court Administrator Harry Spence, who would then act on the commission’s recommendations.

For all the spending increases, Mass Home Care spokesman Al Norman said the governor’s budget does nothing to reduce the wait list of 1,224 elderly resident seeking health attention at home. “We are now in our fourth straight year of home care waiting lists,” Norman said in a statement. “It’s becoming a chronic condition for us, like walking pneumonia. We had hoped the Governor would cure the problem.”

-END-
01/23/2013

Serving the working press since 1910

http://www.statehousenews.com

 

 

 

Charlie Ticotsky
Government Affairs Coordinator

Metropolitan Area Planning Council
60 Temple Place, 6th floor
Boston, MA 02111
phone: (617) 933-0710 *please note new telephone number*

fax: (617) 482-7185

2/4 meeting on Public Safety Bld. Masterplan

PUBLIC NOTICE

To: All Residents of Medfield
From: Chief Robert Meaney, Chief William Kingsbury and Medfield Permanent Building Committee

Date: January 28, 2013

Re: Public Discussion ‐ Fire, Police and Public Building Masterplan
Police Chief Robert Meaney, Fire Chief William Kingsbury and the members of the Medfield Permanent Building Committee would like to invite all interested Medfield residents to a public presentation/design forum.

The primary purpose of this public presentation/design forum is to engage residents about the future of the police/fire facilities. In addition, we will be discussing the broader master plan for the municipal district within which it currently resides, including; the Dale Street School and the Pfaff Center (Park and Recreation building).

The discussion will be lead by members of the Permanent Building Committee and the architectural firm HKT Architects.

The meeting will be held at 6:00 pm on Monday, February 4th at the Fire Station.

In case of inclement weather ‐ check the Town of Medfield website for cancellation notice.

There will be a public tour of the facility after the meeting.

iPad to Youth Outreach

I got the iPad today from Constellation Energy, that I won Friday at the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s annual meeting. I have decided to give it to the Medfield Youth Outreach office, as was suggested independently by a reader, by my wife, and by my town administrator.  Dawn and Liz do such great work, and I can see them incorporating the iPad apps into their work with the children.

I won the iPad by making a strategic play for it when I read that Constellation Energy was going to give it to one of the people who attended their lectures at 10 and 2.  How many people would bother to attend?  In fact I was only the second person at the afternoon lecture when I got there 15 minutes late for a 20 minute lecture.  I got comments and kidding  from the Berkley selectman there ahead of me, whose chances went from 100% to 50%, and  whose name was not selected from the fish bowl.