Category Archives: On being a selectman

On being a selectman

I attended one of the new mini-town hall meetings last night on Elm Street.  This was my second such session.  It is a nice way to have a discussion on a more personal level.  Thanks to Tom and Kathy Powers for hosting me.

Office hours tomorrow 9-10

Selectman Peterson Office Hours Tomorrow

Selectman Osler “Pete” Peterson holds regular monthly office hours at The Center on the first Friday of every month from 9:00 to 10:00 AM.  Residents are welcome to stop by to talk in person about any town matters, and no appointment is required.

Residents can also have coffee and see the Council on Aging in action (a vibrant organization with lots going on).  Peterson can be reached via 508-359-9190 or his blog about Medfield matters.

Woodland Theatre

Letter of thanks today from the Woodland Theatre.  Some of the things we do as selectmen are really fun, such as watching this play partly from the stage.  Their play was a high quality production and really entertaining -

February 5, 2014

Mr. Osler Peterson
Selectman
459 Main Street
Medfield, MA 02052

Dear Mr. Peterson,

On behalf of Woodland Theatre Company, I would like to express our many thanks for your participation in our recent production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” . Many of’ the patrons commented with delight upon recognizing you, and were impressed not only with your spelling ability, but your good-natured personality.

A show such as “Spelling Bee” relies in part on the entertaining guest spellers able to join in the fun , and you did not disappoint!
Again, thank you for donating your time and talent, and we look forward to seeing you in our audience at a future production.

Sincerely,

Kelly Hodge

Director of Operations

Woodland Theatre Company

P.O. Box 538 • Sherborn , MA 01770 • 508- 655 – 0687 • www.woodlandtheatre.com

Mini-town hall

I held a mini-town hall meeting last Wednesday evening in the Belknap estates section of town, thanks to the gracious hosting at their home by Mary McCarthy and Howie Richman.

I started by updating people about the Medfield State Hospital and I then attempted to vocalize my thoughts about my plan to make Town of Medfield governing process as formalized as possible, but we quickly turned to the questions, of which there were many.  It was a great evening for me, with great people, and wonderful hosts.  Medfield is lucky to have such interested, dedicated and involved residents.

This came in a follow up email from Charlie Glew -

Sandy and I found you to be an excellent listener and very candid
within the limits of your role as a public official. The meeting exceeded our expectations in all respects.
Regards,
Charlie

MCPE to BoS – “losers!”

The Medfield Coalition for Public Education proved last Friday night that the town administration is a bunch of losers, as the town house team lost the MCPE’s trivia night contest at The Center.

A sold out crowd of 48 teams of four competed in two preliminary rounds to qualify for the championship round, and the town house team was out in the prelims.  Town Administrator Mike Sullivan noted that while he and Selectman Mark Fisher felt that they held their own, and that the town house team was really bolstered by the strong presence of town planner, Sarah Raposa, but she was unable to make up for the trivia vacuum that was Selectman Peterson.

Judging from the number of participants and the wonderful food from local establishments, the evening was a success for the MCPE and the participants.

Holding office hours this Friday

Selectman Peterson Office Hours

Selectman Osler “Pete” Peterson holds regular monthly office hours at The Center on the first Friday of every month from 9:00 to 10:00 AM (his litigation schedule permitting).  Residents are welcome to stop by to talk in person about any town matters.  Residents can also have coffee and see the Council on Aging in action (a vibrant organization with lots going on).  Peterson can be reached via 508-359-9190 or his blog about Medfield matters  http://medfield02052.wordpress.com/, where any schedule changes will be posted.

Selectman office hours tomorrow

Selectman Osler “Pete” Peterson will hold office hours tomorrow at The Center this month from 9:00 to 10:00 AM because on the first Friday time had to be postponed due to his litigation schedule.

Residents are welcome to stop by to talk in person about any town matters.  Residents can also have coffee and see the Council on Aging in action (a vibrant organization with lots going on).  Peterson can be reached via 508-359-9190.

October 11 selectman hours (not 10/4)

I have a work conflict with the first Friday in October selectman office hours, so I will instead hold my selectman office hours at The Center from 9:00 to 10:00 AM on October 11.

On being a selectman

No summer hiatus, slow down at the end of August this year -

  • Tuesday evening with the Bylaw and Charter Review Committee, as they work through the General Code suggested codification of the town charter, bylaws, and zoning bylaws.  Most town departments and boards did submit their rules and regulations, to be added as an appendix.  Questions raised as to how the material will be maintained in the future once the Bylaw and Charter Review Committee completes its work and disbands.
  • Medfield State Hospital Advisory Committee meeting last night, with lots to report on the Medfield State Hospital wellfield & water tower legislation, the public visioning session, and the building condition survey.  Ironically, this member and Bill Massaro of the negotiating committee had to leave when they went into executive session to discuss the negotiations with DCAMM scheduled for this evening.  Bill and I had our own discussion in the parking lot of what to do, before heading home for the second night in a row of a dinner after 9PM (being a selectman has accustomed me to eating really late dinners, but I still continue to get overwhelmed when leaving the town house late, tired and hungry, by the smells wafting from Zebra’s kitchen).
  • Tonight I meet with DCAMM to discuss their offer to sell the Medfield State Hospital property to the town.  See what Westboro is doing under the same state program/initiative about buying the Westboro State Hospital for $2.2 m. in this article.  SEE THE ARTICLE
  • The town has received the mandatory notice of its right of first refusal to buy 20+ acres of land that were in agricultural tax status.  The property owner placed the land into the agricultural status, in exchange for which they pay lower property taxes, but by the statute are then required to give the town the right of first refusal when they go to sell it.  The town now has 120 days to buy the land if it opts to do so.

On being a selectman

Selectman work this week -

  • sent the Board of Health an article from the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s monthly magazine, the Municipal Bulletin, on town’s enacting regulations to control marijuana use based on the existing tobacco regulation , and the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s sample regulations (e.g. – no use at schools and public buildings).
  • attended the Medfield Historic District Commission’s inspection of the Medfield State Hospital buildings and subsequest meeting to learn their thinking about possible demolition of the buildings beyond repair
  • attended the Medfield State Hospital Advisory Committee’s meeting – lots happening while they are awaiting DCAMM’s “sunk costs” dollar figure, which will be the starting point to discuss the town purchase of the Medfield State Hospital site.  The town purchase will assure the town gets future uses it wants.
  • long selectman meeting Tuesday evening, as the BoS heard from many groups/committees dealing with issues related to the downtown.   Exciting to hear about the Cultural District, the box art that Jean Mineo is doing, and the signs around town that are all better because of the work of Matt McCormack, Jeff Hyman, and the rest of the Sign Committee – I especially liked that changes they made at the signs at Rockland Trust, Starbucks, and the Shaw’s Plaza.
  • discovered and sent to Mike Sullivan, fellow selectmen, and Gus Murby the Mass Taxpayers Foundation’s report on the Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPED) problem.  Like all other towns, Medfield has a large OPEB liability, ou’s is an estimated $39 m. unfunded obligation to our current and future retired town employees for health insurance.  The town is soon to get an update on our every two year actuarial report from our consultant, and the state is also looking at legislation to try to resolve/ameliorate the problem.  The town started this budget year to fund our OPEB liability with $300,000, but the OPEB amount is projected to increase at $1.5 m. per year, so we are still getting behind.  More study is needed as to how to deal with OPEB, and more will happen when we get the actuarial update and the see what the state does.