This week we celebrate leadership, teamwork, strategy, perseverance and a positive outcome. Patriots? Sure. The Town of Medfield – Absolutely! The denial of the site application for “Medfield Meadows,” the 200 unit Mega 40B proposal, was the result of the work of Medfield’s committed citizens, elected leaders, Town staff and MassHousing.
The successful work of the Dale Street group was rooted not only in their neighborhood issues but in their ability to organize, understand the process, gather significant information, mobilize fellow community members and share their concerns with and for the Town.
The “Town” represented by the Board of Selectmen actively listened and was willing to act. The Board of Selectmen was engaged and thinking innovatively, exercising resources to strengthen the team effort, and charging the staff with the process and preparation of materials. Perhaps one of the finest moments I have ever witnessed in local government occurred at the packed public hearing when the consultant for the developer deflected a community member’s question by saying, “We’ll take that up with the Town.” Chairman “Pete” Peterson paused and looked out at the hundreds and hundreds of concerned citizens gathered in the hot, overcrowded auditorium, his fellow Selectmen at his side, the Town staff present and prepared, with the whole Legislative delegation in attendance and responded, “We are the Town.”
MassHousing is tasked with an aggressive charge of helping to develop affordable housing, which is needed in our Commonwealth. MassHousing’s mission statement says it will focus on the needs of its customers and the people and the communities it serves, while demonstrating values of respect, collaboration and integrity. Throughout the process MassHousing was observing, listening, analyzing documents and relevant materials, revisiting the site and meaningfully engaging in the process.
The denial of the site application opens a window for Medfield to control its own destiny in terms of affordable housing and meeting the community’s needs. The Medfield Housing Production Plan is the way in which the Town, can and should move forward on its own terms.
I stand ready, always, in partnership to support the Town – its citizens, the elected leaders and staff. I join with you all in honoring this moment of good government and celebrating Team Medfield!
State Representative Denise C. Garlick
13th Norfolk District (Medfield; Precinct 1 and 2)