Monthly Archives: March 2017

BoS review of town finances

Mike Circulated this draft of the Board of Selectmen’s annual report material this week –

budget-2

Review of Town Finances

The Warrant for the 2017 Annual Town Meeting is unusually long. This is both because of the number or articles (50) and the length of several of the articles. With the total number of pages approaching 100, it was not possible to prepare this Warrant Report in the usual booklet form without binding it at a considerable expense, similar to the way the town report is bound. The decision was made to print the Warrant Report on 8 ½” X 11” sheets.

The Message from the Moderator at the beginning of this report details the Town Meeting procedures. Please read his Message for information on these matters. Also, in order to avoid adding more pages to this Warrant Report this Review will be shorter than usual.

REVENUES

The tax levy estimate following this Review projects that the total revenues available for fy18 will be approximately $62.6 MILLION. Actual revenue amounts will not be available until well after the Town Meeting, when the State Budget for Local Aid to Cities and Towns is approved, new property tax base growth is determined and books for fy17 are closed. At present, the best estimate for increases in revenues without any new Propositions 2 ½ property tax overrides is $520,000. This, however, is somewhat misleading in that some of the changes in revenues are the results of shifting funds from one account to another, such as moving money from the OPEB Stabilization Fund to the OPEB Trust fund last year.   The main increases in new revenues for next year are $955,000 for the permitted   2 ½ annual property tax levy increase; $350,000 for new growth in the property tax base from new construction, land subdivision, etc.; $117,000 from Local Aid to Cities and Towns, mostly for Chapter 70 School Aid, $211,000 from increases in Local Receipts (Motor Vehicle Excise Tax, licenses and permits, rental income, fees and fines, transfer station stickers, etc.) Other smaller revenue sources make up the rest of the Revenue Total.

EXPENDITURES

                Within the tax levy limit

The tax levy estimate projects that expenditures for fy18 will total $63.7, an increase of about $900,000 over fy17 expenditures. Here also, as with the revenues, the increases are somewhat misleading, as some of the expenditures for special articles are transfers of funds and do not create actual expenditures.  To see what the requested  increases are you should check the expenditure categories in the tax levy estimate, which follows this Review. In addition, since operating budgets comprise about 95% of total expenditures, you can see the increases (decreases) in the individual departmental operating budgets as shown in Article 13, the Operating Budget.  Other operating expenditures are for several of the other warrant articles on this year’s warrant and include $358,500 for Chapter 53E ½ Revolving Funds (see Articles 5 and 6 for explanations and breakdowns);  $472,623 for The Capital Budget (Article 14), funding for the Other Post-Employment Benefits Trust ($400,000) (Article 30), the Iron Manganese Treatment facility ($275,000) (Article 35), to reimburse the Stabilization Fund for last year’s loan to purchase a new ambulance ($50,000) (Article 29), to transfer Sewer Betterment Funds Paid-in-Advance  to the Sewer Betterment Stabilization Fund ($158,287) (Article 28), for maintenance, security and consultants for the former state hospital site ($200,000) (Articles 18 & 19), to purchase street lights ($67,626) (Article 25), to transfer cemetery lot purchase funds to the Cemetery Perpetual Care Fund, ($43,650) (Article 3). Additional  warrant articles with funding requests includes articles for downtown improvements, downtown parking study,  maintenance of the Dwight-Derby House, beaver trapping and dam removal, design of a rail trail, naming  of the Elm Street bridge, payment of a prior year (Fy16) Police Department bill, and wetlands delineation of a potential site for senior housing. For more information on any of these articles you can check the Index of Articles at the end of the Warrant Report to locate the page and/or article number.

Over the tax levy limit

There are two funding articles on this year’s town meeting warrant that weren’t mentioned above. One of these is Article 15, which seeks funds for the Fire Department Budget in order to provide for continuation of Advanced Life Support services in conjunction with the Town’s ambulance. In recent years these services were provided as a private  intercept service (usually meets the ambulance on its way to the hospital)  with a specially equipped vehicle and highly  trained staff called, as necessary, for ambulance runs requiring such services. This past year that company notified the Fire Department that they would no longer be available to provide such services. Another intercept service was brought in but also withdrew. This article presents alternative solutions to maintain ALS service, either by adding ALS certified EMT staff to the Fire Department budget or by finding another private intercept service, perhaps on a regional basis. Either way is expensive and would require a Proposition 2 ½ operating override to provide sufficient funds. Recommendation on how to proceed will be forthcoming at the Town Meeting.

An operating override can only be voted on at an election, not at a town meeting. An operating override adds a permanent amount to the property tax base. If the Town Meeting votes to approve funding requested in this Article, the Board of Selectmen will have to call a Special Town Meeting for an override vote.

The other article not discussed above is Article 17, which calls for an appropriation of  $1 Million to be funded by a bond issue for the purpose of providing funds for affordable housing. This Article was submitted as a citizen petition.  In all likelihood, if Article 17 passes, these funds would be turned over to the Medfield Affordable Housing Trust, created under Article 16. This Trust would determine how to use these funds to best meet the Town’s affordable housing needs/requirements.  Like the ALS article discussed above, funding this appropriation /bond issue would require a Proposition 2 ½ vote at an election. In this case, however, the vote would be a debt exclusion vote, which would exclude annual principal and interest payments over the life of the bond issue from the calculation of the tax levy limit. When the bond issue was paid off, this debt exclusion would end and would not become a permanent part of the tax levy.

USE OF FREE CASH

From the above you should note that the total expenditures are greater than the total revenues, even without the override article amounts, by about $1.1 Million. In other words, the Town’s Budget, is out-of-balance. Since the Town must balance its budget each and every year in order to have its tax rate approved by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, this difference must be made up. Some of this deficit is raised by using free cash to cover specific appropriations, such as $200,000 for the OPEB appropriation. The rest is covered at the end of Town Meeting by voting to authorize the Board of Assessors to use an amount of free cash in the Treasury. Free Cash consists of unallocated funds on the Town’s books at the end of each fiscal year. It must be certified by the MA Department of Revenue before it can be voted out by the Town Meeting (see explanation for Article 50). At the end of each fiscal year any unused free cash, in effect, disappears until the next fiscal year’s books are closed and a new free cash amount is certified. Local government accountants, auditors and financial advisors recommend that the level of free cash (think checking account) plus stabilization funds (think savings account) should equal or exceed 5% to 10% of its annual budget. In Medfield’s case, that would be between $3.1 million and $6.2 million. In addition to helping the Town maintain its excellent credit rating, free cash is used to avoid short term borrowing interest costs and to have funds on hand to cover emergency conditions. And remember, Free Cash isn’t free.

OTHER ARTICLES

There are a number of articles on this Year’s Town Meeting Warrant that don’t require an appropriation, but are significant in determining how the Town runs and what additional costs may be incurred or saved from passage of these articles. Article 16 would establish the Medfield Affordable Housing Trust, a semi-autonomous Board appointed by the Selectmen to address the needs and requirements for developing affordable housing in the Town. Articles 31 & 32 would accept streets as public ways or public right-of –ways. Article 33 would adopt a water conservation bylaw and Article 34 would authorize the Water Department to enter into private property to inspect, repair or replace water meters, Article 36 would authorize the Board of Selectmen to lease space on the new Hospital water tower for wireless communications, Articles 37 & 38 would adopt new stormwater management and water pollution abatement bylaws to bring the Town into compliance with federal stormwater management permit requirements, Articles 39 to 47 propose changes to the zoning bylaw affecting single, two family and multifamily housing and inclusionary requirements for affordable housing, Articles 48 & 49 deal with regulation of recreational marijuana.

CONCLUSION

At the beginning of this year’s budget process, it looked like the Town might need an operating budget override to cover departmental budget increase and increases in pension and health insurance costs. However, as a result of the hard work of the Warrant Committee, various Town Boards, Committees and  Department Heads, the budget can be balanced without an override and without sacrificing essential Town services. It took a lot of night meetings, deliberations and compromises to accomplish this. Medfield is fortunate to have such a dedicated group of volunteers and employees working on its behalf to keep the Town on a sound financial footing. The voters will still have to decide on the two potential overrides, one to fund the affordable housing efforts and the other to maintain ALS support services. Please do your part in helping to make all of the decisions that are on this year’s Town Meeting Warrant and on whether or not to fund the two potential tax override requests that may have to be voted at a special election, if the Town Meeting passes the corresponding Town Meeting warrant articles. It’s your Town, so please do your part.

Mark L. Fisher, Chairman

Osler L. Peterson, Clerk

Michael T. Marcucci, Third Member

Board of Selectmen

ATM warrant articles

Mike Sullivan circulated this list of the annual town meeting (ATM) warrant articles this week.

town meeting

INDEX OF ARTICLES

Article 1.   Town Election

Article 2.   Accept Town Reports

Article 3.   Accept Perpetual Care Funds

Article 4.   Adopt bylaw for Revolving Funds (New Procedure under Municipal Modernization Act)

Article 5.   Authorize Expenditures for Revolving Funds under Chapter 44, Section 53E ½

Article 6.   Adopt Sewer Betterment Deferral & Recovery Agreements for Seniors

Article 7.   Increase maximum payment for senior tax work-off program from $500 to $1,000

Article 8.   Authorize use of Bond Premiums to pay for project costs & reduce bond authorization.

Article 9.   Appropriate funds for Police Department prior year (fy16) unpaid bills

Article 10.   Additional appropriation for fy17 Reserve Fund

Article 11.  Fix salaries of Elected Officials

Article 12.  Amend Personnel Administration Plan & Classification of Positions & Pay Schedule

Article 13.  Operating Budget

Article 14.  Capital Budget

Article 15.  Hire Firefighter/EMT with ALS certification or contract out services.

Article 16.  Establish Medfield Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Fund and add bylaw for same

Article 17.  Appropriate $1 million & bond this amount to fund Affordable Housing Trust.

Article 18.  Appropriation for maintenance and security at state hospital site

Article 19.  Appropriate funds to hire consultants & engineers for state hospital site re-use plan

Article 20.  Hear report of Senior Housing Study Committee & appropriate funds for wetlands                                          delineation of land, which might be suitable for such.

Article 21  Appropriate funds for downtown improvements

Article 22. Appropriate funds for Phase II Downtown Parking Study

Article 23.  Appropriate $10,000 for repairs & improvements to Dwight-Derby House.

Article 24.  Appropriation for design of rail trail from Ice House Road to Dover town line

Article 25.  Appropriate funds to purchase and install street lights

Article 26.  Appropriate funds for beaver trapping and beaver dam removal

Article 27.  Name Mill Brook bridge at Elm St. “Colonel Douglas C. MacKeachie Bridge”

Article 28.  Transfer funds from sewer-betterments-paid-in-advance to Sewer Stabilization Fund

Article 29. Appropriate $50,000 from Ambulance Revolving Fund to reimburse Stabilization Fund

Article 30. Appropriate $400,000. to the Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) Trust.

Article 31.  Accept portion of Vinald Road as public right of way

Article 32.  Accept portions of Quarry Road and Erik Road as public ways.

Article 33. Adopt a new Water Conservation Bylaw

Article 34.  Adopt a new Bylaw to authorize Water Department representatives to enter private                                                         property to inspect, repair and/or replace water meters and establish fines for denial of entry

Article 35.  Appropriate funds from Water Enterprise Fund for continuing study and design of                                            Iron/Manganese treatment facility

Article 36. Authorize Selectmen to lease space on new water tower for wireless facility

Article 37. Amend new Stormwater Management Bylaw to bring Town into compliance with 2003                                  EPA permit

Article 38. Adopt new Water Pollution Abatement Bylaw (illicit connections and discharges) to                                         bring Town into compliance with 2003 EPA permit

Article 39.  Amend Zoning Bylaw to designate Planning Board as Special Permit Granting Authority

Article 40. Amend Zoning Bylaw to tie construction of new two-family dwelling or conversion of                                      existing single family dwelling to a new two-family dwelling to lot coverage requirements

and/or special permit.

Article 41.  Amend the Zoning Bylaw to reduce maximum lot coverage allowances for new                                                 two-family dwellings and historic single family dwelling conversions to two-family dwellings.

Article 42. Amend Zoning Bylaw to define procedures for obtaining a special permit from the                                            Planning Board.

Article 43. Amend Zoning Bylaw, Definitions to change definition of DWELLING, MULTIFAMILY.

Article 44. Amend Zoning Bylaw Table of Use regulations to require a special permit for multi-family                              dwellings.

Article 45. Amend Zoning Bylaw to increase dimensional requirements for multi-family                                                       developments.

Article 46. Amend Zoning Bylaw to provide for Inclusionary Zoning for multi-family dwellings.

Article 47. Amend Zoning Bylaw, Table of Height and Bulk Regulations to reduce maximum lot coverage

for single-family homes from 35% to 30%.

Article 48.  Adopt a new general bylaw to prohibit recreational (non-medicinal) marijuana

Article 49.  Amend Zoning Bylaws to prohibit recreational (non-medicinal) marijuana in all zoning districts

Article 50.  Authorize Board of Assessors to use free cash to reduce tax rate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BoS on 4/4

20170404-agenda-only_Page_2

There are 31 pages of supporting materials available via this PDF –

20170404-agenda supporting materials

BoS on 3/7

Meeting minutes March 7, 2017 Chenery Meeting Room draft PRESENT: Selectmen Fisher, Peterson, Marcucci; Town Administrator Sullivan; Assistant Town Administrator Trierweiler; Town Counsel Cerel; Administrative Assistant Clarke Chairman Fisher called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM and read announcements. MASS STANDARD CONTRACT FORM DPW Director Maurice Goulet is present The Town's MASS Service Agreement is about to expire. Director Maurice Goulet explained that by the Town renewing we will be allowed to receive and expend grant funds that the Transfer Station and Recycling Committee may receive VOTE: On a motion made and seconded it was voted unanimously to authorize Chairman Fisher execute the MASS Standard Contract Form and as requested by DPW Director Maurice Goulet CHAPTER 90 REIMBURSEMENT REQUEST VOTED unanimously to sign Chapter 90 Reimbursement Forms for engineering services in amount of $7,153.84 for Philip Street project and as recommended by DPW Director Maurice Goulet COMMITIEE APPOINTMENT Medfield Historical Commission co-chairs David Temple and Dan Bibel request the Selectmen vote to appoint Caitlin Struble as a member of the commission and it was so voted GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD The Selectmen are invited to attend the Girl Scout Gold Award Ceremony for Julie Han Sunday March 26, 2017 2:00 PM at the United Church of Christ 2017 TOWN MEETING WARRANT Board of Selectmen are requested to vote to open the warrant to add a second article pertaining to storm water management that will be added as a new chapter in the Town's Code Book. VOTE: on a motion made and seconded it was voted unanimously to open the 2017 Warrant Selectman Peterson remarked that as we are opening the warrant he would like to add an article regarding the Community Preservation Act. He strongly feels that Medfield should be receiving matching funds from the state that could be allocated to our affordable housing trust. March 7, 2017 Page two Selectman Marcucci responded that when the CPA Committee came before us in the fall they advised not to place an article on the 2017 warrant but wait for 2018 ATM. This will give the Committee additional time to present information to the residents. VOTE: on a motion made and seconded it was voted unanimously to close the 2017 Warrant ECONOMIC DEVEWPMENT COMMITTEE, CHAIR PAT CASEY Mr. Casey said that as a result the Downtown Summit one of the committee's initiatives is to help improve parking in the downtown area. The committee applied to the state for a grant to pay for a parking study, however as of now the state has not responded. Cost of the study is $15,000-$16,000. Mr. Casey continued saying that the committee is hoping to do a parking management study that would focus on additional signs, markings indicating parking spaces that may help with parking issues. Discussion ensued about the two articles on the warrant and it was agreed that at town meeting to have the two articles come up together for discussion (downtown improvements and phase II parking study). Committee membership; the committee recommends and requests the Selectmen vote to appoint member Joe Seier as an associate member and associate member Alex Jowdy as a full member of the Economic Development Committee and it was so voted. BOARD OFWATERAND SEWERAGE Present Jeremy Marsette, Bill Harvey and Christian Carpenter Discussion took place regarding warrant articles pertaining to water and sewer. Town Meeting will vote on leasing space on the new water located for wireless facilities. Question is whether revenues collected are deposited in the water enterprise fund or the general fund. The Selectmen feel it is better served to the townspeople deposit be made in the general fund. No decision made; committee to discuss at their March 9 meeting. The next couple of articles deal with water bans and water conservation; should private well users adhere to the water ban restrictions and secondly when water department employees are denied entry onto private property to repair and or replace water meters should fines be established. Town Counsel drafted these articles. Mr. Marsette remarked that his board was not aware they were the sponsors of these articles. Mr. Sullivan said that placing the water board as sponsor in the draft of warrant articles is only for a placeholder. All in agreement that the committee should confer at their March 9 meeting if articles should move forward; Town Counsel will attend the meeting for discussion. The Selectmen feel that there is a lot of interest regarding these issues that the articles will move forward and the Selectmen will sponsor. The Selectmen thanked the Board of Water and Sewerage for their contributions to the discussion. The Selectmen are requested to sign Amendment No. 3 for further extended construction phase services for the watermain and storage tank. March 7, 2017 Page three VOTE: On a motion made by Selectman Peterson, seconded by Selectman Marcucci it was voted unanimously to sign Hospital Road Watermain and Storage Tank Amendment No. 3/ for Further Extended Construction Phase Services in the amount of $94,100.00 INSURANCE ADVISORY COMMITIEE, PETER MORAN CHAIR Mr. Moran explained that the committee is proposing to offer Town employees another option for health insurance, a high deductible plan. Presently the Town pays 62% towards an employee's HMO plan and about 50% towards a PPO plan. With the new proposal family plan members would be subject to a deductible of $2,000 ($4,000 in total for family plan) and with new proposal individual member would be subject to a $2,000 deductible. The Insurance Advisory Committee recommends for employees enrolling in the new high deductible plan, the Town match the subscribers' contribution up to $1,200 per year for the family plan; up to $600 per year for individuals. Subscriber could elect to contribute additional funds to the health savings account under federal law, however, the Town would not match these contributions. The savings accounts would roll over year to year as any monies not spent will remain in the account. A workshop will be scheduled with employees who are health insurance members to clarify the information. With this new plan the Town will see considerable savings as well as those insured will benefit from lower premiums. The Selectmen are requested to vote on the new health insurance option. VOTE: On a motion made and seconded it was voted unanimously to offer a high deductible health insurance option to current employees with a health savings account and a contribution match of $1,200 for a family plan and $600 for an individual plan On another health insurance issue; for many years the Town has offered health insurance to members of the Board of Selectman and the Board of Assessors. This has not been an issue through past years as insurance was relatively inexpensive. However as those premiums have recently been climbing significantly the Warrant Committee advises not to offer insurance going forward to future elected officials. Current elected officials would not be affected. VOTE: On a motion made and seconded it was voted unanimously to not offer health insurance benefits to new/future elected officials and as recommended by the Warrant Committee. The Town Clerk whose position is full time would still be eligible SIGN WARRANT VOTED unanimously to sign the March 27, 2017 Town Election Warrant March 7, 2017 Page four Regarding the Town Election Mr. Sullivan commented that no candidates for the Board of Assessors or Trust Fund Commissioners have come forward. Please give serious thought to join either of these two committees. MINUTES VOTED unanimously to accept the minutes of January 31 as submitted and accept the February 7, 2017 minutes as amended LICENSES AND PERMITS VOTED unanimously to grant permission to the high school Boys Baseball and Girls Softball Teams to hold a fundraising car wash behind Town Hall on Sunday May 7, 2017 VOTED unanimously to grant permission for the third annual (jod Loves :Jvt.edjfie{d Community 'Day of Service to take place Saturday April 22 and organized by Pastor Jonathan Chechile VOTED unanimously to grant permission for signs to be posted March 18 to March 27 promoting a food drive for the Medfield Food Cupboard on Town Election Day atthe voting polls VOTED unanimously to grant permission to the Medfield Voter Services Committee to post signs March 9 to 10 promoting Medfield Candidate Forum on March 16 in the high school auditorium VOTED unanimously to grant the Council on Aging one-day wine and malt beverage permits for March 15 St Patrick's Dinner; April 12 Town Meeting Supper Club; May 6 ARCP Dance; May 17 May Supper Club; additionally Wednesday Summer Cookouts June 14 & 28; July 12 & 26; August 23 PENDING Dwight Derby House appropriation by Citizen Petition Letter received from Heather Gordon stating that the Dwight Derby House Committee agrees to the dismissal of the warrant article requesting appropriation of $10,000 and will accept the amount of $9,500 (balance in downtown improvement article) that will be allocated for Dwight Derby House improvements. The Selectmen are pleased with this solution. Mr. Sullivan remarked that 2017 Town Meeting may be meeting two nights, April 24 and 25. March 7, 2017 Page five SELECTMEN REPORI' Selectman Peterson attended Cub Scout Pack 200 Blue and Gold Banquet last Saturday commenting it was great fun. At the event he had a discussion with a Newton employee (Medfield resident) regarding ALS. He also attended a recent "inclusion meeting." Mr. Peterson held first Friday office hour at the CENTER, topic of discussion was affordable senior housing. Selectman Marcucci enjoyed the banquet. The good food was from Cutlets on North Street. Entertainment was Mike the Bubble Man, good fun. Selectman Fisher had the opportunity to ring the bell at the state hospital and enjoyed a tour through the chapel with John Thompson. He and his wife visited the "sugar shack" on Main Street. Owner Bob Piersiak does a terrific job making the maple syrup of which we now have quite a supply. INFORMATIONAL The Town has received a check in the amount of $23,004.40 for SREC credits. It was a good decision installing the solar array at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. ADJOURNMENT As there was no further business to come before the Board of Selectmen, the meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM.20170307_Page_220170307_Page_320170307_Page_420170307_Page_5

BoS on 3/21

TOWN OF MEDFIELD POSTED: MEETING ,,. ... TOWN CLERK NOTICE i20170321-agenda_Page_220170321-agenda_Page_320170321-agenda_Page_420170321-agenda_Page_520170321-agenda_Page_620170321-agenda_Page_720170321-agenda_Page_820170321-agenda_Page_9

Jim & Patti Schwartz – Medfield Foundation 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award

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Jim & Patti Schwartz – 2017 Medfield Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award

Jim and Patti Schwartz were selected as to receive the 2017 Medfield Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award last month by the judges.  Jim and Patti were nominated by Gus Murby, with input from the other leaders of Boy Scout Troop 89, per Gus.

Jim and Patti, plus all the remarkable eight other Medfield volunteers who were nominated this year will be celebrated at the reception next Sunday, March 19 at 3PM at The Center. The public is invited to attend.

Brothers Marketplace generously sponsored the 2017 Medfield Foundation volunteer awards and support was also received from the Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation.

Below is the nomination submitted by Gus Murby.

 


 

This recommendation is submitted as a combined recommendation for both Jim and Patti Schwartz, primarily for the involvement they have had over several decades as adult leaders in Medfield’s Troop 89 Boy Scout Troop. Jim and Patti have functioned as a seamless team throughout that time in working to meet the needs of the troop. The intention of this recommendation is not just to recognize them as two individuals worthy of consideration for this award, but to recognize their collaborative partnership over all this time and to acknowledge the extraordinary impact that partnership has had on the success of Troop 89 over an extended period.

 

Jim Schwartz has been a life-long volunteer leader with the Boy Scouts of America who has, over the past 23 years, held leadership positions with Medfield Troop 89. Extending from his own personal scouting career where he earned Eagle Scout rank, Jim started his career as a volunteer adult leader back in 1969 as an Assistant Scout Master in Troop 662 in Cheviot, Ohio. Jim subsequently filled a number of adult leadership positions over the ensuring years in both Ohio and Herndon, VA, where Jim was the founding Scoutmaster for a new Boy Scout troop. Over the course of his four years as Scoutmaster of the newly formed Herndon Boy Scout troop, 5 scouts earned the rank of Eagle Scout – a remarkable achievement for a troop that had just formed. Jim first started serving as a volunteer adult Boy Scout leader in Medfield Troop 89 in 1994, serving as an Assistant Scoutmaster from 1994 – 2003. In 2003, Jim took on the job of serving as Troop 89’s Troop Committee Chairman, a position he held from 2003 through 2016.

 

The job of Troop Committee Chairman is a critical one for ensuring the ongoing success of a Boy Scout Troop. The Boy Scout Troop Committee effectively functions as a Board of Directors for a Boy Scout Troop, but the role of the committee involves more than just formal oversight. The Troop Committee, and the Troop Committee Chairman, in particular, works closely with the Troop Scoutmaster to ensure the troop has the funding, equipment, leadership, and standards that are needed to ensure the troop operates in a manner that offers meaningful development opportunities for scouts while maintaining high standards of safety and decorum. In this role, because of his extensive experience in scouting, Jim has been a unique source of insight, judgment, and practical advice on what is needed to run a highly effective scouting program. The effectiveness of Jim’s insight and experience can readily be seen in the high enrollment the troop has maintained over the years; the numerous high adventure trips that the troop has offered to its more experienced scouts; and in the number of scouts who have achieved the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout. Over the course of Jim’s tenure with Troop 89, a total of 73 scouts have earned the rank of Eagle Scout – a number that far exceeds the average number of scouts a Boy Scout troop would expect to produce.

 

The value of Jim’s experience can also be seen in the successes of a long line of scoutmasters in the troop who were able to “come up to speed” very quickly by tapping Jim’s corporate memory around troop operations and Boy Scout administrative procedures. During the time he has served as Troop Committee Chairman, Jim has worked with 5 different scoutmasters to help them fully assume their responsibilities as Scoutmaster.

Beyond his formal, long-standing role as Troop Committee Chairman, Jim also served as a key leader on 5 different Boy Scout High Adventure trips (2003 Northern Tier canoe trip, 2004 Philmont backpacking trip, 2005 Allagash canoe trip, 2006 Seabase Sailing trip, and 2008 Philmont backpacking trip). High Adventure trips are ambitious outdoor adventure trips designed to challenge older, more experienced scouts by introducing them to more physically and mentally demanding activities, usually in geographically remote locations. Because of this, the responsibilities of the adult leaders on these trips are significant. They include the need to meet the high physical demands of the trip; the need to make sound judgments in situations where access to outside help is limited; and the need to be prepared to handle medical emergencies that could arise during the trips. Being an adult leader on these trips requires a degree of personal commitment and confidence that goes well beyond what is required on a more routine “weekend campout”.

 

Finally, Jim has provided a consistently strong role model for the scouts in the troop. His organizational skills are legendary, even among those scouts who don’t at first understand why paying attention to detail is important, or who don’t really know how to effectively communicate to adults and others. The skills they learn from Jim’s example have a direct impact on their future ability to be successful in their jobs. While Jim sets a high standard for scouts in these areas, he also provides a model to scouts as a person who remains calm in the face of difficulty; respectful even in circumstances where there may be disagreement; and good-natured, even in the face of offensive or insensitive behavior. Through Jim, scouts can see how the tenets of the Boy Scout Law play out in real life in how a person should conduct himself.

 

Patti Schwartz began her career as a volunteer adult leader with the Boy Scouts of America 32 years ago when she became a Cub Scout Den Leader in Downington, PA. Over the next several years, Patti continued her service as a Cub Scout Den Leader, and subsequently as a Cub Scout Committee Chairwoman in Herndon, VA. Since 1996, Patti has been a member of Troop 89’s Troop Committee where she has taken on major responsibilities as the troop’s Good Turn Coordinator (the person who coordinates and organizes virtually all of the troop’s organized service activities), Advancement Chairperson (the person most directly responsible for monitoring, encouraging, and processing scout rank advancements at all levels), and Eagle Court of Honor Coordinator (the person directly responsible for organizing and coordinating Eagle Courts of Honor). From 1996 to the present, Patti has also served as a Merit Badge Councilor for Troop 89, and she has served as a volunteer adult Girl Scout Leader in Medfield.

 

During the time that Patti has been working as a volunteer leader in Troop 89, she has also volunteered her time supporting several other organizations and activities in Medfield. Of particular note, Patti has been active for many years in St. Edward’s Prayer Shawl Ministry as part of the “One Family Knitters” group. As a member of “One Family Knitters, Patti has also participated in St. Edward’s support of several charitable organizations knitting hats, scarves, baby sweaters and “premi” baby hats. She has also volunteered for numerous Special Olympics competitions in the area and has supported the Angel Run in Medfield for several years. Because of the breadth of activities Patti has been involved with here in Medfield; she has been able to create synergistic opportunities that tap the capabilities of one organization to serve the needs of other organizations. A good example of this is her volunteer work with the Medfield Food Cupboard where, in addition to providing direct personal support to the Food Cupboard, she has also used her position as the Good Turn Coordinator for Troop 89 to obtain help from scouts to stock the food cupboard, as well as to provide scouts who are working on the Cooking merit badge with the opportunity to bake pies at Thanksgiving in support of the Food Cupboard’s holiday support activities. In doing this, both organizations wound up achieving important goals of their programs.

 

It is well recognized in Medfield that the town’s Boy Scout program has been an important pillar supporting the development of Medfield’s youth into responsible adults and civic-minded citizens. Jim and Patti Schwartz have devoted an extraordinary amount of time to support Boy Scouts over decades, the last 23 years of which have been focused on supporting Boy Scouts in Medfield. Over all of that time, each of them has provided a stellar example of what it means to be a responsible, caring citizen.  Jim has demonstrated deep strength in both the “administrative” context of a troop committee working month in and month out to ensure that Troop 89 has a vibrant  scouting program, and as an  on-the-ground adult leader in multiple challenging high adventure settings where decisions, often made under pressure, can be anything but routine. Patti brings a caring, supportive disposition to Troop 89 that has made a huge difference in what numerous scouts have gotten out of scouting, as well as what they have achieved by way of rank advancement. While Troop 89’s success at developing scouts into Eagle Scouts is impressive as a troop accomplishment, it is safe to say that Patti has had a big hand in getting a significant number of scouts “across the finish line”; just by helping them see the possibility and get organized to realize it.

Perhaps the best summary expression of the contribution that Jim and Patti Schwartz have made to Medfield over the years is captured in the tribute that was paid to them at a Troop 89 troop meeting this past fall —

In Boy Scout troops we are fortunately often blessed with adult leaders who are willing to step up and accept the challenge of leading and inspiring groups of Boy Scouts over the course of their scouting careers. The task these adult leaders accept goes beyond merely administering the scouting program and guiding scouts through various rank and merit badge requirements. These adult leaders take on the challenge of modeling for scouts what they hope these scouts will become as they move through their scouting careers and mature into responsible, caring, honest, and competent adults.

Most of the time, these adult leaders are active in Boy Scouts while their own sons are Boy Scouts. Quite understandably, at the point that their sons have completed their time as Boy Scouts, these adult leaders move on to other chapters in their lives and other endeavors. On some rare occasions, however, an adult leader is motivated to remain committed to playing a leadership role beyond the time that his or her own son is a scout. On even rarer occasions, two adult leaders from the same family maintain this commitment and devote themselves to helping a large number of scouts mature into responsible adults. The experience level, insight, and the sterling quality of the role model they provide to scouts makes this rare occurrence invaluable to any troop that benefits from their involvement. Jim and Patti Schwartz have been that rare resource for Troop 89. Their patience with scouts during troop activities and rank advancement, along with their unfailing upbeat tone provide visible evidence that it is possible to be friendly, courteous, kind – and disciplined and thorough in getting things done. This lesson may have come more easily to some scouts than others, but it is a lesson that will serve all scouts well throughout their lives.

Jim and Patti, we salute both of you and will be ever grateful for the contribution you each have made to all of our scouts in Troop 89. Thank you so much for your steadfast commitment over these years and the lasting impact you have had on this troop!

 

For all the reasons cited above, I and the other leaders of Boy Scout Troop 89 strongly recommend Jim and Patti Schwartz as solid candidates for the Medfield Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement award.

Jean Mineo, Medfield Foundation 2017 volunteer of the year

Jean Mineo

Jean Mineo – 2017 Medfield Foundation Volunteer of the Year

Jean Mineo was selected as the 2017 Medfield Foundation volunteer of the year just last month by the judges.  Jean was nominated by both Chris McCue Potts and Minta Hissong, a first having the same person nominated more than once in one year.  Jean and all the remarkable eight other Medfield volunteers who were nominated this year will be celebrated at the reception next Sunday, March 19 at 3PM at The Center. The public is invited to attend.

Brothers Marketplace generously sponsored the 2017 Medfield Foundation volunteer awards and support was also received from the Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation.

Below in the order they were received are the nominations first by Chris McCue Potts, and then the one by Minta Hissong.


 

It is no secret that Jean Mineo is the “chief cultural Officer” for the town of Medfield — past, present and future! Her past work includes making possible innovative and visually interesting community art, including a sculpture trail at MSH site, power boxes painted with historical or other images relative to Medfield, and outdoor pianos for all to enjoy. Additionally, Jean founded the Cultural Alliance of Medfield so that the town would have an active cultural projects/events/advocacy organization to supplement the grant-making role of the Medfield Cultural Council. Her current work involves a number of initiatives, from making the vision of the Straw Hat Park and Holiday Stroll both a reality — and highly successful ones indeed evidenced by Town Meeting support for park funding, and the enormous turnout and positive feedback on the 2nd annual Stroll!  For both endeavors, Jean had to oversee all aspects — from fundraising, volunteer and partner recruitment, political navigation, logistical details, publicity and so much more.  Through it all, Jean always does it thoughtfully, with a calm and focused demeanor, and in a way that inspires others to get involved. Rarely does Jean get frustrated when confronted with a hurdle or challenge (which is sure to happen) — she just focuses on what needs to get done to keep things moving forward.

A hugely beneficial initiative that Jean led was the town matching initiative for Medfield Cultural Council funding for local nonprofits. For very little money (but big impact), Jean successfully made the case for the match, rallied residents to turn out for the Town Meeting vote (and speak up), and then played a role in making sure residents knew what kind of impact the doubling of available funding could have on local cultural groups and projects, including Zullo Gallery, Gazebo Players, Medfield Music Association, Medfield Public Library, and others.

Jean’s current efforts serving on the Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee, have the potential to provide future payoff with expansion of the town’s cultural offerings. She has spent countless hours pulling together local cultural groups and representatives who have a shared vision for the huge impact cultural initiatives/a cultural focus could have at the MSH site. Her work has required endless meetings, bringing in unpaid expertise for a visioning session, rallying the community to support the hiring of a paid consultant to conduct and report back on a feasibility study, and building relationships and navigating all levels of town politics, and the work is ongoing. Jean even launched an artistic competition for the creative reuse of the old waterworks gears from the MSH site!

Jean’s commitment to Medfield’s cultural vitality and overall town character, and the impact her time and energy has made on our community, is nothing short of amazing.

In terms of impact and results, consider this:

1) The thousands of people who have visited and enjoyed the Straw Hat Park so far…including all of the attractions that were in place prior to the official ribbon-cutting in the fall of 2016. This includes piano players, sidewalk chalk art viewers, and so many others wanting to envision the possibilities!

2) The thousands of people who have taken part in the Holiday Stroll for the past two years – whether volunteers, residents, out of town visitors, or artisans selling their works or providing services. The Stroll helped deepen the sense of community that is so strong in Medfield, and helped to lift so many spirits. The community-wide event also helps to support the livelihood of many artists, and also showcase Medfield’s own
artistic talents, including visual and musical.

3) The thousands of people who drive or walk by and appreciate all of the various community art Jean has made possible through the Art in Public Places initiative (via Medfield Foundation).

4) The tens of thousands of people who will benefit if MSH redevelopment includes one or more cultural components – this would include residents, visitors and contributing artists.

As a testament to Jean’s work as former head of the Medfield Cultural Council, the Massachusetts Cultural Council awarded her with a Leadership Circle Award in 2015, and the town recognized her contributions with a special event at the Zullo Gallery. https://www.mass-culture.org/lca_honorees.aspx

In addition to all of Jean’s cultural work, she served on the MAP board (including president) and has also been actively volunteering with community projects sponsored by United Church of Christ in Medfield (prior to and separate from working there).

Jean Mineo is long overdue for the Volunteer of the Year Award. Let’s make 2017 her year!

 


 

I am nominating Jean Mineo for the volunteer of the year award. Jean serves on many boards, organizations, and donates hours of her time to our town. I will focus on one of her big accomplishments of 2016, the Straw Hat Park. This park would not have been created but for Jean’s vision, drive, patience, knowledge and fortitude. I was lucky enough to be on the Straw Hat Park committee with Jean from the beginning when we first started meeting in December of 2013! Jean worked tirelessly from the beginning when in the summer of 2013 she started gathering ideas for the park with public art in the space. From there the selectman gave her permission to gather a team and see what could be done with the pocket park. Jean spent hours and hours on administration, attending meetings, meeting with key players in town, surveys, PR, social media guru, fundraising, speaking at town meetings, and finally working with the tradesman to get the work done. It was her project and she kept plugging away when politics and obstacles got in the way. I watched her work from behind the scenes and her dedication to our town is second to none. She always had a way to make it work. The Straw Hat Park is a beautiful new space in our town that is already getting a lot of use. This creation of this space from dirt/grass to our new park is because of Jean’s work and she deserves to be formally recognized. Thank you for the consideration.
-Minta Hissong