Category Archives: Information

Meetings notices must be better

A resident complained to me this morning at my selectman office hours about the fact that it is difficult to get advance notice of town board meetings one may be interested in attending.  In this instance, Tony Centore said that he has been following the recommendations made by the Economic Development Committee for the use of the town owned Lot 3 off Ice House Road, since he has advocated that the site be devoted to housing for seniors, due to the special synergies from the  proximity to The Center.

Tony does subscribe to the town daily email that comes each morning and lists all the town board meeting taking place that day, but in this instance, he failed to see that email until after the Economic Development Committee meeting had already taken place last night.

I agree that the town needs to create a better system so that people who are interested in following and/or getting information from a particular town board should be able to:

  • sign up to get sent to them the meeting notices at the same time those notices are sent to the committee members, plus
  • likewise similarly receive any documents sent out to the board members of that committee.

This makes sense to do because the town information should be made universally available to residents, and technology allows for this process to be automated (and operated via an online sign up system).  All meeting notices are required to be posted at least 48 hours before the meeting occurs, so there should be no reason that the town’s current email notice could not at least give two days advance notice of all meetings.


  • Town meetings are all open meetings, open to anyone; and
  • The documents are all public records and should be readily available to interested residents.

The town system should make it both easy and totally transparent for anyone who is interested to get the same information and at the same time that the committee members are getting.  I will ask for that to be an agenda item at the next meeting of the selectmen.

Visual budgets

At the Mass. Municipal Association annual meeting last weekend, I saw and heard presentations of an open source software product developed for the Town of Arlington by programers who live in Arlington, to show the town budget in a highly visual format. One merely clicks on the blocks to drill further down into the details.

Since it is open source, Medfield could implement it at no cost if we have someone who knows how to do so.  If we hire the company that is managing the software, they would charge us $3,000.

I recommend that we employ this software, and that the town also employ software to put the town checkbook on-line, as the state has already done.

Town calendar

David Stephenson pointed me to Needham’s really nice looking town calendar –

Thought you’d both be interested in this: Needham publishes a wide range of iCalendars to which you can subscribe!

— David


W. David Stephenson | Principal | Stephenson Strategies/Stephenson Voice-Overs

Superintendent’s blog

The Superintendent of Schools, Jeffrey Marsden, has started a monthly blog, which is now into its second month, and which I highly recommend.  This month Jeff explains the issues behind the changes in the music program at the Dale Street School, which gave me the information I needed to appreciate the issues of the situation and to better understand the solution that has been crafted. I also liked the solution of appointing a citizen and schools committee to study whether the current solution is the right one.

I do not usually get to see the School Committee meetings on Medfield.TV, so I greatly appreciate having Jeff write about what is going on and pushing that information out to me to read on my own schedule, when I am able.  This is exactly how the town should be delivering information to its residents on how their town is being run.

The town government should exist to get its residents the services that they want and are willing to pay to have, but in the process of doing that, those running the town government must figure out exactly which services those are and in which amounts the residents both want the services and are willing to pay for them.  The first step towards accomplishing that goal is by making sure the residents have full information on which to make their decisions, and Jeff’s blog is a great step towards making information available to we residents.

To me this blog is a huge step in getting me the type of information that I, as both a resident and a parent, want about the schools, delivered in a format that works well for me, and so I applaud Jeff for starting the blog.  Thanks Jeff!  You have made me one happy reader

People want street repair schedule

I do not often look at the statistics about visitors to my blog, but WordPress posts a bar graph of past visits atop the page where I add new posts, and so I noticed today that there appeared to be a major spike last Thursday.

When I just looked to see why, I learned that a record number of visitors, by far, by a factor of about 2-3 times the next greatest number, had clicked through from a Patch article about planned road repairs.  Patch had picked up my blog post, but did not list the streets, so people had to click through to see which streets were being worked on this summer.

What this tells me is that there is a huge thirst for town information about what departments are planning that directly impacts people.  FYI, my fist two goals on my list for the selectmen this year are to develop a system to push town information to people and to improve the town’s website.

These are the statistics for my blog from last Thursday:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Views: 805Help
Visitors: 448

Views per Visitor: 1.80

Search Engine Terms

These are terms people used to find your site.


Search Views
medfield blog peterson 3
pete peterson blog 2
medfield state hospital 1
medfield music assoiciation 1
pete peterson medfield blog 1
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Unknown search terms 3
Total search terms 12

New Life Home Refurnishing

This from Susan Maritan –


New Life Home Refurnishing, a non-profit organization which accepts donations of gently used furniture and household items for individuals and families in need, is asking the public for help. They are in need of household appliances in good condition (toasters, coffee makers and small microwave ovens), bed frames (twin-full and queen) as well as gently used mattresses and box springs (no stains, tears or visible marks).

Medfield residents, Ron Yates and Doug Marshall, Co-Presidents of New Life, want the public to know that donations can be brought to the New Life warehouse 102 Elm Street (Route 27) in Walpole between 9 and 11 AM this Saturday, June 14, or New Life can provide a pick-up.

Please note, this summer New Life will have summer hours. June 14th will be the last Saturday that the warehouse is open for donations until September. Starting June 25th, the warehouse will be open every other Wednesday evening from 6:30 – 8:30 PM for drop offs.

Those interested in donating, scheduling a pick up, volunteering or looking at the schedule of summer hours are encouraged to reference the NewLife web site or may call 774-316-6395.

The mission of NewLife Home Refurnishing is to help individuals and families in transition from the Metro-West and Greater Boston area. The New Life team believes that the opportunity to “shop” from the warehouse of gently used furnishings and household items offers dignity and affirmation to those who have been marginalized.


History Day trolley tours Saturday

This from MEMO –


“Art, Culture and Mystery; the life-style of Medfield’s Rich and Famous”.


On Saturday, June 14, 2014 Medfield’s Annual Discover Medfield History Day, sponsored by M.E.M.O, will launch from a new starting point, the Lowell Mason House on Green Street. Parking will be available next door at the Hinkley Swim Pond parking lot. This years theme is entitled “Art, Culture and Mystery; the life-style of Medfield’s Rich and Famous.” Six tours, lasting one hour each and beginning on the hour starting at 9:00 AM, will take place aboard Boston’s Old Town Trolley. The final tour will leave at 2 PM. Conducted by Town Historian Richard DeSorgher, those on the tour will meet the following who have played a part in Medfield’s culture and history as they ride through the town including: the founder of public school music in America, Massachusetts’ youngest selectman and learn about his tragic death, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and his Medfield visit, the inventor of the roller skate, Alice Roosevelt, William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Mayor James Michael Curley, Evelyn Byng, Walt Disney, the architect and designer of Colonial Williamsburg, George Herman “Babe” Ruth, Medfield’s richest and economically and politically most powerful person known as “The Colonel,” the Founder of Medfield, the first public school teacher in America, the first President of the University of Vermont, Nathan Hale and his “I regret I have but one life to give for my country,” William Tilden, the founder of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, cellist Pablo Casals, Isabella Stuart Gardner “Mrs. Jack Gardner,” artist John A.S. Monks, President Grover Cleveland and his Medfield visit, concert master, B.S.O. musician Charles Martin Loeffler, famed landscape artist George Inness, famed Impressionist artist Dennis Miller Bunker, feminist and America’s first female author Hannah Adams, musician James Carroll Bartlett, debutante Brenda Frazier and the Splendid Splinter Ted Williams.


Tickets are available in advance at Needham Bank on Main Street for any one of the six hour-long tours. Tickets will also be available on Saturday, June 14, the day of the event at the Lowell Mason departure site, if not sold out. Ticket prices are $9 for adults and $6 for seniors and children under age 12