Category Archives: Town Services

Town Administrator goals

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Mike Sullivan penned his goals for the next year at the selectmen’s request a couple of weeks ago –


Medfield Town Administrator  Goals 2015-2016

I.   Communications

1.   Schedule Town Boards and Committees to meet with Board of Selectmen on a regular basis to discuss opportunities, plans and obstacles in providing services to Town residents.

2.   Investigating new website companies, working with Community Compact for transparent budgeting options

3.   Creating opt in email communication system through the website

4.   Maintain a running three month calendar of Town events and post it to the Town’s website.

II.  Planning

1.           Include funding in fy17 budget to prepare town-wide master plan and work with Planning  Board and Town Planner to prepare.

2.        Continue to work with Selectmen, Personnel Board and Town boards and commissions to plan,  recruit and hire management staff. For fy16 plan for a transition in the Public Works Department.

3.         Department heads, boards and committees will be asked to prepare a five-year operating and capital plan, as well as an estimate of budgetary requirements.

4.         A draft Housing Production Plan was submitted to the Selectmen at the beginning of 2015.  For fyl6, ask the Board of Selectmen, the Planning Board and the Housing Authority to refine and  adopt an Affordable Housing Plan based on this draft. Also, ask the State Hospital Re-use Committee  to include provisions in its re-use plan for an affordable housing component addressing the Town’s
40B requirements and a plan to provide moderate income 55 and older housing and/or assisted living housing.

5.         The Town has adopted four of the five components necessary to qualify for Green Community Act status. An article will be placed on the 2016 Annual Town Meeting Warrant to adopt  the fifth component, the “stretch code”.

6.         Ground has broken on the town’s first public solar project at the wastewater treatment plant. It is expected to be completed and on line by the spring of 2016. Following up on that project, begin the plan for installation of a solar array on the roof of the town garage and the public safety building.

7.         Medfield is a progressive Tree City. In addition to the 350 trees the Public Works Department planted and maintained during the Town’s 3501  Anniversary celebration, the Town has been active planting trees along Main and North Streets. This year the DPW and the Tree Warden have planted 12 trees on
Green Street and seven trees in Vine Lake Cemetery and has been replacing existing trees as needed. Certain restrictions established by the Americans with Disabilities Act for accessibility and the Department of Transportation requirements for bike paths, have created problems in planting street
trees on older roads, with narrow widths, but whenever possible the tree department replaces, plants new trees and does whatever it can to encourage Tree City standards. In addition,  the Planning Board requires tree planting in new subdivisions. This year the new public safety  building will include substantial tree plantings along Dale Street and the Tree Department will
continue to evaluate trees at the Medfield State Hospital site.

8.         The Town has worked cooperatively with the School Department to fund, facilitate and support quality education. The combined Information Technology Departments, the coordination of energy and facilities improvements, coordination of snow removal operations to keep school closings to a minimum, conversion of the accounting system to provide for better financial reporting are
testament to this. For this year we are working with the school department to achieve compliance with the federal Affordable Care Act reporting requirements and to avoid high fines for not achieving compliance. The facilities manager will be working with the Library, the Council on Aging and the Public Works Departments to improve the efficiency of operations and develop reliable maintenance procedures to reduce the need for costly capital expenditures and to reduce the costs of energy usage. Among items to be looked at are roof and portico repairs at the library, solar power at The CENTER at Medfield and the DPW garage.

Ill. Capital Projects

1.   Continue to work with the State Hospital Redevelopment Committee and the MSH Building and Grounds committee

2.   In addition to the weekly on-site construction meetings, monthly meetings are held at the Town Hall to update the full Permanent Planning and Building Committee on the progress of the new Public Safety Building. To date the project is on time and within budget. Financing was completed during the summer to take advantage of the low interest rates. Town departments will provide assistance as requested.

IV. Finances
1.   I held my annual financial program for the Warrant Committee in October and focused on fund accounting in order to give the Warrant Committee members an understanding of the Town’s broad financial picture. Also, scheduled an early budget meeting with the Selectmen and the Warrant Committee to get a head start on the fy17 budget process.

2. I will prepare a three year budget forecast. While cities and towns are very limited by state control of taxation, I will explore new opportunities to seek new revenues and will work to cut expenditures.

3. Police contracts are up for renewal next year and we expect they will be completed on time. Fire contracts are several years past due for renewals. We thought we had reached agreement with the negotiating team, but the membership rejected the proposed settlement. We will try to get the fire union back to the bargaining table and finish negotiations, but the fire union has shown little interest in doing so.

4.   We will prepare an analysis of overtime expenditures, if requested by the Board of Selectmen.

5.   Will submit an article for funding of a 20-year Capital Budget for the 2016 Annual Town Meeting Warrant.

V.   Downtown

1.   Replace the Main Street/Route 109 railroad crossing. Construct the Ed Doherty Memorial at Meeting House Pond. Complete construction of Straw Hat Park. Work with developers of downtown projects (Macready, Borrelli, Larkin family and the owners of the North Meadows Road strip mall) to complete their projects, along with landscaping improvements, parking and other amenities. Assist  MedfieldTV with their move to the downtown and renovation of its new quarters.

2.  Work with Police Chief and Town Planner on a MAPC sponsored 109 traffic study. Work with developer of old Ord’s Block to add 12 public parking spaces on Town­ owned land off Janes Avenue. Get the North Street reconstruction project moving.

3.   Work with Town Planner and Economic Development Committee on the Downtown Summit and work to implement its recommendations.

4.   Complete Straw Hat Park during the summer of 2016.

5.  Set up meeting with Planning Board, Board of Selectmen, Historical Commission and Town Counsel to explore development of a Design Review bylaw. Review past Selectmen’s votes on sidewalk types/locations and work with DPW, Police Department and School Department and residents to develop a priority list for new sidewalk construction


 

Natick saves $200K/year on its trash

Transfer Station sign - Copy

Ways towns save money

Natick has apparently saved almost $200,000 a year on its trash over the last 12 years – $3.4m in 12 years – using the one system that the state DEP says is the best way to save money on our trash and to also recycle the most.  There are ways for towns to save some money, it is just that no one likes them – especially this one.  See article here

cpa

The Community Preservation Act is another way to save money, because the state pays you matching money on what you pay in – we voted the CPA down several years ago, losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in state money as a result in the intervening time.

 

Planning Board vacancy

Medfield Planning Board Vacancy

The Town of Medfield Planning Board is seeking to fill a vacant Associate Member position.  Anyone who may be interested should submit a letter of interest to Evelyn Clarke at eclarke@medfield.net in the Board of Selectmen’s office by October 1, 2015.  For questions regarding the Planning Board or this specific position please contact Sarah Raposa, Town Planner at sraposa@medfield.net.

The Planning Board is an elected town board of five members, each with a five year term. The purpose of the Planning Board is to guide the development of the Town in the best interests of all its residents. The Board has very specific responsibilities and authorities as granted by Massachusetts General Laws and the Medfield Zoning By-Laws.

The Planning Board is responsible for the review and approval of all subdivisions (the division of a tract of land into two or more lots) through a comprehensive process involving review by relevant regulatory agencies, public hearings, covenants with developers, performance bonding, and ongoing compliance monitoring.

Under “Site Plan Approval”, in the Zoning By-Laws, the Board also has the responsibility to assure that prior to any new construction or significant changes to an existing structure, other than single family dwellings, such factors as community needs, abutters’ concerns, visual amenities, safety issues, and environmental and historic features on the site and in adjacent areas are considered.

Any requests for Zoning By-Law changes or amendments are also reviewed by the Board. Public hearings are held to allow input from any abutters or other interested citizens. The Board is required to provide a recommendation on any Zoning By-Law amendment at Town Meeting, where a two-thirds vote is required to approve the change.

The Planning Board serves as a resource to assist interested individuals with the process of proposing plans or projects under the Zoning By-Laws. Communications are maintained on an ongoing basis with related Town agencies including the Zoning Board of Appeals and other planning groups within the Town such as the Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee.

Letters should describe your interest in the Planning Board as well as any professional experience or other qualifications that will complement the Board. Additionally, please contemplate the following in your letter of interest:

  • Do you have ideas about the direction the Board should be headed? If so, have you thought about integration of those ideas (meaning how the idea coalesces into existing regulations or whether new regulations would need to be created)?
  • Land use boards such as the Planning Board or ZBA do not always have the kind of discretion to approve or deny a specific project that residents often think they have. It is important to recognize and avoid any conflict of interest; not to pursue special privileges, and maintain confidentiality. Are you prepared for being thought of as a villain by some and a hero by others?
  • Planning Boards wear two hats, proactive and reactive, and the schedule is robust. The proactive hat is devoted to long-range planning and is often difficult to quantify as the effects aren’t recognized for several years, if at all. The reactive hat focuses on subdivisions and site plan review and the effects are more immediately seen and felt in the community. How would you rationalize your reactive hat with your proactive hat? Do you see an overlap?

 

Storm shut downs

Mike Sullivan just called to update me on town plans in light of the storm and their conference call this morning with MEMA, and reports the following:

  • MEMA counseled that the strong winds are likely to be the major problem, as wind gusts are predicted to get reach 70 MPH, and with light fluffy snow there will be lots of drifting
  • NSTAR counsels that power outages should be reported to them, not the town, as calls to NSTAR are logged by its computer systems and algorithms to make its lists of what to fix first
  • Council on Aging, Medfield Park & Recreation Commission, and the Medfield Memorial Library have already announced that they will be closed both Tuesday and Wednesday
  • the schools will be letting people know their decision soon
  • we agreed to cancel the Board of Selectmen meeting for tomorrow evening

Please hunker down for the storm and keep safe.

Planning Board opening too

Contact Information:

Sarah Raposa, Town Planner

508-906-3027 / sraposa@medield.net

 

Medfield Planning Board Vacancy

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Town of Medfield Planning Board is seeking to fill a vacant Associate Member position. Anyone who may be interested should submit a letter of interest to Evelyn Clarke at eclarke@medfield.net in the Board of Selectmen’s office by March 1, 2015. For questions regarding the Planning Board or this specific position please contact Sarah Raposa, Town Planner at sraposa@medfield.net.

 

The Planning Board is an elected town board of five members, each with a five year term. The purpose of the Planning Board is to guide the development of the Town in the best interests of all its residents. The Board has very specific responsibilities and authorities as granted by Massachusetts General Laws and the Medfield Zoning By-Laws.

 

Any requests for Zoning By-Law changes or amendments are also reviewed by the Board. Public hearings are held to allow input from any abutters or other interested citizens. The Board is required to provide a recommendation on any Zoning By-Law amendment at Town Meeting, where a two-thirds vote is required to approve the change.

 

The Planning Board is responsible for the review and approval of all subdivisions (the division of a tract of land into two or more lots) through a comprehensive process involving review by relevant regulatory agencies, public hearings, covenants with developers, performance bonding, and ongoing compliance monitoring.

 

Under “Site Plan Approval”, in the Zoning By-Laws, the Board also has the responsibility to assure that prior to any new construction or significant changes to an existing structure, other than single family dwellings, such factors as community needs, abutters’ concerns, visual amenities, safety issues, and environmental and historic features on the site and in adjacent areas are considered.

 

The Planning Board serves as a resource to assist interested individuals with the process of proposing plans or projects under the Zoning By-Laws. Communications are maintained on an ongoing basis with related Town agencies including the Zoning Board of Appeals and other planning groups within the Town such as the Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee.

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ZBA position open

This today from town planner, Sarah Raposa.  I spent 10 years on the ZBA before becoming a selectman, and I found it a wonderful and rewarding way to use my legal background to volunteer for our town government.  Other backgrounds can work equally well. –


Contact Information:

Sarah Raposa, Town Planner

508-906-3027

sraposa@medield.net

 

Medfield Zoning Board of Appeals Vacancy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Town of Medfield Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) is seeking to fill a vacant Associate Member position.  Anyone who may be interested should submit a letter of interest to Evelyn Clarke at eclarke@medfield.net in the Board of Selectmen’s office by March 1, 2015.   For questions regarding the ZBA or this specific position please contact Sarah Raposa, Town Planner at sraposa@medfield.net.

The Zoning Board of Appeals is an appointed board and acts as a quasi-judicial body deciding whether or not to vary from the Zoning By-Laws. The Zoning Board is empowered to act on appeals, special permits, variances, modifications and comprehensive permits, in accordance with applicable sections of Massachusetts General Laws and the Town of Medfield Zoning By-Laws.

Virtually all matters which come before the Board are initiated by residents or businesses seeking relief from the Zoning By-Law. Each application is processed in accordance with the legal requirements and timetables established under the Massachusetts Zoning Act, the ZBA Rules and Regulations and the Medfield Zoning By-Laws.

The Zoning Board of Appeals holds public hearings on applications for zoning variances, special permits and decides appeals of administrative decisions of the Building Commissioner. Hearings are generally held on the second Wednesday of the month at 7:30 pm in the Chenery Room in Town Hall, 459 Main Street.

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Town House phone working

The Town House phones were working again, as of about an hour ago, per an email from Kris.