Category Archives: Uncategorized

Voting started today at Town House

Fall 2016 Update
Special Election Issue
On Election Day 2016, millions of voters will head to the polls to stand up for what matters most in their communities and their lives. The League hopes all eligible voters will exercise their right to vote and weigh in on the elections in their community. 
LWVMA Publishes Online Voters’ Guide for Election
To provide Massachusetts voters with clear, accurate, unbiased information as they go to the polls this election season, the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts has published an online Voters’ Guide, Our guide features detailed information about the presidential, congressional, state legislature, sheriff, Governor’s Council, and county commissioner races, as well as the statewide ballot questions.
The online guide allows voters to access personalized ballot information simply by entering a street address, and then clicking “Show My Races.”  The guide contains biographical background about the candidates and candidate responses to questions posed by LWVMA.
Voters are also able to find in-depth information about voter registration, voting requirements and rules, candidate forums and debates, and poll locations.
“We hope Massachusetts voters will use this Voters’ Guide to help make informed choices,” said LWVMA president Jean Cherdack.  “We are pleased to be able to provide this information and thank the candidates for their willingness to participate in the guide.”
As always, the election information provided by the League is nonpartisan; we never endorse or support parties or candidates! 
Massachusetts Early Voting Starts October 24
For the first time, Massachusetts voters will be able to cast their ballots before Election Day, at their own convenience. This year, you have the option to cast your ballot at any early voting location in your community, by mail, or at your polling place on Election Day. The early voting period will begin Oct. 24 and end Nov. 4. Voters can find early voting hours and locations for their cities and towns online.
“Early Voting Challenge” Award Ceremony on Oct. 19
LWVMA is proud to be a member of the Election Modernization Coalition, which campaigned for passage of the 2014 Election Modernization Law that established early voting and other election reforms in the Commonwealth.
On Oct. 19,  the coalition honored  201 of the state’s 351 municipalities with Gold and Silver Medals for offering voters substantial early voting options.  These communities met the coalition’s recommended standards for early voting by offering evening and weekend hours and, where appropriate, multiple early voting locations.
“We are inspired by all of the cities and towns who went above and beyond the minimum requirements of the early voting law to ensure that voters throughout the state will have a convenient, flexible and positive voting experience,” said LWVMA Executive Director Meryl Kessler.
Help Monitor Polls on Election Day
For nearly a century, the League’s members have worked tirelessly to ensure that elections in this country are free, fair, and credible. Thanks to our work, we know voters who cast their ballots do so with the confidence that their votes will count.
LWVMA is again participating in the Massachusetts Election Protection Coalition,, to ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to cast their ballot and have their vote counted.The coalition is led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, with other coalition partners including LWVMA, MassVOTE, Common Cause, ACLU of Massachusetts, and the Anti-Defamation League.
Two-hour live trainings, as well as digital on-demand trainings, will be provided in late October so volunteers are well-equipped to spot common voting problems. Volunteers will work in pairs or small groups to monitor strategically selected polling locations with high volume and a history of voting irregularities.
By volunteering for a minimum of 3.5 hours, you can serve a crucial role in preventing and resolving voting issues. Volunteering with young people or those you are mentoring is an opportunity to promote civic engagement.
If you would like to volunteer and receive training, please contact  LWVMA Executive Director Meryl Kessler.
Did You See Our Ad in the Oct. 23 Boston Globe?

Throughout our 96-year history, LWVMA has been committed to educating and engaging voters throughout the Commonwealth.
Inspired by the slogan coined by our past president, Lotte Scharfman — “Democracy is not a Spectator Sport!” — we urge all eligible voters to cast their ballots on Nov. 8 or during the early voting period starting Oct. 24.
Join us
Since its founding in 1920, LWVMA has been a respected and trusted voice for citizen participation in our democracy.  As a nonpartisan, grassroots organization, the League does not support or oppose candidates or parties. However, the League does take positions on important issues of public policy and has been at the forefront of efforts to empower and educate Massachusetts voters and effect change on a wide range of issues. Please help advance our important work by joining the League.

History of mental health tour at MSH

Today at the former MSH, John Thompson used the site to deliver a walking tour lecture on the history of the treatment of mental health.

Housing Production Plan

I was asked for a copy of the final Housing Production Plan – this is what went to DHCD this week –


Early voting schedule

Vote at Town House 8:30 – 4:30 from October 24-28, October 31 – November 4 (except only to 1PM on last day, Friday, 11/4):


From Town Clerk, Carol Mayer –


Early Voting Schedule – STATE ELECTION – November 08, 2016
From: October 24, 2016 To: November 04, 2016

Date              Hours
10/24/2016 08:30 AM – 04:30 PM

10/25/2016 08:30 AM – 04:30 PM

10/26/2016 08:30 AM – 04:30 PM

10/27/2016 08:30 AM – 04:30 PM

10/28/2016 08:30 AM – 01:00 PM

10/31/2016 08:30 AM – 04:30 PM

11/01/2016 08:30 AM – 04:30 PM

11/02/2016 08:30 AM – 04:30 PM

11/03/2016 08:30 AM – 04:30 PM

11/04/201’6 08:30 AM – 01 :00 PM

HPP is in to DHCD


Step #1 completed:  The 40B Housing Production Plan, that was approved by the Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen, by separate votes on Monday evening this week, was this afternoon electronically submitted to DHCD (a copy of the emails appear below).


Hello Sarah,


Received.   Thank you.


Phil DeMartino, Technical Assistance Coordinator

Office of Sustainable Communities, DHCD

(617) 573-1357

Fax: (617) 573 1460



From: Sarah Raposa []
Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 2:47 PM
To: DeMartino, Phillip (OCD)
Subject: Medfield HPP for DHCD Review


Phil – Attached please find Medfield’s Housing Production Plan with cover letter for review by DHCD (hard copy to follow). Please advise of acceptance as soon as possible.

Many thanks,




Sarah Raposa, AICP

Town Planner
459 Main Street
Medfield, MA  02052
(508) 906-3027

Mega Meeting on Mega-B


Last night at the 550 seat Medfield High School auditorium, a standing room only crowd that I estimated at 800-1,000 openly hostile Medfield residents listened to and then grilled John Kelly and his development team, headed by Jeff Engler, about Kelly’s proposed 200 unit 40B development on Dale Street for almost four hours, starting at 7PM.  Medfield.TV recorded the meeting, as they do almost all selectmen meetings, but they were not able to broadcast it live from the MHS.

The meeting started with a short summary presentation by the developer team, but most of the night was taken up by residents questioning the developer.  No resident present appeared satisfied with any of the explanations provided. Senator Timilty and Representatives Denise Garlick and Shawn Dooley all spoke.  Senator Timilty delivered an impassioned speech that promised the residents that he would do all he could to defeat the proposal.  The Representatives also promised to support the town’s defense.

The architect admitted that his instructions were to design a 200 unit (the maximum allowed by statute) project. The consultant and developer both admitted that 200 units is not their ultimate goal, but both refused to suggest what number of units would be acceptable to them.   The developer, who lives in Sherborn, said that this was his first project in the United States, but that his group has a history of development in Ireland.  Kelly commented that he wanted to do a “good project,” one he could be proud of, which drew strong negative reactions due to his dramatically out of scale proposal.

The Town of Medfield will continue to pursue many separate goals and options, so as to keep as many options open to the town as possible.  The residents’ first goal would be to block this proposal.

Several residents suggested the need to town residents to donate to a fund to fight against this proposal, and the proposed option is to create a town gift account to be set up to receive donations that the town will use to hire expertise to oppose this and any other 40B developments.  Any such donation can be made by mailing a check to the Treasurer/Collector at the Town House and noting in the memo line that it is for the “40B gift account.”

5 year old post on affordable housing


First, I noticed today that the links to Facebook and LinkedIn had stopped working, so if you read my posts there you missed some.

Second, a reader today asked a question that made me search the archives of my blog, and once I learned how, I started looking around a little – I found this post from 2/14/2012 –

40B strategies – ideas I had to help meet the 10% threshold

Over the twelve years that I have been a selectman, I have, of course, recognized the issues that flow from  G. L. c. 40B and the 40B developments I saw effecting other towns, so I have had possible solutions percolating in my mind.  Also, I feel that as a matter of essential justice, that it is correct and proper for our society to provide affordable housing.  Given those starting points, I have made several suggestions over the years about ways for Medfield to make progress on meeting the 10% affordable housing threshold, that exempts towns from unwanted 40B developments.

  • The first proposal came from what I believe may have been at the first Massachusetts Municipal Association annual convention I attended, and I did not learn about the MMA for several years after becoming a selectman, so maybe around 2003 or 2004.  The Falmouth Housing Authority’s director was a presenter at that first MMA meeting I attended, and he told about Falmouth’s planned and systematic conversion of existing housing into affordable housing.  When the proper housing became available, Falmouth would buy it and convert it into affordable housing.  This technique has the benefit of creating affordable housing without changing the impacts on and/or densities of existing neighborhoods.  When I presented that idea to my colleagues, I specifically recall suggesting that the Town of Medfield should be buying every unit at Medfield Gardens that came on the market, in an effort do what we could to meet our 10% affordable housing threshold.  Another time when I saw a newspaper ad offering for sale a six unit property on Green Street (almost at North Street), I suggested that the town buy it to convert to affordable housing.  Converting existing housing makes for a long road to get us over 10%, unless most of Medfield Gardens suddenly became available, but such a plan could be part of a larger strategy.
  • Second, there is vacant land next to Tilden Village, which I understand is controlled by the Medfield Housing Authority.  I suggested that the town should sponsor building more elderly housing on that location.  Medfield can certainly use more elderly housing, and the municipal budget impacts would be minimal.  Where the facilities at Tilden Village already exist, for the new construction there would be savings from not having to construct what already exists there – i.e. no need for an additional administrative office and community meeting room.  I was told that the then Medfield Housing Authority was not interested in doing so.
  • The third proposal I made was for the town to build affordable housing on other town owned land.  The town itself owns parcels all over town.

There was no interest expressed in pursuing any of these ideas.