Hello fellow Medfield residents,
I have followed our town government from the outside, and I have experienced it up close for the past nine years as one of your selectmen. I am convinced that the town can do more to provide you with information on municipal issues, and that it only makes sense to get that information to you from the Town House, which is full of information and knowledgeable public servants.
I believe Medfield citizens want to be kept up to date since, at the end of the day, we are all asked to vote on significant and substantial matters at town meeting. It is up to town officials to ensure that all residents receive facts straightforwardly, the better for them to make informed decisions.
The torturous process involving the Medfield State Hospital land is a case in point. The issue has been the subject of many lengthy meetings that have produced a great deal of solid information about possibilities and roadblocks, but I suggest that only a handful of residents can track what has been going on and come to grips with where we are at. That is no one’s fault; the tale of the maneuvering between the town and various state agencies, would tax the likes of Sherlock Holmes.
I have come to believe that with the changing media landscape, towns like Medfield can no longer assume that the local newspaper or other outlets will fully prep townspeople for decisions that will affect the whole town. It is up to our elected and appointed officials to get out the information in their own words.
Medfield should boast a website that is robust and accessible with pertinent and timely content, the place where civic information is available to the greatest number at the least cost. The site should contain all committee meeting dates, agendas, and minutes. It should contain all reports produced by town committees, and all background information. The fact is that these items already exist; we just need to make them available to you.
The selectmen have recently taken our own first step in this direction. For the past year I have seen to it that our meetings are consistently scheduled on the first and third Tuesdays of the month and that our meeting agendas close on Friday afternoons so that they can be posted on the town website well ahead of our Tuesday meetings. My goal is to have copies of all the background materials the selectmen see scanned and added to the website, so that you can see what we see as we are meeting. Our minutes will be posted on the website after the meetings. The recordings of any televised meeting should be uploaded to the website for you to view if and when you have time to see it, and this is now happening for the selectmen meetings, thanks to MedfieldTV, which recently began digitally recordings our meeting and posting them on-line.
As we start to get more information to you, I hope that you will respond with your opinions and analyses. I hope to have the town start to make use of internet surveys, such as those available at SurveyMonkey.com, to get a good handle on what Medfield residents think and want, so that we don’t have to wait until town meeting to hear their voices.
Selectman Osler L. Peterson