Monthly Archives: April 2011

Mass House passed bill that gives towns more control over health insurance. Rep Winslow was a yes & Rep Garlick a no.

Municipal health insurance vote yesterday, per Massachusetts Municipal Association alert today – Rep. Winslow favored & Rep Garlick opposed

113-42 Vote Embraces Key Municipal Priority Advanced by Speaker DeLeo and Chairman Dempsey Cities and Towns Would Have Ability to Make Plan Design Changes or Join GIC

April 27, 2011

At 11:03 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26, the members of the House of Representatives, by an overwhelming vote of 113-42, adopted a strong municipal health insurance reform plan advanced by the Speaker and the House Ways and Means Committee. The MMA applauds the extraordinary leadership of Speaker DeLeo, Ways and Means Chairman Dempsey, Ways and Means Vice Chairs Kulik and Walz, Public Service Committee Chair Scibak, and all House members who voted to add the reform amendment to the fiscal 2012 state budget. The reform package includes the following provisions:

  • Adds a new Section 19A to Chapter 32B, which, if adopted by the Board of Selectmen in a town, the Mayor or City Manager and Council in a city, or by the school committee in a regional school district, allows the community or district to increase its co-pays, deductibles and other plan design features up to the level included in the most subscribed plan offered by the Group Insurance Commission, or to transfer its subscribers into the GIC if the community would save more through that option;
  • Requires the appropriate public authority (generally the municipal executive) to convene a meeting of a special committee comprised of a representative of each collective bargaining unit and a retiree representative, and submit the proposal to that “public employee committee” regarding the plan design changes or transfer to the GIC, and conduct a 30-day discussion period to discuss the details of the proposal and negotiate how to allocate 10 percent of one year’s estimated cost savings, provided that the allocation of the savings shall only be used for health related programs (such as an HRA or other related items) for active employees and retirees;
  • If the 30-day discussion results in an agreement with the committee, the community shall implement the changes and the 10 percent savings shall be allocated as agreed;
  • If the 30-day discussion does not result in an agreement with the committee, the community may implement the plan design changes or transfer as originally proposed, however the community shall set aside 20 percent of one year’s estimated savings for an HRA to offset costs for high utilizers and retirees (this provides an incentive to municipalities to reach an agreement with the committee, and is the House’s preferred alternative to binding arbitration, which is not in the amendment); and
  • The amendment makes it clear that the decision to implement plan design changes or enroll in the GIC is not subject to collective bargaining — the employee/employer contribution percentage is still subject to collective bargaining, as is any change in co-pays or deductibles that would exceed those in the GIC’s most subscribed plan.
    The MMA will be analyzing the final language adopted by the House, and will provide further information as more becomes available. In the meantime,please contact your Representatives today to thank them for their vote in support of reform (please see the list of “yes” votes below).

    This is one major step on the road to reform. Action will now turn to the Senate, which has passed labor-favored language on this issue for the past two years. This will be a major challenge, so please contact your Senators today as well to ask them to follow suit and support real and meaningful relief for cities and towns.

    Thank you for your tireless advocacy — you have made the difference in this effort!

    Representatives Voting Yes on Chairman Dempsey’s Amendment (roll call 51), listed in order of appearance on the roll call machine: DeLeo, Mariano, Haddad, C. Murphy, Aguiar, Arciero, Ashe, Atkins, Atsalis, Balser, Basile, Benson, Binienda, Bradley, Brownsberger, Cabral, Campbell, Canessa, Cariddi, Coakley-Rivera, Conroy, Costello, Curran, Dempsey, DiNatale, Donato, Dykema, Fernandes, Ferrante, Finn, Forry, Fox, Galvin, Garballey, Gobi, Hecht, Henriquez, Hogan, Holmes, Honan, Kafka, Kane, Kaufman, Keenan, Khan, Kocot, Koczera, Kulik, Lewis, Linsky, Madden, Malia, Markey, McMurtry, Michlewitz, Moran, J. Murphy, Nangle, Naughton, O’Flaherty, Peake, Pedone, Peisch, Pignatelli, Puppolo, Rogers, Rosa, Rushing, Sanchez, Sannicandro, Scaccia, Schmid, Scibak, Smith, Speliotis, H. Stanley, Story, Swan, Torrisi, Vallee, Wagner, C. Walsh, Walz, Jones, Peterson, Poirier, Adams, Barrows, Bastien, Beaton, Boldyga, deMacedo, D’Emilia, Diehl, Fattman, Ferguson, Frost, Gifford, Harrington, Howitt, Humason, Hunt, Kuros, Levy, Lombardo, Lyons, O’Connell, Ross, Smola, Vieira, Webster, and Wong.

Medfield – Overrides at Town Meeting, 7 PM 4/25. Garage costs about $225/home for 20 years & operating $110 forever

emails re details of proposed new DPW garage

4/21/2011  5:35PM
RE: FW: Cost of building, Block vs. Metal
To “Ken Feeney” Michael Sullivan  Kristine Trierweiler

Thanks for the info

Questions still outstanding –
1 – can I get a set of the plans?  Are the plans on-line for the residents to see?
2 – I thought I counted 34 parking places on the plan that was projected on the wall at the last meeting.  Are there two vehicles parked per bay?
3 – will DPW be giving up its offices in the Town House after the garage is built?
4 – can I get a list of the vehicles that the town is looking to garage?


Osler L. Peterson, Attorney at Law
580 Washington Street, Newton, MA 02458
66 North St, PO Box 358, Medfield, MA 02052
T 617.969.1500
T 617.969.1501 (direct)
M 508-359-9190
F 617.663.6008
Medfield Information at: FB, &

—– Original Message —–
From: “Ken Feeney”
To: “‘Osler L. Peterson'”
Sent: 4/21/2011 4:55PM
Subject: RE: FW: Cost of building, Block vs. Metal

Hi Pete,
The garage has 18 parking bays, 1 truck wash bay and 3 mechanics bays with 2 truck lifts. That makes a total of 22 bays.
The Superintendent and three Foremen take vehicles home.
We have forty major pieces of equipment.
Block heaters are huge consumers of electricity and I would worry that they may cause a fire and their longevity would not be good.
Block heaters would not help the hydraulic systems or air brakes on the trucks.
The new truck wash will help to take care of any corrosion problems that we might encounter.
The building committee took a long hard look at the size and decided to go with the design that you see.
They took into consideration future needs and that the school maintenance department will be moving in.
In the office area, we are allowing space for plan storage from the Town Hall freeing up some of the clutter in their storage area.
The town server will be moved to the new facility helping Town Hall free up a meeting room.
The new office space will have a conference room to accommodate various committee meetings.
A space is set aside for the backup radio system for police and fire.


—–Original Message—–
From: Osler L. Peterson []
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 4:46 PM
To: Michael Sullivan; Ken Feeney
Subject: RE: FW: Cost of building, Block vs. Metal


Thanks for that cost comparison data.

Some more of the questions I still need answered include the following:
1 – Do we really need 34 bays?  How many vehicles are we looking to house?  Can we have fewer bays where employees drive many vehicles home at night?
2 – Should we be heating the bays or would plug in block heaters work equally well (I understand one gets less vehicle corrosion in garages that are not heated)?
3 – Has the size of the building been pared down as much as possible?

Can you email me a set of plans to review?


Osler L. Peterson, Attorney at Law
580 Washington Street, Newton, MA 02458
66 North St, PO Box 358, Medfield, MA 02052
T 617.969.1500
T 617.969.1501 (direct)
M 508-359-9190
F 617.663.6008
Medfield Information at: FB, &

—– Original Message —–
From: “Michael Sullivan”
To: “‘Osler L. Peterson'” , , “‘Mark Fisher'” , “‘Tim Bonfatti'”
Sent: 4/20/2011 4:29PM
Subject: FW: Cost of building, Block vs. Metal

FYI. Below are the comparative costs for the masonry block vs. metal panel siding. Mike Sullivan

From: Vaughan Totovian []
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 1:50 PM
To: ‘Ken Feeney’; ‘Mike Sullivan’
Cc: Mohammad Saleemuddin
Subject: Cost of building, Block vs. Metal


As per our phone conversation, Mohammad provided me with the cost estimates you requested.

Steel frame, metal panel siding:                           $5,872,000.00
Concrete Masonry Unit (CMU) Block Siding:     $6,137,000.00

Results in a savings of $265,000.00 for construction cost. However, metal siding will require more maintenance and is less durable and may end up costing more over the life of the building.

These are in late 2008/early 2009 dollars.

Vaughan Totovian, PE
Project Manager
HNTB Corporation
31 St. James Avenue, Suite 300
Boston, MA 02116
Direct: 617-532-2294

Mike Sullivan email to Patch explains cost of two overrides

The average cost of a house in Medfield, according to the Assessor’s office is $564,400. The first full year of the debt service on a $10 million bond issue for the town garage is estimated at $900,000 ($500,000 principal and $400,000 interest) This would result in a $0.40 increase in the tax rate which would amount to an increase of $225.76 on the average home. Anyone who want to figure it on their own home can just divide their property valuation by 1,000. and multiply that amount by $0.40. For example, for a house assessed for $500,000 the tax impact would be $500,000/1,000 or 500 X $0.40 = $200. This would decrease by a small amount each successive year, because the interest payment would be decreasing and after the bonds were paid off (twenty years) it would disappear from the tax levy.

The budget operating override is estimated at $500,000. This would result in $0.22 increase in the fy12 tax rate which would amount to an increase of $124.17 on the average home($564,400). Anyone who wants to figure it on their own home can just divide their property valuation by 1,000. and multiply that amount by $0.22. For example, for a house assessed for $500,000 the tax impact would be $500,000/1,000 or 500 x $0.22 = $110. The last operating override was approved by the voters in 2008 for use in fy2009. The amount of that operating override was $850,000. There were no operating overrides voted in 2009 or 2010.  Unlike a debt exclusion override, which disappears when the bonds are paid off, an operating override becomes part of the tax levy base.

The debt service payments on existing town debt have been going down for several years and will continue to go down. At peak in fy2005 the Town’s debt annual debt service payments were $7,399,265. For next year, fy12, the Town’s annual debt service payments will be $5,685,266. This is a decrease of $1,713,999 or 23.2%.  In five more years the this figure will go down to $4,095,788, a further decrease of $1,589,478 or 21.5%, as the bonds on the library, town hall, 92 high school renovation and other capital projects are paid off. In addition, the Town has more than $20 million in School Building Assistance reimbursements and sewer betterment assessment revenues, with which to pay off this debt. As of June 30, 2011 the outstanding principal on Town debt will be $40,308,906 and the outstanding interest will be $9,718,089 for a total outstanding principal and interest of $50,026,995. Principal is being paid off at a rate of just over $4,000,000/year.   As a result, the Town is in a good position address its future capital needs.

Time to go home. Mike Sullivan

$10 m. DPW Garage

Warrant Committee and the Board of Selectmen attended the meeting last night of the Medfield Building Committee, at which the proposed new  $10 m. DPW garage was the topic of discussion.  The Building voted to endorse funding the new DPW garage at the annual town meeting (ATM) on 4/25/11.

I told those in attendance what I told Mike Sullivan a couple of weeks ago when he first told me that the Warrant Committee was suggesting that the town fund the garage at the ATM. namely that I know we need a new DPW garage, but that I have not seen enough information yet to know that this is the size and scope of the garage that is required and/or that we need to spend $10 m.  There was nothing at the meeting last night that got me any closer to knowing that this is the right garage at the right price.

DLS Alerts email this afternoon

On April 14, 2011, the Senate approved a resolution declaring its intent to fund Chapter 70 and Unrestricted General Government Aid at levels not less than the amounts appearing in the House Ways and Means Committee’s budget