Monthly Archives: July 2011

Medfield Elected & Appointed Officials for 2011

Attached is the list of the Medfield Elected & Appointed Officials for 2011.  The positions indicate by whom they are appointed.  Since this was the list we on the Board of Selectmen used to make appointments this year, all those highlighted in yellow on the list  are appointed by the Board of Selectmen.

If you have any interest in servicing on a town board or committee, fill out the form to volunteer and/or contact the Town House.  It both helps your town, and gets you interesting information on how your town functions and what is going on in town.

Click to access 20110719-medfield-elected-appointed-officials.pdf

Swap Area Update

1.  Items now have to be dropped off before 2:00 PM.

2.  The ad hoc monitors had the swap area totally cleaned up at its close this past Saturday, so that the Transfer Station operators had much less to do in terms of picking up and tossing left over items.  There were still three bins of former swap areas items that the ad hoc monitors had loaded into the bins, and the operators  needed to haul those away on the front of their front loader.  However, it was reported that in the past there were as many as six full bins of former swap area items that then had to get picked up and bumped at the end of the swap time.  The ad hoc monitors had first segrated the swap area items during the day into categories, second sorted out the cardboards and other items to recycle so that less gets dumped, and third had picked up the swap area site themselves at the end of the day.

3.  Anyone interested in being considered to be on the Swap Area Subcommittee of the solid waste committee should let the Board of Selectmen know of his/her interest by our 8/2/111 meeting, as that is when we indicated that we would make appointments.

4.  Electronic recycling will now occur regularly on the first Saturday of every month at the Transfer Station, with a charge levied.  The same Norfolk vendor Steve Catanese got to come to Medfield Green Day will be running the monthly service.

DCAM to Convene Working Group with Town

DCAM Commissioner Cornelison has yet again been good to her word to work collaboratively with the Town of Medfield on the clean up of the Medfield State Hospital site.  At my suggestion (borrowing Billl Massaro’s idea), she has agreed to convene a working group to discuss the environmental issues, where the current PIP and others processes are too overly formalistic to get to fast answers and to allow input by the town.  Medfield will be represented on  the working group by the chair of the State Hospital Environmental Review Committee (SHERC) and the two town administrators.  This morning the first meeting still had not been scheduled, but it should take place this week.

Weekly Political Report – Week Ending July 22, 2011

Massachusetts Unemployment Stays at 7.6% in June

Unemployment in the state stayed constant at 7.6% last month, according to a Patrick Administration jobs report.  Although the state added 10,400 jobs, the unemployment rate did not change and has stayed below 8% for the last three months. This is the first time since 2009 that the rate has been below the 8% benchmark level for more than a month in a row. Currently the Commonwealth’s unemployment rate is 1.6% below the national rate of 9.2%.


Tax Collection Figures For First Half of July Up 13.8%

This week the Massachusetts Department of Revenue released the tax collection figures for the first half of July. Tax revenues for this period were $68 million above state budget benchmarks. According to Navjeet Bal, the state revenue commissioner, the gains were due to increased withholding and estate tax collections. Tax collections from the previous few months have also exceeded budget benchmarks, leaving a state budget surplus, something taken into consideration during drafting of the final FY2011 budget.


Revenue Surplus Expected for FY2012, Could Trigger Income Tax Reduction

At the close of FY2011, state tax collections rose almost $2 billion compared to FY2010. Because of the 10.6% rise in revenue, state coffers will begin to show a revenue surplus, barring any sudden or unexpected tax collection deficit. According to Senate President Therese Murray (D – Plymouth), the strong tax collections could trigger a reduction in the state’s income tax, from 5.3% to 5.25%. Under state law, the income tax that the Commonwealth collects would fall to 5.25% if two conditions are met: more than 2.5% growth in FY2011 inflation-adjusted baseline revenues over FY2010 revenues as well as three consecutive months of positive revenue growth compared to the same period one year earlier. President Murray said she would know more about the likelihood of the tax cut by October of this year.


Near Term Legislative Agenda Clearer

With the passage of the FY2011 budget and House Speaker DeLeo’s (D – Winthrop) announcement last week that legislative debate on gambling will begin in September, the near-term legislative agenda is becoming clearer. The Legislative Committee on Redistricting is currently holding public hearings to determine how new districts will be drawn. Hearings will continue through the end of this month, with a first draft of the redrawn districts expected to be released in the fall. Gambling debate as well as redistricting are expected to take up much of the legislature’s agenda for September, October and November.



John Nunnari, Assoc AIA
Executive Director, AIA MA
617-951-1433 x263
617-951-0845 (fax)

MA Chapter of American Institute of Architects
The Architects Building
52 Broad Street, Boston MA 02109-4301

DCAM Commissioner Agrees to Meet About Clean Up

DCAM Commissioner Carole Cornelison has been good to her word about working collaboratively with Medfield, as she has agreed to have DCAM meet this next week with town officials to seek to work out differences over the MSH environmental clean up issues.

Sign up with Selectmen as Swap Monitor

Those who are interested in being swap area monitors should advise BoS. We will start making appointments 8/2/11.

Medfield State Hospital – DCAM’s Proposal to ConCom for an Immediate Response Action

After consulting with an expert, SHERC chair, John Thompson, on the environmental clean up of the Medfield State Hospital site DCAM proposes to the Conservation Commission, I suggest that DCAM alter its proposal so as to conform to the best interests of both the Town of Medfield and the general public.

1.    The oil in the Charles River should be removed, not just capped, and
2.    The C & D area should be excavated so that the fill there is no longer in contact with groundwater (instead of being capped in place).  The fill does not need to be taken off-site, as a capped on-site area could be designed parallel with the topographic contours along the gas line. The goal should be to keep the fill above the water table and away from the flood plain.

The town’s concern is that the C & D area is (1) adjacent to the area from which the town’s well #6 draws water, and (2) the land beneath the C & D area is considered as a “potentially productive aquifer,” which could be used for future water supply purposes.  However, if the C & D area is capped with the currently proposed temporary measure, I am told that it is unlikely that the land could ever get permitted for any water supply use.  Therefore leaving the fill below the water table is a bad idea.

Speeding – Comments on Query on Medfield Professionals on LinkedIn

The Board of Selectmen has been continually told that there is not much of a practical nature that we can do to have slower traffic, except greater police enforcement.

To set an official speed limit, I have historically been told we have to do a traffic study with Mass Highway and set the speed limit at 85% of what everyone is actually driving.  However, I followed Christian’s link and now see that the state’s materials actually say we can set the speed limit 7 MPH less than the 85% level, and that extra 7 MPH may well make it work.  The danger at the 85% level mandated by Mass Highway is that the speed limit determined may actually be higher than the 30 MPH speed designated for an unposted thickly settled area – i.e. – sometimes it is better to not have a posted speed limit, because the posted speed limit will be higher.

There are a multitude of traffic calming techniques that are supposed to work – e.g – fog lines painted on the sides of roads to visually narrow the street, elevated pedestrian crossings, indentations into the street like on Rte 16 in Wellesley, round abouts like in Norfolk, and speed bumps. I am told that Ken Feeney does not like speed bumps because of the plowing issues, and I have witnessed that Mike Sullivan has generally opposed them.  I have heard Ann say several times that everyone will want the speed bumps in front of their own homes, but not where they drive, and that can be a problem.  The Chief recounts how after the speed bumps were installed in Dover the neighbors soon wanted them out because of the noise generated by the bouncing truck loads as they went over the bumps.

When the Board of Selectmen studied speeding on Indian Hill Road, the registration numbers of vehicles and their speeds were recorded, and it was determined that it was indeed we Medfield residents who were the ones doing the speeding.

In Safety Committee discussions over speeding on Knollwood Road, the suggestion was made by a resident who is a police officer in a neighboring town to post yellow, unofficial speed limit signs as they do where he works – unofficial because they have not gone through the process to determine if 85% of the drivers actually drive slower.  I thought that technique was worth pursuing.  Interestingly, the Knollwood Road speeding was solved by the Chief speaking with the headmaster of the Xaverian School.

I believe that any citizen generated issues would be best addressed via a petition to or appearance at Christian’s Safety Committee.

Where Medfield is on Both Sides of Charles River

Apparently there is a small part of Medfield on the far side of the Charles River at the site where Rte. 27 now crosses the Charles River into Sherborn.  This anomaly occurred when the new section of Rte. 27 was constructed, I am told, because of the manner in which that bridge was built.  The bridge was built entirely on what was then the Medfield side of the then existing course of the Charles River.  Only once the bridge was built was the river then redirected from its original path to flow under the bridge.  The dividing line between the towns of Medfield and Sherborn was the center line of the Charles River.  Therefore, the far side of the Rte. 27 bridge stands on Medfield soil.

When Medfield’s well number 6 was being planned, Medfield needed to drill test wells on the far side of the Charles.  Ken Feeney did so and was chastened by Sherborn officials for not seeking permission in advance, and he was able to reply that he only drilled on the Sherborn side in what is Medfield.

Monitors for Swap Area

This morning I suggested to Mike Sullivan via the email below that we start appointing volunteer monitors at the swap area to police how it is run.  Thanks to Steve Catanese and Bert Rosengarten for sharing their ideas with me on Saturday on how to make the swap area work better.

For your meeting with the solid waste committee this morning, please ask them to consider implementing rules related to the operation of the swap area at the Transfer Station:
1.    Recognize a group of volunteer monitor for the swap area
2.    Appoint someone like Nancy Irwin as the first chair of that group
3.    Authorize that group to create a list of rules for swap area use, in coordination with the Transfer Station staff
a.    E.g. –
i.    Enforce the no CRT rule
ii.    Ask depositors to not leave broken items, items which should instead be tossed directly into the dump area
iii.    Segregate items by type
4.    Provide the monitors with vests that indicate their appointed status
5.    I suggest providing them with a CB radio by which they can call to the police detail person
6.    Explore allowing a trailer to be parked at the swap area, in which items could be stored for the next swap day