Monthly Archives: January 2012

Butt kicking

Patch is running a mock election, and I am getting my butt kicked.

Idea 1 of 5 from the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s annual convention – merit pay

I attended the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s annual convention at the Hynes Convention Center this past Friday and Saturday, and learned at least  five excellent things that Medfield should look to implement.  I will relate them this week as I am able.

The first idea is to institute a system of merit pay for the town’s employees.  Performance based compensation, or merit pay, was the topic of the Massachusetts Selectman’s Association’s Annual Meeting held at the Hynes Convention Center on 1/21/12.

Towns that are already using it include Andover, Natick, and Danvers – Natick has been using it for years.  The presenters opined that there was no perfect system, and that one should just pick one and get going with it.

It boils down to asking

  • what do we expect?
  • how did you do?
  • how will we reward you?

I have attached the materials that were handed out.

Click to access 20120121-msa-annual-meeting-performance-based-compensation.pdf

DCAM to town, last night, “no to your changes”

Last night DCAM held the continued technical meeting (continued from last week) by means of its newly enlarged (five LSP’s) collection of environmental clean up experts, and we still did not get through all the town’s issues.  A second continued technical meeting will be held at 7 PM on 2/9/12, with a PIP meeting announced by DCAM for 3/8/12.

What I heard through all the lengthy presentations by DCAM was first and foremost that they are not budging one iota at this time on the town’s main request, that the hospital refuse that was dumped by DMH for decades into the Charles River  be removed where it is below ground water levels – the town is concerned for the long run about having those waste materials located under water within the aquifer that serves town well #6.

If I were to bet, based on the trajectory of the current process, unless DCAM is willing to discuss with the town other resolutions, I would guess that DCAM will only agree to one of the town’s secondary requests, that being to re-build the river bank with a bio-engineered solution, instead of the with granite blocks.

However, if DCAM is willing to continue informal talks, I am hopeful that if we can both have real discussions, instead of what feel like these pre-litigation meetings we have been having, and also that the town and DCAM can come to an agreement that works for both sides.  DCAM told me months ago that the costs of our removal solution ($5m) was not that different than their capping solution ($1.5m), once the cost of monitoring ($2.6m for the first 30 years) the capped site forever is added in – I am assuming that the cost to monitor from 30 years out to forever makes up the difference.

Massachusetts Municipal Association’s annual meeting

I am attending the MMA’s annual meeting for the next two days, and I was just reviewing the three concurrent session options to see what interested me most.  I thought that I would post the schedules of those concurrent sessions, in case anyone has ideas on ones that they think would most benefit the Town of Medfield:

2-3:30 p.m.
CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS – Friday, 1st session
• Complying With the New Open Meeting Law
• Down the Drain: Dealing With New Stormwater Permits
• Everybody’s Talking: Effective Use of Social Media in Local Government
• House of Pain: New Tools to Target Problem Properties
• Implementing the New Municipal Health Insurance Reform Act
• Liquor Licensing and Innovative Policies To Reduce Underage Drinking
• Making Money While the Sun Shines
• Property Tax Relief is Alive and Well
• State and Local Economic and Budget Outlook
• The Candidate Experience

3:45-5:15 p.m.
CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS – Friday, 2nd session
• Code of Conduct: Can’t We All Just Get Along?
• Film Production in Your Community
• Getting Your Head in the Clouds: Cloud Computing for Municipalities
• Hurricanes, Blizzards, Tornadoes and Floods: Municipal Preparation, Response and Recovery
• Investments That Pay: LED Streetlights and Practical Energy Efficiency
• Labor Law Update
• Structure of Government Reform: Getting It Right and Getting It Done
• Sustainable Road Designs for Your Neighborhoods
• What You Should Know About Working With Your Retirement Board

2-3:30 p.m.
• Capital Planning: Affording the Big Stuff
• Clean, Green and Lean: Procurement of Renewable Energy Projects
• From Ad to Offer: Hiring by Committee
• Making the Case for Regional Emergency Dispatch
• Municipal Ethics Test: What You Need to Know
• Municipal Law Update
• Overview of National Health Care and State Health Payment Reform
• The Road Less Traveled: Maximizing Your Transportation Dollars
• Your Options for Procuring Designer Services

Clark Bld demolition delayed until spring

New materials recently supplied by DCAM indicate that their planned demolition of the Clark Building at the Medfield State Hospital has been delayed until this spring.  One can already see where bricks have been removed at some corners of the building, which I am told is done to get an idea of the structure to determine how to do the demolition.

New theatre group in town – play 1/27-29

This is the announcement from Woodland Theatre of its first play at its new home at the Medfield High School –

“There was a cabaret.  There was a Master of Ceremonies.  There was a city called Berlin in a country called Germany … and it was the end of the world.”  Woodland Theatre Company proudly presents the smash hit musical, Cabaret!  Winner of 12 Tony Awards and 8 Academy Awards, Cabaret brings to life the dark, sexually-charged decadence of 1930’s Berlin, beckoning the audience into the Kit Kat Klub on the eve of Hitler’s rise to power in Germany.  Defiant and melancholy, brazen and gleeful, Cabaret sizzles and provokes with classics such as Wilkommen, Money, Mein Herr, and of course, Cabaret.  Join the Master of Ceremonies as he beckons you to “leave your troubles outside”, and experience the steamy, seedy world of Cabaret.  Playing January 27th through the 29th at the beautiful Lowell Mason Auditorium on the campus of Medfield High School.  Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online at:  Don’t miss out on this season’s hottest new show from the region’s hottest professional theatre company dedicated to Bringing Broadway Home!

Town to DCAM – here are our questions

Medfield’s State Hospital Environmental Review Committee (SHERC) put together the following list of questions for DCAM for the 7 PM continued technical issues meeting this Thursday at the Town House.

As requested by DCAM during the January 12, 2012 technical meeting at Medfield Town Hall, we are providing in advance of the January 19, 2012 meeting a list of requests and topics for discussion for this second meeting. Please note that there may be additional items not specified below.


We would like to discuss further issues related to the following items in the Comment Letter handed out last Thursday’s meeting containing the Town Questions and DCAM Responses to the Draft Phase II and III documents:


2, 7, 9, 10, 14,15,16,17,18,19,27,28,29,32,35,36,37,39,41,44,45,46,48,89


In addition, or in some cases more specifically, we would like to discuss the following:


1. Scheduling/Communication: The Town needs a list of PIP meeting dates for February, the dates that the reports will be made available to review, dates due and anticipated dates of any other relevant project milestones including planned field work, report generation and similar. When will we receive the next Draft Phase III for example? We would expect that DCAM would first obtain and digest new data from the proposed sampling locations before the Phase III would be presented so that the SPD Site can be addressed holistically.


We need a Communication Plan that includes more than simply distributing copies of handouts, agendas and report. Lead time should be provided to the Community as to what is planned for a meeting and the material to be presented given to the Community a reasonable amount of time in advance to allow them to at least see what is coming up at a meeting.


2. Communication: We request that future reports and handouts, including meeting agendas be produced a week in advance of the PIP public meeting so that the Town has a chance to review and present reasonable questions on the documents; this would be a better use of meeting time for DCAM and its consultants, as well as the Town’s.


3. Complete Plan: For our meeting on January 19, 2012, please provide ONE complete accurate site map showing ALL exploration locations and sampling points for all media (sediment, soil, groundwater, surface water, pore water etc.) collected in the past to the current time, the explorations proposed in the future, and showing the drains and other utilities.  This will likely need to be 24” by 36” in size.


4. Plan: Please include on the plan the proposed 0.5 to 3 foot sample locations proposed for the C&D Area and Power Plan Area. Why is the 0 to 0.5 interval not being sampled for analysis? This is the most accessible of the soils. Also, ash fill below 3 feet also needs to be tested and characterized and incorporated into the Risk Assessment.  We believe that accessible soils throughout the power plant should be assessed.


Also please show proposed locations for the piezometers along the shoreline that will have passive diffusive samplers to evaluate PCE in groundwater below the river. The proposed Monitoring Well Locations Plan did not show these sample locations. We believe there should be sampling at the edge of the C&D nearest Town Well 6.


5. C&D Groundwater Testing: Given periodic exceedances of GW-1 metals concentrations in groundwater from four wells in the C&D area, why were these wells not analyzed during the quarterly sampling program for metals in September and December 2011 sampling rounds? We expect all COCs to be included in the monitoring program.


6. Dioxins/furans: We would like to further discuss dioxin/furan testing. Unless DCAM can provide documentation demonstrating that all trash was transported of site for disposal/incineration, it should only be “presumed” that, as stated by the Hospital Assistant Superintendent, disposal and incineration did occur on-site.


7. Radiological: Have any radiological surveys been conducted of the C&D? The hospital, particularly the Clark Building,  had x-ray equipment.


Does DCAM have records of removal, transport, disposition of this equipment?


8. Medical Waste: A Boston Globe Article dated November18, 1980 reported that DEQE had included 12 impoundments of medical/surgical waste at Medfield State Hospital on a list of Massachusetts sites deserving further investigation and classification.  Subsequent statements from the former assistant Superintendent of the Hospital further supported the historic use of the C&D area as a medical waste disposal site. The Draft Phase II CSA/SPD Annual Report contains no information regarding either the presence or absence of medical waste.


Was there any screening for pathogens?


9. Remediation: Remedial approaches should not be decided until all the data identifying nature and extent, receptors, exposure pathways, etc. are collected.

The Town has advised DCAM that it prefers removal of all of the waste from the Zone II and maximization of removal from the potentially productive aquifer and gas line easement.  Please confirm that the requested options are being evaluated and that they will be included in the Phase III Remedial Evaluation.



Preliminary Risk Assessment Questions (and Others)


10. Exposure Parameters for HHRA: Site-specific exposure parameters should be incorporated into the risk assessment – not added as a supplemental addendum. MA DEP default parameters do not reflect frequency of the use of this area. Not all future uses are accounted for (e.g. boat launch, residential units, appropriate age groups for useage i.e. child ≠ youth for exposure).



11. CVOC Plume:  Stormwater/Groundwater discharging into the river need to be evaluated, as does sediment in the river for CVOCs.


12. Nature and Extent of Petroleum Contaminated Sediment: We Request that ALL field logs and photos for all sediment sampling locations be compiled and distributed.


13. Pipes, Outfalls, Seeps: These need to be integrated and mapped. Transport through the pipe, along the preferred pathway around the pipe and via seeps address three different transport pathways.


14. Sediment Data:

Why were data not collected for CD-SD-123 and -124? What is their purpose?


15. Work Plan information: Technical, concepts, methods etc. noted in work plans should be present in the reports (e.g. analytical methods, exclusion of ecological receptors). If field staff and labs need to know the information then it is important enough to be included in the final reports.


16. Eco exposure parameters: Not all habitat within the C&D area is equally attractive to receptors, and for receptors with small home ranges, impacts could be greater.
17. Collocated Soil and Terrestrial Invertebrates: Provide a figure that shows collocated soil and invertebrates locations. This request is independent of what the science may say about the probability of meaningful concentration correlations; the spatial correlation is useful for the reader.

Rockland Trust to sponsor MFi volunteer recognition


Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation sponsors Medfield Foundation volunteer recognition event

Medfield, Mass. – The Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation has donated $950 to the Medfield Foundation, Inc. (MFI) in support of its 2012 volunteer recognition event where the Volunteer of the Year, Youth Volunteer of the Year, and Lifetime Achievement awards will be bestowed upon Medfield residents for their community service achievements.

“At Rockland Trust, we believe in strengthening the communities in which we work and live,” stated Ralph R. Valente, senior vice president and director of the Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation, “The Foundation is pleased to contribute to the Medfield Foundation and support its goal to honor community members for their stellar volunteer efforts.”

The Medfield Foundation’s 2012 Volunteer Award event will be held at 4 p.m., Sunday, March 18 at The Center at Medfield on Ice House Road. The event is free and open to Medfield residents.


Medfield residents interested in submitting a nomination for one of the 2012 Medfield Foundation volunteer awards can download the official form from  Completed nomination forms should be e-mailed as Word or PDF attachments to no later than Friday, Feb. 10.


In 2011, Bob Luttman received the Volunteer of the Year award, and Deirdre Walsh received the Youth Volunteer of the Year award. Additionally, more than 20 other nominees also received recognition at last year’s reception.


“The Medfield Foundation is managed entirely by volunteers and has a limited budget, so Rockland Trust’s sponsorship of our 2012 volunteer recognition event is very much appreciated,” said Stephen Phillips, MFI president.


Questions about the volunteer awards or requests for more information can be sent to the committee at To learn more about the Medfield Foundation, go to

The Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation serves the communities of Bellingham, Blackstone, Foxboro, Franklin, Hopedale, Medfield, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millis, Newton, Norfolk, Waltham and Wrentham, and focuses on four primary areas:  education, health and human services, youth programs, and community development. For information about the Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation, please contact Jeanne Travers at 781-982-6637 or visit

Water’s a bargain (relatively)

Medfield’s water appears to be a bargain, comparatively speaking, when the town’s water usage rates are compared to those of Millis, Medway, Norfolk, Walpole, and Dedham-Westwood.  Our water charges appear to be a fraction of what the same amount of water would cost you in those towns.  At the high end, our rates for the same amount of water are less than half the Dedham-Westwood costs.

See the chart at

Lyme disease committee has extremely successful first year

At the January 17, 2012 Board of Selectmen meeting, the Lyme disease study committee submitted a report on its extremely successful first year of work, and its plans for the future.  To date

  • 27 deer culled
  • zero safety issues
  • comprehensive system of vetting the hunters created and implemented
  • professional group of hunters recruited
  • many illegal tree stands removed
  • hunters became the eyes and ears of the town in the woods, and the stewards of the Medfield forests, both alerting the town to dumping and helping to clear trails
  • education program planned for April
  • information distributed in the schools via the Thursday Packets and working with the school nurses
  • tick posters placed

The selectmen authorized the committee to continue its good work for the upcoming year.  Plans include adding more lands to the areas hunted, and giving the hunters the winter to scout the best hunting spots.

See the committee’s report –