Monthly Archives: March 2012

Gatehouse presents to the town on its 40B proposal

Gatehouse came to Medfield twice yesterday, to present the same materails both times, first to the town administrators in the morning and then to the Affordable Housing Committee in the evening. I attended the evening meeting.  The main points I picked up:

  • Gatehouse plans to hold complex for the long term
  • units will remain affordable for at least 30 years, and probably 50 years
  • # of 3 bedroom units is dictated by DHCD, and cannot change
  • town can get two years protection from other 40B developments from this one if we adopt an Affordable Housing Production Plan that includes this one (protection maxs out at two years)
  • 24/7 management on site
  • buildings cannot be moved back from West Street (as I requested) due to the wetlands
  • rent levels are set low (that is the affordable part), but tenant payments of rents are not otherwise subsidized
  • no balconies
  • sidewalks not yet planned from the site to the rest of the town
  • they promised a projected # of school children and turnover rates based on surveys of their other complexes
  • $25 m. expected cost

I have attached the materials that I gathered:

  1. Gatehouse brochure –
  2. Gatehouse handout on rents -
  3. Gatehouse presenters’ business cards –
  4. My notes on the meeting –

Medfield Music Association’s Jazz ‘Round Town on 4/7



Chris on tuba

Blue Moon

— 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.


— 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.


— 12 to 1:30 p.m.

Needham Bank

— 10 to 11:30 a.m.

NB – “Dollars for Duke” is the Medfield Music Association’s fundraising campaign to help send the Medfield High School Jazz Band to the Essentially Ellington competition at Lincoln Center in May. Estimated trip costs are $12,000. 

Our jazz band is only one of the 15 chosen from the U.S. and Canada to perform in Essentially Ellington, judged by jazz great Wynton Marsalis.

Want to donate to Dollars for Duke to help send the Jazz Band to Lincoln Center?  You can always send a check made payable to the Medfield Music Association to P.O. Box 115, Medfield, MA 02052. Please note on your check: Dollars for Duke.

Swing Dance jazz band

An especially fun upcoming “Dollars for Duke” initiative includes
a  “Jazz ‘Round Town” on Saturday, April 7 (see info. at right)  where you can catch Jazz Band members performing while you’re grabbing coffee, picking up Easter flowers or running errands!

Gatehouse to AHC tonight at 6:15 PM

Gatehouse representatives met with town  personnel this morning, and will meet with the town’s Affordable Housing Committee this evening at 6:15 PM, at the Town House.  This was the email from Mike Sullivan this morning when I emailed to ask for the time of the AHC meeting –

“It’s at 6:15 pm. in the Selectmen’s meeting room. The meeting this morning went until about 9:45 Kris took notes and will put them on the web site. Gatehouse had three people there, Brian McMillan, vice-president from Gatehouse, James Koningisor from Koningisor, Luciano & Associates (construction management/owners representation) and Ted Cannon their attorney. They gave a presentation, and answered questions. They will be repeating this tonight at the Affordable Housing Committee meeting.”

3/9 meeting with DCAM re MSH

Mike, Kris and I met with DCAM Commissioner Cornelison about the Medfield State Hospital on 3/9.  She wanted to share with us ahead of the meeting last Thursday their plans, but she also told us at that time that she is willing to sell the Medfield State Hospital to the Town of Medfield.  I first needed to share what I learned with the Board of Selectmen at our 3/20 meeting, before writing about it here.

Clean up –

My notes were that –

  • their cap and cover plan would cost $3.86 m., including the 30 years of monitoring.
  • our requested removal of the materials up to pipeline would cost $7.36 m.
  • our requested removal of the materials up to pipeline with on-site storage of the materials would cost $12.95 m.
  • full removal would cost $16.99 m. (which includes an estimate of $3-5 m. to Spectra to move its pipeline).

Commissioner Cornelison raised the issue of DCAM’s willingness to consider reimbursing the town for our extraordinary costs for environmental experts, development consultants, and an on-site clerk of the works type person. That remains to get worked out.

Purchase by town was announced as a possibility –

  • payments could be over time
  • some payment only if and when town develops site
  • state will seek recovery of its sunk costs in the price it charges

The Commissioner promised to share with us the documents that outline the terms they used with similar sales to other towns.

Feasibility study –

DCAM has already committed to doing the feasibility study, so it will continue.  Mass Development could try to attract for profit uses.  One existing college has expressed some interest, in addition to the start up college that has already expressed interest.  A life science facility was mentioned as a possibility.  We agreed to proceed on all fronts – the clean up track, the development track, and the town purchase track.


Bay Colony Rail Trail informational meeting at 10 AM on 4/7

From Bay Colony Rail Trail Study Committee (nice article in Globe West Weekly today too)-

Dear Friends,
Medfield’s Board of Selectmen created the Bay Colony Rail Trail Study Committee last fall and asked it to develop a recommendation for the conversion of the Medfield section of the Bay Colony rail bed into a recreational trail by working with all relevant boards, committees and departments in Medfield, and coordinating activities with the efforts of Needham and Dover.
The selectmen appointed volunteers Al Brenton, George Hinkley, Erik Holm, Susan Lynch, Graham Plonski, and myself to the committee. We spent many hours on researching and documenting a recommended approach.
Even though it will take another year before a specific plan for building the trail can be put before each of the three towns, the cornerstones of a likely approach are taking shape and include the following assumptions:
  • The right of way will be leased by each town from the MBTA.
  • Environmental liability insurance policies will have to be acquired by each town as part of the (no cost) lease agreement.
  • Design, construction, and implementation schedules will be tightly coordinated between the three towns to minimize cost and maximize the benefits.
  • The trail will have a crushed-stone, stone dust, or a similar soft surface
  • Existing horse trails that run in parallel or cross the trail will remain usable
  • Privacy concerns of abutters will be mitigated by installing visual barriers if requested
  • A portion of the trail can be funded by salvaging the iron of the rails. The Bay Colony Rail Trail Association, a local non-profit organization founded in the 2009 for this very purpose, will coordinate and execute fund-raising efforts to cover the remainder of the cost.
  • The Bay Colony Rail Trail Association will coordinate maintenance through volunteer programs with town participation if necessary

A rail trail warrant article will be decided on by Medfield voters this year. We anticipate many questions and concerns that residents may have and decided to invite the public to an informational meeting and the presentation of our findings to date. This event will be held at the

Center at Medfield
One Ice House Road
Saturday, April 7th, at 10am
We expect the meeting to last one to two hours depending on the number of questions from the floor. If you have any questions about the event or are unable to attend and would like to receive an electronic copy of our draft report, please email me at or call me at 617-610-1527.
Best regards,Christian Donner

Please visit the FAQ section on the BCRT website for an overview of frequently asked questions and preliminary answers that reflect the current state of the research of study groups in all three towns.

Medfield.TV annual meeting tonight at 7PM


The Directors of the Medfield Community Cable Access Corporation invite
you to the Annual Meeting and Volunteer Appreciation on Thursday, March
29, 2012 at 7:00 P.M. at the Medfield.TV studio and Room 125 in the High
School, across from the cafeteria.

All Comcast and Verizon subscribers, 16 years or older, automatically are
members of the Access Corporation and eligible to vote for directors
serving three year terms on the board,  to hear the annual reports of the
Corporation and the Executive Director and to act on any other business to
come before the members.

We hope you will join us to see what local access is about, what has
happened in the past year and to help the Directors recognize our crew of
volunteers and enjoy refreshments with all of us dedicated to serving
Medfield viewers.

Aditi Thatte

– On behalf of the Medfield.TV Board and Staff

Aditi Thatte
Executive Director


“Access to our Community”

Selectmen meet Friday about offered mediation of MSH clean up

The Board of Selectmen will meet Friday at 4:30 PM to discuss the proposed mediation with DCAM of the clean up at the Medfield State Hospital that was offered by DCAM Commissioner Carole Cornelison at last Thursday’s heated meeting.   On Monday I got the email below as a follow up about the proposed mediation.  The mediator looks good to me.  The Town of Medfield cannot always move fast, and we have already missed the first deadline DCAM tried to set for us.


Hello everyone,

Last week’s PIP meeting was a great dialogue on the matter of DCAM’s C&D Area Remedial Action Plan – beyond the opportunities already provided in the agreed-upon PIP process.  DCAM welcomes further input from the Town and other parties, while also cognizant of its responsibility not to unnecessarily delay the remedial work.

One important option that was offered by Commissioner Cornelison was the opportunity to engage in mediation.  This proposition would include representatives of the Town and DCAM representatives.  DCAM would proceed with its planned PIP and permitting efforts.  Hopefully a remediation of one or more sessions will allow for a reasonable compromise as to the approach.  It should be scheduled as quickly as possible.  (Keeping to this schedule is necessary to enable us to apply for the necessary permits so that if during mediation if we are able to come to some agreement, we are in a position to go forward with the work this construction season.)

We suggest that there be a limit of 3-5 Medfield representatives and 3-5 DCAM reps.  We ask that you identify these participants by the end of business Wednesday, if possible and provide us with that list.  In the meantime, we will begin exploring potential dates with the proposed mediator, John Wofford (

We look forward to your cooperation and response.  Please contact me if you should have any questions.



Sandra R. Duran

Director of Building Maintenance and Operations

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Division of Capital Asset Management

Gatehouse 40B & the Affordable Housing Committee to meet

Mike Sullivan just told me that Gatehouse is meeting tomorrow evening with the town’s Affordable Housing Committee.  I have asked and he has not yet told me the time of that meeting. I am also waiting to hear back from his polling of the Affordable Housing Committee members whether they are interested in creating an affordable housing production plan for the town, so that the Board of Selectmen can figure out whether a new citizen advisory committee on the 40B issues is needed.

The town is also holding a working meeting with Gatehouse, at which the Board of Selectmen will be represented by Ann Thompson, where she is taking over as chair at the next meeting of the Board of Selectmen.  Judy Barrett, as the town’s newly hired 40B consultant, will also be at that meeting.

Forum on Lyme disease on 4/26 at 7:30 PM at The Center

This notice came from the Lyme Disease Study Committee –

Lyme Disease & Tick Borne Illnesses

Community Prevention Forum


Thursday April 26, 2012 at 7:30 pm



The Center at Medfield

1 Ice House Road, Medfield, MA

Learn how to protect your family and pets from

Lyme Disease and Other Tick Borne Illnesses

Guest Speakers

Lester Hartman, MD, FAAP

Westwood/Mansfield Pediatrics

Jean Sniffin, Public Health Nurse

for the Medfield BOH

Jessica Young, DVM

Medfield Veterinary Clinic


Sponsored by:

The Medfield Lyme Disease Study Committee

Medfield Day permitting issues

Russ Hallisey has raised the question of whether I have changed my support for Medfield Day since I stopped running the event. I have not changed my support.  I think Medfield Day is a great town event, and I look forward to it every year. I have, however, as Selectman, asked questions during the Medfield Day permitting process. I started asking questions when I learned about changes in facts and circumstances that caused me to conclude that questions about how to provide police services at Medfield Day were warranted and appropriate.
When I ran Medfield Day, the then Police Chief, Richard Hurley, advised me that the police auxiliary volunteered their time to provide police services at Medfield Day. In recognition of the volunteer services, MEMO made a donation to police. Since I stopped running Medfield Day, I learned that the auxiliary no longer provided volunteer police services at Medfield Day, and the police who serve are paid for their time. Last year I was told it cost the town about $4,000 for the police services on Medfield Day.
Since learning of the change from volunteer to paid police service, I have during the Medfield Day permitting process raised the question of whether the town should continue to provide these services at no cost or whether MEMO should pay for the police services. I have asked the question because I have felt that there is an essential unfairness when one group gets free town services while another group is denied similar benefits. I have recognized, though, that some taxpayers may support the idea of giving police services to Medfield Day at no cost. In the final analysis, I found that, in my role as Selectman, I at least needed to ask the question and make the information public so that town residents would be informed and could participate. My decision obviously has not been popular with some folks.
Two years ago, at a time when the town was being forced to lay off town employees due to budget constraints, my Selectmen colleagues both initially agreed to ask MEMO to reimburse the town for police services provided at Medfield Day. At the next Board of Selectmen meeting, however, my colleagues returned to report that MEMO would not consent to paying for the town services, and my colleagues would not compel MEMO to do so. It seems that my position has been unpopular on many fronts. Nonetheless, I still feel that raising the question was the better course of action. Town residents should have this information.
My efforts as Selectman have always been guided by the goal of making government transparent and of bringing information to the residents. I have tried to do this in the context of police services at Medfield Day. I understand that the question of whether MEMO should pay for police services at Medfield Day is a charged issue for some that has spawned a backlash towards me. I hope, however, that given the many other significant issues facing our town right now, we can pull together to do that which is in the best interest of all of our residents rather than that which is in the best interest of a few.