Monthly Archives: September 2012

Robert Naughton Square dedication

This morning a crowd of over a hundred people gathered at Causeway Street  and Claypit Road to dedicate a new civic square in honor of Bobby Naughton, former officer in the MPD.  The  ceremony was organized by Richard DeSorgher, with remarks by former Chief Bill Mann, town administrator Mike Sullivan, and Veterans Service Officer Ron Griffin.  All agreed that Bobby was friendly, kind, personable, brave, and had strong interests in nature, archeology, boats, and life in general.  This writer met him few times, but recalls the warmth and focus he brought to bear.  As Tracy  Mitchell said when Bobby died, Medfield lost a great man who simply cannot be replaced.

The plaque and bench stand in front of two trees Bobby planted.

Wonderful celebratory event for a wonderful man, who is greatly missed.

BoS agenda for 10/2/12

7:00 PM Public Hearing; 60. Foundry-Street;-petition to-place six UG (underground) ··1000 gallon-propane tanks.  The work is necessary to provide heating, appliances and generator at the single family residence


Town Clerk requests the Selectmen vote to sign the November 6, 2012 State Election Warrant

Superintendent Feeney requests the Selectmen vote to award the 2012-2013 Joint Salt Bid to Eastern Minerals;  Solar $48.20/de1; CC $48.20/del

Medfield Historical Commission requests the Selectmen vote to appoint Douglas Teaney as Associate Member

Selectman Peterson wishes to discuss goals and objectives

Invitation from Troop 10 to attend the Eagle Court of Honor for Sam Marble, November 11 at the CENTER


Energy Committee

I was tired last night, so I went to the Energy Committee and got charged up. Here are the highlights –

  • Fred Davis reported in depth on an MAPC meeting he attended about the savings that can be achieved by the town buying our streetlights from NSTAR and converting them to LED fixtures.  Many towns have done so already and are saving tens of thousands of dollars a year.  We are paying about $40,000 per year to light our 345 streetlights, and the guess based on what other towns achieved was that we might save $15,000 a year.  See my prior post.
  • David Temple updated us on the thermal imaging conducted by Sagewell.  They took thermal images last winter of about 3,000 homes in town and to date they have processed about 1,400 of those, they got about 600 requests for thermal images from town homeowners, and got about 125 requests from town homeowners for energy audits.  Town homeowners can still get information and energy audits by contacting Sagewell.
  • Marie Zack Nolan reported on an energy audit of the Waste Water Treatment Plant that she attended that the major energy saving things have already been accomplished there by the town – e.g. variable speed pumps.
  • Next meeting will be at 7 PM on 10/25/12 to hear from the Dartmouth town administrator about its solar PV installations and other energy saving steps.

State Trooper Ray Burton, III

My favorite Medfield Day memory was seeing State Trooper Ray Burton, III, son of Medfield Police Department’s Sgt. Ray Burton, Jr.,  for the first time in his uniform, taking charge to direct the picking up.  I first met Ray when I was a new selectman in 2000 and he filmed the meetings of the Board while still a student at Medfield High School.   I later became aware that Ray had put himself through the Police Academy on his own dime, to make himself a better candidate for a law enforcement job.  It was great to see that he landed a job with the Massachusetts State Police.  English: A Ford Massachusetts State Police cru...

English: A Ford Massachusetts State Police cruiser, callsign 1711. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is nice to now see his state police cruiser around town.

Great story, great ending.

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Underfunded future obligation


Finance (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

Article on underfunded municipal pensions from the Lincoln Institute – see the link below.  The article says that the first principle of municipal finance, that you pay now for what you incur now.  Medfield’s pensions are actually pretty well funded, but our obligation for employees’ future health care costs for our retirees is not, to the tune of about $40m.   Mike and I have suggested that the Board of Advisors (former selectmen) explore how to deal with that issue, once the state commission looking at the issue reports back this fall.  This from the article –

Pension Legacy Costs and Local Government Finances

Richard F. Dye and Tracy M. Gordon
Local government pensions are significantly underfunded because many governments have not set aside enough funds each year to cover the liabilities incurred. In effect, they are borrowing to pay for current labor services and shifting the burden to future taxpayers.

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Goals for the next year

Selectmen will discuss their goals for the next year next Tuesday.  These are my suggestions.  Let me know if you have ideas for different things the Board of Selectmen and the town administrators should be working on this next year.  I just sent these to Ann and Mark and asked for copies of theirs – as I hope to get them before we meet.

2012 Goals and Objectives for the Medfield Town Administrator
and the Board of Selectmen

By Osler L. Peterson, Selectman
September 27, 2012

1.    Conduct a zero based review and revision of our town government departments and their systems to determine whether we are using best practices.
a.    Establish expectations, policies, and procedures for all town boards and departments.
b.    Evaluate staffing levels and positions.
i.    Consider hiring a Finance Director.
c.    Consider partnering with an educational institution to get interns for this task.
d.    Reconsider using the former selectmen to perform this task.
2.    Have Town Administrator institute use of annual calendar for the Board of Selectmen.
3.    Hold a Board of Selectmen joint meeting annually with all town boards and commissions to review our shared purposes and goals.
4.    Determine road repair plans, priorities, and funding – Superintendent to outline.
5.    Work with Water and Sewer Commission on its operations and its master plan.
6.    Oversee the process of dealing with the clean up and reuse of the Medfield State Hospital site.  Complete the bylaw review for issued related to the Medfield State Hospital site.
7.    Annually get written five year written plans from the Town Administrator and department heads.
8.    Work with planning board for new economic growth, on Town’s master plan, and on  downtown zoning.
9.    Develop a strategy for maintenance and renovation of all town buildings.
10.    Develop a strategy to build a new DPW Garage, Public Safety, and Community Center.
11.    Examine opportunities for additional revenue streams.
12.    Identify opportunities for regionalization of services.
13.    Target completion of union negotiations before contracts expire.
14.    Create an evergreen three-year financial forecast of the town, working with the Warrant Committee and the School Committee.
15.    Implement succession planning for key town staffing positions.
16.    Installation of solar PV arrays on town owned land.
17.    Become a Green Community.
18.    Solve the issues about the Veterans Service Officer position.
19.    Perform an analysis of whether overtime is being used the way the town wants.
20.    Maintain town’s fiscal status.
21.    Plant street trees.
22.    Develop a historic house walking tour.

MEC agenda for 9/27 at 7:30PM

Medfield Energy Committee

September 27, 2012


I.  Accept minutes of last meeting – July 18, 2012

II. Town bylaws/regulations recommendations

III. Report out from MAPC workshop on Streetlight Buybacks

IV.  Report out on WWTP site visit

V. Next Steps in Procuring/Installing PVC for WWTP

VI. Next Steps for investigating Feasibility of Solar Farm behind Wheelock

VII. Sagewell Mass Thermal Imaging Initiative Update

VIII.   Collaboration with other town organizations

IX.  Other Business

VIII. Set Date and Agenda for next meeting

MFD blood drive tomorrow 2-7

The Medfield Fire Department is hosting their 7th annual Medfield Community Blood Drive tomorrow, September 27, at the American Legion from 2-7.  No appointment is needed and you only need to be 17 years old to donate.
Bill DeKing of the MFD started the MFD’s annual blood drive “because 7 years ago when my daughter was born my wife had a life threatening infection that caused her to bleed uncontrollably and she needed more blood than the hospital had on hand, they contacted the Red Cross in the middle of the night and they were there with the blood she needed. She required 29 units that night to save her life. Since then, with the OK of Chief Kingsbury, I have hosted a blood drive each September to help do my part for people who may need help. With the help of Medfield residents I am guessing we have raised close to 500 units over the 7 years.”
Bill reports that”my wife and daughter are both healthy not to mention grateful.”   His wife and daughter are fine, but only because of all that blood his wife got that fateful night, that others had donated.
Let’s all help Bill in his commendable effort to both pay back and pay it forward!

Notice of meetings is lacking

Medfield has a problem – people cannot seem to get notification of upcoming meetings in which they are interested.

I am told that the Bayberry and Stagecoach Road neighbors missed our last Board of Selectmen meeting where their beaver problems were discussed because they were apparently not aware that the Board of Selectmen would be discussing their beaver problems that night.  And this morning I missed a Building Committee meeting that I wanted to attend because I did not get notified that it was happening.

My work around has been to rely on the list of town meetings published daily on Patch to fill in the gaps in what I know and do not know.  However, that does not work when one first reads of the meeting when it is over.

Medfield needs a system on its town website, like the ones already used by other towns, that allow people to sign up to receive notifications of meetings, agendas, and minutes of committees and/or departments in which they are interested.  Technology is too good today for Medfield to not be employing current best practices to make it easier for its residents to be engaged citizens.

State unfunded pension liability up X5 in last 11 years

The Boston Business Journal article on the state’s mushrooming pension liabilities  –

“Jim Lamenzo, the actuary for the state’s Public Employee Retirement Association Commission, said during a presentation Monday that the state’s unfunded pension liability stood at $23.6 billion as of Jan. 1, but has undoubtedly grown in the interim due to the delayed ripple effects of the state’s near 30 percent investment loss in the year following the downturn. Lamenzo said the state’s unfunded pension liability totaled $12.1 billion on Jan. 1, 2008, and was $4.8 billion as of Jan. 1, 2000 — meaning the commonwealth’s unfunded obligation to retired public workers has essentially quintupled over an 11-year span.”

Also, at that webpage they have a link to a searchable pension database where one can search the pension of any retired state official by name, or by all the employees in a particular state department.  Wm Bulger is getting $199K, Sal DiMasi is listed at $66K, but I believe his has been stopped.