Monthly Archives: February 2014

MSH interviews of me / Richard & Bill

Medfield.TV had me in last week to talk about the Medfield State Hospital purchase decision with Jack Petersen and Josh Perry, Editor of the Hometown Weekly.

Below is the link to that video, as well as an earlier interview by Jack Petersen of Selectman Richard DeSorgher and Bill Massaro about the Medfield State Hospital issues.

NB – the special town meeting (STM) is 3/10, not 3/4 as I misstated near the beginning.

Medfield.TV@MedfieldTV Feb 22

Selectman’s Update: Pete Peterson (2/14):  via @YouTube

Selectman’s Update: Richard DeSorgher (2/14):  via @YouTube

BoS agenda for 3/4/14

Tuesday March 4,2014 @ 7:00 PM


6:30PM The Medfield Board of Selectmen needs to meet in Executive Session (closed session) for the purpose of discussing discipline or dismissal of employee

7:00 PM State Hospital Advisory Committee, Steve Nolan Chairman Discuss hospital project and special town meeting article


Vote to sign March 31, 2014 Warrant for the Annual Town Election

Discuss Main Street sidewalk-Roche Bros. at the request of Selectman DeSorgher

Letter from resident Joarme Bragg requesting extension of sidewalk on east Main Street


Medfield Music Assoc. requests permission to place signs promoting the annual Jazz Night at the high school to take place Wednesday April 9, 2014

High School Girls’ Field Hockey Team requests permission to conduct a fundraising car wash behind Town Hall Saturday May 17, 2014

SHAC votes 10-3 to recommend MSH purchase

The State Hospital Advisory Committee (SHAC) last night voted 10 to 3 to recommend to the Board of Selectmen that the Town of Medfield purchase of the Medfield State Hospital site from the state.  Warrant Committee chair, Gus Murby, was unable to attend, but sent word that he supported the purchase, which means that of the fourteen committee members, eleven members ultimately favored the purchase.

These were a number of the comments made:

  • Several members indicated that it was essential for the Town of Medfield to control the ultimate development of the site, rather than let the state arrange for the development without town input as would happen if the town does not buy it.  They was the town’s purchase as the best way to assure town control.
  • Several members indicated that they would not support the purchase without redevelopment of the site, so the committee general sense was that yes the town should purchase and also quickly arrange for the redevelopment of the site.
  • Several members expressed that the pirce was high, especially when compared to the $2m. that Westboro is paying for the 90 acre Westboro State Hospital site, which by comparison is prime commercial land.
  • Members wanted development of the site that preserves economic diversity and creates a greater housing options than exists in town today (there is not much housing available in town for seniors and empty nesters).
  • There was great concern expressed over what large costs the town might incur in the future on an ongoing basis if the state controlled the redevelopment of the site instead of the town.
  • The purchase fulfills the town’s moral responsibility to its future.
  • There should be reuses that benefit the entire town.
  • There were fears expressed that the land might not be redeveloped, because residents might rather keep it as open space.
  • There were fears that the taxes might go up.

Next steps include –

  • A SHAC information night at 7:30 PM in the Blake Middle School auditorium on Monday, March 3.
  • Discussion and vote by both the Warrant Committee and the Board of Selectmen at their separate meetings on March 4 of whether the town should purchase the site.
  • The special town meeting (STM) at 7:30 PM at the Medfield High School gym on Monday March 10 for the town to make the purchase decision (2/3 vote required)
  • Paper ballot question at the annual town election on Monday, March 31 on whether to buy the Medfield State Hospital site (50% required).

West Street 40B funded & proceeding

The attorney for the Gatehouse Group, the developers of The Parc, the 92 unit 40B on West Street, states that despite earlier reports circulated to the contrary, that the project is indeed financed and will be proceeding to construction this coming summer.

W&S – state $ & impact fees

This from the State House News service, via John Nunnari.  This could be helpful both with respect to the new water tower and with respect to the redevelopment of the Medfield State Hospital site –


STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, FEB. 27, 2014….After agreeing to a plan allowing a new local option water surcharge, the Senate unanimously passed legislation Thursday aimed at addressing some of the unmet funding needs for water infrastructure projects in Massachusetts.

Senate President Therese Murray, who has several communities in her district facing water infrastructure challenges, pushed the water infrastructure needs as a priority this session, along with Sen. James Eldridge – who headed up a two-year-long commission studying the issue.

Rep. Carolyn Dykema, a Democrat from Holliston, has been pushing the issue in the House, where the bill heads next, and co-chaired the Water Infrastructure Finance Commission along with Eldridge.

A Senate Ways and Means version of the bill (S 2016) passed 37 to 0, with several amendments adopted that were filed by both Democrats and Republicans.

“This bill that was debated today is a really strong bill that will not only create investments in water infrastructure but better protect the environment, and create incentives for green infrastructure,” Eldridge said after the bill passed.

The bill authorizes low-interest loans for water infrastructure projects and establishes criteria for the loan process. It requires the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust – the new name for the Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust – to create a sliding scale interest rate, from 0 to 2 percent on loans for qualifying projects.

The bill increases a contract assistance ceiling from $88 million a year to $138 million per year and requires the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust to commit 80 percent of that limit and report to the Legislature in any year that the threshold is not met.

The bill also authorizes cities and towns to collect impact fees to help offset environmental impacts caused by developments requiring new or increased water and sewer system withdrawals. The bill calls for fees to be assessed in a “fair and equitable manner” and allows separate fees for residential and commercial usage.

On a voice vote, senators rejected an amendment to the bill that would ban hydraulic fracking to extract natural gas, filed by Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives (D-Newburyport).

Environmentalists applauded the bill’s passage.

“I think it is great this bill does a lot to level the playing field for green infrastructure,” Steve Long, government relations director at the Nature Conservancy said.

Incentives for green infrastructure – which uses nature to help provide clean drinking and stormwater – are embedded throughout the bill, Long said. The legislation allows for reduced financing for green infrastructure projects, which will go a long way to help achieve clean water goals, he said.

Senators adopted an amendment establishing a local option water surcharge for communities. Cities and towns that vote to adopt the program could levy a water infrastructure surcharge up to 3 percent, similar to the way the Community Preservation Act works. The amendment passed 31 to 5.

“Now we are creating a mechanism if communities so choose to use the same method for water infrastructure,” Sen. Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport), who filed the amendment, said referring to the CPA.

Communities that vote in favor of adopting the water surcharge would be allowed to assess a fee on new uses for water. It would apply to new residential and commercial development, according to Long, from the Nature Conservancy. The money would be deposited in a water infrastructure fund.

“That fund could be used to find ways to replace water that has been taken out of the system. It could be used for conservation, fixing leaky pipes, making infrastructure repairs, anything that helps save water and also mitigate the extraction of water,” Long said.

Sen. Michael Moore, a Democrat from Millbury, was successful in getting an amendment passed, by two votes, that would allow communities that are too far away to join the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority to be eligible for a one-to-one match for infrastructure needs.

Moore said it would create parity for non-MWRA communities to have access to state aid that is dedicated to the MWRA. Eldridge spoke against the amendment, which passed 19 to 17.

“Given the fact that we don’t have new revenue in this bill, the question is where would the money come from?” Eldridge said after the session.

Communities outside the MWRA district feel there is too much attention directed to the MWRA, Eldridge said.

“I think that vote reflected that we do need to provide more investments in infrastructure in every city and town,” he said.

Sen. Bruce Tarr proposed an amendment, which passed unanimously, that creates a municipal impact fee. Tarr said there needed to be some emphasis on water conservation in the legislation. The amendment incentivizes conservation by offering individual ratepayers a fee reduction of up to 25 percent if they install any low flow fixtures or water efficient appliances in their home.


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MFI’s 3/23 volunteer awards reception

Medfield Foundation 2014 Volunteer Recognition Reception

3:00 PM, Sunday, March 23
The Center at Medfield, One Ice House Road

The Medfield Foundation is pleased to announce that this year the following people  were nominated by fellow residents for special recognition for doing extraordinary volunteer work.  These individuals and their volunteer work will be celebrated at the recognition reception.

Youth Volunteer of the Year

  • Andrea Nevins for initiating the Miss Amazing Massachusetts event, and for volunteering with the Medfield High School Student Council, Project 351 Alumni Leadership Council, Boston Cares Teen Advisory Council, Best Buddies, Special Olympics, and as a Adaptive skiing volunteer instructor.
  • Dina Roche for running food drives to benefit the Medfield Food Cupboard at the Montrose School for the past five years.
  • Siddharth Arun for starting and running the Chess Club at the Library, and also for volunteering at Norwood Hospital, and teaching chess in other places.
  • Wesley, Corey, & Aaron Dron  for being great and caring neighbors to a couple needing assistance.

Volunteer of the Year

  • John Thompson for his work with the  Medfield State Hospital Mediation Committee, and also for the State Hospital Environmental Review Committee, Medfield Archeology Advisory Committee, Medfield Conservation Commission, Friends of the Dwight Derby House, Vine Lake Preservation Trust, and Port of Galilee Advisory Committee Narragansett RI Town Council.
  • Sonja Johanson for her work with the Victory Garden at the Wheelock School, and also the Wheelock School Site Council, the  Massachusetts Horticultural Society, and the  Massachusetts Master Gardener Association.
  • Kim Price for her work with the Medfield Coalition for Public Education, and also for the Medfield Kids PMC, and Dale St. School CSA.


Lifetime Achievement

  • Andy Thompson for his work with Little League, Soccer, Lacrosse, Ice Hockey, Boy Scouts, Medfield Park & Recreation Commission, operating the football scoreboard for 47 years, Medfield Physical Fitness Association for 48 years, The Center, the American Legion, and MPRC activities at Medfield Day.

These extraordinary Medfield volunteers have been nominated by their fellow residents for recognition in the 2014 Medfield Foundation volunteer awards, either as the adult volunteer of the year, the youth volunteer of the year, or for the lifetime achievement award.

To see the flyer announcing them all, click here

Andy Thompson received the Lifetime Achievement Award – see

John Thompson is this year’s Volunteer of the Year – see

Andrea Nevins is this year’s Youth Volunteer of the Year – see

Now all Medfield gets to hear their interesting stories, about why they were nominated, what they do, and why they do it.  Come to the MFi’s 2014 volunteer recognition reception held from 3 -5 PM on Sunday, March 23 at The Center at Medfield, One Ice House Road for an afternoon of storytelling by and about these exceptional volunteers – all are welcome and all are guaranteed to be entertained.

The seventh annual MFi volunteer awards are again sponsored by the generosity of the Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation (for the third year).

BoS agenda for tonight

This just came –

Board of Selectmen
Agenda February 25, 2014

7:00 PM Ron Griffin, Veterans’ Agent
Discuss Veterans Tax Work-Off Program; FY15 Veterans Agent budget

7:15 PM Selectman DeSorgher wishes to introduce Plastic Bag Study Committee members, present their charge and designate a Chairman to call the first meeting

Vote to designate Chairman Fisher sign DCAMM’s license application for the Medfield State Hospital Advisory Committee event “tour of core campus at state hospital site” Saturday March 8, 2014 11 AM to 1 PM

FY 15 budget review: Board of Selectmen
Town Administrator
Town Report/Meeting
Street Lights
Health Insurance

Medfield – tree city

Email from Kristine Trierweiller this morning sharing that the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) approved the town’s application to become a tree city –

February 13, 2014
Dear Tree City USA Applicant:
Thank you for submitting an application for Tree City USA
Tree City USA Growth Award
We have received your application for the community of Medfield.
The application appears to be complete and we anticipate recommending your application to the National Arbor Day Foundation. Thank you!

Mollie Freilicher
Community Action Forester

Department of Conservation and Recreation
40 Cold Storage Drive, PO Box 484
Amherst, MA 01004
413-545-5993 413-545-5995 Fax

Council on Aging website

I needed to get the street address for The Center and so I just looked for it at the town’s website.  What I discovered was that the Council on Aging has its own really good website to which one links from the town’s website.  I like the functionality of the Council on Aging’s website much better than the town’s website – I find the town website’s structure both difficult to use and to find what I am looking to learn.

Pocket park name

This press release from the Pocket Park Committee –

 Park Naming Contest Winner Announced

Medfield, MA: The Steering Committee responsible for the public process to design and name the town owned parcel between Zebra’s and Starbucks is pleased to announce the winning name of Straw Hat Park.

Chair Jean Mineo said the Committee would have been happy with either name. “But Straw Hat Park references a history rich in imagery and materials we hope to incorporate into the park design to connect people to the past in a meaningful and fun way.”

The Straw Hat Park name was overwhelmingly selected by 65% of the voters over Isaac Fiske Park which received 35% of the votes.” Mineo notes, “We were thrilled that 284 people cast a vote in the second round, indicating strong interest in the park and the process. Our sincere thanks to everyone who took time to read about the history of the park area and vote.”

Voting was conducted through an on-line survey and promoted in the press, social media, an email campaign, and in blogs through town leadership. In the first round, voters were asked to select a name or write in a suggestion of their own. The Committee launched a second round of voting for the two most popular names as a result. The Straw Hat Park name will appear as part of the Warrant Article for approval by residents at Town Meeting on April 28, 2014.

In addition to the naming contest, the Steering Committee has been working to develop a preliminary budget for the park and expects to complete the design concept this summer and begin work and plantings later this fall. For more information, contact