Monthly Archives: June 2014

MSH purchase passed House

Email just in from Mike Sullivan, reporting on his email from John Nunnari, announcing the passage in the House this morning of the special legislation to sell the former Medfield State Hospital site to the town.  Now the bill just needs Senate passage.  Looks like it is really going to happen, and soon. –

State hospital land disposition bill has passed the House and now goes to the Senate. Mike

From: “John Nunnari”
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2014 12:00 PM
To: “Michael Sullivan
Subject: FW: HB4216
On to the Senate.




From: MassTrac Bill Action Alert []
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2014 11:50 AM
To: John Nunnari
Subject: HB4216


HB4216 – House Ways and Means – An Act authorizing the commissioner of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance to convey certain parcels of land in the town of Medfield
Action: 06/26/14 – H – Passed to be engrossed

Odyssey House knocked down

Photos of the Odyssey House demolition, courtesy of Bill Massaro, but further along in the process than yesterday’s in action shots from Mike Taylor –

Odyssey House demo-1

odyssey house demo-2

odyssey house demo-3

Cheshire, CT pensions move to 401k

This is an article from –

Arbitration Decision Delays Cheshire Pension Move to 401k


What Happened?
The Cheshire Town Council in Connecticut recently ruled on a pension dispute that created a divide between local unions and officials. The tension arising from the decision is representative of conflicts seen nationwide as cities try to reform failing pension systems.

The Town Council’s arbitration panel ruled in favor of the city’s local patrolman union concerning a defined pension benefits debate. The decision prohibits Cheshire officials from ending enrollment of new police officers in the department’s defined benefit pension plan until the end of the year. The maximum pension benefit as a percentage of final average compensation for members was also increased to 72 percent up from 68 percent.

The decision angered local officials who felt it stopped the local government from doing what is necessary to curb increasing pension liabilities that directly impact taxpayer dollars.

The town council originally tried to end enrollment in the defined benefits pension plan of new police hires in July 2013. The ruling moved the enforcement date back to January 1, 2014. From July of 2013 and January 2014, the Cheshire police department brought on eight new officers, half of which will be covered under the old defined benefits plan. The police union was the last union in Cheshire to remain on the old defined benefits plan after all public employee unions were moved to a municipal employees’ 401(k)-type investment account a few years ago. Prolonged negotiations between police union and council members delayed the transition, which forced the arbitration panel to step in.

Fresh Blood
Because pension problems and reform efforts nationwide are resulting in negotiations and disputes similar to those in Cheshire, many governments are bringing in new investment professionals to make better decisions and support a more sustainable pension system in the future.

New York City’s $150 billion pension system recently hired a new chief investment officer to offer guidance to 58 pension trustees. The role of the chief investment officer is becoming increasingly complex as pension reforms are altering how benefits will be delivered to public employees in retirement, The New York Times reported.

The investment advisor will work with trustees of five funds, each operating as unique entities with their own board and voting structure. Previous efforts to consolidate the five pension boards for more efficient operations failed to reach fruition. Luckily, the city has passed several measures to increase investment performance and stability, and the new investment advisor will continue to push for more reforms.

In Detroit, proposed cuts to pension benefits are facing weekly protests. The state-appointed emergency manager is calling for:

  • 4.5 percent cut in pensions
  • Elimination of the 2 percent yearly cost-of-living adjustment for the next 10 years for nonuniformed retirees
  • Recovering interest payments from the pension fund on annuities of retirees
  • Full payment for police and firefighters

The proposed cuts will be voted on by Detroit public retirees.

Pension Troubles
EfficientGov has monitored the debates between governments and public employee unions as necessary reforms are negotiated at the local levels.

Odyssey House – going, going, . . .

Photos of the Odyssey House demolition yesterday from Mike Taylor –





Water ban

This from Water & Sewer this morning –





The Town of Medfield entered into a Water Ban effective June 23, 2014.

The water ban requirements are the following: NO outdoor watering between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and evening watering is allowed on an odd/even basis only.   Any questions, please contact the Medfield Water Dept. at 508-906-3004.

Legislation to purchase wording

This is the current wording of the legislation to buy the former MSH site –


HOUSE . . . . . . . No. 4216
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
The committee on Ways and Means, to whom was referred the Bill
authorizing the commissioner of Capital Asset Management and
Maintenance to convey certain parcels of land in the town of Medfield
(House, No. 4107), reports recommending that the same ought to pass
with an amendment substituting therefor the accompanying bill (House,
No. 4216).
For the committee,
HOUSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. 4216
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
In the Year Two Thousand Fourteen
An Act authorizing the commissioner of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance to convey
certain parcels of land in the town of Medfield.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority
of the same, as follows:
1 SECTION 1. Notwithstanding sections 32 to 37, inclusive, of chapter 7C of the General
2 Laws, chapter 269 of the acts of 2008 or any other general or special law to the contrary, the
3 commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance, hereinafter referred to as the
4 commissioner, may convey 1 or more parcels of land located at the former state hospital in
5 Medfield to the town of Medfield. The parcels are shown as parcel A and parcel B on a plan
6 entitled “Compiled Plan of Land, Medfield State Hospital, Medfield, Massachusetts, prepared for
7 Division of Capital Asset Management”, dated June 14, 2005, prepared by Judith Nitsch
8 Engineering, Inc., on file with the division of capital asset management and maintenance. The
9 exact location and boundaries of the parcels to be conveyed shall be determined by the
10 commissioner, in consultation with the town of Medfield. The use of the parcels to be conveyed
11 to the town shall not be restricted to use for municipal or other specific uses; provided, however,
12 that the town may so restrict the parcels at a later date, in accordance with applicable general and
13 special law. The parcels shall be conveyed by deed without warranties or representations by the
14 commonwealth.
15 SECTION 2. As consideration for the conveyance of the parcels described in section 1,
16 the town of Medfield shall pay the commonwealth an amount equal to certain costs related to the
17 closure of the former state hospital in Medfield including, but not limited to, the costs of
18 removing combustible materials, disconnecting certain utilities, and otherwise closing those
19 buildings located on the parcels conveyed, routine security, and other capital expenditures and
20 operating expenses incurred by the commonwealth in preparation for or following the closure of
21 the former state hospital, as determined by the commissioner and agreed to by the town. The
22 town of Medfield may pay the amount so determined by the commissioner and agreed to by the
23 town upon its purchase of the parcels described in section 1 or the town may pay the amount so
24 determined in 10 annual payments pursuant to section 20A of chapter 58 of the General Laws. If
25 the town’s payment of consideration pursuant to this section so requires, the town may seek voter
26 approval pursuant to subsection (k) of section 21Cof chapter 59 of the General Laws.
27 SECTION 3. Notwithstanding chapter 269 of the acts of 2008, or any other general or
28 special law to the contrary, parcels A-1 and A-2, as shown on the plan referenced in section 1
29 shall be maintained as open space or used for agricultural and passive recreation purposes,
30 subject to those subsurface utility easements on parcel A-1 serving the town’s water system.
31 Notwithstanding the foregoing, but subject to such subsurface utility easements, the
32 commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance may transfer the care and custody of
33 parcels A-1, A-2 or C, or portions thereof, to the department of conservation and recreation for
34 open space and passive recreation purposes. Such transfer shall be without consideration and
35 shall not be subject to chapter 7C of the General Laws.
36 SECTION 4. In the event that the town of Medfield sells or leases any portion of the
37 parcels described in section 1, the net proceeds from such sale or lease as determined by the town
38 and agreed to by the commissioner, shall be allocated between the town of Medfield and the
39 commonwealth in equal shares; provided, however, that the commissioner may agree to reduce
40 the share of the commonwealth’s proceeds to not less than 30 per cent of net proceeds in order to
41 provide certain incentives to the town of Medfield to sell or lease some or all of the parcels
42 described in section 1 expeditiously or to facilitate the development of some or all of the parcels
43 in accordance with smart growth principles promulgated from time to time by the governor and
44 the secretary of energy and environmental affairs. In the event that the net proceeds, as so
45 determined, is a negative amount, the commonwealth shall not be required to make any
46 payments to the town of Medfield.
47 SECTION 5. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the town of
48 Medfield shall pay for all costs and expenses of the transactions authorized in this act as
49 determined by the commissioner including, but not limited to, the costs of any recording fees and
50 deed preparation related to the conveyances and for all costs, liabilities and expenses of any
51 nature and kind related to the town’s ownership of the parcels; provided, however, that such
52 costs shall be included for the purposes of determining the net proceeds of the town’s sale or
53 lease of any portion of the parcels described in section 1. Amounts paid by the town of Medfield
54 pursuant to section 2 shall not be included for the purposes of determining the net proceeds from
55 a sale or lease.
56 SECTION 6. (a) In the event that the town of Medfield does not complete its purchase of
57 the property described in section 1 on or before December 31, 2015, notwithstanding sections 33
58 to 38, inclusive, of chapter 7C of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the
59 contrary, the commissioner may sell, lease for terms up to 99 years, including all renewals and
60 extensions, or otherwise grant, convey or transfer to purchasers or lessees an interest in the
61 property described in section 1 or portions thereof, subject to this section and on such terms and
62 conditions that the commissioner considers appropriate; provided, however, that the purchase by
63 the town of Medfield shall be considered complete upon the transfer of title to the parcel or
64 parcels described in section 1 to the town. The commissioner shall dispose of the property, or
65 portion thereof, using appropriate competitive bidding processes and procedures. At least 30
66 days before the date on which bids, proposals or other offers to purchase or lease a property, or
67 any portion thereof, are due, the commissioner shall place a notice in the central register
68 published by the state secretary pursuant to section 20A of chapter 9 of the General Laws stating
69 the availability of the property, the nature of the competitive bidding process and other
70 information that the commissioner considers relevant, including the time, place and manner for
71 the submission of bids and proposals and the opening of the bids or proposals.
72 (b) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the grantee or lessee of all
73 or any portion of the property described in section 1 and subject to this section shall be
74 responsible for costs and expenses including, but not limited to, costs associated with deed
75 preparation and recording fees related to the conveyances and transfers authorized in this section
76 as such costs may be determined by the commissioner.
77 (c) No agreement for the sale, lease, transfer or other disposition of the property
78 described in section 1 and subject to this section, or any portion thereof, and no deed executed by
79 or on behalf of the commonwealth, shall be valid unless the agreement or deed contains the
80 following certification, signed by the commissioner:
81 “I, the undersigned commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance, hereby
82 certify under penalties of perjury that I have fully complied with the relevant provisions of
83 general and special law in connection with the property described in this document.”
84 SECTION 7. In any disposition pursuant to section 1 or section 6, the commissioner
85 may retain, accept or acquire by purchase, transfer, lease, eminent domain, pursuant to chapter
86 79 of the General Laws or otherwise, and may grant by deed, transfer, lease or otherwise any
87 rights-of-way or easements, in, over or beneath any parcel or portions thereof, or any other
88 portions of the former Medfield state hospital, as the commissioner deems necessary and
89 appropriate for the continued access to, egress from and use of portions of the former Medfield
90 state hospital including, without limitation, parcels A-1 and A-2, by the general public or other
91 state agencies or to carry out this act; provided however that in any disposition pursuant to
92 section 1, such retention, acceptance, acquisition, or grant of any rights-of-way or easements in,
93 over or beneath parcels A or B shall be subject to the approval of the town of Medfield.
94 SECTION 8. Sections 1 to 7, inclusive, shall take effect upon their acceptance by a
95 majority vote of the board of selectmen of the town of Medfield, but not otherwise.

MSH purchase legislation – today?

John Nunnari, a close, knowledgeable, and astute observer of the legislature, reports this morning in an email that the special legislation confirming the town’s right to purchase the former Medfield State Hospital site for $3.1 m. could be passed today.  Then we just need the Governor’s signature.

Bill Massaro reported yesterday that he is being told that our bill ma not have an emergency preamble included, and hence it does not.  However, the bill does state –

“94    SECTION 8. Sections 1 to 7, inclusive, shall take effect upon their acceptance by a
95 majority vote of the board of selectmen of the town of Medfield, but not otherwise.”

That makes it sound like the selectmen’s vote makes the bill effective instead.

John’s email follows –

Cleared 3rd Reading and is now on the House Calendar.

If lucky, it’ll be taken up during today’s House Formal.



Lyme Disease info

This Lyme Disease information came from new dog owner Chris McCue –

Hi Pete,


Big thanks to Lyme Disease Prevention Committee and Chris Kaldy for continuing to lead the charge. As a relatively new dog owner (since November), I’ve gotten a crash course on ticks, Lyme Disease, and related issues. Sadly, our puppy tested positive for Lyme about a month ago after getting numerous tick bites – mostly from her romps at Wheelock during the early spring months when the adult ticks were emerging hungry!


Here are the most interesting things I learned in case it can help others:


  1. out of University of Rhode Island is a phenomenal resource for anyone who wants to learn about issues related to ticks and gain practical prevention advice. The site contains a wealth of information, is updated regularly, and provides timely alerts (right now it’s saying that nymph ticks — the smallest that carry disease and the most difficult to spot — are at their peak). All in all, this is shaping up to be an especially bad tick season for the Northeast.


  1. and landscapers knowledgeable about tick control suggest skipping pesticide treatment of regularly mowed areas (like playing fields) that bask in the sun during the day and are dry (which ticks don’t like), and instead treat the perimeters of those areas where they meet humid wooded and/or brush/tall grassy areas that ticks love. (With the results of a recent study on the link between pesticides and autism on the news last night, smart use of pesticides seems even more important now.)  A landscaping company that understands ticks well will be judicious with use of pesticides by limiting it to those areas that get the most human contact, such as landscaped garden beds, yard perimeters, or any other at-risk location that the homeowner frequents.  (As an aside, it’s recommended that landscapers and homeowners make a point of trimming high grass that grows around the feet of picnic tables, playground equipment, etc. I’ve seen quite a bit of this at the base of the picnic tables on the lawn area outside of Metacomet tennis courts.)


  1. In partnership with Tick Encounter, University of Massachusetts runs a tick testing lab and publishes data on the prevalence of tick-borne diseases in communities based on self-reporting. Anyone can send a tick to UMass for testing, and at $50 per test, it’s cheaper than the private lab in Norwood. Turn around is 3-5 days for the UMass results. Tick testing is helpful for determining risk of acquiring a tick-borne disease (for humans or pets). Especially for pets that spend a lot of time outdoors, when an engorged tick is found but no symptoms have developed, a negative tick test can prevent unnecessary antibiotic use. Here’s the UMass link:


  1. The UMass lab has also partnered with a number of towns in Middlesex and Barnstable Counties to provide free tick testing, partly so that it can study the prevalence of tick-borne diseases in specific communities. Interestingly, UMass has no Norfolk County partners, despite the high prevalence of Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses in our communities.


  1. In addition to regular tick checks, six additional tips that I’ve personally found helpful and have been promoted by the experts mentioned earlier:


Treat the shoes of everyone in your family with permethrin spray (let dry before wearing) to prevent ticks on the ground from climbing up. The spray is available at most hardware and outdoor stores. (But don’t spray it on a windy day or when bees are present.)


Put out TickTubes (cardboard tubes with permethrin-infused cotton balls) around the perimeter of your yard – especially in stone walls, wood piles, etc. These can help break the tick reproduction cycle. Mice and chipmunks pull out the cotton and use it to line their nests, and the cotton kills the ticks that ride on the rodents. The TickTubes are made by Daminex, but not all places sell them, so people should call around. They can be purchased online.


Consider wearing special permethrin-treated clothing, hats, socks, etc. (Insect Shield is brand; it was developed the man who launched TickEncounter), especially for outdoor activity like gardening, hiking, etc. that puts you in frequent contact with tick habitat. This clothing is safer than spraying your entire body with DEET, and the CDC also recommends this type of clothing. (One interesting Insect Shield item I purchased from a hunting site:  a lightweight dog vest. The dog looks a little silly in it, but it works well for off-leash play when we can’t control every step that our pup takes.)


Use your dryer against ticks. Clothing worn outside in tick habitat should be thrown in the dryer immediately on high heat for an hour (before being washed) since it will kill ticks relatively quickly (the washing machine won’t). Ticks will live for several days in the hamper, putting anyone who is doing laundry at risk. Interestingly, it was Jacqueline Flynn — the daughter of Needham-based Hartney-Greymont arborist Pat Flynn — who conducted the Braintree High School science experiment that showed how effective the dryer was. Her study made national news and the CDC has backed up her research and has been spreading the tip.


According to our vet, tick-borne illness prevention and treatment is one of the most hotly argued topics among all vets. I’ve been encouraged by our vet to do my research, ask questions, and then make decisions based on what I feel is right vs. feeling like I’m being pushed into a course of action. Opinions differ on use of the Lyme vaccine with dogs, antibiotic use for a positive Lyme test but no symptoms, benefits of regular disease testing, etc. Searching for research by reputable organizations online (e.g., Cornell University) is helpful until that research is outdated, so beware of even the most credible scientific studies. Your vet should be knowledgeable and willing to help you make sense of it all.


Hope this wrap-up of the information I’ve learned helps save others time and effort!



Lyme Disease FB page

The Lyme Disease Study Committee has created its own Facebook page (click here) to share all the information it puts together and collects on protecting oneself from and preventing Lyme Disease.  Join the Facebook page to let ongoing information posts and best practices about dealing with this major health problem in our town.

Additionally, Carolyn Sampson found two really useful videos on Lyme Disease issues through the Massachusetts DPH, that the Committee recommends to people.

The Committee welcomes new members, if anyone is interested in working on Lyme Disease issues in Medfield.

Finally, below are the minutes of the Committee’s 5/19/14 meeting:

Town of Medfield Lyme Disease Citizen Study Committee

Meeting Minutes – Monday, May 19, 2014 – 7:00 pm


Attendees: Chris Kaldy (Chair), Frank Perry, Barry Mandell, Erica Reilly, Carolyn Samson, Pete Peterson, new member Michelle Dever Whelan
Minutes – reviewed meeting minutes from Apr 16.


Controlled Hunt – looking toward next fall

Frank is planning to attend the ConComm meeting on June 5 to request permission to hunt on their lands again next fall and about posting signage. He is searching for the best pricing for purchasing tree stands (“committee stands”) and possibly trail cameras with the balance of our budget. These will be set in strategic locations and used by multiple people. Chris completed the pamphlet on deer management though waiting to hear back from Mass Wildlife for permission to use their name as a supporter. Will give copies to Frank and post in Town Hall and on website. Pete will send to legislators. Discussed next fall’s preparation of permits and orange hunting season signs that need rewording. Frank reported he still has many of the Tick Warning signs available. Wheelock needs reposting.


(Per Barbara Roth, the bill to allow Sunday hunting has gone to the Ways & Means Committee and will be voted on around early June. Passage is for the 2015-hunting season.)



  • Frank & Barry to make supply purchases for next season.
  • Frank to ask ConComm for permission to post land at June 5 meeting.
  • Chris to print pamphlets once MWL gives permission and post in Town Hall & on website.
  • Pete to send a letter to our state reps & senator (Garlick, Dooley, Timilty and Richard Ross of Wrentham) with our pamphlet, asking them to sponsor legislation to reduce the setback law.
  • Nancy to contact Dan Wolff about supplying schools with his new device.



Tick & Lyme Education / Website

Discussed how to reach more people. Also would like to publish articles with stories about people, prevalence rates, carditis and other angles. Chris found the cost to put an insert in the Hometown Weekly to be $220 plus the cost of printing 4500 pieces to total about $560. Concern with this method is it’s a one-time household hit and many people throw out the inserts without looking or just throw the paper out. Other ideas discussed – putting in water/sewer bill, Cable 8, Facebook, and Twitter.

Chris reported that the CDC has published new materials and offers public service announcement feeds as well as a new clinician CME study course on Lyme. Also the Mass Dept of Public Health is redesigning its educational materials for tick-borne disease awareness and prevention. Chris said that she learned from Barbara Roth in Dover that they found point of purchase dispensers with tick cards most effective of all educational efforts in Dover.

  • Erica to start a Facebook account for us.
  • Carolyn will look at public service information options available via MDPH and/or CDC and contact Cable 8 about airing them.
  • Chris to buy small plastic dispensers for tick cards and take to local vendors to put at points of purchase.
  • Erica to contact Medfield Patch to publish article.
  • Xxx to ask library to consider posting information again on their bulletin board.
  • Erica to bring tick warning signs to Park & Rec new director.




1. Spraying fields – Michelle brought up spraying the playing fields in town. Park & Rec voted down spraying McCarthy. Michelle says that Memorial was sprayed last year.

  • Michelle to contact Superintendent about how to go about getting this done.
  • Michelle to find out who sprayed Memorial School.
  • Erica to find out why P&R didn’t spray McCarthy.
  • Carolyn to find out who manages Wheelock fields.



2. Budget – new budget starts on July 1.




Next Meeting: Monday, June 23, 2014 in the Warrant Meeting Room at Town Hall, 7 pm

Submitted by Chris Kaldy

Dover cell tower postponement

I received the the following email notice of the postponement from 6/30/14 to 8/4/14 of the site visit and continued hearing on the proposed cell tower in Dover, with its access off Evergreen Way, from the Dover ZBA Chair.

Additionally, it had been reported that the Dover School Committee is issuing an RFP seeking the location of a cell tower on its property.

I have suggested that Medfield should also examine issuing an RFP for location of cell antennae on our proposed water tower at the MSH site, so that Medfield can benefit from any tower rental revenue that may be available.  David Maxon whose business is such things, informs me that a temporary cell tower installation on the back of a truck makes it possible to provide the cell tower services until our water tower is constructed.



At the request of the Applicant(SEE ATTACHED), the Site Walk, which had been rescheduled to June 30,2014, at 6:00PM at the entrance to the property adjacent to 24 Evergreen Street in Medfield, and the adjourned Hearing, which had been rescheduled to June 30,2014, at 6:00PM at the Dover Town House, ARE BEING RESCHEDULED AGAIN.


The  new Site Walk and Hearing dates, places and times are :


(a) Monday, August 4, 2014, at 6:00PM, at the entrance to the property adjacent to 24 Evergreen Street in Medfield for the Site Walk; and


(b) Monday, August 4, 2014, at 7:00 PM, at the Dover Town House for the adjourned Hearing.


Notice of the revised schedule will be posted at Dover Town House and on the Dover Town Webpage and at the entrance to the lower hearing room at the Dover Town House where the original hearing was opened.


Site Walk – Monday August 4, 2014, at 6:00PM, at the entrance to the property adjacent to 24 Evergreen Street in Medfield; and


Adjourned Hearing – Monday August 4, 2014, 2014, at 7:00 PM, at the Dover Town House.



Gary P. Lilienthal
Bernkopf Goodman LLP