Monthly Archives: March 2016

Office hours tomorrow 9- 10

COOA's Center_and_sign

Selectman Office Hours Tomorrow 9-10 AM

Selectman Osler “Pete” Peterson holds regular monthly office hours at The Center on the first Friday of every month from 9:00 to 10:00 AM (his litigation schedule permitting).  Residents are welcome to stop by to talk in person about any town matters.

Residents can also have coffee and see the Council on Aging in action (a vibrant organization with lots going on).  Peterson can be reached via 508-359-9190 or his blog about Medfield matters, where any schedule changes will be posted.

On being a selectman


One of the lesser known things the selectmen do is to sign the weekly warrants prepared by Town Accountant, Joy Ricciuto, which are long lists of each and every town expenditure.  Technically, no town money is to be spent without the approval of the selectmen, so each week Joy prepares the long lists of expenditures, and the selectmen sign off on her accounts, before the checks are issued. Those weekly warrants generally vary from $200,000 to over $2m.

This morning I stopped by the Town House early at 7:30 to sign the warrants.  Since I have gotten used to walking through the building in total darkness when I go to sign things after work, I generally never bother to turn on any lights.  As a result I scared the dickens out of Treasurer Collector, Georgia Colivas when she, getting to work early, rounded a corner in the morning gloom and found me where no one was expected. Fortunately no coffee spilled.

When I did then sign the warrants, by force of habit I signed on my old line, instead of moving up one line as I should have done, because on Monday we got a new selectman.  It is another one of those lesser known selectmen oddities that we tend to sign the warrants in our order of Chair, Clerk, third member, even though I am sure there is no requirement. So I welcomed Mike Marcucci by stealing his signature line on his first warrants.  However, no worries Mike, as the form has a fourth signature line.

MHS field report

SECTION 6 - FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS 66 MEDFIELD ATHLETIC FIELDS MASTER PLAN TOTAL COSTS FOR MULTI-USE FIELD/TRACK REPLACEMENT TOTAL COSTS SAVINGS FOR PHASE I COMBINATION OF MULTI-USE FIELD/TRACK AND PRACTICE FIELD Due to the high level of use of fields in the Town of Medfield and the current condition of the existing field at the High School it is recommended that the existing synthetic turf field with upgraded drainage system and synthetic track be replaced. The synthetic turf fibers are starting to deteriorate, a condition common found in a field with this amount of use and age of the product. The ability of the field to maintain infill in a stable condition will continue to be reduced in turn reducing the overall safety of the field to the athletes. Concerns over rising Gmax will continue to be an issue in the field. Currently there are multiple areas that flood on the field. This is an indication of a failing base/drainage system. It is recommended that a new drainage system replace the existing to alleviate flooding, additionally it is recommended that a trench and slot drain are added to the perimeter of the track to assist with drainage. The synthetic track has clear base issues at the long-jump triple-jump areas. It is highly recommended that the “D-Zone Areas” are built to include synthetic track surfacing which will also assist in the function of the areas when running track meets. The track has been over-sprayed once to date. The track has reached an age in which it should be sprayed again. This should occur during this process. It should be noted that a track can only be sprayed a minimum of three times which should make the track functional for an additional five to six years. This page lists a summary of the “Order of Magnitude” costs for upgrading the existing synthetic turf field and track at the high school. Provided are three alternates which the town should consider in making its decision in replacing the field. • Alternate #1: A higher grade of synthetic turf which is a mixture of a monofilament fiber and a slit film fiber reducing the splash of infill during play. This turf will have a face weight and more fiber which will provide a product which will perform well and stand up to the rigers of use. Additionally, it is recommended that a coated sand infill would be used. The coated sand provides an infill system that creates a firm, fast playing surface. The use of coated sand and the current warranties allow for an infill that can be reused for up to two cycles. Lastly, the alternate includes a shock pad. The shock pad provides absorbency within the field structure. This will reduce the overall Gmax in the field. Current warranties include a maximum Gmax for the life of the warranty which ranges between 20-25 years. • Alternate #2: A standard 2” turf with SBR Rubber and Sand Infill. Included in this alternate is a shock pad. • Alternate #3: Includes 5 storage units with concrete pads. An allowance for upgraded athletic field equipment. Opinion of Probable Cost - Medfield High School Multi-Use Synthetic Field and Track Item Quantity Unit Unit Price Total Base Bid Site Preparation Trailer and Temporary Utilities 1 LS $ 8,000.00 $ 8 ,000.00 Construction Entrances 1 LS $ 12,000.00 $ 1 2,000.00 Remove & Dispose Synthetic Turf 75000 SF $ 0.75 $ 5 6,300.00 Silt Sock 1,159 LF $ 3 .00 $ 3 ,500.00 Inlet Protection 2 EA $ 3 00.00 $ 6 00.00 Subtotal $ 8 0,400.00 Multi‐Use Field Concrete Curb 1150 LF $ 25.00 $ 28,750.00 Trench Drain 1150 LF $ 50.00 $ 57,500.00 F&I Field Drainage 75000 SF $ 1.75 $ 131,250.00 F&I Flat Drain 75000 SF $ 1.20 $ 90,000.00 F&I 8" Base Stone 75000 SF $ 1.00 $ 75,000.00 F&I 2" Finishing Stone 75000 SF $ 0.60 $ 45,000.00 Turf Material 75000 SF $ 3.50 $ 262,500.00 Rubber 75000 SF $ 0.56 $ 42,000.00 Sand (E+L) 75000 SF $ 0.17 $ 12,750.00 Football Uprights 1 PR $ 15,000.00 $ 15,000.00 12' Ball Stopper Netting 400 LF $ 90.00 $ 36,000.00 Subtotal $ 7 95,750.00 Synthetic Track Surfacing Gravel Base D-Zone 22000 SF $ 1.50 $ 33,000.00 Bituminous Concrete Paving D-Zone 22000 SF $ 2.75 $ 60,500.00 Track Surfacing 22000 SF $ 5.00 $ 110,000.00 Track Re-Surfacing 32000 SF $ 1.50 $ 48,000.00 Line Striping 1 LS $ 4,000.00 $ 4,000.00 Subtotal $ 2 55,500.00 SUBTOTAL OF SITE CONSTRUCTION ITEMS TOTAL $ 1 ,131,650.00 GENERAL CONDITIONS, BOND, CONTRACTOR OH&P $ 1 13,165.00 CONTINGENCY $ 5 6,582.50 SOFT COSTS $ 8 4,873.75 TOTAL $ 1,387,000.00 Opinion of Probable Cost - Medfield High School Multi-Use Synthetic Field and Track Item Quantity Unit Unit Price Total Alternate #1: Option A Base Bid $ 1,387,000.00 Deduct SBR Rubber and Sand $ ( 336,285.00) Upgraded Turf,Coated Sand Infill, and Shock Pad $ 583,912.50 Alternate #1 Total $ 1,635,000.00 Alternate #2: Option B Base Bid $ 1,387,000.00 Deduct SBR Rubber and Sand $ ( 336,285.00) SBR Rubber, Sand, and Shock Pad $ 472,650.00 Alternate #2 Total $ 1,524,000.00 Alternate #3 Equipment & Closeout 1 LS $ 30,000.00 $ 30,000.00 Storage Units with Pads 5 EA $ 12,000.00 $ 60,000.00 Alternate #3 Total $ 90,000.00 FIELD A: HIGH SCHOOL MULTI-USE SYNTHETIC FIELD AND TRACK

I had posted this report, but that was before I learned how to insert a JPEG of the file so you can now see the actual document, so here is the document. At the annual town meeting we will be asked to vote $1.4m. to replace the MHS turf field.

The initial evergreen field was installed around 2004 (from memory), funded entirely with private donations totaling over $600,000, as a Medfield Foundation initiative lead by Tim Nugent. The field when built had an expected ten year life, before it was to need substantial work.

This current report does not say how long the proposed field will last, but it does quote a 20-25 year life for the Alternate #1, which adds about $250,000 to the cost.  As I understand things, that is not the suggested option, since the cost I have heard stated is the $1.4m., which is the cost of the basic replacement in this report.  If that basic field still has a 10 year life, it may behoove the town to  pay the extra $250,000 now to get an extra 10-15 years of use before having to pay for another replacement, versus paying for a full replacement in another 10 years.

The field is located in an area that is wet, and was reportedly as a result always a marginal location for a playing field because of that wetness.  At the time the time of the original construction of the turf field the schools reportedly did not want to consider other less wet locations.

This is the sort of large expense that should be on the town’s new 20 year capital plan that the town is looking to create – a known large repeating expense for which we as a  town should budget and plan ahead.  Funding the creation of that new 20 year town wide capital plan is another ATM article.

Election today


Town election today at The Center, with pools open until 8PM.

Medfield Press on EDC’s report to BoS on downtown

Downtown Summit

Medfield Press has a  good article (copy also inserted below) on the report to selectmen at our meeting Tuesday on the downtown summit held by the town’s Economic Development Committee with the assistance of the MAPC.  The MAPC representative stressed that what the town will ultimately get in the end is a To Do List for our downtown.

Also, Adam Stuhlman of the Medfield Press reported to us on Tuesday that the Medfield Press now has two reporters covering the town, which is welcome news, as the town can only benefit from good newspaper coverage – and Adam is doing a good job.


Medfield study shows residents’ downtown wishlist

Posted Mar. 24, 2016 at 12:32 PM


The Economic Development Committee and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council released the results of a study from February that showed what residents felt were the strengths and weaknesses of the downtown area.

The study showed that while residents like the area, they are concerned about traffic and parking. The Board of Selectmen Tuesday agreed to a proposal to do a parking and sidewalk study. Before the study begins they want to reach out to old members of the dormant Downtown Study Committee, said Patrick Casey, chairman of the Economic Development Committee.

On Feb. 9, the committee and the council held a public forum at the Medfield Public Library to determine what residents thought of the area in terms of necessary changes and good uses. Casey said about 90 people attended, with the results showing most people enjoying what the area offers.

“People said the downtown area was walkable and visually appealing,” he said. “They like the fact that it has historic structures like the Peak House, Clark’s Tavern and the churches. They also liked the independent shops.”

At the same time, he said the results showed several needed areas of improvement, according to residents. People were worried about traffic, parking and pedestrian safety. Also mentioned was the low number of retail stores and there being “no gathering places for kids,” according to Casey.

Casey also said the committee talked to about 30 downtown area businesses last summer, with most of them saying the town has been good to work with.

“We have a good starting point and we want to make it stronger. We just need to remove negatives like traffic and parking to make a trip there easier,” he said.

Steve Winter, director of economic development for the MAPC said the study was paid for by the state and cost $15,000. He said a lot of work remains to be done on this project and that residents need to appreciate what they have in the downtown area.

“The history of Medfield is woven into the downtown area,” he said.

4/11 report on MSH planning

This meeting is an opportunity for all residents to both get informed about and also to provide input into the planning process for the MSH, before the scenarios to be studied in greater depth are selected.

Medfield State Hospital Master Plan Committee Update

The Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee (MSHMPC) will hold an open forum regarding the Medfield State Hospital property on Monday, April 11 at 7:00 PM in the Medfield High School Auditorium.



Lee Chapel at msh

Lee Chapel

Recent walking tour of the property led by Buildings & Grounds Chair John Thompson.
Photo courtesy of Kathy McCrossan


Community Meeting for the Medfield State Hospital Property

The April 11th meeting has two major goals.  The first is to provide transparency about the master planning process to Medfield citizens: to educate residents about the planning process; to summarize all that the Committee has learned; and, to outline the next steps. The second goal is to maintain an open dialog with the Town to ensure any proposal accurately addresses the goals of its residents.

MSHMPC will start with a brief overview of its work with VHB, an established master planning consultant that is assisting the Committee.  Results of the three surveys sent out this past summer will be reviewed.  These surveys provide invaluable feedback to MSHMPC in assessing the priorities given to any particular aspect of a plan. The Committee will discuss initiatives and uses that are under consideration and intends to introduce various study scenarios used to strengthen the planning process.  An explanation of the financial model employed in the study  scenarios will also be included.

An update on the Buildings and Grounds will be provided.  The property is becoming a popular venue for a broad variety of passive recreation uses and is increasingly providing a source of enjoyment to many residents.

Future outreach will be discussed. The forum will close with an extended Question and Answer period to get feedback from the residents and to answer questions.

All citizens are encouraged to attend. Medfield TV will cover the meeting for those unable to attend in person.

Green Street poles & South Street gas main

green st-2

I was just checking on the poles on Green Street, and there are new substantially larger poles now installed, but the old poles located in the paved surface are still there and they still have wires on them.  This email update from Mike Sullivan this afternoon –

I went down Green Street this afternoon and there were two Verizon crews working there,One was down by Bullards and the other was beyond Lowell Mason Road. I also heard from Carl Aiello,  Columbia Gas of MA, and he old me that the gas main replacement on South Street near the High School was still scheduled for late spring or summer. At the request of the Police and School Departments, Columbia Gas agreed that the work should not be started until school is out. Mike

Gold Award & Ambassador Bridging Ceremony

20160319-GS-Gold Awards

At St. Edward’s this afternoon, above are the 17 MHS seniors in Girl Scouts, who as Ambassador Scouts bridged over to Adult Scouts.  7 of them also got Gold Awards.

Below are some of the Mom’s of the Gold Award scouts who made it all possible.

20160319GS-Gold Award-Moms

Katherine Steeger and Linda Frawley have been leading a remarkably strong resurgence of Girl Scouting in town for many years,  and both of their daughters were among those being honored.

Gold Award projects were impressive, covering poverty, poetry, bats, bridges, tutoring, and volunteerism.  See the longer descriptions I posted before.

BoS 3/22



Tuesday March 22, 2016@ 7:00 PM


Steve Winter, MAPC
Discuss February 9, 2016 Downtown Summit results

7:30 PM Public Hearing-Application for All Alcohol License for new restaurant, Avenue
Josh Foley, Manager


Agreement between the Town and Open Space LLC for the use of Town owned land on Janes Avenue for municipal parking lot


Discuss Curve Street traffic

Other business that may arise



The DLS newsletter also had this article on ransomware –

Local Officials Directory

Municipal Calendar

IGR’s & Bulletins

Workshops, Seminars & Events

What’s New?

City & Town is published by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s Division of Local Services (DLS) and is designed to address matters of interest to local officials.

Editor: Dan Bertrand

Editorial Board: Sean Cronin, Anthonia Bakare, Robert Bliss, Linda Bradley, Nate Cramer, Patricia Hunt, Tara Lynch and Tony Rassias

In this Issue:
Leveraging the Power of Data

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

It’s now been just over a year since I began my tenure at the Division of Local Services. Having served as a local official, I interacted regularly with DLS in a number of ways over the years, combing through data, reviewing best practices, obtaining opinions from the Municipal Finance Law Bureau, and depending on Bureau of Accounts and Bureau of Local Assessment field staff to work with the finance team we had in Brookline in order to get the tax rate approved. However, it wasn’t until I came on board that I was able to appreciate the scope of work DLS is tasked with and the many ways in which we help municipalities achieve and maintain financial stability.

It is because of this combination of regulatory responsibilities, the depth and breadth of our municipal finance data, and the knowledge of our staff that I believe we have the capacity to provide significant insights and direction to municipalities that will allow them to recognize potential challenges and address them before they impact the overall fiscal health of a community.

I strongly support using data as a means to drive municipal innovation and address potential financial pitfalls and challenges, and this will be our focus at DLS in the coming weeks and months. To that end, we will provide additional tools and support best practices that utilize data. Here’s how we’ll do it.

351 Report

Still in early development, I envision this report as a way to utilize a set of standardized metrics and variables (for example, receivables, reserve levels, debt, new growth, etc.) to provide a useful snapshot of a community’s fiscal health. It will have broad utility as an information tool. As we found with the improvements to our website, particularly with our databank reporting tools, data visualizations project information in a way that can be reviewed and interpreted by a broad range of people from local officials to residents.

Increased analytic review and data analysis in City & Town

These types of pieces in our municipal finance e-newsletter take the most time and effort from our staff, but they are extremely beneficial to our partners in municipal government. Judging from past survey results, statewide trend analyses and articles that comprehensively review data are exactly the types of articles our readers appreciate. Our dedicated staff is committed to providing these types of contributions to our publication, and I thank them for that as we move forward.

Web-based tutorials

For quite some time, we’ve heard feedback from across the state regarding the need for more online tutorials and information. As part of these efforts and with the goal of one day providing a fully online version of our Assessment Administration: Law, Procedures and Valuation (aka Course 101) seminar, I’m pleased to announce that we’ve taken the initial step toward this goal with our new Proposition 2 1/2 YouTube videos. We’ll be rolling out more of these informational vignettes over the coming year, but, for now, take a look and feel free to access the videos as you see fit!

I welcome and appreciate your feedback. If you have ideas for articles and analyses you’d like to see, as always, I’d like to hear from our colleagues in local government as we go forward. If you have any comments or suggestions, please pass them along by emailing me at Thank you.

Sean R. Cronin
Senior Deputy Commissioner of Local Services

Protecting Your Computer Network from Malware and Ransomware
Susan Whouley – Bureau of Accounts Analyst, Kirsten Shirer-Taylor – Director of Information Technology and Tony Rassias – Bureau of Accounts Deputy Director

Maintaining the public trust is of paramount importance at all levels of government. In our digital world, this means safeguarding a tremendous amount of data – a task that is increasingly difficult, as a number of Massachusetts communities are well aware after having their IT infrastructure attacked by cybercriminals.

This article includes tips on how to protect your IT resources from cybercrime and shares one town’s experience dealing with a specific ransomware attack.


Malware, short for malicious software, is a general term for any software installed by a cybercriminal to disrupt computer operations or gain access to computer systems or information with malicious intent. Malware comes in a variety of forms (viruses, worms, trojans, ransomware, spyware, adware, scareware, and others) and is often embedded in email or disguised as a common file like a Zip file or PDF.

Recent Reports

In one well-publicized report, hackers attempted to gain access to a Massachusetts town’s finances in an attempt to transfer $4 million from its bank accounts to several overseas and domestic banks. Keylogging malware on a town computer and a deceptive phone call to a town office gave the criminals enough information to make the attempt, which was ultimately stopped by the town’s financial advisory service with no financial loss. The town appropriately responded to this event by hiring a consultant to perform a security audit of its entire IT system, after which improvements were made to both IT infrastructure and internal policies.

Another common threat is a ransomware attack where cybercriminals use email to deliver and install a malicious program like CryptoLocker or WinLocker to lock screens or encrypt and lock important files. In several Massachusetts communities, CryptoLocker infections have effectively disabled departmental or entire computer systems, sometimes including backup systems, with criminals demanding ransoms between $300 and $750 payable in Bitcoin (a form of digital currency) in exchange for unlocking the files. In most cases, after numerous unsuccessful attempts to unlock the files, the communities were forced to pay the ransom to regain access to mission-critical data. In those cases, the data was successfully restored after payment. For contrast, the story of one community that chose not to pay the ransom follows.

We’ve been hacked!

The town of Royalston discovered a notice on a town computer stating that the computer’s files had been encrypted and that a $300 ransom must be paid within 72 hours or else files would be destroyed. The attack is presumed to have begun by the opening of an infected email.

Having never been attacked by such a virus before, the town wasn’t fully prepared. The town was fortunate, however, in four ways:

  1. The computer was connected to the Internet only and was not networked to other computers in town hall;
  2. The computer was used for administrative operations and did not contain personal, financial or other critical information;
  3. A backup existed to recover the user’s email; and
  4. The town had a computer expert nearby.

Jon Hardie, husband of town tax collector Rebecca Krause-Hardie and an IT expert whose background includes serving as the Director of Technology Initiatives for the Nellie Mae Foundation, advised the town to disconnect the computer from the Internet but to leave it turned on until he arrived at town hall. According to Jon, “Ransomware sends an encryption ‘key’ to the infected computer that can unlock files after a ransom is paid. Turning off the computer deletes the key or sends it back to the hacker and any option to pay the ransom is probably lost.”

While Jon worked on the infected computer, Rebecca sent an email from her computer to all town staff warning them not to open any emails sent from anyone they didn’t know, especially one entitled “admin,” which they suspected was the source of the malware.

Town administrative officials then quickly met to determine their options. There were few: either pay the ransom and hope the files would be unlocked with no further complications or don’t pay the ransom and attempt to rebuild files.

They decided not to pay. Jon arrived with a USB thumb drive containing software designed to combat ransomware, which he downloaded and installed on the infected computer. After much time was spent, the computer’s files were successfully reconstructed.

To guard against future incidents, the town instituted the following changes:

  • New firewalls were created;
  • Antivirus software with automatically renewing licenses was installed on every non-networked town computer;
  • Additional file backups were put in place;
  • More complex passwords were required; and
  • Staff was trained in proper computer use.

In addition, Jon was hired as an IT consultant to continue the process of risk management. The Board of Selectmen added support by distributing policies concerning appropriate use of town computers and by making funds available for implementing security improvements.

Protecting Municipal Digital Assets

Protecting your computers and network infrastructure should be a group effort, because no one person or department can provide complete security against malware and ransomware. In addition to the steps taken by Royalston, DLS recommends these best practices to protect your computers and network against malware:

  • Be proactive: identify an individual or committee to spearhead efforts for improving cybersecurity, and commit to providing adequate financial, political and human resources. Don’t wait for a worst-case scenario; plan for it now.
  • Use the services of a professional IT consultant or company if you don’t have IT pros on staff.
  • Keep all computer operating systems up to date.
  • Ensure that firewalls and Internet security software are in place and kept up to date.
  • Include cybersecurity in any risk management program or exercise.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive backup and recovery strategy.
  • Regularly test backups to make sure critical files can be successfully restored.
  • Allow users to download and install files only when necessary.
  • Educate users early and often on the importance of following “safe browsing” and other acceptable use policies.
  • Limit the use of municipal computers to municipal business. Give municipal users email accounts on the city/town domain to eliminate the need for using personal email accounts.
  • Enable the built-in security tools available in all major web browsers and keep the browsers updated.
  • If the worst does happen, alert local law enforcement so steps can be taken to try to identify the criminals.

Read More about Malware, Ransomware and Related Topics

FBI Cyber Crimes Stories
New E-Scams and Warnings

File an Internet Crime Complaint

Taking Steps to Protect Privacy and Control Losses

The authors would like to thank Jon Hardie and Rebecca Krause-Hardie of Royalston for their contributions to this article.