Monthly Archives: April 2016

Medfield’s 1st solar PV

solar at WWTP

Representative Shawn Dooley reads a Proclamation from the Legislature, with Mike Sullivan, Jeremy Marsette, Mark Fisher and my better half (I barely made the photo) looking on.

Medfield First Solar PV Array opened at the Waste Water Treatment Plant on 4/28/16

The new 237 KW solar PV array at the Waste Water Treatment Plant went online after a ribbon cutting yesterday.  This opening was the combined achievement of Energy Committee member Fred Davis obtained a $12,500 state DOER grant for the town in 2014 that allowed the Committee to study solar options in three town locations, the Waste Water Treatment Plant Operator, Bob McDonald, getting a $180,000 state grant for almost half the construction costs, and the Energy Committee pushing the project forward to completion via eh efforts of its staff person, Facilities Manager, Andrew Seaman.

It is actually a hugely instructive lesson in how important a paid town staff person is to a volunteer town committee, as this whole process did not really take off until Andrew was hired and began to staff the Energy Committee and its meetings.

Adam Stuhlman wrote a good article for the Medfield Press – click at

Medfield state budget earmarks out

State-House-smaller_1 (1)

I spoke with Representative Shawn Dooley at the ribbon cutting this morning for the Waste Water Treatment Plant’s solar PV installation, about the two earmarks he included in the House version of the state budget for Medfield

  • $15,000 to the Medfield Fire Department for the purchase of an automatic chest compression device,and
  • $1m. towards repair of West Street bridge over the Charles River

and learned that both had effectively been defeated.  They are still there, just without any money assigned to them.  It is possible the Senate could fund them, but not likely.

This email today from Medfield’s man at the legislature, John Nunnari, with the excruciating details about how the legislature does things –


An update on the proposed amendments noted below.


For consideration, the amendments were respectively wrapped into Consolidated Amendments “H” and “I”.


In order to speed up the process of considering amendments, leadership bundled most of the 1307 amendments into nine categories; Education and Local Aid; Constitutional Officers, State Administration, and Transportation; Energy and Environmental Affairs; Social Services and Veterans; Housing, Mental Health and Disability Services; Public Health; Health and Human Services and Elder Affairs; Public Safety and Judiciary; Labor and Economic Development


Amendment 306 was bundled into Consolidated Amendments “H” – Public Safety and Judiciary and Amendment 310 was bundled into Consolidated Amendments “I” – Labor and Economic Development.


While both consolidated amendments did pass today, through a parliamentary procedure designed to shield members votes, Amendments 306 (and 166 other amendments included in “H”) and 310 (and 178 other amendment included in “I”) did not pass.


I’m sorry to say that the money proposed via these amendment will not be forthcoming.




From: John Nunnari
Sent: Tuesday, April 19, 2016 4:46 PM
Subject: State Budget – Medfield Amendments


Two amendments filed to the House budget and up for consideration during next weeks debate.



AmdID Amd# Sponsor Sponsor Title Amending DEP Description InstaTrac Summary Amount Requested Increase Earmark HFY16 Comment
2017H0306 306 Shawn Dooley Medfield Fire Department Purchase 8324-0000 DFS Department of Fire Services Administration Earmarks $15,000 to the Medfield Fire Department for the purchase of an automatic chest compression device and/or associated materials, and increases the item by the same amount. $20,799,781 $20,814,781 $15,000 $15,000 2016H0486 Amendment #486 in FY16, this item was excluded from a bundle in last year’s budget.
2017H0310 310 Shawn Dooley Maintenance of the West Street Bridge in the towns of Medfield and Millis 1599-0026 ANF Municipal Regionalization and Efficiencies Incentive Reserve Earmarks $1,000,000 for the maintenance of the West Street Bridge in the towns of Medfield and Millis, and increases the item by the same amount. $5,240,000 $6,240,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000



BoS – 5/3 agenda

wire instructions to olp's village bank client account20160503-agenda_Page_220160503-agenda_Page_320160503-agenda_Page_4

Security deposit violations are a defense to evictions


The Supreme Judicial Court this morning decided that a landlord’s violation of the highly complex security deposit law may be asserted as a defense to an eviction. I counsel all but full time professional landlords to take last months rent instead of a security deposit, because of the complexities required by that law.

We conclude that a violation of the security deposit
statute is encompassed within the definition of “counterclaim or
defense” in G. L. c. 239, § 8A, and that a counterclaim or
defense on that basis may be asserted as a defense to a
landlord’s possession in a summary process action under G. L.
c. 239, § 1A. Therefore, we reverse the Housing Court judgment
granting possession to the landlord and remand for a hearing in
accordance with the provisions of G. L. c. 239, § 8A, fifth par.


Postal Drive for MFC 5/14


On Saturday, May 14th, the Medfield Food Cupboard is partnering with the letter carriers’ union again for the annual “Stamp Out Hunger” Postal Food Drive.
Medfield residents are being asked to leave non-perishable, non-expired food donations in mailboxes for postal carriers to collect.  All donations will be brought to the Medfield Food Cupboard at the United Church of Christ. The Postal Drive is the nation’s largest one day food drive.

Please help stock the shelves of the Medfield Food Cupboard to benefit those in need in our community as we approach the summer months.
Donations may include but are not limited to: kid friendly cereal, canned chicken, beef stew, canned fruit or fruit in a bowl, peanut butter, jelly, applesauce, juice, hot cereal packets, sloppy joes, cookies/salty snacks, white rice and raisins.
Thank you.

Jacqui Doe

MCAP presents Hidden in Plain Sight at Natick Mall


You are invited to a special exhibit!  Metro West prevention coalitions unite to bring Hidden in Plain Sight, an initiative to help parents spot signs of teen risky behavior, to Natick Mall.  See the above flyer for more details! While anyone age 21 and over may view the exhibit at any time it is open, the grand opening is May 10th from 10am to 12pm and will feature community and state leaders throughout the Metro West area.  Medfield’s own coalition, Medfield Cares About Prevention (MCAP) will oversee the exhibit Thursday, May 19th from 10am to 2pm and Friday May 20th from 5pm-9pm.  Why not make it a day or evening out to the mall with friends to explore the exhibit and catch up with coalition members from your community!  We hope you to see you there!



  Hidden in Plain Sight:

Spot At-Risk Behavior at The Natick Mall

 Community Initiative to Help Parents Recognize Signs of Youth Substance Use

 WHAT:          The Hidden in Plain Sight initiative helps parents spot signs of youth at-risk behaviors using an interactive display of a teenager’s bedroom. Specially trained “tour guides” from MetroWest community coalitions will walk participants through the display, providing education about adolescent development and common signs of substance use.

This exhibit encourages parents to communicate with their children about at-risk behavior that could lead to opioid addiction and other substance use disorders because a strong parent-teen relationship is the most effective tool to prevent substance use.

The initiative is sponsored by South Shore Hospital’s Youth Health Connection, BlumShapiro, The Natick -Mall, Natick Together for Youth, the Town of Natick, SOAR (Supporting Our Addicts Recovery) Natick, Ashland’s Decisions at Every Turn Coalition, Framingham Health Department, the Holliston Drug & Alcohol Awareness Coalition, Hopkinton Organizing for Prevention, Medfield Cares About Prevention, SAFE/JAG Coalition, and Wayland Cares.

WHY:            The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is in the midst of an opioid epidemic, with an estimated 1,173 opioid related deaths in 2014 and an estimated 1,104 opioid related deaths between January and September 2015.*

Studies have shown that youth use of substances like alcohol, marijuana and prescription pain medication is associated with increased risk of addiction to heroin and other opioids.

WHEN:         Hidden in Plain Sight is open to the public May 9th-26th

                     Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays from 5pm-9pm, Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10am-2pm, and Saturdays & Sundays from 12pm-4pm

                     Each sponsoring community coalition has taken responsibility for set shifts.

                     Medfield, through Medfield Cares About Prevention has committed to cover Thursday, May 19th from 10am to 2pm and Friday, May 20th from 5pm-9pm with volunteer “tour guides” from Medfield.  Volunteers are welcome to sign up for the whole four hour shift or for two hour increments.  Medfield Youth Outreach will offer trainings for volunteers on May 10th at 11am and 7pm (or upon request) at their location. “Tour guide” training is approximately 45 minutes long.

WHO:           Hidden in Plain Sight is open to all members of the public over the age of 21 and therefore all volunteers must be age 21 or over.  Children may not accompany adult volunteers due to the nature of the exhibit.

WHERE:       The Hidden in Plain Sight event is at the Natick Mall, 1245 Worcester Street, Natick, MA 01760; located on the first floor of the mall, near Sears (next to GameStop and across from CVS).  Volunteer training will be held at Medfield Youth Outreach at 88R South Street, Medfield High School (DOOR 12).


CONTACT:    Please contact Dawn Alcott or Chelsea Goldstein-Walsh,, (508) 359-7121 if you are interested in volunteering for this event.


*Source: MA Department of Public Health

More on 40B


First, it was suggested (a copy of part of the email appears below) that I list who qualifies to live in affordable housing, so I grabbed these current figures from HUD at this website.

Medfield town, MA
Income Limit 1-person 2-person 3-person 4-person 5-person 6-person 7-person 8-person
FY2016 Low-

Income Limits

$51,150 $58,450 $65,750 $73,050 $78,900 $84,750 $90,600 $96,450

Those income levels would cover most Town of Medfield employees and many of our seniors.


Second, I recalled a few more town owned parcels that could perhaps be used for affordable housing.

  • The land between the Legion and the railroad tracks along Dale Street.  This land is mostly wet, but there may be some along the RR tracks that is usable. It is currently being used by the DPW as a materials storage area.
  • The land along and across the RR tracks behind the Wheelock School.  It is also currently being used by the DPW as a materials storage area.
  • Next to the above DPW land behind Wheelock is a handsome and fairly large parcel (maybe ten acres) between the RR tracks and Rte. 27 that is former field under the control of the Water and Sewer Board.  Query whether that could be usable, if W&S did not need it?


This was part of the email from Stephen Callahan, to which I am partly responding (and thank you Stephen for your input)-

One area you did not address that I believe more education is needed is the question of “what exactly constitutes “affordable” or “low income”.”    Some are surprised to learn of the minimum and maximum income requirements for individuals from our area of state to qualify for 40B housing.   In addition, many of them are seniors, who don’t have children.

40B protections


I saw that my post about the Hospital Road 40B was sparking a larger discussion on one Facebook group, and wanted to share some thoughts, but I thought that I would give my input here, where it gets to more residents.

First, I feel it behooves the town to either have 10% affordable housing or 1.5% of its land devoted to affordable housing, both because it is the right thing to do to be inclusive, but also so that 40B projects cannot be put willy nilly anywhere in town.  My office colleague lives on Wellesley Street in Weston – a developer bought the single family home next door, is looking to tear it down and build a four unit rental 40B on those two acres.  Smart move for the developer, but it changes that neighborhood in ways that may not be welcome to the residents.  That sort of pop up 40B may be our future too, if the town does not achieve one of the 40B safe harbors.

Second, we can achieve temporary protection if we both adopt and implement a Housing Production Plan (HPP).  Such a plan is a road map to how we will achieve the 10%.  The town paid a consultant to assist in preparing such a plan a couple of years ago, but it has not moved forward, I am told, because it has been opposed by the planning board.  It would make sense to revisit and solve whatever shortcomings existed in that HPP and try to adopt a HPP.  Once we adopt a HPP, we do need to actually bring on-line about 22 affordable housing units per year to keep our protection from the unwanted 40B proposals – but we could use the Hospital Road 40B to meet two years of that yearly requirement.

Third, the town can be proactive, either by having enacting inclusionary zoning (greater density developments include affordable units – such as is done by Newton – 10% of units must be affordable) or by sponsoring projects on town owned land.  The inclusionary zoning might have gotten the town four affordable units at Old Village Square, one each at Grover Place and Thurston Place.

Ideally, any affordable housing would be spread around the town, instead of all clustered in one spot.  However, when I went looking for town owned land we could use, I did not find many parcels, as historically we bought land for conservation purposes, and we cannot use conservation land for housing.

These are the parcels I know that the town can use for housing if it wanted:

  • MSH
  • lot 3 off Ice House Road
  • Hinkley land off Ice House Road
  • Tilden Village (and this is not even town owned land)

Lastly, another intriguing option was recently presented to the MSH/MPC, of building group residents for individuals with disabilities.  In such residences, such as the one that already exists on Hospital Road next to McCarthy Park, each bed counts as an affordable unit (that one modest building accounts for eight of the affordable units in town).  In this scenario, the town can do well by doing what is both right to do for society and good for those with disabilities.

Hospital Road 40B

20160420-plan & OLP notes_Page_1

Town officials have been meeting with the Larkin Brothers and their representatives to see if and how the town can impact the Larkins’ proposed 40B development off Hospital Road just before the DRC fields at the former Medfield State Hospital.  Most recently Mike Sullivan, Sarah Raposa, Kristine Trierweiler, Frank Perry, Ralph Costello, and I met with the Larkins this past Wednesday, at which point they brought along their architect and engineer, and shared the above plan.  This version of the plan is less dense than the prior plan, and has more first floor master suites to address the need in town for housing for the empty nesters.

The current iteration of the plan is down to 48 units, in an ownership condominium complex:

  • units range in size from 1700-2900 square feet
  • anticipated sale prices range from $500-650,000
  • 32 of 48 units will have first floor master suites
  • there are 116 bedrooms total
  • there are 24 singles and 24 duplexes
  • 12 units has 4 bedrooms, and the rest are 2 bedrooms (with a den) or 3 bedrooms
  • 8 of the 4 bedroom ones have the master suite upstairs (I would prefer fewer of these)
  • 8 of the 3 bedroom ones have the master suite upstairs (I would prefer fewer of these)
  • the density is 6 unit per acre
  • we discussed having a condo covenant to prohibit finished basements

The Larkins left the current plans with Twon Planner, Sarah Raposa.  The Larkins said they are just weeks away from filing with the state.  The look will be similar to  Grover Place on North Street that the Larkins are just finishing.  In the plan above, the top right house will not be part of the 40B, and they are looking to build that unit ASAP, to be a model sales unit for the 40B.  That house is planned on the lot that is currently the fifth house in from the fields.  The lines on the above plan are where I suggested they might consider putting connector paths out to the state DCR lands or what will ultimately become the town lands, that are now owned by the Amnotts.

All 40B proposals are permitted by the ZBA,  and my suggestion was that it behooved the town to see if the town could positively impact the proposal before the Larkins’ plans were finalized, and that is why these meetings are happening.  Town endorsement of the Larkins’ final plans might well assist them in their ZBA permitting process, and so both sides have much to gain by getting to a consensus plan.


Field bids $1.6 – 1.8m.

MHS field

The ATM article 21 looked to appropriate $1.4m. to renovate the MHS turf field.  Per an email today from Mike Sullivan, the bids opened this morning came in higher.

The bids for the school field & track rebuild were opened at 10:00 a.m. this morning. There were five bids and they ranged, roughly, between $1.6 and $1.8 million. The School Dept. is working to see how the work can be reduced to bring it back to the $1.4 million that we have been using for Town Meeting. Jeff told me to stick with the $1.4 million figure and they would go with that amount on Monday. Mike S