Monthly Archives: April 2017

Town loses stellar VSO, Ron Griffin

ron griffin 2

Ron Griffin to Retire as Veterans Service Officer

Ron Griffin emailed town officials yesterday to confirm his long planned, and much deferred, retirement as the town’s Veterans Service Officer, leaving huge shoes to be filled.

First and foremost, I want to thank Ron for his exemplary and expansive service to the Town of Medfield, its veterans, and really, by his extension of the scope of the VSO work, to all of our residents.  It has been one of my great pleasures to see how he used that VSO position to make so many things happen to honor the veterans, but also to involve so many facets of the town in the process.  Thanks to Ron the Blake Middle School students now meet annually with veterans, Medfield Foundation volunteer of the year honorees receive flags flown over the Capital, the town this year is honoring Vietnam War vets, and the town now celebrates all veterans on Veterans Day with a breakfast in their honor served by the Medfield High School students from their Warriors for Warriors club.  Also, through his Legion connections, housing for veterans is now being explored at the Legion.  Ron is clearly a leader of both vision and action.

The defeat of Ron’s motion to amend the Veterans Service Officer budget at the annual town meeting (ATM) was the low point of that meeting.  That was when I first learned that the Warrant Committee was not supporting that funding request, and the issue had not been discussed by selectmen.  In hindsight, I wish I had added a plea for support on its behalf, since the expanded position could have coordinated with Medfield Youth Outreach and the Council on Aging to serve those most in need in Medfield (see Ron’s proposal below).

Below are Ron’s email, and then Ron’s previously presented plan for the expanded VSO position.  Maybe a future town meeting, as a tribute to Ron Griffin and his extraordinary service to all Medfield residents, will enact his recommendations:


April 27, 2017

Dear Selectman Pete Petersen, Mike Marcucci, Gus Murby and Town Manager Mike Sullivan

In October of 2015 I submitted my intention to retire at the end of that fiscal year.  I gave advance notice so as to give the town time to prepare a solution to the states full time service officer requirement and to find a suitable replacement.  When neither was accomplished by the end of that fiscal year, I agreed to continue in my position until December 2016 with the understanding that the town would be able to find a replacement and achieve state compliance by that time frame.  Now the 2018 fiscal year is approaching and to the best of my knowledge there has been no advancement by the town to fill the position nor actions planned to secure compliance to the State’s General Law.

This places me in the intolerable position to abandon my post, which I will do at the end of this fiscal year.

As the position of Veteran Service Officer carry’s with it appointments to the Memorial Day Committee and Committee to Study Memorials, I am resigning from those committees as of July 1, 2017.

As the town moves forward to find solutions to serve it’s veteran population I fear it will encounter difficulties.  If the town tries to fill the position and not also meet compliance with State law, the appointment will be rejected by the State.  In addition the state might freeze certain Veteran reimbursements through the Cherry Sheet until the town is in compliance.  The State is under some pressures to take actions on the few communities that are not in compliance with State Law in providing Veteran Services.   I fear Medfield will become the example used to prod other communities into compliance.  I also fear that the veteran community statewide along with the media, will strongly vocalize and condemn the town for its non-actions to bring the town into compliance with the state law.  I also fear the Town of Medfield will be depicted as hostile community to veterans.  This will greatly sadden me, as I know the Town of Medfield is one of the most supportive veteran communities in the state.

It is also possible that none of my fears will materialize.  However it is these undesirable real fears along with a strong concern to insure that the valuable services provided by this office continue without interruption that has motivated me to continue my duties throughout this past fiscal year.

Please understand, I regret the actions I am taking now.  I trust you can agree that I have done all that I could to insure that an orderly transition of my position was achieved.

Until then, I remain at your service.

Ron Griffin
Medfield Veteran Service Officer


March 22, 2017 Subject - VSO Job description expansion - Office of Veteran and Community Services I am very aware that the following is not within the context of my responsibilities and has not been solicited. However, it is being offered with the intent of advancing the town toward compliance with State Law requiring the Town of Medfield provide full time access to Veteran Service Officer services. I fully agree that the current Medfield veteran population is in rapid decline and not large enough to warrant full time services, however the law uses town population to determine the requirement. Last year I submitted a budget for a full time position and I have done so this year as well. So I would like to offer rational to expand the duties of the VSO, while preserving its primary function. I met with Warrant Committee member Tom Marie to discuss my 2018 budget proposal and essentially had this same conversation. The VSO Position administrative overview The veteran Service Officer must be the primary function of the VSO position, however others duties may be assigned. The VSO position must be occupied by a veteran. The VSO position requires subject knowledge and certification on general areas specific to veterans and their families. Providing knowledge and information the VSO identifies benefits and guides clients through various matrices toward acquiring them. The pathway mostly consists of benefit explanation, developing the correct documentation and delivering it to the correct resource. The VSO does not determine, deny or ratify benefits and is non judgmental in offering assistance to any individual. However, the VSO does administer Massachusetts Chapter 115 benefits. Expanding VSO duties Where much of a VSO’s expertise is in subject explanation, documentation development and resource identification it is probable that these skills can be used on other non veteran related programs needed by the town’s citizens. Generally NEEDS based programs do not require unique expertise and many community programs may only require the dissemination of information. Needs based programs already exist that are managed by various town departments, sometimes under-utilizing the expertise of the person managing them. All to often, citizens are denied assistance because they simply do not know it exists. Often our citizens most in need of services are the least able to acquire them on their own. Because discussions about these services are provided in a confidential private setting, there is little visibility that these assisting services ever took place. Generally the community population who are not exposed to these services are seldom aware of the their need nor of their importance. Each of you probably have had an experience with one of our citizens who had an issue and had no idea where to turn for help. My experience is that generally what is missing is an understanding of the problem. Yes, occasionally our bureaucratic systems do error and when they do, it is usually very difficult for an individual to correct. In today's society, little can be accomplished without computer knowledge and internet access. Paper forms are now restricted and agency's often defer to web based solutions. More often computers are the decision makers and generating correspondence while the human analysis works to understand the computers choice rather than applying a solution. Often agency's do authorize electronic access to their systems that help identify individual issues. There is a BOLD line that separates assisting in a situation and owning that situation. I do not propose that this position administer any benefit (other than Chapter 115). That bold line is too easily crossed due to a natural compassion that develops with the client. While it is appropriate to provide guidance toward appealing undesirable results, it is not appropriate to participate in the appeal as that would require specific professional expertise. Development of VSO knowledge and skills can easily take more than a year. Knowledge development of non Veteran needs assistance will be substantially less. Identification of non veteran based services can be developed independently, but the following programs are offered as potential candidates. Non- Veteran Needs based services already provided by Medfield (The following is a collaboration list identified by Dawn Alcott, Chelsea Goldstein-Walsh, Cheryl Lavallee and Ron Griffin) Assistance with filling out applications: SNAP (formerly the food stamp program) Mass Health Other health insurance through health care connector SSI/SSDI when appropriate Department of Mental Health Department of Developmental Services SHINE (Medicare) Fuel Assistance Assistance with locating food resources: SNAP Medfield Food Cupboard A Place to Turn Natick (individual or family can go every 2 months for 2 weeks of food with a new social service referral each time…we have many families involved in this United Way program and we do their referrals every two months) Abundant Table Home Delivered Meals (if over age 60) (this is common when a senior is in the home of a family we serve) Assistance with financial help SMOC Housing Home Committee Angel Run Fund (we screen many referrals for ARF…usually 2-5 per week) Fuel Assistance (as SMOC representative for Medfield Community both MYO and COA do applications for residents) Assistance with obtaining basic necessities (clothing, furniture, etc.) New Life Home Refurnishing: (Furniture Resource)Must be referred by social service agency. That agency coordinates client visit on their behalf. This is a once in a life time referral…so it is a thorough and complete as possible process. Dress for Success Boston: (Clothing) Social service agency referral needed. A woman returning to the work force or changing careers can get one interview suit/outfit and an additional outfit following hire. Other agencies: ARC of Southern Norfolk County (for respite funds to hire caregivers and other programs) I hope you will consider the information provided as an opportunity to better utilize the VSO position to better serve all of our citizens. Ron Griffin Medfield VSO20170322-rg-veteran and community services position march 2017_Page_2

Dover on BCRT

Driving to work down Farm Street in Dover is now akin to navigating a tunnel of Bay Colony Rail Trail opinion signs, aimed at Dover town meeting votes on the Bay Colony Rail Trail issue.

These were circulated by Mike Sullivan yesterday –

/ RECORD OF VOTE OF THE DOVER BOARD OF SELECTMEN BAY COLONY RAIL TRAIL MOU February 16, 2017 At a duly called public meeting of the Dover Board of Selectmen on February 16, 2017, the Board moved, seconded, and voted as follows with respect to the proposed Bay Colony Rail Trail (a/k/a the Dover Greenway) in the Town of Dover (the "Rail Trail"): 1. To authorize Town Counsel's office, before the Town's 2017 Annual Town Meeting, to negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") with the Friends of the Dover Greenway Inc. (the "Friends"), covering the timing and donation by the Friends to the Town pursuant to M.G.L. c. 44, § 53A, of funds sufficient to cover all costs of the Rail Trail and the Town's obligations under the proposed "Alternative Transportation Corridor Lease Agreement by and between Massachusetts Bay Transpotiation Authority and Town of Dover" (the "Lease"), including without limitation the costs of (a) architects, engineers, surveyors, attorneys, and related professionals; (b) due diligence, surveys, plan preparation, designs, permitting, environmental insurance, and environmental investigation and compliance measures; ( c) public bidding and other public processes; ( d) construction, construction administration, construction management, and permitting oversight; ( e) operation, repairs and maintenance; (f) clearing title to, laying out and/or providing access to the MBTA right-of-way if and as necessary; (g) contingencies and cost overruns; and (h) otherwise meeting the Town's obligation under the Lease; and 2. To authorize the Town Administrator to engage a qualified consultant to advise the Town, from time to time, when sufficient funds have been donated, or any shortfall of funds donated, to accomplish the various purposes of the MOU. TOWN OF DOVER __..Byit:!:s oard of Selectmen  -  L - ~---;~~~~~~~~~ R:obyn Hunter, Chair o~ D.,J ___ , Candace Mccann, Clerk ( A0409632.2 } RECORD OF VOTE OF THE DOVER BOARD OF SELECTMEN BAY COLONY RAIL TRAIL LEASE February 16, 2017 At a duly called public meeting of the Dover Board of Selectmen (the "Board") on February 16, 2017, the Board moved, seconded, and voted as follows with respect to the proposed Bay Colony Rail Trail (a/k/a the Dover Greenway) in the Town of Dover: l. To request that the MBTA approve, before the Town's 2017 Annual Town Meeting, the attached form of "Alternative Transportation Conidor Lease Agreement by and between Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and Town of Dover" (the "Lease") with the applicable exhibits referenced therein; 2. To instruct Town Counsel's office to advise the Board of any proposed changes to the attached form of Lease requested by the MBTA or the Town either before or after Town Meeting; and, if any such changes are proposed after Town Meeting, to advise the Board whether those changes are consistent with Town Meeting's action with respect to the Lease; and 3. To request that the MBTA work with the Town to arrive at a mutually acceptable License Agreement and/or contingencies in the Lease to enable the Town to perform surveys, prepare plans and specifications, apply for governmental permits and approvals, solicit bids, and otherwise undertake mutually acceptable due diligence activities, and to ensure that sufficient private funds have been and will be donated to the Town to cover its obligations under the Lease. TOWN OF DOVER ;13'Yit~oard of Selectmen ( I \, !lJ-- -~)IIlHU1ltef: Chair LLkJ- (A0409630.2 }20170216-Dover votes_Page_2

ATM votes last Monday on ALS & AHT

town meeting

ALS Study Committee & Affordable Housing Trust at ATM

The town posted a summary of the votes on each warrant article at last Monday’s annual town meeting (ATM) (20170424-Warrant_votes_2017) .

On the only two substantially disputed warrant articles, my own estimate of the votes was that the warrant article:

  • #15 about ALS had the ATM voting about 80% against giving $500,000 to the selectmen to implement ALS as it saw fit in the next year if the selectmen felt it was needed – a clear mandate that the residents wants to make that decision themselves, rather than delegate it.  ALS will now go to the study committee that both the Warrant Committee and selectmen recommended; and
  • #17 about funding the Affordable Housing Trust with a $1m. bond had the ATM voting about 80% in favor.  Those monies will provide the town a financial tool to use to create affordable housing, in its efforts to get to 10% affordable housing and to therefore eliminate unfriendly 40B’s.  The town needs about 139 more affordable housing units to reach that 10% threshold, or about 160 if one considers the likely increase in housing units in town to be needed after the 2020 census.

Residents interested in serving on either the newly created ALS Study Committee or the just created Affordable Housing Trust should contact Evelyn Clarke ( to make his or her interest known.

Donate to ANGP

From Tracey Rogers, ANGP Co-chair –


Please support the CLASS of 2017 by making a donation to this year’s All Night Graduation Party (ANGP). Medfield’s ANGP is a time-honored tradition that has provided a safe and fun way for Seniors to celebrate on graduation night for 25 years. The party held at the Medfield High School could not take place without the support of our community. Graduation Day is Sunday, June 4th, for 218 Medfield Seniors. Use the blue form in the ANGP flyer that was recently sent to all Medfield residents or simply mail your contribution to MHS All Night Graduation Party, PO Box 38, Medfield, MA 02052. On-line donations can be made at  THANK YOU!

SWAP volunteers 4/30

From Megan Sullivan –

Swap area


On Sunday April 30th the final tent/canopy will be set up AND the washed tables, shelves, bookcases, signs etc. will be set up into the  tents. We need 4-6 men to help with the canopy set-up.  If you can commit to helping with the tent set up please contact   Other help is welcome anytime from 10-3 and while a sign-up is appreciated, you are also more than welcome (and encouraged to) just to stop by to help for 15 minutes or more!


Vote daily to 5/12



The Cultural Alliance has submitted a video grant application. If the video gets enough votes (i.e. lands in the top 10 of the category “arts and culture”), it advances to the next round of evaluation which will award one application in each category $100k and two applications $50k each. A lot of money!
PLEASE VOTE FOR OUR VIDEO GRANT today and everyday thru May 12

Leave a browser tab open, refresh the page each day, and click “VOTE.”

Warrant Committee handout about ALS



The Warrant Committee has prepared this Options Overview for Article 15.


Option 1.  As Is – For a Limited Time Period


Rely on neighboring communities to provide ALS intercept service (as we have in recent past) while evaluating an optimal long term solution


Expected Investment:             Potential $25K to study committee (no over-ride required)

Service:                                   Effective – ALS intercept will continue to work well for us if neighbors continue to support us while we evaluate other solutions

Uncertainty:                           Not a long term solution


Option 2.  Contract out ALS Services


Contract with a private service to dedicate an ambulance and 2 Paramedics to Medfield 24/7


Expected Investment:             $570K per year (based on one quote only)

Service:                                   Response time fast (have 2 ambulances available – ALS & BLS)

Ambulance utilization low

Staffed from a pool of paramedics with high utilization/experience

Uncertainty:                           Control of resources, Potential to share costs & services


Option 3. Hire FF/Paramedics


Hire paramedics and equip current ambulance to accommodate ALS service


Expected Investment:             6 hires < $700K ($544K-$606K per year +  $90K startup costs)

(Lower if we hire entry level Paramedics but will grow to this level within 7 years as a result of step increases)

4 hires would decrease investment 30%

8 hires would increase investment 30%

Service:                                   Response time fast (assuming no concurrent calls),

Equipment and Paramedic utilization low

Uncertainty:                           Number of hires/level of coverage
New Fire Chief not yet available – who will hire/train?
Cost (contract negotiations ongoing, retirement benefits not included,
budget to support required wage growth without future over-rides)


Option 4. Regionalize ALS Services


Share resources (either hired or contracted ALS) with other towns locally


Expected Investment:             Unknown – but lower than other long term options.

Potentially half (or less) than other options; could it be a profit center?

Service:                                   Response time fast (assuming no concurrent calls) especially if ambulance housed in Medfield, Utilization higher

Uncertainty:                           Partners, cost sharing, location of ambulance

Town clean up tomorrow

From Jonathan Chechile –


Looking forward to seeing everyone at God Loves Medfield! Come clean up the community, and then enjoy lunch from Cutlets.

Don’t forget your rake! We will be providing extra’s, but please bring a pair of gloves and a rake. We will be providing bags for trash collection.

April 22, 2017

Community Celebration: 12 – 3:00 pm

Service Projects: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm


Instructions and notes:

Don’t forget your rake! We will be providing extra’s, but please bring a pair of gloves and a rake. We will be providing bags for trash collection.

If you are planning on serving at a downtown location, please meet at Gazebo Park next to the Medfield Public Library: 468 Main Street, Medfield, MA 02052 for a quick time of welcome and then Location Captains will be heading to Baxter park, Meetinghouse Pond, or the Dwight Derby house.

If you are planning on serving at the Charles River Cleanup, Kingsbury Pond, Medfield State Hospital, or Hinkley Park, please meet at the worksite. There will be a Location Captains there to greet you.


  • If you are planning on serving at the Charles River Cleanup, please do not bring kids under 10, as we will be working along West Street as it passes over the Charles, and along the banks.
  • Note for Scouts. Den Leaders will be communicating with the pack as the where you will be meeting, and what time to meet if other than 9.
  • Note on Community Service hours. For Scouts and any/all in need of community service hours, the Location Captain will have a form to give you confirming you served.

Community Celebration: 12 – 3:00 pm

Meet at Gazebo Park next to the Medfield Public Library: 468 Main Street, Medfield, MA 02052.

Food will be served a little after 12 thanks to Cutlets, and Ice cream and drinks will be provided thanks to Brothers Marketplace.

After everyone is served, representatives of the Medfield Green, the Lowell Mason House, and other community partners and friends will give updates on projects they are working on, and then there will be games and fun for the whole family!


Fire Chief selection process

The Board of Selectmen were given the following outline of a Fire Chief selection process on Tuesday evening this week by Kristine Trierweiler.  She said it was a process that she had worked out with the Personnel Board, mainly derived from the town’s last Police Chief search.  The difference this time is that the town’s consultant will be hired at the outset, instead of when we are substantially into the process, as was done with the Police Chief.

Kris opined that the process of selecting a new chief will take 4-5 months, which means that we should have a new chief on board to have input into resolving the ALS issue, if the town opts to pursue the recommendation of the Warrant Committee and selectmen to appoint an ALS Study Committee at the town meeting.

Mike Sullivan opined that the Chief needs to live in town, and/or commit to moving to town within 18 months per Kris, and that will be an issue that the selection committee will decide.  I have heard the suggestion that it is not a necessity and not required by other towns.

Residents interested in serving on the committee should contact Evelyn Clarke at the Town House – 508-906-3012.


April 2017


  1. Personnel Board to develop Fire Chief Selection process and file with the Town
  2. Formation of a search committee to include:

Scott McDermott, Town Moderator

Robert Cordon, Personnel Board Representative

Dr. Jeffrey Marsden, Superintendent of Public Schools

Chief Robert Meaney

Kristine Trierweiler, Asst Town Administrator

John Naff, Building Commissioner

Current/Retired Fire Chief

Resident at Large

Resident at Large

Committee’s first tasks will be to choose a Public Safety Management Consultant to assist in the transition and Assessment Center Process as well as develop selection criteria for position posting.

  1. Development of selection criteria
  2. Selection Criteria Finalized and Position Posted

Selection Committee will present selection criteria to the Board of Selectmen for their review. All changes should be agreed upon by both the Search Committee and the Board of Selectmen at a joint meeting.

Selection criteria determined after interviews with town officials, fire department employees and residents.

  1. Design of Comprehensive Assessment Center

Consultant will work with the Selection Committee to design and conduct a Fire Chief Assessment Center to evaluate candidates using various exercises and measure performance.


April 2017

  1. Recruitment and Selection

Selection Committee will work with Consultant to utilize various recruitment sources to construct a list of potential candidates. Initial screening of all resumes will be completed by the Selection Committee.

Candidates will be chosen by the Selection Committee to attend preliminary interviews and/or the One day Assessment Center to evaluate knowledge, skills, and ability.

Once the Committee has final list of candidates, the Consultant will complete character, background, and reference, checks on each of the finalist candidates. Standard reference checks will be used for all candidates by the Consultant in consultation with the Personnel Board.

  1. Board of Selectmen Appointment

After the reference checks are completed, finalist candidates will be presented to a full meeting of the Board of Selectmen. The Board of Selectmen will then interview each of the candidates and based on the scores of the Assessment Center, interviews and the reference checks a Fire Chief may be appointed by the Board of SelectmenMFD

Affordable housing at the Legion

Selectmen were informed yesterday that the Legion is looking to build affordable housing for veterans at its current location, and as a byproduct of the affordable housing project, to get a new facility (a copy of the email appears below).

I suggested to Ron Griffin that I would like him to follow up on my past suggestion to explore the possibility of adding onto the Legion’s land some of the adjoining town owned land, where the town both has an interest in developing more affordable housing and may well have no other possible use for that land.  That town land could perhaps allow the number of affordable units provided to be increased.



From: Vet Ron G HM []
Sent: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 5:47 PM
To: Pete Peterson ; Mike Marcucci ; Gus Murby
Cc: Mike Sullivan
Subject: American Legion discussing 40B units


Hi Pete, Mike and Gus

I wanted to inform you that the American Legion is discussing with developers Ralph Costello and  Mike Larkin to build 40b rental units on their property on Peter Kristoff Way.

Preliminary discussion, is for the Legion to receive a new building on the existing property in exchange for 40B rental units to be developed on the remainder of the 2.5 acre piece of property.  Some of the rental units would be reserved for low income veterans or their surviving spouses.

The current Legion building has turned into a money pit of needed expenses.  We have been trimming operational costs for the building for the last few years but heating and cooling this metal building with limited insulation is overwhelming.  We now have major roof, sewer and parking lot maintenance issues pending.  We’ve patched our patches with more patches.

Our goal is to have a two story building with a function hall on the first floor and in the basement the members rooms.  We hope to offer Medfield, an attractive location to hold functions larger than 40 people but less than 140.  With limited building overhead costs, we hope to be financially able through function rentals to support the many programs that the Legion, Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion support through out our community.

We also understand that this project might meet the towns Safe Harbor requirement for 2018

I provide this infromation as Executive Board Chairman of American Legion Beckwith Post 110, Medfield Ma. and very close acquaintance of Medfield’s Veteran Service Officer.

Ron Griffin
Medfield VSO