I spent both yesterday and today attending the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s annual meeting, which was held virtually this year. They employed a platform that was markedly better than my usual Zoom meetings.
Heard a couple of inspiring speeches about leadership, heard a couple of programs about implicit bias, one on state finances, got addressed by both the Lt. Governor and the Governor, and learned about the MIIA price increases for the town’s insurance (5% for health insurance). Because it was all virtual, I can go back for the next month to listen to more of the programs – the MMA usually runs 5-6 concurrent workshops at a time, so one has to pick wisely.
I found it most interesting when Jeff Beckwith, the Executive Director of the MMA asked the Governor a series of questions after the Governor’s remarks, as they were personal questions aimed at how the Governor was doing with the world turned upside down by covid, and the Governor did speak quite personally. The Governor said he used to leave home at 5AM and get home at 9PM because he was usually driving home from some far part of the state, but in a covid virtual meeting world he gets done at 7PM and then walks from his home office to his kitchen to see his wife, and now has time for walks with his wife and reading books.
The Governor recommends reading Lincoln on the Verge (Baker said there was almost no United States left for Lincoln to govern between the time of Lincoln’s November election and his March 3 swearing in), watching Ted Lasso (a comedy on TV), and said:
“public life is a team sport”
“the founders wanted people to have to work together with people with whom they disagree to get things done”
“state and local people are judged by what they accomplish, not by what they oppose”
The Governor and Lt. Governor were both select board members before holding state office, so the MMA is especially fond of them for that and also because they have financially supported municipalities.
January 22, 2021 01:23 PM Medfield’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard has been updated with case and testing data as of 1/21/2021. Medfield remains in the yellow category and has a case count of 82… Read on Click here to open the dashboard.
The Newton Needham Chamber of Commerce newsletter today reports that the number of real estate hose sales were up a lot last year, just not in Medfield, however Medfield prices appear to have risen 13.4% last year, perhaps because there were not enough houses for sale in town, given the demand. The 2020 median single family home sale price was $805,000.
More single-family homes were sold last year in Massachusetts than in any other year since 2004, despite a once-in-a-century pandemic that threatened the financial security of thousands of residents and dramatically changed the process of buying and selling a home, reports Colin A. Young at State House News.
There were 61,469 single-family home sales in 2020 — a 3.9 percent increase over the sales total of 2019, according to The Warren Group. And December 2020 saw 6,410 single-family home sales in Massachusetts — the most ever recorded for the month and up 28.6 percent from December 2019.
This Division of Local Services (DLS) dashboard has really interesting data on comparing towns, one to another, however, it is just a little hard to use because of the small size of the map and the need to roll your cursor over the town on the map to get its data.
New DLS Data Visualization Tool Now Available
The Division of Local Services has a new tool available for quickly finding key financial and demographic information for all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns. The Municipal Finance Snapshot Dashboard uses Tableau visualizations to display data in 14 financial categories including Average Single Family Tax Bill, Local Receipts, New Growth and much more. Selecting a city or town from the map provides a wealth of data about that community. Please visit the Municipal Finance Snapshot Dashboard to explore all the information DLS has to offer in a new, easy-to-use way!
I just learned last month that the Medfield Transfer Station and Recycling Committee (TSARC) has its own monthly newsletter, when my neighbor, Dick Scullary, mentioned it and shared with me his newsletter from December.
I emailed TSARC to ask to join, and today I had an exchange of emails with Annette Wells. In addition to putting me on their distribution list, she said it was OK to post about the TSARC monthly newsletter.
One can get on the distribution list by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Annette said that they add people from the transfer station sticker sign up list – Deb has been getting our stickers.
Below is part of what the December newsletter looked like –
TSARC Members NeededAre you interested in recycling in Medfield?The Committee is looking for some new members to join us in our quest to serve the town while making good environmental choices.The Committee typically meets on the 2nd Monday of each month. Currently the meetings are via Zoom.Please reply to this email if you are interested (or email email@example.com)
From Laurel Scotti, President, Friends of the Dwight-Derby House –
Date: January 14, 2020
Friends of the Dwight-Derby House Announce New Website
The Friends of the Dwight-Derby House announces the launching of a new website at dwightderbyhouse.org.
The Dwight-Derby House is the story of two Medfield families who lived in the house that still stands at 7 Frairy Street dating back to 1651.
Some of the new features of this new site include George Horatio Derby Artifacts and Satirical Writing collections. George Horatio Derby was America’s first satirical writer, an explorer and a Captain who served in the U.S. Army of Topographical Engineers. His childhood home was the Dwight-Derby House, of Medfield.
Added to the site are a family timeline, restoration photos from the 1996 renovation when the house was purchased by the town of Medfield, online events, site rental information, and online shopping at The 1651 Shoppe.
A special thanks to Medfield Photographer Mark Hickey for his time and talent invested in the must-see interior room photography shown on the new website as well as editors Claire Shaw and Jo Ellen Heck.
For the safety of our visitors the museum is currently closed due to COVID-19. We look forward to seeing you as soon as we reopen.
We welcome feedback after you tour the upstairs rooms for the first time!
As you may be aware, the Mass Coastal Railroad (MCRR) has been implementing a MASSDOT-Rail Capital Project whereas certain safety and compliance work was done between Mansfield and Framingham. After being acquired from CSX, MCRR and the owner MASSDOT immediately placed certain speed restrictions on these lines until such time as a Capital Project could be done.
Please be advised that Mass Coastal Railroad will be operating a rail-profiling machine along the Secondary. The equipment is loud and emits sparks from the grinding operations. It has it’s own ability to put out any incidental fires that may occur. This work will begin sometime this weekend and take about a week to traverse the 22 miles. Work will be 10-12 Hrs a day.
MCRR will be accompanying this operation and will be stationed at every grade crossing as they are approached.
Following the Rail Grinding Operation the Temporary Speed Restrictions will be lifted along the Framingham Secondary.
Should you need to contact the MCRR please call me directly. or reply to this email.
From Susan Maritan, Medfield Food Cupboard Publicist –
Dear Friends of the Medfield Food Cupboard,
We are starting off the New Year with a big THANK YOU to the Medfield community for its overwhelming support during this most unsettling year. The outpouring of generosity this holiday season will be remembered as the one with the biggest impact in our 29-year history.
The entire town – individuals, businesses, faith-based organizations, schools, town departments, and community service groups – pitched in with monetary donations, food, and volunteer hours to ensure we remained open and that our shelves, refrigerator, and freezer were filled. Your efforts continue to make a difference every day in the lives of over 200 residents who rely on us for emergency and supplemental food.
We served more households and children than ever before, a significant accomplishment given Covid restrictions. Your support provided needed relief to individuals and families facing financial hardships and created a happy holiday for many children, seniors, and parents. Community groups provided presents, stockings, blankets, hand-knitted gloves and hats, pies and breads, Christmas trees, gingerbread house kits, and passes to the Winter Light Show, to those who otherwise may have gone without.
We look forward to working together in 2021 as we continue to operate under the challenges of this pandemic and strive to meet increased demand for our services. Your meaningful gifts of money, food, and time are helping to alleviate food insecurity for our neighbors in need. Gratitude from clients, smiles on children’s faces, dinners on tables, and food in the cupboard for tomorrow’s meals are the best start to a New Year for one and all. Thank you, dear neighbors, for making this possible.
Susan Gorog and Tracey Rogers Co-Presidents, Medfield Food Cupboard
I started this blog to share the interesting and useful information that I saw while doing my job as a Medfield select board member. I thought that my fellow Medfield residents would also find that information interesting and useful as well. This blog is my effort to assist in creating a system to push the information out from the Town House to residents. Let me know if you have any thoughts on how it can be done better.
For information on my other job as an attorney (personal injury, civil litigation, estate planning and administration, and real estate), please feel free to contact me at 617-969-1500 or Osler.Peterson@OslerPeterson.com.