Category Archives: State

It’s complicated!

As a sign of just how complicated it is to run a municipality, look over the list of topics covered by the email below from the Division of Local Services (DLS) –

Bulletin 2019-1: FY2020 Budget Issues and Other Related Matters

The Division of Local Services has posted Bulletin 2019-1: FY2020 Budget Issues and Other Related Matters to its 2019 Bulletins page. This Bulletin addresses several issues that cities, towns, regional school and other districts should consider for FY2020 budgets and other related matters including:

Host Agreement Funds Received from Marijuana Establishments and Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers
Local Option Excise on Retail Sales of Marijuana for Adult Use
Short-term Rentals
Special Accounting Treatment for Intended FEMA Reimbursement
Balance Sheets as of 6/30/2019 and Revenue Recognition
Community Preservation Fund
Early Voting Law
PEG Access
911 Reimbursements
Appropriating Enterprise Retained Earnings
Betterment Reserve
Borrowing Purposes and Terms
Borrowing Premiums, Surplus Proceeds, and Debt Exclusions
Certification of Notes and Receipts of Audit Reports
Court Judgments
Departmental Revolving Funds
Emergency Expenditures
Energy Generating Facilities Enterprise Fund
Energy PILOTs
Estimating FY2020 Enterprise Revenues
Estimating FY2020 Medicaid Receipts
Expenditure Budgeting for FY2020
Expenditure of Federal Funds Threshold
Free Cash Update and Non-Recurrent Distributions to Cities and Towns
Internal Borrowing
Minimum Performance Bond – Treasurers, Collectors, and Clerks
Year End Transfers
School Finance

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Massachusetts Department of Revenue – Division of Local Services · 100 Cambridge Street · Boston, MA 02114 · USA

BoS 2/19 & Peak House’s sign

I posted the agenda for the Tuesday meeting already.  I will insert the agendas again at the end of this post.

The agenda and informational materials for the Tuesday meeting of the select board are available here – 20190219-agenda and materials

Peak House sign

Peak House sign

My favorite part of the materials is the letter to Senator Feeney, from the MassDOT Administrator, about the request from the Peak House Heritage Center to correct the factual errors in the MassDOT sign at the Peak House.

First, it is instructive as to what matters most in state government, since MassDOT gotthe letter about the issue from the Peak House Heritage Center, with letters of support from both the Board of Selectmen and Senator Feeney.  MassDOT opted to address its response to the writer who had the least to do with the matter and the Town of Medfield, our State Senator, rather than to the person who addressed the issue to them.

Second, I was fascinated to learn where and why the sign originated, as it is certainly substantially nicer than most state signs.

Third, I was amused by the language MassDOT used to deny the request:  “MassDOT would be reluctant to deface the marker because of minor factual
errors that have come to light after such a long period of time.”

MassDOT’s letter does propose a “compromise” solution, a new MassDOT sign to be added that notes the error in the original sign:

Please be aware that the Peak House marker is one of 275 cast iron roadside historical markers that were erected throughout the Commonwealth in 1930 by the Massachusetts Department of Public Works, MassDOT’s predecessor agency, to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission designed the markers, chose the historical subjects, and prepared the text under the guidance of Samuel Eliot Morison, eminent author and Professor of History at Harvard University. Approximately 170 of these markers still exist. 

Mr. Robert Gregg of the Peak House Heritage Center has notified MassDOT that the text on the Peak House marker contains three factual errors. Mr. Gregg has suggested to Mary Rafferty of the MassDOT Environmental Services staff that MassDOT should remove the errors by grinding off certain raised cast iron letters and numbers from the marker and then applying new letters and numbers to provide the correct information. The Medfield Board of Selectmen has endorsed Mr. Gregg’s proposal in a letter to MassDOT dated January 15, 2019.

MassDOT considers the Tercentenary Markers to have historical significance in their own right, above and beyond the text conveyed on each marker. The original markers are nearly 90 years old and they interpret history as it was understood at the time of the Tercentenary commemoration. MassDOT would be reluctant to deface the marker because of minor factual errors that. have come to light after such a long period of time.

TOWN OF MEDFIELD MEETING NOTICE I POSTED: , TOWNCLERK 1 L f..i[i ,) tet , ifot> UF MEDF IELD. HASS Z0!9 H:.5 l Lt P lf: OC POSTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF M.G.L. CHAPTER 39 SECTION 23A AS AMENDED. "' f-~· 1'' t- ·; tvt:. 0F THE·. Board of Selectmen T("11.,.!/ l;l CL. ERK Board or Committee PLACE OF MEETING DAY, DATE, AND TIME Town Hall, Warrant Committee Room, I st floor Tuesday February 19, 2019 @6:30 PM Town Hall, Chenery Meeting Room, 211 d floor Tuesday February 19, 2019 @ 7:00 PM AGENDA (SUBJECT TO CHANGE) 6:30 PM Declare meeting open 6:30 PM Vote to go into Executive Session to consider the lease or value ofreal property with respect to Town property currently leased to the Kingsbury Club 7:00 PM Call to order Disclosure of video recording We want to take a moment of appreciation for our Troops serving in the Middle East and around the world Appointments 7:05 PM Presentation Mayrock Development LLC; proposing Chapter 40B project under the Local Initiative Program for 56 non-aged restricted rental units located at 50 Peter Kristof Way 7:30 PM Darci Schofield, MAPC Present Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan 7:50 PM Resident Andrea Costello Discuss Medfield Plastic Reduction Initiative and Annual Town Meeting Article 8:05 PM Medfield Historical Commission Discussion of Warrant Article I Demolition Delay Bylaw Citizen Comment Action Items Vote to appoint Richard Hooker and George Darrell to the Conservation Commission Vote to appoint Cynthia Greene and Matthew Triest to the Town Wide Master Planning Committee Ongoing FY2020 Budget Review and Discussion Town Finance Discussion Vote to approve preliminary Town Budgets Licenses and Permits (consent agenda) ,,c_1, L / C:.U , Medfield High School Theater Society requests permission to~post s:il~W.§ lMJA~~o 1 7 advertising their spring show the musical 13~ F0Jv l1Ji9 Fltl I Lt P ~: 020190219-agenda_Page_2

CPA – town missing out

The letter below that I received this week from the Norfolk Register of Deeds highlights for Medfield how, as a town, we all pay in to the Massachusetts Community Preservation Act (CPA) fund ($44,250 last year), but we get none of the monies or benefits back because we have not adopted the CPA.

The CPA is a self-imposed additional tax of from 1-3%, in exchange for which the town get state matching monies.   CPA monies have to be spent on one of three areas:

  • historic preservation
  • affordable housing
  • open space and recreation

My analysis has always been that where we already spend on those three things anyway, that by not adopting the CPA that we are merely forgoing the state matching monies.

The one time the CPA went to the annual town meeting (ATM), about ten years ago, it was defeated.

WILLIAM P. ODONNELL REGISTER OF DEEDS ASSISTANT RECORDER OF THE LAND COURT Selectman Osler L. Peterson Medfield Board of Selectmen  0 Copperwood Road Medfield, MA 02052 Dear Selectman Peterson, COUNTY OF NORFOLK COUNTY OF PRESIDENTS REGISTRY OF DEEDS NORFOLK REGISTRY DISTRICT OF THE L AND C O URT January 18, 2019 The fees for the Community Preservation Act are set by the State Legislature on land documents recorded here at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds. l thought the chart on the reverse side would be of interest to you. It provides an illustration of the funds generated by the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in your community based on recorded real estate filings during the 2018 calendar year. The Community Preservation Act was signed into law on September 14, 2000. Today there are 175 Massachusetts communities that have adopted the Community Preservation Act, including this year the town of Plainville in Norfolk County. Just over 2.1 billion dollars has been raised to date statewide. The Registry of Deeds, at no additional cost to the Commonwealth or local communities, collects these revenues for the state once a document is recorded. The monies are then forwarded to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue on a monthly basi s. The funds collected by the Commonwealth are then redistributed back to the communities that have adopted the CPA through a variety of formulas. The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds which is located at 649 High Street, Dedham, is the principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, genealogists, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. For assistance please contact our Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101 , or visit our website at J hope you find this data to be timely, informative and useful. In the meantime, if I can be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me at 781-461-6116 or by email at I wish you a healthy New Year. WPO/aag Sincerely yours, "P~(}p~ William P. O'Donnell Norfolk County Register of Deeds 649 HIGH STREET. DEDHAM. MASSACHUSETTS 02026 TELEPH ONE : 781 ·46 I · 61 16 FAX 78 1 ·326·4246 EM A I L : www •~7SC ~ ~ YouiD Linked rm·County·Registry·Of·Deeds (.@) @NorfolkDeeds NORFOLK COUNTY REGISTRY OF DEEDS •I COMMUNITY PRESERVATION ACT (CPA) SURCHARGES BY TOWN FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2018 TOWN TOTAL AVON $1~,450 BF.I ,IJNGHAM $66,660 BRAINTREE $112,570 BROOKLINE $150,350 CANTON $86,090 COHASSET $39,420 DEDHAM $83,650 DOVER $23,650 , FOXBOROUGH $58,270 FRANKLIN $110,350 •( HOLBROOK . $40,100 MEDFIET,n $44,150 MEDWAY $47,000 MILLIS $31,420 MILTON $86,060 NEEDHAM $103,370 NORFOLK $40,980 NORWOOD $80,170 PLAINVILLE $29,560 QUINCY $244,110 RANDOLPH $100,420 SHARON $56,740 STOUGHTON $96,000 WALPOLE $88,710 WELLESLEY $87,090 WESTWOOD $51,890 WEYMOUTH $200,460 WRENTHAM $47,530 II :''20190118-norfolk register of deeds-ltr from-cpa figures for 2018_page_2

MMA on Gov’s budget proposal

The Massachusetts Municipal Association sent out this email today on its analysis of the Governor’s budget proposal:







January 23, 2019

Dear Osler Peterson,

Earlier this afternoon, Gov. Charlie Baker submitted a $42.7 billion fiscal 2020 state budget plan with the Legislature, proposing a spending blueprint that would increase overall state expenditures by 1.5 percent, as the Administration deals with slow revenue growth by restraining most spending across the board and placing an estimated $297 million into the state’s rainy day fund. The budget relies on “significant” one-time revenues of at least $200 million from a “sales tax modernization proposal.”


As Gov. Baker pledged to local officials on Jan. 18 at the MMA’s Annual Meeting, his budget includes a $29.7 million increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid, tracking the expected 2.7% increase in state tax revenues.

Click here to see the Division of Local Services preliminary fiscal 2020 Cherry Sheet aid amounts for your community


The Governor filed separate legislation to amend the Chapter 70 school finance law, and provided a $200 million increase in school aid in his fiscal 2020 budget recommendation to fund the first year of what the Administration says is a seven-year plan to implement a number of changes to the current law, primarily in the areas recommended by the Foundation Budget Review Commission. An initial look at House 1 indicates that a large percentage of cities, towns and school districts would not benefit from the formula changes in fiscal 2020, and would remain minimum-aid-only. The budget plan sets the minimum aid increase at only $20-per-student, which would present large challenges for all of these communities. MMA members from across Massachusetts unanimously adopted a resolution calling for at least $100-per-student minimum aid at last week’s Annual Meeting.

Click here to see DESE’s calculation of fiscal 2020 Chapter 70 aid and Net School Spending requirements for your city, town, or regional school district, based on the Governor’s proposed budget and legislation


Further, the Administration is proposing a few changes to the Charter School Reimbursement Program, but this does not come close to achieving the permanent fix that is needed to repair the flawed charter school finance system. Current reimbursements this year are set at $90 million, $72 million below the full funding level of $162 million. The Governor’s budget would increase charter school reimbursements to $106 million, and would change the 6-year funding schedule of 100-25-25-25-25-25 to a new 3-year 100-60-40 schedule, phased in over 3 years, however the plan would also increase the facilities assessment payments to charter schools, and make other changes.

The MMA’s immediate analysis is that charter school reimbursements would continue to fall far short, and this restructuring would not fix the charter school finance system. This would continue to divert Chapter 70 funds away from municipally operated school districts, and place greater strain on the districts that serve 96% of public school children. No matter what changes are made to the Chapter 70 formula, major problems will continue unless a true resolution of the charter school funding problem is integrated into any reform or update of the school finance system.


The Governor’s budget would add $4.5 million to fund the Special Education Circuit Breaker program at $323.9 million, an increase of only 1.4%. Because special education costs are expected to rise in fiscal 2020, this means that the Governor’s budget substantially underfunds reimbursements. Today DESE officials said the House 1 appropriation would result in a 70% reimbursement, rather than the statutory 75%. This is a vital account that every city, town and school district relies on to fund state-mandated services. The MMA will again be asking lawmakers to ensure full funding in fiscal 2020.


Gov. Baker’s budget submission would level-fund regional transportation reimbursements at the $68.9 million amount. This will be a hardship for virtually all communities in regional districts. Reimbursements for transportation of out-of-district vocational students remains significantly underfunded at $250K. Increasing these accounts is a priority for cities and towns.


The Governor’s budget would level-fund reimbursements for the transportation of homeless students at $9.1 million. The impact of this funding level will vary from community-to-community depending on the number of homeless families that remain sheltered in local hotels and motels. The Administration has been successful in reducing the number of homeless students who are dislocated from their original district, but those communities that continue to provide transportation to many students may continue to see shortfalls.


The Governor’s budget would level fund PILOT payments at $28.48 million, Shannon anti-gang grants at $8 million, and fund library grant programs at $19.8 million.




State $ for FY20

The Governor’s budget gives Medfield a little more than last year:

fy20-gov budget

FY2020 Preliminary Cherry Sheet Estimates

The Division of Local Services has posted on its website preliminary cherry sheet estimates based on Governor Baker’s FY2020 budget recommendation (House 1), which was released today.
Municipal estimates receipts and charges
Regional school estimated receipts and charges
The House 1 budget proposal is based on An Act to Promote Equity and Excellence in Education, a comprehensive school finance bill filed by the Baker-Polito Administration. The bill implements the major recommendations of the Foundation Budget Review Commission (FBRC) and significantly increases the Foundation Budget over time, beginning in FY2020. In addition, H.1 and the accompanying legislation also incorporate other enhancements to the Commonwealth’s school funding framework.

The Administration is introducing a new three-year formula for reimbursing school districts for charter school tuition increases, putting the program on schedule for full funding within a three-year time frame. Once fully phased in, districts will be reimbursed 100% in year one, 60% in year two and 40% in year three. H.1 budget language also creates a Public School Improvement Trust Fund, funded with one-time revenue, to be used at the discretion of the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education to help accelerate improvement in low performing schools.

More detailed information regarding these and other school finance related initiatives contained in H.1 and the accompanying legislation can be found on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) website at:  Information includes the Chapter 70 aid calculations, minimum contributions and net school spending requirements.

Specifically, House 1 recommends funding FY2020 Chapter 70 at $5.108 billion, or $200.3 million higher than the FY2019 GAA; increases Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) by $29.7 million to $1.129 billion and increases Charter Tuition Assessment Reimbursements to $106.0 million, a $16.0 million increase over the FY2019 GAA; and level funding most other cherry sheet accounts at the FY2019 amounts.

Cherry sheet estimates for charter school tuition and reimbursements are based on estimated tuition rates and projected enrollments under charters previously issued by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Please be advised that charter school assessments and reimbursements will change as updated tuition rates and enrollments become available. Estimates for the school choice assessments may also change significantly when updated to reflect final tuition rates and enrollments.

Estimates for the State-owned land program reflect changes to both the valuation of state-owned land properties and the calculation of the reimbursement, based on the Municipal Modernization Act. For more information about the State-owned land program, please view the State-owned land FAQs found on the DLS website.  The FAQs and current State-owned land values can be found here. Local officials should note that these numbers are subject to both the legislative process as well as adjustments due to acquisitions and dispositions that have not been included in these values yet.

It is important for local officials to remember that these estimates are preliminary and are subject to change as the legislative process unfolds.

Please contact the DLS Municipal Databank at or (617) 626-2384 with any questions.

You are receiving this message through the Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s Division of Local Services DLS Alerts system. These periodic notices include our City & Town e-newsletter, IGRs, Bulletins, Cherry Sheets and other municipal finance-related information. To unsubscribe to DLS Alerts and the City & Town e-newsletter, please email

Rep. Garlick invites all to her report on 1/31

20190131-rep.garlick.medfield flyer


Hi Pete.

I hope this finds you well! As you may know, Rep. Garlick’s Report to the Community is coming up on Thursday, January 31st.

Please feel free to share this on your blog if you would like!  A flyer is attached for your convenience and here is the information:

All are welcome to Representative Garlick’s annual Report to the Medfield Community Thursday, January 31, 2019 from 7:15 – 8:30 PM at the Medfield Public Safety Building.

The main topics will be a review of the work and events of 2018, and a preview of 2019.

The evening’s schedule will include:

  • Reception (7:15-7:30)
  • Report (7:30-8:00)
  • Questions and Discussion (8:00-8:30)

Additional Information available at and by contacting Rep. Denise Garlick, State House, 617-722-2200, Boston, MA.

Anne Weinstein

District Director 

Office of Representative Denise C. Garlick

State House, Room 33

Boston, MA 02133


REPRES EN TATIVE DENISE C . GARLICK 13TH NORFOLK DISTRICT NEEDHAM. DOVER. MEDFIELD Olsler Peterson 10 Copperwood Rd Medfield, MA 02052 tn4~ filnmmnnfu~alf4 nf Jllitmn1ar4uz~ffz ~nus:e nf ~:epr:es:enfafhrns ~fof:e ~nuz:e, ~nsfan n2133, 1D54 CHA IR J OINT C OMMITTEE ON M ENTAL H EALTH. S u esTANCE U se AND R ecovrnv STATE HOUSE. ROOM 33 TEL. (617) 722-2060 Email: De nise .Garlic Deary. C?.JL_ ,, Happy healthy New Year to you and yours! As your State Representative for Medfield (Precincts 1 & 2), I am pleased to once again invite you to the "Representative's Report to the Community: 2018 the Year in Review and 2019 the Year in Preview." As you.~ Repres".!ntative, I am actively engaged in the establishment of public policy, the deveI6pment of the budget for our communities and the Commonwealth, as well as a myriad ~f issues and concerns: .~oth municipal and personal to the residents of Medfield. )tis with a great"sense ofrespo~sibility and accountability that I am "reporting back" to· the community of Medfield • ~ • • .. I ; • Our.format for the· evening is as follows: Medfield Public Safety Building 112 North Street Thursday, January 31, 2019 7 :15pm-8:30pm 7:15 pm-7:30 pm Reception 7:30 pm- 8:00 pm Report 8:00 pm -8:30 pm Qmstions and Dismssion Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. I honor your service· to the wonderful community of Medfield, and I am grateful for our wo~J

MFD gets S.A.F.E. grant


Email today from Chief Carrico (via Kristine Trierweiler) –


I was just notified that Medfield Fire has received the Student Awareness of Fire Education (SAFE) grant in the amount of $6,754.  This is the first time in several years that the department has taken advantage of this award program.  Fire Prevention Officer Lt. Mike Harman was instrumental in putting the grant application together, making sure it was sent out on time, and included key public fire and life safety initiatives planned for Medfield

William C. Carrico II, Fire Chief

Medfield Fire

112 North Street

Medfield, MA 02052

(O) 508-359-2323 Ext 3186


CHARLES D. BAKER GOVERNOR December 26, 2018 OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR COMMONWEAL TH OF MASSACHUSETTS STATE HOUSE • BOSTON, MA 02133 (617) 725-4000 Chief William C. Carrico II Medfield Fire Department 112 North Street Medfield, MA 02052 Dear Chief Carrico II: KARYN E. POLITO LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that the Medfield Fire Department has been awarded $6,754.00 for your Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) grant. We look forward to working with you and your community on this public fire and life safety initiative. Additional correspondence, including all the necessary documents needed to execute this award will be provided by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Department of Fire Services within the next two weeks. Feel free to contact Cynthia Ouellette at if you have any questions. Sincerely, Governor Charles D. Baker Lt. Governor Karyn E. Polito