Category Archives: State

This is what “safe harbor” looks like!

John Kelly’s Medfield Meadows went from being the Mega-B to being the most recent, welcomed Local Initiative Program (LIP), that gives the Town of Medfield another year of safe harbor from unfriendly 40B’s per the notice received this week from the Department of Housing and Community Development (copy attached below).  Our affordable housing – Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI) – #s have increased from about 4.5% when we finally woke up, to 8.29% today including Medfield Meadows.  If the planned Rosebay on Pound Street and the Mayrock development at the Legion site are permitted, we will be very close to the 10% permanent protection threshold.  However, those threshold numbers will adjust upwards based on the 2020 census’ number of housing units in town, so we will need even more SHI to stay fully protected.

Kudos to the Affordable Housing Trust for shepherding the town to a place of safety.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Charles D. Baker, Governor + Karyn E. Polito, Lt. Governor + Janelle L. Chan, Undersecretary June 10,2019 Mr. Gustave Murby, Chairman Medfield Board of Selectman Town House/ 459 Main Street Medfield, MA 02052 Housing Production Plan - Certification Approved Dear Mr. Murby: The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) certifies that the Town of Medfield is in compliance with its Housing Production Plan. This certification is effective for a one year period beginning on May 10,2019 to May 9, 2020. This Certification of Municipal Compliance is based on the following findings: 1. Medfield has provided evidence that the required number of units described in its request is eligible to be counted towards certification. 2. The 27 Subsidized Housing Inventory (SID) eligible units in this project (Medfield Meadows SID ID # 10290 meet the number (21) necessary to satisfY a one year certification threshold. 3. The housing development is consistent with the production goals outlined in Medfield Housing Production Plan. Please note that all units must retain eligibility for the SID for the entire certification period. If units are no longer eligible for inclusion on the SID, they will be removed and will no longer be eligible for certification. This action may affect the term of your certification. I have included an updated list of SID eligible units. Medfield's current SID stands at 8.29%. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Phillip DeMartino, Technical Assistance Coordinator, at (617) 573-1357 or Associate Director, DHCD cc Senator Paul Feeney Representative Shawn Dooley Representative Denise C. Garlick Sarah Raposa, Town Planner, Medfield Michael J. Sullivan, Town Administrator, Medfield John J. McNicholas, Acting Chair, Zoning Board of Appeal 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 300 Boston, Massachusetts 02114 617.573.1100 Medfield DHCD ID# 1890 1891 1892 1893 4360 9953 10062 10063 10221 10222 10290 6/10/2019 DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CH40B SUBSIDIZED HOUSING INVENTORY Builtw/ Total SHI Affordability Comp. Subsidizing Project Name Address Type Units Expires Permit? Agency Tilden Village 30 Pound Street Rental 60 Perp Yes DHCD Allendale Dale Street Ownership 17 Perp YES DHCD DHCD The Village at Medfield Turtle Brook Way Ownership 6 Perp YES DHCD DHCD Wilkins Glen Wilkins Glen Road Rental 103 2042 YES MassHousing DHCD DDS Group Homes Confidential Rental 5 N/A No DDS The Pare at Medfield One Gateway Drive Rental 92 Perp YES DHCD Country Estates 21, 25, & 29 Hospital Rd Ownership 8 Perp YES MassHousing Cushman House aka Cushing 67 North Street Rental 8 Perp YES DHCD House 71 North Street 71 North Street Rental 8 Perp YES DHCD Hillside Village 80 North Meaows Road Rental 16 Perp YES DHCD Medfield Meadows 41 Dale St Mix 27 Perp DHCD Medfield Totals 350 Census 2010 Year Round Housing Units Percent Subsidized 4,220 8.29% Medfield Page 1 of 1 This data is derived from information provided to the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) by individual communities and is subject to change as new information is obtained and use restrictions expire20190610-DHCD-ltr from-Medfield HPP 2019 Cert OK_Page_2

DCAMM giving sweeter deals

From Newton Mayor Fuller’s weekly email – DCAMM gives Newton a better deal than Medfield was offered for the former Medfield State Hospital site –


West Newton armory

New Use for West Newton Armory
This morning I sent a request to the City Council to authorize the purchase of the West Newton Armory Building and land at 1135 Washington Street just outside West Newton Square.
The City of Newton is being presented with an opportunity both to obtain a special historic building and to increase the supply of vital affordable housing for the price of $1.00.
The Commonwealth is willing to sell the building to the City for $1.00 only if it is used for affordable housing in perpetuity, a use in which I believe deeply, and which also allows the City to control what happens to this important building.
The need for more affordable housing throughout Newton continues to persist. Some have thoughtfully asked how it came to be that the City of Newton could obtain the Armory for $1.00, but only for one hundred percent permanently affordable housing. Through our discussion with the Commonwealth’s Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) representatives, we learned that there were two scenarios under which the City could take control of the Armory; however, only the scenario of one hundred percent affordable housing presented the option for the City to purchase the property for $1.00.
The other scenario would allow the City to acquire the Armory for a municipal/direct public use at a price that reflected the type of use. DCAMM has sold properties in other municipalities under this scenario at 25 percent of full and fair market value. Based on the current $4.3 million assessed value of the Armory (likely less than appraised value), Newton would pay approximately $1 million to purchase the property.
Another scenario results if the City declines the opportunity to purchase the Armory; DCAMM would then sell the property on the open market to the highest bidder.
My vision for the West Newton Armory is that the City purchase it and retain ownership (as required by the state). Then we would lease it to an affordable housing development partner who will redevelop and manage the property as 100 percent affordable housing.
I am very excited about this opportunity to add much-needed affordable housing, especially in such a unique and well-located building. I look forward to the next few years of collaboration with the honorable City Council and our residents as we work together to bring the West Newton Armory back to life.
Read my letter to the City Council with more information about the Armory HEREunder Other Communications.


How do we compare?

This is from the Division of Local Services (DLS) e-newsletter.  USE THE LINK BELOW TO COMPARE TOWNS – I just learned that the per capita income in Weston is $351K, which makes me want to move there and have a big family –


Databank Highlight of the Month: Updated Community Comparison Report
Donnette Benvenuto – Municipal Databank

The new and improved Community Comparison Report is now up and running. It can be found on the front page of the Municipal Databank. If you have used this report in the past, you will be in for a treat. The updated report is sleek, streamlined and very user friendly. Still drawing on 65 data elements, each of the seven easily accessible tabs on the top of the page pulls the information from multiple data sources onto one page. This provides a snapshot of your data removing the often tedious task of scrolling and scrolling found on the old report.

Using any of the 12 different search criteria on each heading refines your search across all the tabs. If you are looking to see what communities with a population between 30,000 and 50,000 with an annual budget between $50 million and $90 million, you just enter that criteria and it will carry over to each tab. Since the search criteria carries over, the Community Comparison report essentially does the work for you.

In the report you can quickly extract the most current available comparative municipal finance and demographic data for multiple communities, it eliminates the frustrating task of opening numerous spreadsheets to sort, cut and paste data to compare. A simple click and you can download your information into Excel. Please contact us if you need any help using the application

MMA on budget in Senate

The Senate actually seems more willing than the House to look at the revenue side of the equation, and seek out new revenue.



Please Call Your Senators Today and Ask them to Support Key Municipal and School Aid Priorities!


May 1, 2019


Dear Osler Peterson,


Now that the House of Representatives has adopted their proposed fiscal 2020 state budget, all attention has turned to the Senate. The Senate Ways & Means Committee is developing a separate spending plan, and we expect to see a Senate budget committee recommendation within the next two weeks. This is the time to call your Senators to emphasize the importance of full funding for municipal and school aid priorities!


This is a great time to check in with your Senators – so that you can ask your Senators to contact the budget committee before the Senate Ways & Means budget is released. After the budget is released, Senators will be scrambling to file amendments, and then the debate will occur during a whirlwind of activity over 3 or 4 days.


The MMA testified at the joint House and Senate Ways & Means Committee’s budget hearing in Fall River on March 18, and our budget testimony provides excellent talking points on the major municipal and school aid priorities.


Please click here to read a copy of MMA’s budget testimony


Please click here to read MMA’s article summarizing the changes made by Representatives during last week’s House budget debate


Please talk to your Senators about these budget accounts and any others that might be a local priority.


Last year, there were almost 1,200 proposed amendments filed when the Senate debated the budget. The Senate Ways & Means recommendation may not be the last word on the Senate spending plan, but individual Senators will have their greatest influence from now through the end of the floor debate. That’s why it is so important for you to contact them now to discuss the budget items that matter most to you.


Here are some of the priority highlights to discuss:


UNRESTRICTED GENERAL GOVERNMENT AID (UGGA) – Ask your Senators to fund the UGGA account at $1.13 billion, which would provide an increase of $29.7 million, or 2.7 percent, consistent with the “consensus” state tax revenue growth forecast. The House and Governor’s budgets do this.


REFORMING AND INCREASING PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDING – There are a number of Chapter 70 funding issues:


  • Ask your Senators to implement the consensus Foundation Budget Review Commission reforms, including funding for employee benefits, special education costs, low-income students, and English Language Learners (the House provides a $218 million increase to Chapter 70, while the Governor is proposing a $200 million increase.)


  • Ask your Senators to end the damage caused by the flawed charter school finance system (the House is proposing $23 million more for charter school reimbursements, which is $7 million more than the Governor’s budget, but still far below full funding), and ask for a permanent solution, such as a cap on Chapter 70 diversions to charter schools, in the separate education finance bill that will be debated later in the session.


  • Ask your Senators for adequate minimum aid of $100 per student (the House is proposing $30 per student, and the Governor is offering $20 per student), so that no community is left behind, and all districts receive an adequate increase.


  • Ask your Senators to add funding to address the unique challenges facing rural schools, especially those with declining enrollment.


SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER – Ask your Senators to support full funding of the Special Education Circuit Breaker Program. (The House underfunds this account by approximately $15 million, while the Governor’s budget is $20 million short.)


STUDENT TRANSPORTATION REIMBURSEMENTS – Ask your Senators to support full funding for: 1) reimbursements to regional school districts; 2) the transportation of homeless students under the McKinney-Vento program; and 3) transporting out-of-district vocational students.


PAYMENTS IN LIEU OF TAXES (PILOT) – Ask your Senators to support increased funding for the Commonwealth’s obligations and commitments to the program for Payments in Lieu of Taxes for state-owned land (PILOT), at a minimum including funds to hold communities harmless from changes in property valuation.


Please Call Your Senators Today to Support Municipal and School Accounts!


Thank You Very Much!!

$40K more for town in House budget

$40K more for town in House budget

Email today from Representative Denise Garlick to Kristine Trierweiler announces the Medfield state aid amount in the House’s Ways and Means Committee’s proposed budget that has just been released (Rep. Garlick is now the Vice-Chair of Ways & Means).


I just wanted to share with you the preliminary local aid numbers for the town of Medfield:

Unrestricted Local Aid-$1,539,280

Increase of $40,468 from FY19


Massachusetts Municipal Association email with respect to the proposed House budget:













April 10, 2019


Dear Osler Peterson,


Earlier today, the House Ways & Means Committee reported out a $42.7 billion fiscal 2020 state budget plan to increase overall state expenditures by 3 percent. The House Ways & Means budget’s bottom line closely matches the budget filed by the Governor in January, yet allocates significantly more for school aid programs. The Chapter 70 aid increase is $17.7 million higher than the amount recommended by the Governor, by increasing minimum aid from $20 per student to $30 per student, and adopting a slightly different method of implementing the recommendations of the Foundation Budget Review Commission. The full House will debate the fiscal 2020 state budget during the week of April 22. House members must file all budget amendments by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 12. (Usually, the House considers over 1000 amendments during budget debate week.)


H. 3800, the House Ways & Means budget, provides progress on many important local aid priorities, including the full $29.7 million increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid that the Governor proposed and communities are counting on. The House W&M Committee would increase funding for other major aid programs, by adding $5 million to the Special Education Circuit Breaker, adding $5 million to Regional School Transportation, $1 million to McKinney-Vento reimbursements, and increasing Chapter 70 aid by $218 million more than fiscal 2019 levels.


Please Click this Link Now to See the HW&M Chapter 70 and Unrestricted Municipal Aid Numbers for Your Community


By Friday or Early Next Week – Click on this Link to See Your Community’s Local Aid and Preliminary Cherry Sheet Numbers in the House Ways & Means Budget, as Posted by the Division of Local Services:



In a major victory for cities and towns, the HW&M fiscal 2020 budget plan would provide $1.128 billion for UGGA, a $29.7 million increase over current funding – the same increase proposed by Governor Baker. The $29.7 million would increase UGGA funding by 2.7 percent, which matches the projected growth in state tax collections next year. Every city and town would see their UGGA funding increase by 2.7 percent.



The House budget committee is proposing a $218 million increase in Chapter 70 education aid (this is $17.7 million higher than the $200.3 million increase in House One), with a provision that every city, town and school district receive an increase of at least $30 per student (compared to the $20-per-student amount in the Governor’s budget). This represents meaningful progress, yet most communities would only receive minimum aid, which is why MMA members adopted a resolution in January calling for $100 in per-student aid as a minimum increase.



House leaders are committed to action on major permanent updates to the Chapter 70 school finance formula this year. However, that legislation is still before the Joint Committee on Education, and will not be ready for deliberation and debate until after the House budget moves forward. Because of this, the House Ways & Means budget is taking a one-year approach to more aggressively implement many of the recommendations of the Foundation Budget Review Commission, but is not advancing permanent law changes, which will come as part of the school finance bill. The budget committee’s proposal builds on the Governor’s fiscal 2020 submission, increasing the state’s factors for health insurance, special education, English Language Learners, and low-income students. Because the House has a slightly different methodology than the Governor, Chapter 70 calculations may be slightly different for some communities and districts (not the minimum-aid communities). Combined with higher minimum aid, these foundation calculations are the reason why the HW&M budget would provide $17.7 million more Chapter 70 aid than the Governor.


In addition, the House budget committee is proposing a $16.5 million reserve fund for low-income student adjustments to ensure accurate counting of low-income students and ensure that additional funds are available to fund low-income student formula changes that may come later.



HW&M is proposing a $23 million increase in Charter School Reimbursements, bringing the program up to $113 million from the current $90 million level. This is $7 million more than the Governor’s budget, and is very much appreciated. The total is still far below full funding of the statutory formula. The budget committee is also adopting the Governor’s recommendation to change the 6-year funding schedule of 100-25-25-25-25-25 to a new 3-year 100-60-40 schedule, and make other adjustments in the program. Because there are so many factors in play, municipal leaders will need to analyze their own specific charter school tuition assessments and reimbursement amounts to see if this provides relief.


The MMA continues to believe that the charter school finance system is deeply flawed, and a permanent fix should include a cap on Chapter 70 diversions to charter schools. No matter what changes are made to the Chapter 70 formula, 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 House budget would add $5 million more than the Governor, to fund the Special Education Circuit Breaker program at $328.9 million. This is progress in the right direction, because the Governor’s budget underfunded SPED reimbursements by $20 million, which means the account is still $15 million below full funding. The MMA will again be asking lawmakers to ensure full funding in fiscal 2020.



Gov. Baker’s budget submission would level-funded regional transportation reimbursements at $68.9 million, and the HW&M budget would provide a much-needed $5 million increase. 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, and the House budget committee would raise this to $10.1 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 state 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 and HW&M budgets would level fund PILOT payments at $28.48 million, which would create a hardship for smaller communities with large amounts of state-owned property, and library grant programs would stay flat at $19.8 million; and Shannon anti-gang grants would increase by $1 million up to $9 million.



In the context of a tight budget year, with revenue growth of only 2.7%, it is clear that House leaders are prioritizing K-12 education funding and other increases for cities and towns, and this is deeply appreciated.


During the budget debate and legislative session, the MMA will work to build on this progress, and will continue to prioritize full funding for the Foundation Budget Review Commission’s recommendations and permanent improvements to Chapter 70, fixing the serious problems caused by the current charter school funding system, securing higher minimum aid increases, achieving full funding for all state municipal and school reimbursement programs, and providing higher PILOT funding and aid for rural regional school districts.


Please Call Your Representatives Today to Thank Them for the Local Aid Investments in the House Ways and Means Committee Budget – Which Increases Key Municipal and School Aid Accounts by $298.2 Million Above Fiscal 2019, and $45.2 Million More than the Governor’s Budget


Please Explain How the House Ways and Means Budget Impacts Your Community, and Ask Your Representatives to Build on this Progress During Budget Debate in the House


Thank You!



Massachusetts Municipal Association

1 Winthrop Square

Boston, MA 02110

(617) 426-7272 | Email Us | View our website




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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

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


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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