Dear Wayland Voter,
The November Special Town Meeting includes an article that would make it possible for Wayland to apply for funds as a Green Community. Other articles would continue the process of deciding what to do about open land near Dudley Pond and allow the WayCAM studio to remain at the High School.
Also in this newsletter:
-- Employee theft from three departments totals nearly $54,000.
-- Weekend activities.
17 WARRANT ARTICLES FOR NOVEMBER
Seventeen warrant articles sponsored by various town boards were submitted for the Special Town Meeting scheduled for Tuesday evening, Nov. 16, at the Wayland Middle School gymnasium.
Some articles reflect collaboration among various town boards. One is the outcome of ongoing negotiations with differing groups of residents and committees. The funding for revising the zoning bylaw was voted by Town Meeting in 2004. A few land-use articles requiring 2/3 majority votes will look familiar to voters. Two articles will enable relocating the local community access cable TV channel housed in the high school administration building since 1985 to the Field House weight room.
At the selectmen's Sept. 13 meeting, now available on WayCAM's Video on Demand,
the selectmen reviewed nine draft warrant articles and voted unanimously to submit eight:
1) To adopt the Stretch Building Code, as explained by the Energy Initiatives Advisory Committee to the Selectmen on September 7: available at WayCAM Video on Demand, http://waycamtv.pegcentral.com/index.php
The goal is to have Wayland's application to be a Green Community approved by the state, enabling the town to apply for green funds for projects such as efficiency upgrades. Forty-five Massachusetts towns already have adopted the Stretch Code.
2) To fund Dudley area land studies: $75,000 from community preservation funds and/or free cash, to hire consultants to provide information towards making recommendations for use of the town-owned parcels abutting Doran Road.
If the article passes, the selectmen would form a new temporary, broad-based, nine-member Dudley Area Advisory Committee.
3) Two articles to relocate WayCAM so the studio remains on the high school campus where it has been for 25 years: One article would enable spending $185,000 from High School project funds for refurbishing the exterior shell and weight room roof to bring it up to code. Exterior improvements would be needed anyway to use the space for other purposes such as storage. WayCAM would raise the rest of the money for the interior.
The second warrant article would be to enable leasing that space to WayCAM, similar to Children's Way leased use for day care at the town building. WayCAM officers reported to the selectmen that the School Committee voted to co-sponsor the articles with the Selectmen.
4) To acquire Sudbury's interest in the Route 20 Septage Facility: This is a repeat of last spring's article that failed to pass when voters wanted more financial information. The property is at 490 Boston Post Road and contains about 7.6 acres. Sudbury voters have authorized their selectmen to negotiate this with Wayland.
5) To amend the composition and charge of the Public Ceremonies Committee and disband the Veterans Memorial Committee: The Public Ceremonies Committee would take over the stewardship of the Veterans Memorial Freedom Prize and future engravings on the memorial. Both committees and the selectmen will co-sponsor this warrant article.
6) To acquire the 41 River Road property: The town has been attempting to negotiate purchase with the property owner for several years. Conservation funds were used for the appraisal given that this property has been on the town's open space acquisition list. The article would have two parts, including the option of an eminent domain taking, which is not preferred. There may be other interested parties, given the land's location near the national wildlife refuge and the Sudbury River. Town community preservation (CPC) funds may be sought towards the purchase.
7) To rescind already authorized unissued debt, where projects were either completed, are no longer considered or have been inactive: The warrant article lists two items, as follows: $27,000 for the intended sewer connection from Town Building to the town's wastewater treatment plant (article 40 voted at the 1999 Annual Town Meeting) and a $200,000 capital improvement plant upgrade intended to address nitrogen (Article 7 voted in 2006) at the town's now closed Septage Treatment Facility.
The Planning Board submitted four warrant articles. Co-sponsorship by other town boards or committees is likely for most of these. The Planning Board's required public hearing for proposed zoning bylaw changes will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall.
1) To amend the zoning bylaw by adding a new Article 24, titled Municipal Service Overlay District: This is another attempt, with a different approach, to enable different future municipal uses on town-owned land (former septage treatment facility) on Route 20, e.g. parking of school buses, potential DPW facility. An article to amend the Refuse Disposal District had been passed over at last spring's town meeting. This time, a smaller amount of land is contemplated for the proposed overlay district.
2) To amend the town's Aquifer Protection District bylaw: This second correction, regarding impervious surface lot coverage, is required by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in order for Wayland's zoning bylaw to be in compliance with state regulations.
The Wellhead Protection Committee discovered last year that Wayland was not on DEP's compliance list. Achieving environmental compliance is important as Wayland seeks to renew its water withdrawal permit from the state in 2011 and for state and federal funding eligibility.
3) To revise Wayland's Zoning Bylaw: Organizational, editorial or administrative changes to the bylaw and Tables are proposed to eliminate inconsistencies and confusion, improve readability, and consolidate definitions in our local bylaw. Funding for the legal consultant for this revision project was appropriated at the 2004 Annual Town Meeting. Changes to the first 14 articles (except article 6 - Site Plan Approval) of the zoning bylaw and the attached Tables will cover over 30 pages of text in the warrant. Attorney Patricia Cantor from Kopelman & Paige is expected to attend the public hearing.
4) To accept and acquire Alice Drive and Hidden Springs Lane as Town Ways. This article was passed over at the 2010 Annual Town Meeting (Article 26) because a deadline for submitting required paperwork had not been met.
The Board of Public Works will co-sponsor this roadway article. The BOPW also seeks town meeting approval to amend its Fiscal 2011 budget to change the location of proposed roadway improvements. $510,000 was appropriated at last spring's town meeting to clean and line the water distribution pipes along Stonebridge Road. A more recent flow test has shown that the work at Stonebridge is not required nor will it be in the foreseeable future. Instead, the DPW Director is asking that the full appropriation be applied to improve flow at the Glezen Lane and Old Sudbury Road intersection whose pipes are major transmission lines for water distribution when pumping from the new Baldwin treatment plant.
The Community Preservation Committee gets the early bird award for having voted in June to submit two warrant articles for the fall town meeting: to renovate the Vokes Theater (historic preservation), and to fund an appraisal and feasibility analysis to determine the value of a conservation restriction on a portion of Mainstone Farm (open space).
The town clerk submitted an article to authorize the Selectmen to acquire easements associated with the replacement of the Pelham Island Bridge. And the School Committee proposes to establish a stablization fund for special education expenses.
FINCOM WARRANT HEARING
The Finance Committee will hold its warrant hearing on Monday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. in the town building. All article sponsors and petitioners are expected to send a spokesperson and be prepared to explain the proposed article and answer questions. The selectmen's office has issued detailed instructions to all board chairmen and department heads in an attempt to ensure that all submitted warrant articles are well-prepared and explained in the weeks ahead so that town meeting runs more smoothly and proposed legislation stands a better chance of being successful.
The Board of Selectmen has jurisdiction and responsibility over the content of the Town Meeting warrant. It has the right to vote to remove any article at any time, except petitioners' articles (none were submitted this time), before the warrant is sent to the printer. The Board expects article sponsors to advocate for their proposed legislation if it is to remain in the warrant. If voters don't complete the town's business in one night, the second session will be held on Thursday evening, Nov. 18.
On Sept. 17, the selectmen's office posted the text of the warrant articles (except the many pages of zoning bylaw revisions) on the town's website. The selectmen have yet to make publicly available the actual warrant articles that were submitted by the Sept. 16 deadline. For years it has been the Board's custom to include these public documents in their green agenda packets in anticipation of their posted agenda discussions. When the Selectmen considered and voted their articles on September 13, however, the board members were seen reading from a different agenda packet - one normally reserved for confidential documents, e.g. attorney advice, etc.
By the following week, after the warrant deadline, and after citizen attempts to access the documents, only one of the 17 submitted warrant articles appeared in the selectmen's Sept. 20 green agenda packet. Diminished transparency in the handling of these public documents runs counter to the Board's stated policy goals and standard practice.
-- WVN Staff
TREASURY MISSING FUNDS DETERMINED
The number of incidents of missing town funds brought to light in the last two years has risen to three with the alleged pilfering of School Department petty cash by secretary Diane Mancuso; the amount totaled $2,250.
On a much larger scale, extensive investigation revealed the total dollar value missing from the Wayland treasurer's office is at least $43,633.80, according to police reports on file with the Framingham District Court.
This is by far the largest theft to date. The other incident was in the Water Department, $7,770.84. See http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waylandvotersnetwork/message/359.
All three persons are now former employees of the town or schools. Full restitution has been made to the treasurer's office and water department and is expected to the School Department.
The good news is these thefts are being discovered; the not so good news is that they are still occurring and do not seem to be noticed by any bookkeeping mechanism.
In the case of the water department, the police department was notified by an outside party of the scheme involving pilfered funds. The School Department noticed petty cash was thin.
In the treasurer's office, in July 2009, Town Clerk Lois Toombs noticed an initial discrepancy of $1,400 between her office's books and the statements issued by the treasurer's office. Shortly after, Dale Sicotte, an employee in the treasurer's office, was placed on administrative leave. Her employment has been terminated. After extensive investigation, the total grew, and grew. Sicotte had been a town employee since 1991; the investigation covered the years 2006-2009. See http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waylandvotersnetwork/message/359
The police report indicates it is believed Sicotte would skim cash and not make a record of the payment to the treasurer. In addition, the report states, it is possible she may have switched out checks for a specific department to a department that would present cash to the Treasurer's Office, as those returned checks would show "Town of Wayland," not the originally intended department. Several uncashed checks to the library were found in her office.
Sicotte was responsible for Quicken records that handled Personal Property Tax, Tax Title and Deferment, Real Estate Tax and Excise Tax. The shortage from these accounts over a three year period from 2007-2009 was $18,610. The report states: "This discrepancy should show in the daily deposits, however not all of the thefts would show if the paperwork was never submitted."
In the Municipal Lien Certificate account, there was a shortage of $15,040 over four years from 2006-2009. "These were also under reported in Quicken
.This discrepancy also should be accounted for in the daily receipts however this may not be the case if cash is being swapped out and it is under reported," according to the police statement.
Facing a criminal complaint is expensive; not only does one generally lose employment, but the court, which schedules hearings as much as two years out, charges a monthly fee of $50-$65.
SATURDAY EVENTS SEPT. 25
-- Recycle prescriptions drugs and other medicines responsibly at the Public Safety Building, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
-- "Touch a Truck." Middle School, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Kids can see fire trucks, an ambulance, police motorcycle, front-end loader, backhoe, dump truck, 10-wheeler and more. Magician, dunk tank, inflatables, moonbounce, finger painting, balloons, raffle, food and drink stands.
CULTURAL COUNCIL GRANT DEADLINE
The Wayland Cultural Council is accepting grant applications for the 2011 grant cycle. The deadline is Oct. 15.
Wayland is allocated grant money from the Massachusetts Cultural Council for public programs that promote access, education, diversity, and excellence in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences. The WCC has awarded grants for projects in such diverse fields as ballet, music, local history, natural history, visual arts, science, and literature.
Grants may be offered to individuals, organizations, schools and non-profit organizations. Applications may be found at The Wayland Town Building or the Wayland Public Library, or they may be downloaded on-line at:
Applications must be sent by mail to: Wayland Cultural Council, Wayland Town Building, 41 Cochituate Road, Wayland, MA 01778
Information on the WCC grant process is at:
You can read all previous WVN newsletters at:
To be sure you continue to receive WVN newsletters optimally and in your inbox
(instead of bulk or junk folders) it may help to add to your address book or
safe sender list:
Thank you for reading this WVN newsletter. Please forward it to your friends and
neighbors in Wayland. If they want to receive their own copy, they can send an
and they will be signed up for the listserv. Or, they can sign themselves up by
sending a blank email to:
Click reply and send after receiving an e-mail confirming the subscription.
Wayland Voters Network
Michael Short, Editor