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WVN #106: What's Next for Assessors/Forum on Town Meeting

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    Wayland Voters Network September 12, 2005 Dear Wayland Voter, Tonight the Board of Selectmen will consider whether to appoint someone twice rejected by voters
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 12, 2005
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      Wayland Voters Network
      September 12, 2005

      Dear Wayland Voter,

      Tonight the Board of Selectmen will consider whether to appoint
      someone twice rejected by voters and not recommended by current
      assessors to fill the vacancy on the Board of Assessors. Selectmen
      are scheduled to meet with assessors and candidates for the vacant
      seat at 8:20 p.m. during the regular BoS meeting in the Town
      Building. Then at 8:50 p.m., the BoS is scheduled to discuss with
      Planning Board Chairman Larry Stabile the proposed mixed-use zoning
      by-law that would enable a Town Center project.

      Later this week you can share your ideas about how to improve Town
      Meeting with the committee created by TM last spring to make
      recommendations. The committee invites you to a public forum on
      Thursday, September 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Public Safety Building.

      Details follow in this newsletter written by WVN editor Michael Short.

      WHAT'S NEXT FOR BOARD OF ASSESSORS?

      Selectmen seemed within minutes last month of appointing the only
      applicant for an unexpected vacancy on the Board of Assessors. But
      then the two remaining assessors appeared with a last-minute appeal
      to allow time for other applications.

      The lone applicant was Jayson Brodie, a former assessor who was
      resoundingly defeated at the polls by Tom Maglione in 2003 and Susan
      Rufo in 2004.

      Assessors Maglione and Rufo argued that there was no urgency and that
      worthy applicants might be away during the summer. Though two
      selectmen disagreed, three deferred to the assessors' request.

      The assessors mentioned that at least one other resident, Judy
      Walzer, had shown interest. They also recommended against the
      selectmen's apparent choice of Brodie.

      Marcia Malmfeldt, running unopposed, was elected in April. She,
      Maglione and Rufo were united in fighting a losing battle for
      additional tools which they said were the only way to guarantee fair
      assessments. Malmfeldt resigned after three months, saying that the
      board was inefficiently spending too much time on abatements instead
      of correcting problems affecting many property valuations. Malmfeldt
      predicted an increasing flood of abatement requests (there were 275
      this year) if something isn't done.

      While noting that Brodie was qualified, Maglione said it would
      be "unusual" and "awkward" to work with him because his previous
      service perpetuated a system he and Rufo criticized as radically
      flawed.

      Brodie, on the other hand, says a board needn't have only one point
      of view. He said he didn't run in the April `05 election because of
      other commitments but now has time to serve. Brodie served from 2000
      to 2003.

      The selectmen are scheduled to interview applicants Monday night at
      about 8:20. The new assessor will serve until the 2006 annual
      election in April.

      Brodie has been active in town affairs for about 20 years and served
      on the Committee for Tax Relief from 2001 to 2003.

      Walzer has lived in Wayland for 20 years and is a certified real
      estate appraiser.

      ANOTHER UNEXPECTED VACANCY

      Rod Fletcher resigned from the Finance Committee on Sept. 7, saying
      that he thought "it would be in the best interest of our family and
      of the Town."

      Fletcher said that since his wife, Barbara, was elected to the School
      Committee the demands of his service have put a strain on their
      children and family life.

      The selectmen will appoint a successor to finish the term, which
      expires June 30, 2006.

      Fletcher wasn't among the signers of a Sept. 7 letter from the Fincom
      to all town committees, departments and commissions announcing
      stringent cash conservation measures. Wayland's free cash balance is
      about $1 million, which the committee called the lowest total in more
      than a decade. Cash reserves can affect a town's bond rating.

      The Fincom said it will discourage Town Meeting articles that require
      funding from free cash and will not consider reserve fund transfer
      requests in FY2006 except for an urgent public safety need.

      MORE VACANCIES

      Here are other town board vacancies. If you're interested in
      applying, the Executive Secretary's Office has more information.

      Cable TV Committee (3 vacancies, 3-year terms)

      Dudley Pond Planning Committee (1 vacancy, 2-year term)

      Housing Partnership (1 vacancy, 2-year term)

      MetroWest Open Space Task Force (1 vacancy, 1-year term)

      Public Works Assessment Committee (2 vacancies, 1-year term)

      Board of Road Commissioners (1 vacancy, fill unexpired term until
      April 2006 election)

      Route 20 Corridor Committee (2 vacancies, 1-year term)

      Route 30 Corridor Committee (4 vacancies, 2-year term)

      Surface Water Quality Committee (1 vacancy, 1-year term)

      FORUM ON IMPROVING TOWN MEETING

      Do you have ideas, opinions, strong feelings, even weak feelings
      about the way Town Meeting is conducted?

      The 22-member study committee created by a Town Meeting vote last
      spring has been gathering voter opinion and will hold the first of
      two public forums on Thursday, Sept. 15, to discuss perceived
      problems and possible solutions.

      The forum will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Public Safety
      Building meeting room.

      A second forum is scheduled for 4-5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2. Same
      location.

      Of course you're always welcome at the regular meetings of the
      committee (see the Meeting Calendar at www.wayland.ma.us), but the
      forums provide maximum time for the committee to summarize its work
      so far and for you to let the committee know what you think.

      Further information available from chairwoman Judy Currier, 508-653-
      8554.

      IMPORTANT MEETINGS AHEAD

      Monday, Sept. 19, 7 p.m.: Tentative agenda for the Board of Selectmen
      includes discussion of development agreement for proposed Town Center
      project.

      Wednesday, Sept. 21, 7:30 p.m.: Selectmens' public forum about the
      wireless litigation settlement proposing a cell tower on Reeves Hill.

      Thursday, Sept. 22, 7:30 p.m.: Planning Board public hearing on
      selectmens' proposal to rezone part of Reeves Hill for cell tower.

      Thursday, Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m.: Planning Board public hearing on
      zoning changes to permit the mixed-use Town Center project to be
      built.

      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 email to waylandvoters@... and they will
      be signed up for the listserv. Or, they can sign themselves up by
      sending a blank email to:
      waylandvotersnetwork-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Click reply and send
      after receiving an e- mail confirming the subscription.

      Wayland Voters Network
      Margo Melnicove and Michael Short, Editors
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