WVN #106: What's Next for Assessors/Forum on Town Meeting
- 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
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
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
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.
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
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-
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
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
Thank you for reading this WVN newsletter. Please forward it to your
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Wayland Voters Network
Margo Melnicove and Michael Short, Editors