WVN #360: ConCom down to three with Town Center process pending
- Dear Wayland Voter,
The Conservation Commission begins the new fiscal year with just three members.
The timing of the Town Center developer's application process may not be significantly affected, however.
Also in this newsletter: Volunteers are needed for wide-ranging new Town Meeting committee.
"....AND THEN THERE WERE THREE..."
Since the Board of Selectmen made no appointments or re-appointments this spring to the Conservation Commission, the seven-member commission has begun the new fiscal year with just three members. Town Counsel Mark Lanza reportedly has weighed in on this unprecedented scenario, but no written legal opinion with citations of law has surfaced.
Two longest-serving commissioners joined the conservation administrator for a posted meeting on Thursday July 1. The two-page meeting agenda included a continued hearing for the Town Center applications for off-site work related to the proposed $140-million mixed-use project on Route 20, originally filed in June 2008.
The developer, Twenty Wayland, had submitted new documents on June 24, 2010. The Commission's peer review consultant at CMG Environmental, Inc., David Faist, responded with comments on June 29. Twenty Wayland did not show up Thursday evening, however, under the impression the hearing would not be held. Twenty Wayland will be asked to request that the hearing continue on the next scheduled meeting date, July 22. Action on other scheduled agenda items also was postponed.
The commissioners could not recall an instance before last year when they began a new fiscal year without a full board.
One practical option for Twenty Wayland would be to refile its off-site applications by noon on July 8 for a new hearing to begin on the same July 22. Wayland officials say that appears to be Twenty Wayland's intention.
Before that meeting date the selectmen can fill vacant ConCom seats. They already interviewed long-serving member Roger Backman for reappointment and two other residents, Ted Harding and Betty Salzberg, for appointment. When Selectman Joe Nolan left the June 28 Board of Selectmen's meeting at 8:30 p.m. to pick up someone at the airport, the remaining four selectmen said they did not want to vote on appointments without him. Selectmen plan to meet only twice this month, July 8 and July 26.
Commissioner Ellen Tohn did not seek reappointment in June 2009, and her seat has been unfilled for a year. In 2008, Tohn led the Commission's effort to get Twenty Wayland to agree to a hearing schedule and process. Twenty Wayland eventually sought continuances, did not submit the required floodplain study until January 2009, and ultimately appealed the Commission's May 28, 2009 Order of Conditions and permit for on-site work. Twenty Wayland's resulting year of legal wrangling finally ended almost six weeks ago, and the off-site permit hearing resumed.
In March 2010, Joy Viola resigned, citing lack of support for the Commission's work. In response to an email from the Town Administrator, Bob Goldsmith indicated he did not wish to be reappointed to the ConCom when his term expired at the end of June, at the same time offering to remain on the Commission until open and pending applications are resolved. Goldsmith said he has not heard back from the town administrator or the selectmen on his offer.
-- Linda Segal
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR TOWN MEETING COMMITTEE
Town Moderator Peter Gossels is forming a Town Meeting Advisory Committee which will deal with electronic voting, facilities and procedures. Gossels provides details below.
In response to recommendations from Wayland's Town Meeting Procedures Review Committee, I have decided to establish a Town Meeting Advisory Committee, whose members will be appointed prior to August 1, 2010. The new Town Meeting Advisory Committee will subsume the mission of the Town Meeting Auxiliary Committee, which I had previously announced, but never established.
The Town Meeting Advisory Committee shall consist of seven members, the Chair and one member of each of the following subcommittees and a member of the Board of Selectmen:
1. The Electronic Voting Implementation subcommittee shall consider how best to implement the electronic voting system at the 2011 Town Meeting approved by the voters at the 2010 Town Meeting, to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of that system, to assess the cost effectiveness of such systems, and to recommend specifications and procedures for use of such a system, in the event that the Town shall vote to finance electronic voting in the future.
2. The Town Meeting Facilities subcommittee shall consider how to make Wayland's town meeting venues more effective, convenient and comfortable for those who attend, whether we use the Field House, the auditorium at the Middle School or otherwise. The subcommittee shall make every effort to persuade those with the funds needed to improve the facilities at town meeting to invest in better seating, lighting, audio and video equipment to help the voters understand the issues presented at town meeting and to follow the proceedings as they develop in order to improve the quality of our legislative process. The subcommittee shall also find ways to arrange and finance the provision of babysitting services, food and beverages as well other amenities to encourage voters to attend town meetings by making those meetings more comfortable, pleasant and user friendly.
3. The Town Meeting Procedures Subcommittee shall monitor how our town meetings are doing, study and consider the issues identified in the Final Report of the 2010 Town Meeting Procedures Review Committee, which are recommended for further study, as well as other issues that may be brought to the attention of the subcommittee from time to time.
The Town Meeting Advisory Committee, its subcommittees and members shall serve at the pleasure of the Moderator.
If you are interested in serving on any of the subcommittees listed above, please send me your resume by mail to 32 Hampshire Road, Wayland, MA 01778, or by e-mail (pgossels@...) no later than July 29, 2010.
And thank you for volunteering.
C. Peter R. Gossels, Moderator
of the Town of Wayland
STIMULUS FUNDS FOR 2 LOCAL SOLAR PROJECTS
Russell's Garden Center and Mainstone Farm are among 46 Massachusetts sites receiving awards recently under the Commonwealth Solar Stimulus program.
Russell's will receive $47,330 and Mainstone $37,260, according to the Community Newspapers Wicked Local website.
The state has awarded funds for 102 projects representing 7.8 megawatts of solar power.
WVN Newsletter #359 of July 2 reported that Wayland resident Dorothy Dunlay castigated the selectmen for the aggressive way they interviewed candidates for reappointment to the Historic District Commission. Ms. Dunlay says her criticism went beyond the interviews last week, asserting that the Board of Selectmen and Town Administrator Fred Turkington have treated the HDC and all of its members disrespectfully since the Town Center developer filed suit against the Commission last year.
In a letter published in the July 1 Wayland Town Crier, Dunlay said: "The HDC members are doing what they are supposed to do -- uphold the by-laws and regulations that protect the...Historic District...It is nonsensical and contemptible that the selectmen, all along, instead of supporting their own town boards, have chosen to side with the Town Center developers, who care not a whit for preserving the Historic District..."
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Michael Short, Editor