Natick Select Board November 15, 2023
Updated about 5 hours ago
Natick Select Board November 15 2023
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Good evening everyone.
It is 6:35 PM
and this is the meeting of the Natick Select Board.
We're presently an open session,
but we're going to take a vote to go into executive session.
We have a jam packed agenda tonight
and a lot of work to get through.
So I ask the board's indulgence and understanding on this
and that there may be some items on the agenda
where discussion is just beginning
and I may table the conversation
in discussion through a future meeting.
The board will be taking a vote to go into exec session.
This portion of the meeting is not open to the public.
We expect to reconvene open session at 7:15 PM The reasons
for entering executive session
or a pursuant to mass general laws
Chapter 30 a section 21, A three to discuss strategy
with respect to litigation.
If an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the
litigating position of the public body and the chair.
So declares decrement A versus standard of nat etal,
civil action number 2 3 8 2
CV 0 0 2 5 3.
Item B, approve executive session meeting minutes from
8 30 23, which includes A pursuant
to MGL 30 AS 21, A two to conduct strategy sessions
in preparation for negotiations with non-union personnel
or to conduct collective bargaining sessions.
Go ahead. Or contract negotiations with non-union personnel,
town administrator, fire chief.
Police chief, the pursuant to MGL chapter 30 a,
section 21, A three to discuss strategy with respect
to collective bargaining or litigation.
If an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the
bargaining or litigating position
of the public body and the chair.
So declares from ten four twenty three item A
pursuant to MGL 30 a, section 21 A three to discuss
strategy with respect to collective
bargaining or litigation.
If an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the
bargaining or litigating position
of the public body and the chair.
So declares Justin George versus town
of Natick fire department per mcad.
Docket number 21 BEM 0 1 3 2 7
slash E eoc,
docket number 16 C dash 2021 dash
0 12 61.
Item B, pursuant to MGL chapter 31 a
section 21 A three to discuss strategy with respect
to collective bargaining of litigation.
If an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the
bargaining or litigating position
of the public body and the chair.
So declares PERONI versus natick.
Number 2, 2 81 dash CV dash 0 2 6 6 6
in Middlesex superior court.
And finally, pursuant
to MGL chapter 31 a section 21, A three
to discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining
or litigation, if an open meeting may have a detrimental
effect on the bargaining
or litigating position of the public body and the chair.
So declares Deputy Fire Chiefs Association, local
7 1 7 0 7 International Association of Firefighters,
Thank you. Do I have a second?
Second voice vote Is Mr. Sidney?
Yes. Ms. Coughlin?
Ms. Pope? Yes. And Mr. Joseph? Yes.
And I'm AS also. So we are now in executive session.
We hope to be back around seven 15.
It may be a more towards seven 30,
but tune back in at seven 15.
Thank you very much. Hi. We're back.
We've closed executive session
and we're back on our normally scheduled programming.
So I'll reconvene, open session.
And this meeting is being recorded by Natick Pegasus
for live streaming and recording for future viewing.
So thank you Natick.
Pegasus, I'd, I'd like to invite everyone in the room
to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in a moment of silence
for those serving US
Pledge allegiance through the flag
of the United States of America,
and to the republic for which it stands.
One Nation, nation under God, individual
with liberty and justice.
Okay. Announcements I had.
Does anyone on the board have an announcement they'd
like Mr. Joseph?
Just a couple of quick announcements. Thank you, Mr.
Chair. Yesterday, last night I had the pleasure
of attending a training that was conducted by the our
Substance Use Disorder Coordinator
and Natick 180 executive Director Kate Katie Sugarman
and Lizzie Chafin.
They provided what was called QPR training,
which is now available to the community.
QPR stands for question, persuade and refer
and the dis the purpose of the program.
And there were many people there. I was impressed and
and glad to see so many community,
community members coming out, was really
to provide a framework and some strategies
to start difficult conversations, especially if you
or someone you know, or someone you interact with
might be at, at a stressful point in contemplating suicide.
So the, the purpose of the program, much like CPR training,
is to give people the tools that they need
as just a lay person to interact and start that process
and help people find, you know, refer to professional help
where they, where they need it, whether it's a,
a family member or in the public.
They will be conducting more of these throughout.
And if you're interested, you can firstname.lastname@example.org
and contact them for more information about
future such trainings.
The second was, there was a scheduled cleanup this Saturday,
the 18th of November called the Big False Sweep at Coolidge
Hill by Keep Natick beautiful semi-annually a group
of volunteers goes to the top of Coolidge Hill with a,
a generator and shop vacs
and cleans up a chronic broken glass problem up there.
Unfortunately, with the weather forecast of this Saturday,
they're gonna postpone this falls
and just do it again in the spring.
The good news is, over the last few years
that they've been doing this, I think the problem
has lessened quite a bit.
And lastly, I just wanna share primarily with the board,
but also the community that's following this.
I did get contact from Representative Dave Linsky
that the home rule petition
that passed Fall Town meeting in 2022 focused on eliminating
the seating requirement for establishments of alcohol,
did make it out of committee with favorable recommendations.
So that is now going back to the legislature, hopefully
for action at a future date that he is working on.
So hopefully we'll see some action on
that coming into the new year.
And I wanna thank Representative
Linsky for ushering that through. Awesome.
Thanks for those updates. Joe. Anyone else? Anything?
I have a, yeah,
I got a couple from Natick Center Associates.
First NA item from Natick Center Associates is
Natick Night Out Thursday, November 16th from six to 8:00 PM
and Natick Center entered the winner a gift card at the
participating shops using a passport
from participating stores.
Calliope Pape, I'm sure I'm butchering that one.
Five Crows Gallery and Handcrafted gifts.
Bailey B Paper Fiesta, the Hive Unity.
So that again is November 16th, six
to 8:00 PM So that's tomorrow.
If you're not doing anything,
please patronize these local businesses
in the holiday season.
Next item is the Small Business Saturday,
which is November 25th through December 10th.
Natick Center businesses will be having
a holiday teen drive and drop off areas.
People can visit the shops and donate items on this list.
And I think it's the same list that I just read,
but I'm not absolutely sure about that.
But it is sponsored by the Natick Service Council.
Later in our agenda, we'll be on our consent agenda.
We'll be talking about free parking in December
to facilitate local shopping during December.
And it extends, I think, into the first week in January.
Anybody else have any?
Okay, let's move on to public speak.
Any individual may raise, raise an issue
that's not on the agenda
and it will be taken under advisement by the board.
There will be no opportunity for debate
or comment by the select board.
This section of the agenda is limited
to 15 minutes with any individual.
Limited to five minutes to Mr. Joseph.
Thank you Mr. Chair.
Paul Joseph, 10 Carlson
Circle, a member of the select board.
But speaking on my personal behalf, I just wanted to
reiterate for the community's benefit, now
that town meeting has adjourned.
That there's a parallel process going on in the community
that's focused on collecting signatures
to potentially add a charter commission as a ballot question
to the spring 2024 town ballot.
I've, I've been in public speak a couple of times speaking
to this issue and I just, I, I want to kind
of address a couple of things that I'd seen online
as it's been asserted in multiple forums that I've seen that
I personally have been pursuing the Charter Commission as,
as a, in opposition to,
or as a contrast to the activities of town meeting
and the charter and bylaw review committee.
And as I've said in public sessions, as a member
of the select board, and as I've said
publicly, that is not true.
The fact of the matter is that the pursuit
of a charter commission is an independent process
and is focused on a broader scope than what the charter
and bylaw review committee had been pursuing.
And this is really designed to be a complimentary effort
and designed to be done, conducted
through an independently elected body, independent
of either the legislature, legislative
or executive branches of town government to
address specific concerns that I've heard raised.
I wanna be very clear, when I ran for this position
as a select board member, I campaigned on the issue
of the need to investigate
and consider changes to our form of government.
So this dates back prior to 2021.
It also is consistent.
When I was serving as a member of the select board in 2021,
I basically asserted when the, when the select board voted
to create a town governance study committee,
I frankly felt the need to just go straight
to a charter commission at that point in time.
And then at the middle part of this summer,
when the Town Governance Study Committee came out
with its report recommending the creation
of a charter commission, obviously I, I felt that the,
the idea had strength based on the fact
that another group looking at this
also felt that was the case.
So for the community's benefit,
if you're interested in either signing a petition
to put this on the ballot,
and it's only to get signatures
to potentially give the voters a choice
to create this charter commission, it is not
with a pre-prescribed path.
You can go to natick charter.org to this date, we're trying
to collect 4,500 signatures
and frankly, the lack
of awareness has been a challenge for us.
We've got over 750 signatures collected to date
and just some local statistics for people
that aren't necessarily overly active.
Members of this board has supported it as individuals.
And we voted this as a body in a previous meeting.
So the entire select board as individuals support this,
we have the signatures
and the support of six out
of the seven school committee members.
And we have the support and the signatures of 11
of the 15 finance committee members.
So the initiative itself is really a broad outreach.
We want to include more people in the process,
give the voters a voice, especially folks
who have not typically been active in town government.
So you can go to natick charter.org
or you can send an email
to email@example.com to find out more.
And if you're interested in signing the petition,
there is a, a, a page at that website
where you can find out times
and locations to sign that we do need physical signatures
to, to get this initiative on the ballot.
So thank you very much.
Thank you Mr. Joseph. Anyone else have a topic?
I cannot see anyone online, so I'll assume we can move on.
So now we're at the appointments section.
We appear to be well ahead of our pace.
on a little bit on which ones for
Okay, so let's
gonna shift to some discussions.
Shift, shift this discussion.
I know some of the people are, are in the room here, so
it was slated for 7 55
and so we're like a half hour ahead.
I don't know how this is even possible.
Okay. So we can
however, vote to amend the net zero
committee charter to add a representative
from the school committee.
And Ms. Wilson Martin, would you like
to take us through that please?
Good evening. Jillian Wilson Martin,
sustainability Director for the Town of Natick.
Thank you for having me.
Included in your agenda was a memo that I wrote
that outlined the town's efforts on
creating it, sorry, the outlined the net zero committee
suggestion that we have for you.
So as you work to appoint the Net zero committee, which
is a new committee, one of the reasons
for having a net zero committee
beyond the local importance is that the state
through this new program
that they've launched called Climate Leaders,
to have a committee focused on energy conservation
and greenhouse gas emission reductions.
And in learning about
what they would require from a committee, we learned
that they would want to have a school,
a representative from the school committee included in that.
So when we had presented the
net zero committee proposed charter previously
that hadn't been considered
and coming to you tonight to recommend adding
that in my memo,
I do suggest having the school representative via voting
member and I actually did consult
with DOER today about that.
And they prefer that though.
They said it wasn't a hard and fast rule in doing so.
I recognize that that would mean we would have an even
number of people on the committee.
And I know that would be unusual
and I really defer to the board on that if you,
I don't believe that will be an issue.
And I actually in some ways think it would be great for us
to have a model that pushes us
to have strong consensus on issues
where this board may be voting, though I,
I don't anticipate a lot of votes happening
and the net zero committee wouldn't be a committee
that has any control over budget
or any decisions that would where if there was a stalemate
and a vote that it would really interrupt town operations
or the town overall.
So I just bring that to you for your consideration
and I've defer to you on what you think is best.
Okay. Questions from the board.
Just thank you for your work on this.
Thank you. Thank you for all the,
the research you you did on that, especially on the,
whether it should be a voting member or not.
I agree that having the, the number six
will not be an obstacle
because much of this is much of this committee
and the sustainability committee
before it has been consensus driven.
And I, and I very much doubt
that there'll be stalemate on any of these issues.
It's an inclusive committee and,
and community outreach is probably the,
the biggest hallmark of this committee.
So I'm supportive of, of doing that.
My question is,
and there might be one for Jamie, is what do we have
as a board have to do to affect this change?
My understanding is a simple just vote of acceptance
of the, of the adding a member to the committee.
Good. You've already accepted the charge.
You've already accepted the creation of the committee
or the adjustment of the prior committee,
I think is how you technically voted it.
And later tonight you'd be appointing potential members or,
or at least interviewing potential members
for a potential appointment.
So adding this is just sort
of accepting the recommendation from Ms. Wilson Martin
to add a school committee representative.
One question I would have
for the board's consideration, maybe for what Ms.
Ms. Martin is, is this something whereby the school
committee would have one
of their members be a representative
or they can appoint anybody
and then it's just sort of accepted
by the, by the select board?
I think that would be at their discretion.
It, I appreciate that.
You know, just like the select board,
the school committee volunteers are giving a lot
of their time in their school committee role.
I would defer to them on how they manage their appointments.
'cause I know that they do have designees for other groups
or bodies in Natick, maybe not elected or appointed bodies,
but like through Natick 180 and things like that.
So I I would personally defer
to them Yeah.
Listening for think for clarity and transparency.
It was just good for the board to be aware of that. Yeah.
Thank, thank you. Maybe I,
If we don't have that in front of us, then I don't
Believe we have.
No, but I will add that in the past we,
in the sustainability committee,
we did have a school representative
and that was someone that was a member of the public.
I do know that the school committee has kind
of taken sustainability up in a bigger way
and they're we're planning
and they maybe already have added it
to their strategic goals.
So it's top of mind for the school committee.
And so they might choose
to participate in a more
active way from the committee level.
And then to Mr.
Erickson's point, previously,
the about the appointing an additional person
that is also consistent with the sustainability committee.
Where at times we had additional associate members who
really wanted to like be listed on a committee
and do some work.
So they, the board had just threw a vote, appointed them
to be special project members.
And, and, and in discussions with you
and Mr. Ryan,
that is always an open door from what I understand. So
Mr. Sidney. Yeah,
I think this is just procedural, assuming we
approve the school committee member
who lets the school committee know they
have somebody to appoint,
That would be me.
That would be you. Okay. Just curious on that. Yep.
So I, I will put myself down to talk
to the school committee chair about this.
So I move, I move to amend the charge of the
Sydney, Mr. Sydney, if I may, I'm sorry. Pardon?
In, in follow up with a question. So similar to this.
So we just talked about potential
for associate members as well.
It's been practiced. Generally we kinda leave it
to the committee chairs to allow for people that want
to get a sort of affiliate as associate members.
Do we wanna formalize associate memberships
or is there any value to doing that?
Or would we just rather kind of contin continue
with past practice
and just sort of allow people to participate
and, you know, be designated as associates?
And to clarify, you mean have like the committee itself
designate them as associates?
Exactly. I think that would be most expedient or we don't,
To force come back
to the select board every time.
And I think it's nice to recognize people
who are working in the committee or with the committee
because our real goal for this committee is that it's a,
it's a working committee,
that we're not just having meetings
and that work is happening outside
and that each kind of lead would have a team around them
that might not, would not be part of the committee
of the formal voting body.
And thank you. And I agree with that.
I think it's important, especially if you have task forces
or working groups, subwork groups
and so forth, you know, with something this complex
requiring some special expertise
or some broader generalist perspective,
it's nice to have that flexibility.
So thank you. Great,
Great question and great suggestion.
I think in the conversations that I've had with Ms. Wilson,
Martin, Ms and Mr. Ryan,
this is a community effort.
And, and tonight we're, we're interviewing five people,
or I'm sorry, seven people for five slots.
And so these people have great expertise, each one of them
that they can lend to this committee.
And I think having the, I won't call it carte blanche,
but having the ability to
have associate members aligned to the five objectives
that spelled out is,
is a really great idea. So great.
Question. Yes, misspoke.
While the change in the adjustment for the
school committee member is made, does the school committee,
is it mandated now that they have someone
who sits on the net zero?
Or is this, is it optional? It
This is now per the requirements of the DOER is something
that they're looking to have as a mandatory.
Okay. All right. The only question was whether it was a
voting member or, or not.
Any other Mr. Sidney?
Yeah, I move that we amend the charge
of the net zero committee to include a,
a voting school committee member.
I have a second.
Yes. Sorry. If, if the move move for the motion committee,
say school committee or their designee. Yeah, yeah,
Or designee. And do we need to add the, the part
that Mr. Joseph talked about,
the associate member aspect? No,
I don't think we need it formally.
Okay. I think it's just more of a
Okay. All right. Fair enough. And who was
The seconder was Ms. Coughlin. And all in favor say aye.
Aye. Aye. Aye. Any opposed? Nope. Okay. Thank you.
Thank you very much Ms. Ton Martin.
We're gonna pause.
How many people, let me ask a question.
How many people in the room are here
for the net zero committee appointments?
Or on Zoom? Or on Zoom? Or on Zoom?
All we got
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6 of seven.
So why don't we, we were going to have an intermission,
but let's go ahead with that since we
And I be the seventh is online
Eventually. And if they're not, they will catch up.
So I wanted to sort of frame
what the process is here.
So I wanted to thank each of the residents
who stepped forward to be considered
for the Net zero committee.
It's very much appreciated
and your contribution to the community is quite valuable.
As you know, there are five open positions
and seven applicants.
So no matter who we appoint to the committee,
it will be an inclusive committee
and welcome participation of many residents
and leverage the interests
and expertise of the people in the room.
As a reminder of the proposed vision
and structure of the Net zero committee, I
provided to the board the memo where Mr.
Brian shared the five focus areas
for the net zero committee.
And they are renewable energy deployment, energy efficiency
and electrification of commercial buildings,
and electrification of residential buildings,
and waste reduction for candidates.
During our questioning, please have your remarks
focus on which
of these focus areas you're most excited about working on
and if appointed to the committee
and will you help advance also in your role
as a committee member, how would you collaborate
with the sustainability office
and the community at large
to advance the Natick net zero goals?
We'll interview candidates alphabetically,
except we have six and of seven.
We may have to lose like Amendment Q again,
that's an inside joke.
And then I'll entertain motions for appointments
and the board will vote on them.
I want, I can't emphasize enough what Ms. Wilson Martin
spoke of earlier as the inclusiveness of the committee
and the need for, if you,
for whatever reason are not appointed, I encourage you
to, to get involved with this committee.
This committee gets things done.
They are tremendous assets of the community.
So don't be discouraged if you're not picked.
It is your, your efforts are valued.
So let's first go to,
do we have Connor Carney here?
No. Okay, we're already ahead again. Chris Decker.
On line. Okay. Can we unmute him?
Could Mr. Decker, could you please tell us what
your interest, what your areas of interest are
among the five that I described
and how you can
help advances, please?
So I professionally, I'm a professional engineer, work
for the Building Energy Service Department
for GDS Associates.
We're a national company that works on,
you know, all aspects of energy efficiency.
I'm a hers Raider past house consultant
and work on zero Energy Ready homes
as well as with EPA.
So it's familiar territory for me.
You know, it's something that I have to work
with the building codes on a daily basis, building officials
familiar, obviously with solar panels, designing
and implementation of, you know,
net zero ready energy homes.
So, you know, I think solar
and building codes
and electrification, you know, of both commercial as well
as residential is probably my forte out of the five.
Okay. Okay. Questions from the board?
Yep. Sorry, I whispered on that one.
Checking to see if there are questions from the board. Sure.
Were you gonna ask the two questions
that Ms. Wilson Martin I did suggested I did.
He he just did. Yeah, that's why I thought
so I just wanted to double check.
Mr. Decker, could you talk a bit more about why you'd be,
why you're interested in serving on this committee?
Sure. I mean,
the, the goal of, you know, by 2050, you know,
reducing carbon, I mean, quite frankly
the World Report just came out a couple of days ago that,
that we're even missing the mark by, you know, 2032.
So, you know, starting locally is,
you know, the best aspect.
I mean, China's actually the biggest, you know, producer
of carbon emissions.
But you know, we're talking about just, you know, ick here
and what we can do in ick.
And I appreciate that, you know,
and you know what the committee's trying to do.
Yeah. Mr. Sid.
Yeah. Mr. Decker, can you tell me, yeah, please
what you feel you would be able
to contribute to the con committee?
What would, what, what work would you best be able
to do with the committee?
Sure. So certainly
between, you know, assessments, fundamental understanding
of, of the codes of,
you know, the process between E-P-A-D-O-E
and I think, you know, hopefully,
you know, we'd be talking about, you know,
integration into assessments related towards, you know,
buildings, you know, within the town.
For example, RBG, which is
sister company that we're affiliated with,
did all the energy assessments when, when,
when they did the high school.
So, you know, this is stuff that I do on a daily basis.
So you know how, how I can help.
I mean, you have a whole handful of, of great candidates,
you know, reading a couple architects, you know,
some people in finance, you know, I'd like to think
that my engineering background could compliment it,
but, you know, you know, I just appreciate, you know,
what the town's trying to do.
I will say flip side of that, I think that there's, it's not
as easy as people try to make it, you know, out to be as far
as I, I mean, again, you know, part of
what I do is computer modeling related towards these houses.
It's not just enough to say, you know, I wanna be net zero,
but it's, you know, the whole planning
and procedure of how you get there.
And you know, that's basically, you know, what I do,
you know, before a builder can even pull a permit, they have
to utilize a company
and resources of basically, you know, what I do to be able
to even pull a permit to, to do that, to, you know,
have the, you know, projected,
projected preliminary energy modeling done on a building.
I mean, quite frankly, I was even almost hesitant to,
you know, run for the committee just out of, you know, fear
of conflict of interest
because I do have to do, you know, work in the town and,
and am hired out as a consultant on, on projects, you know,
all across New England including, so, you know,
I'll be honest upfront that, you know, that was a, a concern
of conflict of interest that, that I have.
So throw that out out there towards,
towards the board as well.
Okay. But I certainly think I can't help with,
with understanding of implementation.
Okay. Thank you for your candor and,
and thank you very much that, yeah.
Any other questions? Okay.
I may not have been clear on, on
what the process is going to be.
We're gonna go through Sure.
These interviews with everyone
and then we'll be entertaining motions
So I understand that Connor Carney has now joined us,
so let's go back to him.
So Mr. Kearney welcome
and you were probably not on when we
describe what we want to focus during, on,
during questioning, which is
there are five focus areas, renewable energy development,
and electrification of commercial buildings
and residential buildings, transportation, decarbonization
and waste reduction.
So we wanted to focus our questioning
or our focus, your remarks on
what areas you would you be most excited working on in this
committee and how would you help advance it.
And also how would you collaborate
with the sustainability office
and the community at large
to achieve those goal help advance those goals.
Perfect. Yeah, thanks for taking the time
to let me talk a little bit.
I'm a trained environmental economist, so all
of those things that you said, I'm a PhD,
I'm a assistant professor at College of Holy Cross
and I teach environmental econ,
you know, multiple times a year.
And I, for me, I'm just, this is
where my value added is the biggest.
And so that's why I was putting my name out
for this committee specifically, most
of my focus is on cost and benefits.
And across all of those areas that you mentioned,
it's really important to understand that you don't operate
you, you know, in a, in a, you know,
a bubble, right?
All of these decisions that are being made at the town
are not just gonna impact the things
that we hope they'll impact, but they also change incentives
and have, you know, what I like to think of
as spillover effects
and not measuring those is really problematic.
So really my, what I wanna bring to the table is
the approach, my approach to all
of these different problems is thinking about it from an
economics point of view, weighing cost and benefits
and trying to make sure we understand
how it changes people's incentives.
For example, you know, the, the closure of Johnson School
or something like that where, you know,
people don't think about the impacts it's gonna have on
overall traffic flows.
I don't think anyone really thought about that.
And, and the pollution related to that.
Moreover, it's, it's a nice thing
to talk about having clean, clean buses,
but in reality you'd probably want more people walking
to school and less driving in general.
And there's other, other things like that where you,
where you don't think of it.
Things that the waste management,
like I don't wanna be the blue bag person,
but the pay as you go, you know, a lot of research has shown
that one of the spillover effects is
that it corrupts the recycling stream.
And so there's other issues related to that where you,
you know, it all, it looks all good on paper and,
and most policies do,
but you know, there are issues that you need to address
and you need to take a holistic approach
to cost and benefits.
So that's really all I have to say.
If anyone has any more questions
or follow up for me, I'd love to love to chat a little more.
Okay. Mr. Joseph?
Thank you Mr. Chair, just a quick question for you.
Given your background in environmental economics,
can you give us an example of
how you've looked at environmental justice and,
and its impacts and
how you might think that might relate to the work?
Yeah, yeah. So I did my PhD out at uc, Santa Barbara
and out there, a lot of people have been looking at
literally that exact same question.
You know, California's been at the head of the game in terms
of their policies related to climate change
and regulation and whatnot.
And, and all of those policies, they didn't,
they didn't take into account
that it differentially impacts marginalized groups.
And so when you, when you do want
to think about implementing policies or,
or putting in place, you know, new ideas to move us,
new regulations, whatever you want to call it, you have
to keep in mind that you know, the win there are winners
and losers to every,
every policy that you're gonna implement.
And making sure that you know that the wins
and the losses aren't disproportionately put on a group,
especially mar a generally marginalized group.
So I have a ton of experience.
I teach a whole section in my environmental econ on
environmental justice and I, I, you know,
that's something I'm passionate about.
Thank you. Any further questions?
Okay. Thank you Mr. Ney.
Next up we have Mike Ette.
Good evening. My name is Mike Ette. Thank you Mr.
Chair and select board members
and members of the town administration.
I am a lifelong Natick resident member
of the Natick Historical Commission
and the Design Review Board.
And during the day I'm a registered architect at Sasaki
Associates working on institutional
and academic projects across the east coast.
Most of my involvement there is helping clients drive
strong sustainability targets
and helping them implement those targets.
Looking for opportunities to, to
improve every single project.
Most of the, the enjoyment
and fulfillment I get out
of my work is finding the best solution out of
the given opportunities and the given challenges.
I think that of the categories where I might be able
to most contribute there,
I do have deep experience in the commercial
Part of that also interfaces with utility scale issues.
So I think that looking at
opportunities at, at the grid scale with utilities
for renewables and, and bringing those online
and looking at town wide opportunities for that is something
that I could also potentially contribute toward.
Yeah. Questions from the board?
You have a question? What, what about your time
with the NA Historical Commission do you think plays a
positive role on this?
So a lot of what we do there is working with applicants
to, with, with the, in the case
of the historical commission, either projects
that are on natick's historical re registry or
otherwise meet the criteria for our review.
We're looking at opportunities
to find the best path forward.
A lot of times an applicant is contemplating an addition
or some kind of modification to a historic structure,
and we're in a situation where we have
to evaluate the project for its potential benefits
to the town as a historic asset,
but also to, you know, within the, the realm
of the property rights and, and the purview
of the, the property owner.
And so that kind of collaborative spirit, I think is,
is something that this committee has a
will be, I think, tasked with.
I think in terms of when it comes to implementing
then it's their action plan and bringing these ideas and,
and concepts to bear at a town wide scale.
I think the, the nature of the collaborative relationship
is an important thing there.
Other question, Ms.
Kyle? I had a question. It's,
it's a kind of a side question.
Your resume shows that you worked
as a project architect on a series
of cultural buildings in on a,
in a public park in central Florida.
Could you tell me where that is
and what types of cultural buildings?
Sure. So that is the Bonnet Springs Park
Project in Lakeland, Florida.
So that's Polk County, about 45 minutes east of Tampa.
And so that was a 200 acre Brownfield site, a a contaminated
rail yard that our client, which is a non-profit,
developed and rehabilitated into a public park.
And so Sasaki is an interdisciplinary firm.
We have landscape architects,
civil engineers, and architects.
I was responsible for the architecture component of
that as a project architect.
so as a, as a campus scale project,
there were about six buildings throughout the, the site
and the cultural projects were related
to a historical center, children's museum
and sort of flexible events space
that that project completed in 2022.
Thank you. Yeah.
Any other questions?
Thank you very much Mr. Fer. Thank you.
Next up we've got David Landman please.
Well, first thank you for having me.
I think I've been here once
or twice for a few other meetings,
even though I've lived in the town for 23 years, so
I'm glad to be here for it.
So to give you a little more background
to answer your questions, I would probably be best suited
for the commercial energy efficiency
although there are other areas that I fit in as well.
And also in terms of working with sustainability
and other committees, I've already been working
with Jillian the last couple years
and some of the things as an outside member,
because my background for the past 30 years
or so has been in energy efficiency.
So the names keep changing energy efficiency,
sustainability and now net zero.
But I keep doing the same thing basically
that I've been doing for 30 years.
So my brain thinks like different than other people I think
in terms of BTUs and therms and how to reduce energy
and now carbon counting as well.
So I've been doing this for a long time.
Some of the things I like to, to mention,
I like to practice what I preach.
So even my home, I have solar and I have heat pump
and I operated a certain way to be most efficient.
I helped get the solar onto my synagogue,
temple Israel of Natick.
So I'm already working in the community.
I like to think big, so not just with myself
and what I do, but with the town and larger community.
And I've been doing that throughout my career.
I work for myself at the moment.
I'm a sole proprietor and I work with Eversource
and National Grid and a lot of commercial things
around New England, Rhode Island as well as Massachusetts.
And so I've been a very, been able to get a lot
of incentives as well as identify ways
to save energy in a lot of the buildings that I look at.
I've also been doing work at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
So a lot of the work that you've seen actually with HUD
and with the ira, I've actually worked on some
of the projects on a national level in terms of the DOE
around that, around some of the schools.
So it's, it's something I'm very passionate about
and something I really wanna put my expertise to as part
of the community in Natick and part
of the net zero committee
Questions, Mr. Joseph?
Oh, first of all, thank goodness we have community members
that think about BTU and all these other things.
So it's as far as experience
and qualifications, sometimes I just feel like Homer Simpson
with a donut in my brain, so I'm glad,
glad somebody else is thinking about this stuff.
Given your experience, I'm just curious and, and
and I I, I really appreciate your historical perspective
of sort of the, the, the nomenclature changing,
but the mission has kind
of been consistent over these many years, you know,
where do you see the biggest opportunity based on your
experience, you know, when you look at our commercial
development or where do you see the risks as far as sort
of the next 20, 30 years?
So there are two areas to look at.
One is the existing building stock
and the other is a new construction.
So you kind of have to divide them separately what the,
the rules are for the new buildings coming online.
But throughout my history, people like
to focus on new buildings,
but 90 plus percent of the existing buildings.
So how do you make those existing buildings more efficient
and how do you pay for those and
do it the most efficient way?
So how many buildings can you impact?
You could do a great job with one building,
but look, look at Kennedy.
We have one building, brand new building,
but what have we done with all
the other schools at the same time?
So we wanna focus on all the buildings
to be able to address that.
So I wanna see resources allocated
to the best opportunities in the existing stock as well as
for new, new buildings.
Where do I see it going? There are two different things.
You have the supply side in terms of solar, wind
and other things coming online
and you have the energy efficiency side of things.
And a lot of my background is in controls
and there's still a lot of waste in buildings.
I could see us dropping 10, 20% in a lot
of buildings just doing through some simple things.
So I wanna focus a lot on existing stock
as much as possible for that.
'cause if you bring down the existing energy consumption,
you don't have to build all those existing,
those new plants, which cost a lot more to build.
So thank you.
Mr. Landman is, is the,
is this CEM is that certified? En
Certified energy manager?
Energy manager. And then one question I had under your
consulting, what you're doing currently Yep.
You mentioned treasure hunts.
So you go into a building, basically you're looking
for the different areas that you can kind of find
where the energy efficiency, where the, where the,
the big winners, the big treasures that you find,
is it in the control system?
Is it replacing equipment? So it's a list of equipment.
So I focus on two areas.
One is lower no cost opportunities,
try to do as many of those as possible.
And the other side is with the more capital intensive,
you wanna blend them together.
So you don't want to take the old term again that the, the,
the terms change used to be called cream skimming.
So you do everything that pay back in one or two years.
We don't wanna do that. We wanna focus on long term as well
as short term together and blend it to make a good package
for energy efficiency in buildings.
Great answer. Any other questions?
Thank you very much Mr. Landon. Alright, thank you.
Next we have Ann Lintel.
Hi, good evening. Thank you for having me.
My name is Ann Lintel
and I've been a resident here in Natick
for the last 10 years with my family.
My boys are with me here.
I'm really interested in joining this committee
as someone who's just a concerned citizen about the topics
of climate change and sustainability.
For me, the issue that I'm most drawn towards is waste.
And I am drawn to that
because I see it as having
the highest impact versus the level of effort.
So I'll use food waste as an example.
So food is something that I'm passionate about.
I currently serve on the board of directors
for the Natick community organic farm.
And food waste is something we don't think about.
You throw it in the trash
and a lot of times in a lot of communities, trash is either
incinerated or sent to landfill.
When it's sent to landfill, it decomposes in such a way
that it emits methane,
which is 80 times more potent than CO two.
In fact, the United Nations estimates that 8%
of all greenhouse gas emissions is from food waste,
which is the same as global tourism.
So in the morning, if you have a banana,
you have a banana peel, you throw it in the trash,
you throw it in the compost.
It's a really small level of effort,
but a really big impact.
So to me, I find that very compelling.
I think what I would bring to this committee,
I don't have the subject matter expertise that some
of the other members here have professionally,
but I think the transferable skill
that I can offer is I'm the kind of person
who can get things done.
So for the last 10 years I've helped to lead
and scale a high impact nonprofit organization.
I've done that by collaborating
with large public housing authorities across the country.
Places like the Boston Housing Authority,
the Philadelphia Housing Authority, some of the biggest,
most bureaucratic under-resourced institutions
our country has to offer.
And I've been able to scale our impact 15 x during covid
during some really difficult times.
One of the things that I really appreciate about Jillian
and her leadership is this work is dire.
I mean, we're really talking about the future of humanity
and I think it's easy to approach
that work very doom and gloom.
My work is in anti-poverty and race equity, same thing.
It can be very discouraging,
but I think it's important that we have hope,
that we have optimism, we can make this fun.
Jillian's emails are some of the funnest,
most exciting emails I get if you're on the newsletters,
you know, and so I think it's with that spirit that I hope
to approach this work.
Natick is a great place.
We're very innovative, we have a lot of great resources,
we have a lot of great expertise in our community.
So I wanna be a part of a committee that gets that work done
and gets this plan implemented, you know,
for not just our community but for our futures.
And like I said, my kids are here for their futures too.
Thank you. I'm just looking through your resume.
You've been on the sustainability
committee until we dissolved it?
No. So no, I kind of preemptively put
that on to demonstrate.
Okay. Some of kind of like my interest in the
committee. Yes. Okay.
So I, I want to, you know, your education is
as A-A-C-F-A and and CFP.
And I'm wondering, you know, I think I always think in terms
of, you know, transferable skills
and I'm wondering if you could just like out of the box,
pick a couple of things that you think those skills
would help on this committee. Yeah,
So I would say the first is client service.
So in those roles I work individually with people
to build financial plans for their futures.
So I think it can very be very easy in that practice to say,
well, I have all the knowledge and you don't,
so let me tell you how to live your financial life.
But really it's the opposite. What are your goals?
What do you wanna accomplish?
Tell me what you've tried, tell me what's difficult
and then I can come in second
and use some of the knowledge that I have
to help you implement a plan.
So it's, you know, we have a great plan right now.
We have the net zero plan,
but it's also about who are the people who are in charge
of implementing that and you know,
what are their challenges,
what are the roadblocks that they have?
How can I listen to that
and understand that to help them be successful in achieving
the, the, the targets that are set in this plan.
Thank you very much.
Any other questions Mr. Joseph?
Just for your sons. Oh yeah.
How proud of you Gu are you guys of your mom? Thumbs up.
You should be. There you go. A thumbs up podium.
They asked if they thumb could bring a sign
with a tent on it and hold it up
Nice. Thank you. Have you,
Have you received your allowance for the week?
Thank you. We know you can't be bought,
but no, in all seriousness, we appreciate your willingness
to serve and, and many people that do come out to volunteer,
this has an impact on your family
and we appreciate that. So thank you. Thank
You very much.
Thank you. Next up is,
and I hope I'm not, not mispronouncing your last name,
Correct. All right.
Good evening everyone. Maria McMorran.
And I've been a resident now for about eight years
and I am also a registered architect.
I work with architectural resources Cambridge downtown.
In my professional life, I do focus mostly on
institutional type buildings.
My interest, maybe surprisingly, is actually
on the transportation aspect of your net zero plan.
And I think,
not surprisingly for me,
because it's something that I have also along standing
interest in, I personally enjoy cycling my,
myself and other kind of non-motorized forms
of, of transport.
And I'd like to see even more of
that being available in this town in terms
of my professional expertise
and how I think that can help contribute to the committee.
A lot of what I do every day is lead teams,
and part of that is figuring out who needs to be part
of the team, trying to figure out what the problem is
that we're trying to solve, and then listen
to the different people who have expertise in different
areas and try to first analyze the problem
and then synthesize the approach to solving the problem.
And the, the nature of the, the buildings that I work on,
they're, they're fairly large, you know,
typically they're in the 20 to 60,000 square feet range
and multimillion dollar projects.
So I also deal with owners and users
and people who have interest in the end result.
And so I think working on transportation as well
as buildings, part of my goal would be
to seek out what's already been tried in the town,
what's worked, what hasn't worked,
and find out who the people
and resources are that can help me
and us develop new, new opportunities for
expanding our, our transportation here in town.
And in particular, I'm quite excited about some of the,
the things that I saw you already have listed in the plan
goals, like looking into ride share, bike share,
trails, charging stations.
I think as, as some of the,
the others here have said already, this is a big problem
and it's gonna take all of us
and we, we need
to think holistically and big picture
and we need to not dismiss
crazy ideas out of hand.
We, we, we can listen to lots of people
and find all sorts of ways to attack this problem
that, that, that we're facing now.
So thank you.
Thank you very much. Questions from the board?
Thank you. Yeah. Okay. Thank you very much. Thank you. Oh,
Okay. And last but not least is Mr.
Ralston Mark Ralston? Yes,
Good evening. Thanks for the opportunity to be here.
I guess the area I'm,
I'm interested in is the electrification
and weatherization for residential buildings.
My wife and I moved here a couple years ago
and we were, I was looking for a way
to participate in the community and,
and meet some of my neighbors as well.
And I, I started sitting in on the sustainability committee
meetings and talking with folks a little bit offline
and learned about interest in
electrification here in Natick.
And we had,
when we moved in, I, I had worked in, in previous,
before I retired, I was working in the energy field
and I was familiar with work that had been done
around cold climate heat pumps.
And so when we moved into our house,
we took out our oil boiler and tank and radiator
or baseboards and installed two cold climate heat pumps
and learned a lot in the process, including some things
that, you know, in retrospect maybe
we would've done a little differently.
At any rate, I learned that
through sitting in on the sustainability committee meetings
that there was coaching and there was training for coaches
and Jillian actually had gone through coaching training
by Abode Energy Management.
And so I learned about that
and that looked kind of interesting.
And then I found out about the Heat Smart Alliance,
which is a nonprofit group that works kind
of here in the metro West area primarily.
And I got involved with them, I became a member
and then they were offering a training, kind
of a five week training for heat pump coaches.
And so I got selected for the training
and went through that.
So, you know, between the experience
that I had in energy efficiency prior to retiring
and the experience with our own heat pumps
and then the training from the Heat Smart Alliance gave me,
you know, some confidence in background to go out and,
and start meeting with homeowners in the community.
And I've been doing that for two
or three months now, working with Jillian
and Neri Kumar.
You know, we've planned outreach in the community.
We've, we've, well primarily Jillian I think
and Neri, but, you know, set up a number of events
where we could meet with folks
and talk about coaching opportunities,
electrification opportunities more generally.
You know, we had the heat pump party
some months ago, Natick days.
We had a table where we met with folks
and the Halloween, there was an event I participated in.
And then we just had, tonight
before this, we had the energy assistance fair,
you know, where we met with folks and talked about things.
So at any rate, I'm interested in electrification.
We have heat pumps, you know,
we just put in solar on our house this summer, you know,
we pretty much electrified everything in the house
that we could except for our dryer.
That's kind of the next step, I think then you're right.
Thank you Mr. Austin.
At this point
Question I, I just wanted to do a comment
before the questions.
I, thanks to Ms. Wilson Martin
and, and her educational webinars, I too bit the bullet
and, and threw out our old natural
And one of the things that we weighed was how would
that handle the cold weather?
And I was convinced that it would handle the cold weather,
the newer systems handle it appropriately
and we, they, they assured me
that it would do so.
And I, I'm happy to report that my,
I have a hundred year old house that was chronically drafty
and we fixed the drafts by, by re insulating the windows.
They're old windows. We redid that.
But replacing the old furnace with the new furnace
yielded, I'm sorry, the heat pump yielded two benefits,
much quieter and much more efficient.
So thank you Julie.
So questions from the board?
Oh, I think I'm good. Oh,
You have an enthusiasm that comes across.
What is that directed towards as it relates to this?
Well certainly promoting heat pumps in the community,
I mean, we've gotta convert a lot
of buildings in Massachusetts to heat pumps
and electrification generally,
but heat pumps is, you know, one of the major sources of,
you know, energy demand in the home,
probably half to two thirds.
So, you know, if we can make a big dent in that,
you know, that's pretty important.
I think, you know, we really need to do outreach.
I mean, I've been trying to encourage Jillian
to hold off doing any more outreach for coaching right now
because I'm the only coach in town at the moment
and I would really love to, you know,
recruit some other coaches to help.
But, you know, thinking to the future, you know,
we really need to figure out, you know,
how are we gonna target, you know, do we go
after folks who have oil?
We need to get data first of all, you know,
and then do we go after, you know,
oil first as a first priority?
Do we go, do we go after, you know, EJ communities,
you know, that need assistance?
I know, I know the CAP agency smock is working
with EJ communities
or lower income individuals, you know, to help them.
How do we compliment that? How do we help promote it?
You know, there's, there's frankly
all kinds of stuff we can do.
I mean, it's a really exciting time
to be in working in energy
as a professional or, you know, as a volunteer.
Just a lot of challenges to deal with.
Susan, thank you.
Yeah, I just, I just have one comment,
which is I really appreciate everything you've already been
doing and I just want to say that first
so everybody can hear it,
because I can hear you've already been working on this a
lot, so thank you. Oh,
Thanks very much.
I had a question, and it's sort of an unfair question
and I, so I'll, I'll preface it by saying that,
do you have an opinion about whether Eversource is ready
to accept the level of electrification that we want
to see in Natick?
Do you think the grid is ready for it?
Well, the grid is not my area of expertise.
I know, and that's why I said it wasn't fair.
I just didn't know if you had an opinion,
and I really probably should have asked everybody that
it's something that I was just, I'm interested in knowing
how that convert, how that's going to,
whether our utility companies are ready for this town
to make really important changes in electrification.
I think gas is a challenge. Okay.
You know, on the gas side, I mean,
I got a flyer from Eversource today in the mail, you know,
promoting energy efficiency.
So I think they're, they're making the effort in some ways,
but you know, when you're invested in gas infrastructure
and, you know, it's, that's a good point. Tougher.
I thank you for that.
It, it was an unfair question.
I know it's not your area of expertise.
That's a good answer.
Thank you though. Very good answer.
Alright, any other
questions? No. Okay.
Thanks for the opportunity.
Thank you Mr. Ross.
So, next steps, we have seven applicants
for five positions.
can do one or two things.
We can offer a slate of people if,
if the personally i'd, I'd rather have individuals
be nominated and then votes taken
before we take any votes.
I will reiterate the fact that all
of you are welcome on this committee,
and it is going to take on, many of the applicants
have stated that it takes a whole
community to make this happen.
It's not just the people who get nominated to this.
There will be associate members
and opportunities to really take advantage
of the expertise and the passion that each of you possess.
So no matter what happens next,
please stay involved.
So, do we have any motions?
I nominate David Landman.
Do I have a second?
Okay. That is moved by Mr.
Sidney and seconded by Ms. Kauflin.
All in favor or do you need discussion?
Just go ahead.
Do you wanna?
Sure. I mean, I just, he's already been, he's,
he brings a wealth commercial
and he's also familiar with working with Ms. Wilson,
Wilson Martin, and his,
it was clear from his discussion that he's got expertise
that will help us further these calls.
Okay, Ms. Conwell?
All in favor, please say aye.
Aye. All right. That's 5 0 0 further motions.
Mr. Joseph, which I saw him first. Yeah,
I'd like to nominate Ann Lan toe second.
Okay. Mr. Joseph, in discussion,
Well, at, at the risk of, of,
of you had me at get things done that, that's something
that I know my wife does not allow me to ever claim.
So I'm, I'm glad you're, you're, you're somebody
that's focused on productivity as well.
But in all seriousness, I mean the, the, the concept
of food waste and bringing it to a global scale
and the scope of what you're looking at,
I was very impressed with sort of that, that perspective.
And, and, and this goes pretty much across the board.
I think everybody brought in some very insightful, you know,
I look at this entire challenge
as what's the focal length to Ms.
Coughlin's most recent question, what can we achieve?
You know, practically speaking, you know, we might want
to do a lot of things, but if the grid is not equipped
to take our improvements, that's a practical problem.
We've got issues with, you know, why aren't we running,
you know, hydrogen electric trains
already on our commuter rail.
There's MBTA problems.
I mean, we've got a lot of big challenges in front of us
that are systemic that we can't control.
But I do like that many of the candidates,
and, and you as well, Ms.
Lyell spoke to sort of, you know, what can we focus on?
What can we achieve incrementally as well.
So I think that's important and I, I appreciated that.
Thank you, Mr. Joseph. Mr. Sidney, just
As, as, first of all, ditto to everything he said,
but I also love that you're involved with kids. Mic off.
Sorry. Thank you. My mic was off.
Ditto to everything Mr. Joseph said,
and I just love the fact that you've been
so involved in town already with kids.
As somebody who started getting involved when my daughter
was five, I really know how hard that is
and I appreciate it
and I can see you're really committed,
so I appreciate that as well.
Any other thoughts? All in favor, please say aye. Aye.
Aye. Aye. 5 0 0 further motions.
Mr. Chair, I'd like to nominate Connor Carney
Yes. I think the,
after spending 20 years in academia,
I'm normally disinclined to embrace an academic,
but I think having an economist
who can measure unintended consequences
and who has a, a track record of publications that work in
environmentally salient topics would be very helpful.
And I also would like someone who is going
to be looking at data and data, data-driven solutions.
So that's what caught me with Mr. Kearney.
Okay. Mr. Sidney? Oh, sorry, Mr. Thompson.
Yeah, no, again, I, I ditto
that I think the examples brought up, you know, real making
economics relatable to the everyday is not an easy skill.
You know, the, the notion, and I don't wanna get into the
politics of closing Johnson,
but the idea that when we make a decision
that has an implication traffic, it's non-intuitive.
I learned at an economic development committee meeting
recently that Abbey Labs is actually recycling concrete
and saving literally 200 diesel trucks hauling concrete out
and bringing new concrete in.
It's gonna be noisy for a couple of days for the neighbor,
but the long-term benefits environmentally are tremendous.
And these are things that aren't intuitive to,
to lay people like myself.
And I, I, I was appreciative of Mr.
Kearney's sort of making it accessible.
Any other thoughts?
Any all in favor, please say aye. Aye. Aye.
5 0 0.
I nominate Maria McMorran.
This is Mr. Sidney and Ms. Pope.
I love the fact that you're both an architect
and deeply interested in transportation.
I think that those are gonna lend to problem solving.
It also adds to the diversity of experience
that we've already assigned to this committee.
And I think that's also important.
So I just, I really appreciated what you said
and so thank you.
So ditto. Ditto. Okay. All, any other comments?
I just wanna comment on how difficult this process is.
We have seven people who are extraordinarily understand
that, that we would benefit from their expertise,
their public service demonstrated public service, their
And this is a very difficult process.
And I just, that was the only comment I had, Mr. Chair.
Thank you. And I'll ditto that one big time. Okay.
All in favor, please say aye. Aye. Aye. Aye.
Mr. Mr. Chair, I would like to nominate Mark Ralston.
Ms. Pope and Mr.
Sidney. Ms. Pope,
I appreciate Mr.
Ralston's enthusiasm. I think you're gonna need that.
You know, Ms. Lintel talked about hope and optimism,
and I think with, with issues this large, you need, you need
to attack them with enthusiasm.
And so where he has a skillset where he has a, you know,
he's already working with the town on this issue,
he's already coaching our residents.
The enthusiasm behind it, I think is important to, you know,
get people rallied around a, a really tough
and sometimes seems overwhelming issue.
So I, I think that will benefit
and keep the, the, the morale up
in this committee and and beyond.
Yeah. And dito all of that.
And also, again, back to the diversity of experience.
Mr. Rolson is very interested in residential,
and so he's gonna be our
residential advocate on this committee as well.
So I really appreciate that as well. So thank you.
Thank you Mrs. Sidney. All in favor, please say aye. Aye.
Aye. Aye. Okay. Those are our five candidates.
For those who weren't appointed, again,
I can't emphasize this enough.
Please stay involved.
This is, this is a, a valuable
committee to the town.
You are all stellar applicants.
There were the, the, to reiterate my colleagues' point,
this was no easy decision.
And we're, we're, we're almost splitting hairs on
who we select here.
So please take that in the, as an opportunity
to stay involved
and be a part of the, the solution, I hope.
And, and it, it's a great group to work with.
Jillian does a lot more than put, put out
She's, she's a force of nature as you all, all of you
who worked with her probably have figured out by now.
So I thank you all for your time and,
and your devotion to Natick
and appreciate you coming in tonight. Yeah.
And congratulations to all
who were appointed this evening.
Yeah. Sorry, I forgot my last piece here.
For all the people who were appointed,
you'll be getting a letter from the select board office
confirming your appointment
and identifying what the next steps are. So
Thank you to everybody. Thank
Thank you everyone. Why don't we take a quick break Sure.
And let everybody go. Who wants to go?
Hi, we're back. It is now time
for any select board updates if we have not gone
through them in the announcements portion of our program.
Does anybody have anything additional?
I have not. Okay. Let's move on to discussion and decision.
First item is to approve the select board meeting scheduled
for calendar year 2024.
I think everybody has received this.
Any questions Mr. Joseph?
No questions necessarily,
but I will be on a plane on the night of February 7th,
which is our first meeting of the, the month of February.
But, you know, again, don't, that's a busy season,
so I wouldn't recommend changing anything.
I just wanted to give you a heads up.
I won't be able to zoom in necessarily. Okay.
They don't have wifi on the plane.
I'm happy to try in all seriously if I,
I can, I I'm flying west, so if I can do it, sure.
It's not a problem. But it's,
it's more of the practicality of it. I
Think you'll get a pass on that. Okay. Any other
I'll let you know, I, I did a phone conference from Shanghai
once, so that's that.
I was, I was the first remote select board meeting.
Remember that? I did
a MiFi this summer in August.
I was, I was, I was so worried about that,
that connection holding up.
'cause it not, and it not only held up, it actually held up
for both the select board meeting
and a planning board meeting simultaneously.
So it had enough bandwidth to do that,
which was very impressive. So
I have one is the 21st is
Natick school vacation week?
April 17th, I believe is
school vacation week as well. Mm.
What is it? April 17th?
Yep. February 21st and April 17th.
In, in years past, we found those weeks to be,
well at least the February 21st.
That is also around the time that the warrant closes.
So if the board is considering sponsoring anything,
we've typically had that as like a last night
of potential sponsorship.
I'd have to check the warm closing for the spring,
but it's around that time.
It's usually the 22nd, I think this year. Yeah,
It's around there.
Yeah. So we might even be scheduling a meeting
that following Monday just to,
to post the warrant. Post the
Okay. But these, these are more designed to be sort of the
meetings that are not, that, that are
where you typically take up more business,
more substance of business.
Yep. And also this is also to trigger
the planning board's.
Correct. 'cause we shared this schedule,
we share this room with the planning board.
So on the off weeks is when the planning board meets. Right?
Right. So we can, you know, these this,
this I would say is just probably the calendar
of record now, but we can revisit anything.
You know, we've done that this year.
You know, the school vacation weeks are
a significant obstacle,
but I don't, I didn't see any holidays in here.
I think we're okay there Christmas,
but we're not meeting. Yeah, but
We'll, same with Rosh Hashanah,
Last December. Right, right.
And we took out that first one in October. Okay.
Okay. So can we agree on this
as the 2024 schedule of the moment? Yeah. Move to
Move to approve the
Proposed 2024 select board meeting schedule.
Okay. Have a second. Second, Mr. Sidney.
All in favor, please say aye. Aye. Aye. Aye. 5 0 0.
All right. Thank you. Moving on to
approving small business Saturday proclamation.
And I'll turn that over to the Mr. Sidney.
Thank you Mr. Chairman proclamation.
Whereas the government of the town
of Nat celebrates our local small businesses
and the contributions they make
to our local economy and community.
According to the United States Small Business
Administration, there are 33.2 million small
businesses in the United States.
And whereas small business owners have repeatedly
demonstrated resiliency and the ability
to overcome challenges at every level from economic
downturns in the economy and beyond.
And whereas 97%
of small business Saturday shoppers recognize the impact
they can make by shopping small.
85% of them also encourage friends and family to do so to,
and whereas shopping locally allows Natick residents
to invest in their neighborhoods
and grow the vibrancy of their community.
Making Natick a great na, making Natick a great place
to live, work, and play.
And whereas the president of the United States
advocacy groups and public
and private organizations across the country have endorsed
the Saturday after Thanksgiving as small business Saturday.
Now, therefore, the Natick Select board does hereby proclaim
November 25th, 2023 as small business Saturday,
and urges the residents of our community
and communities across the country
to support small businesses emergence on small business
Saturday and throughout the year. And I so move.
So Sidney, seconded by Ms. Coughlin.
All in favor, please say aye.
Aye. Aye. Aye.
Moving on to another public hearing application
for an S 12 restaurant, wine and Malt Beverages license.
And Mr. Sidney, oh, there we go.
Public hearing notice the select board will hold a public
hearing on Wednesday, November 15th, 2023 at 6:30 PM upon
the application of SNS Grill, L-L-C-D-B-A burrito,
spice Spice, Siddhartha
ba BOLO manager for an S 12 restaurant.
Wine and Malt bi beverages license
burrito spices located at two 15 West Central Street.
And the premises consists of one floor
with three rooms consisting of a restroom, kitchen,
and dining room, totaling 1,579 square feet.
There are two entrances and two exits,
and total seating capacity is 20.
The hearing will be held in the select board meeting room 13
East Central Street, as well as remotely anyone wishing
to be heard in this matter can participate in
person or through Zoom.
Login instructions will be published on the November 25th,
November 15th, 2023 select board agenda.
All persons interested in this application may appear
and be heard at the time and place mentioned above,
or may submit written comments
to the select board at 13 East Central Street, Natick,
mass oh 1 7 6 oh select firstname.lastname@example.org
by November 10th, 2023.
And I moved to open the public hearing.
Second. Thank you Mr. Joseph.
Okay, so I have,
has everyone had a chance to read the police Deputy Chief's?
Well, we have to, we have to vote the open.
Yeah, we do have to do that.
I'm sorry. And I think it's a roll call, right? No.
Is it? No, it's not a roll call.
All in favor of opening the public
hearing, please say aye.
Aye. Aye. Aye. Aye. Thank you Mr.
Sidney for keeping me honest. Okay.
Now has everybody had a chance
to look at the Deputy
Yes. Yes, Mr.
Chair, I, I had trouble that it doesn't,
it could have just, it could just be me
that finding a course within the next 30 days
that somebody could attend in person
that wasn't in Springfield or Worcester.
So I'm, and we do require
that first to be done.
Do we want to move this to another meeting
to allow that to happen?
Or do we want, can we, is it possible?
And this a question for you Ms. Erickson probably, can we
amend it to be 60 days?
I, I believe that's the discretion of the board. Okay.
It's, it's really your decision on Okay.
On how you wanna do that. The recommendation from Deputy
Chief Luon is 30 days
probably per recommendation of the select board policy.
But it's your policy. So you can certainly choose
based on special circumstances to, to set
what date limit you feel is necessary.
Ms. Coughlin, is there one in within 60 days
that he could attend reasonably?
We do have the applicant on.
Yeah, that's where I was going next. Thank you. Well, I,
I, she's, she's been looking it up, so
I, I just want to ask another question as well.
We un unmute him.
Actually I did find one. It's in
Marlboro on the third Sunday, the
3rd of December.
It's the only one in December
and there aren't any in November. Okay.
Well, and that's 60 days would take us
into the second week of January.
that I will not see,
Just check one more place.
Alright. Now let me,
I apologize if I mispronounce your name, Mr.
bolo, is that Yes,
Okay. Would you be amenable to an amendment
that says within 60 days of the approval of the license
to ensure that you've had the
approved alcoholic beverage training certificates?
I do have the certificate chairman
and it's, I, I already posted it on the attachment section
of the permit.
Okay. So if you already have that, then we just need
to provide that to the deputy police chief or
We can have Donna provide what's necessary. Yep.
So do we have a, any other questions or do we want to the,
Do you a better word? No, it's
Not it promotion.
Move to approve the
application of Mr.
Shar Baia for burrito spice burrito
Okay, do I have a second? Second. Move by Ms.
Coughlin and seconded by Mr. Sidney.
All in favor, please say aye. Aye. Aye. Aye. Aye.
Sorry, I didn't ask of anyone Question a, sorry.
Questions 5, 0, 0. All right. On to move
To close the public hearing.
You read my mind. All in favor? Please say aye.
Aye. Aye. Aye. Okay. Moving on to Thank you.
Welcome and thank you for starting your business in Natick.
Appreciate it. Thank you very much. Thank, I appreciate it.
Thank you Mr. Joseph.
Hearing I was catching up on my paperwork. Yeah, no worries.
A lot to look at. Okay. Okay.
Water and sewer abatement appeal.
Mr. Marshall, do you wanna start us off there?
Sure. Thank you Mr. Chair. Members of the board.
So town administration received a request
for a water abatement based on the criteria
and what town administration has the ability to
approve an abatement for.
This did not meet the criteria.
There was a leaky faucet
that would have gone into the sewer.
As the board knows in most of the circumstances,
for administration to be able to, to abate it has to tie
to water not going into the sewer system.
So in this case where it did, we denied that request.
So the applicant is here this evening to appeal
to the board and I believe Ms. Fitzgerald.
Yep. If you wanna come up
to the podium over here, over there.
Can you fix the mic? I'm
My hair end seem to be working. You just gotta do
If I ever know, I hope I can hear you guys.
I just had a problem with it
and it's doesn't seem to be working well,
so I may need interpret.
Thank you John.
Okay. Please just briefly describe
the situation to identify yourself first, if you can just
Identify yourself and then briefly
Describe, that's just what I thought he might want.
Is that working though? Wow,
We, we hear you.
This is really bad. Lemme try turning it up a little.
Okay. Yeah. My name is Roberta Fitzgerald.
We live at my husband and I five Pitt Street.
We've been there since
1976. So we're old time,
And then if you can just explain a little bit
about the situation. They,
The information. So here about the WA water problem,
we had a leak in our bathtub
upstairs, small leak.
And my husband has dementia
and I said, I think we gotta fix this.
You know, it's been going on for a while.
And he said, I'm getting zero,
I'm getting a zero water bill.
So there's some program we were in
that I think he did fill in for
and we weren't paying any water bill.
So he, I just said
that it doesn't matter if it's gonna add up, you know,
this is gonna, and it went on
and he, he kept saying, I'm, I'm getting zero.
This is when I get a bill, it's not gonna be that much.
And finally, actually I find just he's doing well,
but his decision making
and certain things has been pretty bad
and he handles all the finances,
which is gonna have to change.
It's changing actually.
Anyway, we ended up getting a pretty couple
of pre pretty expensive bills in a short period of time.
I don't expect you to erase them,
I just was wondering if there was something you could do
about the, the amount
We first got a bill
For one, no for, no, I'm sorry,
1 29 24.
Then the ville, which wasn't that far down the line was
And the last one that's, I think that's the last one we got.
And you know, it's just,
it's just really almost impossible for us to like,
maybe we could pay by, you know, slowly
or it's gonna be reduced a little bit.
I don't know if there's anything you can do for,
I know we don't fit into the regular criteria,
but I just thought I'd give it a shot.
John, could you ask just a, a question as far as
income level without getting too detailed?
I can't believe I can't hear her with the microphone.
God, I better go back to my audiologist.
Yeah, so the board just had a question
on financial hardship.
If you could, you know, we, they don't want you
to necessarily get too much,
but just if you can just explain a little bit about,
you know, the pavement?
Yeah. Or just about what, you know, what you might be able
to or, or what.
Yeah, well like I said,
we could pay, you know, so much a month.
You know, we just can't put that out that the house,
we need some things in the house
because we've got another, we've got a sink
that we've shut off because,
and one of the reasons he hesitated is the plumbing is
so old, it's the original plumbing in the house.
So he was afraid it was gonna be outrageous.
It turned out it wasn't,
but I just couldn't convince him, you know,
it's just, it's just difficult.
And just a few other things have happened since this,
I just thought maybe you could help us a little bit.
Thank you. We, we will do our, do our best.
And I also can't hear, as you can say.
That's, that's enough. You've been supposed
to repeat it. I can't believe it.
Yeah, we will take care of you and your translator.
We need back here for that discussion.
So we, we will talk
amongst ourselves and you, you
Can sit down. Okay. Please have a seat.
Yeah. And we will
Thanks Melissa. Get back to you with the result.
So let me, let me ask just
One thing after another
to, to talk about his suggested course of action
or potential course of action
Chair. So the resident who's appealing the request,
you know, did mention that they do qualify for a plan
that the town has, which does
address a reduction in cost for the water and sewer portion.
Part of our, One
of the programs that the resident qualifies for.
So basically up to a certain amount of units
they do not have to pay for that usage.
So it's on tiers one
and two of the water structure
and it's something that's approved every year by the board
as part of the different tiers.
So you'll see it in the 2024 water and sewer rates.
So in this instance,
because they went over the allotted number of units
per billing cycle, then that triggered them going
to tiers two and three.
If this was an instance where
they didn't have that qualification
and there was a high use, one of the things
that the board has considered in the past is dropping
usage down to tier one.
So the water and sewer portion would go down to tier one.
Something that the board could consider would be
reducing the rate over the allowable units down to tier one
and two, which would reduce that cost for
those for the bill.
Lemme just ask a follow up, which is,
of those two options, which would be the greater net benefit
or net net reduction
or are they similar enough to just say six of one
and a half dozen of the other?
Reducing down to tier one for the water
and sewer portion would
be the most beneficial.
Although if, if you looked at what the board has
done in the past with reducing down to that lowest tier,
actually in this instance
because they're qualifying, reducing them down to
that first tier would actually potentially put them
at zero as well.
So If you followed that logic from
what was done in the past, you would reduce them down
to the lowest tier by putting
this bill down at the lowest tier.
That actually puts the charge at zero.
Because tier one for someone who's qualifying
for this program is zero.
The other way you could look at it is say,
well it went over the allotted usage.
So we'll look at the tier structure for just the average
rate payer and we would look at tier one
for, for that payment.
And in that case it would be
$2 and 52 cents for the water portion and $7
and 12 cents for the sewer portion.
This the abatement or the amount
they're paid. That would be the
Total, that would be the amount paid.
And then that would be
for the units over the allowable units.
So that would basically be about 20 units.
Okay. So help me to understand
that bills totaling $825.
Are you saying that we can reduce that
to roughly $10?
No, what what I'm saying is you would look at doing the,
if you wanted to reduce it down to that lowest tier and then
because they're qualifying for free units up
to a certain portion, you would take the units
that they're not qualifying for.
So let's say 20 units,
you would charge those 20 units at the tier one
for the water and sewer portion.
So it's basically $9 and 64 cents times 20 per unit.
Yeah. Okay. Okay. Thank you.
It's just, again, it's up to the board.
It's just a way of looking at it, looking at some
of the actions the board's taken in the past
and reducing down to the lowest tier.
This is a little bit unique
because if you go down
to the lowest tier based on the program this,
these individuals are qualify qualifying for,
that would actually put them at zero.
So if you're looking at the units above
what their charge would be
or above what their allowable limit is to be at zero,
I almost looked at moving it over to
the normal or the standard kind of rate
and calculating those units for that lowest tier.
So just doing the math for 20 units,
is it 20 units of overage?
Right. Over the, that would be roughly $200.
How many units over the typical is this bill? 92.
So the typical bill might be five units.
And this is 25 units.
A typical bill is 16 units
that For this household? Yes, for this household.
Okay. So this is
Units which is below, you know,
they still, that's still in the,
Which is why he, this is 36 units believe
that. I'm sorry, go ahead.
Sorry, I didn't mean to cut you
No, it which is why the, her husband thought no,
this is just gonna be zero 'cause there's always been zero.
Right. So understandably so
They qualify for that program.
It's an elderly billing program. Right.
So the bill that we're, that's in question is at 36 units.
The bill in question is at 40 units.
So if you look at the average usage,
which would normally be 16, again that's at
that zero charge, I would, you know,
you could look at the 40 minus the 16 that's giving you 24.
You can then look at that 24 units of
Bill At tier one.
Tier one and the, the standard
As opposed to being billed at tier three
per the bill. Correct.
It actually splits between tier three and tier four
If it were to be, sorry, I don't mean
to answer, I'm just trying to clarify.
If it were to be billed at tier one, those 26 units
or 24 units, what would that cost be?
And then what is the delta between the
current bill and that cost?
Correct. Do you have it?
I'll do that real quick.
that could be a potential basis for an abatement. Yep,
Yeah, since they do the calculation. Yep.
If I may, in the past, the board when providing a type
of abatement like this has followed a similar approach.
It's just, it is more unique in the sense
that in this case the property
or all qualifies for one of our reduced
or no fee, no cost right program.
So it's just a little bit of a
nuance that we have to work through. No
Yep, yep. Okay.
The number is,
So I'm just gonna walk you through this real quick.
So looking at the 24 units at tier one
and kind of the standard bracket between the water
and sewage use sewer usage, it would be $9
and 64 cents per unit?
Per per unit. 24 units would be 2 31 36.
The last bill was for 6 10 96.
So if you reduce the 6 10 96 from the 2 31 36,
it gives you an abatement of 3 79 61
That's the abatement? That
Would be the abatement,
63 79 3 79 61.
Did you say 96 and
36 3 79, 61 61. Yeah.
No, no. But the dollar amounts were 6 10 96.
6 10 96 21, 2 31 36.
Correct. Right. So the six minus six is
zero I think was at one.
So it's 3 79, 60, 60 Yep. Is what I came up with.
Yep. You guys are doodling calculators here.
Yep, that's that's correct. Yep. Right.
Alright. Might be a rounding
So I just
Have a couple, that being said,
I have a couple of questions.
Mr. Marshall, did I understand
that they've repaired this particular water leak?
That is correct. In in the board's packet you did see the
repair service from the plumber
who came in and completed the work.
So that's fine. That's what I thought I saw.
But I heard and
and you're probably gonna have to help us translate,
but I thought I heard her say
that there's another sink in the house that may be leaking
and hasn't been repaired. Is that
They've shut that off. Off She shut,
They shut it off.
Shut it off. Oh they, they've shut it off. Okay.
That's good. And this is just a, an
I live in the neighborhood so I'm just more curious
which house yours is.
It's on the corner. Five it number one.
It's the brick, the brick house
is the one it are you directly across
from the big yellow house?
I'm, I'm just being curious about which house it is'. It's
You're welcome Bruce.
So one of the board members was just curious as
to which house on pit street is it?
It's the furnace house on the right,
not the con house, but the first house.
So the brick house. Pit pit. Is it the brick house?
The brick house. The brick house province. Oh yeah. Okay.
You know it, the brick house needs, we had
to put a new roof on, a flat roof on
and we didn't have enough money to put the fence around.
So that's another thing that we need.
And I found the growth.
That's another thing that it's just been,
Did you need some idea of what our income is?
No, no. I, I'm a no.
We're just, tell tell her I'm a neighbor.
He's, he's a neighbor so he was just curious.
Oh, okay. The brick
Yeah. Okay, good. I He's been there a long time. Yeah.
Very nice. I need some work.
Her, her husband is a very nice gentleman,
so thank you for that.
I just got curious 'cause I drive by there all the time.
Let's move on.
Given the logic and,
and we're definitely sympathetic to the situation
and speaking on a personal note, I do have a loved one
with dementia, so I know care support
and sometimes taking their word is challenging.
I, I, I'm in favor of this methodology.
I think Mr. Marshall approached it with a great deal
of sensitivity both to the community
of rate payers and to the homeowner.
I think it's really app appreciated that you're in asking
for the abatement, you're also understanding responsibility
for it and clearly you've taken
action to mitigate the problem.
So for that I'd recommend an abatement of in the amount
of $379 and 60 cents.
Second. Thank you Mr. Joseph and Ms.
Coughlin, lemme just ask a question
of Mr. Marshall.
Is it possible to get a payment plan
to help them smooth this out at all since this is
something that was unexpected
and probably is, is taxing their financial?
So, so we'll apply the abatement right away. Okay.
We just need to get it to the Collector Charter's office
as soon as possible tomorrow
and then we can work with the applicant Payment plans we
recommend as much as possible to pay as soon as possible
because of the potential for just interest payments.
The payment plan structure
that we have really is just starting to pay down your bill.
You still have to pay the interest.
So that's just unfortunate, one of the realities of okay.
Of our system. But as soon as we
pending the vote tonight,
we will definitely let the collector treasurer's office know
tomorrow and we can apply that abatement to their,
to their account as soon as possible.
Okay, good. Thank you. Thank you.
Thanks for clarifying that.
Okay, so we have a motion, a motion for abating it to
by the amount of, sorry,
3 79 3 79 60 or to
Be, just to confirm, that's the abatement amount.
That's the abatement amount for the bill to be reduced
to a total of 2 31 36.
3 31 36. Okay. All in favor please say aye. Aye.
Aye. Aye. And that's 5 0 0.
So the board is gonna update your bill,
they're gonna reduce it by $379
And 60 cents.
30 to 79.
That's and 60 cents to a new total
of 2 2 30 3136.
1 36 6 36 2 30, 1 36.
I feel like I'm on the prices right. I'm
Gonna have dog in our office contact you tomorrow Okay.
And let, I can hear on the phone. Okay. Okay.
You have my cell phone number. We do.
Thank you so much guys.
Thank you very
Much. Have a good night. Good luck.
Thank you. Thank you. And, and just, we appreciate it.
We've never asked for anything from Nate
before, so Yeah, your husband good.
She can't hear you. Rich. Come on. It's not
Sorry about this. No, no. Your husband is a very sweet man.
I've talked to him couple times.
Yeah, he's, he is a really nice,
Okay, we're gonna move on.
We're gonna move on to the next topic, which is a vote
to rescind special speed regulation for Pleasant Street
That, that is a continuation of the same topic
that we had were, what was that
for Walnut Street.
Yes. We've already approved that. So
Chair, I move to rescind the special speed
regulations. Pleasant you
Coughlin and seconded by Mr. Sidney.
All in favor, please say aye. Aye. Aye. Aye. Aye. All right.
Moving right along. Next item is to discuss a need
for a special town meeting and scheduling.
So I wanted to
frame this discussion so we know what we
are are going to talk about
and are not going to talk about in this
section of the meeting.
As you know, I'm gonna, and I'm gonna read this
'cause it's a little lengthy,
but I wanted to get it all out on paper to make sure we
got the comments right.
So firstly, as you know,
town meeting approved this special act
that included amendments A through H
and voted to refer amendments.
I through you in Article 25
and the entirety of Article 26.
Town meeting members needed more time
to review these articles
and rather than make hasty decisions on town floor on behalf
of the board, I suggested that referral to the sponsor
and moving this to a special town meeting
could potentially provide adequate deliberation time
for CBRC select board and finfin com to take a step back
and examine the proposed amendments.
I firmly believe that a special town meeting dedicated
to this work is essential for thorough discussion.
Trying to do this at fall town meeting was a risky endeavor
since it had the shortest review window
and this was a complex undertaking.
There are many unknowns.
I'm requesting stronger collaboration with the CBRC
to achieve consensus for town meeting members to consider.
I don't know yet what the CBR C'S plans are
and need to discuss this with the CBRC chair.
Let's agree to have open meetings
and discussion on this topic.
The select board had input into the charter amendments
but didn't receive final amendments until just
before fall town meeting.
So could not offer an opinion on these amendments.
I'd like for town meeting
to hear our opinions on these amendments at
a special town meeting.
The also need time for the finance committee
to do its review and prepare for a special town meeting.
And we need to assess what the timing impact
of a special town meeting will be on the development
and review of the FY 25 budget.
In my opinion, we should be less concerned about
how quickly this can be done versus ensuring
that the changes are rock solid
and don't have unintended consequences.
Full convenient televised meetings would be a good start.
For all these reasons, I'm not expecting the board to vote
to schedule a date tonight.
So now I will open this up to board discussion.
I can start Problem.
I know we're not voting in in this moment,
but I appreciate your statement, Bruce.
I desire to have a more collaborative experience.
It was my first time
and it seemed like some of, you know,
you all's first time doing this on this level
with the CRBC at that level, you know, for the select board.
And so I don't have a reference point for
what it should feel like or what we should experience,
but I I would like another stab at it basically.
And so I'm in agreement with this opportunity
for town meeting to go back
and to yeah, take another shot at this to, to
best understand what we are,
what we would like,
and how we put that forward to the town.
Yeah. Thank you.
Thank you misspelled.
Yeah, I was on the working group that was working
with the CVRC
and I'm also having been on CVRC twice
before, pretty familiar with the charter and bylaws.
I had a pretty, I had an okay idea of what they were,
what changes they were making,
but the fact is I never really saw a
full picture of what the charter would look like
with all these amendments.
And I think we need that in order to
make our own judgements on these things.
And so I, you know,
I I'm, I'm, I'm trying
to compile what that looks like from the information I have.
I know at least another one other board member is also
trying to do the same thing.
So, you know, we'll one of us will get to this board
what the proposed charter looks
like, which will be a good thing.
And then we can have a discussion.
I'm not, I I know I'm not prepared to set any dates tonight.
So, you know, I guess that's where I stand
and I I
Office because we didn't have final documents
and time to actually vote.
I would, I would like to,
there have been misrepresentations, not misre,
there have been statements made in public forums about
what the select board supported or didn't support.
And because we never had an opportunity to take a vote
or to discuss with particularity those amendments,
which deliberately or directly affect the select board
and the, the town administrator slash manager,
I would like us to have that opportunity so
that we can present as a board
or at least inform town meeting what the board as a whole
thinks about these amendments.
And I'd like to have an opportunity,
perhaps we do an off cycle meeting
and we work our way through that so
that we have votes on record.
And my preference would be
that this would be the only thing on the agenda
that night if possible.
Yes. That that, that to me is,
is a great idea, number one.
And it's, it's kind of the reason why we opted
to move this through a special town meeting where,
where it's, it is the topic for discussion
and we focus on that and,
and don't get sidetracked
or, or worried about
how it fits into the larger town meeting.
Okay. Any other comments? Mr. Joseph?
Thank you, Mr. Chair. Just a couple clarifying questions.
Special town meeting and I, and I respect the solution.
I think it was wise, given the duration of town meeting
to consider this process
and I guess through you, I don't know if you can answer it.
I see the moderator is here.
My understanding is town meeting voted favorable action on
motion or of, of Article 25
amendments A through H and utilizing a special act.
So whatever we do
for a special town meeting would be separate from that.
What has been voted has already been voted
and will be moved to the legislature.
The phrase that was used at town meeting was
with a foot in the door to start the
legislative consideration process.
So when we go to a special town meeting,
I guess the question is, we are exclusively focusing on
items I through U minus Q, whatever the letters were
and not going back to A through H That's my understanding of
what the intent of a special town meeting would be.
Can somebody clarify that for me?
First of all? Well,
let me please ask the moderator if he'd be willing to,
I don't want to say anything Okay.
To you folks. I, okay. Nope. Okay, I'm gonna listen.
All right. And this is only my opinion,
a special town meeting that talks about the charter.
Anything is open, right?
Depending on what a through h depending on what
or warrant article gets submitted.
this is pure hypothetical conjecture on my part,
which I probably shouldn't do on an open mic,
but I will, you're going to,
there are two possibilities that can happen.
You could get a a hundred citizens who said,
you know, we don't really like one of the previously passed
or one or more of the previously passed amendments
to the special act and we'd like to revisit it
or we'd like to change that somehow.
Right? And I haven't written an article on that,
but once you have a special town meeting, anything
is is available on that.
This, this could, and I don't know this absolutely,
but my sense is it could impact something
that has already occurred, right?
You could have, you could also have
the CBRC come back to us
and say, we heard enough questions about
No, there's no X, right?
So we can say that amendment X, that we're revisiting it
and we will make, we suggest these following changes
that could happen, right?
So there are, as I see it, two potential avenues for the,
for affecting a change on anything A
to HI don't know that definitively
I will seek sort of guidance on what is
and is not possible.
I don't, but I don't tonight sitting here,
I don't know the answer to that question.
Okay. My other question is, I I
I don't know enough about the interpretation of the charter.
When a warrant is voted by the select board,
historically we vote what is there.
So by opening up a special town meeting,
we open ourselves up to other articles being added to it.
You know, while we say we want a focused special town
meeting, the, the truth is it's an open process.
Citizens could come with petitions, other, you know,
administrative priorities could be brought in.
So this could become more, even though the intent is kind of
to focus on on this,
but that there's a possibility of getting more,
That is, that is a true statement. Is
That's correct. And then when the warrant closes, does the,
the, my technical question is, does the board have
discretion to accept some of it?
It's, it's everything as is and whatever moves,
and then it goes through the fin com recommendation process
and all the procedures follow the same process
as a traditional springer fall.
That's my understanding.
Okay. Thank you. Okay.
Well look, I, I'm getting to the process stuff.
I've been frustrated and,
and obviously there's been a lot
of frustration in the community.
I think one of the issues, and Ms.
Coughlin hinted at it and,
and I've read through the CB C'S report, I, I sat in on most
of the town meeting nights when this was being discussed.
My concerns and,
and these, this falls back on this board
as well in the whole fall town meeting process, you know,
traditionally we have time to decide which articles we want
to review and make recommendations on.
And while a lot of these, the final wording of the motion
for these things did not come in until very late relative
to when town meeting would be hearing them
as an elected body that has to act through open meeting law
and have that discussion, the practical timing
of looking at specific language
that was presented in motions was not available to us.
My interpretation, the report was written as such,
and I'm quoting the, the page three
of the executive summary,
that the charter updates impacting select board
and the town administration were written with their input.
And I want to be very precise about language here
because that is a true statement.
But as the chair knows
and members of this committee know, you know,
we also did not take action on this board's article 28,
which affects the town administration
because we, you know, at that point we're waiting
to hear back, we, we, for internal reasons,
we made a decision not to evaluate
and make a recommendation on our own article.
So procedurally we had kind of a, you know,
I won't call the missteps, I just think there was a,
a tragedy of, of calendar.
And I think communication improvement will help
that moving forward.
So I'm open to the idea of a town, a special town meeting.
I think it's, it's prudent
and I think it's important that the CBRC be allowed to,
you know, offer to town meeting its approaches
to improving the efficiency of town meeting in the spirit
of collaboration with, you know, things impacting us.
I agree with Ms. Coughlin's statement that I think we
as an elected body in a public session, owe it to ourselves
and the community to look at each
of those in their final state statements
and make recommendations on the individual amendments.
And so I, I'm, I'm supportive of this idea.
I'm very concerned about timing.
You're talking about a special town meeting being placed
somewhere between the holidays, I'm guessing
between the holidays
and between SPRINGTOWN meeting,
you've got finance committee meetings happening
and we're gonna have a new, you know,
an interim superintendent supporting a
budget at the same time.
So there's, there's a lot of balls in the air, if you will,
that need to be considered.
So I, I think, you know, I, I want to come to a decision
and look at the calendar aggressively.
I appreciate you taking that pressure off
of this evening's decision
because I think we need to think about a lot what we want
to put into, you know, the articles
I do ask respectfully that if, you know, we,
we felt the need to place Article 28 on the original
warrant, I would like to come back and revisit that
and include that in our deliberations.
So I'd like to see that re-added to it.
But I do think, again, this is, it's,
as I stated consistently throughout the process,
the CBRC is a committee of town meeting
and has total right to make, you know, process
and do what they wanted to do in terms of recommendations.
I appreciated the opportunity to have input.
I just feel like we didn't have the closing the loop on that
with enough language to have a board representation
as opposed to members
of the board providing individual feedback.
And so that's the precision
that I think is owed this process.
And thank you. If I could just quickly comment on that,
I think that's a, a valid, I'll call it a synopsis.
I think part of the problem was not seeing the motions
in their final form.
And as you said, it was, it was almost like a perfect storm
of bad timing where we didn't have them in hand.
And so really we couldn't offer an opinion on that
because it was, you know, we had said in several meetings
where we, we can't really vote on these
because we don't know what we're gonna get.
We don't know what it's gonna be.
We have hints about it,
but we didn't have the final wording
and wording in charters
and in bylaws makes
is quite important, as you all know. Even
Commas are important.
Yes, exactly. So I,
I appreciate your candor in, in identifying some
of the flaws in the process and,
and I would hope that we can, well, we have a, a, a chance
to do a do over here and,
and I sincerely hope that we'll capitalize on it
and I'll drive towards that
so you can best assured that I will do that.
I, as far as the
budget cycle, that is a concern.
I do not want to bump, I don't want
to hurt the budget process for the fin income
or the, or town administration.
And perhaps I know Mr. Erickson
and I had a very informal conversation about that,
invite him to share his, his thoughts.
Certainly. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
The budgeting process, we're actually in the knee deep in
the budget process right now as a town administration
and same with the school administration.
So for us, the budget process has already been started
for several weeks, if not months.
It's kind of a year round process actually now.
But from a town meeting
and timing perspective, we published the budget on
February 1st or the Monday
after February 1st if it's on a weekend.
And that from our perspective, sort of
jumpstarts the review process by the community,
including fin com and others.
So within a week or two of
that is when we start doing typically is when we start doing
our subcommittee and
or full committee reviews with the fin finance committee.
And those are typically Tuesday, Thursday, same nights
as town meeting or has typically been town
meeting in the last couple years.
We've also done a pre-budget meeting
with the finance committee
and the select board among others.
That's usually towards the end of January.
Sometimes it's the same night as a fin com night,
like a Tuesday night or sometimes I think last year we
actually did a, a joint meeting of, of sorts
with the finance committee
and the school committee and the select board.
So just from a past practice perspective
and just looking at how the calendars line up
once we submit the budget, if not even the week or two
before, we're doing community meetings
with the finance committee, with the select board,
with those involved in town meeting processes.
And once the publish, the budget is published in early
February, February one, within a week
or two of that is typically when the finance committee
process starts with regards to the reviewing of the,
of the budget that leads into the warrant, which
closes towards the end of February.
And then the finance committee typically leads into the
review of all warned articles.
So it does become a tricky time once you hit February
with regards to trying
to do additional Tuesday, Thursday night meetings.
Doesn't mean it can't be done, it's just,
that's historically been our busiest time starting in
February all the way through really until April.
It's a Tuesday, Thursday sort of sprint until,
Until the end of town
Yep. We have the one week off for school vacation
and then we start town meeting.
So it does go into May at that point.
So it's really a February to May season
whereby every Tuesday, Thursday.
And then typically we have the, every other Wednesday that
town administration, I, my team department heads
and volunteers on the finance committee and,
and others are all working through the town meeting process.
As, as a former finance committee member,
I fully appreciate the, the cycle
and the sprint to, to do this.
The reason I'm hesitant on trying to set a date,
looking at a calendar, backing up from the calendar
to set a date at this meeting is I need to talk
to the CBRC chair, I need to talk
to the finance committee chair
and I need to find out what they need and when.
Yep. So once I have those conversations
and I have that information, we have a meeting on the 29th
that might be the target date of when we decide
to set up the special town meeting. Yeah.
Mr. Chairman, I, a couple people have done
some calendar math.
If we, the, the, if we set a date on the 29th year
because of posting requirements
and other things, the earliest date we could have a
special would be somewhere around January 4th.
So just, just to get, put the calendar into focus.
Personally I wouldn't want to ha try
to schedule a special in December anyway.
That's, which is, if the only reason
to set a date tonight is to have a special in December,
which just is
Not get a quorum,
It, it would never happen
Christmas week. We just wouldn't,
It, it would be a waste of time.
So I think, you know, maybe coming up with a date on the,
on the, on the 29th is, is reasonable.
'cause there's actually a little gap there in January
where we might be able to fit a special in and, and I,
and of course depending on how big
and how many articles it is, it could be a disaster.
So I mean we could also do it on December 13th when you
add the 28 days Metro West Daily News needs four days
for a legal notice if that's what we use.
And then you need the two days for the warrant to be open.
So that puts us at January 16th. Yeah.
Which is like the drop dead date. Yeah. To have it before.
Yeah. If we don't have it by then,
we're not having it until,
Yeah, I agree.
The other thing that we did
contemplate is having a special session of the,
the board just to figure out a date.
We, we can certainly consider that
as a possibility if need be.
And I saw Paul had his fingers up. Yep. I'm
That's fine. I, I just, I guess
of while we were having this discussion a couple of times,
you know, another shot revisiting, I I, from my perspective,
and obviously I'm one of five, so I'm,
I'm just speaking personally, I'm less inclined to revisit
issues as we had talked about throughout this process
that are in the purview of town meeting itself,
legislative only, you know, in the spirit of
what we were looking at,
I think it were those things that affected us.
Obviously we have a right and
and obligation if we so choose to look at all of them.
And the, in the interest of expediency
and focus, you know, my inclination is to suggest
that we only look at those things as we talked about,
that affect the select board and and administration aspects.
It might help us get through it a little faster.
I think it'll help reign in the scope.
And I also, it, it hopefully will, you know,
help the process move more efficiently.
Because again, my greater concern is getting
through budget season and could
probably have a challenging spring.
Yeah. I, I would say, just to respond to that,
in my opinion, if that's the correct approach,
is it should be select board
and town town administrator focused.
And as time permits
or as inclination of the board permits,
there may be other areas that we explore.
But certainly the priority is to get those things
that affect the select board, excuse me, the select board
and the town administrator.
If, if I may, one other question,
and this is probably through the town administrator,
through you, I know Ms.
Loomis did a great job getting some
of the zoning bylaws pushed through,
and we did have a little conversation about this at the
economic development committee most recently about some,
you know, now that the sort of, sort
of set up zoning bylaws were in place,
now there's some specific
actions she might be looking to take.
If we were to add a special
and focus on accomplishing some zoning requirements,
what else would we need just in terms
of contemplating calendar if, if a zoning priority comes up
that we wanna focus on
and add to the special to get ahead
of things coming in the spring.
I'm assuming there's notification
periods and all of that stuff too.
How, what, what, what would you say would be the sort
of least and and best or worst
and best sort of impact on our, on our factoring that in
That's a great question.
Given mass general law requirements for zoning amendments,
chapter 48, section five,
and our own requirements, the, the
procedural process whereby proposal needs to be submitted,
the select board referred to the planning board,
planning board needs to hold their public hearing, puts
that even also tricky when it comes to the holiday season.
'cause by the time they get the referral to us,
the earliest would be the 29th not on tonight's agenda.
Then they would have to schedule a time
and given the holidays and posting requirements, which is 14
and seven days prior minimum, which means they need to get
to the papers at least 21 to 28 days in advance.
They're looking at the early January timeframe
for even just their public hearing process
to start their public hearing process.
So they're probably looking at a similar timeframe to
what a special might look like.
So the reality is that unless it's a February, March
or April special to get the zoning in place might not be
possible for a January, especially considering
a special also has a warrant that needs to be set
and closed by a certain time.
Right. It's not likely. I mean,
you can certainly put placeholders,
but it's not likely that it'll be prepared
for a special. Okay.
Thank you. I, I think that's again, an important,
I think it's important for the select board to telegraph
to the community to administration.
You know, if, you know we are pursuing it with the hope
and targeting a specific part of the calendar
that we're respectful of the fact
that maybe this isn't the right time
or, you know, helping us align it in a way
that makes the most sense to be as efficient as possible.
But thank you for that feedback.
Of course. One also thing
to note just about special Ities by May, Mr.
Chair. Sure. Per the bylaw bylaws,
it just notes in Article one, section two.
That special town meeting shall be held on a Tuesday
right at seven 30.
So even though the earliest might be a Thursday,
the reality is it'd be the following Tuesday,
depending on the date by which the board chooses
to vote on scheduling a town meeting a
Mr. Chair, we've discussed having an off cycle
meeting to discuss these.
Could I suggest a doodle poll
that also includes town council so
that we can take advantage of questions that we may have?
We're doing a doodle poll
for early December, what would you say?
Sure. Maybe the first two weeks of December.
Just for clarity, that's a doodle poll
to review just the charter
and bylaw changes, not
to determine when a special would occur.
That is correct. Okay.
It's just to ask questions that we might have about,
we never had that opportunity.
understand. I just wanna
make sure I understand that. Yep. That's
The only reason and
Intent of the meeting. I
Have a clarification there.
I can do that. If,
I guess based, sorry, based on that
question though, are you suggesting that we won't be able
to make a calendar decision on the 29th?
Because it seems to me that some of
that information would inform what we want included in,
you know, how we'd wanna pursue the special.
So if we're gonna have an off cycle,
I would suggest it would be ahead of the 29th.
I don't know if that's practical given Thanksgiving, but,
but I guess this is, this is my concern
or we consider a special
and at that time determine, you know, whether to do it.
I don't think if, if we're seeking additional information
to give us decision support to decide timing
of the Special town meeting, that it's illogical to me
that it would come after the date
that we're thinking of adding it.
I, I, I think the idea of the special is
to actually review the content that we already have
so we can inform the CBRC about what our thoughts are
and town meeting, what our thoughts are
for whatever special we decide on.
I think it's, I think the, the off-cycle meeting is not
to discuss the timing of a special,
but to discuss the content of
what might be in the special. That's correct.
Right, right. And
and to, to just back up a level,
we don't know yet what the CBRC is
is planning to do on this.
Whether they are going to take town meetings feedback
and make some changes, have,
have meetings and vote on changes.
I don't know that I, I haven't spoken
with the CBRC sheriff since town meeting, so I don't know
what their plans are.
I have to find that out and I can report that back.
You know, that, that's again, one of the data points
that I don't have right now that I, that I need to have
to make an infor, excuse me, to make an informed decision.
So, so if I may,
why don't we just hold onto the idea of the off cycle
meeting and let's see how things progress
with the CBRC chair and the finance committee chair
and see what we're looking at.
You know, I, you know, it's a classic.
We don't know what we don't know right now.
Mr. Evans, could I suggest that we proceed
with scheduling it while you work out whatever needs
to happen with CRBC and fin com?
We're up against a really tight deadline. Yeah.
And given the process since July
until the present, we've been up against the deadline
and I don't wanna see us in a position again
where we have not had an opportunity
to ask council questions or to have the discussion.
So with respect, I would suggest that we go ahead
and schedule the off cycle.
We've got two days off for Thanksgiving next, next week.
There's just not a lot of time in the calendar.
Yeah, and I, I agree. I actually agree with that.
We have the content that town meeting was presented.
If we, you know, have a meeting in December to discuss
that content and we decide we don't like some of it
or we want some of it changed, that gives us something
to feed to the CBRC that
we'll help inform them
and what they bring forward in any special we choose
to schedule or any, you know, or whatever.
So I think reviewing the content we
already have is critical.
We never had the chance before.
It's, I, I imagine it's actually not likely
to be the final content that's gonna come
before whatever town meeting the next
CBRC stuff comes to,
but at least we can inform them what we think of, of
what they've already given us and also inform town meeting.
You know, if that's, if that's all we end up with,
given the way the CBRC has operated, we, you know, in terms
of timing, at least we can look at what we've got
and say yes no on, you know, motion X.
So given the off cycle, I mean,
we're looking at December 6th would be the off cycle
Wednesday if we went straight out with a Wednesday,
Or, I think it depends on town
council's availability. Okay.
Fair. Yeah. I will say,
'cause I, I, I thought I heard possibly doing this
before Thanksgiving, and I can tell you
I will not be here from Wednesday till the following
Tuesday on Thanksgiving.
I won't be in town.
So the degrees of freedom for doing
that are pretty small. Yeah. So,
And you have another set of meetings on Monday, right?
That's right. We've got the hearing on Monday. Thank you.
So that would be one day, the Tuesday.
So yeah, let, let's look at the, the sixth
and see what town council's
We can work with town council on just a number of nights.
Yeah. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday nights,
couple weeks and see what works.
Yeah. Saturday mornings except
for the one after Thanksgiving
On Saturday mornings. Okay.
Yeah, I'm, I could do a Saturday morning too
I just wanna
make sure I'm hearing that correctly. Right.
I'll put out the date.
Yeah, it's certainly stuff we can do. Okay.
We have a number of people who are in the, from the public
and I just, if they would like to comment on this,
they're welcome to do so.
Okay. Or on Zoom or you out already or
Okay. Yes. Thank you. Is there anyone on Zoom?
No hands raised?
Nope. No hands. Okay. All right.
So we, I, I will do that poll
and say let's try to do the out cycle on, on the week
or the week of December 6th.
You don't have a calendar in front of me naturally.
It's actually the week of the fourth.
So fourth, yeah.
Thank you that, that seemed,
I was backing my birthday's the 11th,
so I was backing up from there
And just if it helps the doodle
poll, I can't make the fifth.
That's the one night that week I can't do.
Okay. So Paul, no, on December 5th.
Any other bad ones that week for anyone?
I didn't see anything bad.
Okay. Alright. Anything but the fifth I will do a survey.
Okay, cool. Okay.
All right, moving on. Thank you very much everyone.
Wrong page, wrong direction.
Next is the overnight resident parking in the Pond Street
lot and adjacent roadways.
This topic is to introduce some thoughts
that have been brought up and
to be considered by the select board.
Again, the board isn't going
to make any decisions tonight on this,
but is we're teeing this up for future discussions.
So I will turn this over to Mr. Joseph.
Thank you, Mr. Chair. This, this came about,
actually it's from a couple of different angles.
I know the administration has been looking at parking
probably since time in memorial Continuous Yeah, exactly.
Which I know it's what's sort of our, the, one of the two Ps
of politics, I guess the three Ps, politics, parking
and potholes, the initiative here and,
and really just to get a sort of board level view
of things that are already happening.
And Ms. Loomis has presented, she presented
that night at the planning board.
There's a project going on at one South Main Street
to rebuild where the fire was, and that's underway.
There's a possibility of that project adding a third story
and adding housing to it.
And one of the conditions
and challenges of building housing in downtown Natick is
finding a suitable places for people to park.
And, you know, we talked about this at the economic
development committee and then privately have had
conversations with a couple of property owners
and developers in town
and with the amount of development coming down the pike.
And I've been really, really impressed with what Ms.
Loomis and her team have been doing.
It's nice to see a, a more, more fully,
if not adequately staffed community
and economic development department starting
to really hum. Sorry,
It's coming a long way, I apologize.
No, it absolutely, it is coming a
long way and it's great to see.
I think it's, I've always felt it's been an under-resourced
department, given the enormity of, of what it needs
to accomplish, which drives our revenue,
which helps reduce taxpayers residential rates.
But the issue if we're gonna be adding dense housing,
and this is consistent with the MBTA mandate by the state
to develop within a half mile of MBTA stations as well
as our own housing plan, knowing
that housing is in extreme shortage, we need
to more adequately provide for parking for people
that will be living and renting downtown.
So the thought was maybe we can pursue this
through a pilot program of some sorts
and using the current development at Pond Street
and Prospective Pond and South Main Street
and in prospective development at Pond Street
and some other developments in
that general area going down towards Middlesex.
And the other lot, you know, the idea would be to identify
either municipal parking lots,
like the parking lot at Pond Street,
or perhaps the one behind the public safety building
and street parking and,
and try implementing overnight parking with, you know,
much like they do in some other areas
and closer to the city where from the hours of say,
you know, eight 8:00 PM to 8:00 AM
or 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM we allow for residential
and visitor parking overnight.
And so the right now we, we don't allow for that.
And, and it would be, I think, behoove us
to start looking strategically at
where are these developments going,
and maybe we should start piloting something like
that in parallel with this.
I know the department is also working on a whole
with a consultant looking at the whole stretch of,
of Main Street from Coolidge Coolidge Street up
to the train station right now.
So parking affected Route 27 through downtown.
We'll probably be getting some recommendations from
that consultant based on their work as well.
But, you know, the goal really for us tonight was just
to be aware of the issue.
I encourage the administration to keep working on this.
I know the town administrator and I know Ms.
Loomis and the department are already doing it.
So it's really credit to them for getting this queued up.
And I think it's important for us
to put it on a future agenda with their recommendations of
where we can suitably pursue a pilot
and hopefully support some
of this positive development that's going on.
We're bringing buildings online on Washington Street as well
as Middlesex as and Summer, summer Street as well.
I think that will have additional housing. South
Yep. Yep. Washington. Yep.
And then Pond
And East Central.
Jamie, do Mr. Erickson, do you have any comments on,
Just to note that we, we have been starting to look at this.
We are actually internally, we've been doing a, a sort of a,
a staff level analysis.
We've been using our parking attendants who are great
at just cataloging daytime usage in our lots
and on street parking, not the metered spaces
that are designed for turnover,
but more the, like the permit parking areas like the Pond
Street lot, like the lot behind town hall, sorry,
not town hall behind Police
and Fire, like Middlesex Lab Lot.
Just to get a a, some data points.
You know, I really like to, I've always sort of indicated
that Natick from my just perspective,
doesn't have a parking problem.
We have a walking problem, people just don't like
to walk from different spaces.
So I'd like to know the data to help inform
how can we better utilize our lots
and encourage better utilization of the lots
during the daytime, but as well as understanding what
that might mean for nighttime usage.
We've started doing an analysis of some
of the other communities that have overnight
parking for residents.
Sometimes it's just a full day, 24 hours a day type
of permit situations.
Sometimes it's just strictly overnight
and understanding what are some of the opportunities,
but also what are some of the challenges.
Typically in New England,
we're looking at f fellow New England states
that use like surface lots for overnight parking
because that's when you get into things like weather
conditions, things along those lines. Snow,
Now those are things that you can plan around
and just be prepared for, but we wanna know what that means
and we also wanna understand how that enforcement works too.
So we are going to,
and have already engaged with our, our police department
who oversee the parking enforcement
officers and how that might work.
So a lot of logistics that need to be sort of discussed and,
and work through.
Also just understanding daytime demand.
'cause with residential parking, it might not be
that all residences in downtown will be okay
with only having an overnight space.
A lot of people might be moving to Natick Center
because they want to take the train in
and they want to leave their car parked
somewhere during the day.
That's why it's important for us
to understand the daytime usage
of these lots as well. Yeah,
That's an excellent point.
Thank you Mr. Erics, Mr. Sidney.
Yeah, I just, just to add some more color
to this conversation
personally, in the last year, I've, I have a, i I have a
driveway that will park three cars
and I've had four cars for a year now in my house.
Now, luckily one of my streets is unaccepted,
so they pull up well off the street,
but it's sort of on the street,
but it's an unaccepted street, so it's not really,
you know, that there's no parking enforcement on it.
But there have been some comments running
around on social media that I've seen, I have not commented
where there was some specific discussion of how,
how, how visitors can park in particular,
in this particular case on Plain Street,
which is a very narrow accepted street with no,
with no overnight parking allowed.
And also some discussion of inconsistent enforcement on some
of these accepted roads where some people who, you know,
park on the street overnight in the
wintertime don't get a ticket.
And on some other streets,
every time they leave a car out, they get a ticket.
So I think all of that has to go into this analysis.
I'm not saying we're doing anything right or wrong,
but you know, this is the, I'm just bring the color
that I'm reading about to this,
to this whole problem because it is a problem.
Thank you, Mrs. Yeah. Any other thoughts? Alright.
No, let's table the rest of that for another day.
So let's move on to, did you wanna speak Mr. Evans?
Somebody might wanna speak to the issue.
That's a seat, please. Thank you.
Okay, Mr. Jess. You're welcome.
Good evening. My name is Rich Schaefer.
I'm the attorney for Stuart Rothman,
one South Main Street, LLC.
And the reason why I'm here is
because of this very, my concern is more specific
to the Pond Street lot.
I've lived in downtown Natick.
My address is one Lincoln Street Extension.
I've lived there for over 30 years
and this is my white whale one South Main Street.
It's probably gonna kill me. Okay.
Because I started off with Drio Tambourine owning that
property at one South Maine.
And we were very close to being able
to put a three level development there.
And we got, there was an appeal that was filed
and that that project died.
And now we're getting so close
because we've been encouraged by the zoning changes
to put a third floor on everybody
that we speak to in the town.
Administration says the third floor is what we need.
It's the downtown needs three floors,
you gotta have three floors.
It's what the town wants.
And I have a client who's dying to put the third floor on,
but because of the limitations on parking,
there's a serious issue that it's gonna be built as a,
as a two story development,
which would be a, a shame for this town.
And I, before this meeting, I ran down
Pond Street on the way down to the high school
and the place was empty.
I drove by the Pond Street Lot
this morning at eight o'clock.
The place was empty. I went to
the bank downtown at noon.
Pond Street Lot was empty.
It's an underutilized resource and like, I'm kind of begging
because like I said, one South Maine is going to kill me.
I'm begging that that underutilized resource
And it's, it strikes me as like,
I've been doing this for 20 years.
My daughters are 34 and 32.
When they were 12 and 10, I sent them downtown to go
after school and take pictures.
And they hated me for it of that lot.
And I still have the pictures if they're 20 years old now,
it looks exactly like that lot that I saw three times today.
I went there this weekend, it was empty.
So I'm dying to hear what Mr.
Erickson's data points are,
but I'm telling you, we're dying for six spaces
so we can put a third floor on one South Main
and get this to what the town needs.
And so I'm like kind of begging this town
to look at this underutilized resource
and see how it can be used.
And frankly, I want it used for my client,
but if it can't be used for my client, I still want it used.
So I, I think that it's a great idea
to look at all the resources,
but that specific resource has not been used for 20 years.
And people have been complaining about the limitations
of parking in downtown Natick for that whole time.
And it's been empty the whole time.
So like please, you know, put some thought
and try to do it expeditiously so we can get a third floor
of residences on top of one South Main.
So we have a three story building like this town deserves.
Thank you Mr. Schaefer. Appreciate your comments Mr.
Chair, I have a question for Mr. Erickson.
Does the, or anyone who knows this, does the adoption
of the MBTA communities act where we have
multifamily by right.
Eliminate the parking requirement?
No, no. Not the ACT itself.
That would've to be a local choice.
We, we would put parking as part of
the zoning requirements in that, in that zoning.
It's just the use is allowed by Right.
It doesn't say anything really
about the parking requirements.
It's kind of shortsighted, isn't it?
I mean, if, if, if we're going to have to, not we,
but if communities who adopt MBTA Communities Act are
required to build or identify, not required to build,
identify a a zone by which multifamily is allowed by Right.
And it's calculated at the state level in terms of the area
that they expect, I understand they're not enforcing
that area, but if there's not land for the parking, it seems
to be a bit shortsighted on the state's part.
Not, am I not thinking about this? Right.
Well, so the way the state has structured the requirements
is they, they have a requirement of number
of units per acre, which when you formulate
that into a development project, typically then leads to how
a, a parking requirement would be met.
Okay. You know, might, depending on obviously
how the community interprets that
and how what they do from a zoning perspective,
it might lead to podium parking.
It might like, meaning you build parking in the first level
or two of the building in the above floor or,
or residential, like under or underground.
Sure. Okay. And a big enough lot,
you might have enough first surface,
in some areas they might only require zero.
Like Cambridge has zero parking requirements. Right.
For, for multifamily housing.
Some communities have gone down to,
we've actually in Natick Center have gone down
to one per residential unit.
So that, that just even a 6, 5, 6 years ago, it used
to be two for a two bedroom, one and one
and a half for I think one it was, it was odd.
There was more. More. Yes.
So we've also already adopted a lower parking requirement
for residential and Natick Center.
Plus there's also the market realities for some communities,
not necessarily Natick, but in some communities,
to a certain degree, Natick, a developer isn't going to want
to build multifamily housing without some type of parking
because they have to have to rent
or sell these, these, these units.
So, but the, the mass general law
does not necessarily in and of itself
Specify like very specific parking Okay.
Requirements. It's a little bit more about the number
of units that need to be allowed by Right, okay.
Per acre. And that's also community specific based on what
that community has for an MBTA resource.
Right. It's like we have two commuter rail stations,
therefore they calculate it a certain way.
That's real helpful. Thank you very much. Okay.
For the discussion, Mr. Joseph?
Sorry, just I, I don't know if it's unprecedented or not,
but I'd like to ditto a comment from the member
of the public that just spoke.
You know, I think one of the things we've constantly kicked
around at the economic development committee is, you know,
the, what are our limiting factors right?
In, in doing things. You know,
I know the parking garage issue at Middlesex has been a
long standing discussion.
What, what should we be doing?
Could we be doing, but as, as you know,
we are emerging from the pandemic
and the need for housing in this state is so apparent.
I I do want to echo this idea that as we look at this, this,
and I, I'm not suggesting that you are sort of trying
to lump everything into one study,
but the idea of triaging it
and finding short-term opportunities
that could allow the right development for the community.
I, I, I really want to echo that request
because I do think we've missed opportunities in the past
in Natick, and we live with the results of what we had to do
as opposed to what we could do.
And I think this is an opportunity to really take advantage
of an, an underutilized asset aggressively.
And I also, just a reminder to the community
downtown Natick is gonna look
completely different in five years.
It's exciting. We've got, you know,
some major studies going on.
I'm very pleased with the, the, the money we're spending
through grants and through budget to,
to get the plans right, to accommodate the need
for housing and do all of these things.
It, it's just, it's, we're gonna basically bear the fruits
of, of the talent that we've got working for us.
The fact that you've got sort of a planning orientation
and you've got a team that's really kind of taking
what we've got and making more with it
and seeing these developments like what
his client want to, to Mr.
Rothman wants to build here.
It's, it's in line with what we want as a community.
So it's, let's, let's help Natick get out of our own way.
Okay. Thank you. Thank you.
Okay, let's close that one out
and let's go to select board.
The topic that keeps on coming to the agenda, select board,
social media norms.
We have had this policy out there for
Ever norm, sorry, just to be clear, it's not a policy.
When I say policy, I meant norm social media norms.
So it's not a policy, it is suggestions
and guidelines and guardrails for us.
And no one in probably the better part of,
or more than a month has in any way, shape
or form said, no, I object to this completely.
So I'd like to put this to a vote
and put this agree
to have these be our norms for the, at least the time being.
So I welcome any discussion on this,
but I wanna move on from this
Just in brief balancing.
Mr. Erickson and I had a talk about some
of my previous posts
and I definitely understand why, how they could be perceived
as being problematic.
That was very helpful. So thank you for that.
Balancing that with the need for the select board
to be interacting with the public
and especially in a year if they're going to be running
for election, is it,
is it within these norms, do you envision that, for example,
there are events and notices
and announcements on our front web page.
Like for example, I know
that I've seen about the free curbside composting saying,
you know, sending that out to various social media channels
to publicize it and driving the traffic back to the website.
Is that something that you envision
as being within these norms or the energy fair
or the ha hazard mitigation plan? I,
In in essence, yes.
Meaning following these norms
I'm trying to make sure I understand
what you're, what you're saying.
So from a logistic perspective,
so when we post something on the website,
we'd much prefer people from really anywhere
to rather than copy
and paste that information, to refer back
to the website, provide a link back Absolutely.
To the website. Absolutely. That's if we're gonna be
advertising it as a community, I'd also like
to use town social media pages to be able to do that
and then have people then share that, share that so
that it still goes back to the town, the originator source.
That's kind of the intent of what I would, what it's part
of the norms are, are are about as well.
I know Jay is also online,
but the, but the primary goal here is to always just provide
that fact-based information, preferably across sort
of the natick relevant social media groups.
So like the Town of
Natick site and things along those lines.
And then bring things back to the originator source,
like the website and, and Yep.
That answer the question?
It does, I I, I want, I want
to be thinking about opportunities for us
to interact with the public on social media. 100%.
That is productive.
And I definitely, what I'm envisioning
for example is a,
a post that says there's a survey town staff's looking
for input on a hazard mitigation plan.
Go here and there's the link.
Yeah, 100%. I understand what you're saying.
I think from that perspective, I also would like to work
with the board further about how,
because we have talked about how the board is interacting
with the public at, for example, the farmer's markets
and continuation of office hours.
And I think we can get even more creative with
how the board interacts with the public outside
of even social media, meaning across multiple spectrums.
Sure. So that to me is also part of a sort
of another conversation I think we need to work collectively
to advance so that the board members do feel like you are
getting that social interaction with the public, whether
through social media or otherwise on
surveys or other work that you know will be coming from town
administration regardless of where it comes from.
Town administration, conservation convention
area staff, what have you.
Our goal is to really ensure
that we're following our own social media norms,
which is basically sort of like these,
and we are thinking strategically about how are we getting
that message out as well.
And then that would sort of lead to the clarity on how best
to share that information.
Does that make sense? It does. 'cause we would likely be
using our own social media outlets
or other outlets as well to get
that survey information out there to seek feedback.
And then from there our goal would be
to then people just refer back to that
Along those lines, the social media norms envisions
that these would be the norms
for the town's departments as well.
We, we are looking at taking these
and adapting them to a more staff level.
Okay. It's, it's a little bit different
because there's just different components of
what staff would be doing from a social media perspective
and how we would need to make it more,
you know, employee related.
One question I do have for the board is, are these norms
that the board would like to at least encourage
the boards and committees that report to you?
Or are advisory to you to also consider?
So economic development committee is
an advisory board to this board.
You appoint them, they're a creature of the board.
You just created a board tonight
or appointed members of a board tonight.
Is that something? Don't need an answer tonight.
I just want you to think about that. No, that's fine.
Because if, if this board is sort of adopting these, does
that mean by extension you want those other boards
of committees that are also similarly that's
You know, you're,
you're they're also volunteer boards with,
with activities that they're doing to
potentially at least look to follow these.
Yeah. Again, don't need answers tonight,
it's just something for your consideration.
It's a very question unless you have answers tonight.
Yeah. Just should we, should we take that stand?
I would wanna make sure that those advisory
boards and committees had the ability to
have the town post stuff for them on the right.
So if they're, if for example, I'm just gonna use a,
some kind of a random example.
If the net zero committee is hosting an energy fair, right,
because that's in their
They should have access to TA to the,
to something on the town, some staff on the town
to do the initial post that they can then share.
Well we have, we have that now
with Jillian Wilson Martin No,
But, and that's just an example.
I mean, yeah, I'm just saying
because they're, there are other boards
and committees that may not have
that direct access the way I,
and I just use that 'cause it's top of mind. So
The, the question just
to frame it maybe a little bit more concisely is
how would an one of our appointed committees gain access
to the native town
website to, to promote what,
what their activities are, et
Well not just the town website, but the town pages.
town social media accounts. Yeah. Yeah.
Is right, 'cause these are social
media norms, right?
So I just wanna make sure that if we take that stand,
that that becomes available. Right.
Understood. Yeah. Yep.
Right. So that, that's a fair
I think one thing to also consider just in
that vein is if there's a, if there's an an, an appointed
entity that's appointed by this board
that is doing something that is requiring public engagement,
would this board want to know about
that in advance of doing that?
At which point there would be a report back
to this board in advance of doing that work
that would then lead to a collective
or concerted effort of town
administration supporting that effort?
Because it's really an effort of this board as well.
Yeah, that's, that that,
that's kind of a loaded, you get very
Complex, doesn't it? It does, yes.
Yeah. And it, and
It's a bit of a,
but this might lead to there to be more dialogue
between this board and
the boards and communities that you appoint. Yeah.
And, and it's kind of a loaded question in the sense that
they're volunteers just like us
and we're trying to potentially impose our norms on them.
And that might, may
or may not be acceptable, I just don't know.
But it's certainly worth the discussion with some
represent representative sample of,
of the committees we appoint
and just gauge their reaction. Yeah,
I I I agree with what you just said in conclusion there.
I I personally, I think less is more with all this stuff,
you know, with the bottom line is I think it's important
when we're appointing people to these committees
and we kind of revisit the charges, you know, to,
to add communications, to add accessibility, to add equity,
you know, when we start thinking about
how they're operating, who they're using in, in terms of,
you know, looking for associate members
or task forces, we should have, you know, broader norms.
And this is is one subset of communication norms.
I personally don't have a problem
with them doing their own posts.
You know, I think to ask town staff to do it
for them is a burden that we don't necessarily have to,
but in certain, in some cases it might make sense.
I can see, for example, and use the economic development
committee as an example, if a member
of the EDC says something
in comment about a particular corporate member
of the community that could be interpreted as a,
as a major negative, right?
And that could put the town in a strange position.
So I could see as a select board with them being advisory
to us saying, look, don't comment on specific projects,
don't comment on specific things.
It's a judgment call at the end of the day.
And to your point, we're all volunteers.
So I think it's just important that we do it eyes wide open.
And I think the more we give guidelines and norms
and encourage good behavior as opposed to try to control,
you can't control social media, right?
The best thing you can do is encourage
and support best practices.
I, in my opinion, I mean I'm sitting next to an expert so
We can only control
Our own parts on social media.
So let's move on. It's already past 10,
so let's accept the Thank you. Second,
Your mic's not on.
I move to accept the social media norms
as norms for the select board.
Second by Mr. Sidney.
All in favor, please say aye. Aye. Aye. Aye. Aye. 5 0 0.
Moving on select board policy review. Update.
So I, I'll keep this briefer than I
had intended given the time.
I had an example that I can send via email so
that you can review it on your own time
and we can bring it back at the next
meeting or a future meeting.
In essence, we're going through, as I noted in the past,
the different social, the,
the different policies of the board.
And what're finding is that the, there there's sort
of a hodgepodge of templates and a hodgepodge of formats
and a hodgepodge of policy intertwined with process.
So what we're doing and,
and what I'll send to the board is an example
of very simple policy.
The banner policy is what, I'll send you the example of.
We have a banner policy. It's really simple policy,
but within it it talks about process and procedures.
So what we're trying to do is really pull those apart
and have a policy which can be a standalone item
that is really about what is the policy that we're,
that the board wants to have here.
And then the procedures, which is more
of a town administration set of procedures of how does,
how are we enacting this policy?
I want you to see both so you can get a flavor as to
how we're looking at sort of pulling these apart.
And the importance from my perspective is really
understanding that the procedures might change over time
because they, they could change over time,
whereas the policy maybe will be reviewed over time
but might not need to change over time.
We did something like this with the accepted streets policy
whereby we had the policy
and then it referred to procedures
that wasn't in this template because that was
before we started doing this more complete exercise.
But again, I'll send an email to the board
after this meeting or tomorrow, hopefully tomorrow
Yeah, with that format so
that you can see what we're talking about here
and then we can talk about an upcoming meeting.
Enough. I just wanted you to be aware
that we are making progress.
We're also identifying a number of policies
that we might bring forward for the board's consideration
to maybe not have anymore.
Some of them date back to the late seventies
or eighties, maybe even early nineties.
So there's some policies
that superseded seem like there's either new mass general
law that takes the place of them
or new town bylaws that take the place of them that we just,
this policy is not really necessary anymore.
Would've done a more complete show of the screen,
but I figured at this time, this time we'll wait for the,
I think we'd all be lost on what I'm actually showing.
So I want to thank Donna and Jay and team
and John for, they've really dived into these policies
to come up with a template. So, super.
Thank you. Yeah, thank
for that. Doing a great job. Thank
You all for that.
Sweet. Okay, onto our favorite part of the agenda.
One quick question, agenda select
board concerns isn't on
here. I just have one quick question.
It is, it's, it's after the consent agenda. Oh
It is there. I didn't read all the way the
end. Go ahead, dive in Rich.
Okay, so I'm gonna read the, as usual,
I'm gonna read the consent agenda, ask if anybody wants
to pull anything and then we will deal with whatever it is.
So consent agenda item A, reappoint Michael Downey
to the conservation commission.
Item B approved select board meeting minutes,
all open session meetings, minutes from April 12th, 2023,
April 19th, 2023, September 5th, 2023,
September 6th, 2023 and the retreat on October 25th, 2023.
Item C accept recreation
and parks commission requests to accept donations for July
and August of 2023.
And also for the recommendations for the use
of the nat Common for the following events.
Milestone Church to host Christmas
and me we Metro West Family Tree Farm on Saturday
December 2nd from eight to two Shabbat center
to display the menorah on the common starting December 3rd,
Sunday, December 3rd through we Wednesday,
December 20th, 2023 as well as
to host their annual event on Sunday the 10th from four
to 5:00 PM Item three, St.
Patrick's Church to display the Christmas crash on
the common from Thursday the 7th of December
until Monday the 8th of January.
Item four, Natick resident Michelle Zwick
to host a brief wedding ceremony on Sunday
December 17th, 2023 from five to six in the gazebo
with a total of 40 people, no tens or chairs to be set up.
Item five, temple Israel with Israel action committee
to host a vigil on Sunday December 3rd from three 30
to five in the gazebo open to the public
with expected 150 people.
Item D, approve Natick Center cultural district's request
for approval of free two hour parking from November 24th,
23 through January 2nd, 24 item E accept a resignation
of Aaron Selker from the commission on disability item F
appoint permanent police officers,
item G approved rotary CLO closure north A
and BTA data center station work. Anything to Paul
Item B one
and two open session meeting minutes April 12th and April 19th.
I apologize for that.
It may have gotten lost in translation of re re the edits.
So I've resent those to Joan and it's likely my fault
but I just asking if we remove
those and put them on the next.
Okay, so we'll remove those and not vote them.
Anything else to remove?
I just had a a question actually,
and this is probably a question for Mr. Erickson
in the appointment of permanent police officers,
is there paperwork that we have to sign on that?
Oh sign. Just
I don't believe there there is paperwork. I
Think it's just an approval.
I believe it's just an approval.
'cause you did sign the paperwork,
Right? As as preserve
Officers previous meetings two meetings ago, last meeting
for reserve officers and that,
and this is really just that next step. Okay.
Just making sure. Okay.
Thank you. Okay, so I move the consent agenda items A
through G except for minutes of April 19th
and April 12th.
I a second. Second, second by Ms. Coughlan.
All in favor please say aye. Aye. Aye. Very good.
Thank you Mr. Sidney. Moving on to,
I assume that there are no town administrator notes
that this is late hour.
My only note was going to be to indicate
and follow up on the email that I sent
around the IT department and the shifts in the leadership in
the IT department with okay Dennis Roach.
Really just to indicate that,
but this board is aware of that.
This is more for the public to note that we just
entered into an agreement with the,
and a partnership really with the school department,
school committee to not merge departments,
but just to have Mr. Roach really kind of lead both sides
and really help us with just continuing
to build collaboration
and it between our IT departments where there's a lot
of opportunity for that
and a lot of opportunity for resource allocation and,
and building of, of sustainable models for the future.
We, we had some semblance of it previously,
but this is a really unique opportunity for us
to really solidify that and really expand it.
So that was why I put a lot more in the email.
I can certainly make more of an announcement at a future
meeting if there's desire from the public,
but I just wanted to make note of
that on the public record. Yeah,
Just one thing I'd like to add as chair one,
one of the things that we have asked for is to get the,
in in the charter changes is to allow the town manager
or town administrator more leeway to make these sorts of
changes to organ the organizational structure
as appropriate when it can lead to greater efficiencies.
And then just to inform the public that you're doing that
and this, this is the sort of flexibility that
the town quite frankly needs to,
to give the flexibility of to town administration
to make these changes that ultimately
either increase efficiency
or reduce cost or some combination.
And it, it's extremely valuable and it helps all of us.
Thank you, I appreciate that.
We're, we're gonna be making a more formal
email blast internally to staff
in the coming hours actually maybe a day or so.
Select board concerns
Mr. Erickson, you're, you said
that's gonna be in an email blast to the
To the town staff and school staff.
Do you think it's worth it to put it on the website?
We'll make we first like to get the notification out
to town staff and then we can certainly work to,
And the reason I say that is because you said, you know,
you may wanna share it in a larger way to the, to the town
and that could be a way Yeah, it's
to just put it on the website.
Yeah, I mean the IT functions are an internal facing
function, so we really think it's most from our,
from my perspective, it's really important
to make sure town staff feels involved and, and
But we will certainly make website adjustments
and make sure that it's known that way as well.
Okay. I think it's a, it's a less public facing entity.
Not say it shouldn't be be more broadly shared
but We'll, we'll I appreciate that.
Yeah. Yep. Thank you. That's
A good suggestion to select the board's concerns.
Ms, how often do you have one?
I just have two questions. They're not a concern.
I was unable to quickly find when the fire chief's
contract is up and when the police chief's contract is up.
Certainly. So the fire chief started on a July one
of, not this past year but the year prior.
So he's about a year and a half in, are coming up on a year
and a half in and he has another year and a half.
So it'll be June 30th of 25
when his would expire. It's a
Three year, so he a three contract year contract.
Okay. The police chief was a five year, well
I believe it was five year but I think it might've been just
shy of five years because of his birthday.
He aged out or he ages out at the end of his contract.
So I don't know the exact date.
I should know that because it's his birthday.
But I wish him happy a birthday on that day.
But his also started on that same July one of,
not 23 but 22.
So he's about a year and a half into a roughly
five year contract.
So he is about three and a half years left.
Okay. I wanna say
It was like
It might've been, yeah, I think it's April-ish.
Maybe mid to late April is when
it ages out. So it doesn't, I
Can't age can't believe you don't know that.
I'm just, I'm so disappointed in you Mr. Erickson.
Alright, anything else?
I just have a question.
Are we planning to schedule
select board hours at the winter market?
Yes. Okay. At some point. Okay. Not urgent.
Maybe put that on the November 29th.
Not urgent. It just would be nice.
Bruce, would you like me to go
and put a schedule for you to review
and circulate, review, edit and circulate?
Sure. Why not? That would be great. Thank you.
And anything else? Anything else?
I'm sorry. Anybody got anything else other than the
desire to close the meeting?
Move to Ajo? Move to adjourn.
I'll give that to Catherine
'cause I was a simultaneous by everybody.
So move by Catherine. Seconded by Mr. Sidney.
All in favor say aye. Aye. Aye. Aye.
Anyone else who wants to stay you're welcome
to do that to 11.
Thanks very much for sticking with us tonight.