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Natick Select Board November 15, 2023
Updated 8 days ago

Natick Select Board November 15 2023

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  1. Good evening everyone.

  2. It is 6:35 PM

  3. and this is the meeting of the Natick Select Board.

  4. We're presently an open session,

  5. but we're going to take a vote to go into executive session.

  6. We have a jam packed agenda tonight

  7. and a lot of work to get through.

  8. So I ask the board's indulgence and understanding on this

  9. and that there may be some items on the agenda

  10. where discussion is just beginning

  11. and I may table the conversation

  12. in discussion through a future meeting.

  13. The board will be taking a vote to go into exec session.

  14. This portion of the meeting is not open to the public.

  15. We expect to reconvene open session at 7:15 PM The reasons

  16. for entering executive session

  17. or a pursuant to mass general laws

  18. Chapter 30 a section 21, A three to discuss strategy

  19. with respect to litigation.

  20. If an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the

  21. litigating position of the public body and the chair.

  22. So declares decrement A versus standard of nat etal,

  23. civil action number 2 3 8 2

  24. CV 0 0 2 5 3.

  25. Item B, approve executive session meeting minutes from

  26. 8 30 23, which includes A pursuant

  27. to MGL 30 AS 21, A two to conduct strategy sessions

  28. in preparation for negotiations with non-union personnel

  29. or to conduct collective bargaining sessions.

  30. Go ahead. Or contract negotiations with non-union personnel,

  31. town administrator, fire chief.

  32. Police chief, the pursuant to MGL chapter 30 a,

  33. section 21, A three to discuss strategy with respect

  34. to collective bargaining or litigation.

  35. If an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the

  36. bargaining or litigating position

  37. of the public body and the chair.

  38. So declares from ten four twenty three item A

  39. pursuant to MGL 30 a, section 21 A three to discuss

  40. strategy with respect to collective

  41. bargaining or litigation.

  42. If an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the

  43. bargaining or litigating position

  44. of the public body and the chair.

  45. So declares Justin George versus town

  46. of Natick fire department per mcad.

  47. Docket number 21 BEM 0 1 3 2 7

  48. slash E eoc,

  49. docket number 16 C dash 2021 dash

  50. 0 12 61.

  51. Item B, pursuant to MGL chapter 31 a

  52. section 21 A three to discuss strategy with respect

  53. to collective bargaining of litigation.

  54. If an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the

  55. bargaining or litigating position

  56. of the public body and the chair.

  57. So declares PERONI versus natick.

  58. Number 2, 2 81 dash CV dash 0 2 6 6 6

  59. in Middlesex superior court.

  60. And finally, pursuant

  61. to MGL chapter 31 a section 21, A three

  62. to discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining

  63. or litigation, if an open meeting may have a detrimental

  64. effect on the bargaining

  65. or litigating position of the public body and the chair.

  66. So declares Deputy Fire Chiefs Association, local

  67. 7 1 7 0 7 International Association of Firefighters,

  68. A-F-L-C-I-O.

  69. So moved.

    Thank you. Do I have a second?

  70. Second voice vote Is Mr. Sidney?

  71. Yes. Ms. Coughlin?

  72. Yes.

    Ms. Pope? Yes. And Mr. Joseph? Yes.

  73. And I'm AS also. So we are now in executive session.

  74. We hope to be back around seven 15.

  75. It may be a more towards seven 30,

  76. but tune back in at seven 15.

  77. Thank you very much. Hi. We're back.

  78. We've closed executive session

  79. and we're back on our normally scheduled programming.

  80. So I'll reconvene, open session.

  81. And this meeting is being recorded by Natick Pegasus

  82. for live streaming and recording for future viewing.

  83. So thank you Natick.

  84. Pegasus, I'd, I'd like to invite everyone in the room

  85. to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in a moment of silence

  86. for those serving US

  87. Pledge allegiance through the flag

  88. of the United States of America,

  89. and to the republic for which it stands.

  90. One Nation, nation under God, individual

  91. with liberty and justice.

  92. Justice for

  93. you.

  94. Okay. Announcements I had.

  95. Does anyone on the board have an announcement they'd

  96. like Mr. Joseph?

  97. Just a couple of quick announcements. Thank you, Mr.

  98. Chair. Yesterday, last night I had the pleasure

  99. of attending a training that was conducted by the our

  100. Substance Use Disorder Coordinator

  101. and Natick 180 executive Director Kate Katie Sugarman

  102. and Lizzie Chafin.

  103. They provided what was called QPR training,

  104. which is now available to the community.

  105. QPR stands for question, persuade and refer

  106. and the dis the purpose of the program.

  107. And there were many people there. I was impressed and

  108. and glad to see so many community,

  109. community members coming out, was really

  110. to provide a framework and some strategies

  111. to start difficult conversations, especially if you

  112. or someone you know, or someone you interact with

  113. might be at, at a stressful point in contemplating suicide.

  114. So the, the purpose of the program, much like CPR training,

  115. is to give people the tools that they need

  116. as just a lay person to interact and start that process

  117. and help people find, you know, refer to professional help

  118. where they, where they need it, whether it's a,

  119. a family member or in the public.

  120. They will be conducting more of these throughout.

  121. And if you're interested, you can look@natickoneeighty.org

  122. and contact them for more information about

  123. future such trainings.

  124. The second was, there was a scheduled cleanup this Saturday,

  125. the 18th of November called the Big False Sweep at Coolidge

  126. Hill by Keep Natick beautiful semi-annually a group

  127. of volunteers goes to the top of Coolidge Hill with a,

  128. a generator and shop vacs

  129. and cleans up a chronic broken glass problem up there.

  130. Unfortunately, with the weather forecast of this Saturday,

  131. they're gonna postpone this falls

  132. and just do it again in the spring.

  133. The good news is, over the last few years

  134. that they've been doing this, I think the problem

  135. has lessened quite a bit.

  136. And lastly, I just wanna share primarily with the board,

  137. but also the community that's following this.

  138. I did get contact from Representative Dave Linsky

  139. that the home rule petition

  140. that passed Fall Town meeting in 2022 focused on eliminating

  141. the seating requirement for establishments of alcohol,

  142. did make it out of committee with favorable recommendations.

  143. So that is now going back to the legislature, hopefully

  144. for action at a future date that he is working on.

  145. So hopefully we'll see some action on

  146. that coming into the new year.

  147. And I wanna thank Representative

  148. Linsky for ushering that through. Awesome.

  149. Thanks for those updates. Joe. Anyone else? Anything?

  150. I have a, yeah,

  151. I got a couple from Natick Center Associates.

  152. First NA item from Natick Center Associates is

  153. Natick Night Out Thursday, November 16th from six to 8:00 PM

  154. and Natick Center entered the winner a gift card at the

  155. participating shops using a passport

  156. from participating stores.

  157. Calliope Pape, I'm sure I'm butchering that one.

  158. Five Crows Gallery and Handcrafted gifts.

  159. Bailey B Paper Fiesta, the Hive Unity.

  160. So that again is November 16th, six

  161. to 8:00 PM So that's tomorrow.

  162. If you're not doing anything,

  163. please patronize these local businesses

  164. in the holiday season.

  165. Next item is the Small Business Saturday,

  166. which is November 25th through December 10th.

  167. Natick Center businesses will be having

  168. a holiday teen drive and drop off areas.

  169. People can visit the shops and donate items on this list.

  170. And I think it's the same list that I just read,

  171. but I'm not absolutely sure about that.

  172. But it is sponsored by the Natick Service Council.

  173. Later in our agenda, we'll be on our consent agenda.

  174. We'll be talking about free parking in December

  175. to facilitate local shopping during December.

  176. And it extends, I think, into the first week in January.

  177. Anybody else have any?

  178. Okay, let's move on to public speak.

  179. Any individual may raise, raise an issue

  180. that's not on the agenda

  181. and it will be taken under advisement by the board.

  182. There will be no opportunity for debate

  183. or comment by the select board.

  184. This section of the agenda is limited

  185. to 15 minutes with any individual.

  186. Limited to five minutes to Mr. Joseph.

  187. Thank you Mr. Chair.

  188. Paul Joseph, 10 Carlson

  189. Circle, a member of the select board.

  190. But speaking on my personal behalf, I just wanted to

  191. reiterate for the community's benefit, now

  192. that town meeting has adjourned.

  193. That there's a parallel process going on in the community

  194. that's focused on collecting signatures

  195. to potentially add a charter commission as a ballot question

  196. to the spring 2024 town ballot.

  197. I've, I've been in public speak a couple of times speaking

  198. to this issue and I just, I, I want to kind

  199. of address a couple of things that I'd seen online

  200. as it's been asserted in multiple forums that I've seen that

  201. I personally have been pursuing the Charter Commission as,

  202. as a, in opposition to,

  203. or as a contrast to the activities of town meeting

  204. and the charter and bylaw review committee.

  205. And as I've said in public sessions, as a member

  206. of the select board, and as I've said

  207. publicly, that is not true.

  208. The fact of the matter is that the pursuit

  209. of a charter commission is an independent process

  210. and is focused on a broader scope than what the charter

  211. and bylaw review committee had been pursuing.

  212. And this is really designed to be a complimentary effort

  213. and designed to be done, conducted

  214. through an independently elected body, independent

  215. of either the legislature, legislative

  216. or executive branches of town government to

  217. address specific concerns that I've heard raised.

  218. I wanna be very clear, when I ran for this position

  219. as a select board member, I campaigned on the issue

  220. of the need to investigate

  221. and consider changes to our form of government.

  222. So this dates back prior to 2021.

  223. It also is consistent.

  224. When I was serving as a member of the select board in 2021,

  225. I basically asserted when the, when the select board voted

  226. to create a town governance study committee,

  227. I frankly felt the need to just go straight

  228. to a charter commission at that point in time.

  229. And then at the middle part of this summer,

  230. when the Town Governance Study Committee came out

  231. with its report recommending the creation

  232. of a charter commission, obviously I, I felt that the,

  233. the idea had strength based on the fact

  234. that another group looking at this

  235. also felt that was the case.

  236. So for the community's benefit,

  237. if you're interested in either signing a petition

  238. to put this on the ballot,

  239. and it's only to get signatures

  240. to potentially give the voters a choice

  241. to create this charter commission, it is not

  242. with a pre-prescribed path.

  243. You can go to natick charter.org to this date, we're trying

  244. to collect 4,500 signatures

  245. and frankly, the lack

  246. of awareness has been a challenge for us.

  247. We've got over 750 signatures collected to date

  248. and just some local statistics for people

  249. that aren't necessarily overly active.

  250. Members of this board has supported it as individuals.

  251. And we voted this as a body in a previous meeting.

  252. So the entire select board as individuals support this,

  253. we have the signatures

  254. and the support of six out

  255. of the seven school committee members.

  256. And we have the support and the signatures of 11

  257. of the 15 finance committee members.

  258. So the initiative itself is really a broad outreach.

  259. We want to include more people in the process,

  260. give the voters a voice, especially folks

  261. who have not typically been active in town government.

  262. So you can go to natick charter.org

  263. or you can send an email

  264. to info@natickcharter.org to find out more.

  265. And if you're interested in signing the petition,

  266. there is a, a, a page at that website

  267. where you can find out times

  268. and locations to sign that we do need physical signatures

  269. to, to get this initiative on the ballot.

  270. So thank you very much.

  271. Thank you Mr. Joseph. Anyone else have a topic?

  272. I cannot see anyone online, so I'll assume we can move on.

  273. So now we're at the appointments section.

  274. We appear to be well ahead of our pace.

  275. So probably

  276. on a little bit on which ones for

  277. The,

    Okay, so let's

  278. gonna shift to some discussions.

  279. Shift, shift this discussion.

  280. I know some of the people are, are in the room here, so

  281. it was slated for 7 55

  282. and so we're like a half hour ahead.

  283. I don't know how this is even possible.

  284. Okay. So we can

  285. however, vote to amend the net zero

  286. committee charter to add a representative

  287. from the school committee.

  288. And Ms. Wilson Martin, would you like

  289. to take us through that please?

  290. Good evening. Jillian Wilson Martin,

  291. sustainability Director for the Town of Natick.

  292. Thank you for having me.

  293. Included in your agenda was a memo that I wrote

  294. that outlined the town's efforts on

  295. creating it, sorry, the outlined the net zero committee

  296. suggestion that we have for you.

  297. So as you work to appoint the Net zero committee, which

  298. is a new committee, one of the reasons

  299. for having a net zero committee

  300. beyond the local importance is that the state

  301. through this new program

  302. that they've launched called Climate Leaders,

  303. requires municipalities

  304. to have a committee focused on energy conservation

  305. and greenhouse gas emission reductions.

  306. And in learning about

  307. what they would require from a committee, we learned

  308. that they would want to have a school,

  309. a representative from the school committee included in that.

  310. So when we had presented the

  311. net zero committee proposed charter previously

  312. that hadn't been considered

  313. and coming to you tonight to recommend adding

  314. that in my memo,

  315. I do suggest having the school representative via voting

  316. member and I actually did consult

  317. with DOER today about that.

  318. And they prefer that though.

  319. They said it wasn't a hard and fast rule in doing so.

  320. I recognize that that would mean we would have an even

  321. number of people on the committee.

  322. And I know that would be unusual

  323. and I really defer to the board on that if you,

  324. I don't believe that will be an issue.

  325. And I actually in some ways think it would be great for us

  326. to have a model that pushes us

  327. to have strong consensus on issues

  328. where this board may be voting, though I,

  329. I don't anticipate a lot of votes happening

  330. and the net zero committee wouldn't be a committee

  331. that has any control over budget

  332. or any decisions that would where if there was a stalemate

  333. and a vote that it would really interrupt town operations

  334. or the town overall.

  335. So I just bring that to you for your consideration

  336. and I've defer to you on what you think is best.

  337. Okay. Questions from the board.

  338. Just thank you for your work on this.

  339. Thank you. Thank you for all the,

  340. the research you you did on that, especially on the,

  341. whether it should be a voting member or not.

  342. I agree that having the, the number six

  343. will not be an obstacle

  344. because much of this is much of this committee

  345. and the sustainability committee

  346. before it has been consensus driven.

  347. And I, and I very much doubt

  348. that there'll be stalemate on any of these issues.

  349. It's an inclusive committee and,

  350. and community outreach is probably the,

  351. the biggest hallmark of this committee.

  352. So I'm supportive of, of doing that.

  353. My question is,

  354. and there might be one for Jamie, is what do we have

  355. as a board have to do to affect this change?

  356. My understanding is a simple just vote of acceptance

  357. of the, of the adding a member to the committee.

  358. Good. You've already accepted the charge.

  359. You've already accepted the creation of the committee

  360. or the adjustment of the prior committee,

  361. I think is how you technically voted it.

  362. And later tonight you'd be appointing potential members or,

  363. or at least interviewing potential members

  364. for a potential appointment.

  365. So adding this is just sort

  366. of accepting the recommendation from Ms. Wilson Martin

  367. to add a school committee representative.

  368. One question I would have

  369. for the board's consideration, maybe for what Ms.

  370. Ms. Martin is, is this something whereby the school

  371. committee would have one

  372. of their members be a representative

  373. or they can appoint anybody

  374. and then it's just sort of accepted

  375. by the, by the select board?

  376. I think that would be at their discretion.

  377. It, I appreciate that.

  378. You know, just like the select board,

  379. the school committee volunteers are giving a lot

  380. of their time in their school committee role.

  381. I would defer to them on how they manage their appointments.

  382. 'cause I know that they do have designees for other groups

  383. or bodies in Natick, maybe not elected or appointed bodies,

  384. but like through Natick 180 and things like that.

  385. So I I would personally defer

  386. to them Yeah.

  387. Listening for think for clarity and transparency.

  388. It was just good for the board to be aware of that. Yeah.

  389. Thank, thank you. Maybe I,

  390. If we don't have that in front of us, then I don't

  391. Believe we have.

  392. No, but I will add that in the past we,

  393. in the sustainability committee,

  394. we did have a school representative

  395. and that was someone that was a member of the public.

  396. I do know that the school committee has kind

  397. of taken sustainability up in a bigger way

  398. and they're we're planning

  399. and they maybe already have added it

  400. to their strategic goals.

  401. So it's top of mind for the school committee.

  402. And so they might choose

  403. to participate in a more

  404. active way from the committee level.

  405. And then to Mr.

  406. Erickson's point, previously,

  407. the about the appointing an additional person

  408. that is also consistent with the sustainability committee.

  409. Where at times we had additional associate members who

  410. really wanted to like be listed on a committee

  411. and do some work.

  412. So they, the board had just threw a vote, appointed them

  413. to be special project members.

  414. And, and, and in discussions with you

  415. and Mr. Ryan,

  416. that is always an open door from what I understand. So

  417. Definitely

    Mr. Sidney. Yeah,

  418. I think this is just procedural, assuming we

  419. approve the school committee member

  420. who lets the school committee know they

  421. have somebody to appoint,

  422. That would be me.

  423. That would be you. Okay. Just curious on that. Yep.

  424. So I, I will put myself down to talk

  425. to the school committee chair about this.

  426. So I move, I move to amend the charge of the

  427. Mr.

  428. Sydney, Mr. Sydney, if I may, I'm sorry. Pardon?

  429. In, in follow up with a question. So similar to this.

  430. So we just talked about potential

  431. for associate members as well.

  432. It's been practiced. Generally we kinda leave it

  433. to the committee chairs to allow for people that want

  434. to get a sort of affiliate as associate members.

  435. Do we wanna formalize associate memberships

  436. or is there any value to doing that?

  437. Or would we just rather kind of contin continue

  438. with past practice

  439. and just sort of allow people to participate

  440. and, you know, be designated as associates?

  441. And to clarify, you mean have like the committee itself

  442. designate them as associates?

  443. Exactly. I think that would be most expedient or we don't,

  444. Don't

    To force come back

  445. to the select board every time.

  446. And I think it's nice to recognize people

  447. who are working in the committee or with the committee

  448. because our real goal for this committee is that it's a,

  449. it's a working committee,

  450. that we're not just having meetings

  451. and that work is happening outside

  452. and that each kind of lead would have a team around them

  453. that might not, would not be part of the committee

  454. of the formal voting body.

  455. And thank you. And I agree with that.

  456. I think it's important, especially if you have task forces

  457. or working groups, subwork groups

  458. and so forth, you know, with something this complex

  459. requiring some special expertise

  460. or some broader generalist perspective,

  461. it's nice to have that flexibility.

  462. So thank you. Great,

  463. Great question and great suggestion.

  464. I think in the conversations that I've had with Ms. Wilson,

  465. Martin, Ms and Mr. Ryan,

  466. this is a community effort.

  467. And, and tonight we're, we're interviewing five people,

  468. or I'm sorry, seven people for five slots.

  469. And so these people have great expertise, each one of them

  470. that they can lend to this committee.

  471. And I think having the, I won't call it carte blanche,

  472. but having the ability to

  473. have associate members aligned to the five objectives

  474. that spelled out is,

  475. is a really great idea. So great.

  476. A

    Question. Yes, misspoke.

  477. While the change in the adjustment for the

  478. school committee member is made, does the school committee,

  479. is it mandated now that they have someone

  480. who sits on the net zero?

  481. Or is this, is it optional? It

  482. This is now per the requirements of the DOER is something

  483. that they're looking to have as a mandatory.

  484. Okay. All right. The only question was whether it was a

  485. voting member or, or not.

  486. Thank you.

    Okay.

  487. Any other Mr. Sidney?

  488. Yeah, I move that we amend the charge

  489. of the net zero committee to include a,

  490. a voting school committee member.

  491. I have a second.

    Second

  492. In discussion.

  493. Yes. Sorry. If, if the move move for the motion committee,

  494. say school committee or their designee. Yeah, yeah,

  495. That's fine.

  496. Or designee. And do we need to add the, the part

  497. that Mr. Joseph talked about,

  498. the associate member aspect? No,

  499. No,

    I don't think we need it formally.

  500. Okay. I think it's just more of a

  501. Practice.

  502. Okay. All right. Fair enough. And who was

  503. The seconder

    On that?

  504. The seconder was Ms. Coughlin. And all in favor say aye.

  505. Aye. Aye. Aye. Any opposed? Nope. Okay. Thank you.

  506. Thank you very much Ms. Ton Martin.

  507. Thanks Jillian.

    We're gonna pause.

  508. How many people, let me ask a question.

  509. How many people in the room are here

  510. for the net zero committee appointments?

  511. Or on Zoom? Or on Zoom? Or on Zoom?

  512. All we got

  513. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6 of seven.

  514. So why don't we, we were going to have an intermission,

  515. but let's go ahead with that since we

  516. And I be the seventh is online

  517. Probably.

  518. Eventually. And if they're not, they will catch up.

  519. So I wanted to sort of frame

  520. what the process is here.

  521. So I wanted to thank each of the residents

  522. who stepped forward to be considered

  523. for the Net zero committee.

  524. It's very much appreciated

  525. and your contribution to the community is quite valuable.

  526. As you know, there are five open positions

  527. and seven applicants.

  528. So no matter who we appoint to the committee,

  529. it will be an inclusive committee

  530. and welcome participation of many residents

  531. and leverage the interests

  532. and expertise of the people in the room.

  533. As a reminder of the proposed vision

  534. and structure of the Net zero committee, I

  535. provided to the board the memo where Mr.

  536. Brian shared the five focus areas

  537. for the net zero committee.

  538. And they are renewable energy deployment, energy efficiency

  539. and electrification of commercial buildings,

  540. energy efficiency

  541. and electrification of residential buildings,

  542. transportation, decarbonization,

  543. and waste reduction for candidates.

  544. During our questioning, please have your remarks

  545. focus on which

  546. of these focus areas you're most excited about working on

  547. and if appointed to the committee

  548. and will you help advance also in your role

  549. as a committee member, how would you collaborate

  550. with the sustainability office

  551. and the community at large

  552. to advance the Natick net zero goals?

  553. We'll interview candidates alphabetically,

  554. except we have six and of seven.

  555. We may have to lose like Amendment Q again,

  556. that's an inside joke.

  557. And then I'll entertain motions for appointments

  558. and the board will vote on them.

  559. I want, I can't emphasize enough what Ms. Wilson Martin

  560. spoke of earlier as the inclusiveness of the committee

  561. and the need for, if you,

  562. for whatever reason are not appointed, I encourage you

  563. to, to get involved with this committee.

  564. This committee gets things done.

  565. They are tremendous assets of the community.

  566. So don't be discouraged if you're not picked.

  567. It is your, your efforts are valued.

  568. So let's first go to,

  569. do we have Connor Carney here?

  570. No. Okay, we're already ahead again. Chris Decker.

  571. He's

    On line. Okay. Can we unmute him?

  572. Yeah, present.

    Okay.

  573. Could Mr. Decker, could you please tell us what

  574. your interest, what your areas of interest are

  575. among the five that I described

  576. and how you can

  577. help advances, please?

  578. Sure,

  579. Sure.

  580. So I professionally, I'm a professional engineer, work

  581. for the Building Energy Service Department

  582. for GDS Associates.

  583. We're a national company that works on,

  584. you know, all aspects of energy efficiency.

  585. I'm a hers Raider past house consultant

  586. and work on zero Energy Ready homes

  587. as well as with EPA.

  588. So it's familiar territory for me.

  589. You know, it's something that I have to work

  590. with the building codes on a daily basis, building officials

  591. familiar, obviously with solar panels, designing

  592. and implementation of, you know,

  593. net zero ready energy homes.

  594. So, you know, I think solar

  595. and building codes

  596. and electrification, you know, of both commercial as well

  597. as residential is probably my forte out of the five.

  598. Okay. Okay. Questions from the board?

  599. Hello?

    Yep. Sorry, I whispered on that one.

  600. Checking to see if there are questions from the board. Sure.

  601. Were you gonna ask the two questions

  602. that Ms. Wilson Martin I did suggested I did.

  603. He he just did. Yeah, that's why I thought

  604. so I just wanted to double check.

  605. Mr. Decker, could you talk a bit more about why you'd be,

  606. why you're interested in serving on this committee?

  607. Sure. I mean,

  608. the, the goal of, you know, by 2050, you know,

  609. reducing carbon, I mean, quite frankly

  610. the World Report just came out a couple of days ago that,

  611. that we're even missing the mark by, you know, 2032.

  612. So, you know, starting locally is,

  613. you know, the best aspect.

  614. I mean, China's actually the biggest, you know, producer

  615. of carbon emissions.

  616. But you know, we're talking about just, you know, ick here

  617. and what we can do in ick.

  618. And I appreciate that, you know,

  619. and you know what the committee's trying to do.

  620. Thank you.

    Yeah. Mr. Sid.

  621. Yeah. Mr. Decker, can you tell me, yeah, please

  622. what you feel you would be able

  623. to contribute to the con committee?

  624. What would, what, what work would you best be able

  625. to do with the committee?

  626. Sure. So certainly

  627. between, you know, assessments, fundamental understanding

  628. of, of the codes of,

  629. you know, the process between E-P-A-D-O-E

  630. and I think, you know, hopefully,

  631. you know, we'd be talking about, you know,

  632. integration into assessments related towards, you know,

  633. buildings, you know, within the town.

  634. For example, RBG, which is

  635. sister company that we're affiliated with,

  636. did all the energy assessments when, when,

  637. when they did the high school.

  638. So, you know, this is stuff that I do on a daily basis.

  639. So you know how, how I can help.

  640. I mean, you have a whole handful of, of great candidates,

  641. you know, reading a couple architects, you know,

  642. some people in finance, you know, I'd like to think

  643. that my engineering background could compliment it,

  644. but, you know, you know, I just appreciate, you know,

  645. what the town's trying to do.

  646. I will say flip side of that, I think that there's, it's not

  647. as easy as people try to make it, you know, out to be as far

  648. as I, I mean, again, you know, part of

  649. what I do is computer modeling related towards these houses.

  650. It's not just enough to say, you know, I wanna be net zero,

  651. but it's, you know, the whole planning

  652. and procedure of how you get there.

  653. And you know, that's basically, you know, what I do,

  654. you know, before a builder can even pull a permit, they have

  655. to utilize a company

  656. and resources of basically, you know, what I do to be able

  657. to even pull a permit to, to do that, to, you know,

  658. have the, you know, projected,

  659. projected preliminary energy modeling done on a building.

  660. I mean, quite frankly, I was even almost hesitant to,

  661. you know, run for the committee just out of, you know, fear

  662. of conflict of interest

  663. because I do have to do, you know, work in the town and,

  664. and am hired out as a consultant on, on projects, you know,

  665. all across New England including, so, you know,

  666. I'll be honest upfront that, you know, that was a, a concern

  667. of conflict of interest that, that I have.

  668. So throw that out out there towards,

  669. towards the board as well.

  670. Okay. But I certainly think I can't help with,

  671. with understanding of implementation.

  672. Okay. Thank you for your candor and,

  673. and thank you very much that, yeah.

  674. Any other questions? Okay.

  675. I may not have been clear on, on

  676. what the process is going to be.

  677. We're gonna go through Sure.

  678. These interviews with everyone

  679. and then we'll be entertaining motions

  680. for appointments.

  681. So I understand that Connor Carney has now joined us,

  682. so let's go back to him.

  683. So Mr. Kearney welcome

  684. and you were probably not on when we

  685. describe what we want to focus during, on,

  686. during questioning, which is

  687. there are five focus areas, renewable energy development,

  688. energy efficiency

  689. and electrification of commercial buildings

  690. and residential buildings, transportation, decarbonization

  691. and waste reduction.

  692. So we wanted to focus our questioning

  693. or our focus, your remarks on

  694. what areas you would you be most excited working on in this

  695. committee and how would you help advance it.

  696. And also how would you collaborate

  697. with the sustainability office

  698. and the community at large

  699. to achieve those goal help advance those goals.

  700. Perfect. Yeah, thanks for taking the time

  701. to let me talk a little bit.

  702. I'm a trained environmental economist, so all

  703. of those things that you said, I'm a PhD,

  704. I'm a assistant professor at College of Holy Cross

  705. and I teach environmental econ,

  706. you know, multiple times a year.

  707. And I, for me, I'm just, this is

  708. where my value added is the biggest.

  709. And so that's why I was putting my name out

  710. for this committee specifically, most

  711. of my focus is on cost and benefits.

  712. And across all of those areas that you mentioned,

  713. it's really important to understand that you don't operate

  714. you, you know, in a, in a, you know,

  715. a bubble, right?

  716. All of these decisions that are being made at the town

  717. are not just gonna impact the things

  718. that we hope they'll impact, but they also change incentives

  719. and have, you know, what I like to think of

  720. as spillover effects

  721. and not measuring those is really problematic.

  722. So really my, what I wanna bring to the table is

  723. the approach, my approach to all

  724. of these different problems is thinking about it from an

  725. economics point of view, weighing cost and benefits

  726. and trying to make sure we understand

  727. how it changes people's incentives.

  728. For example, you know, the, the closure of Johnson School

  729. or something like that where, you know,

  730. people don't think about the impacts it's gonna have on

  731. overall traffic flows.

  732. I don't think anyone really thought about that.

  733. And, and the pollution related to that.

  734. Moreover, it's, it's a nice thing

  735. to talk about having clean, clean buses,

  736. but in reality you'd probably want more people walking

  737. to school and less driving in general.

  738. And there's other, other things like that where you,

  739. where you don't think of it.

  740. Things that the waste management,

  741. like I don't wanna be the blue bag person,

  742. but the pay as you go, you know, a lot of research has shown

  743. that one of the spillover effects is

  744. that it corrupts the recycling stream.

  745. And so there's other issues related to that where you,

  746. you know, it all, it looks all good on paper and,

  747. and most policies do,

  748. but you know, there are issues that you need to address

  749. and you need to take a holistic approach

  750. to cost and benefits.

  751. So that's really all I have to say.

  752. If anyone has any more questions

  753. or follow up for me, I'd love to love to chat a little more.

  754. Okay. Mr. Joseph?

  755. Thank you Mr. Chair, just a quick question for you.

  756. Given your background in environmental economics,

  757. can you give us an example of

  758. how you've looked at environmental justice and,

  759. and its impacts and

  760. how you might think that might relate to the work?

  761. Yeah, yeah. So I did my PhD out at uc, Santa Barbara

  762. and out there, a lot of people have been looking at

  763. literally that exact same question.

  764. You know, California's been at the head of the game in terms

  765. of their policies related to climate change

  766. and regulation and whatnot.

  767. And, and all of those policies, they didn't,

  768. they didn't take into account

  769. that it differentially impacts marginalized groups.

  770. And so when you, when you do want

  771. to think about implementing policies or,

  772. or putting in place, you know, new ideas to move us,

  773. new regulations, whatever you want to call it, you have

  774. to keep in mind that you know, the win there are winners

  775. and losers to every,

  776. every policy that you're gonna implement.

  777. And making sure that you know that the wins

  778. and the losses aren't disproportionately put on a group,

  779. especially mar a generally marginalized group.

  780. So I have a ton of experience.

  781. I teach a whole section in my environmental econ on

  782. environmental justice and I, I, you know,

  783. that's something I'm passionate about.

  784. Thank you.

    Thank you. Any further questions?

  785. Okay. Thank you Mr. Ney.

  786. Thank you.

    Next up we have Mike Ette.

  787. Good evening. My name is Mike Ette. Thank you Mr.

  788. Chair and select board members

  789. and members of the town administration.

  790. I am a lifelong Natick resident member

  791. of the Natick Historical Commission

  792. and the Design Review Board.

  793. And during the day I'm a registered architect at Sasaki

  794. Associates working on institutional

  795. and academic projects across the east coast.

  796. Most of my involvement there is helping clients drive

  797. strong sustainability targets

  798. and helping them implement those targets.

  799. Looking for opportunities to, to

  800. improve every single project.

  801. Most of the, the enjoyment

  802. and fulfillment I get out

  803. of my work is finding the best solution out of

  804. the given opportunities and the given challenges.

  805. I think that of the categories where I might be able

  806. to most contribute there,

  807. I do have deep experience in the commercial

  808. architecture sector.

  809. Part of that also interfaces with utility scale issues.

  810. So I think that looking at

  811. opportunities at, at the grid scale with utilities

  812. for renewables and, and bringing those online

  813. and looking at town wide opportunities for that is something

  814. that I could also potentially contribute toward.

  815. Yeah. Questions from the board?

  816. You have a question? What, what about your time

  817. with the NA Historical Commission do you think plays a

  818. positive role on this?

  819. So a lot of what we do there is working with applicants

  820. to, with, with the, in the case

  821. of the historical commission, either projects

  822. that are on natick's historical re registry or

  823. otherwise meet the criteria for our review.

  824. We're looking at opportunities

  825. to find the best path forward.

  826. A lot of times an applicant is contemplating an addition

  827. or some kind of modification to a historic structure,

  828. and we're in a situation where we have

  829. to evaluate the project for its potential benefits

  830. to the town as a historic asset,

  831. but also to, you know, within the, the realm

  832. of the property rights and, and the purview

  833. of the, the property owner.

  834. And so that kind of collaborative spirit, I think is,

  835. is something that this committee has a

  836. will be, I think, tasked with.

  837. I think in terms of when it comes to implementing

  838. then it's their action plan and bringing these ideas and,

  839. and concepts to bear at a town wide scale.

  840. I think the, the nature of the collaborative relationship

  841. is an important thing there.

  842. Thank you.

    Other question, Ms.

  843. Kyle? I had a question. It's,

  844. it's a kind of a side question.

  845. Your resume shows that you worked

  846. as a project architect on a series

  847. of cultural buildings in on a,

  848. in a public park in central Florida.

  849. Could you tell me where that is

  850. and what types of cultural buildings?

  851. Sure. So that is the Bonnet Springs Park

  852. Project in Lakeland, Florida.

  853. So that's Polk County, about 45 minutes east of Tampa.

  854. And so that was a 200 acre Brownfield site, a a contaminated

  855. rail yard that our client, which is a non-profit,

  856. developed and rehabilitated into a public park.

  857. And so Sasaki is an interdisciplinary firm.

  858. We have landscape architects,

  859. civil engineers, and architects.

  860. I was responsible for the architecture component of

  861. that as a project architect.

  862. And the,

  863. so as a, as a campus scale project,

  864. there were about six buildings throughout the, the site

  865. and the cultural projects were related

  866. to a historical center, children's museum

  867. and sort of flexible events space

  868. that that project completed in 2022.

  869. Thank you. Yeah.

    Any other questions?

  870. Thank you very much Mr. Fer. Thank you.

  871. Next up we've got David Landman please.

  872. Well, first thank you for having me.

  873. I think I've been here once

  874. or twice for a few other meetings,

  875. even though I've lived in the town for 23 years, so

  876. I'm glad to be here for it.

  877. So to give you a little more background

  878. to answer your questions, I would probably be best suited

  879. for the commercial energy efficiency

  880. and electrification,

  881. although there are other areas that I fit in as well.

  882. And also in terms of working with sustainability

  883. and other committees, I've already been working

  884. with Jillian the last couple years

  885. and some of the things as an outside member,

  886. because my background for the past 30 years

  887. or so has been in energy efficiency.

  888. So the names keep changing energy efficiency,

  889. sustainability and now net zero.

  890. But I keep doing the same thing basically

  891. that I've been doing for 30 years.

  892. So my brain thinks like different than other people I think

  893. in terms of BTUs and therms and how to reduce energy

  894. and now carbon counting as well.

  895. So I've been doing this for a long time.

  896. Some of the things I like to, to mention,

  897. I like to practice what I preach.

  898. So even my home, I have solar and I have heat pump

  899. and I operated a certain way to be most efficient.

  900. I helped get the solar onto my synagogue,

  901. temple Israel of Natick.

  902. So I'm already working in the community.

  903. I like to think big, so not just with myself

  904. and what I do, but with the town and larger community.

  905. And I've been doing that throughout my career.

  906. I work for myself at the moment.

  907. I'm a sole proprietor and I work with Eversource

  908. and National Grid and a lot of commercial things

  909. around New England, Rhode Island as well as Massachusetts.

  910. And so I've been a very, been able to get a lot

  911. of incentives as well as identify ways

  912. to save energy in a lot of the buildings that I look at.

  913. I've also been doing work at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

  914. So a lot of the work that you've seen actually with HUD

  915. and with the ira, I've actually worked on some

  916. of the projects on a national level in terms of the DOE

  917. around that, around some of the schools.

  918. So it's, it's something I'm very passionate about

  919. and something I really wanna put my expertise to as part

  920. of the community in Natick and part

  921. of the net zero committee

  922. Questions, Mr. Joseph?

  923. Oh, first of all, thank goodness we have community members

  924. that think about BTU and all these other things.

  925. So it's as far as experience

  926. and qualifications, sometimes I just feel like Homer Simpson

  927. with a donut in my brain, so I'm glad,

  928. glad somebody else is thinking about this stuff.

  929. Given your experience, I'm just curious and, and

  930. and I I, I really appreciate your historical perspective

  931. of sort of the, the, the nomenclature changing,

  932. but the mission has kind

  933. of been consistent over these many years, you know,

  934. where do you see the biggest opportunity based on your

  935. experience, you know, when you look at our commercial

  936. development or where do you see the risks as far as sort

  937. of the next 20, 30 years?

  938. So there are two areas to look at.

  939. One is the existing building stock

  940. and the other is a new construction.

  941. So you kind of have to divide them separately what the,

  942. the rules are for the new buildings coming online.

  943. But throughout my history, people like

  944. to focus on new buildings,

  945. but 90 plus percent of the existing buildings.

  946. So how do you make those existing buildings more efficient

  947. and how do you pay for those and

  948. do it the most efficient way?

  949. So how many buildings can you impact?

  950. You could do a great job with one building,

  951. but look, look at Kennedy.

  952. We have one building, brand new building,

  953. but what have we done with all

  954. the other schools at the same time?

  955. So we wanna focus on all the buildings

  956. to be able to address that.

  957. So I wanna see resources allocated

  958. to the best opportunities in the existing stock as well as

  959. for new, new buildings.

  960. Where do I see it going? There are two different things.

  961. You have the supply side in terms of solar, wind

  962. and other things coming online

  963. and you have the energy efficiency side of things.

  964. And a lot of my background is in controls

  965. and there's still a lot of waste in buildings.

  966. I could see us dropping 10, 20% in a lot

  967. of buildings just doing through some simple things.

  968. So I wanna focus a lot on existing stock

  969. as much as possible for that.

  970. 'cause if you bring down the existing energy consumption,

  971. you don't have to build all those existing,

  972. those new plants, which cost a lot more to build.

  973. So thank you.

  974. Mr. Landman is, is the,

  975. is this CEM is that certified? En

  976. Certified energy manager?

  977. Energy manager. And then one question I had under your

  978. consulting, what you're doing currently Yep.

  979. You mentioned treasure hunts.

  980. So you go into a building, basically you're looking

  981. for the different areas that you can kind of find

  982. where the energy efficiency, where the, where the,

  983. the big winners, the big treasures that you find,

  984. is it in the control system?

  985. Is it replacing equipment? So it's a list of equipment.

  986. So I focus on two areas.

  987. One is lower no cost opportunities,

  988. try to do as many of those as possible.

  989. And the other side is with the more capital intensive,

  990. you wanna blend them together.

  991. So you don't want to take the old term again that the, the,

  992. the terms change used to be called cream skimming.

  993. So you do everything that pay back in one or two years.

  994. We don't wanna do that. We wanna focus on long term as well

  995. as short term together and blend it to make a good package

  996. for energy efficiency in buildings.

  997. Thank you.

    Great answer. Any other questions?

  998. Thank you very much Mr. Landon. Alright, thank you.

  999. Next we have Ann Lintel.

  1000. Hi, good evening. Thank you for having me.

  1001. My name is Ann Lintel

  1002. and I've been a resident here in Natick

  1003. for the last 10 years with my family.

  1004. My boys are with me here.

  1005. I'm really interested in joining this committee

  1006. as someone who's just a concerned citizen about the topics

  1007. of climate change and sustainability.

  1008. For me, the issue that I'm most drawn towards is waste.

  1009. And I am drawn to that

  1010. because I see it as having

  1011. the highest impact versus the level of effort.

  1012. So I'll use food waste as an example.

  1013. So food is something that I'm passionate about.

  1014. I currently serve on the board of directors

  1015. for the Natick community organic farm.

  1016. And food waste is something we don't think about.

  1017. You throw it in the trash

  1018. and a lot of times in a lot of communities, trash is either

  1019. incinerated or sent to landfill.

  1020. When it's sent to landfill, it decomposes in such a way

  1021. that it emits methane,

  1022. which is 80 times more potent than CO two.

  1023. In fact, the United Nations estimates that 8%

  1024. of all greenhouse gas emissions is from food waste,

  1025. which is the same as global tourism.

  1026. So in the morning, if you have a banana,

  1027. you have a banana peel, you throw it in the trash,

  1028. you throw it in the compost.

  1029. It's a really small level of effort,

  1030. but a really big impact.

  1031. So to me, I find that very compelling.

  1032. I think what I would bring to this committee,

  1033. I don't have the subject matter expertise that some

  1034. of the other members here have professionally,

  1035. but I think the transferable skill

  1036. that I can offer is I'm the kind of person

  1037. who can get things done.

  1038. So for the last 10 years I've helped to lead

  1039. and scale a high impact nonprofit organization.

  1040. I've done that by collaborating

  1041. with large public housing authorities across the country.

  1042. Places like the Boston Housing Authority,

  1043. the Philadelphia Housing Authority, some of the biggest,

  1044. most bureaucratic under-resourced institutions

  1045. our country has to offer.

  1046. And I've been able to scale our impact 15 x during covid

  1047. during some really difficult times.

  1048. One of the things that I really appreciate about Jillian

  1049. and her leadership is this work is dire.

  1050. I mean, we're really talking about the future of humanity

  1051. and I think it's easy to approach

  1052. that work very doom and gloom.

  1053. My work is in anti-poverty and race equity, same thing.

  1054. It can be very discouraging,

  1055. but I think it's important that we have hope,

  1056. that we have optimism, we can make this fun.

  1057. Jillian's emails are some of the funnest,

  1058. most exciting emails I get if you're on the newsletters,

  1059. you know, and so I think it's with that spirit that I hope

  1060. to approach this work.

  1061. Natick is a great place.

  1062. We're very innovative, we have a lot of great resources,

  1063. we have a lot of great expertise in our community.

  1064. So I wanna be a part of a committee that gets that work done

  1065. and gets this plan implemented, you know,

  1066. for not just our community but for our futures.

  1067. And like I said, my kids are here for their futures too.

  1068. Thank you,

  1069. Sidney.

  1070. Thank you. I'm just looking through your resume.

  1071. You've been on the sustainability

  1072. committee until we dissolved it?

  1073. Yes.

  1074. No. So no, I kind of preemptively put

  1075. that on to demonstrate.

  1076. Okay. Some of kind of like my interest in the

  1077. committee. Yes. Okay.

  1078. So I, I want to, you know, your education is

  1079. as A-A-C-F-A and and CFP.

  1080. And I'm wondering, you know, I think I always think in terms

  1081. of, you know, transferable skills

  1082. and I'm wondering if you could just like out of the box,

  1083. pick a couple of things that you think those skills

  1084. would help on this committee. Yeah,

  1085. So I would say the first is client service.

  1086. So in those roles I work individually with people

  1087. to build financial plans for their futures.

  1088. So I think it can very be very easy in that practice to say,

  1089. well, I have all the knowledge and you don't,

  1090. so let me tell you how to live your financial life.

  1091. But really it's the opposite. What are your goals?

  1092. What do you wanna accomplish?

  1093. Tell me what you've tried, tell me what's difficult

  1094. and then I can come in second

  1095. and use some of the knowledge that I have

  1096. to help you implement a plan.

  1097. So it's, you know, we have a great plan right now.

  1098. We have the net zero plan,

  1099. but it's also about who are the people who are in charge

  1100. of implementing that and you know,

  1101. what are their challenges,

  1102. what are the roadblocks that they have?

  1103. How can I listen to that

  1104. and understand that to help them be successful in achieving

  1105. the, the, the targets that are set in this plan.

  1106. Thank you.

    Question.

  1107. Thank you very much.

    Any other questions Mr. Joseph?

  1108. Just for your sons. Oh yeah.

  1109. How proud of you Gu are you guys of your mom? Thumbs up.

  1110. You should be. There you go. A thumbs up podium.

  1111. They asked if they thumb could bring a sign

  1112. with a tent on it and hold it up

  1113. Afterwards.

  1114. Nice. Thank you. Have you,

  1115. Have you received your allowance for the week?

  1116. Yeah, exactly.

  1117. Thank you. We know you can't be bought,

  1118. but no, in all seriousness, we appreciate your willingness

  1119. to serve and, and many people that do come out to volunteer,

  1120. this has an impact on your family

  1121. and we appreciate that. So thank you. Thank

  1122. You very much.

  1123. Thank you. Next up is,

  1124. and I hope I'm not, not mispronouncing your last name,

  1125. Maria McMorran?

  1126. Correct. All right.

  1127. Good evening everyone. Maria McMorran.

  1128. And I've been a resident now for about eight years

  1129. and I am also a registered architect.

  1130. I work with architectural resources Cambridge downtown.

  1131. In my professional life, I do focus mostly on

  1132. institutional type buildings.

  1133. My interest, maybe surprisingly, is actually

  1134. on the transportation aspect of your net zero plan.

  1135. And I think,

  1136. not surprisingly for me,

  1137. because it's something that I have also along standing

  1138. interest in, I personally enjoy cycling my,

  1139. myself and other kind of non-motorized forms

  1140. of, of transport.

  1141. And I'd like to see even more of

  1142. that being available in this town in terms

  1143. of my professional expertise

  1144. and how I think that can help contribute to the committee.

  1145. A lot of what I do every day is lead teams,

  1146. and part of that is figuring out who needs to be part

  1147. of the team, trying to figure out what the problem is

  1148. that we're trying to solve, and then listen

  1149. to the different people who have expertise in different

  1150. areas and try to first analyze the problem

  1151. and then synthesize the approach to solving the problem.

  1152. And the, the nature of the, the buildings that I work on,

  1153. they're, they're fairly large, you know,

  1154. typically they're in the 20 to 60,000 square feet range

  1155. and multimillion dollar projects.

  1156. So I also deal with owners and users

  1157. and people who have interest in the end result.

  1158. And so I think working on transportation as well

  1159. as buildings, part of my goal would be

  1160. to seek out what's already been tried in the town,

  1161. what's worked, what hasn't worked,

  1162. and find out who the people

  1163. and resources are that can help me

  1164. and us develop new, new opportunities for

  1165. expanding our, our transportation here in town.

  1166. And in particular, I'm quite excited about some of the,

  1167. the things that I saw you already have listed in the plan

  1168. goals, like looking into ride share, bike share,

  1169. trails, charging stations.

  1170. I think as, as some of the,

  1171. the others here have said already, this is a big problem

  1172. and it's gonna take all of us

  1173. and we, we need

  1174. to think holistically and big picture

  1175. and we need to not dismiss

  1176. crazy ideas out of hand.

  1177. We, we, we can listen to lots of people

  1178. and find all sorts of ways to attack this problem

  1179. that, that, that we're facing now.

  1180. So thank you.

  1181. Thank you very much. Questions from the board?

  1182. Thank you. Yeah. Okay. Thank you very much. Thank you. Oh,

  1183. Thank you.

  1184. Okay. And last but not least is Mr.

  1185. Ralston Mark Ralston? Yes,

  1186. Good evening.

  1187. Good evening. Thanks for the opportunity to be here.

  1188. I guess the area I'm,

  1189. I'm interested in is the electrification

  1190. and weatherization for residential buildings.

  1191. My wife and I moved here a couple years ago

  1192. and we were, I was looking for a way

  1193. to participate in the community and,

  1194. and meet some of my neighbors as well.

  1195. And I, I started sitting in on the sustainability committee

  1196. meetings and talking with folks a little bit offline

  1197. and learned about interest in

  1198. electrification here in Natick.

  1199. And we had,

  1200. when we moved in, I, I had worked in, in previous,

  1201. before I retired, I was working in the energy field

  1202. and I was familiar with work that had been done

  1203. around cold climate heat pumps.

  1204. And so when we moved into our house,

  1205. we took out our oil boiler and tank and radiator

  1206. or baseboards and installed two cold climate heat pumps

  1207. and learned a lot in the process, including some things

  1208. that, you know, in retrospect maybe

  1209. we would've done a little differently.

  1210. At any rate, I learned that

  1211. through sitting in on the sustainability committee meetings

  1212. that there was coaching and there was training for coaches

  1213. and Jillian actually had gone through coaching training

  1214. by Abode Energy Management.

  1215. And so I learned about that

  1216. and that looked kind of interesting.

  1217. And then I found out about the Heat Smart Alliance,

  1218. which is a nonprofit group that works kind

  1219. of here in the metro West area primarily.

  1220. And I got involved with them, I became a member

  1221. and then they were offering a training, kind

  1222. of a five week training for heat pump coaches.

  1223. And so I got selected for the training

  1224. and went through that.

  1225. So, you know, between the experience

  1226. that I had in energy efficiency prior to retiring

  1227. and the experience with our own heat pumps

  1228. and then the training from the Heat Smart Alliance gave me,

  1229. you know, some confidence in background to go out and,

  1230. and start meeting with homeowners in the community.

  1231. And I've been doing that for two

  1232. or three months now, working with Jillian

  1233. and Neri Kumar.

  1234. You know, we've planned outreach in the community.

  1235. We've, we've, well primarily Jillian I think

  1236. and Neri, but, you know, set up a number of events

  1237. where we could meet with folks

  1238. and talk about coaching opportunities,

  1239. electrification opportunities more generally.

  1240. You know, we had the heat pump party

  1241. some months ago, Natick days.

  1242. We had a table where we met with folks

  1243. and the Halloween, there was an event I participated in.

  1244. And then we just had, tonight

  1245. before this, we had the energy assistance fair,

  1246. you know, where we met with folks and talked about things.

  1247. So at any rate, I'm interested in electrification.

  1248. We have heat pumps, you know,

  1249. we just put in solar on our house this summer, you know,

  1250. we pretty much electrified everything in the house

  1251. that we could except for our dryer.

  1252. That's kind of the next step, I think then you're right.

  1253. Thank you Mr. Austin.

    At this point

  1254. Question I, I just wanted to do a comment

  1255. before the questions.

  1256. I, thanks to Ms. Wilson Martin

  1257. and, and her educational webinars, I too bit the bullet

  1258. and, and threw out our old natural

  1259. gas system.

  1260. And one of the things that we weighed was how would

  1261. that handle the cold weather?

  1262. And I was convinced that it would handle the cold weather,

  1263. the newer systems handle it appropriately

  1264. and we, they, they assured me

  1265. that it would do so.

  1266. And I, I'm happy to report that my,

  1267. I have a hundred year old house that was chronically drafty

  1268. and we fixed the drafts by, by re insulating the windows.

  1269. They're old windows. We redid that.

  1270. But replacing the old furnace with the new furnace

  1271. yielded, I'm sorry, the heat pump yielded two benefits,

  1272. much quieter and much more efficient.

  1273. So thank you Julie.

  1274. So questions from the board?

  1275. Oh, I think I'm good. Oh,

    There's Pope,

  1276. You have an enthusiasm that comes across.

  1277. What is that directed towards as it relates to this?

  1278. Well certainly promoting heat pumps in the community,

  1279. I mean, we've gotta convert a lot

  1280. of buildings in Massachusetts to heat pumps

  1281. and electrification generally,

  1282. but heat pumps is, you know, one of the major sources of,

  1283. you know, energy demand in the home,

  1284. probably half to two thirds.

  1285. So, you know, if we can make a big dent in that,

  1286. you know, that's pretty important.

  1287. I think, you know, we really need to do outreach.

  1288. I mean, I've been trying to encourage Jillian

  1289. to hold off doing any more outreach for coaching right now

  1290. because I'm the only coach in town at the moment

  1291. and I would really love to, you know,

  1292. recruit some other coaches to help.

  1293. But, you know, thinking to the future, you know,

  1294. we really need to figure out, you know,

  1295. how are we gonna target, you know, do we go

  1296. after folks who have oil?

  1297. We need to get data first of all, you know,

  1298. and then do we go after, you know,

  1299. oil first as a first priority?

  1300. Do we go, do we go after, you know, EJ communities,

  1301. you know, that need assistance?

  1302. I know, I know the CAP agency smock is working

  1303. with EJ communities

  1304. or lower income individuals, you know, to help them.

  1305. How do we compliment that? How do we help promote it?

  1306. You know, there's, there's frankly

  1307. all kinds of stuff we can do.

  1308. I mean, it's a really exciting time

  1309. to be in working in energy

  1310. as a professional or, you know, as a volunteer.

  1311. Just a lot of challenges to deal with.

  1312. Okay,

    Susan, thank you.

  1313. Yeah, I just, I just have one comment,

  1314. which is I really appreciate everything you've already been

  1315. doing and I just want to say that first

  1316. so everybody can hear it,

  1317. because I can hear you've already been working on this a

  1318. lot, so thank you. Oh,

  1319. Thanks very much.

  1320. I had a question, and it's sort of an unfair question

  1321. and I, so I'll, I'll preface it by saying that,

  1322. do you have an opinion about whether Eversource is ready

  1323. to accept the level of electrification that we want

  1324. to see in Natick?

  1325. Do you think the grid is ready for it?

  1326. Well, the grid is not my area of expertise.

  1327. I know, and that's why I said it wasn't fair.

  1328. I just didn't know if you had an opinion,

  1329. and I really probably should have asked everybody that

  1330. it's something that I was just, I'm interested in knowing

  1331. how that convert, how that's going to,

  1332. whether our utility companies are ready for this town

  1333. to make really important changes in electrification.

  1334. I think gas is a challenge. Okay.

  1335. You know, on the gas side, I mean,

  1336. I got a flyer from Eversource today in the mail, you know,

  1337. promoting energy efficiency.

  1338. So I think they're, they're making the effort in some ways,

  1339. but you know, when you're invested in gas infrastructure

  1340. and, you know, it's, that's a good point. Tougher.

  1341. It's,

    I thank you for that.

  1342. It, it was an unfair question.

  1343. I know it's not your area of expertise.

  1344. That's a good answer.

  1345. Thank you though. Very good answer.

  1346. Alright, any other

  1347. questions? No. Okay.

  1348. Thanks for the opportunity.

    Thank you Mr. Ross.

  1349. So, next steps, we have seven applicants

  1350. for five positions.

  1351. So we

  1352. can do one or two things.

  1353. We can offer a slate of people if,

  1354. if the personally i'd, I'd rather have individuals

  1355. be nominated and then votes taken

  1356. before we take any votes.

  1357. I will reiterate the fact that all

  1358. of you are welcome on this committee,

  1359. and it is going to take on, many of the applicants

  1360. have stated that it takes a whole

  1361. community to make this happen.

  1362. It's not just the people who get nominated to this.

  1363. There will be associate members

  1364. and opportunities to really take advantage

  1365. of the expertise and the passion that each of you possess.

  1366. So no matter what happens next,

  1367. please stay involved.

  1368. So, do we have any motions?

  1369. I nominate David Landman.

    Do I have a second?

  1370. Second.

    Okay. That is moved by Mr.

  1371. Sidney and seconded by Ms. Kauflin.

  1372. All in favor or do you need discussion?

  1373. Just go ahead.

    Do you wanna?

  1374. Sure. I mean, I just, he's already been, he's,

  1375. he brings a wealth commercial

  1376. and he's also familiar with working with Ms. Wilson,

  1377. Wilson Martin, and his,

  1378. it was clear from his discussion that he's got expertise

  1379. that will help us further these calls.

  1380. Okay, Ms. Conwell?

    Okay.

  1381. All in favor, please say aye.

  1382. Aye. Aye,

    Aye. All right. That's 5 0 0 further motions.

  1383. Aye,

    Mr. Joseph, which I saw him first. Yeah,

  1384. I'd like to nominate Ann Lan toe second.

  1385. Okay. Mr. Joseph, in discussion,

  1386. Well, at, at the risk of, of,

  1387. of you had me at get things done that, that's something

  1388. that I know my wife does not allow me to ever claim.

  1389. So I'm, I'm glad you're, you're, you're somebody

  1390. that's focused on productivity as well.

  1391. But in all seriousness, I mean the, the, the concept

  1392. of food waste and bringing it to a global scale

  1393. and the scope of what you're looking at,

  1394. I was very impressed with sort of that, that perspective.

  1395. And, and, and this goes pretty much across the board.

  1396. I think everybody brought in some very insightful, you know,

  1397. I look at this entire challenge

  1398. as what's the focal length to Ms.

  1399. Coughlin's most recent question, what can we achieve?

  1400. You know, practically speaking, you know, we might want

  1401. to do a lot of things, but if the grid is not equipped

  1402. to take our improvements, that's a practical problem.

  1403. We've got issues with, you know, why aren't we running,

  1404. you know, hydrogen electric trains

  1405. already on our commuter rail.

  1406. There's MBTA problems.

  1407. I mean, we've got a lot of big challenges in front of us

  1408. that are systemic that we can't control.

  1409. But I do like that many of the candidates,

  1410. and, and you as well, Ms.

  1411. Lyell spoke to sort of, you know, what can we focus on?

  1412. What can we achieve incrementally as well.

  1413. So I think that's important and I, I appreciated that.

  1414. Thank you, Mr. Joseph. Mr. Sidney, just

  1415. As, as, first of all, ditto to everything he said,

  1416. but I also love that you're involved with kids. Mic off.

  1417. Mics off.

    Sorry. Thank you. My mic was off.

  1418. Ditto to everything Mr. Joseph said,

  1419. and I just love the fact that you've been

  1420. so involved in town already with kids.

  1421. As somebody who started getting involved when my daughter

  1422. was five, I really know how hard that is

  1423. and I appreciate it

  1424. and I can see you're really committed,

  1425. so I appreciate that as well.

  1426. Any other thoughts? All in favor, please say aye. Aye.

  1427. Aye. Aye. 5 0 0 further motions.

  1428. Mr. Chair, I'd like to nominate Connor Carney

  1429. Second.

  1430. Okay.

  1431. Any comment

  1432. Through?

  1433. Yes. I think the,

  1434. after spending 20 years in academia,

  1435. I'm normally disinclined to embrace an academic,

  1436. but I think having an economist

  1437. who can measure unintended consequences

  1438. and who has a, a track record of publications that work in

  1439. environmentally salient topics would be very helpful.

  1440. And I also would like someone who is going

  1441. to be looking at data and data, data-driven solutions.

  1442. So that's what caught me with Mr. Kearney.

  1443. Okay. Mr. Sidney? Oh, sorry, Mr. Thompson.

  1444. Yeah, no, again, I, I ditto

  1445. that I think the examples brought up, you know, real making

  1446. economics relatable to the everyday is not an easy skill.

  1447. You know, the, the notion, and I don't wanna get into the

  1448. politics of closing Johnson,

  1449. but the idea that when we make a decision

  1450. that has an implication traffic, it's non-intuitive.

  1451. I learned at an economic development committee meeting

  1452. recently that Abbey Labs is actually recycling concrete

  1453. and saving literally 200 diesel trucks hauling concrete out

  1454. and bringing new concrete in.

  1455. It's gonna be noisy for a couple of days for the neighbor,

  1456. but the long-term benefits environmentally are tremendous.

  1457. And these are things that aren't intuitive to,

  1458. to lay people like myself.

  1459. And I, I, I was appreciative of Mr.

  1460. Kearney's sort of making it accessible.

  1461. Any other thoughts?

  1462. Any all in favor, please say aye. Aye. Aye.

  1463. Aye.

    5 0 0.

  1464. Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. Sidney,

  1465. I nominate Maria McMorran.

  1466. Second.

    This is Mr. Sidney and Ms. Pope.

  1467. All. Okay.

  1468. I love the fact that you're both an architect

  1469. and deeply interested in transportation.

  1470. I think that those are gonna lend to problem solving.

  1471. It also adds to the diversity of experience

  1472. that we've already assigned to this committee.

  1473. And I think that's also important.

  1474. So I just, I really appreciated what you said

  1475. and so thank you.

  1476. So ditto. Ditto. Okay. All, any other comments?

  1477. I just wanna comment on how difficult this process is.

  1478. We have seven people who are extraordinarily understand

  1479. that, that we would benefit from their expertise,

  1480. their public service demonstrated public service, their

  1481. professional backgrounds.

  1482. And this is a very difficult process.

  1483. And I just, that was the only comment I had, Mr. Chair.

  1484. Thank you. And I'll ditto that one big time. Okay.

  1485. All in favor, please say aye. Aye. Aye. Aye.

  1486. Mr. Mr. Chair, I would like to nominate Mark Ralston.

  1487. Second

  1488. Ms. Pope and Mr.

  1489. Sidney. Ms. Pope,

  1490. I appreciate Mr.

  1491. Ralston's enthusiasm. I think you're gonna need that.

  1492. You know, Ms. Lintel talked about hope and optimism,

  1493. and I think with, with issues this large, you need, you need

  1494. to attack them with enthusiasm.

  1495. And so where he has a skillset where he has a, you know,

  1496. he's already working with the town on this issue,

  1497. he's already coaching our residents.

  1498. The enthusiasm behind it, I think is important to, you know,

  1499. get people rallied around a, a really tough

  1500. and sometimes seems overwhelming issue.

  1501. So I, I think that will benefit

  1502. and keep the, the, the morale up

  1503. in this committee and and beyond.

  1504. Yeah. And dito all of that.

  1505. And also, again, back to the diversity of experience.

  1506. Mr. Rolson is very interested in residential,

  1507. and so he's gonna be our

  1508. residential advocate on this committee as well.

  1509. So I really appreciate that as well. So thank you.

  1510. Thank you Mrs. Sidney. All in favor, please say aye. Aye.

  1511. Aye.

    Aye. Aye. Okay. Those are our five candidates.

  1512. For those who weren't appointed, again,

  1513. I can't emphasize this enough.

  1514. Please stay involved.

  1515. This is, this is a, a valuable

  1516. committee to the town.

  1517. You are all stellar applicants.

  1518. There were the, the, to reiterate my colleagues' point,

  1519. this was no easy decision.

  1520. And we're, we're, we're almost splitting hairs on

  1521. who we select here.

  1522. So please take that in the, as an opportunity

  1523. to stay involved

  1524. and be a part of the, the solution, I hope.

  1525. And, and it, it's a great group to work with.

  1526. Jillian does a lot more than put, put out

  1527. great newsletter.

  1528. She's, she's a force of nature as you all, all of you

  1529. who worked with her probably have figured out by now.

  1530. So I thank you all for your time and,

  1531. and your devotion to Natick

  1532. and appreciate you coming in tonight. Yeah.

  1533. And congratulations to all

  1534. who were appointed this evening.

  1535. Yeah. Sorry, I forgot my last piece here.

  1536. For all the people who were appointed,

  1537. you'll be getting a letter from the select board office

  1538. confirming your appointment

  1539. and identifying what the next steps are. So

  1540. Thank you to everybody. Thank

  1541. You.

  1542. Thank you everyone. Why don't we take a quick break Sure.

  1543. And let everybody go. Who wants to go?

  1544. Hi, we're back. It is now time

  1545. for any select board updates if we have not gone

  1546. through them in the announcements portion of our program.

  1547. Does anybody have anything additional?

  1548. I have not. Okay. Let's move on to discussion and decision.

  1549. First item is to approve the select board meeting scheduled

  1550. for calendar year 2024.

  1551. I think everybody has received this.

  1552. Any questions Mr. Joseph?

  1553. No questions necessarily,

  1554. but I will be on a plane on the night of February 7th,

  1555. which is our first meeting of the, the month of February.

  1556. But, you know, again, don't, that's a busy season,

  1557. so I wouldn't recommend changing anything.

  1558. I just wanted to give you a heads up.

  1559. I won't be able to zoom in necessarily. Okay.

  1560. They don't have wifi on the plane.

  1561. That's fine.

    I'm happy to try in all seriously if I,

  1562. I can, I I'm flying west, so if I can do it, sure.

  1563. It's not a problem. But it's,

  1564. it's more of the practicality of it. I

  1565. Think you'll get a pass on that. Okay. Any other

  1566. Issues?

  1567. I'll let you know, I, I did a phone conference from Shanghai

  1568. once, so that's that.

  1569. I was, I was the first remote select board meeting.

  1570. You

    Remember that? I did

  1571. a MiFi this summer in August.

  1572. I was, I was, I was so worried about that,

  1573. that connection holding up.

  1574. 'cause it not, and it not only held up, it actually held up

  1575. for both the select board meeting

  1576. and a planning board meeting simultaneously.

  1577. So it had enough bandwidth to do that,

  1578. which was very impressive. So

  1579. I have one is the 21st is

  1580. Natick school vacation week?

  1581. March 21st.

    February 21st.

  1582. February 21st.

    I'm

  1583. April 17th, I believe is

  1584. school vacation week as well. Mm.

  1585. That's okay.

    What is it? April 17th?

  1586. Yep. February 21st and April 17th.

  1587. In, in years past, we found those weeks to be,

  1588. well at least the February 21st.

  1589. That is also around the time that the warrant closes.

  1590. So if the board is considering sponsoring anything,

  1591. we've typically had that as like a last night

  1592. of potential sponsorship.

  1593. I'd have to check the warm closing for the spring,

  1594. but it's around that time.

  1595. It's usually the 22nd, I think this year. Yeah,

  1596. It's around there.

  1597. Yeah. So we might even be scheduling a meeting

  1598. that following Monday just to,

  1599. to post the warrant. Post the

  1600. Warrant, yep.

  1601. Okay. But these, these are more designed to be sort of the

  1602. meetings that are not, that, that are

  1603. where you typically take up more business,

  1604. more substance of business.

  1605. Yep. And also this is also to trigger

  1606. the planning board's.

  1607. Correct. 'cause we shared this schedule,

  1608. we share this room with the planning board.

  1609. So on the off weeks is when the planning board meets. Right?

  1610. Right. So we can, you know, these this,

  1611. this I would say is just probably the calendar

  1612. of record now, but we can revisit anything.

  1613. You know, we've done that this year.

  1614. You know, the school vacation weeks are

  1615. a significant obstacle,

  1616. but I don't, I didn't see any holidays in here.

  1617. I think we're okay there Christmas,

  1618. but we're not meeting. Yeah, but

  1619. We'll, same with Rosh Hashanah,

  1620. Right?

  1621. Last December. Right, right.

  1622. And we took out that first one in October. Okay.

  1623. Okay. So can we agree on this

  1624. as the 2024 schedule of the moment? Yeah. Move to

  1625. Approve it.

  1626. Move to approve the

  1627. Proposed 2024 select board meeting schedule.

  1628. Okay. Have a second. Second, Mr. Sidney.

  1629. All in favor, please say aye. Aye. Aye. Aye. 5 0 0.

  1630. All right. Thank you. Moving on to

  1631. approving small business Saturday proclamation.

  1632. And I'll turn that over to the Mr. Sidney.

  1633. Thank you Mr. Chairman proclamation.

  1634. Whereas the government of the town

  1635. of Nat celebrates our local small businesses

  1636. and the contributions they make

  1637. to our local economy and community.

  1638. According to the United States Small Business

  1639. Administration, there are 33.2 million small

  1640. businesses in the United States.

  1641. And whereas small business owners have repeatedly

  1642. demonstrated resiliency and the ability

  1643. to overcome challenges at every level from economic

  1644. downturns in the economy and beyond.

  1645. And whereas 97%

  1646. of small business Saturday shoppers recognize the impact

  1647. they can make by shopping small.

  1648. 85% of them also encourage friends and family to do so to,

  1649. and whereas shopping locally allows Natick residents

  1650. to invest in their neighborhoods

  1651. and grow the vibrancy of their community.

  1652. Making Natick a great na, making Natick a great place

  1653. to live, work, and play.

  1654. And whereas the president of the United States

  1655. advocacy groups and public

  1656. and private organizations across the country have endorsed

  1657. the Saturday after Thanksgiving as small business Saturday.

  1658. Now, therefore, the Natick Select board does hereby proclaim

  1659. November 25th, 2023 as small business Saturday,

  1660. and urges the residents of our community

  1661. and communities across the country

  1662. to support small businesses emergence on small business

  1663. Saturday and throughout the year. And I so move.

  1664. Second.

    So Sidney, seconded by Ms. Coughlin.

  1665. All in favor, please say aye.

  1666. Aye. Aye. Aye.

    All right.

  1667. Moving on to another public hearing application

  1668. for an S 12 restaurant, wine and Malt Beverages license.

  1669. And Mr. Sidney, oh, there we go.

  1670. Public hearing notice the select board will hold a public

  1671. hearing on Wednesday, November 15th, 2023 at 6:30 PM upon

  1672. the application of SNS Grill, L-L-C-D-B-A burrito,

  1673. spice Spice, Siddhartha

  1674. ba BOLO manager for an S 12 restaurant.

  1675. Wine and Malt bi beverages license

  1676. burrito spices located at two 15 West Central Street.

  1677. And the premises consists of one floor

  1678. with three rooms consisting of a restroom, kitchen,

  1679. and dining room, totaling 1,579 square feet.

  1680. There are two entrances and two exits,

  1681. and total seating capacity is 20.

  1682. The hearing will be held in the select board meeting room 13

  1683. East Central Street, as well as remotely anyone wishing

  1684. to be heard in this matter can participate in

  1685. person or through Zoom.

  1686. Login instructions will be published on the November 25th,

  1687. November 15th, 2023 select board agenda.

  1688. All persons interested in this application may appear

  1689. and be heard at the time and place mentioned above,

  1690. or may submit written comments

  1691. to the select board at 13 East Central Street, Natick,

  1692. mass oh 1 7 6 oh select board@natickmad.org

  1693. by November 10th, 2023.

  1694. And I moved to open the public hearing.

  1695. Second. Thank you Mr. Joseph.

  1696. Okay, so I have,

  1697. has everyone had a chance to read the police Deputy Chief's?

  1698. Well, we have to, we have to vote the open.

  1699. Yeah, we do have to do that.

  1700. I'm sorry. And I think it's a roll call, right? No.

  1701. Is it? No, it's not a roll call.

  1702. All in favor of opening the public

  1703. hearing, please say aye.

  1704. Aye. Aye. Aye. Aye. Thank you Mr.

  1705. Sidney for keeping me honest. Okay.

  1706. Now has everybody had a chance

  1707. to look at the Deputy

  1708. Chief's recommendation?

  1709. Yes. Yes, Mr.

  1710. Chair, I, I had trouble that it doesn't,

  1711. it could have just, it could just be me

  1712. that finding a course within the next 30 days

  1713. that somebody could attend in person

  1714. that wasn't in Springfield or Worcester.

  1715. So I'm, and we do require

  1716. that first to be done.

  1717. Do we want to move this to another meeting

  1718. to allow that to happen?

  1719. Or do we want, can we, is it possible?

  1720. And this a question for you Ms. Erickson probably, can we

  1721. amend it to be 60 days?

  1722. I, I believe that's the discretion of the board. Okay.

  1723. It's, it's really your decision on Okay.

  1724. On how you wanna do that. The recommendation from Deputy

  1725. Chief Luon is 30 days

  1726. probably per recommendation of the select board policy.

  1727. But it's your policy. So you can certainly choose

  1728. based on special circumstances to, to set

  1729. what date limit you feel is necessary.

  1730. Ms. Coughlin, is there one in within 60 days

  1731. that he could attend reasonably?

  1732. This one's

    We do have the applicant on.

  1733. Yeah, that's where I was going next. Thank you. Well, I,

  1734. I, she's, she's been looking it up, so

  1735. I, I just want to ask another question as well.

  1736. We un unmute him.

  1737. Actually I did find one. It's in

  1738. Marlboro on the third Sunday, the

  1739. Third December

    3rd of December.

  1740. It's the only one in December

  1741. and there aren't any in November. Okay.

  1742. Well, and that's 60 days would take us

  1743. into the second week of January.

  1744. Yeah.

  1745. Okay. Hoping

  1746. that I will not see,

  1747. Just check one more place.

  1748. Alright. Now let me,

  1749. I apologize if I mispronounce your name, Mr.

  1750. bolo, is that Yes,

  1751. That's correct.

  1752. Okay. Would you be amenable to an amendment

  1753. that says within 60 days of the approval of the license

  1754. to ensure that you've had the

  1755. approved alcoholic beverage training certificates?

  1756. I do have the certificate chairman

  1757. and it's, I, I already posted it on the attachment section

  1758. of the permit.

  1759. Okay. So if you already have that, then we just need

  1760. to provide that to the deputy police chief or

  1761. We can have Donna provide what's necessary. Yep.

  1762. Okay. Okay.

  1763. So do we have a, any other questions or do we want to the,

  1764. Do you a better word? No, it's

  1765. Not it promotion.

  1766. Move to approve the

  1767. application of Mr.

  1768. Shar Baia for burrito spice burrito

  1769. Spice. Ick.

  1770. Okay, do I have a second? Second. Move by Ms.

  1771. Coughlin and seconded by Mr. Sidney.

  1772. All in favor, please say aye. Aye. Aye. Aye. Aye.

  1773. Sorry, I didn't ask of anyone Question a, sorry.

  1774. Questions 5, 0, 0. All right. On to move

  1775. To close the public hearing.

  1776. Second,

    You read my mind. All in favor? Please say aye.

  1777. Aye. Aye. Aye. Okay. Moving on to Thank you.

  1778. Welcome and thank you for starting your business in Natick.

  1779. Appreciate it. Thank you very much. Thank, I appreciate it.

  1780. Thank you Mr. Joseph.

  1781. Hearing I was catching up on my paperwork. Yeah, no worries.

  1782. A lot to look at. Okay. Okay.

  1783. Water and sewer abatement appeal.

  1784. Mr. Marshall, do you wanna start us off there?

  1785. Sure. Thank you Mr. Chair. Members of the board.

  1786. So town administration received a request

  1787. for a water abatement based on the criteria

  1788. and what town administration has the ability to

  1789. approve an abatement for.

  1790. This did not meet the criteria.

  1791. There was a leaky faucet

  1792. that would have gone into the sewer.

  1793. As the board knows in most of the circumstances,

  1794. for administration to be able to, to abate it has to tie

  1795. to water not going into the sewer system.

  1796. So in this case where it did, we denied that request.

  1797. So the applicant is here this evening to appeal

  1798. to the board and I believe Ms. Fitzgerald.

  1799. Yep. If you wanna come up

  1800. to the podium over here, over there.

  1801. Can you fix the mic? I'm

  1802. Sorry.

  1803. My hair end seem to be working. You just gotta do

  1804. This. Yep.

  1805. If I ever know, I hope I can hear you guys.

  1806. I just had a problem with it

  1807. and it's doesn't seem to be working well,

  1808. so I may need interpret.

  1809. I

  1810. Thank you John.

  1811. Okay. Please just briefly describe

  1812. the situation to identify yourself first, if you can just

  1813. Identify yourself and then briefly

  1814. Describe, that's just what I thought he might want.

  1815. Is that working though? Wow,

  1816. We, we hear you.

  1817. This is really bad. Lemme try turning it up a little.

  1818. Okay. Yeah. My name is Roberta Fitzgerald.

  1819. We live at my husband and I five Pitt Street.

  1820. We've been there since

  1821. 1976. So we're old time,

  1822. Long time.

  1823. And then if you can just explain a little bit

  1824. about the situation. They,

  1825. Okay.

  1826. The information. So here about the WA water problem,

  1827. we had a leak in our bathtub

  1828. upstairs, small leak.

  1829. And my husband has dementia

  1830. and I said, I think we gotta fix this.

  1831. You know, it's been going on for a while.

  1832. And he said, I'm getting zero,

  1833. I'm getting a zero water bill.

  1834. So there's some program we were in

  1835. that I think he did fill in for

  1836. and we weren't paying any water bill.

  1837. So he, I just said

  1838. that it doesn't matter if it's gonna add up, you know,

  1839. this is gonna, and it went on

  1840. and he, he kept saying, I'm, I'm getting zero.

  1841. This is when I get a bill, it's not gonna be that much.

  1842. And finally, actually I find just he's doing well,

  1843. but his decision making

  1844. and certain things has been pretty bad

  1845. and he handles all the finances,

  1846. which is gonna have to change.

  1847. It's changing actually.

  1848. Anyway, we ended up getting a pretty couple

  1849. of pre pretty expensive bills in a short period of time.

  1850. I don't expect you to erase them,

  1851. I just was wondering if there was something you could do

  1852. about the, the amount

  1853. We first got a bill

  1854. For one, no for, no, I'm sorry,

  1855. 1 29 24.

  1856. Then the ville, which wasn't that far down the line was

  1857. $797.

  1858. And the last one that's, I think that's the last one we got.

  1859. And you know, it's just,

  1860. it's just really almost impossible for us to like,

  1861. maybe we could pay by, you know, slowly

  1862. or it's gonna be reduced a little bit.

  1863. I don't know if there's anything you can do for,

  1864. I know we don't fit into the regular criteria,

  1865. but I just thought I'd give it a shot.

  1866. John, could you ask just a, a question as far as

  1867. income level without getting too detailed?

  1868. I can't believe I can't hear her with the microphone.

  1869. God, I better go back to my audiologist.

  1870. Yeah, so the board just had a question

  1871. on financial hardship.

  1872. If you could, you know, we, they don't want you

  1873. to necessarily get too much,

  1874. but just if you can just explain a little bit about,

  1875. you know, the pavement?

  1876. Yeah. Or just about what, you know, what you might be able

  1877. to or, or what.

  1878. Yeah, well like I said,

  1879. we could pay, you know, so much a month.

  1880. You know, we just can't put that out that the house,

  1881. we need some things in the house

  1882. because we've got another, we've got a sink

  1883. that we've shut off because,

  1884. and one of the reasons he hesitated is the plumbing is

  1885. so old, it's the original plumbing in the house.

  1886. So he was afraid it was gonna be outrageous.

  1887. It turned out it wasn't,

  1888. but I just couldn't convince him, you know,

  1889. it's just, it's just difficult.

  1890. And just a few other things have happened since this,

  1891. I just thought maybe you could help us a little bit.

  1892. Thank you. We, we will do our, do our best.

  1893. And I also can't hear, as you can say.

  1894. That's, that's enough. You've been supposed

  1895. to repeat it. I can't believe it.

  1896. Yeah, we will take care of you and your translator.

  1897. We need back here for that discussion.

  1898. So we, we will talk

  1899. amongst ourselves and you, you

  1900. Can sit down. Okay. Please have a seat.

  1901. Yeah. And we will

    Thank you.

  1902. Thanks Melissa. Get back to you with the result.

  1903. So let me, let me ask just

  1904. One thing after another

    Mr. Marshall

  1905. to, to talk about his suggested course of action

  1906. or potential course of action

  1907. Mr.

  1908. Chair. So the resident who's appealing the request,

  1909. you know, did mention that they do qualify for a plan

  1910. that the town has, which does

  1911. address a reduction in cost for the water and sewer portion.

  1912. Part of our, One

  1913. of the programs that the resident qualifies for.

  1914. So basically up to a certain amount of units

  1915. they do not have to pay for that usage.

  1916. So it's on tiers one

  1917. and two of the water structure

  1918. and it's something that's approved every year by the board

  1919. as part of the different tiers.

  1920. So you'll see it in the 2024 water and sewer rates.

  1921. So in this instance,

  1922. because they went over the allotted number of units

  1923. per billing cycle, then that triggered them going

  1924. to tiers two and three.

  1925. If this was an instance where

  1926. they didn't have that qualification

  1927. and there was a high use, one of the things

  1928. that the board has considered in the past is dropping

  1929. usage down to tier one.

  1930. So the water and sewer portion would go down to tier one.

  1931. Something that the board could consider would be

  1932. reducing the rate over the allowable units down to tier one

  1933. and two, which would reduce that cost for

  1934. those for the bill.

  1935. Lemme just ask a follow up, which is,

  1936. of those two options, which would be the greater net benefit

  1937. or net net reduction

  1938. or are they similar enough to just say six of one

  1939. and a half dozen of the other?

  1940. Reducing down to tier one for the water

  1941. and sewer portion would

  1942. be the most beneficial.

  1943. Although if, if you looked at what the board has

  1944. done in the past with reducing down to that lowest tier,

  1945. actually in this instance

  1946. because they're qualifying, reducing them down to

  1947. that first tier would actually potentially put them

  1948. at zero as well.

  1949. So If you followed that logic from

  1950. what was done in the past, you would reduce them down

  1951. to the lowest tier by putting

  1952. this bill down at the lowest tier.

  1953. That actually puts the charge at zero.

  1954. Because tier one for someone who's qualifying

  1955. for this program is zero.

  1956. The other way you could look at it is say,

  1957. well it went over the allotted usage.

  1958. So we'll look at the tier structure for just the average

  1959. rate payer and we would look at tier one

  1960. for, for that payment.

  1961. And in that case it would be

  1962. $2 and 52 cents for the water portion and $7

  1963. and 12 cents for the sewer portion.

  1964. This the abatement or the amount

  1965. they're paid. That would be the

  1966. Total, that would be the amount paid.

  1967. And then that would be

  1968. for the units over the allowable units.

  1969. So that would basically be about 20 units.

  1970. Okay. So help me to understand

  1971. that bills totaling $825.

  1972. Are you saying that we can reduce that

  1973. to roughly $10?

  1974. No, what what I'm saying is you would look at doing the,

  1975. if you wanted to reduce it down to that lowest tier and then

  1976. because they're qualifying for free units up

  1977. to a certain portion, you would take the units

  1978. that they're not qualifying for.

  1979. So let's say 20 units,

  1980. you would charge those 20 units at the tier one

  1981. for the water and sewer portion.

  1982. So it's basically $9 and 64 cents times 20 per unit.

  1983. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Thank you.

  1984. It's just, again, it's up to the board.

  1985. It's just a way of looking at it, looking at some

  1986. of the actions the board's taken in the past

  1987. and reducing down to the lowest tier.

  1988. This is a little bit unique

  1989. because if you go down

  1990. to the lowest tier based on the program this,

  1991. these individuals are qualify qualifying for,

  1992. that would actually put them at zero.

  1993. So if you're looking at the units above

  1994. what their charge would be

  1995. or above what their allowable limit is to be at zero,

  1996. I almost looked at moving it over to

  1997. the normal or the standard kind of rate

  1998. and calculating those units for that lowest tier.

  1999. So just doing the math for 20 units,

  2000. is it 20 units of overage?

  2001. Right. Over the, that would be roughly $200.

  2002. Right. And

  2003. How many units over the typical is this bill? 92.

  2004. So 2020

  2005. Units.

  2006. So the typical bill might be five units.

  2007. And this is 25 units.

  2008. A typical bill is 16 units

  2009. that For this household? Yes, for this household.

  2010. Okay. So this is

    20 units.

  2011. Units which is below, you know,

  2012. they still, that's still in the,

  2013. Which is why he, this is 36 units believe

  2014. that. I'm sorry, go ahead.

  2015. Sorry, I didn't mean to cut you

  2016. Off.

  2017. No, it which is why the, her husband thought no,

  2018. this is just gonna be zero 'cause there's always been zero.

  2019. Right. So understandably so

  2020. They qualify for that program.

  2021. It's an elderly billing program. Right.

  2022. So the bill that we're, that's in question is at 36 units.

  2023. The bill in question is at 40 units.

  2024. So if you look at the average usage,

  2025. which would normally be 16, again that's at

  2026. that zero charge, I would, you know,

  2027. you could look at the 40 minus the 16 that's giving you 24.

  2028. You can then look at that 24 units of

  2029. Bill At tier one.

  2030. Tier one and the, the standard

  2031. As opposed to being billed at tier three

  2032. per the bill. Correct.

  2033. It actually splits between tier three and tier four

  2034. Or

    Okay.

  2035. If it were to be, sorry, I don't mean

  2036. to answer, I'm just trying to clarify.

  2037. If it were to be billed at tier one, those 26 units

  2038. or 24 units, what would that cost be?

  2039. And then what is the delta between the

  2040. current bill and that cost?

  2041. Correct. Do you have it?

  2042. I'll do that real quick.

    'cause

  2043. that could be a potential basis for an abatement. Yep,

  2044. Yep.

  2045. Yeah, since they do the calculation. Yep.

  2046. If I may, in the past, the board when providing a type

  2047. of abatement like this has followed a similar approach.

  2048. It's just, it is more unique in the sense

  2049. that in this case the property

  2050. or all qualifies for one of our reduced

  2051. or no fee, no cost right program.

  2052. So it's just a little bit of a

  2053. nuance that we have to work through. No

  2054. Curve ball.

  2055. Yep, yep. Okay.

  2056. The number is,

  2057. So I'm just gonna walk you through this real quick.

  2058. So looking at the 24 units at tier one

  2059. and kind of the standard bracket between the water

  2060. and sewage use sewer usage, it would be $9

  2061. and 64 cents per unit?

  2062. Per per unit. 24 units would be 2 31 36.

  2063. The last bill was for 6 10 96.

  2064. So if you reduce the 6 10 96 from the 2 31 36,

  2065. it gives you an abatement of 3 79 61

  2066. Total.

  2067. That's the abatement? That

    Would be the abatement,

  2068. Right?

  2069. 63 79 3 79 61.

  2070. Did you say 96 and

  2071. 36 3 79, 61 61. Yeah.

  2072. No, no. But the dollar amounts were 6 10 96.

  2073. 6 10 96 21, 2 31 36.

  2074. Correct. Right. So the six minus six is

  2075. zero I think was at one.

  2076. So it's 3 79, 60, 60 Yep. Is what I came up with.

  2077. Yep. You guys are doodling calculators here.

  2078. Yep, that's that's correct. Yep. Right.

  2079. Alright. Might be a rounding

    Thing. So,

  2080. So I just

    Have a couple, that being said,

  2081. I have a couple of questions.

  2082. Mr. Marshall, did I understand

  2083. that they've repaired this particular water leak?

  2084. That is correct. In in the board's packet you did see the

  2085. repair service from the plumber

  2086. who came in and completed the work.

  2087. So that's fine. That's what I thought I saw.

  2088. But I heard and

  2089. and you're probably gonna have to help us translate,

  2090. but I thought I heard her say

  2091. that there's another sink in the house that may be leaking

  2092. and hasn't been repaired. Is that

  2093. True?

  2094. They've shut that off. Off She shut,

  2095. They shut it off.

  2096. Shut it off. Oh they, they've shut it off. Okay.

  2097. That's good. And this is just a, an

  2098. I live in the neighborhood so I'm just more curious

  2099. which house yours is.

  2100. It's on the corner. Five it number one.

  2101. It's the brick, the brick house

  2102. is the one it are you directly across

  2103. from the big yellow house?

  2104. I'm, I'm just being curious about which house it is'. It's

  2105. Not relevant.

  2106. Can't hear

  2107. My

    You're welcome Bruce.

  2108. So one of the board members was just curious as

  2109. to which house on pit street is it?

  2110. It's the furnace house on the right,

  2111. not the con house, but the first house.

  2112. So the brick house. Pit pit. Is it the brick house?

  2113. The brick house. The brick house province. Oh yeah. Okay.

  2114. You know it, the brick house needs, we had

  2115. to put a new roof on, a flat roof on

  2116. and we didn't have enough money to put the fence around.

  2117. So that's another thing that we need.

  2118. And I found the growth.

  2119. That's another thing that it's just been,

  2120. No, it's

    Did you need some idea of what our income is?

  2121. No, no. I, I'm a no.

  2122. We're just, tell tell her I'm a neighbor.

  2123. He's, he's a neighbor so he was just curious.

  2124. Oh, okay. The brick

  2125. House.

  2126. Yeah. Okay, good. I He's been there a long time. Yeah.

  2127. Very nice. I need some work.

  2128. Her, her husband is a very nice gentleman,

  2129. so thank you for that.

  2130. I just got curious 'cause I drive by there all the time.

  2131. So, alright,

  2132. Let's move on.

  2133. If I

  2134. Given the logic and,

  2135. and we're definitely sympathetic to the situation

  2136. and speaking on a personal note, I do have a loved one

  2137. with dementia, so I know care support

  2138. and sometimes taking their word is challenging.

  2139. I, I, I'm in favor of this methodology.

  2140. I think Mr. Marshall approached it with a great deal

  2141. of sensitivity both to the community

  2142. of rate payers and to the homeowner.

  2143. I think it's really app appreciated that you're in asking

  2144. for the abatement, you're also understanding responsibility

  2145. for it and clearly you've taken

  2146. action to mitigate the problem.

  2147. So for that I'd recommend an abatement of in the amount

  2148. of $379 and 60 cents.

  2149. Second. Thank you Mr. Joseph and Ms.

  2150. Coughlin, lemme just ask a question

  2151. of Mr. Marshall.

  2152. Is it possible to get a payment plan

  2153. to help them smooth this out at all since this is

  2154. something that was unexpected

  2155. and probably is, is taxing their financial?

  2156. So, so we'll apply the abatement right away. Okay.

  2157. We just need to get it to the Collector Charter's office

  2158. as soon as possible tomorrow

  2159. and then we can work with the applicant Payment plans we

  2160. recommend as much as possible to pay as soon as possible

  2161. because of the potential for just interest payments.

  2162. The payment plan structure

  2163. that we have really is just starting to pay down your bill.

  2164. You still have to pay the interest.

  2165. So that's just unfortunate, one of the realities of okay.

  2166. Of our system. But as soon as we

  2167. pending the vote tonight,

  2168. we will definitely let the collector treasurer's office know

  2169. tomorrow and we can apply that abatement to their,

  2170. to their account as soon as possible.

  2171. Okay, good. Thank you. Thank you.

  2172. Thanks for clarifying that.

  2173. Okay, so we have a motion, a motion for abating it to

  2174. by the amount of, sorry,

  2175. 3 79 3 79 60 or to

  2176. Be, just to confirm, that's the abatement amount.

  2177. That's the abatement amount for the bill to be reduced

  2178. to a total of 2 31 36.

  2179. 3 31 36. Okay. All in favor please say aye. Aye.

  2180. Aye. Aye. And that's 5 0 0.

  2181. So the board is gonna update your bill,

  2182. they're gonna reduce it by $379

  2183. And 60 cents.

  2184. 30 to 79.

    $6,379.

  2185. That's and 60 cents to a new total

  2186. of 2 2 30 3136.

  2187. 1 36 6 36 2 30, 1 36.

  2188. I feel like I'm on the prices right. I'm

  2189. Gonna have dog in our office contact you tomorrow Okay.

  2190. And let, I can hear on the phone. Okay. Okay.

  2191. You have my cell phone number. We do.

  2192. Thank you so much guys.

  2193. Thank you very

    Much. Have a good night. Good luck.

  2194. Thank you. Thank you. And, and just, we appreciate it.

  2195. We've never asked for anything from Nate

  2196. before, so Yeah, your husband good.

  2197. She can't hear you. Rich. Come on. It's not

  2198. Problem.

  2199. Sorry about this. No, no. Your husband is a very sweet man.

  2200. I've talked to him couple times.

  2201. Yeah, he's, he is a really nice,

  2202. Okay, we're gonna move on.

  2203. We're gonna move on to the next topic, which is a vote

  2204. to rescind special speed regulation for Pleasant Street

  2205. Jam. Right?

  2206. That, that is a continuation of the same topic

  2207. that we had were, what was that

  2208. for Walnut Street.

  2209. Yes. We've already approved that. So

  2210. Mr.

  2211. Chair, I move to rescind the special speed

  2212. regulations. Pleasant you

  2213. Second

    Ms.

  2214. Coughlin and seconded by Mr. Sidney.

  2215. All in favor, please say aye. Aye. Aye. Aye. Aye. All right.

  2216. Moving right along. Next item is to discuss a need

  2217. for a special town meeting and scheduling.

  2218. So I wanted to

  2219. frame this discussion so we know what we

  2220. are are going to talk about

  2221. and are not going to talk about in this

  2222. section of the meeting.

  2223. As you know, I'm gonna, and I'm gonna read this

  2224. 'cause it's a little lengthy,

  2225. but I wanted to get it all out on paper to make sure we

  2226. got the comments right.

  2227. So firstly, as you know,

  2228. town meeting approved this special act

  2229. that included amendments A through H

  2230. and voted to refer amendments.

  2231. I through you in Article 25

  2232. and the entirety of Article 26.

  2233. Town meeting members needed more time

  2234. to review these articles

  2235. and rather than make hasty decisions on town floor on behalf

  2236. of the board, I suggested that referral to the sponsor

  2237. and moving this to a special town meeting

  2238. could potentially provide adequate deliberation time

  2239. for CBRC select board and finfin com to take a step back

  2240. and examine the proposed amendments.

  2241. I firmly believe that a special town meeting dedicated

  2242. to this work is essential for thorough discussion.

  2243. Trying to do this at fall town meeting was a risky endeavor

  2244. since it had the shortest review window

  2245. and this was a complex undertaking.

  2246. There are many unknowns.

  2247. I'm requesting stronger collaboration with the CBRC

  2248. to achieve consensus for town meeting members to consider.

  2249. I don't know yet what the CBR C'S plans are

  2250. and need to discuss this with the CBRC chair.

  2251. Let's agree to have open meetings

  2252. and discussion on this topic.

  2253. The select board had input into the charter amendments

  2254. but didn't receive final amendments until just

  2255. before fall town meeting.

  2256. So could not offer an opinion on these amendments.

  2257. I'd like for town meeting

  2258. to hear our opinions on these amendments at

  2259. a special town meeting.

  2260. The also need time for the finance committee

  2261. to do its review and prepare for a special town meeting.

  2262. And we need to assess what the timing impact

  2263. of a special town meeting will be on the development

  2264. and review of the FY 25 budget.

  2265. In my opinion, we should be less concerned about

  2266. how quickly this can be done versus ensuring

  2267. that the changes are rock solid

  2268. and don't have unintended consequences.

  2269. Full convenient televised meetings would be a good start.

  2270. For all these reasons, I'm not expecting the board to vote

  2271. to schedule a date tonight.

  2272. So now I will open this up to board discussion.

  2273. I can start Problem.

  2274. I know we're not voting in in this moment,

  2275. but I appreciate your statement, Bruce.

  2276. I desire to have a more collaborative experience.

  2277. It was my first time

  2278. and it seemed like some of, you know,

  2279. you all's first time doing this on this level

  2280. with the CRBC at that level, you know, for the select board.

  2281. And so I don't have a reference point for

  2282. what it should feel like or what we should experience,

  2283. but I I would like another stab at it basically.

  2284. And so I'm in agreement with this opportunity

  2285. for town meeting to go back

  2286. and to yeah, take another shot at this to, to

  2287. best understand what we are,

  2288. what we would like,

  2289. and how we put that forward to the town.

  2290. Yeah. Thank you.

  2291. Thank you misspelled.

    Mr. Sidney?

  2292. Yeah, I was on the working group that was working

  2293. with the CVRC

  2294. and I'm also having been on CVRC twice

  2295. before, pretty familiar with the charter and bylaws.

  2296. I had a pretty, I had an okay idea of what they were,

  2297. what changes they were making,

  2298. but the fact is I never really saw a

  2299. full picture of what the charter would look like

  2300. with all these amendments.

  2301. And I think we need that in order to

  2302. make our own judgements on these things.

  2303. And so I, you know,

  2304. I I'm, I'm, I'm trying

  2305. to compile what that looks like from the information I have.

  2306. I know at least another one other board member is also

  2307. trying to do the same thing.

  2308. So, you know, we'll one of us will get to this board

  2309. what the proposed charter looks

  2310. like, which will be a good thing.

  2311. And then we can have a discussion.

  2312. I'm not, I I know I'm not prepared to set any dates tonight.

  2313. So, you know, I guess that's where I stand

  2314. and I I

  2315. thank

  2316. You Mr.

  2317. Sidney

  2318. Office because we didn't have final documents

  2319. and time to actually vote.

  2320. I would, I would like to,

  2321. there have been misrepresentations, not misre,

  2322. there have been statements made in public forums about

  2323. what the select board supported or didn't support.

  2324. And because we never had an opportunity to take a vote

  2325. or to discuss with particularity those amendments,

  2326. which deliberately or directly affect the select board

  2327. and the, the town administrator slash manager,

  2328. I would like us to have that opportunity so

  2329. that we can present as a board

  2330. or at least inform town meeting what the board as a whole

  2331. thinks about these amendments.

  2332. And I'd like to have an opportunity,

  2333. perhaps we do an off cycle meeting

  2334. and we work our way through that so

  2335. that we have votes on record.

  2336. And my preference would be

  2337. that this would be the only thing on the agenda

  2338. that night if possible.

  2339. Yes. That that, that to me is,

  2340. is a great idea, number one.

  2341. And it's, it's kind of the reason why we opted

  2342. to move this through a special town meeting where,

  2343. where it's, it is the topic for discussion

  2344. and we focus on that and,

  2345. and don't get sidetracked

  2346. or, or worried about

  2347. how it fits into the larger town meeting.

  2348. Okay. Any other comments? Mr. Joseph?

  2349. Thank you, Mr. Chair. Just a couple clarifying questions.

  2350. Special town meeting and I, and I respect the solution.

  2351. I think it was wise, given the duration of town meeting

  2352. to consider this process

  2353. and I guess through you, I don't know if you can answer it.

  2354. I see the moderator is here.

  2355. My understanding is town meeting voted favorable action on

  2356. motion or of, of Article 25

  2357. amendments A through H and utilizing a special act.

  2358. So whatever we do

  2359. for a special town meeting would be separate from that.

  2360. What has been voted has already been voted

  2361. and will be moved to the legislature.

  2362. The phrase that was used at town meeting was

  2363. with a foot in the door to start the

  2364. legislative consideration process.

  2365. So when we go to a special town meeting,

  2366. I guess the question is, we are exclusively focusing on

  2367. items I through U minus Q, whatever the letters were

  2368. and not going back to A through H That's my understanding of

  2369. what the intent of a special town meeting would be.

  2370. Can somebody clarify that for me?

  2371. First of all? Well,

  2372. let me please ask the moderator if he'd be willing to,

  2373. I don't want to say anything Okay.

  2374. To you folks. I, okay. Nope. Okay, I'm gonna listen.

  2375. All right. And this is only my opinion,

  2376. a special town meeting that talks about the charter.

  2377. Anything is open, right?

  2378. Depending on what a through h depending on what

  2379. or warrant article gets submitted.

  2380. So hypothetically,

  2381. this is pure hypothetical conjecture on my part,

  2382. which I probably shouldn't do on an open mic,

  2383. but I will, you're going to,

  2384. there are two possibilities that can happen.

  2385. You could get a a hundred citizens who said,

  2386. you know, we don't really like one of the previously passed

  2387. or one or more of the previously passed amendments

  2388. to the special act and we'd like to revisit it

  2389. or we'd like to change that somehow.

  2390. Right? And I haven't written an article on that,

  2391. but once you have a special town meeting, anything

  2392. is is available on that.

  2393. This, this could, and I don't know this absolutely,

  2394. but my sense is it could impact something

  2395. that has already occurred, right?

  2396. You could have, you could also have

  2397. the CBRC come back to us

  2398. and say, we heard enough questions about

  2399. amendment X.

  2400. No, there's no X, right?

  2401. So we can say that amendment X, that we're revisiting it

  2402. and we will make, we suggest these following changes

  2403. that could happen, right?

  2404. So there are, as I see it, two potential avenues for the,

  2405. for affecting a change on anything A

  2406. to HI don't know that definitively

  2407. I will seek sort of guidance on what is

  2408. and is not possible.

  2409. I don't, but I don't tonight sitting here,

  2410. I don't know the answer to that question.

  2411. Okay. My other question is, I I

  2412. I don't know enough about the interpretation of the charter.

  2413. When a warrant is voted by the select board,

  2414. historically we vote what is there.

  2415. So by opening up a special town meeting,

  2416. we open ourselves up to other articles being added to it.

  2417. You know, while we say we want a focused special town

  2418. meeting, the, the truth is it's an open process.

  2419. Citizens could come with petitions, other, you know,

  2420. administrative priorities could be brought in.

  2421. So this could become more, even though the intent is kind of

  2422. to focus on on this,

  2423. but that there's a possibility of getting more,

  2424. That is, that is a true statement. Is

  2425. That correct?

  2426. That's correct. And then when the warrant closes, does the,

  2427. the, my technical question is, does the board have

  2428. discretion to accept some of it?

  2429. It's, it's everything as is and whatever moves,

  2430. and then it goes through the fin com recommendation process

  2431. and all the procedures follow the same process

  2432. as a traditional springer fall.

  2433. That's my understanding.

    Okay. Thank you. Okay.

  2434. Well look, I, I'm getting to the process stuff.

  2435. I've been frustrated and,

  2436. and obviously there's been a lot

  2437. of frustration in the community.

  2438. I think one of the issues, and Ms.

  2439. Coughlin hinted at it and,

  2440. and I've read through the CB C'S report, I, I sat in on most

  2441. of the town meeting nights when this was being discussed.

  2442. My concerns and,

  2443. and these, this falls back on this board

  2444. as well in the whole fall town meeting process, you know,

  2445. traditionally we have time to decide which articles we want

  2446. to review and make recommendations on.

  2447. And while a lot of these, the final wording of the motion

  2448. for these things did not come in until very late relative

  2449. to when town meeting would be hearing them

  2450. as an elected body that has to act through open meeting law

  2451. and have that discussion, the practical timing

  2452. of looking at specific language

  2453. that was presented in motions was not available to us.

  2454. My interpretation, the report was written as such,

  2455. and I'm quoting the, the page three

  2456. of the executive summary,

  2457. that the charter updates impacting select board

  2458. and the town administration were written with their input.

  2459. And I want to be very precise about language here

  2460. because that is a true statement.

  2461. But as the chair knows

  2462. and members of this committee know, you know,

  2463. we also did not take action on this board's article 28,

  2464. which affects the town administration

  2465. because we, you know, at that point we're waiting

  2466. to hear back, we, we, for internal reasons,

  2467. we made a decision not to evaluate

  2468. and make a recommendation on our own article.

  2469. So procedurally we had kind of a, you know,

  2470. I won't call the missteps, I just think there was a,

  2471. a tragedy of, of calendar.

  2472. And I think communication improvement will help

  2473. that moving forward.

  2474. So I'm open to the idea of a town, a special town meeting.

  2475. I think it's, it's prudent

  2476. and I think it's important that the CBRC be allowed to,

  2477. you know, offer to town meeting its approaches

  2478. to improving the efficiency of town meeting in the spirit

  2479. of collaboration with, you know, things impacting us.

  2480. I agree with Ms. Coughlin's statement that I think we

  2481. as an elected body in a public session, owe it to ourselves

  2482. and the community to look at each

  2483. of those in their final state statements

  2484. and make recommendations on the individual amendments.

  2485. And so I, I'm, I'm supportive of this idea.

  2486. I'm very concerned about timing.

  2487. You're talking about a special town meeting being placed

  2488. somewhere between the holidays, I'm guessing

  2489. between the holidays

  2490. and between SPRINGTOWN meeting,

  2491. you've got finance committee meetings happening

  2492. and we're gonna have a new, you know,

  2493. an interim superintendent supporting a

  2494. budget at the same time.

  2495. So there's, there's a lot of balls in the air, if you will,

  2496. that need to be considered.

  2497. So I, I think, you know, I, I want to come to a decision

  2498. and look at the calendar aggressively.

  2499. I appreciate you taking that pressure off

  2500. of this evening's decision

  2501. because I think we need to think about a lot what we want

  2502. to put into, you know, the articles

  2503. I do ask respectfully that if, you know, we,

  2504. we felt the need to place Article 28 on the original

  2505. warrant, I would like to come back and revisit that

  2506. and include that in our deliberations.

  2507. So I'd like to see that re-added to it.

  2508. But I do think, again, this is, it's,

  2509. as I stated consistently throughout the process,

  2510. the CBRC is a committee of town meeting

  2511. and has total right to make, you know, process

  2512. and do what they wanted to do in terms of recommendations.

  2513. I appreciated the opportunity to have input.

  2514. I just feel like we didn't have the closing the loop on that

  2515. with enough language to have a board representation

  2516. as opposed to members

  2517. of the board providing individual feedback.

  2518. And so that's the precision

  2519. that I think is owed this process.

  2520. Thank you.

  2521. And thank you. If I could just quickly comment on that,

  2522. I think that's a, a valid, I'll call it a synopsis.

  2523. I think part of the problem was not seeing the motions

  2524. in their final form.

  2525. And as you said, it was, it was almost like a perfect storm

  2526. of bad timing where we didn't have them in hand.

  2527. And so really we couldn't offer an opinion on that

  2528. because it was, you know, we had said in several meetings

  2529. where we, we can't really vote on these

  2530. because we don't know what we're gonna get.

  2531. We don't know what it's gonna be.

  2532. We have hints about it,

  2533. but we didn't have the final wording

  2534. and wording in charters

  2535. and in bylaws makes

  2536. is quite important, as you all know. Even

  2537. Commas are important.

  2538. Yes, exactly. So I,

  2539. I appreciate your candor in, in identifying some

  2540. of the flaws in the process and,

  2541. and I would hope that we can, well, we have a, a, a chance

  2542. to do a do over here and,

  2543. and I sincerely hope that we'll capitalize on it

  2544. and I'll drive towards that

  2545. so you can best assured that I will do that.

  2546. I, as far as the

  2547. budget cycle, that is a concern.

  2548. I do not want to bump, I don't want

  2549. to hurt the budget process for the fin income

  2550. or the, or town administration.

  2551. And perhaps I know Mr. Erickson

  2552. and I had a very informal conversation about that,

  2553. invite him to share his, his thoughts.

  2554. Certainly. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

  2555. The budgeting process, we're actually in the knee deep in

  2556. the budget process right now as a town administration

  2557. and same with the school administration.

  2558. So for us, the budget process has already been started

  2559. for several weeks, if not months.

  2560. It's kind of a year round process actually now.

  2561. But from a town meeting

  2562. and timing perspective, we published the budget on

  2563. February 1st or the Monday

  2564. after February 1st if it's on a weekend.

  2565. And that from our perspective, sort of

  2566. jumpstarts the review process by the community,

  2567. including fin com and others.

  2568. So within a week or two of

  2569. that is when we start doing typically is when we start doing

  2570. our subcommittee and

  2571. or full committee reviews with the fin finance committee.

  2572. And those are typically Tuesday, Thursday, same nights

  2573. as town meeting or has typically been town

  2574. meeting in the last couple years.

  2575. We've also done a pre-budget meeting

  2576. with the finance committee

  2577. and the select board among others.

  2578. That's usually towards the end of January.

  2579. Sometimes it's the same night as a fin com night,

  2580. like a Tuesday night or sometimes I think last year we

  2581. actually did a, a joint meeting of, of sorts

  2582. with the finance committee

  2583. and the school committee and the select board.

  2584. So just from a past practice perspective

  2585. and just looking at how the calendars line up

  2586. once we submit the budget, if not even the week or two

  2587. before, we're doing community meetings

  2588. with the finance committee, with the select board,

  2589. with those involved in town meeting processes.

  2590. And once the publish, the budget is published in early

  2591. February, February one, within a week

  2592. or two of that is typically when the finance committee

  2593. process starts with regards to the reviewing of the,

  2594. of the budget that leads into the warrant, which

  2595. closes towards the end of February.

  2596. And then the finance committee typically leads into the

  2597. review of all warned articles.

  2598. So it does become a tricky time once you hit February

  2599. with regards to trying

  2600. to do additional Tuesday, Thursday night meetings.

  2601. Doesn't mean it can't be done, it's just,

  2602. that's historically been our busiest time starting in

  2603. February all the way through really until April.

  2604. It's a Tuesday, Thursday sort of sprint until,

  2605. Until the end of town

    Meeting.

  2606. Yep. We have the one week off for school vacation

  2607. and then we start town meeting.

  2608. So it does go into May at that point.

  2609. So it's really a February to May season

  2610. whereby every Tuesday, Thursday.

  2611. And then typically we have the, every other Wednesday that

  2612. town administration, I, my team department heads

  2613. and volunteers on the finance committee and,

  2614. and others are all working through the town meeting process.

  2615. Oh,

  2616. Thank you.

  2617. As, as a former finance committee member,

  2618. I fully appreciate the, the cycle

  2619. and the sprint to, to do this.

  2620. The reason I'm hesitant on trying to set a date,

  2621. looking at a calendar, backing up from the calendar

  2622. to set a date at this meeting is I need to talk

  2623. to the CBRC chair, I need to talk

  2624. to the finance committee chair

  2625. and I need to find out what they need and when.

  2626. Yep. So once I have those conversations

  2627. and I have that information, we have a meeting on the 29th

  2628. that might be the target date of when we decide

  2629. to set up the special town meeting. Yeah.

  2630. Mr. Chairman, I, a couple people have done

  2631. some calendar math.

  2632. If we, the, the, if we set a date on the 29th year

  2633. because of posting requirements

  2634. and other things, the earliest date we could have a

  2635. special would be somewhere around January 4th.

  2636. So just, just to get, put the calendar into focus.

  2637. Personally I wouldn't want to ha try

  2638. to schedule a special in December anyway.

  2639. That's, which is, if the only reason

  2640. to set a date tonight is to have a special in December,

  2641. which just is

  2642. Not get a quorum,

    It, it would never happen

  2643. Christmas week. We just wouldn't,

  2644. It, it would be a waste of time.

  2645. So I think, you know, maybe coming up with a date on the,

  2646. on the, on the 29th is, is reasonable.

  2647. 'cause there's actually a little gap there in January

  2648. where we might be able to fit a special in and, and I,

  2649. and of course depending on how big

  2650. and how many articles it is, it could be a disaster.

  2651. So I mean we could also do it on December 13th when you

  2652. add the 28 days Metro West Daily News needs four days

  2653. for a legal notice if that's what we use.

  2654. And then you need the two days for the warrant to be open.

  2655. So that puts us at January 16th. Yeah.

  2656. Which is like the drop dead date. Yeah. To have it before.

  2657. Yeah. If we don't have it by then,

  2658. we're not having it until,

  2659. I'm sorry,

    Later.

  2660. Yeah, I agree.

  2661. The other thing that we did

  2662. contemplate is having a special session of the,

  2663. the board just to figure out a date.

  2664. We, we can certainly consider that

  2665. as a possibility if need be.

  2666. And I saw Paul had his fingers up. Yep. I'm

  2667. Sorry.

  2668. That's fine. I, I just, I guess

  2669. of while we were having this discussion a couple of times,

  2670. you know, another shot revisiting, I I, from my perspective,

  2671. and obviously I'm one of five, so I'm,

  2672. I'm just speaking personally, I'm less inclined to revisit

  2673. issues as we had talked about throughout this process

  2674. that are in the purview of town meeting itself,

  2675. legislative only, you know, in the spirit of

  2676. what we were looking at,

  2677. I think it were those things that affected us.

  2678. Obviously we have a right and

  2679. and obligation if we so choose to look at all of them.

  2680. And the, in the interest of expediency

  2681. and focus, you know, my inclination is to suggest

  2682. that we only look at those things as we talked about,

  2683. that affect the select board and and administration aspects.

  2684. It might help us get through it a little faster.

  2685. I think it'll help reign in the scope.

  2686. And I also, it, it hopefully will, you know,

  2687. help the process move more efficiently.

  2688. Because again, my greater concern is getting

  2689. through budget season and could

  2690. probably have a challenging spring.

  2691. Yeah. I, I would say, just to respond to that,

  2692. in my opinion, if that's the correct approach,

  2693. is it should be select board

  2694. and town town administrator focused.

  2695. And as time permits

  2696. or as inclination of the board permits,

  2697. there may be other areas that we explore.

  2698. But certainly the priority is to get those things

  2699. that affect the select board, excuse me, the select board

  2700. and the town administrator.

  2701. Right.

  2702. If, if I may, one other question,

  2703. and this is probably through the town administrator,

  2704. through you, I know Ms.

  2705. Loomis did a great job getting some

  2706. of the zoning bylaws pushed through,

  2707. and we did have a little conversation about this at the

  2708. economic development committee most recently about some,

  2709. you know, now that the sort of, sort

  2710. of set up zoning bylaws were in place,

  2711. now there's some specific

  2712. actions she might be looking to take.

  2713. If we were to add a special

  2714. and focus on accomplishing some zoning requirements,

  2715. what else would we need just in terms

  2716. of contemplating calendar if, if a zoning priority comes up

  2717. that we wanna focus on

  2718. and add to the special to get ahead

  2719. of things coming in the spring.

  2720. I'm assuming there's notification

  2721. periods and all of that stuff too.

  2722. How, what, what, what would you say would be the sort

  2723. of least and and best or worst

  2724. and best sort of impact on our, on our factoring that in

  2725. That's a great question.

  2726. Given mass general law requirements for zoning amendments,

  2727. chapter 48, section five,

  2728. and our own requirements, the, the

  2729. procedural process whereby proposal needs to be submitted,

  2730. the select board referred to the planning board,

  2731. planning board needs to hold their public hearing, puts

  2732. that even also tricky when it comes to the holiday season.

  2733. 'cause by the time they get the referral to us,

  2734. the earliest would be the 29th not on tonight's agenda.

  2735. Then they would have to schedule a time

  2736. and given the holidays and posting requirements, which is 14

  2737. and seven days prior minimum, which means they need to get

  2738. to the papers at least 21 to 28 days in advance.

  2739. They're looking at the early January timeframe

  2740. for even just their public hearing process

  2741. to start their public hearing process.

  2742. So they're probably looking at a similar timeframe to

  2743. what a special might look like.

  2744. So the reality is that unless it's a February, March

  2745. or April special to get the zoning in place might not be

  2746. possible for a January, especially considering

  2747. a special also has a warrant that needs to be set

  2748. and closed by a certain time.

  2749. Right. It's not likely. I mean,

  2750. you can certainly put placeholders,

  2751. but it's not likely that it'll be prepared

  2752. for a special. Okay.

  2753. Thank you. I, I think that's again, an important,

  2754. I think it's important for the select board to telegraph

  2755. to the community to administration.

  2756. You know, if, you know we are pursuing it with the hope

  2757. and targeting a specific part of the calendar

  2758. that we're respectful of the fact

  2759. that maybe this isn't the right time

  2760. or, you know, helping us align it in a way

  2761. that makes the most sense to be as efficient as possible.

  2762. But thank you for that feedback.

  2763. Of course. One also thing

  2764. to note just about special Ities by May, Mr.

  2765. Chair. Sure. Per the bylaw bylaws,

  2766. it just notes in Article one, section two.

  2767. That special town meeting shall be held on a Tuesday

  2768. right at seven 30.

  2769. So even though the earliest might be a Thursday,

  2770. the reality is it'd be the following Tuesday,

  2771. depending on the date by which the board chooses

  2772. to vote on scheduling a town meeting a

  2773. Special.

  2774. Mr. Chair, we've discussed having an off cycle

  2775. meeting to discuss these.

  2776. Could I suggest a doodle poll

  2777. that also includes town council so

  2778. that we can take advantage of questions that we may have?

  2779. We're doing a doodle poll

  2780. for early December, what would you say?

  2781. Sure. Maybe the first two weeks of December.

  2782. Just for clarity, that's a doodle poll

  2783. to review just the charter

  2784. and bylaw changes, not

  2785. to determine when a special would occur.

  2786. That is correct. Okay.

  2787. It's just to ask questions that we might have about,

  2788. we never had that opportunity.

  2789. understand. I just wanna

  2790. make sure I understand that. Yep. That's

  2791. The only reason and

    Intent of the meeting. I

  2792. Have a clarification there.

  2793. I can do that. If,

  2794. I guess based, sorry, based on that

  2795. question though, are you suggesting that we won't be able

  2796. to make a calendar decision on the 29th?

  2797. Because it seems to me that some of

  2798. that information would inform what we want included in,

  2799. you know, how we'd wanna pursue the special.

  2800. So if we're gonna have an off cycle,

  2801. I would suggest it would be ahead of the 29th.

  2802. I don't know if that's practical given Thanksgiving, but,

  2803. but I guess this is, this is my concern

  2804. or we consider a special

  2805. and at that time determine, you know, whether to do it.

  2806. I don't think if, if we're seeking additional information

  2807. to give us decision support to decide timing

  2808. of the Special town meeting, that it's illogical to me

  2809. that it would come after the date

  2810. that we're thinking of adding it.

  2811. I, I, I think the idea of the special is

  2812. to actually review the content that we already have

  2813. so we can inform the CBRC about what our thoughts are

  2814. and town meeting, what our thoughts are

  2815. for whatever special we decide on.

  2816. I think it's, I think the, the off-cycle meeting is not

  2817. to discuss the timing of a special,

  2818. but to discuss the content of

  2819. what might be in the special. That's correct.

  2820. Right, right. And

  2821. and to, to just back up a level,

  2822. we don't know yet what the CBRC is

  2823. is planning to do on this.

  2824. Whether they are going to take town meetings feedback

  2825. and make some changes, have,

  2826. have meetings and vote on changes.

  2827. I don't know that I, I haven't spoken

  2828. with the CBRC sheriff since town meeting, so I don't know

  2829. what their plans are.

  2830. I have to find that out and I can report that back.

  2831. You know, that, that's again, one of the data points

  2832. that I don't have right now that I, that I need to have

  2833. to make an infor, excuse me, to make an informed decision.

  2834. So, so if I may,

  2835. why don't we just hold onto the idea of the off cycle

  2836. meeting and let's see how things progress

  2837. with the CBRC chair and the finance committee chair

  2838. and see what we're looking at.

  2839. You know, I, you know, it's a classic.

  2840. We don't know what we don't know right now.

  2841. Mr. Evans, could I suggest that we proceed

  2842. with scheduling it while you work out whatever needs

  2843. to happen with CRBC and fin com?

  2844. We're up against a really tight deadline. Yeah.

  2845. And given the process since July

  2846. until the present, we've been up against the deadline

  2847. and I don't wanna see us in a position again

  2848. where we have not had an opportunity

  2849. to ask council questions or to have the discussion.

  2850. So with respect, I would suggest that we go ahead

  2851. and schedule the off cycle.

  2852. We've got two days off for Thanksgiving next, next week.

  2853. There's just not a lot of time in the calendar.

  2854. Yeah, and I, I agree. I actually agree with that.

  2855. We have the content that town meeting was presented.

  2856. If we, you know, have a meeting in December to discuss

  2857. that content and we decide we don't like some of it

  2858. or we want some of it changed, that gives us something

  2859. to feed to the CBRC that

  2860. we'll help inform them

  2861. and what they bring forward in any special we choose

  2862. to schedule or any, you know, or whatever.

  2863. So I think reviewing the content we

  2864. already have is critical.

  2865. We never had the chance before.

  2866. It's, I, I imagine it's actually not likely

  2867. to be the final content that's gonna come

  2868. before whatever town meeting the next

  2869. CBRC stuff comes to,

  2870. but at least we can inform them what we think of, of

  2871. what they've already given us and also inform town meeting.

  2872. You know, if that's, if that's all we end up with,

  2873. given the way the CBRC has operated, we, you know, in terms

  2874. of timing, at least we can look at what we've got

  2875. and say yes no on, you know, motion X.

  2876. Okay.

    So given the off cycle, I mean,

  2877. we're looking at December 6th would be the off cycle

  2878. Wednesday if we went straight out with a Wednesday,

  2879. Or, I think it depends on town

  2880. council's availability. Okay.

  2881. Fair. Yeah. I will say,

  2882. 'cause I, I, I thought I heard possibly doing this

  2883. before Thanksgiving, and I can tell you

  2884. I will not be here from Wednesday till the following

  2885. Tuesday on Thanksgiving.

  2886. I won't be in town.

  2887. So the degrees of freedom for doing

  2888. that are pretty small. Yeah. So,

  2889. And you have another set of meetings on Monday, right?

  2890. That's right. We've got the hearing on Monday. Thank you.

  2891. So that would be one day, the Tuesday.

  2892. So yeah, let, let's look at the, the sixth

  2893. and see what town council's

  2894. availability is.

  2895. We can work with town council on just a number of nights.

  2896. Yeah. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday nights,

  2897. couple weeks and see what works.

  2898. Yeah. Saturday mornings except

  2899. for the one after Thanksgiving

  2900. On Saturday mornings. Okay.

  2901. Yeah, I'm, I could do a Saturday morning too

  2902. As a,

    I just wanna

  2903. make sure I'm hearing that correctly. Right.

  2904. I'll put out the date.

  2905. Yeah, it's certainly stuff we can do. Okay.

  2906. We have a number of people who are in the, from the public

  2907. and I just, if they would like to comment on this,

  2908. they're welcome to do so.

  2909. Okay. Or on Zoom or you out already or

  2910. On Zoom.

  2911. Okay. Yes. Thank you. Is there anyone on Zoom?

  2912. No hands raised?

    Nope. No hands. Okay. All right.

  2913. So we, I, I will do that poll

  2914. and say let's try to do the out cycle on, on the week

  2915. or the week of December 6th.

  2916. You don't have a calendar in front of me naturally.

  2917. It's actually the week of the fourth.

  2918. So fourth, yeah.

  2919. Thank you that, that seemed,

  2920. I was backing my birthday's the 11th,

  2921. so I was backing up from there

  2922. And just if it helps the doodle

  2923. poll, I can't make the fifth.

  2924. That's the one night that week I can't do.

  2925. Okay. So Paul, no, on December 5th.

  2926. Any other bad ones that week for anyone?

  2927. I didn't see anything bad.

  2928. Okay. Alright. Anything but the fifth I will do a survey.

  2929. Okay, cool. Okay.

  2930. All right, moving on. Thank you very much everyone.

  2931. Wrong page, wrong direction.

  2932. Next is the overnight resident parking in the Pond Street

  2933. lot and adjacent roadways.

  2934. This topic is to introduce some thoughts

  2935. that have been brought up and

  2936. to be considered by the select board.

  2937. Again, the board isn't going

  2938. to make any decisions tonight on this,

  2939. but is we're teeing this up for future discussions.

  2940. So I will turn this over to Mr. Joseph.

  2941. Thank you, Mr. Chair. This, this came about,

  2942. actually it's from a couple of different angles.

  2943. I know the administration has been looking at parking

  2944. probably since time in memorial Continuous Yeah, exactly.

  2945. Which I know it's what's sort of our, the, one of the two Ps

  2946. of politics, I guess the three Ps, politics, parking

  2947. and potholes, the initiative here and,

  2948. and really just to get a sort of board level view

  2949. of things that are already happening.

  2950. And Ms. Loomis has presented, she presented

  2951. that night at the planning board.

  2952. There's a project going on at one South Main Street

  2953. to rebuild where the fire was, and that's underway.

  2954. There's a possibility of that project adding a third story

  2955. and adding housing to it.

  2956. And one of the conditions

  2957. and challenges of building housing in downtown Natick is

  2958. finding a suitable places for people to park.

  2959. And, you know, we talked about this at the economic

  2960. development committee and then privately have had

  2961. conversations with a couple of property owners

  2962. and developers in town

  2963. and with the amount of development coming down the pike.

  2964. And I've been really, really impressed with what Ms.

  2965. Loomis and her team have been doing.

  2966. It's nice to see a, a more, more fully,

  2967. if not adequately staffed community

  2968. and economic development department starting

  2969. to really hum. Sorry,

  2970. It's coming a long way, I apologize.

  2971. No, it absolutely, it is coming a

  2972. long way and it's great to see.

  2973. I think it's, I've always felt it's been an under-resourced

  2974. department, given the enormity of, of what it needs

  2975. to accomplish, which drives our revenue,

  2976. which helps reduce taxpayers residential rates.

  2977. But the issue if we're gonna be adding dense housing,

  2978. and this is consistent with the MBTA mandate by the state

  2979. to develop within a half mile of MBTA stations as well

  2980. as our own housing plan, knowing

  2981. that housing is in extreme shortage, we need

  2982. to more adequately provide for parking for people

  2983. that will be living and renting downtown.

  2984. So the thought was maybe we can pursue this

  2985. through a pilot program of some sorts

  2986. and using the current development at Pond Street

  2987. and Prospective Pond and South Main Street

  2988. and in prospective development at Pond Street

  2989. and some other developments in

  2990. that general area going down towards Middlesex.

  2991. And the other lot, you know, the idea would be to identify

  2992. either municipal parking lots,

  2993. like the parking lot at Pond Street,

  2994. or perhaps the one behind the public safety building

  2995. and street parking and,

  2996. and try implementing overnight parking with, you know,

  2997. much like they do in some other areas

  2998. and closer to the city where from the hours of say,

  2999. you know, eight 8:00 PM to 8:00 AM

  3000. or 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM we allow for residential

  3001. and visitor parking overnight.

  3002. And so the right now we, we don't allow for that.

  3003. And, and it would be, I think, behoove us

  3004. to start looking strategically at

  3005. where are these developments going,

  3006. and maybe we should start piloting something like

  3007. that in parallel with this.

  3008. I know the department is also working on a whole

  3009. with a consultant looking at the whole stretch of,

  3010. of Main Street from Coolidge Coolidge Street up

  3011. to the train station right now.

  3012. So parking affected Route 27 through downtown.

  3013. We'll probably be getting some recommendations from

  3014. that consultant based on their work as well.

  3015. But, you know, the goal really for us tonight was just

  3016. to be aware of the issue.

  3017. I encourage the administration to keep working on this.

  3018. I know the town administrator and I know Ms.

  3019. Loomis and the department are already doing it.

  3020. So it's really credit to them for getting this queued up.

  3021. And I think it's important for us

  3022. to put it on a future agenda with their recommendations of

  3023. where we can suitably pursue a pilot

  3024. and hopefully support some

  3025. of this positive development that's going on.

  3026. We're bringing buildings online on Washington Street as well

  3027. as Middlesex as and Summer, summer Street as well.

  3028. I think that will have additional housing. South

  3029. Middlesex Summer.

  3030. Yep. Yep. Washington. Yep.

  3031. And then Pond

    East Central

  3032. And East Central.

  3033. Yep.

  3034. Jamie, do Mr. Erickson, do you have any comments on,

  3035. On this?

  3036. Just to note that we, we have been starting to look at this.

  3037. We are actually internally, we've been doing a, a sort of a,

  3038. a staff level analysis.

  3039. We've been using our parking attendants who are great

  3040. at just cataloging daytime usage in our lots

  3041. and on street parking, not the metered spaces

  3042. that are designed for turnover,

  3043. but more the, like the permit parking areas like the Pond

  3044. Street lot, like the lot behind town hall, sorry,

  3045. not town hall behind Police

  3046. and Fire, like Middlesex Lab Lot.

  3047. Just to get a a, some data points.

  3048. You know, I really like to, I've always sort of indicated

  3049. that Natick from my just perspective,

  3050. doesn't have a parking problem.

  3051. We have a walking problem, people just don't like

  3052. to walk from different spaces.

  3053. So I'd like to know the data to help inform

  3054. how can we better utilize our lots

  3055. and encourage better utilization of the lots

  3056. during the daytime, but as well as understanding what

  3057. that might mean for nighttime usage.

  3058. We've started doing an analysis of some

  3059. of the other communities that have overnight

  3060. parking for residents.

  3061. Sometimes it's just a full day, 24 hours a day type

  3062. of permit situations.

  3063. Sometimes it's just strictly overnight

  3064. and understanding what are some of the opportunities,

  3065. but also what are some of the challenges.

  3066. Typically in New England,

  3067. we're looking at f fellow New England states

  3068. that use like surface lots for overnight parking

  3069. because that's when you get into things like weather

  3070. conditions, things along those lines. Snow,

  3071. Emergency,

    Snow emergencies.

  3072. Now those are things that you can plan around

  3073. and just be prepared for, but we wanna know what that means

  3074. and we also wanna understand how that enforcement works too.

  3075. So we are going to,

  3076. and have already engaged with our, our police department

  3077. who oversee the parking enforcement

  3078. officers and how that might work.

  3079. So a lot of logistics that need to be sort of discussed and,

  3080. and work through.

  3081. Also just understanding daytime demand.

  3082. 'cause with residential parking, it might not be

  3083. that all residences in downtown will be okay

  3084. with only having an overnight space.

  3085. A lot of people might be moving to Natick Center

  3086. because they want to take the train in

  3087. and they want to leave their car parked

  3088. somewhere during the day.

  3089. That's why it's important for us

  3090. to understand the daytime usage

  3091. of these lots as well. Yeah,

  3092. That's an excellent point.

  3093. Thank you Mr. Erics, Mr. Sidney.

  3094. Yeah, I just, just to add some more color

  3095. to this conversation

  3096. personally, in the last year, I've, I have a, i I have a

  3097. driveway that will park three cars

  3098. and I've had four cars for a year now in my house.

  3099. Now, luckily one of my streets is unaccepted,

  3100. so they pull up well off the street,

  3101. but it's sort of on the street,

  3102. but it's an unaccepted street, so it's not really,

  3103. you know, that there's no parking enforcement on it.

  3104. But there have been some comments running

  3105. around on social media that I've seen, I have not commented

  3106. where there was some specific discussion of how,

  3107. how, how visitors can park in particular,

  3108. in this particular case on Plain Street,

  3109. which is a very narrow accepted street with no,

  3110. with no overnight parking allowed.

  3111. And also some discussion of inconsistent enforcement on some

  3112. of these accepted roads where some people who, you know,

  3113. park on the street overnight in the

  3114. wintertime don't get a ticket.

  3115. And on some other streets,

  3116. every time they leave a car out, they get a ticket.

  3117. So I think all of that has to go into this analysis.

  3118. I'm not saying we're doing anything right or wrong,

  3119. but you know, this is the, I'm just bring the color

  3120. that I'm reading about to this,

  3121. to this whole problem because it is a problem.

  3122. Thank you, Mrs. Yeah. Any other thoughts? Alright.

  3123. No, let's table the rest of that for another day.

  3124. So let's move on to, did you wanna speak Mr. Evans?

  3125. Somebody might wanna speak to the issue.

  3126. That's a seat, please. Thank you.

  3127. Okay, Mr. Jess. You're welcome.

  3128. Good evening. My name is Rich Schaefer.

  3129. I'm the attorney for Stuart Rothman,

  3130. one South Main Street, LLC.

  3131. And the reason why I'm here is

  3132. because of this very, my concern is more specific

  3133. to the Pond Street lot.

  3134. I've lived in downtown Natick.

  3135. My address is one Lincoln Street Extension.

  3136. I've lived there for over 30 years

  3137. and this is my white whale one South Main Street.

  3138. It's probably gonna kill me. Okay.

  3139. Because I started off with Drio Tambourine owning that

  3140. property at one South Maine.

  3141. And we were very close to being able

  3142. to put a three level development there.

  3143. And we got, there was an appeal that was filed

  3144. and that that project died.

  3145. And now we're getting so close

  3146. because we've been encouraged by the zoning changes

  3147. to put a third floor on everybody

  3148. that we speak to in the town.

  3149. Administration says the third floor is what we need.

  3150. It's the downtown needs three floors,

  3151. you gotta have three floors.

  3152. It's what the town wants.

  3153. And I have a client who's dying to put the third floor on,

  3154. but because of the limitations on parking,

  3155. there's a serious issue that it's gonna be built as a,

  3156. as a two story development,

  3157. which would be a, a shame for this town.

  3158. And I, before this meeting, I ran down

  3159. Pond Street on the way down to the high school

  3160. and the place was empty.

  3161. I drove by the Pond Street Lot

  3162. this morning at eight o'clock.

  3163. The place was empty. I went to

  3164. the bank downtown at noon.

  3165. Pond Street Lot was empty.

  3166. It's an underutilized resource and like, I'm kind of begging

  3167. because like I said, one South Maine is going to kill me.

  3168. I'm begging that that underutilized resource

  3169. be utilized.

  3170. And it's, it strikes me as like,

  3171. I've been doing this for 20 years.

  3172. My daughters are 34 and 32.

  3173. When they were 12 and 10, I sent them downtown to go

  3174. after school and take pictures.

  3175. And they hated me for it of that lot.

  3176. And I still have the pictures if they're 20 years old now,

  3177. it looks exactly like that lot that I saw three times today.

  3178. I went there this weekend, it was empty.

  3179. So I'm dying to hear what Mr.

  3180. Erickson's data points are,

  3181. but I'm telling you, we're dying for six spaces

  3182. so we can put a third floor on one South Main

  3183. and get this to what the town needs.

  3184. And so I'm like kind of begging this town

  3185. to look at this underutilized resource

  3186. and see how it can be used.

  3187. And frankly, I want it used for my client,

  3188. but if it can't be used for my client, I still want it used.

  3189. So I, I think that it's a great idea

  3190. to look at all the resources,

  3191. but that specific resource has not been used for 20 years.

  3192. And people have been complaining about the limitations

  3193. of parking in downtown Natick for that whole time.

  3194. And it's been empty the whole time.

  3195. So like please, you know, put some thought

  3196. and effort

  3197. and try to do it expeditiously so we can get a third floor

  3198. of residences on top of one South Main.

  3199. So we have a three story building like this town deserves.

  3200. Thank you Mr. Schaefer. Appreciate your comments Mr.

  3201. Chair, I have a question for Mr. Erickson.

  3202. Does the, or anyone who knows this, does the adoption

  3203. of the MBTA communities act where we have

  3204. multifamily by right.

  3205. Eliminate the parking requirement?

  3206. No, no. Not the ACT itself.

  3207. That would've to be a local choice.

  3208. We, we would put parking as part of

  3209. the zoning requirements in that, in that zoning.

  3210. It's just the use is allowed by Right.

  3211. It doesn't say anything really

  3212. about the parking requirements.

  3213. Right.

  3214. It's kind of shortsighted, isn't it?

  3215. I mean, if, if, if we're going to have to, not we,

  3216. but if communities who adopt MBTA Communities Act are

  3217. required to build or identify, not required to build,

  3218. identify a a zone by which multifamily is allowed by Right.

  3219. And it's calculated at the state level in terms of the area

  3220. that they expect, I understand they're not enforcing

  3221. that area, but if there's not land for the parking, it seems

  3222. to be a bit shortsighted on the state's part.

  3223. Not, am I not thinking about this? Right.

  3224. Well, so the way the state has structured the requirements

  3225. is they, they have a requirement of number

  3226. of units per acre, which when you formulate

  3227. that into a development project, typically then leads to how

  3228. a, a parking requirement would be met.

  3229. Okay. You know, might, depending on obviously

  3230. how the community interprets that

  3231. and how what they do from a zoning perspective,

  3232. it might lead to podium parking.

  3233. It might like, meaning you build parking in the first level

  3234. or two of the building in the above floor or,

  3235. or residential, like under or underground.

  3236. Sure. Okay. And a big enough lot,

  3237. you might have enough first surface,

  3238. in some areas they might only require zero.

  3239. Like Cambridge has zero parking requirements. Right.

  3240. For, for multifamily housing.

  3241. Some communities have gone down to,

  3242. we've actually in Natick Center have gone down

  3243. to one per residential unit.

  3244. So that, that just even a 6, 5, 6 years ago, it used

  3245. to be two for a two bedroom, one and one

  3246. and a half for I think one it was, it was odd.

  3247. There was more. More. Yes.

  3248. So we've also already adopted a lower parking requirement

  3249. for residential and Natick Center.

  3250. Plus there's also the market realities for some communities,

  3251. not necessarily Natick, but in some communities,

  3252. to a certain degree, Natick, a developer isn't going to want

  3253. to build multifamily housing without some type of parking

  3254. because they have to have to rent

  3255. or sell these, these, these units.

  3256. So, but the, the mass general law

  3257. does not necessarily in and of itself

  3258. Specify,

    Specify like very specific parking Okay.

  3259. Requirements. It's a little bit more about the number

  3260. of units that need to be allowed by Right, okay.

  3261. Per acre. And that's also community specific based on what

  3262. that community has for an MBTA resource.

  3263. Right. It's like we have two commuter rail stations,

  3264. therefore they calculate it a certain way.

  3265. That's real helpful. Thank you very much. Okay.

  3266. For the discussion, Mr. Joseph?

  3267. Sorry, just I, I don't know if it's unprecedented or not,

  3268. but I'd like to ditto a comment from the member

  3269. of the public that just spoke.

  3270. You know, I think one of the things we've constantly kicked

  3271. around at the economic development committee is, you know,

  3272. the, what are our limiting factors right?

  3273. In, in doing things. You know,

  3274. I know the parking garage issue at Middlesex has been a

  3275. long standing discussion.

  3276. What, what should we be doing?

  3277. Could we be doing, but as, as you know,

  3278. we are emerging from the pandemic

  3279. and the need for housing in this state is so apparent.

  3280. I I do want to echo this idea that as we look at this, this,

  3281. and I, I'm not suggesting that you are sort of trying

  3282. to lump everything into one study,

  3283. but the idea of triaging it

  3284. and finding short-term opportunities

  3285. that could allow the right development for the community.

  3286. I, I, I really want to echo that request

  3287. because I do think we've missed opportunities in the past

  3288. in Natick, and we live with the results of what we had to do

  3289. as opposed to what we could do.

  3290. And I think this is an opportunity to really take advantage

  3291. of an, an underutilized asset aggressively.

  3292. And I also, just a reminder to the community

  3293. downtown Natick is gonna look

  3294. completely different in five years.

  3295. It's exciting. We've got, you know,

  3296. some major studies going on.

  3297. I'm very pleased with the, the, the money we're spending

  3298. through grants and through budget to,

  3299. to get the plans right, to accommodate the need

  3300. for housing and do all of these things.

  3301. It, it's just, it's, we're gonna basically bear the fruits

  3302. of, of the talent that we've got working for us.

  3303. The fact that you've got sort of a planning orientation

  3304. and you've got a team that's really kind of taking

  3305. what we've got and making more with it

  3306. and seeing these developments like what

  3307. his client want to, to Mr.

  3308. Rothman wants to build here.

  3309. It's, it's in line with what we want as a community.

  3310. So it's, let's, let's help Natick get out of our own way.

  3311. Thank you.

  3312. Okay. Thank you. Thank you.

  3313. Okay, let's close that one out

  3314. and let's go to select board.

  3315. The topic that keeps on coming to the agenda, select board,

  3316. social media norms.

  3317. We have had this policy out there for

  3318. Ever norm, sorry, just to be clear, it's not a policy.

  3319. Guidelines. Guidelines,

  3320. Guidelines.

  3321. When I say policy, I meant norm social media norms.

  3322. So it's not a policy, it is suggestions

  3323. and guidelines and guardrails for us.

  3324. And no one in probably the better part of,

  3325. or more than a month has in any way, shape

  3326. or form said, no, I object to this completely.

  3327. So I'd like to put this to a vote

  3328. and put this agree

  3329. to have these be our norms for the, at least the time being.

  3330. So I welcome any discussion on this,

  3331. but I wanna move on from this

  3332. Just in brief balancing.

  3333. Mr. Erickson and I had a talk about some

  3334. of my previous posts

  3335. and I definitely understand why, how they could be perceived

  3336. as being problematic.

  3337. That was very helpful. So thank you for that.

  3338. Balancing that with the need for the select board

  3339. to be interacting with the public

  3340. and especially in a year if they're going to be running

  3341. for election, is it,

  3342. is it within these norms, do you envision that, for example,

  3343. there are events and notices

  3344. and announcements on our front web page.

  3345. Like for example, I know

  3346. that I've seen about the free curbside composting saying,

  3347. you know, sending that out to various social media channels

  3348. to publicize it and driving the traffic back to the website.

  3349. Is that something that you envision

  3350. as being within these norms or the energy fair

  3351. or the ha hazard mitigation plan? I,

  3352. In in essence, yes.

  3353. Meaning following these norms

  3354. to help,

  3355. I'm trying to make sure I understand

  3356. what you're, what you're saying.

  3357. So from a logistic perspective,

  3358. so when we post something on the website,

  3359. we'd much prefer people from really anywhere

  3360. to rather than copy

  3361. and paste that information, to refer back

  3362. to the website, provide a link back Absolutely.

  3363. To the website. Absolutely. That's if we're gonna be

  3364. advertising it as a community, I'd also like

  3365. to use town social media pages to be able to do that

  3366. and then have people then share that, share that so

  3367. that it still goes back to the town, the originator source.

  3368. That's kind of the intent of what I would, what it's part

  3369. of the norms are, are are about as well.

  3370. I know Jay is also online,

  3371. but the, but the primary goal here is to always just provide

  3372. that fact-based information, preferably across sort

  3373. of the natick relevant social media groups.

  3374. So like the Town of

  3375. Natick site and things along those lines.

  3376. And then bring things back to the originator source,

  3377. like the website and, and Yep.

  3378. Okay.

    That answer the question?

  3379. It does, I I, I want, I want

  3380. to be thinking about opportunities for us

  3381. to interact with the public on social media. 100%.

  3382. Yeah.

    That is productive.

  3383. And I definitely, what I'm envisioning

  3384. for example is a,

  3385. a post that says there's a survey town staff's looking

  3386. for input on a hazard mitigation plan.

  3387. Go here and there's the link.

  3388. Yeah, 100%. I understand what you're saying.

  3389. I think from that perspective, I also would like to work

  3390. with the board further about how,

  3391. because we have talked about how the board is interacting

  3392. with the public at, for example, the farmer's markets

  3393. and continuation of office hours.

  3394. And I think we can get even more creative with

  3395. how the board interacts with the public outside

  3396. of even social media, meaning across multiple spectrums.

  3397. Sure. So that to me is also part of a sort

  3398. of another conversation I think we need to work collectively

  3399. to advance so that the board members do feel like you are

  3400. getting that social interaction with the public, whether

  3401. through social media or otherwise on

  3402. surveys or other work that you know will be coming from town

  3403. administration regardless of where it comes from.

  3404. Town administration, conservation convention

  3405. area staff, what have you.

  3406. Our goal is to really ensure

  3407. that we're following our own social media norms,

  3408. which is basically sort of like these,

  3409. and we are thinking strategically about how are we getting

  3410. that message out as well.

  3411. And then that would sort of lead to the clarity on how best

  3412. to share that information.

  3413. Does that make sense? It does. 'cause we would likely be

  3414. using our own social media outlets

  3415. or other outlets as well to get

  3416. that survey information out there to seek feedback.

  3417. And then from there our goal would be

  3418. to then people just refer back to that

  3419. Along those lines, the social media norms envisions

  3420. that these would be the norms

  3421. for the town's departments as well.

  3422. We, we are looking at taking these

  3423. and adapting them to a more staff level.

  3424. Okay. It's, it's a little bit different

  3425. because there's just different components of

  3426. what staff would be doing from a social media perspective

  3427. and how we would need to make it more,

  3428. you know, employee related.

  3429. One question I do have for the board is, are these norms

  3430. that the board would like to at least encourage

  3431. the boards and committees that report to you?

  3432. Or are advisory to you to also consider?

  3433. So economic development committee is

  3434. an advisory board to this board.

  3435. You appoint them, they're a creature of the board.

  3436. You just created a board tonight

  3437. or appointed members of a board tonight.

  3438. Is that something? Don't need an answer tonight.

  3439. I just want you to think about that. No, that's fine.

  3440. Because if, if this board is sort of adopting these, does

  3441. that mean by extension you want those other boards

  3442. of committees that are also similarly that's

  3443. Worth considering,

    You know, you're,

  3444. you're they're also volunteer boards with,

  3445. with activities that they're doing to

  3446. potentially at least look to follow these.

  3447. Yeah. Again, don't need answers tonight,

  3448. it's just something for your consideration.

  3449. It's a very question unless you have answers tonight.

  3450. Yeah. Just should we, should we take that stand?

  3451. I would wanna make sure that those advisory

  3452. boards and committees had the ability to

  3453. have the town post stuff for them on the right.

  3454. So if they're, if for example, I'm just gonna use a,

  3455. some kind of a random example.

  3456. If the net zero committee is hosting an energy fair, right,

  3457. because that's in their

  3458. charge, right?

  3459. They should have access to TA to the,

  3460. to something on the town, some staff on the town

  3461. to do the initial post that they can then share.

  3462. Well we have, we have that now

  3463. with Jillian Wilson Martin No,

  3464. But, and that's just an example.

  3465. I mean, yeah, I'm just saying

  3466. because they're, there are other boards

  3467. and committees that may not have

  3468. that direct access the way I,

  3469. and I just use that 'cause it's top of mind. So

  3470. The, the question just

  3471. to frame it maybe a little bit more concisely is

  3472. how would an one of our appointed committees gain access

  3473. to the native town

  3474. website to, to promote what,

  3475. what their activities are, et

  3476. Cetera?

  3477. Well not just the town website, but the town pages.

  3478. Yeah, social

    Media,

  3479. town social media accounts. Yeah. Yeah.

  3480. Okay.

    Is right, 'cause these are social

  3481. media norms, right?

  3482. So I just wanna make sure that if we take that stand,

  3483. that that becomes available. Right.

  3484. Understood. Yeah. Yep.

    Right. So that, that's a fair

  3485. Thing.

  3486. I think one thing to also consider just in

  3487. that vein is if there's a, if there's an an, an appointed

  3488. entity that's appointed by this board

  3489. that is doing something that is requiring public engagement,

  3490. would this board want to know about

  3491. that in advance of doing that?

  3492. At which point there would be a report back

  3493. to this board in advance of doing that work

  3494. that would then lead to a collective

  3495. or concerted effort of town

  3496. administration supporting that effort?

  3497. Because it's really an effort of this board as well.

  3498. Yeah, that's, that that,

  3499. that's kind of a loaded, you get very

  3500. Complex, doesn't it? It does, yes.

  3501. Yeah. And it, and

  3502. It's a bit of a,

  3503. but this might lead to there to be more dialogue

  3504. between this board and

  3505. the boards and communities that you appoint. Yeah.

  3506. And, and it's kind of a loaded question in the sense that

  3507. they're volunteers just like us

  3508. and we're trying to potentially impose our norms on them.

  3509. And that might, may

  3510. or may not be acceptable, I just don't know.

  3511. But it's certainly worth the discussion with some

  3512. represent representative sample of,

  3513. of the committees we appoint

  3514. and just gauge their reaction. Yeah,

  3515. I I I agree with what you just said in conclusion there.

  3516. I I personally, I think less is more with all this stuff,

  3517. you know, with the bottom line is I think it's important

  3518. when we're appointing people to these committees

  3519. and we kind of revisit the charges, you know, to,

  3520. to add communications, to add accessibility, to add equity,

  3521. you know, when we start thinking about

  3522. how they're operating, who they're using in, in terms of,

  3523. you know, looking for associate members

  3524. or task forces, we should have, you know, broader norms.

  3525. And this is is one subset of communication norms.

  3526. I personally don't have a problem

  3527. with them doing their own posts.

  3528. You know, I think to ask town staff to do it

  3529. for them is a burden that we don't necessarily have to,

  3530. but in certain, in some cases it might make sense.

  3531. I can see, for example, and use the economic development

  3532. committee as an example, if a member

  3533. of the EDC says something

  3534. in comment about a particular corporate member

  3535. of the community that could be interpreted as a,

  3536. as a major negative, right?

  3537. And that could put the town in a strange position.

  3538. So I could see as a select board with them being advisory

  3539. to us saying, look, don't comment on specific projects,

  3540. don't comment on specific things.

  3541. It's a judgment call at the end of the day.

  3542. And to your point, we're all volunteers.

  3543. So I think it's just important that we do it eyes wide open.

  3544. And I think the more we give guidelines and norms

  3545. and encourage good behavior as opposed to try to control,

  3546. you can't control social media, right?

  3547. The best thing you can do is encourage

  3548. and support best practices.

  3549. I, in my opinion, I mean I'm sitting next to an expert so

  3550. We can only control

    Our own parts on social media.

  3551. So let's move on. It's already past 10,

  3552. so let's accept the Thank you. Second,

  3553. Your mic's not on.

  3554. Thank you.

    I move to accept the social media norms

  3555. as norms for the select board.

  3556. Second.

    Second by Mr. Sidney.

  3557. All in favor, please say aye. Aye. Aye. Aye. Aye. 5 0 0.

  3558. Moving on select board policy review. Update.

  3559. So I, I'll keep this briefer than I

  3560. had intended given the time.

  3561. I had an example that I can send via email so

  3562. that you can review it on your own time

  3563. and we can bring it back at the next

  3564. meeting or a future meeting.

  3565. In essence, we're going through, as I noted in the past,

  3566. the different social, the,

  3567. the different policies of the board.

  3568. And what're finding is that the, there there's sort

  3569. of a hodgepodge of templates and a hodgepodge of formats

  3570. and a hodgepodge of policy intertwined with process.

  3571. So what we're doing and,

  3572. and what I'll send to the board is an example

  3573. of very simple policy.

  3574. The banner policy is what, I'll send you the example of.

  3575. We have a banner policy. It's really simple policy,

  3576. but within it it talks about process and procedures.

  3577. So what we're trying to do is really pull those apart

  3578. and have a policy which can be a standalone item

  3579. that is really about what is the policy that we're,

  3580. that the board wants to have here.

  3581. And then the procedures, which is more

  3582. of a town administration set of procedures of how does,

  3583. how are we enacting this policy?

  3584. I want you to see both so you can get a flavor as to

  3585. how we're looking at sort of pulling these apart.

  3586. And the importance from my perspective is really

  3587. understanding that the procedures might change over time

  3588. because they, they could change over time,

  3589. whereas the policy maybe will be reviewed over time

  3590. but might not need to change over time.

  3591. We did something like this with the accepted streets policy

  3592. whereby we had the policy

  3593. and then it referred to procedures

  3594. that wasn't in this template because that was

  3595. before we started doing this more complete exercise.

  3596. But again, I'll send an email to the board

  3597. after this meeting or tomorrow, hopefully tomorrow

  3598. That

    Yeah, with that format so

  3599. that you can see what we're talking about here

  3600. and then we can talk about an upcoming meeting.

  3601. Fair

    Enough. I just wanted you to be aware

  3602. that we are making progress.

  3603. We're also identifying a number of policies

  3604. that we might bring forward for the board's consideration

  3605. to maybe not have anymore.

  3606. Some of them date back to the late seventies

  3607. or eighties, maybe even early nineties.

  3608. So there's some policies

  3609. that superseded seem like there's either new mass general

  3610. law that takes the place of them

  3611. or new town bylaws that take the place of them that we just,

  3612. this policy is not really necessary anymore.

  3613. So

    Thank you.

  3614. Would've done a more complete show of the screen,

  3615. but I figured at this time, this time we'll wait for the,

  3616. I think we'd all be lost on what I'm actually showing.

  3617. So I want to thank Donna and Jay and team

  3618. and John for, they've really dived into these policies

  3619. to come up with a template. So, super.

  3620. Thank you. Yeah, thank

    You

  3621. for that. Doing a great job. Thank

  3622. You all for that.

  3623. Sweet. Okay, onto our favorite part of the agenda.

  3624. One quick question, agenda select

  3625. board concerns isn't on

  3626. here. I just have one quick question.

  3627. It is, it's, it's after the consent agenda. Oh

  3628. Sorry.

  3629. It is there. I didn't read all the way the

  3630. end. Go ahead, dive in Rich.

  3631. Okay, so I'm gonna read the, as usual,

  3632. I'm gonna read the consent agenda, ask if anybody wants

  3633. to pull anything and then we will deal with whatever it is.

  3634. So consent agenda item A, reappoint Michael Downey

  3635. to the conservation commission.

  3636. Item B approved select board meeting minutes,

  3637. all open session meetings, minutes from April 12th, 2023,

  3638. April 19th, 2023, September 5th, 2023,

  3639. September 6th, 2023 and the retreat on October 25th, 2023.

  3640. Item C accept recreation

  3641. and parks commission requests to accept donations for July

  3642. and August of 2023.

  3643. And also for the recommendations for the use

  3644. of the nat Common for the following events.

  3645. Milestone Church to host Christmas

  3646. and me we Metro West Family Tree Farm on Saturday

  3647. December 2nd from eight to two Shabbat center

  3648. to display the menorah on the common starting December 3rd,

  3649. Sunday, December 3rd through we Wednesday,

  3650. December 20th, 2023 as well as

  3651. to host their annual event on Sunday the 10th from four

  3652. to 5:00 PM Item three, St.

  3653. Patrick's Church to display the Christmas crash on

  3654. the common from Thursday the 7th of December

  3655. until Monday the 8th of January.

  3656. Item four, Natick resident Michelle Zwick

  3657. to host a brief wedding ceremony on Sunday

  3658. December 17th, 2023 from five to six in the gazebo

  3659. with a total of 40 people, no tens or chairs to be set up.

  3660. Item five, temple Israel with Israel action committee

  3661. to host a vigil on Sunday December 3rd from three 30

  3662. to five in the gazebo open to the public

  3663. with expected 150 people.

  3664. Item D, approve Natick Center cultural district's request

  3665. for approval of free two hour parking from November 24th,

  3666. 23 through January 2nd, 24 item E accept a resignation

  3667. of Aaron Selker from the commission on disability item F

  3668. appoint permanent police officers,

  3669. item G approved rotary CLO closure north A

  3670. and BTA data center station work. Anything to Paul

  3671. Item B one

  3672. and two open session meeting minutes April 12th and April 19th.

  3673. I apologize for that.

  3674. It may have gotten lost in translation of re re the edits.

  3675. So I've resent those to Joan and it's likely my fault

  3676. but I just asking if we remove

  3677. those and put them on the next.

  3678. Okay, so we'll remove those and not vote them.

  3679. That's correct.

    Anything else to remove?

  3680. I just had a a question actually,

  3681. and this is probably a question for Mr. Erickson

  3682. in the appointment of permanent police officers,

  3683. is there paperwork that we have to sign on that?

  3684. Oh sign. Just

    Approval.

  3685. I don't believe there there is paperwork. I

  3686. Think it's just an approval.

  3687. I believe it's just an approval.

  3688. 'cause you did sign the paperwork,

  3689. Right? As as preserve

  3690. Officers previous meetings two meetings ago, last meeting

  3691. for reserve officers and that,

  3692. and this is really just that next step. Okay.

  3693. Just making sure. Okay.

  3694. Thank you. Okay, so I move the consent agenda items A

  3695. through G except for minutes of April 19th

  3696. and April 12th.

  3697. I a second. Second, second by Ms. Coughlan.

  3698. All in favor please say aye. Aye. Aye. Very good.

  3699. Thank you Mr. Sidney. Moving on to,

  3700. I assume that there are no town administrator notes

  3701. that this is late hour.

  3702. My only note was going to be to indicate

  3703. and follow up on the email that I sent

  3704. around the IT department and the shifts in the leadership in

  3705. the IT department with okay Dennis Roach.

  3706. Really just to indicate that,

  3707. but this board is aware of that.

  3708. This is more for the public to note that we just

  3709. entered into an agreement with the,

  3710. and a partnership really with the school department,

  3711. school committee to not merge departments,

  3712. but just to have Mr. Roach really kind of lead both sides

  3713. and really help us with just continuing

  3714. to build collaboration

  3715. and it between our IT departments where there's a lot

  3716. of opportunity for that

  3717. and a lot of opportunity for resource allocation and,

  3718. and building of, of sustainable models for the future.

  3719. We, we had some semblance of it previously,

  3720. but this is a really unique opportunity for us

  3721. to really solidify that and really expand it.

  3722. So that was why I put a lot more in the email.

  3723. I can certainly make more of an announcement at a future

  3724. meeting if there's desire from the public,

  3725. but I just wanted to make note of

  3726. that on the public record. Yeah,

  3727. Just one thing I'd like to add as chair one,

  3728. one of the things that we have asked for is to get the,

  3729. in in the charter changes is to allow the town manager

  3730. or town administrator more leeway to make these sorts of

  3731. changes to organ the organizational structure

  3732. as appropriate when it can lead to greater efficiencies.

  3733. And then just to inform the public that you're doing that

  3734. and this, this is the sort of flexibility that

  3735. the town quite frankly needs to,

  3736. to give the flexibility of to town administration

  3737. to make these changes that ultimately

  3738. either increase efficiency

  3739. or reduce cost or some combination.

  3740. And it, it's extremely valuable and it helps all of us.

  3741. Thank you, I appreciate that.

  3742. We're, we're gonna be making a more formal

  3743. email blast internally to staff

  3744. in the coming hours actually maybe a day or so.

  3745. So awesome,

  3746. Awesome.

  3747. Select board concerns

  3748. With that.

  3749. Mr. Erickson, you're, you said

  3750. that's gonna be in an email blast to the

  3751. Town

    Staff.

  3752. To the town staff and school staff.

  3753. Do you think it's worth it to put it on the website?

  3754. We'll make we first like to get the notification out

  3755. to town staff and then we can certainly work to,

  3756. And the reason I say that is because you said, you know,

  3757. you may wanna share it in a larger way to the, to the town

  3758. and that could be a way Yeah, it's

  3759. to just put it on the website.

  3760. Yeah, I mean the IT functions are an internal facing

  3761. function, so we really think it's most from our,

  3762. from my perspective, it's really important

  3763. to make sure town staff feels involved and, and

  3764. Absolutely informed.

  3765. But we will certainly make website adjustments

  3766. and make sure that it's known that way as well.

  3767. Okay. I think it's a, it's a less public facing entity.

  3768. Not say it shouldn't be be more broadly shared

  3769. but We'll, we'll I appreciate that.

  3770. Yeah. Yep. Thank you. That's

  3771. A good suggestion to select the board's concerns.

  3772. Ms, how often do you have one?

  3773. I just have two questions. They're not a concern.

  3774. I was unable to quickly find when the fire chief's

  3775. contract is up and when the police chief's contract is up.

  3776. Certainly. So the fire chief started on a July one

  3777. of, not this past year but the year prior.

  3778. So he's about a year and a half in, are coming up on a year

  3779. and a half in and he has another year and a half.

  3780. So it'll be June 30th of 25

  3781. when his would expire. It's a

  3782. Three year, so he a three contract year contract.

  3783. Okay. The police chief was a five year, well

  3784. I believe it was five year but I think it might've been just

  3785. shy of five years because of his birthday.

  3786. He aged out or he ages out at the end of his contract.

  3787. So I don't know the exact date.

  3788. I should know that because it's his birthday.

  3789. But I wish him happy a birthday on that day.

  3790. But his also started on that same July one of,

  3791. not 23 but 22.

  3792. So he's about a year and a half into a roughly

  3793. five year contract.

  3794. So he is about three and a half years left.

  3795. Okay. I wanna say

    It was like

  3796. April.

  3797. It might've been, yeah, I think it's April-ish.

  3798. Maybe mid to late April is when

  3799. it ages out. So it doesn't, I

  3800. Can't age can't believe you don't know that.

  3801. I'm just, I'm so disappointed in you Mr. Erickson.

  3802. I'm trying.

    I know.

  3803. Alright, anything else?

  3804. I just have a question.

  3805. Are we planning to schedule

  3806. select board hours at the winter market?

  3807. Yes. Okay. At some point. Okay. Not urgent.

  3808. Maybe put that on the November 29th.

  3809. Not urgent. It just would be nice.

  3810. Bruce, would you like me to go

  3811. and put a schedule for you to review

  3812. and circulate, review, edit and circulate?

  3813. Sure. Why not? That would be great. Thank you.

  3814. Sure.

    Thank you.

  3815. And anything else? Anything else?

  3816. I'm sorry. Anybody got anything else other than the

  3817. desire to close the meeting?

  3818. Move to Ajo? Move to adjourn.

  3819. I'll give that to Catherine

  3820. 'cause I was a simultaneous by everybody.

  3821. So move by Catherine. Seconded by Mr. Sidney.

  3822. All in favor say aye. Aye. Aye. Aye.

  3823. Anyone else who wants to stay you're welcome

  3824. to do that to 11.

  3825. Thanks very much for sticking with us tonight.

  3826. Goodnight everyone.