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Select Board July 11, 2023
Updated 18 days ago

Select Board July 11, 2023

  1. Looks like we are all here. All right,

  2. So Megan, should I call

    us to order again? Okay.

  3. So good evening everyone,

  4. and welcome to the July 11th,

    2023 meeting of the Wellesley

  5. Select Board.

  6. This meeting may be viewed

    by a live stream on Wellesley and viewed on

  7. Comcast Channel eight

    and Verizon Channel 40.

  8. This is a Zoom meeting with the following

    members of the Wellesley Select Board

  9. present and participating remotely.

    And Mara Lonza, Tom Felder,

  10. Beth Sullivan Woods, Colette, o'

    Frank, and myself, Lisa Olney.

  11. So welcome everybody. Do we have

    anyone for citizen speak? Megan?

  12. We do not have anyone on the line

    for citizen speak. Okay, awesome.

  13. Everybody's outta town probably. Okay.

  14. So the first item is

    executive directors update.

  15. I'll just say quickly

    before Megan starts that,

  16. I'm just gonna note for the board that

    we're gonna be voting on the minutes at

  17. our next regular meeting.

  18. There were a number of substantive

    changes proposed to the previous draft,

  19. and just from a process standpoint,

  20. we're gonna reissue the original draft

    and any substantive changes should be

  21. proposed at our next meeting as

    amendments so that they can be clearly

  22. considered by the board. So, Megan,

  23. do you wanna proceed?

  24. Sure. I had a couple announcements that

    I wanted to make and then we just have

  25. a gift to accept. So with

    regards to announcements one,

  26. this Saturday, July 15th

    from nine 30 to four 30,

  27. be the wildest Grand Merchant

    Association's July jubilation.

  28. And so the road on Central Street

    will be closed during those that time.

  29. Lots of activities and events, we

    encourage everyone to check it out. Also,

  30. on Thursday,

  31. the Charles River Watershed Association

    will be hosting a walking tour along

  32. Fuller Brook, and as part of that,

  33. you can contact or, or

    join that it's at 10:00 AM

  34. and they'll go through the,

  35. how it recently restored the

    tributary to the Charles River.

  36. And then just a brief announcement from

    Health Department of Communications

  37. with our health director Lenny Zo, with

    the amount of rain and heat we've had,

  38. we just want to let people know that

    comes about discussing mosquitoes that

  39. our d pws out currently treating

    our catch patients with Larvicide.

  40. Timing of this treatment will give us

    effective coverage at least through

  41. August. In addition,

  42. we want to remind residents to empty

    any standing water on their property and

  43. take personal protective measures

    when outside, during dusk and dawn.

  44. So with the amount of rain we've had,

    when you have things outside buckets,

  45. et cetera, that you forget,

  46. just dump 'em out and that that helps

    keep our mosquito population down.

  47. So Lenny wanted me to

    just relay that for folks.

  48. And then we also had one

    vote of a gift acceptance.

  49. The Park Andry D division

    received a donation of labor from

  50. Hartney Graymont who celebrated Arbor

    Day by working on the Town Station Oak.

  51. The value of this was approximately

    $5,000. So we, we think,

  52. I actually went by the day

    people were working on it,

  53. and the Station Oak is our champion

    tree right in front of the post office.

  54. And it was pretty

    substantial work that they,

  55. they went and checked all the

    cabling and did substantial pruning.

  56. So thank you to them for that gift.

  57. So we would just need an

    acceptance of that from the board.

  58. And well, if there are no

    questions about the gift, Beth,

  59. could we have the motion please? Sure.

  60. Move to approve the gift from Hartney

    Graymont of services that included

  61. pruning, fertilizing,

  62. and checking the cabling of the Town

    Station Oak with an estimated value of

  63. $5,000.

  64. Second Amara. Aye.

  65. Beth Aye. Tom. Aye.

  66. Colette Aye. And I vote Aye as well.

  67. I think that's it, right, Megan?

    For the, for your update? Yes.

  68. And so next thing is we're gonna vote

    on the legal services agreement for

  69. pfas litigation.

  70. So Dave Cohen is joining us. Dave,

  71. do you wanna give the board just

    a brief update on this litigation?

  72. Sure thing. And and before I do

    that, I, I hope you don't mind,

  73. and if you wouldn't mind

    indulging me just to make a,

  74. a brief sat announcement to let the board

    and the community know that this past

  75. weekend,

  76. Paul de Phillips Park and Tree

    assistant superintendent passed away

  77. after a year long battle with cancer

    and we're all very saddened by it.

  78. And I just wanted to

    mention that and, you know,

  79. let Paul and his family know that, that

    we're thinking of, of him and them,

  80. and also Parks family here at Park

    and Tree, who I know is really,

  81. really thrilling from this. It's

    been a, it's been a tough haul,

  82. but Paul is finally at rest after

    a, a, a, a, a really strong fight.

  83. But he did pass away this weekend and

    so wanted to just make mention of that.

  84. So thank you for letting

    me share that. Thank.

  85. You Dave.

  86. I just hope you'll convey to his

    family how very sorry we are from the,

  87. from the select board we're our

    deepest sympathies to, to his family.

  88. I will do that. Thank.

  89. You. And to everyone, everyone at the

    D P W who worked with him as well.

  90. Of course.

  91. Appreciate that. Thank you.

  92. And Paul would want us to get right

    back to business. So, so regarding pfas,

  93. as, as you know, since the pfas

    issue emerged a couple years ago,

  94. we've been entertaining conversations

    with various law firms about getting

  95. involved in class action

    litigation related to pfas.

  96. And over, over the past

    couple years, we've,

  97. we've been through a few presentations

    and interviews with some different firms

  98. and we've finally come

    to the point where we,

  99. we are recommending to move forward

    with SL Environmental Law Group and

  100. Partners.

  101. And so we have an agreement

    for the board to consider that

  102. would have,

  103. have this law firm and their

    related firms represent Wellesley

  104. in any potential class action,

  105. legal action or civil actions that

    might take place related to pfas.

  106. And we would be joining more

    than a dozen Massachusetts

  107. communities.

  108. We'd be joining the state of Massachusetts

    among others and over a hundred other

  109. jurisdictions in, in the United

    States that have jumped on with,

  110. with this particular law

    group. And we've done some,

  111. some outreach and some reference

    checking and, and feel,

  112. feel good about entering into an

    agreement with, with this group.

  113. So we recommend favorable action from the,

  114. from the select board on this and happy

    to have any questions that you might

  115. have.

  116. Thank you, Dave.

  117. So I'll just mention for the benefit of

    the public that we did have a discussion

  118. of this in executive session,

  119. so a lot of the board's

    questions I think were answered,

  120. but if anyone has anything

    additional they'd like to say,

  121. now would be a good time. Okay.

  122. Thank you so much Dave.

  123. We really appreciate your pursuing

    this on behalf of the town.

  124. It's a matter of great

    concern to everyone and

  125. really glad that you're on top of this.

  126. Lisa, Lisa, if you don't mind,

    maybe it's also good to also

  127. maybe set expectations

    with folks that, you know,

  128. people might be hearing reports

    about lots of money that, that,

  129. that might be out there. And, and I,

  130. I think we wanna be conservative

    about our expectations here, that,

  131. that this is a low risk

    but potentially low reward.

  132. But we wanna make sure that if there are

    any settlements that we don't miss out

  133. on those opportunities.

  134. But there may not be millions of

    dollars coming our way on this,

  135. but whatever it is, we want to take

    advantage of that. And so this is,

  136. this will protect our

    interests in the event that,

  137. that any dollars do become available.

  138. Absolutely. Thank you. Okay. If,

  139. if the board has no further comments,

    we'll I'll ask for a motion please. Beth.

  140. Move to approve the legal

    services agreement for the pfas

  141. action litigation and to authorize

    executive director Megan job to sign on

  142. behalf of the town.

  143. Second Beth Aye. Tom Aye.

  144. Colette Aye. And Mara Aye.

  145. And I vote Aye as well.

    Thank you very much, Dave.

  146. Thank you all. Have a great night.

  147. You too.

  148. So we are going to move on to the

    interview and vote of the interim fire

  149. chief.

  150. Thanks Lisa. So with us

    tonight, in addition to the

    candidates is Brian Duggan,

  151. the town's consultant from

    Municipal Resources Inc.

  152. To assist the board with this

    process. And in addition is Chief pki.

  153. Chief PKI has been assisting me

    through this process for both the

  154. interim chief search as well as

    our PR initial fire chief search,

  155. which has led us here today. So with

    that, it would be my expectation,

  156. I'm gonna turn it over to Brian to give

    an introduction and then the board has a

  157. series of questions.

  158. I think we'll after Brian's introduction

    we'll turn it back to Lisa to,

  159. to start off the questions and then

    we can, we can take it from there.

  160. Okay. Thank you Megan.

    Can everyone hear me okay?

  161. Okay. Yes.

  162. Thank you. So again, as Megan said,

  163. w we've sort of navigated

    a path through a search and

  164. recruited and interviewed two candidates

    that are gonna come before the board

  165. tonight as potential interim fire chiefs.

  166. The first candidate is with

    us. Ready? Todd Germaine.

  167. So Todd, if you can hear me, why don't

    you turn your mic on and your video

  168. and we'll introduce him. So everybody.

  169. Hi there.

  170. Todd comes to us from

    Portsmouth, New Hampshire,

  171. where he served three years as

    fire chief and emergency manager.

  172. And in addition to that, he served

    eight years as Shift Commander.

  173. Prior to coming to you tonight,

  174. Todd has interviewed with us and

    with Megan and the chief on two

  175. occasions, once with us and

    once with our entire team,

  176. including Megan and the chief and

    was vetted through that process.

  177. So he survived us. So we're, we're

    hoping he can survive you as well.

  178. Todd is actually traveling.

    Todd, you're in London, correct?

  179. Glasgow, Scotland.

  180. So he is calling in quite

    remotely and with that I'm sure

  181. he'll say much more about his career

    history as we go through things.

  182. So I'll turn it over to the chair and

    then we'll follow up with questions

  183. afterwards. Lisa.

  184. Great. Thank you Brian. And thank you

    Chief lucky for being here as well.

  185. So what we thought we'd do is

    have the board members go around

  186. sort of picking your top priority

    questions from that great list that

  187. we got from Brian of suggested questions.

  188. And then if you have a follow-up question,

  189. you could go ahead with

    that and then we'll move on.

  190. And then if we still have

    time, hopefully we will,

  191. Megan can go through the

    remaining questions to the,

  192. to the extent that we're able,

  193. just a reminder that we'll be asking

    both candidates the same questions.

  194. So, so I will just start us off.

  195. There were so many great questions

    here. I, it was hard to choose, but I,

  196. I'd really be grateful to hear Todd,

  197. about your management style and how

    you would approach the need for change

  198. within the Wellesley fire department.

  199. Sure. First of all, hello to everybody

    and thanks for the opportunity to,

  200. to be here tonight. As far as

    my, my management style, I'm,

  201. I'm very much a democratic type

    of manager. I seek collaboration,

  202. I seek input from,

  203. from all stakeholders to the best

    that I can. I've had a, a pretty,

  204. pretty successful career both in, in as a,

  205. as a firefighter and,

  206. and a shift commander in my roles as union

  207. executives as well as on this side of

    the desk as a manager to be able to

  208. facilitate communication and

    collaboration between, you know,

  209. particularly labor and management. And

    that's, that's pretty much probably my,

  210. my biggest strength and what I bring,

    I think to the table in this situation.

  211. As far as, as affecting change,

  212. I'm not deeply familiar with the,

  213. with the issues within the

    Wellesley Fire Department,

  214. just sort of on the surface. Obviously

    there are some leading us to, you know,

  215. the conversation tonight. But

    as we figure out what those are,

  216. I think I have an ability to, to bring

    all sides to the table, so to speak,

  217. and, and, and find some,

  218. some common ground as far as

    affecting change. Again, you know, it,

  219. it starts at the top obviously,

  220. but you gotta get the

    middle management involved.

  221. You gotta get the middle

    management convinced that

    the changes for the better of

  222. them and the whole department.

    And I think, you know,

  223. that's for me the best place to

    start. And, and also, you know,

  224. from what I understand,

  225. there's a good opportunity now cause

    there's a lot of younger firefighters,

  226. a lot of younger generation

    coming through and they,

  227. and they're almost the

    majority. So I think, you know,

  228. the more you can get that group of

    people involved and and acceptable the

  229. change, the, the easier

    that change or the quicker,

  230. at least that change may come. So.

  231. Great. Well, thank you. So just to

    make sure I heard you correctly,

  232. you were saying your biggest strength

    was essentially bringing all sides to the

  233. table. Is that kind of.

  234. Yeah, I've had very good luck

    facilitating that communication with,

  235. you know, with the department I I

    worked in, there were two labor unions,

  236. one for the firefighters and

    one for the fire officers.

  237. And then of course you

    have the management.

  238. And even prior to being

    a chief in my role as,

  239. as leaders of, of those

    labor unions, I, I made a,

  240. a concerted effort to,

  241. to make sure that those lines of

    communication from that side to the

  242. management, you know, was always

    open and, and and facilitated.

  243. And then of course when I get on

    this on the other side of the desk,

  244. I carried through with that as well

    to make sure that those lines of

  245. communication were always

    there. And I think, you know,

  246. when you get all the stakeholders together

    and you get 'em all sort of looking

  247. in the, in the right direction,

  248. in the same direction and that's when

    things can positively change and you can

  249. actually make a difference.

  250. Awesome. Thank you very much.

  251. So can I see hands for

    who'd like to go next? Beth?

  252. Great. Nice to meet you Mr. Ger. Hi.

  253. Beth, nice to meet you.

  254. So you are coming from

    Portsmouth, New Hampshire, right?

  255. Which is correct, a little

    bit bigger of a department,

  256. correct.

  257. Little bit, not, not too much

    bigger but a little bit bigger.

  258. One additional station and

    a few more people per shift.

  259. So I'm wondering what are the differences

    that you see between your most

  260. recent position and the position of

    interim chief in the town of Wellesley?

  261. Well, I mean, the difference would be

    in, in my position in Portsmouth, I,

  262. you know, came up through the ranks.

    I was intimately familiar with the,

  263. with the department for,

    you know, 30 years and,

  264. and when became the chief, you know,

    I had all that internal knowledge,

  265. I had all that institutional

    knowledge and history.

  266. So obviously that would be a difference

    coming to Wellesley. And also I think,

  267. you know, from what I

    understand there would be a,

  268. a series of goals and objectives

    as, as, as prescribed by,

  269. I guess probably Megan and, and and

    the board to find, you know, to,

  270. to achieve or to, to accomplish

    in the time that I'm there.

  271. So I think it would be more

    short term planning and goal.

  272. Not that I wouldn't try to,

  273. to facilitate and try to try to move

    along some longer term, you know,

  274. goals and management while

    you're there. Cause you don't,

  275. you don't want someone in there for a

    year just to think about that one year.

  276. You still have to, as the fire

    chief, you still have to plan ahead.

  277. You still have to be looking,

    you know, at the horizon to,

  278. to make sure that things are moving

    forward in 2, 3, 5, 8 years. So, I mean,

  279. you know, as, as the chief

    in Portsmouth, you know,

  280. that was sort of my focus vision

    was that further, you know,

  281. outlook and we're here, I think I would

    have to concentrate as much, you know,

  282. on the shorter term of those goals

    and objectives, but also, you know,

  283. making sure the department moves

    forward in a, you know, in a,

  284. in a futuristic situ, you know, futuristic

    look as well. If that makes sense.

  285. Sorry, it's, it's almost

    midnight here, so.

  286. It's okay. So Lisa, did you

    wanna follow up now or wait? Yes,

  287. so now would be good. Okay.

  288. So I guess my follow up question

    is what is it about this

  289. position that has caused you to

    apply for it and be interested?

  290. To be honest, I was asked if I

    would be interested in in, in,

  291. in doing an interim stint

    here by the folks from mri.

  292. And honestly, I, I, you know,

  293. I've been just about nine

    months out from retirement,

  294. my wife and I did a lot of traveling

    over the winter and we're sort of,

  295. you know, in a, a little bit

    of a limbo state right now.

  296. So it actually worked out

    pretty nicely, you know,

  297. the offer that when it came through.

    So I mean, we're, you know, if we,

  298. if it happens that, that I get

    the position we'll be, you know,

  299. looking for a place, you know, right

    away down in that area to, to be,

  300. to move to for the time

    that I'm there. So that's,

  301. that's really what got me interested.

    And to be, I'll be honest, I I,

  302. I miss, you know,

  303. I miss I missed it a little bit and

    in having these interviews with,

  304. with I and, and with Megan and, and Chief

    Eck, you know, getting back into the,

  305. the thought of, of all this again,

    it's kinda exciting. So I'm,

  306. I'm looking forward to follow

    through with it if possible.

  307. Great. Thank you so much.

  308. Welcome.

  309. And Mara, thank you. And Todd,

  310. thank you so much for taking the time

    to meet with us today. You're welcome.

  311. So Lisa stole my question, so I

    have a different question. So how,

  312. I guess how do you communicate with,

  313. involve and motivate your staff and

    preserve the command structure within the

  314. organization?

  315. And I think it would be helpful to

    maybe if you had like maybe a specific

  316. example of a situation

    that you had to deal

  317. with and how you worked

    through it and were able

  318. how you were able to use

    your communication skills to

    work through the situation

  319. and at the end of the day, dealing

    with the difficult situation,

  320. still have a staff that was

    motivated and ready to Sure.

  321. It's, I'm trying to, it's a lengthy one,

    but I'll try to trim it down for, for,

  322. for brevity here.

  323. We had a situation where we had

    a promotion to make for, for a,

  324. a lieutenant and there were only two

    people left on the promotion list.

  325. Policy dictated that I recommend to

    our board of fire commissioners, one,

  326. at least one person for the position.

  327. And in my estimation and the

    estimation of my shift commanders and

  328. some outside references that neither

    of these of these individuals should be

  329. promoted for, for lack of a better

    way to put it, for reasons of safety.

  330. And, and so being responsible for

    everyone in the department and,

  331. and having the final say, at least

    in my opinion, I had the final say.

  332. I chose not to positively

    recommend either one of them,

  333. but before I did that I brought each

    of them in, discussed, you know,

  334. the issues that I had and the, the ship

    commanders had with them and, you know,

  335. face-to-face with, you know, and said

    right up front, this is, you know,

  336. this is what I'm not going

    to do and what I'm gonna do.

  337. I brought their union presidents in and

    told 'em the same thing and, you know,

  338. the reasons that I was going

    to do so, and you know, I,

  339. I offered them sort of a

    threw of a way out of it.

  340. They chose not to take it, they

    chose to instead file a grievance,

  341. went to a lengthy arbitration

    over a year. But, you know,

  342. the whole, the whole time we had open

    communications, but I wasn't trying to,

  343. to subvert anybody. I wasn't

    trying to go around anybody or,

  344. or didn't do anything behind his

    back or, or anything like that.

  345. I wanted to make sure that they

    were upfront as to why one of the,

  346. the individuals actually took, you know,

  347. the advice that we gave him and pretty

    much turned himself around and to the

  348. point now he's actually sitting as the

    next person to be promoted up there from

  349. what I understand. And then the other

    person went the other way and, and,

  350. and oftentimes and repeatedly

    seems to prove, you know,

  351. that we did, we made the right

    decision, I think. But anyway,

  352. and in the end, we, we won the ar

    the city won the arbitration. They,

  353. they sided with, with myself, you know,

  354. making the right decision or had having

    the ability to make that decision.

  355. And you know, when it was all over,

  356. it was shortly before I retired and one

    month after the arbitration case came

  357. through, both unions voted to,

  358. to make me honorary lifetime

    members of their union.

  359. So I'm not sure how to take that,

    but seemed to work out on my end. So,

  360. but that, if that's a, if that's

    an example as to what I could,

  361. how I communicated, if,

    if that helps. Yeah.

  362. No, that's a great example. Thank you.

  363. And so it sounds like in that case you

    ended up with an employee who maybe was

  364. not very motivated and was maybe

    a little unhappy for that year.

  365. Was that a challenge that you had to

    deal with or is that something that was

  366. dealt with, you know, lower

    down the chain of command?

  367. It was dealt with more of

    the lower chain of command.

  368. This person was a bit of

    an outlier. So I don't,

  369. I don't know as if it really, it didn't

    really spread throughout the department,

  370. but you know, the other

    person who, you know,

  371. really just sort of turned around and,

    and became more involved and, you know,

  372. that that's that motivation, I

    mean, flipped him around, you know,

  373. and I think he,

  374. he was pretty upfront about not realizing

    that those were the reasons that were

  375. holding him up. And when he

    did realize it, you know,

  376. he did the right thing and, and

    he took and he took off with it.

  377. The other person unfortunately

    dug their heels in. But again,

  378. it didn't really affect anyone because

    everyone else in the department saw the

  379. same thing that we did. So.

  380. Okay. Well thank you so much.

  381. You're welcome.

  382. Tom.

  383. Thank you. And thank you for joining us,

  384. given the hour. We've had this experience

    with another member of our board too,

  385. and it's not,

  386. not easy and basically in a situation

    like this where you're interviewing,

  387. so we really appreciate it. The,

  388. the whole concept of an interim chief,

  389. I think has been interesting and seems

    to have grown organically out of our

  390. work with M R I and an evaluation of their

  391. sense along with our

    management team and chief pki

  392. about where the department

    needs to go as a result in the

  393. recommendation for a 12 month term.

  394. I think it puts a lot of

    pressure on organization and goal

  395. orientation in terms of what

    needs to be accomplished.

  396. So how would you work with the M R I

    team to determine progress on goals

  397. and objectives and support an

    officer development program?

  398. So from what I understand, again,

    there'll be goals and objectives and,

  399. and I think if it's not the plan,

  400. I would suggest the plan to be

    that we meet, if not, you know,

  401. monthly or quarterly to find out where

    we are at with those objectives with,

  402. with MRI and probably with

    Megan to find out, you know,

  403. to see where it is we're at, see how

    the, you know, how the progress is,

  404. is moving along. You know,

  405. really the first few months is gonna be

    me getting to know them and them getting

  406. to know me. To your

    earlier point, you know,

  407. I'm not really familiar with

    interim, an interim position.

  408. This is is a new thing for me.

    It doesn't really happen much,

  409. it doesn't seem to have happened

    much anyway in New Hampshire.

  410. I I actually know a couple of chiefs

    that have done it and spoken with them

  411. briefly as to, you know,

    process and so on. But

  412. I, I think that's, I think

    that's the plan is to,

  413. is to just be in constant contact. And

    I think I would be in a a, you know,

  414. a weekly or, or more than a few times

    a week communication with Megan,

  415. at least to begin with, to make

    sure that, you know, we're,

  416. we're headed in the right direction,

  417. that we're heading in

    the right direction and,

  418. and her eyes and in the eyes of the

    board for sure. You know, I think,

  419. you know, my goal is gonna

    be to, to find or, or to,

  420. I think from what I understand, there's,

  421. there's internal candidates that are

    capable of taking this position if given,

  422. you know, the opportunity to do so or

    perhaps you know, the right direction.

  423. And, you know, in my, in my years

    in the fire service, you know, I,

  424. I I believe that these, these le the

    leadership should come from within.

  425. I think it, I think it's best for the

    organization that, you know, that,

  426. that the leadership comes from within

    and moves their way up through.

  427. So as far as I'm concerned,

    my position here is,

  428. is gonna be to foster that and

    to, to, to make that happen.

  429. To find that person or,

  430. or that person's already identified

    and bring them along up through.

  431. I think that internal knowledge and

    that internal rise up through the

  432. ranks is what's best for the

    organization as a whole in the end.

  433. Thank you. Welcome.

  434. I think it's left to me the,

  435. the Scottish member of the board who

    has been in your position before.

  436. So I appreciate your, the middle

    of the night in my hometown.

  437. It, it's okay.

  438. It's so easy to stay up here cause it

    doesn't get dark till like 10 30, so.

  439. It does not, yeah, just try it

    in the middle of winter though,

  440. when it's dark at three

    in the afternoon. Yeah.

  441. No, no, I'm not gonna do that.

  442. Well, thank you for your time today

    and I appreciate your answers already.

  443. Some of my top questions

    have already been selected,

  444. so I would like to ask

    you to talk maybe about a

  445. deeper dive into your 90 day plan and

  446. what are some specific projects that

    you would like to collaborate with your

  447. staff to bring positive change

    to the Wellesley Fire Department?

  448. What are two top two examples of something

    you might focus on in the initial 90

  449. day period?

  450. Sure. Well, in addition to, you know,

  451. getting my bearings in Wellesley

    and within the department,

  452. certainly I would, you know, in the

    first week to 10 days, week to two weeks,

  453. I would want to meet with the

    command staff, my command staff.

  454. It was immediately below the

    chief. And then with the,

  455. the senior staff as far

    as the shift commanders,

  456. the deputies meet with the

    union presidents or president,

  457. I'm not sure how many unions

    have there meet with, you know,

  458. the union leadership and get everybody

    sort of at least face to face and,

  459. and try to, and try to get everyone on

    the same page to see which way, you know,

  460. which way we're gonna go from

    there. I think, you know,

  461. as far as as things we could

    do in the department, you know,

  462. a good exercise,

  463. which would be a good exercise

    for potential leaders in

  464. the department as well as good

    for the department is, you know,

  465. put together a a five-year plan

    if one doesn't exist already,

  466. which can be good not only, you

    know, in the, in the short term for,

  467. for the purposes that of the interim

    situation in the development of,

  468. of leadership, but also in the long

    term. You know, it can be used, you know,

  469. in years to come for planning and

    budgeting and so on, you know,

  470. that would help any department. And

    there's also there, there, you know,

  471. we've done self assessments before in

    our departments before where, you know,

  472. you sort of just gather all the, all the

    data and all the facts, you know, and,

  473. and put 'em into one document that sort

    of is a sort of a snapshot of where

  474. you're at now, where you

    have been and you know,

  475. where we look to go in the

    future in addition to, you know,

  476. that would be separate from like

    a five year, you know, planning,

  477. planning document outside of that. Or

    it could be a 10 year planning document,

  478. what what have you. But

    I just think, you know,

  479. I was thinking that earlier that that

    would be a good exercise or something to

  480. do again for, you know, the

    immediate situation that we're in,

  481. but also would benefit something that

    we could do that would also benefit the

  482. department to have on file

    anyway, you know, for the future.

  483. Thank you. And I'm gonna use as my

    follow up, I'm gonna ask you to ask,

  484. talk a little bit more about budgeting

    and what of experience you've had in

  485. trying to, you know, evaluate

    a, a department's budget,

  486. find where there might

    be gaps, like you said,

  487. build into a five-year plan. Tell us

    more about your experience with that.

  488. Experience with budgeting. You know,

    just, I, I don't, I would have to get,

  489. I would have to sit down with,

  490. with Megan for a couple hours

    to go over town budgeting.

  491. I'm not too familiar with,

    you know, how a town,

  492. especially Massachusetts

    would do that. I'm, you know,

  493. I'm sure it's something

    pick up easy enough.

  494. But as far as my budgeting experience

    with city budgets, you know,

  495. our budget cycle started in November,

    you know, or our October of, you know,

  496. the year to, to follow up for the

    July one beginning of the fiscal year.

  497. So our budget process were pretty long.

  498. It started with capital budget

    processing. I was able to actually,

  499. my first year as chief, I was

    able to find a way to stagger our,

  500. we had to replace two ladder

    trucks within a couple of years.

  501. I was able to evaluate one and get it to,

  502. to a position and get it refurb to a

    point where it could last long enough that

  503. we could purchase just

    one aerial truck for,

  504. to run first do for 10 years and then

    keep that other one reserved for 10 years,

  505. save the city, you know, a couple million

    dollars and spread out the cost of,

  506. you know, having two aerial ladder truck

    purchases within a couple years. So,

  507. I mean, it seems like there's

    always things we can find

    in gaps there. And then,

  508. you know, budgeting is always

    looking back to find out, you know,

  509. what you've spent before and

    you know, what, what you,

  510. what you can try to not

    spend the next time.

  511. We had around a nine and a half to

    $10 million budget when I left. So,

  512. and you know, and I think it's, if it's

    no different here, I'm sure you know,

  513. your personnel and, and the fixed

    costs are up in probably the high 80%,

  514. you know, early 90%. So, you know,

  515. your discretionary spending and things

    that you have a lot of room for is pretty

  516. small, but, you know, anything you

    can find in there is, is a savings.

  517. And you know, certainly that's, you

    know, that's what we always look forward,

  518. you know, look, look to do

    is find those savings in the,

  519. in the places that we can,

    that we have any control over.

  520. Okay. Thank you very much. Appreciate

    your approach to smoothing out costs and,

  521. you know, appropriately budgeting

    for capital items. So thank you.

  522. You're welcome.

  523. Megan, do we,

  524. so I think we have a little

    more time, right? Yeah.

  525. It should be seven 20.

  526. The next candidate should be jumping on.

  527. Okay. So Megan, do you wanna just go

    through some of the other questions?

  528. Sure. Hold on.

  529. I'm just scrolling back

    up to my questions.

  530. What are some examples, Todd,

  531. of things that you could do to make this

    in intern position and intern internal

  532. mentorship a success.

  533. Again, without knowing a lot

    of the internal, you know,

  534. nuts and bolts of the

    situation, I guess from, if I'm,

  535. if I remember it correctly or if I get

    the sense that there are candidates or

  536. candidate internally that have, you know,

    a good look at being in this position,

  537. working just closely with,

  538. with that person or those

    people on a day-to-day basis.

  539. It's the best of my ability or the

    best of their ability depending on the

  540. schedule and the shift. And

    just, you know, to me, and,

  541. and, and I was, I did this in

    Portsmouth when I had a, a new,

  542. I had a assistant fire chief,

    my assistant fire chief retired.

  543. I had a new one come up through who

    was a shift captain at the time,

  544. which would be a deputy in your

    department. And you know, we,

  545. we worked together on a lot of things

    before that person even became the

  546. assistant chief so that they could

    seamlessly walk into that position when,

  547. you know, the other person retired. And

    that was just a matter of, you know,

  548. if I had, like, if I had a

    budget presentation to make

    or if I had, you know, a,

  549. a meeting, a commission

    meeting of some kind or a or,

  550. or a committee meeting to

    invite that person along,

  551. bring them into my office and, you know,

  552. work on a document together or work on a

    PowerPoint together just to get a sense

  553. of, you know, this is, this is what it

    is, this is what being a fire chief is.

  554. It's, you know, it's

    making this PowerPoint on,

  555. on this budget presentation or

    whatever. And or just bring,

  556. I brought 'em in and like, listen, here's,

    you know, here's our capital budget,

  557. here's our capital outlay. You know, what,

    what do you have for ideas? You know,

  558. I don't, I don't have all the

    answers. So I think, you know,

  559. if we identify that person and bring

    that, and I can do that with that person,

  560. that's how I would like

    to, to play this just,

  561. just to be as transparent and open as

    possible with this person and essentially,

  562. you know, not get to the point,

  563. but for lack of a better way to put

    it co-chief with this person and,

  564. and get the feel for whether they're

    getting the feel for it or not, or just,

  565. you know, I can say that, you know, if

    they, if they have an idea, I'd be like,

  566. well, yeah, I can see where that works,

  567. but I can tell you in this

    experience where it didn't work,

  568. maybe we need to tweak it a

    little bit to make it work into,

  569. into what your idea might

    be. Does that make sense?

  570. That's great. One other

    important factor is,

  571. I know having been chief that

    in a very visible location in

  572. the imports that where the

    firehouse happens to sit,

  573. you had significant engagement

    with the community. Yeah.

  574. So even in a one year interim

    position, what are some strategies or,

  575. or ways that you would be able to engage

    with the residents of the community and

  576. involve the community?

  577. Yeah, I mean to, to the

    extent that you can and,

  578. and I'm not sure what has already

    been, you know, done there or what,

  579. what happens now for community

    engagement. But you know, there's,

  580. there's always, you know,

  581. social clubs or senior

    citizen organizations or

  582. you know, the schools or obviously

    a good way to do it, just,

  583. just being out there,

    you know, if there's a,

  584. if there's an event going on that

    it's appropriate or, or even remotely,

  585. appropriate to have a firetruck at

    or a fire prevention person or myself

  586. or whatever to be at, then you have

    to be at those things, you know,

  587. I mean like touch a truck

    or type thing, you know,

  588. if there's something like that going

    on, you know, we should be there.

  589. The fire department should be there. I

    think, you know, and it's the matter of,

  590. you know, getting, I I, I

    was a proponent of, you know,

  591. if if the crew wants to go out and

    park the truck down on, you know,

  592. on the downtown and go walk over

    and get a coffee, coffee shop,

  593. then they should do that because,

    you know, it gets them out there.

  594. People ask them questions maybe, you know,

  595. they give directions to somebody

    and it's a positive impact,

  596. it's a positive experience there with

    the public. I'm all for that. And in,

  597. in the past they think, you know, in my

    experience anyway, we've had, you know,

  598. chiefs and, and leadership that, you know,

  599. that wasn't allowed and that was

    discouraged and, you know, it just,

  600. to me it just seemed

    counterintuitive to what you,

  601. what we do and why we're

    there. You're community. We're

  602. know, reach out and ask a question or

    you know, look at the truck, you know,

  603. if a kid gets a, i, you know, get a

    chance to step on a fire truck, you know,

  604. that's a positive experience. You know,

    the parents realize that. And, you know,

  605. anytime you can get good, good face

    value like that, you gotta do it.

  606. So I mean that's, those

    the kind of things that,

  607. at least that's my philosophy

    as far as that's concerned.

  608. Great. Thanks again. If you're good,

  609. I'll do the next two and then

    swap back to you. Great. Okay.

  610. So Todd, thinking about sort

    of things that guide you,

  611. what are three principles that would

    guide you as an interim chief and

  612. Wellesley, and why do they

    stand out based on your career,

  613. your life experience?

  614. Well, honesty and integrity

    and, and you know,

  615. just a good work ethic. I mean, you know,

  616. I guess I, I don't really know

    how else to put that. I mean,

  617. those are pretty obvious

    things that again, you know,

  618. be being honest with

    everyone and, and, and, and,

  619. and being able to establish

    that honesty, which,

  620. which leads to integrity in the

    department. Again, you know, that's,

  621. that's how I was a successful fire

    chief in Portsmouth. And you know,

  622. in know, well I guess, you know,

    well respected as I was there was,

  623. I was honest with everyone and, and

    then I did develop that integrity and,

  624. you know, and the work ethic is

    there as well. You know, be there,

  625. be there every day, be it

    all the functions, be it the

    things you need to be at,

  626. you know, and, and, and, and keep your

    face out there and, and, you know,

  627. just get dirty beside what you have to,

    you know, that's just part of the deal.

  628. And you know, those, I guess, you know,

    those are the, the principles. I mean,

  629. you know, I grew, I grew up in, in

    Northern New Hampshire, you know, and,

  630. you know, you know, dad made

    sure I worked for my dad.

  631. Any of you out there worked for

    your parents, you know, in the past.

  632. But it's not always easy. And, you

    know, one thing I learned was, you know,

  633. if you wanted a day's pay, put in a

    day's work. And I just, that's how I've,

  634. I've lived through my career and I think,

    you know, it's gotten me to where I,

  635. where I was or, you know,

    hope to be again someday.

  636. Okay, thank you.

  637. What would be your approach to a

    couple of issues? First of all,

  638. diversity in the Wellesley Fire Department

    and recruitment of new firefighters

  639. in a sort of very quickly

    changing job market.

  640. Yeah, we hit on the, you hit

    on the number one, you know,

  641. challenge of fire departments

    around the world right now is,

  642. is recruitment and retention and, and

    you know, to some extent diversity,

  643. just, there's an article in the

    globe today about, you know,

  644. hiring people on the cape,

  645. unable to hire fire firefighters to work

    in the departments that they, you know,

  646. or to live in the towns of the departments

    they work in. And you know, that's,

  647. that's common all over the place now,

    as, as housing becomes more expensive,

  648. you know, we, we had those

    issues in Portsmouth. Again,

  649. it's just a high rent area and you know,

    we weren't paid very well at the time.

  650. And so, you know, we really had to

    just put the word out for recruitment,

  651. you know, everywhere. Not just in the

    local papers or in the local, you know,

  652. trade magazine or whatever. You

    had to put it out everywhere.

  653. You had to bring everybody in and gotta

    the point where cold called people.

  654. And you know, also part of that is,

    you know, to improve diversity was to,

  655. is to get out with the

    publications that target, you know,

  656. the more diverse populations. And,

    you know, I'm happy to say that in my,

  657. in my time as the chief,

  658. we were recognized by the state of New

    Hampshire having the most gender diverse

  659. fire department in the state by having

    five female firefighters, you know, by,

  660. so by percentage. And it was only five,

    but we were the largest, you know,

  661. percentage in the state.

  662. And I'm also very proud of being

    able to promote the first female

  663. lieutenant in the history of our

    department and was able to mentor her and,

  664. and bring her to a point where,

    you know, she was, she became,

  665. she got first on the lieutenant's test

    and I was so happy to promote her. So,

  666. but as far as, you know, the recruitment

    stuff and retention, you know,

  667. the recruitment, you gotta get more, you

    know, the word out there and retention,

  668. you gotta, you know,

  669. obviously money's the number one thing

    that brings people in and keeps 'em

  670. there. But, you know, when

    you've exhausted that avenue,

  671. you gotta sort of add value to the, to

    the job. And you gotta make it a more,

  672. you know, pleasant place to work. The,

    the years and the days of, you know,

  673. tormenting, you know, the new

    firefighters and, you know, and,

  674. and that sort of thing is, is it's

    just, it's not acceptable anymore. And,

  675. and as far as I'm concerned, it needs

    to go by the wayside. If it hasn't yet,

  676. you know, you need to be able to

    positively reinforce, you know, these,

  677. these younger firefighters

    when they come in,

  678. they're a completely different generation.

  679. They think of a completely different

    way than we did when we came in.

  680. And I think, you know,

  681. when the leadership needs to spread

    that word to the middle management,

  682. to the captains or the, the

    lieutenants and the deputies, you know,

  683. to foster that relationship that, you

    know, these new firefighters need,

  684. need your help, they need your mentoring.

    You know, if they have questions,

  685. answer 'em, you know,

  686. don't just tell 'em to do something

    because you told 'em to do it. Just,

  687. ask 'em to do something and explain

    to them why you're asking to do that.

  688. And I think, you know, that goes a

    long way to retention. If they're,

  689. if they're happy there,

    then they'll stay there.

  690. Okay. And sort of a,

  691. a final follow up part of you

    mentioned there's a number of new

  692. firefighters, and that's

    certainly the case in Wellesley.

  693. How do you as chief prepare these

    new firefighters to sort of get

  694. ready for a changing future of

    the fire service in America?

  695. Be upfront with 'em. You

    know, tell 'em, you know,

  696. you gotta make sure they understand,

    you know, what the, what the job is. I,

  697. I hired I think a dozen firefighters

    in my time as chief in Portsmouth. And,

  698. and a few of them after a few

    months realized, you know,

  699. for whatever reason that this wasn't,

    this wasn't their thing. And you know,

  700. I didn't, if they came

    in and said, you know,

  701. we gave me a reason why they didn't

    think it was their thing, you know,

  702. I didn't encourage them to

    stay if they felt, you know,

  703. that strongly about it because, you

    know, I think at that point, if, if it's,

  704. if you don't like it now, it's

    not gonna get any better for you.

  705. So you gotta be honest with 'em. And

    you know, and unfortunately you do,

  706. you do lose a few that way. But, you

    know, in, in the interview process,

  707. bringing them in, you know, you really

    hammer home, you know, what the job is,

  708. what the, you know, what the commitments

    are and you know, and, and, and the,

  709. the risks involved. And, and,

    and then when they're, you know,

  710. when they're on the shift again, you

    gotta sort of, you gotta keep the,

  711. the line officers in the

    middle management, you

    know, on a, on a course of,

  712. you know,

  713. just better communication

    and better relationships

    with the younger firefighters

  714. so that, you know, they, it's their job

    to tell them and to explain to them,

  715. you know, what the job is and, and

    coach them and train them, you know,

  716. and bring them along. So again,

    just impress upon that, you know,

  717. those deputies and lieutenants

    that, you know, they, you, you're,

  718. you're there to help them, you're there

    for them. And, you know, I guess that's,

  719. that's how I would do that. You know,

  720. it's not something that the sheep is

    gonna go down and talk to every new

  721. firefighter on the floor, you know, and

    convince him to stay or not stay. Right.

  722. So.

  723. Okay. Thank you. Megan, you

    wanna take the next two?

  724. There's more.

  725. Just a few.

  726. So we maybe have time for, I'd say it's

    seven 17. Brian, what do you think? One,

  727. one more?

  728. Yeah, why don't we do one more.

  729. Cause we've done these out of

    order. I gotta look, hold on.

  730. So although this is a, you

    know, a a shorter stay,

  731. why don't you discuss how you've

    engaged with the other departments

  732. in, in Portsmouth and how you would go

    about engaging with the departments here.

  733. It's, it's through the other

    departments within the town chair.

  734. When I first became the chief, the,

  735. the manager of the city sort of sort of

  736. got the department heads in a position

    where they've sort of competed against

  737. each other. So, and then we had a

    change of, of leadership at the,

  738. at the city manager level. And,

    and then we had Covid and you know,

  739. we went from a position of sort of having

    our own little islands within the city

  740. everybody's on the same island and we

    better start figuring things out cause the

  741. water's rising, right? So we were able to,

  742. to have to collaborate together and

    have to get together and do things and,

  743. and that, you know, once, you know,

    COVID waned and, and, and started to end,

  744. we found that, you know,

  745. we had much better working

    relationships and things were, you know,

  746. just all of our, all of our

    situations were, were much,

  747. much better because we meshed

    together. We knew each other more,

  748. we knew each other better. And you

    know, we, we were just, especially with,

  749. you know, public works and PD and,

  750. and we worked a lot

    with our senior center,

  751. we with the senior citizens through

    the vaccine stuff. But, you know,

  752. as far as specific examples, you

    know, I'm not sure just every day,

  753. I mean every day situations

    we, you know, like our,

  754. our D P W handles the

    hydrants, so, you know, does,

  755. does the hydrants and we obviously,

    we use the hydrants all the time. So,

  756. you know, just being able to pick

    up the phone and say, Hey, listen,

  757. our guys are gonna be out

    training, you know, at, you know,

  758. on whatever avenue Richards Avenue

    today, you know, just, just so you know,

  759. we're gonna be flowing a few thousand

    gallons of water, whatever, you know,

  760. that that kind of stuff didn't exist

    before. We would just go do it.

  761. They'd find out about it, they'd

    get upset and we'd be like, Hey,

  762. we gotta do it. And now it's, you know,

    like, pick up the phone and talk to 'em.

  763. Just, you know, pick up and do it.

    And, you know, and obviously, you know,

  764. and our position, we, we, we deal with

    finance all the time in HR and you know,

  765. I I, I had no problem picking up the

    phone and, and calling HR and saying,

  766. listen, this is my situation. I need

    some help with this person, you know,

  767. help me out. And, and they're more

    than happy to help out. So I mean, I'm,

  768. I'm not afraid to pick up the phone

    and say, you know, I need this and,

  769. you know, anything I can do for

    you, let me know and I'll, I'll,

  770. I'll bend over backwards to make

    sure that I can, can do what I can.

  771. Okay, that's great. Thank

    you. And Todd, just a,

  772. a follow up to be clear with the

    board, I know you're traveling,

  773. when do you get back and when could you

    start? So the board understands that.

  774. So we're, we're due to come

    back after the, what's the day?

  775. The 12th of the 13th, I think

    of August. So, you know,

  776. anytime after that would be, would be

    best. I mean, we, I could move that up, I,

  777. if we had to, but you know, we,

    we could discuss that, I think,

  778. you know. Okay. If, if it came to it.

  779. Sounds good.

  780. Okay.

  781. And that's of August,

    by the way, so, yeah.

  782. Yeah.

  783. So Brian, it that's, that's it,

    right? We're gonna move on now and,

  784. and with great thanks to you, Todd,

  785. for joining us and

    particularly given the, the,

  786. the hour of the day or the hour

    of the night there in, in Glasgow.

  787. But thank you very much.

    We really appreciate it.

  788. It's been great to hear

    what you have to say.

  789. You're welcome. Very nice

    meeting you all. Thank you.

  790. And Todd, Dave or I will be back

    in touch with you as we go forward,

  791. so thank you. Obviously you're

    free to log off at this time.

  792. Okay, thank you. Good night folks. Bye.

  793. Good night.

  794. Okay, through the chair.

  795. Does the board wanna take a quick break

    or go right into the next candidate

  796. who is, is here?

  797. Yeah, I think we wanna go

    right into the next candidate.

  798. Okay. So I believe Dave Sore has

    joined us. Dave, if you can hear me,

  799. why don't you turn on your video and

    there we go. Good evening, how are you?

  800. Good, how you doing Brian? Good, good.

  801. So let me introduce you

    to the board once again.

  802. Dave has gone through a

    similar process as Todd.

  803. He's had two interviews for

    the purpose of screening.

  804. One with just Dave Houghton and myself,

    and then a second both with the,

  805. the chief and Megan and my team.

  806. So he's been vetted through that

    process and once again survive,

  807. Dave comes to you with 22 years

    experience as a mass fire chief,

  808. which can, can be important for a

    law and regulation. I know there,

  809. there were some things that

    Todd had mentioned on that,

  810. but 14 years in Weston as

    chief and eight years in sto.

  811. And I'm sure we're gonna hear from Dave

    much more about his career as we get

  812. going. So I'll turn it to

    the chair to start the,

  813. the questions and then Megan and I

    will pick up the questions after that.

  814. Thank you very much and and

    welcome Dave and thanks so much for

  815. joining us on this hot night. Thank you.

  816. So just a reminder to the board that

    we're gonna be asking the same questions

  817. that we asked before. So I

    will just go back to asking

  818. about your management style

    and how you would approach

  819. the need for change with the, within

    the Wellesley Fire department.

  820. Obviously any transition brings about

    a lot of change and so just interested

  821. in how, how you would approach that.

  822. Yeah, it does bring a lot when you have

    to do, when you have to make changes,

  823. I would probably take some, a

    little bit of time when they're,

  824. I've worked with people, I

    don't know them personally,

  825. but I've worked with Wellesley fire

    department, I kinda, I know the in,

  826. I know how they operate. So I

    would go in, do some evaluations,

  827. see, see what needs to

    be changed. I know a few,

  828. few things were discussed

    in the early interviews.

  829. Then you bring the changes to your command

    staff and to all the members of the

  830. department. I think I would try to

    meet with, with each one of the groups,

  831. explain to them what the changes

    are, why we're making the changes.

  832. I would take their feedback cuz again, I

    don't know everything there is to know,

  833. but at the end of the day it is

    my decision as to why, you know,

  834. we're going to make,

  835. make the changes that we're

    going to make and then then you,

  836. you implement the changes

    and you try to do it

  837. as smoothly as you can. I

    mean, some things are gonna go,

  838. I've had some things that went

    very well. They, the, you know,

  839. the transition was great. It wasn't an

    issue. There were other things that,

  840. you know, were an issue that we had

    to work out the bugs and, you know,

  841. I had to work with the union on some

    stuff and just continue to keep an open

  842. line and communication and be transparent

    as to what we're doing and why

  843. we're doing it.

  844. Great, thank you.

  845. So if you had to name your

    greatest strength, what,

  846. what would you say it it is in

    terms of your management style?

  847. I think my ability to get

    people to, to do what,

  848. what needs to be done. I like to,

    I have a really positive attitude.

  849. I lead by example. I'm

    compassionate. You know,

  850. I, I I had lunch with the guys I

    know and, and the females. I would,

  851. you know, I would listen to everybody,

    you know, get to know them as a person,

  852. get to, I built my trust with

    them so that they would, you know,

  853. they felt comfortable talking

    to me about things. And I,

  854. I think, aside from my fireground

    side of it, which I think is probably,

  855. I'm pretty, I'm very strong on

    the fire, on the fire side of it,

  856. the management in the station is,

  857. is my ability to read

    and work with people and

  858. get people all on the same page

    and going in the same direction.

  859. Thank you very much.

  860. So I am just looking to see who's

    next. Beth, I believe you were.

  861. Next. I am so welcome. Thank you.

    Thank you for joining us tonight.

  862. My question is, you've

    been in Weston a long time,

  863. so when you think about the

    differences between your most recent

  864. position in Weston and the position of

    interim chief in the town of Wellesley,

  865. how would you characterize

    the key differences.

  866. There? Really, honestly, there's

    not a whole lot of differences.

  867. Wellesley and Weston are very much alike.

  868. Wellesley is a little bit bigger cuz

    you're running, there's a 59, you know,

  869. person. We were 30, 36.

  870. We both had two stations run wise.

    We're a little bit busier than we were,

  871. but the cha the characteristics

    of the town and the job

  872. for the most part is pretty much

    the same. You know, it's the same.

  873. You have to get in, you have

    to get to know everybody.

  874. You've gotta get to what makes people

    tick, what you know, what what they do,

  875. what they like to do and

    things like that. But as,

  876. as far as Wellesley and Weston there,

  877. there's really not a big

    difference between the two.

  878. And as a follow-up,

  879. can you tell us what is it

    about this opportunity that has

  880. drawn you to apply and

    why are you interested?

  881. I retired last July with the

    intention of, I had been there,

  882. you know, for 22 years as the chief,

    14 years in Weston. And there were,

  883. there were a lot of problems in Westin

    when I first got there, but we, we,

  884. it was in a really good

    place. I had mentored,

  885. we hired a deputy and I had brought him

    along to the point that he was ready

  886. take my position and we had

    brought somebody up that would,

  887. that would be able to fall into the

    deputy's position. We had people,

  888. when I first went there, we had nobody,

  889. people were not taking the exam

    to get promoted. When I left,

  890. I think there was, I

    forget the exact number,

  891. but if there was 15

    people that were eligible,

  892. like 12 of the people that

    were eligible took the exam.

  893. So there was,

  894. things were in a really good

    place and I did wanna touch base

  895. with, you know, a company like Brian's

    and do either interim Chiefing,

  896. whether it is in Massachusetts or

    not, but I, I just took a year,

  897. I had a couple surgeries on my shoulders.

  898. I had those fixed and this

    opportunity presented itself and

  899. it's a good opportunity. I know,

    I don't know all the, you know,

  900. the whole town of Wellesley,

    I can, you know, I,

  901. I don't know all the streets in it,

    but I'm pretty familiar with the town.

  902. I'm very familiar with the area,

  903. I'm very familiar with how things in this

    area work, all the chiefs in the area.

  904. So it just seemed like

    it was a really good fit.

  905. Great. Well thank you

    for your consideration.

  906. Thank you.

  907. And Mara, thank you Lisa.

  908. And thank you so much David

    for coming to this evening.

  909. Make yourself available for the board

    to meet you. Thank you for having me.

  910. So I'm wondering about

    communication and how,

  911. how do you communicate with,

  912. involve and motivate your staff

    and preserve the chain of command

  913. or the command structure within

    your organization, and maybe a,

  914. a specific example of a challenge that

    you faced with your staff and how you

  915. used your communication skills

    to resolve that challenge and,

  916. and at the end of the day,

    have a motivated staff,

  917. even though you had to deal

    with something difficult.

  918. I, I have an open door policy.

    I, I will, you know, let,

  919. people can come in, I can talk to people.

    They have a problem. They can bring,

  920. they can bring the problem to me. Depend,

    you know, depending on what it is,

  921. if it's a, if it's a small group problem,

  922. they have to follow the chain of

    command, and I make sure that,

  923. that I comu i will com I would

    communicate that as soon as I got there,

  924. that there was a command structure.

    You'd have to follow the,

  925. the chain of command. And then for, you

    know, for other, you know, other issues.

  926. Like I said, I had an open

    door policy. I did, I had to,

  927. I did have to work with my command

    staff because as we all know,

  928. sometimes I would put a memo out

    to change something, you know,

  929. and my shift captain would say he,

    he would be asked by his group, well,

  930. we're doing this because the

    chief said, so. I'm like, well,

  931. that's not the answer that

    you have to give them.

  932. You have to sell them on what you are

    doing. And they have to buy into it.

  933. And they have to be able to communicate

    down to the subordinates why we're doing

  934. it that they've bought in. And that,

  935. that way you can start to get

    buy in all the way down the line.

  936. So it starts at the top with me being

    able to talk to my direct supervisors who

  937. are going to go to the subordinates

    and explain to them what we're doing,

  938. why we're doing it, and how the

    message needs to be put out there.

  939. You can't just come out and say, well,

    the chief wants it done. Okay, well,

  940. why does the chief want it done? Well,

    just because he wants it done there,

  941. there has, they're gonna ask questions.

    There has to be a reason why.

  942. So thank you. So, just as a

    follow up can, do you have,

  943. can you share a specific example

    of a time when that didn't

  944. go so well and you had to

  945. work with maybe a particular member of

    your staff who was disappointed in the

  946. way the decision that you made and how

    you work them through that so that at the

  947. end of the day,

  948. they were motivated and ready to go back

    to work as a firefighter and do the job

  949. they needed to?

  950. I think one of the bigger ones when I

    first got there was the radio system.

  951. I was kind of told that they

    had a radio system that was very

  952. dysfunctional. I had

    to make it work. So we,

  953. we began the process with a vendor.

    We started working on things and I I,

  954. there was a few people there that were,

  955. They knew radios, but they

    weren't like radio technicians.

  956. So any change that I was making,

  957. there were always bumps along the way

    and things that had to be worked out.

  958. We went from, we took the

    bells out of the station,

  959. we went to a different alerting system,

    you know, thing, things like that.

  960. We took out the street boxes that, that

    did not go over big with the members,

  961. but I had to explain to them that,

    you know, this system is here.

  962. It's costing the town X

    amount of money. It is very,

  963. very rarely used today was

    cell phones and, you know,

  964. the modern technology.

  965. And I explained how the new system

    was gonna work as they were a little

  966. It was a mesh system that had repeater

    systems where you could get around the

  967. town and, and it took time and it,

  968. it just took continuing to work

    on the process and making sure

  969. that it got done and it was done

    properly. And it, it worked.

  970. It, but it took, it took

    time. And, you know,

  971. I don't take those things personal.

    It's, it's part of my job. I have,

  972. they have to be done. So,

  973. and we sold it and it worked

    and it worked out. Good.

  974. All right. Thank you so much, Tom.

  975. Thank you. And thank you for

    joining us tonight, David.

  976. As others have said before,

    me and I, you know, I,

  977. I appreciate the length of service that

    you've had in the chief's position.

  978. Certainly the concept of an interim

    chief here in Wellesley was not where we

  979. started at the beginning

    of this search process,

  980. but I think working closely with mri, it,

  981. it grew out of the interviews and

    the process that was underway and

  982. appears to be a good opportunity for

    us in terms of trying to understand

  983. and define and correct some of the

    issues that we perceive to be ongoing in

  984. the department. As a result,

  985. we anticipate an ongoing relationship

    with M R I that is really important

  986. to us in terms of a defined period

    of one year that we're trying to

  987. make this work and achieve

    very specific end results.

  988. So how would you work with the M R I

    team to determine progress on goals

  989. and objectives and support

    officer development

  990. so that we arrive at the end of this

    with the ability to go back and search

  991. for a permanent chief?

  992. my philosophy on the second part of your

    question is that basically everybody

  993. should know everybody else's

    job in the fire service. The,

  994. the firefighters should, they should be

    trained and they should know what their,

  995. their shift commanders do on a daily

    basis. They should be mentoring them,

  996. and I should be mentoring the

    people below me so that, you know,

  997. the, that they can get the message

    out to the people below that.

  998. I do understand that

    there are some candidate,

  999. you have some internal candidates

    that were very close in this process,

  1000. but weren't quite there yet. And

    as I did when I was in Weston,

  1001. I would work closely with those people

    and get them to where they need to be

  1002. so that they can become a chief or

    a deputy wherever they want to go.

  1003. The MRI team, we could meet this,

    we, this was talked about before,

  1004. that they would lay out, you know,

  1005. some goals and timelines and we would

    meet every couple months to go over

  1006. whether how the process

    was going, how, you know,

  1007. whether we were getting meeting the goals,

  1008. whether the person or

    people that were in this,

  1009. these positions were coming up to

    speed quick enough or if it was going

  1010. to take longer, or did they need to

    go down and do ano another avenue. I.

  1011. I think too, as a, as a sort

    of a follow up comment and,

  1012. and question there, there's,

  1013. there are not just the goals with regard

    to internal candidate development,

  1014. but there are also goals in terms

    of sort of cultural change and

  1015. overall departmental

    organization and operation. So I,

  1016. I think it's very important that you

    anticipate working closely with M R I and

  1017. with Megan

  1018. in terms of trying to achieve

    th that half of the job as well

  1019. over the next 12 months.

    And I, I just want to ask,

  1020. I assume that you're aware of

    that and are need for that to

  1021. happen as well?

  1022. Yes. I mean there's, there are,

  1023. there are issues in every department

    that you go to. And we had

  1024. that pretty much had to change

    my first stint as chief,

  1025. they really weren't a fire department.

    It was, it was a fire department,

  1026. but it was the, you know,

  1027. just the people that lived in town

    and they came and we actually built a,

  1028. a fire department and I got the buy-in

    from the members that were on the

  1029. department. They worked really

    closely with me to do that.

  1030. When I went to the, when I took on

    my second job, there was, you know,

  1031. there was some internal issues that were

    there that had to be addressed as far

  1032. as getting the department up to The,

  1033. not this century, but how, how

    you need to pass information down.

  1034. It,

  1035. it was something that the o

    the officers couldn't just hold

  1036. the information close to their vessel

    that no one could take their job.

  1037. It had to be passed down

    to the firefighters so that

    they could do the job when

  1038. the officers were out and they'd be ready

    to do the job when the officers were

  1039. out. I do, I guess I

    understand that there was some,

  1040. there's some schooling, you know,

    there's issues with some, you know,

  1041. going to school and things like that.

  1042. That's something I would have to evaluate

    as to who has what for education.

  1043. But they all should be at

    a, at a level, you know,

  1044. they should all have their fire officer

    officer classes and things like that.

  1045. So those,

  1046. those are things that have to work with

    that I have to look into and see who

  1047. has, who has what. I'd have to talk

    to Megan and see as far as money,

  1048. what we have to spend to

    send these people to school,

  1049. whether we need to cover them,

    not cover them, things like that.

  1050. Thank you.

  1051. Well ahead. Hi,

  1052. thank you for coming and sharing

    your time with us tonight.

  1053. So I wanted to ask a question, just taking

    a deeper dive into your 90 day plan.

  1054. What are two specific projects that

    you would collaborate with the staff to

  1055. bring positive change to the

    Wellesley, the fire department?

  1056. If you can give us your top

    two items, that would be great.

  1057. I think first I would like to just

    go in and meet with all of my,

  1058. all the senior staff, all the, you know,

    the, the deputies and the lieutenants,

  1059. the union president.

  1060. I'd like to meet with all of the

    groups to get everybody to kind of,

  1061. to just tell them what my vision is,

    what I'm there for, what I'm going to do,

  1062. get what they are looking to get out

    of a fire department because they're,

  1063. at the end of the day, they're

    the ones that they work there,

  1064. you want to keep them there, you

    want them, you want them to be happy.

  1065. So you've gotta, you've gotta create a

    work environment that they want to go to.

  1066. So I need to know what that is that they,

  1067. that they are looking for and what they

    feel is lacking in, in the department.

  1068. And then, you know, work on,

  1069. work on that short term

    and then maybe make on,

  1070. take on a little longer of a

    goal period and set that up

  1071. so that there is, there's,

  1072. there's goals and objectives set for the

    future for the next person who's gonna

  1073. come in after, after the, the year

    for them to follow and finish.

  1074. And, and it also,

  1075. it gives the firefighters and the

    officers something to strive for.

  1076. Thank you. And just as a, a follow

    up, you did talk a little bit in our,

  1077. and our last question about is there

    enough budget for training and education,

  1078. things like that.

  1079. Could you talk to us a little bit

    more about your experiencing with Bud,

  1080. your experience in budgeting

    with the department and how,

  1081. how you work with other

    departments in, in doing that?

  1082. Yeah, I've done budget for 22 years.

  1083. I've developed basically with, you

    know, with the help of the town,

  1084. with the town manager, the town, the,

  1085. the treasurer and the accountant. We

    would develop a budget. I would base,

  1086. you know, my budget,

  1087. there's a lot of variables in this job

    that you don't know about. You know,

  1088. you can't predict how many

    buyers you're gonna have.

  1089. We had callback on our department,

    so members would come back.

  1090. So I can't, you can't predict that.

  1091. So I had to go in and go back over and

    try to get, you know, a pretty good,

  1092. a pretty good idea of how many times

    during the la over the last five years

  1093. before I came, did this happen,

    what they were spending on training,

  1094. who was getting the training. I looked

    at what needed to be done for training,

  1095. broke it down into smaller, manageable

    pieces so I wasn't, you know,

  1096. throwing everything at

    the town at one time,

  1097. but trying to accomplish the same thing.

  1098. See what we could do in-house as opposed

    to having to go out and either hire

  1099. someone or bring someone

    from the outside in.

  1100. We looked at, we set up,

  1101. we had a 10 year capital

    replacement plan set with the town

  1102. as far as, you know, all, all

    our pieces, our fire apparatus,

  1103. our turnout gear was replaced every five

    years so that they had a set every so

  1104. that every 10 years when it,

    it goes through its cycle,

  1105. it can be disposed of properly.

    We set up a plan for our,

  1106. the jaws of white, basically all large

    capital expend expenditures. We had,

  1107. we had figured out for the

    future as to what was what,

  1108. when we were gonna need to replace

    them, how much it was gonna be.

  1109. And we tried to spread things out so it

    wasn't all happening at the same time.

  1110. Okay, thank you. I really appreciate that.

  1111. Yep, go ahead Megan. You're

    gonna go ahead. Yes. Yep.

  1112. So thanks David. Good to see you

    again. Good to see you. And you,

  1113. you touched on this a little bit already,

  1114. but could you maybe go through a

    few examples of things that you,

  1115. you've done in the past successfully

    or things that you potentially would

  1116. implement here in,

  1117. in the interim position for

    internal mentorship and you know,

  1118. how you would make that a success?

  1119. Yeah, it's, it would start obviously

    with me and you have to get

  1120. the, you know, the officers that

    are, that are directly below you,

  1121. you would need to work with them to make

    sure that the message that I'm sending

  1122. out gets sent down to them.

  1123. The training that we're doing gets

    sent down to them because as I,

  1124. as I said before, they,

  1125. everybody there should know what

    everybody else's job is. And yeah,

  1126. you, you do need to go to school

    to, you know, to, to advance.

  1127. But you should have a pretty

    good idea of how and what I do.

  1128. The firefighters should know what the

    deputies do and that starts with me and

  1129. getting out and talking to everybody and

    setting them up for the future and say,

  1130. look, if you want to have a future

    here and you want to succeed,

  1131. this is what you have to do. You have

    to do steps A, B, C, and D to do that.

  1132. I know, I'd have to look at, you know,

  1133. there's some people probably that are

    getting ready for retirement that may not,

  1134. they may not, you know, need

    as much, not need, but they,

  1135. but the schooling piece of it,

  1136. it might be a little bit later

    in their career for that.

  1137. So I'd have to find where,

    you know, who needs what and,

  1138. and explain and work with them

    as to why they, why they need it.

  1139. And set up a plan. And you know, this is,

  1140. you need your associates degree for this,

  1141. you need to have a bachelor's if you

    want to go on to try to be a deputy chief

  1142. or a chief and, and make all and, and

    make all those things available to them.

  1143. Not, you know, not bringing the

    college to them, but, you know,

  1144. giving them the opportunity to go to

    the schools, to go to the fire academy,

  1145. to go to the National Fire

    Academy and things like that.

  1146. Great, thank you. As Interim

    chief, even though it's,

  1147. it's for one year and, you know,

  1148. how do you communicate with the residents

    and become involved in the community?

  1149. And, and so that could be, I'll say,

    think about it sort of two ways.

  1150. What have you done in the

    past and then, you know,

  1151. what are some strategies you could do.

  1152. This upcoming year?

  1153. I think we tried to be very

    big in the community, you know,

  1154. have a big presence in the

    community because people,

  1155. they don't see you and if they don't see

    you, they don't know what you do there.

  1156. So any town event that we could be at,

  1157. somebody from the fire department was

    there, whether we ho we had an open house,

  1158. which was a huge success.

  1159. Every year we ran an open house and people

    would come and they'd get to see the

  1160. trucks. They did ice an ice cream, social.

  1161. And I would actually go out and scoop

    ice cream and my deputy would go out and

  1162. we would, you know, we

    would do that. And any,

  1163. we were involved with the COA heavily,

    I'd meet with them on a monthly basis.

  1164. We would go over, you know,

  1165. the people in the town that

    were in need in a crisis.

  1166. And then I had a group of firefighters

    who actually went down and they,

  1167. they taught classes for the coa. They

    taught cpr, they taught them fire safety.

  1168. We were in the,

  1169. the schools working with them real as

    close as we could be with them. You know,

  1170. they're, they're,

  1171. it's harder with the schools because

    they're so mandated on time and what they

  1172. can do. But we worked

    around it and when, but I,

  1173. I think any opportunity that you can

    put yourself out there in front of the

  1174. people in the process, they

    can put a face, face and a,

  1175. and a name to what you do, see

    what you do, ask you questions,

  1176. find out what exactly the life of

    a firefighter or a fire chief is.

  1177. It's only positive for the, for the,

    both the department and for the town.

  1178. Great. Thank you Brian.

  1179. Thank you Dave. What,

  1180. what are three principles that

    would guide you as interim chief and

  1181. Wellesley both looking at your

    career and life experience,

  1182. and then why do these stand out?

  1183. I would say honesty, integrity,

  1184. and consistency. And there are

    three things. If you're not,

  1185. if you're not honest and

    transparent with your people,

  1186. you're never going to

    get buy-in from them.

  1187. If you're not consistent with your people,

  1188. you're never gonna get buy-in and

    integrity and honesty I guess go together.

  1189. But they, they're gonna look at me as,

  1190. as their leader as to what I do. And

    that's the cue that they're gonna take.

  1191. And that's how they're gonna,

    that's how they're gonna act.

  1192. If I come into work and

    I'm dressed, you know, I,

  1193. my shoes are untied and I'm like, or

    anything like that, and they, if they,

  1194. they see things like that,

    they think it's okay to do,

  1195. that's what they're gonna

    do. So I need to start,

  1196. I need to set the example of what I want

    them to do and how I want them to act.

  1197. And the only way I'm gonna do

    that is to have their trust.

  1198. Okay, thank you. And sort of the

    next question of the couple of parts.

  1199. First of all,

  1200. how do you approach diversity and

    recruitment of new firefighters

  1201. considering the current labor.

  1202. Market? It's, it's a

    challenge for everybody.

  1203. Diversity we had, at one point we had

    three females firefighters working.

  1204. One is a lieutenant one, one had to

    leave cuz she was a medic and we aren't,

  1205. we aren't medic. So she

    left for that. It, it,

  1206. it's really hard. But I, we,

  1207. I was more fortunate I think where I was

    than it is in Wellesley because we had

  1208. a small call department.

    So through word of mouth,

  1209. through the younger me, through

    members on the department,

  1210. they would get people in there.

  1211. I had people that worked for the me

    for the fire academy. So there just,

  1212. we had a big network. So we, we gotten

    a lot of people that applied. We,

  1213. we made sure that their dedication,

  1214. that we made them go

    through firefighter one,

  1215. two before we actually appointed them.

  1216. And if they were dedicated enough

    to spend the four months to do that,

  1217. then that showed me that

    they have that, that they,

  1218. that they've got a desire to be there.

  1219. And then we would bring 'em in and

    they would do ride time with us.

  1220. So we got to see them, see whether

    they were a fit in the station.

  1221. Cause both you and I know 75 to

    80% of the time is you're in the

  1222. fire station and you can teach

    someone to be a fire firefighter,

  1223. but you cannot teach them to be a person.

  1224. And if they don't get along

    and work well with others,

  1225. then it, it's gonna be, it's

    not gonna be a good match. So,

  1226. so I, I was very fortunate in that. And

    I know Wellesley runs their own exam,

  1227. so I would have to dive into the exam and

    get into people's backgrounds a little

  1228. bit and see who's done

    what, you know, who, who's,

  1229. who's kind of stood out,

    who's taken that step,

  1230. who's gone out and got their emt,

  1231. who's looked or tried to get in some

    places to get on a department where they

  1232. could get sponsored for

    firefighter one, two,

  1233. because that's just another notch in

    your belt to get hired. To get hired in,

  1234. in the department.

  1235. Okay, thank you. And sort of a

    follow up to that, Wellesley,

  1236. as most departments has

    a lot of younger members,

  1237. sort of, these folks need

    to be brought forward.

  1238. How do you prepare these folks for the

    change that's really inevitable in the

  1239. American fire service?

  1240. Try to explain, you know, talk

    to and explain to them what the,

  1241. the fire service is, what

    it is, what it has evolved.

  1242. It's not the same job as it was

    when you and I first started it.

  1243. You're not going to fires every day

    anymore. I mean, most of our stuff is,

  1244. is medical related and is,

  1245. I can't think of the

    word, but it's, you know,

  1246. it's that we're there to help

    the, whatever their problem is,

  1247. we're there to help them. If, if

    they call the fire department,

  1248. the people in the town of Wellsley,

    it may not be an emergency to us,

  1249. but it is to them. So everything, so

    everybody gets treated with respect.

  1250. Everyone gets treated the same way.

  1251. And so that needs to be explained to

    the fire, to the young firefighters,

  1252. what they're actually

    getting themselves into,

  1253. what the future is going

    to be of the fire service.

  1254. And it needs to start with

    the officers on the way down.

  1255. When I first started it was completely

    different. The junior firefighter,

  1256. you got the coffee, you

    cleaned the bathrooms, you

    did this, you did, you know,

  1257. all these things. It's a

    different environment today.

  1258. And these things have to be, you

    have, they have to be spread out.

  1259. The junior firefighter can't be dumped

    everything on because they're gonna

  1260. leave.

  1261. They're gonna feel like they're being

    that it's just not gonna be fun for them

  1262. and they're gonna want to go someplace

    that isn't, that is fun. So you have to,

  1263. you have to change,

  1264. basically you have to change the culture

    of a fire department and get them to

  1265. understand that this is,

    this is how things are today.

  1266. And you need to treat these people with

    the respect you need to guide them,

  1267. you need to show them the way you need

    to show them what they need to do.

  1268. There are very few fires today, so any

    kind of experience that you can get, any,

  1269. you know,

  1270. from a senior member who's been there

    and can talk about it with these young

  1271. people and get them to

    understand, you know, what,

  1272. what they need to do on calls, what they

    need to do on certain medical calls.

  1273. Anything that you can do to

    get them to want to come to

  1274. work is, is, and I'm not saying

    anything. I mean there's,

  1275. there's obviously there's money, there's,

    there's a whole lot of different,

  1276. I had people leaving, you

    know, for medic, you know,

  1277. to go to Cambridge for

    money and things like that.

  1278. But our turnover rate was pretty good

    because we made it a really good place for

  1279. people to want to come

    to work. And that's what,

  1280. that's what I strive for.

  1281. Okay. So for the last question,

  1282. I'll turn it over to Megan

    and then we'll close out.

  1283. So the last question is, although

    you'll be the interim chief for a year,

  1284. how would you collaborate with the

    wealthy departments or during your

  1285. tenure? Tenure and set an example

    of relationships in the future?

  1286. With the town departments or.

  1287. Yeah, with the town departments.

  1288. We tried very, we,

  1289. we had really good relationship with the

    town departments in the town I was in

  1290. because you know, the police department,

    basically our jobs are the same.

  1291. I mean, we, we have a hose,

    they have a gun, but we're,

  1292. we're there for the same thing. We're,

  1293. we're there to take care of whatever

    needs that the people have within the

  1294. towns. 90% of the calls that the police

    go on or we go on, we're together.

  1295. So you have to get along

    with them. And we used to at,

  1296. we used to have the, you know, the

    police come up and they'd have dinner,

  1297. with the members in the station just

    because the more that you know about them,

  1298. the more that they know

    about you and what you do,

  1299. the better off you're gonna

    be. Our D P W department,

  1300. we relied on them for

    everything in the wintertime,

  1301. the roads to make sure

    that, you know, they,

  1302. everything was open that we could

    get to where we, we had to get to.

  1303. They were really good as far as if we

    needed some, Hey, we're going here,

  1304. can you have, you know,

  1305. the truck that was doing that particular

    part of town would make sure that we

  1306. could get there if ahy, they

    took care of the hydrants.

  1307. So we worked with them in the wintertime.

  1308. We went out and shoveled the hydrants

    and they would go out with their machine

  1309. and we worked together

    to make sure that they,

  1310. they all get cleared within

    a timely manner. We would,

  1311. we're on the M W R A, which you

    are as well. So you have to,

  1312. at the end of the year, turn in how much

    water you use and what you used it for.

  1313. So if we,

  1314. we had a spot up in one of the cemeteries

    that was just kind of off in the back.

  1315. It had a hydrant, it was a

    great place for us to train.

  1316. We always let them know so that,

  1317. so obviously if there was

    something going on in the cemetery,

  1318. we weren't gonna interrupt them.

    They know that we were up there.

  1319. They know that we're using the

    water and we could keep track of it.

  1320. So it made his life a lot easier at the

    end of the year as to where that went.

  1321. Schools, you know, we worked

    with them as far as, you know,

  1322. on the Asher training

    and things like that.

  1323. And we tried to work around

    them as much with fire safety,

  1324. especially on the younger kids. You know,

    the older kids, it's a little harder.

  1325. But you know, we, we worked

    with, so the relationship,

  1326. we're all there for the same thing. We're

    all there for the people in Wellesley.

  1327. At the end of the day, it, that's what,

  1328. we're there for it for different reasons,

  1329. but we all have to work together

    to make sure that that works.

  1330. And as far as departments go,

  1331. I mean I have a really good relationship

    with Metro Fire through all the chiefs.

  1332. I've known them for the last 14 years.

  1333. We built some really good running

    assignments with the cities.

  1334. We're very fortunate that Wal Dam and

    Newton are right there. Cuz Weston is,

  1335. Weston was small. If we had a

    fire, you know, we were running,

  1336. we had six, sometimes seven

    guys go into it. We'd have to,

  1337. we'd rely heavily on them and at

    the end, by the time, you know,

  1338. they would send and do anything

    that we needed him to do.

  1339. They'd send us whatever we needed.

  1340. Newton was the same way I could pick

    up the phone and call the Boston

  1341. commissioner cuz I'm, I added something

    that I did not know about. And,

  1342. and he, you know, he'd answer

    the question. So there's,

  1343. I I have a lot of those relationships

    already built outside of the department.

  1344. I'd have to work, you know,

  1345. obviously in and meet with all the

    department heads and see what their

  1346. expectations of us are and what

    I'd be looking for outta them.

  1347. But I never have had a problem

    with any department head.

  1348. I think if you went back and if

    you asked my former employees,

  1349. I think you'd find the same thing from

    them that I was pretty easy to work with.

  1350. And I got along with pretty

    much everybody in the town, so.

  1351. Great, thank you.

  1352. Hope that, I hope that

    answered your question.

  1353. It does, thank you.

  1354. And Dave, just to be

    consistent as we close out,

  1355. talk to the board about your

    timeline and availability.

  1356. The only I have, I mean,

  1357. the only thing I have is two days coming

    up in two weeks that I'm going up to

  1358. Winni Psaki. Other than

    that, I'm, you know, I,

  1359. I have like some, you know,

  1360. follow up doctor appointments

    on my shoulder and things,

    but other than that, I,

  1361. I can start whenever.

  1362. Okay, sounds good.

  1363. So what we'll do is Dave Houghton

    or I will follow up with you

  1364. following this interview and I think

    that concludes it for the board

  1365. tonight. So you can go ahead and

    log off and we'll be in touch.

  1366. All right, well thank you very much.

    Thank you everybody for your time.

  1367. Thank you very much for coming.

  1368. Okay,

  1369. so we are moving on to a discussion of

  1370. the candidates and hopefully a vote.

  1371. I I will just say, I,

  1372. I think these are two really strong

    candidates and Brian and Megan and

  1373. Chief,

  1374. I really appreciate all the work that

    you did to bring them to us because I,

  1375. this is a, a tough choice.

  1376. We've got two really obviously

    very capable and experienced

  1377. people who,

  1378. who had a lot of great

    answers to our questions.

  1379. So I'll just maybe ask if Brian,

  1380. you wanna say anything or Jack,

  1381. Megan and then open up to

    comments from the board.

  1382. So it was our goal to give

    the board a choice of two

  1383. individuals that could do the job. I I

    think they both have different strengths.

  1384. You have Todd as someone

    that hasn't been a chief as

  1385. long,

  1386. but certainly has some very different

    labor route and comes from sort of a

  1387. larger organization.

  1388. A and then you have Chief Soar

    who is a well established,

  1389. well-respected Massachusetts

    chief who offers a lot in a sort

  1390. of a different way. So I think

    from Dave Houghton and myself,

  1391. they're both very capable.

  1392. We really look at it as it's a

    question of fit with the board

  1393. and on a daily basis fit with

    Megan and the the chief. And,

  1394. and I really think that they

    need to weigh in on that fit set.

  1395. I mean, I'm happy to weigh in

    that we, I'll speak for myself.

  1396. I thought we could definitely work with

    either candidate. I thought they both

  1397. were just as, as candid and

  1398. terrific in their responses with the

    chief and I as they were tonight publicly.

  1399. I think they, we couldn't have

    asked for better candidates.

  1400. We totally lucked out

    that they're, you know,

  1401. willing to come back for a stint

    of service after many years of

  1402. fire service. So I I I don't

    necessarily have a preference.

  1403. I am very comfortable

    with either candidate.

  1404. I think either one would be

    serve the town very well that

  1405. I think in, they've both been very

    collaborative in speaking to other

  1406. folks regarding them. It,

  1407. so we've had very positive reviews. Jack,

    I don't know if you wanna add to that.

  1408. No, I, I, I concur with you, me, Megan.

  1409. I think the board has a tough decision

    because I think they're both very

  1410. qualified. They're both,

  1411. they're different and I

    think their approaches might

    be a little bit different,

  1412. but at the end of the day, I, I think

    either one could get the job done and,

  1413. and I could work with either one.

  1414. So I, I guess I'll just open with my,

  1415. my inclination and

  1416. grateful to hear from

    others about their thoughts.

  1417. But I do think I given

  1418. the, as as Brian put it, the,

  1419. the distinctions between

    the two candidates.

  1420. I do wonder if a fresh,

  1421. the fresh approach that the

    candidate from New Hampshire brings.

  1422. It would be a really useful, I mean we're,

  1423. we're gonna be undergoing

    a transition here.

  1424. And I think my sense,

    my, I don't know, my,

  1425. I guess just gut instinct was

    that he would bring a lot of fresh

  1426. ideas and I think one of the things

    that we could really benefit from is,

  1427. is a lot of experience with a

    different way of doing things.

  1428. Not that we necessarily

    wanna do it that way,

  1429. but that that person would

    bring kind of a different,

  1430. a different take.

  1431. And I think Chief Soar would also,

  1432. obviously has worked in a number

    of different departments, but I,

  1433. I'm guessing his experience has

    been by his own description,

  1434. has been much closer to

    the Wellesley experience.

  1435. And I feel like what we

    could really use right now is

  1436. some more out of the box thinking.

  1437. Not that Chief Sawer wouldn't

    be capable of doing that,

  1438. but just by, by

  1439. just from having worked in a different

    state and a different environment,

  1440. there might be some really fresh ideas

    that that would be useful for our

  1441. department to have and could really help

  1442. create a a, a whole new

    culture. So I I that's,

  1443. I'm sort of stumbling around here

    because it really is a very tough

  1444. call, but I i, that,

  1445. that's sort of what

    where my gut landed me.

  1446. Anyone else?

  1447. Beth?

  1448. So I agree that both are

    very interesting candidates,

  1449. so thank you Brian and your

    group. I think I netted out,

  1450. not surprisingly, probably

    in a different place.

  1451. So I look at our most important job as

  1452. providing service to the community.

  1453. And I think Mr.

  1454. Soar is more familiar with

    our type of community.

  1455. And what struck me is

    his confidence that yes,

  1456. he's a collaborative leader, but at

    the end of the day he makes decisions,

  1457. he gets buy-in and he

    leads the department at all

  1458. levels through those choices

    and he holds the line.

  1459. And I think that is, for me,

    very important in a chief.

  1460. I want someone who, at the end of the day,

  1461. the buck stops with them and they're

    going to own the decisions and they're not

  1462. afraid of change.

  1463. So it sounded to me like

    he has been on our journey

  1464. of stepping into a department where

    the leadership isn't quite there

  1465. yet,

  1466. but that there was a pathway

    to get the members trained

  1467. and give them the experience

    and that exposure.

  1468. And so for me that that

  1469. experience doing that was

    very, very compelling.

  1470. And on the flip side,

  1471. I think there's too

    many differences for me,

  1472. although I, I was very

    impressed by Mr. Jermaine.

  1473. He's from a different state,

  1474. he's from a city and

    he's a relatively young

  1475. y not young age wise, but less,

  1476. less exposed to all the challenges

    that being a chief and holding

  1477. the line have because he

    just did it for less time.

  1478. And I feel like what we should be

    bringing to the community is that

  1479. absolute surety that

  1480. the chief has the

    experience to lead through

  1481. decisions and lead

    through change. And so I,

  1482. I feel more inclined toward Mr.

  1483. Soer because I feel like he

    comes with that full package of

  1484. what we need.

  1485. Tom.

  1486. You know, I,

  1487. it was interesting to hear

    both of your comments just now,

  1488. Lisa, I agree with a lot of what you said,

  1489. but what I found myself wondering

    is whether you were describing

  1490. a year from now the new chief

  1491. and whether what we need over the

    next year is to right the ship

  1492. and to get the essential

    department organized and

  1493. squared away in a way that

    it is receptive and capable

  1494. of moving forward with new ideas

    and outta the box thinking.

  1495. And that led me to think that,

  1496. that David might be a better

    fit because the sheer command

  1497. presence, I, I think that's one of

    the big advantages that he had to me

  1498. he understood how he needed to arrive

    at a decision that was right for a

  1499. particular situation, but I think

    he has a command presence that,

  1500. that Todd doesn't lack but

    didn't have to the same

  1501. degree simply because of the number

    of years that they've been chief.

  1502. And I I,

  1503. I wonder if the number of

    years in services a chief I,

  1504. I'm thinking that that does

    matter in this situation.

  1505. And, and I'm, I'm also think wondering

    and, and this may be something

  1506. that Brian would be able to comment on if,

  1507. if there's a benefit to someone

    who's well known and respected

  1508. within our fire community here,

  1509. because inevitably what you see

    is the union and the individual

  1510. firefighters have connections

    within that network and can go back

  1511. out and say, should I listen to this

    guy or not? Is this guy a good guy?

  1512. Is he somebody who's got

    the ability to do this job?

  1513. And they're gonna get

    that kind of feedback.

  1514. As I went through the interview with,

  1515. as we went through the

    interview with Todd,

  1516. and I mean this as a compliment to him,

  1517. I wondered whether he really wants

    to be through with active duty

  1518. or whether he might end

    up looking for a return

  1519. perhaps in another state.

  1520. I'm not at all familiar with the

    New Hampshire retirement laws,

  1521. but the feeling I had is that he's

    not through with with that job.

  1522. And I think David is through

    with being an active chief,

  1523. but would bring a presence,

  1524. a basis of knowledge

    and a and a skillset to

  1525. the work as interim chief. That

    that's what attracted me to him.

  1526. And Mar right,

  1527. I wanna jump in before Colette so

    that Colette ends up having to be the

  1528. tiebreaker here. No, cause I,

  1529. I actually agree with

    everything everyone said.

  1530. I I thought they were both

    great but both different.

  1531. I guess what I'm,

  1532. I'm struggling with is what do we

    need for an interim versus the next

  1533. chief? And

  1534. I did see feel that,

  1535. that David would,

  1536. would be a steady hand and bring so much

  1537. to the community while he's here and,

  1538. and if that's what we're looking

    for is the steady hand to,

  1539. to just see us through the next

    year, I think he'd be amazing.

  1540. And then I thought that

    the other candidate,

  1541. I felt like he would come in and be,

  1542. would see things differently, which

    is what you were saying, Lisa.

  1543. And it is a different way of

    looking at it and it'd be different.

  1544. And if that's what we're

    looking for in the interim,

  1545. he's the one to bring that

    difference, I think. And so I,

  1546. I see them both doing

    something great for Wellesley.

  1547. It's really what, what

    do we want in this year?

  1548. And I think one thing

    that really struck me

  1549. about about,

  1550. sorry about God, right? Yes.

    So I lose my names, is that

  1551. he definitely saw that his main role was

    the mentorship and I really heard that

  1552. in what he said.

  1553. And so I saw him seeing this as a job.

  1554. He was gonna come in and

    help and help bring the,

  1555. the next generation along and get us

    really ready for a new transition a year

  1556. from now, which I really appreciated.

  1557. I'm certain that David

    could do that as well.

  1558. So I I really think that

    they're both great and it's,

  1559. I guess I would slightly

    lean towards Todd,

  1560. but I could be convinced the other way.

  1561. I do think they're both great

    and it's just different.

  1562. It's, are we looking for a

    shift or a steadying is what,

  1563. how I see this.

  1564. Oh boy. So I did,

  1565. this is a really, really difficult choice.

  1566. This is probably one of the most difficult

    candidate selection processes I've

  1567. ever been through because

    these are two amazing choices.

  1568. You're being asked to choose almost it

    feels like between two good friends or

  1569. you know, someone, both people

    that would be amazing for the job.

  1570. So that's, that's on the,

    on the plus side for us.

  1571. I think we're gonna commit to

    this in a very, very good place.

  1572. When I started on paper and I I,

    I read all We have, I was really,

  1573. the,

  1574. the depth and breadth of the chief

    experience was really important to me.

  1575. So I really was predisposed to Mr.

  1576. Sore when I read on paper.

  1577. And then of course the interviews they

    both interviewed amazingly and I was

  1578. actually really struck by,

  1579. although they're different

    people in different approaches,

  1580. they gave a lot of very similar responses.

  1581. They understand exactly what it is

    we need to do, where we need to go,

  1582. what the steps are to get there. So I

    think we're gonna have the same approach.

  1583. I'm so torn on this one because I

    completely agree with everything everyone

  1584. said. One thing that kind of

    speaks to me a little bit is

  1585. both our internal candidates

    and our new firefighters

  1586. are young.

  1587. And so having someone closer

    to them might in their

  1588. sort of arc of life would, might,

    might help with the mentorship process.

  1589. Whereas the, the gravity,

    the command presence,

  1590. the this sort of agent experience that

    David brings is unquestionably there and

  1591. is is very distinctive and

    very comforting for us.

  1592. We would know we'd be, we'd

    be in a very steady hand.

  1593. It's hard because he also brings a

    knowledge of the area and the culture

  1594. and the, the neighboring towns and the

    people he'd been working with. But I,

  1595. I do think I lean towards

    Mr. Soar in the end.

  1596. I would be happy to go with either,

    but I think that's where I'm leaning

  1597. just from a perspective of a little

    bit of an outside perspective

  1598. because we are,

  1599. we are seeking that as part of the

    mentorship for not only the leadership,

  1600. but it will also help with the

    younger generation. So that's,

  1601. that's where I'm leaning.

    Did you Mr. Jermaine,

  1602. sorry, Mr. Jermaine. Sorry,

  1603. did I under duress in the moment probably

    said the wrong word, but Mr. Jermaine,

  1604. I think, yeah, that's what I'm waiting.

  1605. Yeah, I i it's, it's hard not to,

  1606. for every argument for one, there's

    a counter argument for the other.

  1607. It's hard not to, not

    to be doing that in in,

  1608. at least I'm finding that in my

    head. But I, I will just say I think,

  1609. I do think to your point Ann Mara,

  1610. about sort of what is the

    goal here for this year. I,

  1611. I think it's more than a steady

    hand I would say. I mean I,

  1612. I think we do have some

    changes that that need to

  1613. happen and,

  1614. and this mentorship is

    obviously a major goal.

  1615. So I I would, that's,

  1616. that's sort of what the way I'm thinking

    about what's going to happen over the

  1617. course of this year. I'm sorry

    Tom, did you have your hand up?

  1618. Well, I, I did because it, it,

  1619. I think it's important that people,

  1620. that there have been several people

    who have used the term steady hand and

  1621. I, I'm, I'm trying to sort of share

    my thinking so that people can,

  1622. can not just tell me whether they

    disagree, but help me sort of refine it.

  1623. And to me there's an attraction to

    a steady hand in terms of what I

  1624. think has to happen over the next

    year in that I don't think we

  1625. have a problem fighting fires. I I,

  1626. my understanding is that our

    personnel are very good in the job

  1627. of fighting fires. And

    so I wonder if that,

  1628. if that steady hand, if

    it's in the right person,

  1629. means that there is a consistency within

    which they are able to identify the

  1630. kinds of problems we have and fix

    them and that that's where the command

  1631. presence comes from. I'm,

  1632. I'm a bit concerned that

    Todd as a person who

  1633. is younger but who has

    less command experience

  1634. won't have that same

    advantage. And I'm not sure,

  1635. while he has some different thinking

    that he has a basis of knowledge with

  1636. which to move forward in effective

    ways with that new thinking,

  1637. I, I think that's,

    that's an advantage too.

  1638. So my comments would be very different

    if we were interviewing these two as

  1639. a permanent chief, but I

    just wonder if over the,

  1640. over the next year there isn't

    a benefit to that significant

  1641. experience that David brings to the table.

  1642. Beth? So yeah,

  1643. and thank you first for to everyone for

    their comments cuz I do think this is

  1644. both very important and also

    a very difficult choice.

  1645. I think the other reason

    I am inclined toward Mr.

  1646. Soar is that a year is not a lot of time.

  1647. And when I think about the,

  1648. the number of things that

    when you take on a new role,

  1649. learning the community

    learning, the state learning,

  1650. the department and mentoring

    seemed to me to be,

  1651. if we can knock a few o off,

  1652. we're giving our interim a higher amount

  1653. of time to focus on the things that

  1654. set us up long term. So

    if the community is known,

  1655. the network in the state is known,

  1656. the the kind of the area is understood,

  1657. then for me it allows more,

  1658. more opportunity to focus on the

    department as opposed to focus

  1659. on everything else.

  1660. That is it doing all the

    other parts of being a

  1661. chief will take less, less time.

  1662. So that's part of what I looked at

    in terms of prioritizing because

  1663. if we're bringing someone in that maybe

    doesn't have all those boxes checked,

  1664. but they're here for a longer time,

    I think that's a different choice.

  1665. But we're looking for

    a year. And so for me,

  1666. I, I would like

  1667. some of the skillsets or some

    of the inherent knowledge

  1668. to be in place when the

    person starts. And I,

  1669. Brian maybe can comment on that, but that,

  1670. that's one of the things in addition to

    what Tom so eloquently put as command

  1671. presence I think was also

    going on in my choice. Set.

  1672. Any other comments?

  1673. Yeah, I just, I just wanted to

    sort of, I I, I completely, I hear,

  1674. you know, both Tom and

    Beth's comments here,

  1675. but I,

  1676. but I just want to note that the

    department itself knows the community,

  1677. knows the town, knows the

    networks. We have that.

  1678. And so I'm just trying to

    balance between, you know,

  1679. what we have and what we're looking to

    add to this department in the next 12

  1680. months.

  1681. Yeah, I think that's a really

    good point. I I think that's,

  1682. that's well said. I, I feel like

    those are the things that we have,

  1683. we have a strong department

    that can, you know,

  1684. preserve safety and, and do its

    job very effectively in the town.

  1685. I'm thinking more in terms of what

    we don't have and that we need. And

  1686. to me that's sort of

    the fresh approach and

  1687. a perspective from other departments and,

  1688. and how they do things differently

    in other places that could really

  1689. help us leap ahead over

    the course of this year

  1690. in terms of becoming a more

    state-of-the-art department,

  1691. which is kind of where I

    would like to see us go.

  1692. So that's what's persuasive to me about

  1693. sort of the outside candidate

  1694. and Mara.

  1695. so now everything everyone says I

    agree with and it shifts my perspective

  1696. and then I shift back. So

  1697. I completely agree with Colette saying

    that we have so much already in our

  1698. department,

  1699. but that also made me think about

    the fact that this person's gonna

  1700. walk in and not have a lot

    of time to get things done.

  1701. And so I'm thinking about who is

    going to be trusted more quickly

  1702. and maybe they're familiar

  1703. would have a better impact or a more

    chance for an impact in this one year

  1704. because

  1705. he would walk in and already

    just because of the familiarity

  1706. Weston is right next door

  1707. and that command presence and

    his years of experience that he

  1708. would,

  1709. he would walk in maybe having that

    respect without having to do much.

  1710. He just is right. Whereas, you know,

  1711. the other candidate might have to work

    harder to earn that respect and that time

  1712. that it would take in that department

    to get that is time that might get

  1713. wasted in this very short year. So

    I'm, now I'm shifting because I i

  1714. I really think that it is important to

    get as much done as possible in this,

  1715. in that short period of time. And I

    mean obviously we're not, it isn't,

  1716. we haven't said it's calendar year,

    you know, August 12th to August 12th,

  1717. but there is something to be said

    about a person that could walk in and

  1718. immediately

  1719. just walk into being the Wellesley fire

    chief even on an interim basis without

  1720. really any concerns whatsoever, I don't

    think from anyone in the department.

  1721. But, you know, I wish I, I'm not that

    I've talked to anybody in the department,

  1722. but now I'm starting to think that way.

  1723. Jack.

  1724. Can we ask, I, I don't know

    how much Brian can add to this,

  1725. but I'm interested in his perspective.

  1726. So again, I think,

  1727. I feel the board's pain here that

    this is a very difficult decision.

  1728. We strobe to give you a tough choice and,

  1729. and I think between Dave

    and I that have done this,

  1730. we see some of the same advantages and

    disadvantages that you have pointed out,

  1731. whether it's familiarity with metro

    fire in the network. Ultimately

  1732. we're trying to give the department

    an opportunity to grow and,

  1733. and to sort of grow toward

    where the fire service is

  1734. going in the future. Either

    one is capable of doing that.

  1735. I really balance the

    outside perspective benefit

  1736. with being an established

    mass chief as about equal.

  1737. So chief I'm gonna sort of defer to,

  1738. it's really the board's

    difficult decision.

  1739. Either one of them could do a great job

    and, and that's how we vetted them. And,

  1740. and to be honest with you,

  1741. Dave and I had some of the same

    discussions that you're having,

  1742. which one would be better? And

    I think we also had it with the,

  1743. the chief and Megan as well.

  1744. So I know I'm not adding

    a lens of clarity here,

  1745. but I I think either one is fine for

    what you're trying to accomplish.

  1746. They may do it in a different way,

    but I think the, the department,

  1747. as long as the,

  1748. the department embraces the

    interim chief and the opportunity

  1749. to grow has a real springboard forward

    here and it can be very positive

  1750. as long as it's looked at in that way.

  1751. Okay.

  1752. Well I I'm not sure.

  1753. I'm not sure any, I I, does anyone have

    anything they, they really wanna add?

  1754. Are we ready to, are people

    pretty much talked out?

  1755. Ann Mara, you look like you're sort

    of on the verge of saying something.

  1756. I just, I just wanna

    clarify, did, did everybody,

  1757. so I I did think their leadership

    styles were, were very different,

  1758. right? And I just wanna make sure

    that I was seeing that properly that,

  1759. that Mr. Jermaine is a,

    is a little bit more of a,

  1760. he used the word Democratic, right?

    So it's, I might say collaborative,

  1761. although he didn't use that.

  1762. He said Democratic where I

    really felt like Chief Soar is

  1763. very much, he, he is the chief.

  1764. So it's a little more of a

    top-down approach and I told him,

  1765. is that what everybody else picked

    up? Cuz it's Yes. Misunderstand that.

  1766. Yeah, Collin and did you pick up

    that as well? Yeah, yeah. I mean the,

  1767. I those were the notes I took. Yeah.

  1768. I think that's an excellent point. Ammar,

  1769. you, you're looking at Todd,

  1770. Mr. Jermaine, chief Jermaine as

  1771. maybe his approach and is more

  1772. win over people over the course of time

  1773. as opposed to Chief Soar who

  1774. would come in and

  1775. through his presence

  1776. kind of lead direct, you know, right away.

  1777. I, I I think there's an

    advantage of someone who's not,

  1778. not, not that they're not

    concerned, but somebody who

  1779. is more

  1780. willing to do it their way instead of you,

  1781. you can collaborate to a certain extent.

  1782. I'm not sure how much this department,

  1783. the fire department needs

    that collaboration. I think

    both will collaborate,

  1784. but there's something to be said for

    somebody to come in and say, Hey look,

  1785. this is the way it's gonna be and you

    don't like it, talk to me about it.

  1786. But at the end of the day, that's what

    it's gonna be. Not here to make friends.

  1787. I I'm I'm here to, you

    know, get the job done. I

  1788. they're both great

    candidates. I like 'em both.

  1789. Okay, well, so we lost Dan Mara.

  1790. I mean I I I really feel that too,

    that they're both great candidates.

  1791. I hear a very strong

    argument for Chief Sar.

  1792. I'd be very comfortable with

    him as, as our selection

  1793. and I'm happy to go with that.

  1794. As would I, Lisa, like

    I said at the beginning,

  1795. we are in great hands with either of

    these choices or just absolutely they're

  1796. just different and I'm, I'm,

  1797. I'm very comfortable with either choice

    and either choice would have my full

  1798. support.

  1799. Okay. Would.

  1800. You like a motion, Lisa?

  1801. Well, I'm, I'm feel a little Ann Mara

    is on the phone. I just wanna make sure.

  1802. I'm, I'm so sorry that was like a little

    family emergency, but I'm, I'm back.

  1803. I apologize for that.

  1804. I was just saying that both Colette

    and I were just saying we'd be very

  1805. comfortable with the selection

    of Chief Soar. So, you know,

  1806. I I think we're we're, we've

    reached a consensus here.

  1807. Yeah, I mean that's

    where we're netting out.

  1808. I I think they're both great so I would

    completely support the board if that's

  1809. the direction.

  1810. Okay. So yes, I think we need a motion.

  1811. Okay. Move to appoint Mr.

  1812. David Soar as interim fire chief and

    Wellsey subject to a successful contract

  1813. negotiation.

  1814. And do we put a time start or.

  1815. I think it would be contingent upon

    the contract and their availability.

  1816. Okay, great.

  1817. Second.

  1818. Aye and Beth.

  1819. Aye.

  1820. Tom Aye and I vote Aye as well.

  1821. Okay. That was a tough one, but Brian,

  1822. thank you very much. It was a,

  1823. a really fascinating conversation

    with both candidates and I

  1824. know we're, we're gonna

    be in very good hands.

  1825. Okay. And we'll follow up and inform both

    candidates and take it from there with

  1826. Megan. So thank you very much for tonight.

  1827. Thank you. Thank.

  1828. Lisa. I apologize but I just have to

    step out for two more minutes so I,

  1829. I know you'll move on,

    but I'll be right back.

  1830. Okay. All right.

  1831. So next item is discuss and

    vote the PSI recommendation with

  1832. regard to the Wellesley College

    Health and Counseling Center.

  1833. So thank you.

  1834. We have Michelle Mahu from Wellesley

    College here along with Justin Mosca,

  1835. who is the V H B engineer on the project.

  1836. Good to see you again Justin. He, he's

    done some ful work over the years,

  1837. so the project has been submitted

    for a project of significant impact.

  1838. I can have Justin give you a brief

    overview of the project, but, or Michelle,

  1839. but just as a reminder,

  1840. so the select board's role in

    this is the select board issues,

  1841. a recommendation to the

    permit granting authority,

  1842. the planning board with

    regards to traffic,

  1843. both signalize and unsign

    lines intersections,

  1844. as well as sidewalk evaluations

    as part of the pedestrian bike and

  1845. safety evaluations.

  1846. So the board has received

    the application. I had a,

  1847. initially a draft

    recommendation I have sent

  1848. given this project largely

    does not trigger many of the

  1849. components of the PSI

    traffic because it's a,

  1850. it's actually a reduction

    in square footage and we,

  1851. we can go through that briefly. I

    did have beta engineering just do a,

  1852. a brief peer review on this and the,

  1853. the board didn't really see

    it cuz it, but it was tan,

  1854. got back to me just through

    an email that, you know, they,

  1855. they had no issues with

    traffic, no issues with parking,

  1856. construction, traffic. They had

    a few questions on Sidewalk,

  1857. which we can address as part of the

    discussion. And, and so with that,

  1858. maybe Justin I'll just have you

    give, you know, a or Michelle,

  1859. whoever would like to proceed

    with just a very brief

  1860. overview of the project the board has

    received the, the full PSI application.

  1861. Yep. No, certainly I'll, I'll

    keep it high level and just,

  1862. just walk you through and orient.

    Let me share my screen real quick.

  1863. Please comes through.

  1864. So thank you for having us again.

    Just having listened to the last one,

  1865. I need to just point out that I don't

    envy your position on having to make that

  1866. vote. So hopefully this

    one will be easier for you.

  1867. So we are hopefully most, most folks

    are familiar with Wealthy College,

  1868. Route 1 1 35 Central Street is up on

    sort of the top of the map that you're

  1869. seeing here and Route 16 Washington

    Street is kind of on the,

  1870. on the southeast border, the of

    the college with Lake Waban on the,

  1871. to the Southwest.

  1872. So everything you see sort of between

    that triangle as Wellesley College.

  1873. The project that we're

    proposing is kind of,

  1874. sort of smacked out in the

    middle of, of the property.

  1875. It's over by the science center and

    it's a replacement of Simpson Hall,

  1876. which is this building right

    here. So it's actually gotten a,

  1877. it's attached to Simpson Cottage with it,

  1878. which is an older structure and

    that Simpson Cottage is staying.

  1879. But as I zoom back out, so

    you can see the campus again,

  1880. you can kind of see how it's how

    it's in the middle of the property.

  1881. And that's important, you know, we'll

    talk about that a little bit later.

  1882. But just because we're not making any

    changes to connections to the municipal

  1883. infrastructure for

    College Road, like where,

  1884. where you actually access the college,

    the project itself, as Megan mentioned,

  1885. it's a reduction in square footage.

    The existing Simpson Hall that,

  1886. that I had circled is a

    19,000 square foot structure.

  1887. The building that's gonna be going in

    is a new health and counseling center,

  1888. and that is 11,000 square feet.

  1889. So the health services are current or

    were currently, that doesn't make sense.

  1890. They were in Simpson

    Hall previously. They're,

  1891. they've been temporarily moved to

    the college club to make way for this

  1892. demolition. And then the health services

    will move back into this facility.

  1893. The health services are run by Newton

    Wellesley Hospital for the college.

  1894. So essentially these are programs

    and staff and students that are all

  1895. present in the college already.

  1896. It's not a growth in at any kind in

    student population or staff population.

  1897. And we're not impacting any parking

    spaces. And it will temporarily,

  1898. they'll need to be laid

    downs for construction,

  1899. but ultimately everything around

    the building stays the same.

  1900. So we're not creating any parking spaces

    or removing any parking spaces as part

  1901. of the project. And we're

    not, again, changing any,

  1902. any connections to the, to

    route 16 or to route 1 35.

  1903. That is probably the

    majority of the summary.

  1904. I think that we can open discussion.

  1905. I guess the only other thing I'd

    mention is we did get comments from the

  1906. municipal light,

  1907. municipal light plant fire department

    and engineering light plant and fire

  1908. department had no issue with this.

  1909. Engineering had a few comments that

    they just requested that we provide some

  1910. supplemental information, which we've

    done today. So everyone seems to be,

  1911. to be on board. So again, no growth

    and it's a reduction in square footage,

  1912. so it's really not a traffic

    generating project. So.

  1913. So the only thing, Lisa, I I just

    wanted to clarify on the sidewalk.

  1914. So typically for P S I,

  1915. we would look at the adjoining

    sidewalks within 600 feet.

  1916. So obviously with the college

    campuses it's a little bit unique.

  1917. So Justin actually went above and beyond

    and really did an evaluation on the

  1918. exterior of the parcel

    of the campus along 1 35,

  1919. basically circumnavigating

    most of the, you know,

  1920. three quarters of the site looking

    at 1 35 along lessen road down to

  1921. Washington Street. He did an

    evaluation of all those sidewalks.

  1922. The only comments we

    potentially could have,

  1923. and I think this map is

    super helpful, Justin,

  1924. cause it leads exactly to my

    comment is that, you know,

  1925. when in Justin's analysis and in the

    review by beta, it was just that,

  1926. there are a few intersections

    that you could focus on as a

  1927. recommendation to the planning

    board to add the ADA ramping

  1928. to it,

  1929. which would be largely at

    1 35 in the college drive,

  1930. or potentially at

  1931. the pedestrian signalization at Washington

  1932. Street. But given the,

  1933. the significant area distance to 600 feet,

  1934. typically we're looking at that within

  1935. the particular RightWay to the 600

    feet immediately adjoining the land.

  1936. So that it's pretty far

    away. W it was the comment,

  1937. it's certainly something we

    could highlight for planning

    if the board so chose,

  1938. but I think it's a little greater

    than P s I initially intends

  1939. because this is the college campus that

    has a parcel of significant acreage.

  1940. So I just wanted to raise that point.

  1941. And then the only other thing

    that we can clarify, Justin,

  1942. is that part of the

    application, and Michelle,

  1943. we notice some inconsistencies

    with regards to the services

    provided by the M W

  1944. R T A.

  1945. So they have ramped up some of their

    services in terms of our access to some

  1946. public transportation, which

    is just an improvement.

  1947. So that's even above and beyond what

    we, we currently have. And so, you know,

  1948. offline we can maybe set up a meeting

    to just educate the college on,

  1949. on the new services that M W R T A

    has as well as the fact that M B T A

  1950. is now on a clock face schedule

    for the commuter rail services. So,

  1951. so that's just an additional

    improvement actually in terms of

  1952. exterior transportation in

    the immediate vicinity. So,

  1953. you know, happy to answer

    questions from the board,

  1954. but I did just wanna call and

    the map is really helpful.

  1955. So if that's something we wanted

    to forward to the recommendation,

  1956. it would really be looking at

    adding and the board's aware of the,

  1957. the a d a plates that we've had

    on actually a large lot of our

  1958. psis in more recent time because

    it's been a change in infrastructure

  1959. requirement. So as soon

    as the road's touched,

  1960. which we actually don't have

    jurisdiction necessarily,

  1961. we'd need mass co t approval for the,

  1962. the section on 1 35 1 Route 1 35,

  1963. which is under Mass cot

    jurisdiction or Washington Street.

  1964. But, you know, so that's

    just one potential.

  1965. If we were gonna put any recommendation

    in it would be to add those, I think.

  1966. And, and let me just, I can tell you the,

  1967. my apologies, my.

  1968. Yeah, and those just while you're,

    while you're looking that up too,

  1969. I was doing a takeoff, so like the,

  1970. from our project to the end

    of College road where that

  1971. meets 1 35 just for, for reference,

    it's about 2300 feet away.

  1972. Yeah. So when you make, when

    you mention that 600 foot right,

  1973. we're only really looking at that

    because the property is that big.

  1974. We're we're really dead, dead set

    in the middle of the property.

  1975. And I think the other one was about 1300

    somewhere that range just to route 16.

  1976. Yeah, it was closer to 1300 feet.

  1977. Yeah. So I mean the, the

    three intersection, if,

  1978. if we were gonna make a recommendation,

    they were looking at Western Road,

  1979. at Central College Road, at Central

    and College Road at Washington,

  1980. those three particular locations.

    But I just note the difference,

  1981. the distance, excuse me to

    Justin's point, it it's,

  1982. what are those instances too,

    where the information was provided?

  1983. So we were gonna do the review.

  1984. Hola, did you have a question?

    Did, so I, I did notice the,

  1985. the curb reveals and that comment,

    and I did recently take a,

  1986. a little bit of a walk

    in Walsey Square with a

  1987. a, a young student I've been working

    with on mobility who does have mobility

  1988. impairments and vision

    impairments. And, you know,

  1989. the conversation that I

    had with him was at the,

  1990. the bright markers are really helpful.

    So, you know, there, there is a,

  1991. a need and a use for them. But one

    of the things I wanted to ask about,

  1992. on page three of seven,

  1993. third paragraph to the bottom,

  1994. it's talking about Central

    Street and College Road.

  1995. And there it's saying it's observed that

    there was a ramp on the eastern side

  1996. that has a noticeable curb reveal on

    the roadway that's not convenient for

  1997. travel by a wheelchair. Can you explain

    that more to me, Megan? What kind of,

  1998. what are we talking about and what are

    the alternatives for someone who is

  1999. traveling by a wheelchair

    in that area or that,

  2000. that jumped out to me as being different

    from the other items that were raised?

  2001. Sorry, what what street? I'm sorry,

    Colette, I might have an image of it.

  2002. Central Street and College Road.

  2003. I street side of college road.

  2004. I have, I have an, I have an

    image that I can project If you,

  2005. if you could stop sharing for one moment,

  2006. which might just clarify that

  2007. this is an image that Beta had

    just had, oh sorry, is it up?

  2008. So this is college road at Central.

  2009. So this is that area where it's

    the, the curb comes to grade.

  2010. Sorry, I'll just see if I can, I can't

    really shift it. You can see sort of the,

  2011. to the northern section as well,

  2012. rather than having the a d

    you know how it tends to be

  2013. a three square sort of down

    with the, with the plate.

  2014. But I I I think it was saying that

    that curb reveal was more troublesome

  2015. than the other areas that

    they were identifying.

  2016. And so I'm wondering if

    that should be elevated.

  2017. There is certainly,

    there's a, a lip there.

  2018. It looks like I can

    steal the screen again.

  2019. Try again Justin. Sorry. Yep.

  2020. You can see it in, in street view the,

    the lip that's there. So I think there,

  2021. there were certainly some

    deficiencies, you know,

  2022. a few deficiencies that were noted

    in the sidewalk inventory that

  2023. would be better served being

    fixed. I think the, you know,

  2024. the question is, is it part of

    this project and should it be,

  2025. you know, should it be part of this

    project? Cause I don't know, you know,

  2026. if that's necessarily

    related. I think that's up to,

  2027. I'm assuming that's up to the board

    to, to decide. But that's the,

  2028. that's the image there. You can

    kind of see the, the drop off. Yep.

  2029. Yeah, if I could, if I could just

    jump in really quickly. You know,

  2030. we're super committed to accessibility

    on campus. We've done our own,

  2031. we've been improving accessibility

    both in buildings and site pathways and

  2032. parking lots across campus. So I'm,

  2033. I'm just really interested and thankful

    to hear some of these comments because

  2034. we have a means to definitely

    address some of these things.

  2035. like I'm not sure this project has to

    be the means to get to the ends here.

  2036. So I'm super interested in

    continued conversation and hearing

  2037. some of this seems like kind of low

    hanging fruit and I think it's something

  2038. that like, I'm surprised I,

  2039. I would've loved to have addressed

    this like before this project. So I'm,

  2040. I'm super open to it.

    I just dunno like that,

  2041. that this project should be the vehicle

    in which we're trying to a approach and,

  2042. and handle these things. And I'm happy

    if that's the way you deem it necessary.

  2043. But I, I just, I'm like,

  2044. I'm super interested and I think we have

    some ways to address some of these low

  2045. hanging fruit issues. So it's,

    it's helpful feedback. Thank you

  2046. Tom.

  2047. I, I honestly, I wanna be sure

    I'm not missing something.

  2048. We have a building in the middle

    of a college campus that is

  2049. going to get smaller for the

    same use and it seems to me a

  2050. greatly disproportionate

    conversation here going on about,

  2051. I I don't, I don't know why

    we haven't taken the vote.

  2052. I I I think that, that

    Michelle is, is right.

  2053. I I think if we just go to the college

    and talk to 'em about a few issues like

  2054. this, that they would be responsive. But

  2055. to me this is a no-brainer. I, i, I don't,

  2056. I I wanna make sure I'm

    not missing something.

  2057. So, so that's why I'm calling

    it out with the fact that we,

  2058. Justin did,

  2059. it's sort of like too

    much information and,

  2060. and the best way possible he went

    above and beyond and really did

  2061. the whole parcel. So, so we looked at it,

  2062. but that's why I said the map is

    actually really helpful. So, I mean,

  2063. it's something that, again,

  2064. I totally agree we can work with

    the college on in in the future.

  2065. I was just raising it

    because we, we did have it

  2066. modestly peer review because there's

    not a whole lot to look at to the exact

  2067. point that you, you said Tom,

  2068. so we did just note a

    couple deficiencies that

  2069. are there that could be a recommendation

    if the board wanted to add them.

  2070. And we are just the

    recommendation body and the,

  2071. and the planning board

    would be the ultimate

  2072. permit grant authority. But I, I

    don't disagree with you at all,

  2073. but I felt it from a transparency

    standpoint to raise it.

  2074. Yeah, I I think it's really useful to

    have those things highlighted. I don't,

  2075. I don't know that we're necessarily

    planning, you know, I don't think Tom,

  2076. that we're, we're delaying a vote.

  2077. I, I didn't mean to say that

    I, I, that was, you know,

  2078. I was trying to sort of make a point and

    I I didn't mean there's always room for

  2079. discussion, you know, according to

    what the Burke board wants to raise.

  2080. And, and I don't mean to suggest

    otherwise, but I, I'm reminded

  2081. about the discussion about handicapped

    curb cuts in the Honeywell school

  2082. and when I was on the school building

    committee and the controversy that rose

  2083. and the expense that was added

    to that project. Well beyond,

  2084. I think what the scope should

    have been for the work.

  2085. So ag again, i,

  2086. I certainly don't in any way mean to

    suggest any disrespect for the amount of

  2087. deliberation the board

    wishes to put into this, but,

  2088. but I just think that, that the,

  2089. the college is demonstrating a

    willingness to engage in these kinds of

  2090. conversations. I think they are important.

  2091. I think that is a good example of

    a curb cut that ought to be fixed.

  2092. But I don't think we wanna set a precedent

    that will attach to a project like

  2093. this.

  2094. Beth.

  2095. So first I think this is a really

    exciting project and I'm glad to see the

  2096. investment in a health center on campus.

  2097. And I,

  2098. I think I generally agree with Tom that

    it would be nice to improve the curb

  2099. cuts. I, I don't have a problem

    pointing it out to planning, but I,

  2100. I don't see it as

  2101. kind of fundamental to

    moving this project forward.

  2102. My question really is

    about the 33 parking spaces

  2103. and is I, I guess I wondered

    when the curb cut thing came up.

  2104. Is that because you're

    moving the parking spaces

  2105. across the street from the campus?

  2106. the 33 was actually just a combination

    of the parking that's out there around

  2107. the building today.

  2108. And it was a temporary impact because we

    don't know where construction layout's

  2109. gonna be. We gotta work

    with the contractor.

  2110. Those are temporary spaces that would

    be relocated and they'd be absorbed into

  2111. the, into the college.

  2112. There's no plan to do anything

    outside the limits of the college.

  2113. And that's just knowing

    that the contractor's gonna

    need to lay down somewhere.

  2114. So as soon as the building's

    back in the permanent condition,

  2115. those spaces are right back to what

    they are today. But there's actually,

  2116. there's contractor parking

    on the campus. There's,

  2117. we've done parking studies in the

    past and there's usually, you know,

  2118. a surplus of spaces of somewhere in

    around on the range of 10% of the,

  2119. the parking capacity overall,

    which is, well, more than the,

  2120. the 33 spaces there. So we're not,

    we're not anticipating any issue with,

  2121. with parking.

  2122. Okay. I,

  2123. I know one of the things we always hear

    is there's no parking for the residents

  2124. that want to, you know,

  2125. those few spots that are kind

    catches catch can for people who

  2126. wanna walk the lake. And so I.

  2127. Yeah, this wouldn't be in that of the

    lake would be protected. Yeah. Okay.

  2128. Super. Thank you so much.

    So congratulations on this.

  2129. Yeah, I, I think we, we

    probably ready for a vote I,

  2130. or for a motion anyway. I,

  2131. I will just say I do think it's

    important to highlight these

  2132. accessibility issues for the college. I,

  2133. I personally don't think they need to be

    in the form of any kind of requirement,

  2134. but I, I think, I mean, I'm grateful

    to Justin I for raising this. I think,

  2135. you know, we're,

  2136. we're all developing greater

    sensitivity to accessibility issues and,

  2137. and I'm sure the college

    is way more sensitive than,

  2138. than anybody else on this issue,

  2139. knowing that you have a diversity of

    students on your campus and are trying to

  2140. accommodate them. Yeah.

  2141. Can I just, before you take the vote,

  2142. just let you know that we've worked

    for two years with the Massachusetts

  2143. Architectural Access Board.

  2144. We've implemented a memorandum of

    understanding with them for an accessible

  2145. housing plan on our campus.

  2146. It's an approach to our campus

    that provides all the accessibility

  2147. that you would find, but it spreads

    it out throughout the campus,

  2148. throughout our entire portfolio. So

    it was a two year planning effort.

  2149. It's a 10 year buildup plan that's just

    for our residence halls. As I mentioned,

  2150. we have an entire accessibility

    upgrade effort through the campus

  2151. roadways and parking. So again,

    I want you to tell you all,

  2152. like we're extremely committed to this

    and really appreciate and love hearing

  2153. these areas that could

    make big impact, you know,

  2154. in small ways and we'd love to do it. My,

  2155. my concern is that particularly with

    the timing that would be needed with,

  2156. with Route 1 35 in the state, if,

  2157. if any recommendation goes forward to

    have to do this as part of this project,

  2158. it's gonna kill this project

    and we'd love to do this work.

  2159. I have no objection to it.

  2160. I think the timing alone and we

    have means we have resources,

  2161. we have accessibility funds, particularly

    for these kinds of efforts. So I'm,

  2162. I'm really thankful for

    hearing what they are. Again,

  2163. I just don't think the

    this project is the means,

  2164. the right means to get this kind of

    stuff done. And I fear that. Yeah.

  2165. I think we're in agreement

    there, Michelle. So I, yeah,

  2166. nobody's suggesting at this point that

    these be made requirements for this

  2167. project. I, I,

  2168. my only suggestion was just that we

    transmit this information to you in some

  2169. way so that you can be working on it,

  2170. on whatever timeline seems appropriate.

  2171. But I I don't think it should

    hold up this project personally.

  2172. I don't think anybody on the

    board is saying that. Right. Okay.

  2173. And somebody can, can

    contradict me if they want.

  2174. Okay. Yes. Ready for the

    motion. Thank you, Beth.

  2175. Move to approve the recommendation

    to the planning board,

  2176. subject to any modifications

    approved by the second

  2177. Colette. Aye Tom? Aye.

  2178. Beth Aye. And Mara Aye.

    And I vote Aye as well.

  2179. Okay. Thank you very much. Thank

    you. Thank you Justin. Thank you.

  2180. Thank you Michelle for

    being here. Thank you. Aye,

  2181. okay, I've lost my agenda now.

  2182. Can somebody tell me what's

    next? The union contracts.

  2183. Union contracts, thank you.

  2184. But my fan seems to have

    reordered my papers here. Yes.

  2185. So we have both the library, oops, sorry,

  2186. just rolling here.

  2187. The Wealthy Free Library Staff

    Association and the Wealthy Free Library.

  2188. I just wanna get the name

    right. Supervisors Association.

  2189. We have,

  2190. they are identical in format except

    for they are two distinct unions.

  2191. And this agreement would be

    for a three year term under

  2192. this agreement,

  2193. we would be adding Juneteenth as

    we've done with all of the unions.

  2194. We would be establishing a

    new cost of living adjustment,

  2195. 4% in f y 24,

  2196. 3% in f y 25, 3% in f y 26.

  2197. In addition to that,

    sorry, I'm just scrolling.

  2198. We would eliminate in

  2199. f y 25, I'm sorry,

  2200. in f y 26,

  2201. the 15 cent differential

    for employees that

  2202. exist in a, a contract,

    a portion of a contract.

  2203. We would also we're agreeing

    to modify the definition of

  2204. grievance.

  2205. We're allowing for additional

    executive meeting with council and for,

  2206. for the union members.

    And in addition to that,

  2207. we would be creating a

    new longevity schedule.

  2208. Prior years the library didn't

    have longevity and until 15 years,

  2209. which was inconsistent with the

    majority of our other unions,

  2210. which commenced the 10 years,

  2211. we would commence the 10 years and

    establish a new pay schedule for

  2212. that, which would also be inclusive

    of our part-time employees.

  2213. And so, sorry, I'm just scrolling up.

  2214. The f f y 24 settlement costs

    for this would be inclusive

  2215. of five F M D employees

    who are in this union.

  2216. But because they're custodians under

    the jurisdiction of the facilities

  2217. director, total cost out is $97,458.

  2218. I also would just note that

    the, the library associations,

  2219. it is very unique in terms

    of the budgeting for the

    library that any expense,

  2220. personal or expense has to also include

    a component for materials costs.

  2221. And so this is also inclusive

    of 13% increase of material

  2222. costs towards the library.

  2223. And so we'd be looking for the

    board's approval to enter into the

  2224. memorandum memorandum of understanding

    for this tentative agreement for both

  2225. unions.

  2226. I'll just mention for the benefit of

    the public that this is also a subject

  2227. we've discussed exhaustively

    on more than one occasion

  2228. in executive session.

  2229. So I'm not sure that there are

    any questions or comments from,

  2230. from the board at this point. But if

    there are, please raise your hand.

  2231. Okay. May we have the motion please, Beth?

  2232. Move to approve the memorandum

    of understanding with the

    Wellesley Free Library

  2233. Staff Association and the Wellesley

    Free Library Supervisor Association

  2234. as

  2235. included in our Friday night

    mail and outlined by Ms. Job.

  2236. Second. Beth Aye. Ann Mara.

  2237. Aye. Colette Aye. Tom? Aye. And aye.

  2238. Vote as well. Okay. I found my agenda.

  2239. Next item is to discuss the draft policy

  2240. on a subcommittee policy. So Megan,

  2241. I don't know if you wanna introduce that.

  2242. Sure. Hold on. Let me just

    pull up my notes here.

  2243. But so Colette and I had been discussing,

  2244. Colette had actually done a, a, a

    fairly substantial review of, hey,

  2245. here's the policies and we really should

    be going back and evaluating some of

  2246. them. One, just because of

    the duration of time and two,

  2247. as as we continue to

    evaluate emerging trends in

  2248. for our financial policies.

    And so as part of that,

  2249. we started reviewing how other towns

    and departments handle the creation

  2250. of policies. And the school

    committee CRE has created,

  2251. the Wealthy school committee has created

    a policy subcommittee to then manage

  2252. that for both review of existing policies

    as well as for the creation of new

  2253. We did a little bit of research and

    also identified several select board

  2254. policies of the similar nature and

    wanted to start the conversation with the

  2255. board as to whether the, the town

    would wanna consider the creation.

  2256. So it's a policy for a subcommittee

    policy for a subcommittee on

  2257. policies

  2258. so that we can start essentially

    a systematic review of our,

  2259. of our policies and then have it

    in place on a continual basis.

  2260. And, you know,

  2261. as we continue to explore different

    initiatives and with the eye and lens of

  2262. d e i,

  2263. it's something that we really sh would

    be encouraging many departments to look

  2264. at that you,

  2265. we really need to be looking at all

    of our PO policies with a new lens.

  2266. And so there's many policies

    we just, we haven't looked,

  2267. looked at in many years

    or aren't following. And,

  2268. and so perhaps it's either you have to

    revert to following it or we really,

  2269. our new systematic approach

    is more appropriate.

  2270. So we just wanted to begin to broach

    the subject with the board. Collette,

  2271. I don't know if you wanna

    add anything to that.

  2272. That's, that's pretty much,

    you know, where I came from,

  2273. we had been doing some policy

    work and as we went through

  2274. some things recently, for example,

  2275. when we were looking at

    our investment policy,

  2276. I read through the policy and noted it

    had a note in there to be reviewed on a

  2277. regular basis. And I thought

    that was important to pick up.

  2278. We recently a adjusted a

    number of policies for public

    comment and there's gonna

  2279. be some more revisions coming out on

    that. And it made me sort of think about,

  2280. well, what are we doing

    with our other policies?

  2281. And so I read through the policy

    handbook in preparation for our

  2282. retreat and noticed that there

    was a lot of policy work done in

  2283. maybe 2018, something like that. But,

  2284. you know, given covid and other items

    that's maybe taken a little bit of a hold.

  2285. So this is a good time for

    us to look at that again,

  2286. but find a more systematic

    approach to it to be just more eff

  2287. efficient and effective and making sure

    that we do it on a systematic basis and

  2288. have a a, a way to make it a bit

    of an easier lift for the board.

  2289. So that was really the

    genesis of this project.

  2290. Yeah, I I I support this idea.

  2291. I think being systematic about

    it would be really helpful.

  2292. I know it has come up in conversation

    over the past year, you know,

  2293. various policies that we

    needed to look at, at again or,

  2294. you know, things we've talked where we

    talked about creating a new policy. It,

  2295. it, it definitely is worth having.

  2296. I I think it's worth having a,

  2297. a slightly more streamlined

    process so that there's a,

  2298. that we have a starting point, you know,

  2299. that's how I view the subcommittee as

    creating some kind of starting point so

  2300. that then the board can move forward,

  2301. make whatever changes they

    want, hold public hearings.

  2302. But, you know,

  2303. the a a little bit of a headstart

    has been given to the board and,

  2304. and furthermore, the idea of tracking

    all of the policies so that we know,

  2305. particularly the ones that

    we use a lot, ought to get a,

  2306. a pretty systematic review so

    that we know they aren't just,

  2307. we aren't, we're rethinking

    them in the context of,

  2308. of current events and current conditions.

  2309. And it was helpful to talk with,

  2310. I talked with two members of the policy

    subcommittee on our school committee to

  2311. see, you know, how how do you come to the

    notion of what you're going to review.

  2312. And it's driven by a number of things.

  2313. And that's what I included in

    the documents in our packet.

  2314. But it's either a policy we use a lot

    or it's something that you see coming

  2315. because of your,

  2316. your industry body is telling you you

    should really think about policies for

  2317. library materials, for example.

    Or it's a policy that they,

  2318. they know that they might

    not be complying with.

  2319. So they want to look at it and see does

    it need to be changed or do we need to

  2320. change our policies to deal

    with that? Or it's an interest,

  2321. a matter of interest to the community

    and they feel that someone in the

  2322. community has brought it to

    them for review and address.

  2323. So that to me was really helpful because

    this is something they've had in place

  2324. for quite some time and you know, they,

    they work on it on an ongoing basis.

  2325. So, one thing I just

    wanna add, I I did put in

  2326. under the applicability that I,

  2327. I think there might be a policy that the

    whole board wants to work on together,

  2328. you know, that it, and you know,

  2329. there might be a situation

    where something comes up and,

  2330. and so I think it's important that we

    have that as an exception that, you know,

  2331. the whole select board might say,

  2332. actually we all wanna

    participate somehow. I,

  2333. I guess it would have to be in a public

    meeting in the drafting of a policy or

  2334. at least the, the early discussions

    of the drafting of a policy.

  2335. I can certainly imagine that happening. So

  2336. that was just one little

    addition that I made. Tom.

  2337. I certainly support this idea and I

    want to thank Megan and Colette and

  2338. particularly Colette for I understand

    to be the very detailed look at the

  2339. policies that she undertook.

    You know, I think that,

  2340. that we may need to prioritize the

    order in which we look at these,

  2341. but I I think we have not done this

  2342. in so long that a really comprehensive

    look at all our policies is

  2343. necessary.

  2344. Whether it's as simple as selectman

    to select board or as complicated as

  2345. ensuring that we have an understanding

    and incorporate court decisions recently

  2346. on the public's right to

    comment to us and our,

  2347. the restrictions on our

    ability to impose guidelines on

  2348. public speak.

  2349. These are all things that I think we

    need to go back and think through.

  2350. There may be new policies

    as you pointed out,

  2351. and some that can be streamlined by being

    combined as someone pointed out as we

  2352. did with some of our alcohol policy.

  2353. So I think it's a great opportunity

    coming out of covid with increased public

  2354. participation, going back to

    in-person meetings, just in general,

  2355. I think an increase in the sort of

    energy and town government that it's a,

  2356. a perfect time to be looking at

    this and I certainly support this.

  2357. Any other thoughts? Ann Mara?

  2358. Yeah, so I,

  2359. I really appreciate the idea of going

    back through all our policies and I think

  2360. that most of our boards do have some kind

    of process for going through policies

  2361. on an annual basis. So I

    appreciate this thought here.

  2362. I guess my, my question is,

  2363. I guess I'm a little bit

    frustrated because, you know,

  2364. I've now been on this board for

    two years and you know, we have,

  2365. there are a lot of really important

    things that we need to be working on and

  2366. this is the first time I've ever heard

    of creating a subcommittee and I think

  2367. there are other things that

    are important that we should be

  2368. spending more time on.

  2369. And we have an entire retreat coming

    up that we're gonna talk about policy.

  2370. So I would've loved to have taken this

    time at this meeting to talk about

  2371. something more important to me and to the,

  2372. I think to the town and, and we don't

    ever use that time in these meetings.

  2373. So I I I do think policies are important,

  2374. but there are means for getting work

    done. They're not the work of the board,

  2375. they're just the means.

  2376. And I'm gonna quote Albert Einstein

    who said bureaucracy is the death of

  2377. achievement. I would like

    these meetings, our meetings,

  2378. our public meetings to have more

    meat to them and talk about things

  2379. that are more important. I mean,

  2380. right now 50% of people in Massachusetts

    ha pay more than 30% of their

  2381. income in rent. I mean,

  2382. we have a real housing problem and

    we have a community that doesn't

  2383. understand that because we

    don't talk about it as a board.

  2384. We talk about it individually, we talk

    about it in the housing task force,

  2385. but we don't really share

    with the community the

    challenges that our residents

  2386. and the rest of Massachusetts are facing.

  2387. And I think we need to talk

    about this on a regular basis.

  2388. We need to bring it to people's attention.

  2389. So I I appreciate doing this in

    a subcommittee. Yeah, go for it.

  2390. I don't wanna be on it,

  2391. but I do wanna approve policies

    once the subcommittee works on them.

  2392. I just would rather,

  2393. we were talking about this at the retreat

    that we set up to talk about policies

  2394. and we're using this time for something

    different. That's my only thought.

  2395. Okay. Any further comments?

  2396. All right. Could I just clarify,

  2397. we're talking about a policy that

  2398. all policies are reviewed by a designated

  2399. set of select board

    members in a subcommittee,

  2400. which is a public session,

    right? Yeah. This is a public,

  2401. a public body that meets

    and takes minutes Yeah.

  2402. And does it in a more

    systematic way than what,

  2403. and I, I really appreciate Colette

    going through and doing the,

  2404. the thorough inventory of our policies.

  2405. I thought, and I, so I guess

    it's, the question is, I think,

  2406. do we wanna change our procedure,

    which our normal procedure,

  2407. as long as I've been on the board,

  2408. is that when an issue arises

    where either the policy needs to

  2409. be looked at or we need a new policy,

  2410. someone works on it and designated

  2411. to a standing committee. So this

    would be our only standing committee,

  2412. our standing subgroup, is that right?

    And they would get all the policies.

  2413. Yeah. So the idea is that any policy

    that was being reviewed, well I,

  2414. I think there are two major

    functions of the subcommittee.

  2415. One is when it comes up that we

    need a new one, a new policy,

  2416. the subcommittee would draft it and

    the other function would be to track

  2417. the current policies just

    to make sure they're,

  2418. they're getting a fresh look periodically,

  2419. they're not just sort

    of sitting on a shelf.

  2420. And you know,

  2421. in particular the policies that

    govern some of our core functions like

  2422. our, our financial policies,

  2423. those would obviously be I, and I mean,

  2424. I will just say that in the course

    of the time I've been on the board,

  2425. we've enacted several,

  2426. a number of new policies

    always with the sort of caveat

  2427. that we'll revisit this policy down the

    road and sort of see how it's going.

  2428. And, and we actually don't have

    a mechanism for doing that. So I,

  2429. I think it's, it's just a very helpful

  2430. Mechanism really to, to make sure that,

  2431. that we are doing that and that we're

    visiting things that revisiting things

  2432. that we thought were made sense to

    make sure that once they're in place,

  2433. they actually do. So that's,

  2434. that's the idea. But it, it's two

    members of the board is what we're,

  2435. what the policy is proposing.

  2436. Okay. Well we can certainly, we, you know,

  2437. generally the board likes to have a

    couple of discussions of things before we

  2438. vote. So we can certainly pick

    it back up at the retreat.

  2439. And if no one has anything else to say,

  2440. I will adjourn the meeting. Do

    we have a town hall update? Yeah,

  2441. we have one more update. Oh, I

    beg your pardon. That's right. I,

  2442. I'm looking at the, I'm not looking at

    the adjusted agenda, so sorry about that.

  2443. So I think, and, and Megan, you

    know, may have some comments too.

  2444. We had an opportunity, well

    first of all, let me go back. I,

  2445. I think everyone's aware

    that with regard to a,

  2446. a tour of town hall for safety reasons,

  2447. the contractor has made it

    clear that that has to wait.

  2448. The central staircase is

    being demolished and it really

  2449. is not an environment which anyone

    can go in except for the contractors.

  2450. They will let us know when,

  2451. when that's no longer the issue

    and we can arrange for a tour.

  2452. The principles of Schwartz Silver

    responsible for the job had a chance

  2453. to go through the

    building with our owners,

  2454. project manager Glenn Remick,

  2455. to discuss a number of

    the deficiencies in the,

  2456. in the building and to

    reconsider or to consider

  2457. a new, some of the solutions that

    we had considered originally.

  2458. And they have gone through

    with a preliminary report on

  2459. recommendations that they would make with

    regard to things like the woodwork and

  2460. the finish on the, on the wood, on some

    of the irregularities of the brick,

  2461. if not the changes in

    color and discoloration,

  2462. different brick that was used

    to close up arch doorways for

  2463. example. And we're

    working through, not we,

  2464. but they are P V C and F M

    D are working through with

  2465. Schwartz silver, what will be a,

  2466. a report that P B C will

    consider use of basis to look at

  2467. further changes that need to be made in

    the project and how we're solving some

  2468. of these problems.

  2469. One interesting thing that came up was

    the case and the weights and measures

  2470. and we all remember sort of

    what we went through discovering

  2471. exactly what that was and

    it's it's purpose as an item

  2472. in, in Wellesley,

  2473. one of the discussions we had

    was where to relocate that,

  2474. where locate that in the, in the building.

  2475. It's not as simple as just putting it

    back where it was not only because it

  2476. really isn't consistent with

    the feel of that, of that lobby,

  2477. but it would require

  2478. not insignificant additional

    work to shore up that location

  2479. because of the weight of that cabinet.

  2480. So one consideration is,

  2481. is two different items.

  2482. One is to see whether we

    can perhaps from C P C seek

  2483. funds to refinish that

    cabinet and to bring it back

  2484. in terms of what it looks,

    what its exterior looks like.

  2485. And the other is to look for

    a location on the lower level

  2486. in a location where there would be some

    ability to highlight that cabinet as

  2487. something that you saw when

    you went in on that level to

  2488. visit one of those departments.

  2489. So that would not present the

    problem of having to shore up

  2490. the support because it would be on

    a level that could handle the weight

  2491. of that, of that case.

    So I know that we had,

  2492. the board was engaged in how we

    handled a lot of items that were

  2493. in town hall.

  2494. This is certainly an important

    one in terms of the town and

  2495. I just wanted to raise for the,

  2496. for the board an awareness of

    what we were looking at with that

  2497. particular item in particular

    and the potential for it to

  2498. be improved in terms of its external

    appearance and to be located safely

  2499. in a highlighted area on the lower level.

  2500. So Tom, you'll bring that

    back to us to discuss later?

  2501. Yes. Yeah, we, we will, once there is a,

  2502. we, we shouldn't be too long,

  2503. but once there's an awareness of sort

    of what the best area would be on the

  2504. lower level because some work will have

    to be done in order to create the space

  2505. for it, we'll bring that back

  2506. with regard to the

  2507. improvements or changes

    in the scope of the actual

  2508. work on the interior. You know,

  2509. a budget will have to be developed

    and of course this is a P V C project,

  2510. so that'll be a discussion

    that P V C will be having about

  2511. the scope of any or changes

    in the scope of the work,

  2512. what the implications are,

  2513. how that weighs against the

    contingencies that we have in place

  2514. and whether these are advisable

    and whether they would

    ultimately be approved by

  2515. P B C.

  2516. Can I just ask you in

    case anyone inquires,

  2517. why is the floor not able to handle

    something it's been handling for so

  2518. long?

  2519. It, it hasn't, correct

    me if I'm wrong Megan,

  2520. but there was evidence that

    there was a significant support

  2521. underneath that cabinet

    where it sat in the lobby.

  2522. So the issue where it sat, so there

    was a support and there was a,

  2523. a different platform that the weight

    was distributed on underneath that when

  2524. they removed it, there's holes on the,

  2525. a hole on the floor that has to be

    removed and it's part of where it was

  2526. previously located

  2527. as part of the new H V A C system.

  2528. And so if we were gonna put

    it back at that location, it,

  2529. which is not opportune based upon

    the design we would have to remove

  2530. and I forget what type of

    equipment it is that, that.

  2531. That's enough of an answer cuz we're

    changing something else. Structure.

  2532. Yeah. Yes. Yeah. Because when we removed

    that platform, as you might recall,

  2533. you know, that didn't match the tile

    floor. And so when we removed that,

  2534. that those are some of the things

    that we found and that was being

  2535. converted anyway because

    of the H B C. But,

  2536. so there continues to be a hole there

    that we're, we're actually working on.

  2537. But Megan and I were sensitive to the

    discussion that took place when this all

  2538. of these items in town hall came

    up and we wanted to be sure that we

  2539. brought this one right back to the

    board and that you were all aware of the

  2540. discussions and,

  2541. and possible relocation and

    outcome for this particular item.

  2542. And that in,

  2543. in considering this we're I think trying

    to demonstrate that we value the item.

  2544. We're just trying to figure out a

    way to put it back in town hall in

  2545. good shape in a place that doesn't

    require a significant additional expense

  2546. in terms of support.

  2547. and I guess the other thought is too is

    it sort of came to me in a discussion

  2548. of, well if we did wanna

    refurbish it, it's historic,

  2549. we could maybe seek

    some funds from cpc it,

  2550. would the board be amenable to me at

    least starting that conversation with,

  2551. with cpc? I.

  2552. I I certainly would Megan.

  2553. Cause I get the sense from

    listening to their discussions,

  2554. especially around the historic

  2555. opportunities they have that they would

    like to have more opportunities to fund

  2556. items in that area. So if it's a good fit,

  2557. I would certainly be interested in at

    least asking them if they would like to

  2558. join with us on that.

  2559. I I.

  2560. Hope if we do, I, sorry,

  2561. I would be remiss if I didn't say

    that we have not talked to them yet,

  2562. so I don't want anyone from C P C

    listening and thinking that there's any

  2563. assumption that they will fund it

    or presumption that they should.

  2564. That's why Megan's saying, can we at

    least have a preliminary conversation?

  2565. I, I would just suggest if we're gonna

    do that, that the funds also include

  2566. some, you know,

  2567. a little bit of research and a plaque

    that describes what the thing is because I

  2568. know it, it wa you know,

  2569. wa wasn't until we talked about it that

    I had any idea what those things were or

  2570. the historical significance of

    them or anything else. So I,

  2571. if we're going to go to the

    trouble of refurbishing it,

  2572. maybe C P C would give just enough

    money to provide a little research and

  2573. composition of something that

    could educate the public.

  2574. And the building of the,

    the, I forget his title, Mr.

  2575. Waitson measures gave us a very nice

    writeup at the time that we could probably

  2576. build off of.

  2577. He, he did actually, that

    was very quick, very.

  2578. Helpful. I mean he,

  2579. he had done a little historical

    overview that was pretty excellent.

  2580. So Megan as the CPC liaison,

    I can work with you on that.

  2581. Terrific. And I think Abby had

    actually, I will look at my recollection

  2582. was that she had preliminary started

    like mapping out some, some of that.

  2583. So I'll do

  2584. to find out someone to get a cost

    estimate, so that'd be great. Anmar.

  2585. Thank you.

  2586. Okay. Am I forgetting anything else?

  2587. No. Okay. And so now we are adjourned.