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Selectmen's Meeting 11.05.18

by Mary Greendale
November 6, 2018

Mudville, Review of Town Meeting, Other...

Mudville Traffic
Tina Hein of 142 Union Street appeared before Selectmen to discuss three items. At a previous meeting she asked if Police could temporarily lift rhe winter parking ban on the streets in Mudville, because parked cars, "Create a physical barrier for the kids that are walking." BOS Chair Marsden said that unless there is bad weather in the forecast, the neighbors should consider it a "soft ban." Hein said that she would share that with neighbors.

Her second issue was regarding one kind of data that she did not think would be in the study, i.e. driveway density. She explained that this is a consideration for the Department of Transportation when setting speed limits. Anything more than 30 drives per mile calls for speed limits less than 30 mph. On the five streets that comprise Mudville's densest there are over 60 per mile and some over 100. 

Her third point was that Mudville is a dense, established neighborhood with many houses selling at lower values with longer term residents living there. The housing is attractive to someone trying to move into Holliston but can't afford the new developments. She warned that if people come to think that the neighborhood is not safe or if there is property damage as a result of pass-through traffic, that will erode the neighborhood -- and that will hurt the entire community.

In closing she said that she talked to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and learned that they have some funding available to provide technical assistance to communities. She also learned that while the traffic study is key, as are comments from neighbors, it is not useful to consider enforcement data from police. The Town has worked with MAPC in the past and she urged the Board to consider doing so now.

Reviewing the Town Meeting
Town Administrator Jeff Ritter asked Selectmen to provide comments on the Town Meeting last week and make suggestions about possible improvements.

John Cronin noted that there were multiple versions of the warrant and the motions and suggested that the Selectmen take votes only when the articles and motions are really ready and have been considered by the Finance Committee. "I think we need a better structure, better planning and better sequencing of the steps we need to go through. I took the comments from the Chair of the Finance Committee at Town Meeting as constructive criticisms." Cronin agreed that the FinCom needs to receive timely information and that can happen with better planning. "I also think we need someone to really proof the final warrant and make sure that it is professional and accurate. There's a lot of room for improvement." 

Mark Ahronian asked if there should be a combined meeting with the Finance Committee and Town Counsel. And he suggested that the BOS establish an earlier deadline date. Jeff Ritter said that in the past, the two Boards did meet to review the warrant and make changes and corrections, and that he plans to resume that for the spring Town Meeting at least two weeks in advance. "It worked before and plenty of Towns do it that way," Ritter said.

John said that the two Boards must review the articles through different lenses and the combined Board meeting might not be best for that kind of discourse. Ritter pointed out that the meeting would be designed to make corrections and changes in language not to discuss the substance of articles.

Jay Marsden took his turn and said, "As Chair I take responsibility for not connecting with FinCom Chair Ken Szajada more – I operated off assumption that more communication was happening. At the end of the day it’s in everyone's best interests to communicate. There's no harm in over-communicating. Full boards or not, for Spring, there must be more conversations about the warrant ahead of time so everyone can speak intelligently. My apologies to folks at Town Meeting."

Cronin directed a comment to other Boards and Committees: "If you have something before Town Meeting – show up, talk about your article, be heard. Many weren’t there. As a citizen I would have liked to hear more."

Selectmen decided to hold their next meeting on November 13th since their regular night is Veterans Day.

Youth and Family Services will hold an Open House on November 19 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

The Board of Health provided flu shots to a record number of 500 people. 

The Town has been awarded state funds to improve the signals and signage in the school safety zones. 

Chris Meo, Andrea Minihan and Michael Cassidy are working on the third and final application for a Green Community grant. 

Ritter announced a $100,000 program to replace windows and doors at the Senior Center.

The Golf Course Advisory Committee will meet with BOS on November 19th to review the restaurant and management bids. 

John Cronin asked about the Town Hall water damage that occurred Sunday afternoon. A coil within the 30 year old AC unit let go. The Treasurer's office and basement conference room were damaged. John suggested that Ritter look into alarms/sensors that could remotely alert someone if water were released inside when no one was in the building.


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