March 13, 2012 Stoneham Board of Selectmen meeting summary
From the March 13, 2012 Stoneham Board of Selectmen meeting:
Board Recognizes Eagle Scout Richard Crowe
The board presented a certificate to Stoneham teen Richard Crowe who recently earned the status of Eagle Scout. Crowe explained that he led a project to build two terraced steps using telephone poles. The steps are behind Stoneham Middle School and lead to Pomeworth Playground. Crowe said that his troop and their parents made great efforts to complete the task.
Board Votes to Accept Compromise Proposal Regarding Organic Materials on Town Fields
Stoneham resident Libby Fulgione, an attorney and president of the Stoneham Youth Coalition, addressed the board regarding use of organic materials or “natural turf management” for Stoneham public fields. Fulgione first addressed the board regarding this issue in November 2011.
Fulgione said that there are two facts to consider in the discussion: (1) Stoneham Little League proposed a fertilization program that is acceptable under state law and (2) Chip Osborne, founder and president of Osborne Organics of Marblehead has offered to volunteer his services (a $20,000 value) to Stoneham Soccer Club and Stoneham High School.
Fulgione asked the board to accept a “compromise” solution where Stoneham Little League could move forward with its program and Stoneham Soccer Club and Stoneham High School could move forward with natural turf management under Osborne’s program.
Attorney Fulgione said that the board could compare costs and results in the coming years. He repeated that there are “no hazardous materials” in use in either program.
Selectman Bob Sweeney said that if either program adds anything not already approved, that the program supervisors would notify Town Counsel Bill Solomon and Town Administrator David Ragucci.
Fulgione said that Stoneham Little League knows to submit information regarding anything not already approved.
Earlier in the discussion, Fulgione noted that Osborne took soil samples at both SHS and Broadway Fields (where Stoneham Soccer Club plays). Sweeney asked if Stoneham Little League took soil samples. Representatives from SLL, seated in the audience, said SLL only recorded pH levels.
The board voted, 4-0, to accept the compromise proposal.
Temporary Town Clerk to Oversee Stoneham Election on April 3
The board voted, 4-0, to appoint Arlene Marie Crimmons as Temporary Town Clerk for the April 3 local election. Crimmons is a retired clerk from Foxborough. She served as town clerk there from 1982-2008.
Acting Town Clerk Maria Sagarino, who assumed duties when former clerk John Hanright passed away in summer 2011, told the board that there is no law to prohibit her from performing her duties on election day, but she would “feel more comfortable” with an outside clerk available to oversee, read, and certify. Sagarino is seeking election as Stoneham Town Clerk. Other candidates in the field include Kevin McLaughlin, Paul Means, Michael Rotondi, and Mary Cerasuolo Zatta.
Alcoholic Beverage Rules and Regulation Review Committee Appointment
The board voted, 4-0, to appoint Jim McLaughlin, 159 Central Street, as one of three citizens to sit on the committee. The other committee members include two selectmen and two restaurant owners who are members of the Stoneham Chamber of Commerce.
Board Does Not Call for Demolition at 12 Tremont Street
Town Administrator David Ragucci said the town would not demolition the house at 12 Tremont Street despite “unsafe conditions.” Ragucci said there are broken windows, tarp blowing around, and miscellaneous nonsense at the property. Ragucci added that the house is in foreclosure and Deutsche Bank is the owner.
Selectman John DePinto said the board would revisit the issue at its April 10 meeting. Town Counsel Bill Solomon said he would contact Deutsche Bank. Selectman Bob Sweeney asked if Stoneham Police or Fire could board up the property as it is unsafe. Solomon said that an “antiquated” statute calls for the board of selectmen to make the determination.
Washington Street resident Marcia Wengen said she lives near the property and noticed a red sign posted on the door. She added that the house is the 1869 Patrick Hogan home and has historical relevance. She described the home as “truly worth saving.”
Board Votes to Contact GIC about Health Insurance for Elected Officials
The board voted, 4-0, to contact the Massachusetts General Insurance Commission (GIC) regarding its long-standing policy against providing health insurance for elected officials who do not earn a qualifying amount of income from the town.
Selectman John DePinto said that the town has had such a policy since 1993 and no current member of the board of selectmen receives health insurance benefits from the Town of Stoneham.
Town Counsel Bill Solomon said that Stoneham is on the “leading edge” regarding who makes such a determination. Solomon said GIC is reviewing the issue.
DePinto said that the board should wait for the GIC decision and could call for a “Special Act” at October Town Meeting.
Standing Rule for Process to Maximize Value of Sale Property
Selectman Richard Gregorio made a proposal that the town should make a requirement for advertising town property for sale. The goal is to maximize revenue for the town.
Selectman Frank Vallarelli agreed that it would be go to have a policy. He added that the board is entering preliminary discussions about a transparent sales process. He said that some residents contacted him to say that the East School sale was “a sweetheart deal.” Vallarelli said that is not the case.
The board voted, 4-0, in favor of creating the policy.
MWRA route negotiation
Town Administrator David Ragucci said he is negotiating with the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA) about a “lay down area” for the upcoming project that plans to bring water service to Reading (through Stoneham).
Ragucci said he asked for Spring Lane to be the “lay down area,” but MWRA has asked for alternatives.
Selectman Bob Sweeney said Spring Lane is a narrow street and would be a “horror show” for trucks to travel. Selectman John DePinto said that the project could endure for three to five years.
Ragucci said MWRA needs 10,000 – 12,000 square feet to operate. He added that the area of A.P. Rounds Playground could be a viable site. The town could charge rent to MWRA and then use the funds to renovate the decaying playground.
Town Administrator David Ragucci said that the Massachusetts General Insurance Commission (GIC) announced its rate increase for 2012-13 should be less than two percent. Ragucci described the news as a “pleasure” as he anticipated a six percent increase. He added that, in the April, he should be able to set a firm budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Ragucci reported that the developer of Fallon Rd. property plans to pay a consultant to provide a service cost analysis for proposed zoning changes at the site. Ragucci said he should be able to present a complete report to the board after April 3.
Selectman Bob Sweeney said that the board received a letter from the Library Board of Trustees to thank the DPW for its repairs in the library’s Marcy Room. Selectman Richard Gregorio said that the town needs to invest in some capital needs at the library and the capital committee should be able to present a long-term plan in April.
Selectman Frank Vallarelli congratulated Stoneham Girl Scouts for conducting a successful and well-attended event on Stoneham Common on March 12 to celebrate the 100thanniversary of Girl Scouts of America.
Selectman Bob Sweeney reminds residents and visitors that Stoneham Common is the location for the April 1 “Light It Up Blue” event to promote Autism awareness. Stoneham residents plan to light the common in blue as part of an international event.