BOARD OF SELECTMEN
July 11, 2006
Present at the meeting that was held at the Town Building were Chairman Janet Wheeler and
Selectmen Stephen Dungan, Carole Makary, Jason Robart, and Thomas Ruggiero.
Also present were Town Administrator William Wrigley and Administrative Assistant Susan
Chairman Wheeler called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.
Three residents spoke during the 15-minute period designated for public comments.
Jim Sauta, of 218 Hudson Road and chair of the Council on Aging, said he was upset at the way
land banking is being handled. His points were: 1) the selectmen’s land banking Request for
Proposals puts too much of a burden on the seller, especially regarding expenses; 2) the Town knows of two land needs now (Community Center and ball fields); and 3) opportunities
will be lost if the Board does not act now and act correctly.
Andy Fischer, of 6 Sudbury Road, described his proposal for improving the intersection of
Gleasondale and Sudbury roads, which is a short distance in front of his house. Following his
explanation, Ms. Wheeler noted that Public Safety liaison Ruggiero would be covering the topic during his report later in the meeting.
Lew Halprin, of 82 Pine Point Road and member of the former Town Hall Improvement
Committee, proposed a plan to create 30 new parking spaces to help alleviate the parking space
shortage at the Town Building and Town Hall. The Board referred him to the Town’s Public
Safety Officer, Sgt. Lima, and the Planning Board to find out more about the options.
Verizon TV Services, Lew Halprin, Cable License Advisory Committee
Lew Halprin in his role as chair of the Cable License Advisory Committee, reported on Verizon’s
move into broadband services via fiber optic (with which Verizon is now wiring the town). While
it will give residents a choice between providers, the licensing regulations could affect the town’s
public cable access channel, Stow TV. He also explained the FCC’s goal of having all
broadcasting move to digital from analog and its impact on customers.
A copy of Mr. Halprin’s report to the Board is available from the Selectmen’s Office on request.
Mr. Halprin requested that the Board send letters to various agencies and congressmen to express Stow’s viewpoint on the issues.
It was on motion by Ms. Makary, seconded by Mr. Ruggiero, unanimously
VOTED: To send the letters Mr. Halprin included in his report.
Mr. Dungan agreed to sign the letters as Clerk.
June 27: Mr. Dungan moved to accept the minutes, as amended; Mr. Ruggiero seconded, and all
voted in favor. Ms. Makary and Mr. Robart were not present on June 27 and abstained from
Ms. Wheeler said she wanted the current minutes to reflect that the release of Town Counsel’s
June memo to the Town Administrator on the land banking RFP criteria as a public record had
been appropriate; she had confirmed this with Town Counsel. Ms. McLaughlin disagreed. Mr.
Wrigley said he was not prepared to comment without reviewing the document in question. It was
agreed that this would be discussed later.
It was pointed out that the June 27 minutes accurately described what occurred and the place to
include this information was in the minutes of the present meeting.
Mr. Ruggiero asked if the exact wording of motions should be included in the minutes. There was
no decision on whether motions would be recorded verbatim but it was noted that it would be
helpful for members to write out their motions.
Public Records, Requests and Email Procedures
Chairman Wheeler reviewed the Commonwealth’s Public Records law, noting that she was
highlighting the points and not opening the topic to discussion.
She again stated that the Town Counsel memo was appropriate for release, quoting Town
Counsel’s response to her questions. She cited common instances of public records and noted that she had a statement on all her email that anyone could request copies.
Ms. Wheeler explained that the custodian of the records for the Selectmen’s Office is the
administrative assistant, Ms. McLaughlin, and directed all the members to copy Ms. McLaughlin
on any email they send involving Town business. Individual members are responsible for keeping
files of any email they exchange among themselves or with residents, regarding Town business that they have not cc’d the BoS Office.
Ms. McLaughlin said she had requested that the Board set a policy on the use of email, because
the Selectmen’s Office is flooded with email, which takes a lot of time and resources. After some
discussion, Ms. Wheeler said there was no need for a policy.
There was further discussion among the Board members and Mr. Wrigley on the use of email and
the Open Meeting law, including how setting an agenda collectively can be a violation. Mr.
Ruggiero noted, as others had been noted in the past, that email should be used only for
Land Banking Concept and Municipal Land Bank RFP
Mr. Dungan discussed the concept and intended purpose of creating a land bank for Stow. There was an extended discussion between those in favor and opposed, with the primary points being:
• Need to buy land due to dwindling supply in Stow
• Need for long-range plan
• Asking voters to purchase land with no stated use
• Risk of purchasing land in advance that does not meet later needs
Mr. Wrigley explained that the land banking concept does not lend itself to the state’s
procurement laws, because land for ”banking” has fairly generic requirements and MGL
Ch 30B is highly specific. He looked for working examples of municipal land
banking and found only one -- in Barnstable County for a large amount of conservation land and the county obtained special legislation to allow them
not to follow the procurement statutes.
He advised the Board that, if it went forward with a generic land bank RFP, to increase the
parcels’ size requirement, adding that the Assessors have identified some large parcels coming on the market.
It was on motion by Ms. Makary, seconded by Mr. Dungan:
VOTED: To support the concept of land banking for future municipal use and to
proceed with the appropriate RFP process.
Mr. Dungan, Ms. Makary, Mr. Ruggiero, Ms. Wheeler in favor. Mr. Robart opposed.
Mr. Dungan reviewed the latest version of the RFP and it was agreed he would discuss it with Town Counsel. Mr. Wrigley suggested that the Board begin developing RFPs for specific
land needs in parallel with one for land banking.
Mr. Ruggiero, the Board’s liaison to Public Safety, updated the Board on his work in responses to
a letter received from Andy Fischer of Sudbury Road concerning the intersection in front of his
house (Gleasondale and Sudbury roads).
Mr. Ruggiero visited the site with Highway Department Foreman Scott Morse to evaluate the
location and its present condition. Mr. Fischer joined the meeting. Mr. Ruggiero said there were
two issues: 1) road repair needed for safety reasons, and 2) evaluation of any traffic problems
and recommendations as to actions needed, which should be done by the Town’s engineer,
Both Mr. Wrigley and Mr. Ruggiero recommended the appropriate Town departments (Highway and Public Safety) work together to decide on a comprehensive solution to the problem.
Bill Byron of Gleasondale Road spoke from the audience to describe his observations over the
years that tractor-trailers use the site as a turnaround, creating a traffic hazard.
Mr. Fischer said he would like to purchase the Town-owned parcel to add to his frontage and agreed to be the point person to the residents.
It was generally agreed that the Town departments would proceed in the established way, with
Mr. Ruggiero assuring the residents of their participation in the process.
Proposal for Improving Municipal Relations
Mr. Dungan re-introduced his May 2006 proposal for improving the working relationship
between the Town of Stow and the Nashoba Regional School District, first asking if this was still
a priority for the Board. It had earlier been suggested that the Tri-Town meetings were the appropriate venue for the issue, but Mr. Dungan said there were some Stow-specific issues that could not be addressed through Tri-Town.
Mr. Robart, who as Finance Committee Chair had participated with Mr. Dungan and School
Committee member Ellen Sturgis in an informal discussion group on the issue, agreed, adding that the Board knew people with different perspectives whose involvement would help the
effort be successful.
Ms. Makary, as liaison to Tri-Town, spoke in favor of continuing to improve municipal relations through Tri-Town and spoke against creating yet another committee. She commented on the benefits gained now that the Tri-Town meets monthly (Sept-June) and includes the NRSD as a full participant. In addition, she noted that periodic attendance by the various Town Administrators has also added to the process and that the face-to-face exchanges of information and the ensuing discussions have been beneficial.
It was agreed to discuss further at the next meeting.
Proposal for Stored Assets Policy
Mr. Dungan presented proposed guidelines for the Town’s use and maintenance of stored assets. He said the policy needed the support of the Town Administrator, Selectmen, and Finance Committee to be successful.
Mr. Wrigley suggested a working group of the vested interests: Capital Planning, Finance,
Selectmen, and himself (Town Administrator) and the Board agreed.
Selectmen’s Goals and Liaisons for FY 2007
It was agreed to defer the work on goals to the next meeting
s and to put in early on the agenda.
At 10:05 p.m., Ms. Makary moved to adjourn, Ms. Wheeler seconded, and all voted in favor.
Administrative Assistant, Board of Selectmen
Amendments added by Clerk Stephen Dungan
Approved as amended, July 25, 2006