AMPUp Advisory Committee - Jun 13th, 2024

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Meeting held via remote participation. Materials were available from

(Claire Ricker, Planning Director) Ms. Ricker welcomes the committee members to the kickoff meeting. She says there were 32 applications for the 13 seats, and notes that the Select Board and Redevelopment Board members have yet to be chosen. Ms. Ricker invites the committee members to introduce themselves.

(Tristan Boyd) Mr. Boyd's background is in doing GIS work for municipalities, and he currently works for the town of Concord. He's interested in affordable housing, safe streets, public transit, and resiliency planning. He also did the maps for Concord's MBTA Communities zoning.

(Angelique Bradford) Ms. Bradford is a community mediator and restorative justice practitioner. She's read the 2015 Master plan, and is interested in building a sense of community, and extending the red line into Arlington.

(Grant Cook) Mr. Cook has lived in Arlington since 1999, works in IT, and is a town meeting member. He's passionate about housing, schools, and commercial development.

(Rachel Dunham) Ms. Dunham has lived in Arlington for ten years and has two children in the public schools. She's an interior designer and a small business owner. She's interested in economic development and bringing new businesses to town.

(Molly Hargrove) Ms. Hargrove is a small business owner, has lived in Arlington for eight years, and has two kids in Arlington schools. She runs a meal delivery business and her kitchen is in Woburn. She's interested in economic development and in bringing in places that people are excited about. She says that people enjoy public events like the beer garden and porchfest.

(Lillian Hartman) Ms. Hartman has lived in Arlington for four years, and has one kid in the schools. She works in municipal administration and has a professional interest in learning more about urban planning. She thinks Arlington has a nice focus on parks, and walkable neighborhood schools.

(Ann LeRoyer) Ms. LeRoyer has been an Arlington resident for 35 years and was a member of the previous Master Plan committee. She's interested in open space and sustainability.

(Julie McNulty) Ms. McNulty's mom grew up in Arlington and she's lived here for four years. She works as a fundraiser for a hunger prevention organization and is excited about forming partnerships between the public and private sectors. She likes the mixture of housing in Arlington and connected with the vision and values expressed in the 2015 Master Plan.

(Cheryl Miller) Ms. Miller lives near the Lexington line and has been in Arlington for 16 years. She has two kids in the schools, is a disabled adult, and works in town as a gardener. She understands natural spaces and wants places for people who experience the world differently.

(Arthur Prokosh) Mr. Prokosh has lived in Arlington for eight years. He has an IT background and professional experience in regional planning and transit. Mr. Prokosh works for the MBTA. He's interested in transportation, housing, stormwater, and adapting to climate change.

(Paul Selker) Mr. Selker is a new dad, and he owns a broadcast production company. He's interested in housing, affordability, walkability, and how data flows into this process. Mr. Selker is a runner, and he's run on almost every street in town.

(Rachel Weil) Ms. Weil is also a new parent. Her background is in food access and she has a master's degree in planning. She worked on the community benefits agreement for the redevelopment of Union Square in Somerville. She's interested in accessibility and affordable housing.

(Rachel Dunham) Ms. Dunham is interested in housing, the look of the town, traffic, and safe streets.

(Claire Ricker) Ms. Ricker reviews the roles and responsibilities document that was emailed to committee members. The committee's next actions will be to elect two co-chairs and talk about a draft RFP for a consultant. Staff should have the draft RFP ready by July 15 and they'd like to get feedback an comments from committee members. The committee will play a role in reviewing candidates and selecting the consultant. The master plan update is being paid for with ARPA funds and we have to have that money committed by the end of the year. There will be a kickoff event around the end of the year, and the goal is to bring the plan to town meeting in the spring of 2026.

Ms. Ricker explains what goes into a master plan. A master plan should be a wide-ranging vision for the town over the next 10--20 years. Mass. General Law Chapter 41 section 81D requires master plans to address nine elements, seven of which are study areas.

Tasks for this group will include public outreach, developing goals and principals, discerning public preferences, articulating existing conditions, and developing recommendations for each plan element. The idea is to present choices in order to determine policy decisions. Committee members should be cheerleaders for this effort.

The end product will be an update to the 2015 master plan, including maps, visuals, data, and narratives. State law requires the master plan to be adopted by the Arlington Redevelopment Board, which acts as the town's planning board. The plan will also be taken to the Select Board and Town Meeting for endorsement.

The consultant and town staff will provide technical expertise. Ms. Ricker says that committee members are expected to attend all meetings, with the exception of extenuating circumstances.

In terms of decision-making, the group will operate by deliberation and consensus as much as possible. Consensus means agreeing to something that you can live with, and not everyone will like every decision.

This committee is subject to Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, and staff will prepare general meeting minutes.

In terms of process, the committee will do a lot of outreach to key constituencies and represent their feedback. Active listening will be important.

Time for public comment during meetings may be limited, depending on the agenda. Ms. Ricker says these meetings should be safe constructive spaces, and members should refrain from personal attacks.

If contacted by the media, committee members should make it clear that they are speaking on behalf of themselves.

(Tristan Boyd) Mr. Boyd says he'd favor meeting in person. He asks if the town has any training on how to prevent zoom bombing.

(Grant Cook) Mr. Cook says the group will have to decide whether and how to use chat during the meetings.

(Paul Selker) Mr. Selker took the state's ethics training, and he asks if committee members are considered special employees.

(Claire Ricker) Ms. Ricker says she'll follow up with Town Counsel, in order to answer Mr. Selker's question.

(Rachel ?) Rachel asks if we'll go to events, like Town Day.

(Claire Ricker) Ms. Ricker answers in the affirmative.

(Tristan Boyd) Mr. Boyd asks if the committee will be meeting on the second Thursday of each month.

(Claire Ricker) Ms. Ricker thinks we'll follow that schedule for the next few months, but we might meet twice in October. There may be periods where we meet twice per month, once the consultant is on board.

(Arthur Prokosh) Mr. Prokosh asks if the group will have subcommittees.

(Claire Ricker) Ms. Ricker thinks the group will likely have subcommittees, once the consultant is on board.

Meeting adjourned.