Select Board Goal Setting Meeting - Aug 1st, 2019
Attending: the five members of the Select Board, Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine, Deputy Town Manager Sandy Pooler, Town Counsel Doug Heim, Select Board Administrator Marie Krepelka, and four members of the public.
The board wants to adhere to their commitment to go at least four years before requesting another budget override. They'd also like the Budget and Revenue task force to meet at least once in the next year. That said, much of the work previously done by the Budget and Revenue Task force is now done by the long-range planning committee.
The town is planning to roll out a new composting program this year.
Our contract with JRM expires in two years, and we're expecting fiscal impact from the contract renewal. China has stopped taking our recyclables; instead of selling them, we'll have to pay for their disposal. If things don't change, waste disposal fees will go up.
The Board would like to continue working with state legislators, particularly when it comes to fiscal priorities and capital projects.
The board will focus attention on getting gas leaks fixed.
The state government increased CPA funding this year, which will reduce our need to lobby for our CPA projects.
There are concerns about the condition of the MBTA garage at Alewife, MBTA rate increases, and MBTA service quality in general. There's a need for system-wide improvement at the MBTA.
In a year or two, the Board would like to add goals pertaining to Arlington Heights, once the Arlington Heights Action Plan is further along.
The Board discussed a joint town/school facilities department. Steve Nesterak, our former director of facilities, recently left. Jim Feeney will be the interim facilities director until a permanent replacement is found. Mr. Feeney will get help from a former assistant town manager from Andover. Ms. Mahon would like the town to have a master tracking system for assets and maintenance needs. Mr. Curro agrees that the town needs a proactive approach to facilities maintenance.
For MSBA-related goals, the town will turn it's attention to design and construction of the new high school. They're also working on deliverables for the community center and DPW projects. The DPW project should go into construction this year.
Improvements to the library will be a town manager goal; it's unlikely that the board will need to act on the library this year.
The Board will have to weigh in on the Whittemore park redesign.
The Ottoson middle school will require some level of maintenance and renovation. Elementary school boiler and HVAC system replacement will probably come up in the next few years.
For Master Plan goals, we have and industrial zoning review and the creation of residential design guidelines. Mr. Chapdelaine suggests adding goals for working with the ARB, and addressing our housing needs. The Board members agree. They'll participate in discussions about housing, with potential changes coming in 12--24 months. The Board agrees to work in conjunction with the ARB and Town Manager. Mr. Heim asks if affordability is the main concern, or if we're looking at a suite of issues. Mr. Chapdelaine suggests the Board start by talking about the issues, and then try to assess solutions. The Board would like to have annual meetings with the ARB. Ms. Mahon thought the affordable housing article from the last town meeting got hijacked.
The Board and Town Manager will work with ATED in the area of tourism and economic development.
The town is still in a holding pattern with respect to the Mugar property.
The town manager and board will need to work with the Cemetery commission and ARB. We're running out of room in the town cemeteries, and we'll need to make decisions about what to do when we do run out of space. We could consider purchasing land in a neighboring community, or exploring alternatives that don't require acquisition of land (e.g., providing urn space for cremated remains).
Properties used for snow storage may become unavailable in upcoming winters, and the town may need to consider other sites. They may consider the property currently rented by Lalicata landscaping, but will explore options.
Several goals are related to regional issues: CSO discharges, working with DCR on the Alewife, and investigating the effect of MS4 permitting.
We want to maintain parkland access to the Great Meadows.
The town continues to have a dialog with the property owner of the former Germaine Lawrence school.
If the hotel at 1207 mass ave is approved, there may be town efforts to enhance tourism. A Board member asks if the sale of 1207 Mass Ave was contingent. Yes, it was contingent upon the adjacent property owner securing permits to construct a hotel.
The Board would like to work on achieving age-friendly community status.
The town will plant more trees, in conjunction with the Tree Committee.
In the area of transportation, there will be work on the second phase of Mass Ave, and improvements to Broadway Plaza. The town will also form a parking advisory committee. The town's parking meters are on a five-year lease, and there are a few years remaining in the lease term. We have a new vendor for meter maintenance, and are looking at pay-by-phone options.
The town will implement a BRT lane this fall, and will work with the MBTA to improve service where possible.
Complete streets will remain a part of the towns sustainable transportation plan.
The town manager and board are still struggling on how to deal with the impact of Waze on local traffic. A BU professor and student have agreed to assess some of our traffic issues.
The Board would like to explore ways of reminding the public that overnight parking is not allowed in Arlington. They may try outreach to rental agencies, and perhaps develop a list of requirements for applying for overnight parking. They'd also like to study the impact of our recently-adopted needs-based parking system and perform outreach regarding other forms of local assistance.
The Board discusses having videoconferencing facilities to conducting meetings when one board member is remote. They decide to remove this item from their goal list, until someone wants to bottom-line it.
The Board would like to explore changes to the ordering of Warrant Articles for town meeting. Which is to say, don't start with complex zoning articles, because that's probably really hard for new town meeting members. They'll discuss this with the Finance Committee and Town Moderator.
There will be reorganization and re-staffing efforts in the IT department.
The town recently convened a clean energy research committee. The committee will work on assembling a greenhouse gas inventory. We may also add more electric vehicle charging stations.
There are plans to add staff training about race and bias.
The Board discusses the possibility of having a joint town/school finance department. Ms. Mahon wants to see more collaboration between the town and school. Mr. Curro suggests asking for quarterly reports from the town Comptroller.