Parks and Recreation Commission
January 8, 2018
Town Hall, O’Brien Meeting Room
26 Bryant Street, Dedham, MA 02026
Board/Committee members in attendance
Jim Maher, Chuck Dello Iacono, Sal Ledda, Jon Briggs
*This item is included to acknowledge that there may be matters not reasonably anticipated by the Chair that could be raised during the Public Comment period by other members of the Committee, by staff or others.
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.
A resident said there are a lot of questions about the Manor Fields project. She asked if people may call any of the commissioners individually with questions. The commissioners were fine with that, but also encouraged her to bring up questions at this and other meetings. She raised questions about cost and about whether there was an updated traffic study in conjunction with new apartments at Wolcott Square/Hyde Park. Commissioner Maher thought the board of selectmen had asked that developer for a study. He said the Wolcott Square project was six months behind schedule. She asked the commissioners if they were comfortable without an updated study and Commissioner Ledda said no. She asked how noise is checked, e.g. for night games. She asked about the turnaround to respond to questions. Commissioner Maher said he has responded to her emails within 24-hours. She said she has not received a response from an email she sent him two weeks ago.
Another resident said that a mini-town meeting would generally not take place before the Special Town Meeting with only one warrant article. He asked if there would be any formal meetings prior to the Special Town Meeting. The Commission said they were aiming to hold a meeting a week before the Special Town Meeting.
The minutes were not ready. Bob Stanley said there are problems with the website.
Commission voted unanimously to accept the Director’s Report.
Assistant Director’s Report
Commission voted unanimously to accept the Assistant Director’s report.
Arts in the Park Policy status
Commissioner Briggs has reviewed policy. Town Counsel tightened it up. Commissioners Briggs and Maher will review. Commissioner Delloiacono asked if they are letting the Board of Selectmen decide what is on park property. Commissioner Maher said the Board of Selectmen also appoints the committee. Commissioner Briggs said it should be a town document and Parks and Recreation reviews it. The Board of Selectmen decides what art is. The policy is not ready for a vote. Commissioner Ledda agreed with how it is written.
Manor Fields Park status
Special Town Meeting is approved for 2/5/18. Presentation before FinCom is on 1/17. Unclear whether they will vote that night. If it passes, it goes to the Special Town Meeting on 2/5. If Town Meeting approves by 2/3 vote, it goes to general election. If FinCom approves, they will hold a public meeting on 1/30 or 1/31.
Commissioner Briggs said he was concerned with the timing. FinCom needs to have the Master Plan. They will only have a draft. The plan shows a need for the field. They had hoped to have the plan by December. They lost the town planner and also have to combine two documents. Bob Stanley said they had asked for $50,000 to 70,000, but only got $50,000. That was not enough to fund the plan, which could have been done a year ago. One document shows field use and permits. It does not include lacrosse. The other piece is recommendations. These are not held up by open space piece, which is recommendations for future space. There was discussion about getting the master plan to FinCom so they can vote on it. Commissioner Delloiacono is not comfortable sending draft to FinCom without Parks and Recreation Commission review. Bob could not guarantee when they will get the draft. He has put pressure on the company and offered more resources. They have not responded. It was asked if there is a difference between the first draft and this one. Bob said mainly the order of priorities. The high school was ranked first but the schools said they have other priorities so they were moved down the list. They need to meet before FinCom meets on 1/17. Monday is a holiday. The plan will only be a draft and they cannot make changes once it is presented to FinCom. Commissioner Maher asked if the statistical data was ready. Bob could send what he has to the commissioners. The steering committee has to approve the final version.
It was suggested that more pressure be put on the company providing the plan. Commissioners Ledda and Delloiacono uneasy. Commissioner Briggs is concerned with timing and doesn’t know that they should stay the course. Information and recommendation are there. How it is put together will change. The Commission will try to set up another meeting this week, most likely on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at town hall.
Commissioner Ledda spoke about plan to build storage structure/bathrooms/concession stand at Gonzales. A meeting with him, Bob Stanley, Dan Hart and Georgio Petruzziello will be held on Friday. They propose that it look like a railroad station to capture history. Commissioner Delloiacono suggests they include a basement rather than a slab or else the utilities take up all the storage space. Commissioner Ledda will take the lead.
Commissioner Delloiacono spoke about problems with website. Their contact information is not there.
A resident said that a link on the site provides names and year of service.
There was discussion about Pathfinders, which is a special needs program. They need to fill the director position. They have been asking since October. The prior director has been gone for over a year. Dedham is losing residents to the Norwood program. Bob said it is difficult to hire someone for $6,000. Commissioner Ledda suggested asking parents for recommendations. A resident suggested that they post the position. Bob, Commissioner Ledda, and Debbie will meet on Thursday.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:45 p.m.
Notes taken by Jean Zeiler
Keywords: Arts in the Park Policy, Manor Fields, Special Town Meeting
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