[ccfic caption-text format="plaintext"]
By Josh Perry
Hometown Weekly Staff
Last week, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito made a stop at Medfield Town Hall, joined by town and school officials, to sign a Community Compact, a voluntary agreement by the Town of Medfield to implement “best practices” in return for support from the state to meet those goals.
Medfield agreed on three goals, including financial management, technology - transparency, and technology - citizen engagement, according to information released by the Baker - Polito administration.
The town will receive a Community Compact grant to hire a consultant to work on a long-term capital plan for Medfield. In addition, the state’s Office of Municipal and School Technology will work with the town to create a user-friendly and easy to understand budget database for residents on the town website as well as working with officials on policies and procedures for communicating with residents via social media.
Polito was joined at the signing by Medfield Town Administrator Mike Sullivan, Selectmen Richard DeSorgher and Mark Fisher, and State Senator James Timilty. In addition, other officials from Town Hall and the school department were present at the ceremony.
The Community Compact was created through an Executive Order by Governor Charlie Baker last summer. It followed the administration’s release of millions in Chapter 90 funding for road and bridge improvements.
“We called up local managers and city mayors to come together and help us prepare this program,” explained Polito at the signing. “We knew that it could not be a mandate, it had to be voluntary, and it had to be funded, something that the state really backs up.”
She added, “It is unique in every town. You come together as leaders in Medfield and think about what are the things that are on the back burner that you just can’t get on the fore front because you don’t have the resources. You decided what you wanted to focus on.”
Polito noted that the admini-stration had asked communities what help they needed and received more than 1,300 responses and have tried to be proactive in reaching out to provide resources.
Senator Timilty noted that towns such as Medfield are sometimes overlooked because of the perceived wealth in the community and are left to their own devices by the state and that he was pleased to see this type of accord between the state and local governments.
“There’s a certain amount of institutional discrimination where you think these are very wealthy towns and they don’t need anything,” he explained.
“There is a partnership that is necessary. Medfield does very well for the state on April 15 and we’d like the state to pay attention…and the Baker-Polito administration has been partners.”
Richard DeSorgher, Chair of the Medfield Board of Selectmen, spoke on behalf of the Town of Medfield and he reiterated that there are projects and needs for the town that fall directly on the shoulders of taxpayers to cover the cost, but that this compact can provide assistance from the state level.
“We have very little industry so the burden falls on the average tax payer,” said DeSorgher. “There’s a number of issues on our roads and on the bridges. We don’t have state roads but they’re commuter roads…we just need some assistance and help.”
He continued, “Our schools are among the best in the nation and we want to keep it that way and yet we want to make sure that we’re not breaking the taxpayers and driving our senior citizens out.”
Polito officially signed the Community Compact with Medfield on Tuesday, Feb. 16. For more information about the program, visit www.mass.gov/ccc.
Click HERE for more photos from the signing ceremony.
Josh Perry is an Editor at Hometown Weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.