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5 Things You Missed at Thursday's Selectmen Meeting

From medical marijuana, to an interim finance director, to Annual Town Meeting dates and more, Wayland selectmen handled a number of key topics at their Thursday night meeting.

Selectmen Doug Leard was not present for the Nov. 1 meeting.

1. 2013 Annual Town Meeting Dates

Moderator Dennis Berry urged selectmen to set the dates for the 2013 Annual Town Meeting sooner than the Dec. 13 legal deadline. He also pointed out that Wayland historically takes four days to complete its Annual Town Meeting, but four days in a row is too much for many people.

"Four nights in a row is unacceptable – it’s just too much," Berry said, and selectmen agreed. "What [the Town Meeting Procedures Subcommittee] had suggested was a schedule something like Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday. It’s about the best we thought we could do."

Selectmen are considering a number of options for when to hold the meeting and plan to make a decision at their Nov. 19 meeting. That will allow the Finance Committee and the Town Meeting Procedures Subcommittee to weigh in fully on the discussion.

2. Danforth Housing Development

Selectman Joe Nolan is serving as the liaison with Baystone Development who wants to develop a housing community at the Danforth site just over the Wayland line in Framingham.

Baystone has proposed an amended settlement plan to that which was reached in 2005, given that Baystone's proposed development is much smaller. Nolan said he is currently unsatisfied with what is being proposed and considers the negotiations ongoing.

In particular, selectmen said they wanted to see updated traffic studies for the Old Connecticut Path and West Plain Street intersection.

3. Medical Marijuana Ballot Question

Selectmen heard from Wayland resident and WaylandCares Director Heidi Heilman and Police Chief Bob Irving about their opposition to Ballot Question 3, which would legalize medical marijuana in Massachusetts, establish dispensaries throughout the state and allow some patients to grow marijuana in their homes.

Selectman Steve Correia asked the board to take a public position on the question, saying that its passage would have a direct effect on the Wayland Board of Health, Wayland Police Department and Wayland population in general.

The selectmen voiced their desire to provide medicine to ease the suffering of patients, but also expressed their concerns that the ballot question featured numerous loopholes with which they were uncomfortable.

"At first blush, you say, 'Absolutely, I would have no problem with them having the availability of marijuana,'" Nolan said. "But when you dig below the surface, this is just the wrong law -- as much as I’d like to find some support for those people who really need it."

Selectman Ed Collins spoke up in favor of the ballot question, saying that he wanted to learn more about it but felt as though "the so-called war on drugs has been a disaster by anyone’s standard."

In the end, selectmen voted 3-1, with Collins offering the sole "nay" vote, to take a position against the passage of Ballot Question 3.

4. Acting Finance Director/Town Accountant

Selectmen approved the appointment of Assistant Town Administrator John Senchyshyn as acting finance director/town accountant until a permanent replacement for former Finance Director Michael DiPietro is hired.

DiPeitro announced his resignation in early October, and Town Administrator Fred Turkington said eight to 10 applicants have already come forward.

Turkington explained that Senchyshyn's appointment in the interim is necessary primarily to fulfill legal requirements when it comes to signatures on documents and such.

"The main purpose isn’t really to do all the duties of the finance director, but really for bylaw purposes," Turkington explained. He added that the Fiscal Year 2014 budget work is being shared among employees in the finance department, and that he expects to have a permanent finance director in place within two or three months.

5. Extend the Charge of the Town Center Public Green Advisory Committee

Selectmen approved the extension of the committee's charge until the end of the 2013 Annual Town Meeting.

Paul Hurteau November 03, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Have any of these prohibitionists even go to high school? I'll listen to the real facts: http://www.leap.cc Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is an international organization of criminal justice professionals who bear personal witness to the wasteful futility and harms of our current drug policies. Our experience on the front lines of the “war on drugs” has led us to call for a repeal of prohibition and its replacement with a tight system of legalized regulation, which will effectively cripple the violent cartels and street dealers who control the current illegal market.
Info November 03, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Readers, watch three minutes on 3 and decide for yourself: http://youtu.be/rWSHFZmm8Eg
Chris O'Hara November 04, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Why the federal government continues to ignore the empirical evidence before them while simultaneously holding a patent on marijuana themselves is a question for the American people to investigate. Patent number 6630507 states unequivocally that "cannabinoids are useful in the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of diseases including auto-immune disorders, stroke, trauma, Parkinson's, Alzeheimer's and HIV dementia." The patent, awarded in 2003, is based on research done by the National Institute of Health, and is assigned to the US Dept. of Health and Human Services.

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