Published in the May 10, 2017 edition
By MAUREEN DOHERTY
LYNNFIELD — A new advisory committee to involve a cross section of the entire community concerning all things MarketStreet was formed by the Board of Selectmen Monday night.
The MarketStreet Advisory Committee (MSAC) was greeted as welcome news by the neighborhood and community members in attendance at the meeting. Those interested in being considered for appointment to the committee may send a resume to Bob Curtin, the assistant to administration, at: [email protected]
Selectmen Chairman Chris Barrett drafted a mission statement, responsibilities and functions and the make up of its membership for the board’s consideration.
Barrett said that while the town must “do its best to make sure MarketStreet is a success,” it can’t be forgotten that this development also has an impact on the residents of the town.
The mission of this committee, Barrett said, is to “establish a means of effective and ongoing communication for Lynnfield residents, town of Lynnfield representatives and WS Development and National Development, the firms that manage MarketStreet Lynnfield.”
The mission statement continues: “The result of this communication will lead to better collaboration and a strengthened partnership between all parties involved with MarketStreet Lynnfield. This committee will play a critical role in making sure MarketStreet Lynnfield is a success for the town of Lynnfield now and in the future.”
It is Barrett’s intent to have this committee “consider and advise on issues and concerns regarding the MarketStreet Lynnfield development.” It is to meet regularly “to discuss issues and concerns brought to the attention of the committee” as well as “appear regularly before the Board of Selectmen to update and advise the board and the town” on such issues. The committee is also subject to all state and local laws, including the Open Meeting Law, Public Records Law and Conflict of Interest Law.
Barrett recommended that the membership include three representatives who reside in Precinct 2 because this neighborhood has been most impacted by MarketStreet, with one representative from each of the town’s other three precincts, plus one representative who resides in a LIFE village, preferably who resides in Precinct 2. Town officials who will comprise the committee are the Police Chief, Fire Chief and DPW Director, or each official’s designee when he is unable to attend, along with one member each from the Planning Board and the Finance Committee.
Fellow Selectmen Dick Dalton and Phil Crawford embraced Barrett’s idea.
“I think it is very much needed,” Dalton said. “An ongoing dialog can only help us in some of the challenges” posed by MarketStreet, he said. Dalton stressed the need to strike a balance of fair representation for the neighborhoods and the town as a whole.
Crawford added that Barrett did a great job crafting the language for the MarketStreet Advisory Committee.
It was approved with one change, to expand the membership to include 13 members instead of 12, with the 13th member to be an “at large” resident who may represent any of the town’s four precincts.
Crawford suggested the odd number membership, possibly with a fourth member representing Precinct 2, but Dalton pointed out that while it is important for Precinct 2 to have extra representation, having four representatives from one precinct plus the possibility of the LIFE member residing in that precinct could result in a super majority that would cancel out the representation of the other residents. The compromise reached was to create an at-large member who could represent any of the four precincts.
Resident Mark McDonough of 167 Bourque Rd. immediately volunteered to be considered for membership.
Town Administrator Jim Boudreau advised any candidates who reside in Precinct 2 who could be considered direct abutters to MarketStreet to check with the state Ethics Commission to determine if there would be any conflict of interest for them to be appointed to the committee. “Ask them for a written opinion and they will provide it,” he said, adding candidates want to “make sure they don’t get themselves into bind.”
Dalton, who rents an apartment at MarketStreet’s ArborPoint, was granted an exemption from the Ethics Commission in order to be able to participate in discussions on MarketStreet because being a renter was not considered a conflict, he said. He previously filed this disclosure with the town.
Boudreau said each individual must consult with the Ethics Commission because neither he or any other town official would be allowed to do so on behalf of anyone else.