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Disclosure: Waylandenews Executive Director Kim Reichelt is a member of the Wayland School Committee. Her work on this site, however, is as an individual, not as a member of the School Committee.

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Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable

Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization of men and women incorporated in 1999. The goal of the Roundtable is to raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence through community education and networking and to improve the coordination between public and private services for victims and families touched by domestic violence.

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From the Selectmen: Select Board / Town Manager Act Executive Summary

Under Article 20, voters attending Annual Town Meeting will consider “An Act to Create a Select Board/Town Manager Form of Government in the Town of Wayland”. Town Meeting begins on Sunday, April 5 at 1 p.m. and continues Monday, April 6 and Tuesday, April 7 at 7 p.m. in the Wayland High School Field House. Article 20 is expected to come up on Monday, April 6. The Board of Selectmen unanimously asks for your support on this Article to change our form of government, change our name to Select Board, and appoint, rather than elect, the Town Clerk.

What is the goal? The goal of the Select Board / Town Manager Act is to professionalize the structure of Wayland’s government; coordinate administrative, operational, and financial functions; provide a consistent approach for efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency across all departments and boards; use resources effectively; improve legal and regulatory compliance; and maintain volunteer opportunities on boards and committees.

Why adopt this change? Wayland’s government is a $90 million diversified organization in a highly regulated and public service environment requiring a stronger centralized management structure. The Town Administrator has 20 direct reports resulting in an extremely flat organization. Some department heads report to elected boards, not to the Town Administrator. Under our current structure, there is no flexibility to group departments as there is in virtually all of our peer communities.

Has this been studied? This is the third effort over the past thirty years to strengthen and streamline the Town’s executive and financial management structure. The Town has received consistent recommendations on how to improve its management structure. Today’s challenge is summarized by the Collins Center for Public Management after an in-depth study completed in 2018: Wayland appears increasingly anachronistic among Wayland’s peer communities and increasingly unable to handle the accelerating changes Massachusetts municipalities must manage.

Many of the suggestions from 18 years ago are still relevant today. The Maximus Report from 2002 stated: All staff in the Town should report to the Town Manager on matters of personnel finance, service levels, etc. Board and commissions should retain no direct supervisory authority. The report also recommended that Wayland move toward a Town Manager form of government after utilizing a Town Administrator as an intervening step in that transition. Wayland implemented a Town Administrator form of government in 2004. It is time for the next step.

We have come full circle to 1990. The Charter Commission wrote: Town government is growing increasingly complex and it is essential that we have a well-qualified person to handle the day to day administration. Having specified powers and responsibilities…will enable the town administrator to be more effective; and we will attract and retain competent people. ….. Very few voters will favor every provision of this charter. We urge that you vote for adoption if you conclude that, on balance, the town will be better managed under the charter than without it.

What does the Act accomplish? Under the Act, the Town Manager is given clearer authority and responsibility for managing the Town in four areas: administration, finances, personnel, and facilities/property.

  • Administration: the Act clarifies the Town Manager’s authority and responsibility to ensure compliance with policies, procedures, and federal, state, and local law; as well as set priorities for projects and staff.
  • Finance: the Act strengthens the Town Manager’s financial authority and responsibility and establishes the Town Manager as the Chief Financial Officer with additional oversight of operating and capital budget development as well as a five-year capital plan.
  • Personnel: the Act strengthens the Town Manager’s authority and responsibility, as negotiations would be coordinated by the Town Manager rather than the Personnel Board; and it standardizes consistent and compliant hiring practices.

• Facilities/Property: the Act clarifies the Town Manager’s responsibility for construction, repair, and maintenance of all Town buildings, property, and information technology.

Does the Act make any other changes?

  • Board of Selectmen name changes to Select Board
  • Town Administrator position changes to Town Manager
  • Town Clerk changes from elected to appointed position
  • There is no change to the make up or authority of existing boards/committees/commissions

For more information, please visit the Town’s website at https://www.wayland.ma.us/board- selectmen/pages/select-boardtown-manager-act

Submitted by the Wayland Board of Selectmen: Cherry Karlson, Chair; Doug Levine, Vice-chair; Lea Anderson; Mary Antes; Tom Fay

Wayland Seeks Bids For New Town Community Center

Wayland Patch 1/14/20: Wayland Seeks Bids For New Town Community Center. Wayland has issued a request-for-proposals (RFP) for a new community center to house the Council on Aging, recreation activities, and other town functions. The RFP is seeking bids for land or an existing building to lease that’s up to 21,000 square-feet, according to the bid.

Wayland attempts to get rid of ‘flat’ town government

Wayland Patch 1/7/20: Wayland Attempts to get rid of ‘Flat’ Town Government. For the third time since 1989, Wayland this year will attempt to change the structure of town government, moving toward a strong town manager system with departments arranged in a hierarchy. The change would leave town volunteer boards and committees intact, according to officials.

Wayland Looks To Broaden Food Safety Inspections

Wayland Patch 12/19/19: Wayland Looks To Broaden Food Safety Inspections. The Wayland Board of Health may expand food safety regulations to include stores that sell non-refrigerated, prepackaged foods. The town will hold a hearing on the proposed rule in January.

Town’s Financial Summit, September 9

September means the end of summer and the beginning of the Town’s budget process.  On Monday, September 9 the Town will have its second Financial Summit.  The public presentation will include an overview of the Town’s financial indicators, the anticipated FY 2021 revenue forecast, projected economic development,  budget drivers and forecast, and a five-year financial forecast.  The presentation will be held in the large hearing room at 7:15pm.  The presenters at the financial summit will be Louise Miller, Town Administrator; Brian Keveny, Finance Director; Arthur Unobskey, School Superintendent; and Susan Bottan, Director of Finance and Operations for the School Department.

Residents are invited to attend this important meeting along with the Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee, School Committee, department heads, and members of all town boards and committees.

The next steps in the budget process are the issuance of the FY 2021 budget guidelines, submission and review of the operating budgets in October and November and the capital budgets in December.  The Finance Committee will review all budget requests in January and adopt the final recommended omnibus budget by the end of February.

Please join us when the whole process begins on September 9.

Community Meetings on the Draft Select Board/Town Manager Act for the Town of Wayland

The community is invited to attend any of the following small group meetings to discuss the Draft Select Board/Town Manager Act. A member of the Board of Selectmen will be on hand to make a presentation on the draft act and ask for feedback from the public.

All meetings will be held at the Wayland Town Building, except for the Saturday meeting. The location for the July 27 meeting is to be determined.

  • Wednesday, July 17, 7:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 23, 2:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 27, 10:00 a.m.
  • Tuesday, August 6, 7:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 14, 2:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 22, 10:00 a.m.

A large group forum will be scheduled in mid-September (date to be determined). For more information please go to the Town’s website at www.wayland.ma.us.

Information on Town Manager Special Act

The Town of Wayland posted the following regarding the Town Manager Special Act:

Town Manager Special Act

  • Working draft (June 19, 2019) (forthcoming)

Background Materials

  • Town of Wayland Charter Commission (forthcoming)
  • Wayland Buzz: Spotlight on Restructuring Town Government
    • Program #81 June 17, 2018