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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.

Non-Profit Spotlight:
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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Joint statement from Wayland officials

Below is a joint statement from the Wayland Town Administrator, Chief of Police, Police Lieutenant, and Executive Board members of the Wayland Police Officers Union regarding Wayland Police and an invitation to the community to discuss racism and police interaction.  It is also available as a PDF online here

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech challenged American society to look beyond superficial distinctions. His dream was a dream that every person shares. To be judged not on preconceived, ill-informed notions, but rather on who they really are, what they stand for and what they have actually accomplished. It is a dream where all are free to move wherever they wish in society and accomplish to the best of their ability as they desire. If we are ever to get closer to seeing the true character of each person, we must stop placing barriers between ourselves and others. Only when we eliminate these barriers and we look at a man, a woman, or a child, and see each as a fellow human being will we have achieved true freedom and integration of all equally into our society.

In the wake of George Floyd’s killing and the ensuing protests against racial discrimination and incidents of police violence, we wish to reiterate Wayland’s core values and engage in a community discussion of these important issues.

Wayland has been ahead of other communities both in its understanding and reaction to racial discrimination and to unacceptable work or work-related behavior. Wayland has a clearly stated policy of the behavior expected of Town officials and employees. “It is the policy of the Town of Wayland that associated Boards, Committees, governing bodies and employees conduct their work and work-related activities with respect for all employees, residents and individuals conducting business with the Town. Any action, inaction, gesture, or language that would offend a reasonable individual or that a reasonable individual would deem unwelcome will not be tolerated. Harassment or discrimination under any circumstances is prohibited.” The Wayland Police Department has added its own statement of core values, among them:

Integrity – We are committed to the enforcement of laws and the preservation of order and property. We are honest, truthful, and consistent in our words and actions, and therefore worthy of the public’s trust. We exercise discretion in a manner that is beyond reproach. We do not accept gifts or special considerations as a consequence of our office.

Professionalism – We treat the public and our colleagues with courtesy and respect. We understand that our appearance, words, and demeanor contribute to the public’s confidence in us. We are responsive to the community and deliver services promptly and efficiently.

Fairness and Impartiality – We act with fairness, restraint, and impartiality in carrying out our duties. We work with the community to continually understand and overcome cultural influences and unconscious biases. We understand that our actions, combined with the way we treat members of the community, contribute to our legitimacy in the eyes of the public.

Advocacy and Empathy – We have compassion for victims of crime. As members of the community, we have respect for and promote the diversity of the community. We advocate for social and other supportive services for victims, youth, and others involved in the criminal justice system.

The Wayland Police Department, your police department, is a true community department, made up of 24 men and women, almost half of whom are your neighbors or family of neighbors. The officers who live in Wayland have children in the public schools. Those who grew up here graduated from Wayland High School. They are part of the fabric that makes up the Wayland community. They have chosen a police career to give back to their community.

We would like to share with you that the proposals surrounding accreditation, education and training, which are being discussed in Massachusetts and elsewhere, have already been addressed in Wayland. Earlier this year the Wayland Police Department attained re-certification from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission, based on Wayland’s established professional standards, which are
considered best practices for the profession.

Last winter, we entered negotiations for a new contract, under the guidance and with the support of the Board of Selectmen. During negotiations, we spent time reviewing police officer education and training. The police officers who make up your Police Department here in Wayland are highly educated. We discussed the changing needs of the community and the changing expertise needed from police. We discussed how to recruit the most qualified officers for a modern police department and how to encourage officers to continue with their education in much needed areas. Rather than limit police officers to the traditional education in criminal justice and related fields, we placed value on degrees such as emergency management, finance, computer science, and psychology. Police officers today are expected to respond to more complex and more diverse issues. Wayland has supported and continues to support well-educated and well-trained police officers.

The commitment to public service of every police officer and the range of issues that they address was no more evident than during the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency. To provide sufficient police coverage for the community and maintain safe working conditions, all officers agreed to a schedule change and detectives were reassigned to patrol. Police officers performed such tasks as delivering meals and prescription medication to the most vulnerable residents. They also responded to an increased number of domestic and mental health crises. We have heard recent suggestions that police should not be responding to such calls. We support additional and continuing resources and services to help residents experiencing domestic and mental health challenges. However, when distressed residents call 911, they are in a state of emergency. Police are first responders. They are trained and able to respond promptly and to assess and address the immediate issues. Delays in responding to these types of calls could have serious consequences.

We are hopeful that, here in Wayland, we will continue to work together as a community and value the hard work and dedication of each and every officer as they continue to provide the highest level of service. Their dedication to the community will not waiver. We plan to host further discussions on these important issues. Together, we hope to continue the work of achieving true freedom and integration of all.

Louise Miller, Town Administrator
Mark Wilkins, President, Wayland Police Officers Union
Patrick Swanick, Police Chief
Mark Hebert, Vice President, WPOU
Sean Gibbons, Police Lieutenant
Tyler Castagno, Secretary and Treasurer, WPOU

Wayland May Use Monthly Budgets Until It’s Safe For Town Meeting

Wayland Patch 6/2/20: Wayland May Use Monthly Budgets Until It’s Safe For Town Meeting. Wayland is preparing a way to move town finances into the fiscal 2021 budget year without holding the spring 2020 Town Meeting. The meeting, originally scheduled for April 5, may not happen until the end of June. Town Moderator Dennis Berry has pushed back the meeting due to safety issues related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Selectmen issue new temporary dog regulations

All dogs must be on a 6-foot leash when in public spaces in Wayland. Dogs must be licensed, wear the license tag and be properly vaccinated. Public spaces include sidewalks, streets, trails, Conservation areas, fields and parking lots. Improved signage has been posted at Conservation areas and other common dog walking areas.

Social distancing is important to controlling the spread of the COVID-19 virus; unleashed dogs can lead to unintended interactions with others using the same public spaces. Keeping dogs on leashes will also reduce the amount of unintended aggressive dog behavior. Found dogs not wearing tags will be quarantined.

These are temporary restrictions while we are in a public health emergency due to the COVID-19 virus.

Please pick up after your dog. With increased usage of all Conservation trails and areas and the Rail Trial, we all need to be considerate and pick up after our dogs. Again, the Town continues to receive complaints of dog droppings, particularly along the Rail Trail.

For the full memo on the new regulations, including the rationale behind it, click here

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.