Draft Strategic Town Goals

For the past several months the Board of Selectmen has been working to develop a set of strategic town goals intended to provide a foundation to support the development of annual action plans addressing pressing needs of the town. The draft goals following this introduction are the result of this effort. At this point, the Board of Selectmen is looking for reactions/ comments to this draft set of goals from the town as we work to finalize the list of goals.

The goals described below are intended to reflect what we believe to be the general consensus of the town on the most important priorities that should guide decision-making on important town issues. These goals will undoubtedly be of great value to the Board of Selectmen, but they are not goals that only involve the Selectmen or town staff. You will see that some of these goals are probably more effectively addressed by individual town departments, public groups, or even individuals. They are intended to be a statement by the town about what is most important to Medfield. While it is impossible to give every Medfield citizen exactly what they might want, we hope that this articulation of goals in its final form will provide Medfield citizens with an overall picture that they are happy with.

Please let us know what you think! You can submit your comments and suggestions by email to towngoals@medfield.net.

MANAGE TOWN FINANCES IN A FISCALLY PRUDENT MANNER THAT STRIKES A PROPER BALANCE BETWEEN FUNDING OF IMPORTANT TOWN SERVICES AND AFFORDABILITY FOR TAXPAYERS

GOAL #1:  Charting a course for the town calls for an unwavering commitment to prudently impose financial burdens on taxpayers, while also ensuring that essential, or, in some cases, highly desired services are provided to the town’s residents and businesses. The natural tension between these two imperatives requires that a thoughtful balance between the two be maintained.

 

Key Focus Areas

Long-term (5 – 10 year timeframe)

  • Maintain a Responsible/Fiscally Prudent Financial Position

Keep the Town’s Operating Budgets within the limits imposed by Prop 2 ½ and overall town debt at or below the size of the town budget

  • Reduce Reliance on the Residential Tax Base for Revenues by either diversifying the tax base and/or building revenue positive housing

Generate 10% of the Town’s Tax Revenue from Non-Residential Sources and/or the net gain on revenue positive housing (i.e., tax revenue – added cost to town)

  • Promote a “Business Friendly” Atmosphere to Retain Current and Attract Potential New Businesses


GOAL #2:  Many decisions made by the town carry long-term financial implications that can easily be missed if they are not consciously taken into account. Hiring decisions; major capital acquisitions; program expansions; and even public or state “seed money” contributions in support of new initiatives can all introduce long-term financial ramifications for the town that should be recognized up front before an initial financial decision is made. Unexpected major capital requirements; significant structural budget deficits; and unfunded long-term financial liabilities should rarely if ever, arise. 

Key Focus Areas

Long-Term (5 – 10 year timeframe)

  • Proactively plan for the maintenance and upgrade of town buildings

Maintain and update (annually?) a 20-year plan for building maintenance expenditures

  • Ensure adequate funding for the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the town’s transportation, water, and sewer infrastructure

Establish and annually update a 20-year capital plan for Water & Sewer System

Establish and annually update a road maintenance plan

Align long-range plans with financing policies that are capable of supporting those plans

  • Recognize and plan for the full costs associated with expansions of town staff, programs, and services

Double the current level of funding for the Town’s OPEB obligation

Apply funds obtained through major capital sales of town assets to the town’s long-term financial obligations

Restructure department budgets to reflect the full costs of staff, programs, and services, including benefits costs that are currently consolidated in separate town-wide budgets

Explore options for establishing reserve accounts to accrue funds to support long-range maintenance/ replacement expenditures

 
 PURSUE COMMUNITY HOUSING GOALS TO MAINTAIN AN ECONOMICALLY STABLE AND SOCIALLY BALANCED TOWN POPULATION THAT ALLOWS MEDFIELD TO BE A SELF-SUFFICIENT AND ACCESSIBLE COMMUNITY

GOAL #3:  Medfield does a good job of producing responsible citizens who live with confidence in the safety and support of their community, regardless of economic or social status. Medfield residents can be confident that the town cares about them and will support them where possible. One of the most visible ways for the town to demonstrate its commitment to its residents is to work to address specific housing needs of long-standing town residents and other residents with particular needs that the town is in a position to help address.

Key Focus Areas

Long-Term (5 – 10 year timeframe)

  • Achieve 40B Affordable Housing Goals to Enable Medfield to Control Its Development Path

Achieve 10% Affordable Housing mandate imposed by Chapter 40B within the next 8 years

  • Provide Housing for Medfield’s Adults Who Are Capable of Living Independently With Assistance

Develop 8 units of housing for adults with intellectual disabilities

  • Increase Availability of Senior Housing to Enable Seniors to Afford to Live in Medfield

Provide a minimum of 120 additional units of senior housing across the economic spectrum over the next 6 years

 

PROMOTE THE HEALTHY AND RESPONSIBLE DEVELOPMENT OF MEDFIELD’S YOUTH

GOAL #4:  Medfield has a long-standing tradition of consciously working to instill in Medfield’s youth an appreciation for what it takes to form a vibrant, respectful, and supportive community to provide the best life possible for all who live in it. This appreciation doesn’t arise on its own. It is the result of conscious action by teachers, adult leaders, community leaders, neighbors, and youth organizations to introduce the town’s youth to town history, principles of democracy in action, public events and activities that encourage reflection and involvement in actions to bring a community together. Town government isn’t always the initiator or driver of these activities, but town government should always remain cognizant of them and should work to support these activities where needed and feasible. 

Key Focus Areas

Long-Term (5 – 10 year timeframe)

  • Maintain/ Improve the School System’s Solid Academic Performance

Plan for the replacement of the Dale Street School

  • Support the Cultural/Physical/Emotional/Civic Development of Our Children

Develop and implement a thoughtful framework for addressing the full range of challenges confronting the town’s young people

Support and strengthen the opportunities available to the town’s young people to help them realize their full potential in life

  • Provide Appropriate Opportunities for the Town’s Young People to Observe and Participate in Town Governance


GOAL #5:  Medfield is a unique town because of its character, history, and heritage. Built upon the principles, ideals, and values of our country, Medfield has taken that foundation and refined it to build a town that recognizes the importance of preserving the heritage, values, and culture that have made Medfield the community that it has become. This goal focuses on ensuring that the best parts of Medfield are preserved for future generations and that Medfield retains its unique identity and character.

Key Focus Areas

Long-Term (5 – 10 year timeframe)

  • Preserve/ Protect the Town’s Character, Understanding of its History, and its Historic/ Cultural Resources

  • Support Environmental Protection Efforts and Promote the Public’s Responsible Use of Our Natural Resources

  • Support and Protect/ Maintain Attractive Open Space Acquisitions to Enhance Recreational Opportunities and to Maintain the Open Character of the Town