Voices should be heard

April 6, 2019

If you want your voice heard in the town it is imperative that you and as many of you friends and neighbors come to Town Meeting on April 29th.

Crawford and Dalton are beating the bushes and calling in every IOU that they have to get out their “core” vote.

There are so many reasons to dislike Article 14 as I’m sure you realize.

But Selectmen Dalton and Crawford are misguided on when they think they rule this town and it’s time to stand up and say NO to them.

Vote NO on article 14 at Town Meeting.

It’s laughable that National Development is touting the “thriving movies

April 3, 2019

It’s laughable that National Development is touting the “thriving movies ” ..

2017 was the worst year in 29 years and 2018 was the 4th worse.

Theater Admissions

See these websites for the real story about the theater industry. Don’t believe ND’s spin.

U.S. box office: 2017 movie ticket sales at 25-year low

Jan 2, 2018 – U.S. movie ticket sales in 2017 were lowest in 25 years …. Last year, the average was more than $8.93, according to Box Office Mojo, a record …
On Average, American Adults Say They Went to 5 Movies Last Year …
Jan 14, 2014 – 44%), attending about twice as many movies on average (6.3 vs. … agree that they are going to the movies less often now than they did a few years ago.

AmericanAdultsMovie
Two-Thirds of US Adults Say They Go to the Movies Less Often (Study)

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/two-thirds-us-adults-say-669933

Jan 10, 2014 – According to a new survey, 68 percent of U.S. adults went to the movies at least once last year. But two-thirds of Americans say they’re going to …

Anne Mitchell’s Letter to Editors on” Concerns about Traffic and Public Safety are Legitimate and Credible”

April 2, 2019

I write to respond to the statements by Selectman Dalton and Selectman Crawford after Police Chief Breen was not allowed to speak publicly at the Selectmen’s meeting. Mr. Dalton’s statement (that opponents of the theater have “no credibility”) is insulting, as was Mr. Crawford’s statement that the request for a delay is a “stall tactic.” Are they suggesting that the MarketStreet Advisory Committee (“MSAC”) members, the Police Chief and Selectman Barrett have no credibility?

It was not too long ago when Mr. Dalton thought the developer should wait until after Building 1350 (Lahey Building) was fully operational before considering a cinema. Now Mr. Dalton and Mr. Crawford appear to be advocating for the cinema on behalf of National Development (it’s not the residents who are begging the Town to build a theater). Two questions that need to be asked are: (i) why are Mr. Dalton and Mr. Crawford not heeding the recommendations of MSAC and Chief Breen; and (ii) why are they advocating for this theater so vigorously despite these recommendations and the legitimate concerns raised by the residents of this Town?
As a member of MSAC, I also would like to take this opportunity to address several issues regarding this multiplex proposal.

MSAC was a committee authorized and appointed by the Board of Selectmen to review issues related to MarketStreet, including a theater proposal. The recommendation of MSAC (which adopted the recommendations of MSAC’s traffic subcommittee led by Chief Breen) was to delay any cinema at MarketStreet for at least one year after the Building 1350 is fully leased and operational. Incredibly, Selectmen Dalton and Crawford want to ignore the recommendation of this board-appointed committee, because the recommendation does not support National Development’s desires to have a multiplex.

Building 1350 is not fully leased. There is enough square footage remaining in Building 1350 to have another restaurant the size of the Yard House at that location. Because it not yet fully leased, we do not yet know the full impact of the traffic from the Building 1350. (See MSAC Report)

The number of ambulance runs to Lahey since opening have increased (per the Fire Chief). This increase will lead to more demands on the Town’s emergency services (including after day time hours response costs). (See MSAC Report). The Police Chief and former Fire Chief found National Development’s consultant’s estimates regarding calls for service “to be patently inaccurate.” (See MSAC Report)

The motor vehicle accident statistics don’t lie, nor do the pictures of the accidents. The MSAC report showed a significant increase in auto crashes. According to the data from the state, the accidents in the MarketStreet area more than doubled from 2013 to 2015, and at the time of its published report, MSAC only had state accident data through 2015. Based on some of the Town’s internal data, it is likely that the accidents statistics will be even worse in the years after 2015 through the present. (See MSAC Report)

The traffic jams are real (the pictures and videos residents have taken tell the story). (See also MSAC report for additional pictures). “At times, long delays have slowed response times for policy and fire apparatus.” (See MSAC Report)

Contrary to Mr. Crawford’s statement, there are no “off hours” for movie theaters. (See CMX’s website). The movies show from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. and the cinema will be open 365 days a year. Residents would much prefer the agreed-upon office space, because it is well known that Office space generates day time traffic only, the traffic will be much less than an 800-seat multiplex showing up to 32-40 movies a day, the demands for parking will be less, and significantly, these offices will be closed on weekends and holidays.

There are many questions about whether the proposed adaptive signals and geometric improvements will fix the traffic problems at these intersections (especially with the limitations of the 128 overpass and the three narrow traffic lanes under the overpass). We already have some traffic sensors at the Market Street/Walnut Street intersection, and they are not working in times of heavy traffic. And National Development’s own traffic expert, Randy Hart, admitted in a presentation to MSAC that adaptive signals have limited effectiveness when there is heavy traffic volume. (See MSAC Report).

The adaptive signals will NOT prevent those motorists who rush off of the 128 south ramp and run the red light to get to a movie on time. Running this red light happens all of the time. With increased traffic (regardless of the adaptive signals) more accidents will occur (and by the way, Lynnfield’s auto insurance rates likely will go up too). (See MSAC Report)

Similar developments with theaters have multiple entrances and exits to handle the traffic that a multiplex generates. National Development can only advertise one entrance because of a deal it made with the Town of Wakefield, and all GPS systems direct cars to Exit 43. Essentially, MarketStreet has only one entrance, which negatively impacts traffic. By comparison, Superlux at Chestnut Hill (where National Development hosted MSAC committee members for a visit) is located right on Route 9 and has 4 entrances and 5 exits.

As also reported in the MSAC report, “increased traffic volume or traffic backups from a theater could negatively impact patronage at Market Street as a whole.”
Market Street is doing quite well and does not need a theater to remain viable (see MSAC Report). National Development’s Doug Strauss recently represented to FinCom that the life of tenant leases used to be 5-10 years and now that timeframe is shorter. He also stated how proud National Development is to still have 70% of its initial tenants at Market Street (almost six years later).
National Development has wanted a cinema at Market Street since its inception, and has come back several times over the years asking the Town for a cinema. (See MSAC Report). As time has shown, Market Street does NOT need a theater to be successful. As confirmed by Mr. Strauss at the FinCom meeting, the town generates over $4.3 million in taxes each year (which is way beyond the original estimate of $1 million in tax revenue from the Connery report). (See MSAC Report)

The REAL reason that National Development wants a cinema is to make a bigger profit from the percentage lease it will have with the cinema operator – by which it will make a percentage of the profits from the cinema revenue. This also explains why they are asking for an 8-screen, 800-seat multiplex (and not a much smaller cinema). And by the way, the last time that the cinema was voted on and rejected at Town meeting, the proposed cinema was only 360 seats.

As discussed above and as shown in the MSAC Report, the concerns about traffic and public safety are both legitimate and credible.

Thank you Selectman Barrett and Police Chief Breen for taking into consideration the real concerns of the residents of this Town and for not just saying “yes” to everything National Development requests. I hope that the Police Chief will be allowed to speak at Town Meeting to educate the voters about his concerns on traffic and public safety as well as his continued recommendation that a cinema at Market Street not be considered until one year after the Building 1350 (the Lahey Building) is fully leased and operational.

Let’s follow the recommendation of our Police Chief and MSAC to delay consideration of the cinema and Vote NO on Article 14 at the April 29th Town Meeting.

Sincerely,
Anne Mitchell
Lynnfield Resident and Member of MSAC

Planning Board meeting moved to April 16th; No reason provided

April 1, 2019

Late Friday morning the Planning Board sent a revised agenda for their Tuesday hearing on the cineplex.

April 16th falls in School Vacation Week. Draw your own conclusions.

The wording is:

7:00 – Public Hearings – ALL to be Continued to April 16th, 2019
2. Proposed Zoning Map Amendment – Woods of Lynnfield
3. Amendment to Zoning Bylaws – Elderly Housing
4. Proposed Zoning Bylaw Amendment – MarketStreet / Theater

The agenda can be found at:

https://www.town.lynnfield.ma.us/sites/lynnfieldma/files/agendas/planning_board_4-2-2019.pdf

Please forward to your family and friends.  If people want to be on the mailing list, please send a request to cptl@bklw.com

Video of Selectman Dalton not allowing the police chief to speak

March 28, 2019

The following is an excerpt from the Lynnfield Selectmen Meeting on March26 where Chairman Dalton did not allow the Chief of Police to speak and ruled Selectman Barrett out of order. People in attendance and who watched it on TV could not remember seeing this happening before. The 3 minute and 22 second clip can be clicking on the following link or cutting and pasting it into a browser:

http://tinyurl.com/DaltonnotallowingChief

The full video of the meeting can be found by going to the town website at:

https://www.town.lynnfield.ma.us/ and looking in the video areas.

The following sections are from the Selectmen’s website. From viewing the meeting it appears they might want to review some of the sections.

From Public Comment Policy:

“The Lynnfield Board of Selectmen recognizes the importance of public comment, at the discretion of the Chair, on items on the official agenda as well as items not on the official agenda.”

It also includes the following:

· Public Comment is a time when town residents can bring matters before the Board of Selectmen that are not on the official agenda.

· Town employees, committee, commission or board members who have business with the Board of Selectmen will not request recognition during Public Comment time.

From Code of Conduct:

As elected members of the Lynnfield Board of Selectmen, we accept this high honor and the trust that has been placed in us to ensure that the Town of Lynnfield, its residents, Town Administrator, department heads, employees and volunteers are respected, helping to ensure a sound foundation of how we operate our town. In acceptance of this role we commit to the following:

Board of Selectmen members, in relation to the community:

· Realize that each Board member is one of a team of three and must abide by, and carry out, all Board decisions once they are made.

· Remember that each member represents the entire community as a whole at all times.

· Acceptance of the role of a Board member is unselfish service, and not to benefit personally or politically from their Board activities.

· Abide by the ethics guidelines established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

· Always maintain the confidentiality of privileged information.

· Recognize that authority rests only with the majority decisions of the Board, and members will make no independent commitments nor take any independent actions that may compromise the Board as a whole.

From Code of Ethics:

The citizens and businesses of the Town of Lynnfield are entitled to have fair, ethical and accountable local government which has earned the public’s full confidence for integrity. The effective functioning of democratic government therefore requires that:

Public officials, both elected and appointed, comply with both the letter and spirit of the laws and policies affecting the operations of government;

· Public officials be independent, impartial and fair in their judgment and actions;

· Public office be used for the public good, not for personal gain; and

· Public deliberations and processes be conducted openly, unless legally confidential, in an atmosphere of cooperation.

To this end, the Lynnfield Board of Selectmen has adopted a Code of Ethics for our public officials to assure public confidence in the integrity of local government and its effective and fair operation.

Act in the Public Interest
recognizing that stewardship of the public interest must be their primary concern, officials will work for the common good of the people of Lynnfield and not for any private or personal interest, and they will assure fair and equal treatment of all persons, claims and transactions coming before them.

***

Respect for Process
Officials shall perform their duties in accordance with the processes and rules of order which have been established by their respective board, commission or committee, and which govern the deliberation of public policy issues, meaningful involvement of the public, and the ability of Town staff to implement policy decisions as authorized by the Board of Selectmen.

Conduct of Public Meetings
Officials shall prepare themselves for public issues; listen courteously and attentively to all public discussions before the body; and focus on the business at hand. They shall refrain from interrupting other speakers; making personal comments not germane to the business of the body; or otherwise interfering with the orderly conduct of meetings.

***

Conflict of Interest
In order to assure their independence ad impartiality on behalf of the common good, officials shall not use their public positions to influence government decisions in which they have a material financial interest, or where they have an organizational responsibility or personal relationship, which may give the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Gifts and Favors
Officials shall not take any special advantage of services or opportunities for personal gain, by virtue of their public office that is not available to the public in general. They shall refrain from accepting any gifts, favors or promises of future benefits which might compromise their independence of judgment or action or give the appearance of being compromised

Several meetings regarding the multiplex this week

March 24, 2019

Monday March 25, 7:00 PM at the Town Hall. Finance Committee will be reviewing Article 14 – the multiplex article.

Tuesday March 26, 7:00 PM at the Merritt Center. The Selectmen are meeting and will be discussing changes to the proposed amendment to the Development Agreement. Not sure if (i) they will make sure there will not be multiple parking garages at Market Street or (ii) there will be additional “donations” in an attempt to get support for the multiplex article.

Wednesday March 27th 7:00 PM at the Merritt Center. The Planning Board is meeting to discuss “Design Standards Waiver Request § 5.E.4 Storefront Sign letter size and total sign area Market Street Building 1200, Suite 1205”

Please attend any of the meetings you can.

Please forward to your family and friends. If people want to be on the mailing list, please send a request to cptl@bklw.com

Selectmen endorsed the Multiplex

March 19, 2019

At their meeting last night the Selectmen voted 2-1 (Dalton and Crawford in favor, Barrett opposed) to recommend the 800-seat multiplex article at Town Meeting.

Their action ignores the recommendation of the Police Chief and the Market Street Advisory Committee to wait at leastone yearafter the Lahey complex is fully leased and operational – in order to evaluate the traffic and public safety impact – before considering a multiplex at Market Street.

Very disappointed.

More later.

Will National Development withdraw the Multiplex Article Tonight?

March 18, 2019

At tonight’s Selectmen’s meeting, the Selectmen are closing the town meeting Warrant.

Open questions:

  1. Will National Development withdraw the multiplex Article?
  2. What number will the multiplex Article be on the Warrant?

If you can’t make the meeting, it will be broadcast on Cable TV and available for viewing later this week on the Town’s website.

Please forward to friends and neighbors.

The meeting is at the Merritt Center, 600 Market Street at 7:00 PM

Save the dates, April 2nd and April 29th

March 11, 2019

Can’t see images? Click here…
Two important meetings. Please plan to attend:

April 2

The Planning Board of the Town of Lynnfield, MA, will hold a public hearing pursuant to G.L. c.40A, § 5 on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019 at 7:00 PM at the Lynnfield High School auditorium, 275 Essex Street, Lynnfield, MA, 01940. The purpose of the public hearing will be to provide interested persons an opportunity to comment on proposed changes to the Lynnfield Zoning Bylaws.

The Planning Board will be conducting a hearing on the proposed multiplex/cinema at MarketStreet

April 29

Annual Town Meeting
Monday, April 29, 2019 – 7:00pm
Lynnfield Middle School
Check in begins at 6:00 PM

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bklw.com

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Lynnfield Board of Selectmen Meeting March 4th Agenda

March 2, 2019

MEETING NOTICE TOWN OF LYNNFIELD (As required by MGL Chapter 30A, sections 18-25)

Board/Committee Name: Board of Selectmen

Day/Date: Monday, March 4, 2019 Time of Meeting: 7:00 p.m.

Location: Merritt Center, 600 Market Street

AGENDA

1. Pledge of Allegiance

2. Interviews for School Enrollment and Capacity Exploration Committee

3. Interviews for Recycling Advisory Committee

4. Joint meeting with Lynnfield Water District Board of Commissioners to set compensation for tax collector and Board of Assessors

5. Public hearing: on-premises wine and malt license by Unique Concepts Lynnfield, LLC, dba Anoush’ella Saj Kitchen, Raffi Festekjian, Manager, 600 Market Street, Suite 335

6. FY 2020 budget recommendations

7. Appointment of temporary sealer of weights and measures

8. Appointment of assistant building inspector

9. Appointment of assistant electrical inspector

10. Exemption under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 268A, Section 20 (B) for Finance Committee member for contract with Recreation Commission

11. Ratification of Memorandum of Understanding with Public Safety Dispatchers bargaining unit

12. Town Administrator Update