October 24, 2001  Meeting Notes


In attendance: Chick Abbott, Gene Benson, Ralph Elwell, Margaret Fitzgerald, Cathy Garnett, Brian Hasbrouck, Jane Howard, Elizabeth Karpati, Ann LeRoyer, Jim Marzillli, Leslie Mayer, Sharon Stafford, David White. The meeting was facilitated by Gene Benson. The minutes are by Elizabeth Karpati.

NEXT MEETINGS: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7 and Tuesday, Dec. 18 (note change of date).

Redistricting: Jim Marzilli reported that his district has been slightly shifted; Jay Kaufman of Lexington will take over a few precincts near the Res; Anne Paulsen will lose a few precincts but will keep #2 and 4 near Spy Pond. Jim will invite Jay Kaufman (a former environmental consultant!) to the next Res meeting.

Rich Bento could not make it to this meeting but asked for a subcommittee of up to 3 people to deal with him on just the dam issues. Reaction was wary: we don’t want to focus too narrowly on just the dam. We will ask for clarification, at our next meeting, to which he is invited. If we agree to a subcommittee, Chick Abbott, Cathy Garnett, and Brian Hasbrouck are willing to serve. (Mr. Bento has finally submitted written responses -- nothing dramatic -- to the written requests submitted at the May public meeting.)

Draft Goals (slight revision of previous 9/5 version but also dated 9/5):

  • Gene described the first three goals as going together, with #4, #5 ("what") and #6 ("how") each separate. It was suggested that we should organize into subcommittees with each concentrating on one goal or group of goals. The Concord Great Meadows management plan (available on the Web) and the landscaping plan for the Brooks Estate (which Jim helped draft) could be useful models.
  • Some sort of wide publicity for the goals is necessary to prepare the Town for what will be costly changes. The previous version of the draft was part of our Town Day handout but we didn’t get any reaction to it. (We have public input from census mailing questionnaire and public meeting in May.) Next publicity could ask for people willing to help with each goal. The goals are already on the Town website, could also be mentioned in the next census insert.
  • We agreed that the goals should be sent to the Selectmen, Town Manager, Town Planner, DPW (Rich Bento), ConCom (both Arlington and Lexington), Parks & Rec, Capital Planning, FinCom, Lexington Citizens for Conservation, and David Hornstein of Lexington, who is involved with Busa matters (see below). Gene will draft a cover letter. The goals should also be sent to the Arlington Advocate, after the above-mentioned people and groups have had a chance to see and react to them.
  • We could consider trying to get Town Meeting to adopt the Res goals (Iike the Spy Pond goals).
  • It was mentioned that Parks & Rec is working on a 10-year capital plan, but its main concerns now are Spy Pond Park and Robbins Farm. (The Recreation Dept. has a new director: John Jalbert.)

Possible Development near the Res:

  • A cousin of Mr. Fran Busa is trying to build a huge house on land he owns between Busa Farm and Munroe Brook, with the driveway encroaching on the 200-ft. setback along the brook. Mr. Busa is opposed. Lexington ConCom has jurisdiction, has continued the case until December 4.
  • Opposition includes Mr. Busa; the Mt. Gilboa Association, which has already testified against it; and David Hornstein, a Lexington activist (Chick Abbott will talk to him). One possibility would be to propose a land swap to the cousin: his property for some developable corner of Great Meadows.

Current state of the Res: Emergency spillway has been cleared of shrubbery, which is a good thing, but the Res Committee should have been notified. (Small area between spillway and the outflow has also been cleared.) Some piles from stump dump have been removed. Could people be invited to remove organic stuff like the water chestnut harvest for composting?

Stewardship idea (Open Space Committee’s idea of a stewardship group for each open space):

  • It would be a mechanism for reporting, getting things done, keeping things (like the plantings at Uncle Sam Park) from getting destroyed by ignoramuses.
  • We are already doing something like it without labeling it stewardship. A formal group could be a tool for addressing some elements of goal #6. Citizens for Lexington Conservation has such a program.
  • We could start by collecting reports from committee members on the state of the Res and sending them to Rich Bento.

NEXT MEETINGS: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7 and Tuesday, Dec. 18 (note change of date)..

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