The Medfield State Hospital Mediation Committee (town delegation) will meet today at 3:45 p.m. to continue its mediation work in executive session, however, the meeting will open at 3:30 p.m. when it will recognize citizen activist John Harney who has questions about the process.
According to town officials, a short session before that meeting will be held at 3:15 p.m. to ask questions of Town Counsel Mark Cerel.
The mediation process has been behind closed doors for several months, much to the dismay of Harney who has been following the project for many years.
"You will have an opportunity to ask any questions of [town counsel] Mark Cerel," Town Administrator Michael Sullivan told Harney at Tuesday's meeting of the Board of Selectmen.
Harney, who said he is "in a hard position becuase I am opposed to mediation," has many questions for Cerel going back to the make-up of the board that was created in April to the town taking negotiations behind closed-doors which could cause the clean-up process to lose momentum.
At the board’s April 17 meeting, Selectman Mark Fisher explained that, while mediation will be held in closed session, a decision will not be made behind closed doors.
The selectmen reaffirmed that stance at this week’s meeting.
“[The mediation team] will come back to us and we will then have some public meetings on it,” Fisher said in April. “The decision is not going to be made until we come back with the ideas to the town. ... It has got to come back here, we’ve got to have a lot of discussions with the folks in Medfield.”
At the April meeting, Town Administrator Michael Sullivan also said that, if no agreement is reached through mediation, then DCAM and the town will continue to hold discussions outside of the mediation process and that DCAM would be delayed from going forward with its current partial remediation plan.
In April, the Board of Selectmen appointed the following to the mediation committee:
- John Thompson, SHERC chair
- Peg Stolfa (the town’s new attorney for environmental issues)
- Bill Massaro, PIP member and active resident
- Kristine Trierweiler, Assistant Town Administrator
- Andrea Stiller, an LSP and town consultant on the clean up
- Ann Thompson, the Board of Selectmen chair
On Tuesday, Harney said it was his understanding that voting members of the committee were only to be Medfield residents, which some of the members are not.
On Tuesday, the Board of Selectmen reaffirmed the appointment of Selectman Ann Thompson, Bill Massaro, and John Thompson (all town residents) as voting members of the mediation committee.
Harney said he has learned that the members had not been sworn in by the Town Clerk.