Selectmen adopt a variety of new policies and guidelines

May 18, 2017 by

Published in the May 17, 2017 edition

By MAUREEN DOHERTY

LYNNFIELD — The Board of Selectmen approved several policies at its May 8 meeting, including those that govern both Recreation Commission staff members and campers, the naming of public buildings or facilities, and the establishment of a war memorial fund.

Recreation staff and camper policies 

Recreation Commission member Rich Sjoberg updated the selectmen on policy enhancements the commission has made over last three to four months to its policies for both Recreation Commission staff and campers. “With the growth of our programming and the additional students, we thought we’d take another pass and refresh the policies,” Sjoberg said. He added that due to this growth Lynnfield Rec has arranged to have all staff members “fully trained in CPR” by the Lynnfield Fire Department.

The policies govern the code of conduct of children who participate in Lynnfield Rec activities and camps, with an emphasis on providing a “camp experience that is safe and enjoyable” for all involved. Staff members are instructed to take a “caring and positive approach regarding discipline” and will “reinforce appropriate behavior through positive reinforcement, firm statements and redirection of activity.”

Parents are expected to review the code of conduct with their children so that they know what is expected of them. It also establishes the consequences for conduct code violations, including written documentation, verbal warnings, meetings with parents and the right of dismissal with a pro-rated refund if the offending behavior or action persists.

The Lynnfield Rec staff policy emphasizes the importance of staff being a positive role model for children at all times, never leaving children unsupervised, prohibitions on any type of abuse of children, treating all children equally and with respect, refraining from cell phone use, and prohibitions on posting identifying information, including photos, on their personal web pages or other public internet domains that are “not authorized by Lynnfield Recreation without parental consent.”

It also outlines a thorough bathroom policy to ensure that staff “make sure the restroom is not occupied by suspicious or unknown individuals before allowing children to use the facilities. Staff will stand in the doorway while children are using the restroom. This policy allows privacy for the children and protection for staff (not being alone with a child). No child regardless of age should ever enter a bathroom alone on field trip. Always send children in pairs, and whenever possible, with staff.”

Selectmen Chairman Chris Barrett said he had reviewed both policies and found them to be “very thorough.” Both policies were approved 3-0.

Policy on naming town facilities

By a 3-0 vote, the board also approved a policy on the Naming of Town Property and Placement of Memorials.

Town Administrator Jim Boudreau noted that this issue was raised on the final article of the April Town Meeting warrant when a group of citizens submitted a petition to rename a school but had not consulted the school district or the family in advance.

“The Board of Selectmen has the ultimate control over town property,” Boudreau said.

The policy states that the naming of any publicly owned property “shall be done sparingly for good causes shown.”

“A memorial, like the war memorial, will require Town Meeting approval,” he said, adding that the policy establishes guidelines.

The policy states that “requests for the naming of any public property, including buildings, rooms within buildings, playgrounds, recreational facilities, parks and other public facilities shall be considered at an advertised public hearing before the board or committee with care, control and custody of that facility or property.”

Naming of any School Department facilities would be referred to the School Committee while a separate process will be put in place for the naming of conservation lands.

Subsequently, the suggestion must be referred back to the Board of Selectmen “with a record of the hearing and a committee recommendation for approval.” Any facility not under control of a board or committee would be referred to the Board of Selectmen, which would hold the advertised public hearing.

The policy also states: “Renaming of a property already named for a person or a family shall be undertaken only by Town Meeting.”

Placement of memorials for “a deceased town resident or to commemorate a significant regional or national event to to commemorate the history and contributions of any group within the town…shall be done very sparingly, for compelling reasons. Memorials shall only be allowed for deceased residents who have made a significant contribution to the community.”

Lastly, prior to the installation of any “permanent memorial” on town property, the “proposed site and installation shall be reviewed by the Police, Fire and Public Works Departments for any public safety issues. Approval of the memorial shall require a vote of the Town Meeting.”

Former selectman and Town Administrator Joe Maney commented, “I was a selectman 49 years ago and there was a strong feeling in town not to name anything after anybody. There was a small piece of a baseball field named after somebody, but other than that, nothing,” he said.

War Memorial Gift Fund

The board voted 3-0 to establish a War Memorial Gift Fund in accordance with MGL Ch. 44 sec. 53A.

Barrett said that Jason Kimball “has done a lot of work” on behalf of the War Memorial Committee (WMC) which intends to build an updated and expanded war memorial by the town common, and this fund is necessary to enable the WMC to accept contributions for this purpose.

T.A. Boudreau explained that the state statute allows the selectmen to set up gift funds for this specific purpose and its ongoing maintenance, and that these funds would be “kept segregated in the books of the town and spent at the vote of the Board of Selectmen.”

Open Space and Recreation Com.

The selectmen appointed Erin Madden to the town’s Open Space and Recreation Committee.

Selectmen Chairman Chris Barrett said that this board is appointed by the selectmen and “works closely with Conservation Commission” in helping to create the plan that will enable the town to be eligible for these types of grants.

Madden said she has lived in town for 20 years and is married with three kids in the schools. She is a mechanical engineer who works as an engineering manager and she is also active in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. She became interested in volunteering for this committee after her daughter interviewed Conservation Administrator Betty Adelson for her Girl Scout Gold Award and learned that they are looking for volunteers.

Selectman Phil Crawford said Madden would be “a great fit” for this committee, noting that the town’s open space plan has to be updated every couple of years. “We are looking for a couple volunteers more for that committee,” Crawford said.

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