Strategic Town Goals

Open Space Protection and ManagementFor 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


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)

2023-2024 Goals

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

Work with Town Planner to identify parcels of land that could be rezoned as commercial. Present recommendations to the Planning Board 

  1. Identify at least 1 parcel of land, not town-owned, even if zoned residential, that could be commercially developed. Work with Town Planner/Planning Board and neighbors to evaluate potential to be re-zoned. 
  2. Rezone the business district in the downtown to provide more business/retail spaces. Find ways to extend the downtown business district to enhance areas like Park Street as integral components of the downtown business district. 
  3. Pursue reuse of the Town Landfill for solar energy generation
  4. Explore opportunities to build a Prop 2 ½ taxation buffer in anticipation of the impact the new school project will have on real estate taxes (e.g., reserve account contributions)

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)

Explore the feasibility/ attractiveness of introducing senior tax relief options

 Identify opportunities to generate sustained (i.e., not primarily one-time) town revenues that will reduce tax pressure on “typical” homeowners

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

Reestablish an Economic Development Committee to promote business development, primarily in the downtown area

Explore ideas for making the downtown area more attractive for people to come to in the wintertime. (e.g., look at building a “greenhouse”-type structure in the area of the gazebo)

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)

2023-2024 Goals

Proactively plan for the maintenance and upgrade of town buildings

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

Update the plan to fund those building improvements/repairs deemed  necessary and appropriate for funding from the 20-year capital plan 

Update/ revise the Capital Maintenance Plan

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

Meet with W & S board/town administration and determine solutions for issues identified by W & S Board, develop plan going forward

Develop a sidewalk development plan for the town that lays out specific plans, priorities, and sequencing to increase the extent and quality of the sidewalks in town.

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

Maintain a steady increase in the level of funding for the Town’s OPEB obligation until the OPEB Trust Fund is sufficient to cover annual benefits costs.

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

Establish procedures to ensure that full long-term financial obligations of the town are taken into account when hiring staff. Increase public visibility into the full financial implications associated with staff hiring decisions.


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)

2023-2024 Goals

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

Complete construction of all SHI-eligible housing required to achieve the town’s 40B goal. Figure out the best way to get the remaining units required to meet the town’s 10% affordable housing goal on a timely basis that minimizes any time the town spends out of “Safe Harbor” status.

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

Develop 8 units of housing for adults with intellectual disabilities

Work with the AHT to identify the best way to do this. Explore alternative financing approaches for supporting group home development (i.e., state funding, private funding, etc.)

Identify one or more sites in town that are capable of supporting a group home.

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 timely redevelopment of the State Hospital campus

Promote the timely completion of the redevelopment project being undertaken by Trinity (projected completion date – 2026)

Drive/ support state actions to address the noise issue from the current police gun range on North Meadows Road. (This is a “show-stopper” issue for the Trinity project)

Support the pursuit of MassWorks funding to cover infrastructure development costs on the State Hospital property

Work to keep Medfield’s available housing stock in line with the town’s demand for housing to meet the town’s changing needs over time

Explore innovative housing concepts to improve current housing options in town

Explore the feasibility/ attractiveness of allowing ADU’s (Accessory Dwelling Units) to be built as allowed modifications to existing houses.



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)

2023-2024 Goals

Maintain/ Improve the School System’s Solid Academic Performance

Plan for the replacement of the Dale Street School

Update the Feasibility Study for the replacement of the Dale Street School/ Develop a revised concept for the new 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

Increase prevention services in order to build a healthy community

Implement the Connections program to enhance contact between the town’s seniors and the town’s youth (grant funded)
 Increase awareness of Medfield Outreach’s mission, services, and how to access help

Continue to provide high-quality services to Medfield residents, including youth.

Continue to collaborate with town and school departments and other key community partners to increase awareness and utilization of Outreach services.

Create spaces and opportunities for youth to promote mental and emotional wellness

Extend mental health and substance misuse prevention programming across the community, including into lower grades, in collaboration with the schools and other community partners.

Increase protective factors and reduce risk for youth substance use in Medfield.

Broaden Medfield residents’ understanding of the scope of Outreach prevention programming to include promoting wellness in the community

Prevention coordinators through Medfield Outreach will engage Medfield youth in programming to educate on substance use risks to promote mental health

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

Work with the School Department and the Town Departments to assess the potential for identifying opportunities for town youth to get involved with town operations with a goal of promoting a deeper appreciation of the importance of a citizen-led local government


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)

2023-2024 Goals

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

Rationalize responsibilities between DPW, Parks & Recreation, and the School Department for maintaining natural town assets, including parks, athletic fields, building grounds, and other maintained open space. Make appropriate adjustments to department maintenance budgets to reflect adjustments in responsibilities

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

Town Administrator coordinate with the DPW Head to develop a public tree inventory and tree planting plan

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

The prerequisite action here is to answer the maintenance question –(CORPS Plan? – Conservation, Open-Space, Recreation, Public Spaces Plan)


GOAL #6: Medfield has historically been closely tied to the natural environment. From the earliest point in its history, Medfield has taken advantage of its natural habitat to support agriculture, the arts, and recreation. More recently, as the importance of maintaining a healthy, resilient, and sustainable has become more apparent to all, Medfield’s commitment to preserving and protecting its natural environment has only grown stronger . Medfield’s open space, as a percentage of its total land area, is among the highest of any town in Massachusetts. The town’s residents are strongly committed to conscientious environmental stewardship of the town’s open spaces and natural habitats to ensure the sustained health and vibrancy of the town’s residents and natural environment.

Key Focus AreasLong-term (5-10 year timeframe)
2023-2024 Goals

Environmental Sustainability and Resilience

Maintain and Update the Town’s Environmental Resiliency Plans

Achieve Zero Waste

TSARC and DPW develop a plan to reduce waste in town

Secure grant funding to conduct financial analysis of climate adaptation and resiliency measures as outlined in Municipal Vulnerability Plan, and estimation of future climate risk costs

Climate Action

Support the State 2030 Climate Goals 

Ensure that Medfield is on a track to pursue the 2050 Net Zero goals using feasible strategies

Create internal capacity to support Town Boards, Departments, Committees and residents to work toward the town's climate goals, coordinate project development and grant writing

Make climate considerations part of all relevant decision making

Work to make progress toward the town’s Climate Action Plan (TOMCAP) goals

Develop an effective tracking system for monitoring progress toward the achievement of the town’s climate goals

Secure grant funding for high priority climate mitigation measures from existing and upcoming funding sources (to support Net Zero 2050 goal)

Preservation and Protection of Water Resources
Identify and Assess Long-Term Threats to the Town’s Water Purity

Develop Adequate Long-Term Capital Plans to Ensure the Adequacy of the Town’s Water and Sewer Systems – to Include Well Field Capacity

Improve Wildlife Habitats to Support the Health and Growth of the Town’s Native Wildlife

Manage use of pesticides – mosquito and tick control (when and how to spray), lawn care products to minimize adverse environmental impacts to the town

Require private well compliance with drought restrictions imposed on town residents using town water

Open Space Protection and Management

Develop a Comprehensive Plan for the Ongoing Maintenance and Improvement of Open Spaces, including a plan to combat invasive species on public, and private, property

Improve Public Access to Information About the Town’s Open Spaces

Continue/ expand efforts to limit the use of plastics

Adopt “No Mow May” for appropriate public spaces – and encourage adoption with appropriate private property in town

Work with DPW to designate and plant or seed pollinator perennial and annual (wildflower) areas with delayed mowing schedule, as appropriate

Promote sustainable landscaping and gardening by residents, including reduced use of pesticides and fertilizers, of non-native plant species, and of lawns.

Support ConCom in highlighting Medfield’s natural resources, increasing accessibility, and maintenance of existing natural spaces

Forest/ Wildlife Management

Maintain and enhance the town’s forests, wetlands and soils to support carbon sequestration and the development of saleable carbon offsets

Raise awareness of non-native pests and diseases that harm our natural environment, such as Crazy Worms, Spotted Lanternfly, and others