Minutes of March 18, 2018

Framingham Democratic Town Committee

Community Room, The Green   

136 Maynard Rd., Framingham, MA 01701

Meeting Minutes – Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 7:00 PM

 Call to Order: Chair Beverly Hugo called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM.

1.Announcements: Beverly opened with a sad note on the death of Brian Simpson, son of Kate Donahue & her husband Kim Simpson.

2. Attendance: Members: Lori Bornstein, Jeanne Bullock, Carmen Chico, Jack Duffy, Barbara Fontes, Kurt Fusaris, Gwendolyn Holbrow, Rozzey Hooper-Hamersley, Beverly Hugo, Michael Hugo, Barbara LeDuc, Rep. Jack Lewis, Chris Lorant, Maria Robinson, Cindy Rubin, Margareth Shepard, Norma Shulman, Larry Stoodt, Parwez Wahid, Mel Warshaw. Lifetime Members: Linda Fields, Betty Muto. Associate Members: Robert Case, James DeSimone, Cheryl Gordon, Jim Hansen, David Magnani, Amanda Northrup, Gloria Pascual, Priscilla Sousa, Yvonne Spicer, Adam Steiner, Cesar Stewart-Morales. Guests: Mary Kate Feeney, Ben Schattenburg.

A Taste of Ashland, to benefit the Ashland DTC, will be held March 25 at 7:30 PM.

3. January 21, 2018 Minutes: Secretary Barbara LeDuc Approved with one correction.

4. Treasurer’s Report: Chairman Beverly Hugo                       Approved unanimously

The 1-21-2018 balance of $3,957.12 was decreased to $3,594.18. Annual dues of $20 for voting members and $15 for associate members will be payable starting this month.

We received sufficient donations to fund the Democratic State Committee (DSC) meeting at Framingham High School on Feb. 8. After paying all expenses, we had some surplus funds, which will be used for expenses related to the upcoming 2018 elections, for example toward funding a coordinated campaign office.  Many thanks to all who helped, especially the Hospitality Committee, and to very especially to Cynthia Villanueva who is the faculty advisor to the student groups who sponsored the event at Framingham high school.  Cynthia’s assistance was enormous!

5. News from the State House. Representative Jack Lewis reported that the budget process / approval is approaching. Gov. Baker has slashed  $4 million from the proposed budget; which will mean cuts  and changes to local funding priorities. The Safe Communities Act has been changed, and now has support from MA police chiefs. MIRA has been supporting passage. The MA Progressive Caucus is supporting several items: Carbon Pricing, Paid Family Leave, and Raising the Minimum Wage.  The latter two may pass in the House in order to prevent their inclusion on the Fall ballot, as they might gain even higher amounts from the voters. There is a push being made to decrease the sales tax.  This action would be catastrophic, as then passage of the “Millionaires Tax” would produce no increase in net revenue 

6. Mel Warshaw spoke on behalf of Rep. Chris Walsh, who is home from the hospital. Chris believes the “Environmental Bond” will pass; it contains considerable potential funding for work needing to be done in Framingham. Mel noted that Chris enjoys receiving our notes and cards at his home at 113 Pleasant St. Framingham, MA 01701.

7. Mayoral Report: Mayor Yvonne Spicer asks that we feel free to contact her at 508-532-5400 or email at yspicer630@gmail.com. Her staff is now being urged to think about communications. The Mayor is now looking over the tenets of the new City Charter as compared to Mass laws, and the Planning Board needs applicants.

8. Margareth Shepard, City Councilor for District 7, announced she would have open office hours on May 7. This will include districts 6, 7, and 8. The invitation and further information will be included with the water bills. Adam Steiner, City Councilor for District 3  will have office hours on Thursday April 26 in the City Council office from 3 to 5 PM.

9. Ben Schattenburg, from Voter Choice Massachusetts, spoke in favor of Ranked Choice voting. Voters note their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice of candidates. Each of the candidates receiving the least number of votes in each race will be eliminated sequentially after each cycle of counting. Mel Warshaw, who favors RCV, noted he filed an “Instant Runoff” voting bill in 1962. Mel moved (Jack Duffy seconded) that the FDTC vote to support the principle of ranked choice voting. The motion passed unanimously.

10. Parwez Wahid spoke about the Mass. State Democratic convention in Worcester in June. On March 31, there will be a training session for delegates, especially first-time delegates, in the Costin Room of the main library from 3-5 PM. The deadline for payment of delegate fees is April 20; the form is online.

11. Chris Lorant reported from the Disability Outreach Subcommittee of MassDems. Wheelchairs, hearing assistance devices, and volunteers from local high schools will be available at the convention to help persons with disabilities and senior delegates.

12. Subcommittee reports:

– Civics Education Subcommittee: Pat Dunne noted that the primary concern of the subcommittee is to get more new voters in various groups. Sustainability and the Community Preservation Act are also concerns.

– Communications Subcommittee: Mike Hugo noted their goal was to revamp our website.  Gwen has done a superb job (Mail chimp is running). Revamping our social media and public outreach are next. 

– Legislative & Advocacy Subcommittee: Kurt Fusaris introduced Larry Stoodt to present two Resolutions previously approved by the subcommittee. Kurt made a motion (seconded by Norma Shulman) that the FDTC support “A Resolution Relating to a 20% Reduction of Energy Use and to Move to 100% Clean, Renewable Energy”.  The motion passed unanimously. Regarding the second resolution, Norma made a motion (seconded by Jack Duffy) that we vote to support “A Resolution Relating to the Hiring or Reassigning of a Sustainability Manager.” This motion also passed unanimously. (Larry noted that a City Sustainability Manager would bring in more revenue than the manager’s salary.) Copies of both resolutions appear below.

13. Former Sen. Dave Magnani reported on options for the Stephanie Mercandetti memorial. Options include: 1. a scholarship, 2. naming of the Executive Meeting Room at City Hall in Stephanie’s honor, 3. Marathon runners, 4. placement of a bench & tree in Cushing Park (Bob Berman is building a GoFundMe.com account.), 5. passing a memorial Resolution (Walpole has already done this.) and the further consideration of following options. There will be a meeting at Dave’s house at 13 Cherry Oca Lane on April 8 from 5:30 to 7 PM. All are welcome.

14. Report from the Alliance: Norma cited the housekeeping changes made to the Alliance By-Laws.

15. Vote to remove two FDTC members: Beverly announced that, pursuant to the FDTC By-Laws and State Democratic Party regulations, P. Nandi Varis and Jeanne Eversley, who had attended only twice in the previous two years, should be removed as voting members of the FDTC. Jack Duffy moved (Mike Hugo seconded) to remove these two members. After discussion, the motion passed with one abstention.

16. Vote to elect two new voting members: Gwendolyn Holbrow, Robert Case and Amanda Northrop were nominated from the floor, and nominations were closed. However, Amanda Northrop asked that her name be removed at this time. Thus Gwen and Rob were elected unanimously.

17. Beverly announced that Linda Fields has become our newest Life Member. Actually, this distinction should have been awarded a year or two ago. Please congratulate Linda at your first opportunity.

 18. Next month there will be the election of some new officers who will take office immediately. Beverly appointed Mel Warshaw (convener), Lori Bornstein, Craig Broyles, and Jack Duffy to comprise the Nominating Committee.

19. Beverly appointed Maria Robinson, Barbara Fontes, Kurt Fusaris, Mel Warshaw, and Jim Stockless to serve as auditors for our fund accounts prior to the election of a new treasurer.

20. Our charity for next month (April) will be to collect books for Hoops and Homework. For May, it will be the collection of books for the King School, which currently lacks classroom libraries.

21. Reminder: the April meeting has been moved to the 22nd, as the Chair is unavailable on the 8th.

All business being concluded, the business meeting was adjourned at 9:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara LeDuc, Secretary







 WHEREAS, the federal government has abdicated its responsibility to ensure clean air, clean water, and the study of climate change; and

WHEREAS, the Mass. Legislature has bills to increase the Renewal Portfolio Standard, to reform the Department of Utilities, raise the Solar Net Metering Cap, and Carbon Pricing held up in the TUE committee; and

WHEREAS, clean renewable energy creates jobs in Mass. and would keep billions of dollars here that are currently used to buy oil and fracked natural gas, methane, a super greenhouse gas, from outside of New England; and

WHEREAS, the Global Warming Solutions Act was passed in 2008 mandating 25% reduction of greenhouse gases by 2020 and 80% by 2050, and upheld by Mass. Supreme Judicial Court 2016; and

WHEREAS, with the increasing power of storms, intensity of droughts, extended wildfire seasons, and massive floods, the ravages of climate change continue to become clearer and clearer; and

WHEREAS, the health of our planet is not a partisan issue.


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the Framingham Democratic Town Committee calls upon Mayor Spicer and the City Council to commit to meeting our 20% reduction of energy use to meet our Green Communities’ commitment by 2020;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the Framingham Democratic Town Committee calls upon Mayor Spicer and the City Council to move to 100% clean, renewable energy as soon as practicable, and study and plan for that conversion as part of the meeting of our Green Communities commitment.





 WHEREAS, the Annual Town Meeting voted to adopt the “Stretch Energy Code” in 2013 by General Bylaw for the purpose of regulating the design and construction of buildings for effective energy use pursuant to Appendix 115.AA of Mass. Building Code thereby enabling Framingham to qualify for the Mass. Green Communities Program; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Framingham was officially designated on Dec. 18, 2013 as a Green Community by the DOER, Mass. Department of Energy Resources, which came with notice that Framingham had been awarded a $301,900.00 grant to commence implementing its energy reduction plan; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Framingham has yet to achieve the envisioned 20% reduction in energy use it committed to in its 2013 Green Communities application; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Framingham has not finished or applied for Green Communities grants two out of four years of this program, and other potential grants and funding may have been available; and

WHEREAS, the taxpayers of the Town of Framingham have not received the full benefit of energy reduction that should have reduced their local taxes:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the Framingham Democratic Town Committee calls upon Mayor Spicer and the City Council to hire or reassign a qualified person as a sustainability manager or coordinator as a major priority.