Here’s a roundup fresh Wellesley Town Government news from the recent Select Board meeting
Diversity task force call coming
Wellesley is readying a public call for applicants to take part in a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force, an effort in the works since last year. (Nearby, Natick appointed such a task force last year.)
Work will get cranking on this task force during the fall and winter, said Wellesley Executive Director Meghan Jop.
Natick picks pot shop spot
Wellesley residents joined Natick neighbors worried about traffic and other issues in urging Natick’s Select Board to pass on recreational marijuana shops at a couple of locations near the Wellesley border on Rte. 9. This past week Natick choose an operator dubbed ReLeaf that would operate at the former Papa Gino’s location on Rte. 9 west, not far from the Village Green miniature golf course.
While still within a mile of Wellesley, this location is the furthest away from Wellesley of 4 locations mulled. But like the other companies proposing adult-use shops in Natick, a big part of the business plan is to lure those from communities like Wellesley that ban such shops within their borders.
It didn’t sound as though a letter sent to the Natick Select Board from Wellesley’s made any difference in the decision. A resident during the Natick Select Board meeting asked how much weight it was giving to the Wellesley Select Board letter about its concerns and those of residents regarding a couple of proposed recreational marijuana shops in Natick near Wellesley neighborhoods. One Board member grasped a mic and uttered: “Uh, none for me”
Hate to tell you this Town Meeting members…
As the 2020 Census data trickles out, Wellesley has learned that its current precincts are “slightly skewed,” and that at least 6 of the 8 will need to be modified, according to Jop. Wellesley has only gained a few hundred residents, but population changes have changed enough within precincts to trigger change on the part of town government.
Jop, the town’s clerk, a Select Board rep, the GIS manager, the town IT manager and others are preparing information for the public to digest and for the Select Board to take action on. This is taking placing simultaneously with the state legislature reviewing redistricting.
While re-precincting talk might put you to sleep, you will want to pay attention to this as a current or future Town Meeting member. Jop says the re-precincting will likely result in all Town Meeting members needing to run again this year.
10 years ago, Wellesley added Precinct H due to the fresh Census data on population growth. Jop does not anticipate another new precinct having to be added this time around.
Babson class to promote Catch Connect
Earlier this year, the town of Wellesley tapped the brainpower of Babson College students on ways to liven up Wellesley Square. Now Wellesley and Babson will join forces again come October, this time to develop a marketing plan for the newish Catch Connect bus service in hopes of boosting awareness and ridership in town.
The app-powered Catch Connect can be accessed for on-the-fly transportation, like Uber, not on fixed routes like traditional MWRTA buses.