Commission for Persons with Disabilities

October 28, 2015
Meeting Began at 5:30pm
Present: Natalie Breen, Sue Bibbins, Diane McLeod, Henry Milorin, Jeanette
Spalding, Rachel Tanenhaus
Audience: none
Introductions
Public Participation
Prior Minutes Approval
The minutes for September 2015 were approved.
New Business
 Interim elections were held for open positions on the Commission.
These positions will be held from end of elections until June, 2016.
Rachel Tanenhaus was nominated, accepted and voted unanimously by
the commissioners for the position of Chair. Jeanette Spalding was
nominated, accepted and voted unanimously by the commissioners for
the position of Secretary. Sue Bibbins was nominated, accepted and
voted unanimously for the position of Co-Chair. Sue noted that she
would be having surgery later in the year and would need
accommodations or excused from the meetings because of healing.
The commissioners all agreed that she could be accommodated
somehow.
 Roberta Cameron, Chairman of Preserve Medford spoke to the Commission regarding the
Community Preservation Act (CPA) ballot initiative. The initiative would increase
property tax (after the first $100,000 property value) at 1.5% with the funds going
directly to the municipal CPA fund. There are tax exemptions for those in lowincome/affordable homes. If Medford chooses to vote yes to the initiative, the property
tax surcharge would go directly towards open space protection, historic preservation,
affordable housing and outdoor recreation. Jeanette Spalding asked whether the CPA tax
surcharge would impact individuals living in managed apartment buildings with or
without a voucher. There is no way to know that – however the tax surcharge will not
impact those living in affordable housing or low-income units.
 Commissioners discussed a viable agenda/goals for the upcoming year. Two goals were
focused on, city-at-large involvement and outreach to the disabled/family of.
o Outreach to City-at-Large – Rachel noted involvement/advise to City Council on
items related to the disabled/family of community. Other suggestions: invite
Medford bicycle/pedestrian groups to work together on accessible sidewalks;
have a working day for City Commissions to discuss goals and how to work
together to achieve them; invite new Mayor to discuss the disabilities commission
and how it can provide advice to City offices; increase public presence throughout
outreach materials and tabling efforts; find out how community events are
publicized – create community calendar?; start an accessible print & electronic
materials goal at City Hall

o Outreach to the Disabled/Family Of – create a Medford “get out the vote”-like
project; include communities that may not always identify as disabled, i.e. senior

Variance Updates
October, 2015 - Saint Francis Street location was granted a waiver on a
graduated driveway entrance/exit of 5 inches instead of the required 3
inches due to pre-existing barriers.
Old Business
None
Correspondence & Announcements
 Diane McLeod confirmed that everyone received commission bylaws,
member information and meeting dates through June 2016. Everyone
confirmed receipt through email or in paper format previous meeting.
She said that she for anyone who would like, she could review Roberts
Rules of Order, Massachusetts Open Meeting Law (revised 3/2015)
 The Commission was informed of grant available through Tufts University, with
applications due by November 27, 2015. The Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund (TNSF)
is available to programs and projects that are tax-exempt, in/serving residents of
Medford/Somerville/Chinatown/Grafton, and have Tufts University volunteers currently
involved (including alumni). Grants are awarded to projects in amounts up to $2,000. For
more information, please contact Barbara Rubel or go to the website
(http://communityrelations.tufts.edu/tufts-neighborhood-service-fund/).
 Rachel Tanenhaus requested that a City Hall/departmental infrastructure list be made
available. It will be sent to the commissioners via email.
Meeting Adjourned at 7:55pm
Next Meeting is on November 18, 2015 at 5:30pm in Room 201 City
Hall

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