School Committee Missing in Action!!!



Review of the Stoneham Government web site on the Weiss Farm development shows several boards have already submitted letters to the Board of Selectmen.

Most of them were sent prior to the Board of Selectmen providing a response to Mass Housing on the developer’s plans for The Commons at Weiss Farm.


Where was the School Committee’s response?  There were no letters posted to the web site.  No public words given at the meetings on Weiss Farm held by the Board of Selectmen.


Amazing and yet when the new Middle School was considered at the Stoneham High School location it was turned down due to the high density on Franklin St, and the excessive traffic.

Several letters by individuals, our state representative, the mayor of Melrose, a Melrose Alderman, the Stoneham Historic Commission and heads of Stoneham departments explicitly stated that there is a serious public safety issue if 3 five story buildings and 5 town houses are constructed at 170 Franklin St. We are talking about 264 apartments and 443 parking spaces being created with this development. Everyone knows that Franklin St. is the avenue of access to Route 1,93 and 128 and joins our neighbor Melrose to get to these routes.  Last week there was an accident on Franklin Street in the morning creating a major tie up and students were probably late getting to class.  This development will cause serious impact on the safety of not only the 675 students that attend Stoneham High School but also the surrounding neighborhood schools in close proximity.  It will also cause an impact on education of the children of Stoneham, as there will be additional students residing in this development, which will affect class sizes and curriculum.  Remember Stoneham got the lowest dollar amount of surrounding communities under Chapter 70.

Your silence is very disappointing since you state under Core Values on your web site: 

“The School Committee and staff of the Stoneham Public Schools believe that this Mission requires that we:


Foster and hold high expectations for the level of student learning
Maintain a safe, supportive and inclusive school culture”


The Stoneham Board of Appeals needs your help. They will soon receive the application from the Corcoran Group for a comprehensive permit.

Under the regulations in 760 CMR 56.05 (3), within seven days of receiving an application for comprehensive permit, the Board of Appeals will invite the participation of local boards to assist in making its decision on the application.

The parents and students of Stoneham need your help by providing in depth research and facts affecting the schools on the Commons at Weiss Farm.

Be ready to assist the Board of Appeals in their decision making process timely.


Camille February 22, 2014 at 04:24 PM
The school committee has not responded because they have not received a formal letter? What is it that you are waiting for??? This issue is occurring NOW. There is no waiting for any formal anything. It needs to be dealt with NOW.
C February 24, 2014 at 07:23 AM
*seriously?* WRITE the letter ! wow....and this is why we are in MANY messes! PLEASE write the letter......many ordinary citizens have done so without a personal and formal asking! BUT our town leaders need a personal and formal asking ? This seems to make NO sense . I agree w/Camille -- WRITE THE LETTER !
Silvia February 24, 2014 at 07:35 AM
With all due respect: creativity , initiative and leadership are all signs of a strong School Committee~ no one is a robot here. I've been caught up in traffic in front of the high school, it's TERRIBLE! I don't want my children to suffer an even worse fate if this development is allowed to go through... Please act now
Paula B Sarno February 24, 2014 at 07:49 AM
The issue of a formal letter sent to the School Committee is disheartening. I do not believe the following town and city officials received a formal letter to send a letter or speak at the public meetings on The Commons at Weiss Farm: • Mayor of Melrose - Robert J. Dolan • Ward 1 Aldermen City of Melrose- John N Tramontozi • State Representative Jason Lewis • Vice Chairman of the Planning Board Kevin Dolan I also question the authority of the School Committee. Is the Superintendent of Schools your boss or vice a versa? You as School Committee members are residence and taxpayers of our community. The Superintendent of Schools I do not believe is a resident of Stoneham. You as a board have an obligation to our children to protect their safety and well-being and are elected officials by the parents of these children as well as all citizens in our community. Please raise your grade from F to A+ and research and write your findings to assist the Board of Appeals timely.
C February 24, 2014 at 09:10 AM
I (along w/many others) believe that we voted in government leaders in this town because they would be PROACTIVE. That is what gov't leaders are supposed to be, but unfortunately, in our world today, a lot are not. This situation HAS to be dealt w/in a proactive manner.... no way that a committee can just "sit around" and wait until the last minute right as the construction crews pull up to write a letter. If this is to be fought, it needed to start a few months ago. The builder, I am sure, has not put the plans in a back corner filed away. *Please* do the same -- one must stay ON TOP OF the game always !!! I do hope to hear a response from school committee that a letter is now being sent, and that there will be periodic checks on the status.
Mary Pecoraro February 24, 2014 at 10:46 AM
As a former Chairperson of the Board of Selectman, and a former member of the School Committee, I find the explanation that the School Committee has not responded to the Weiss Farm issue because there has not been a "formal letter" written to be a case of "avoiding the elephant in the room" It is my recollection that any member of either board could, and was encouraged to, place items on an upcoming agenda. The agenda was created by the members of each board. As an elected representative of all the people of Stoneham I felt it was my responsibility to take care of the business of the town. We did not need a "formal letter" from anyone in order to advocate for the good citizens of Stoneham.
dava feltch February 24, 2014 at 03:28 PM
Can someone please direct me to Ms. Craiggie's original comment. I can no longer view it here.
Silvia February 24, 2014 at 04:25 PM
Dava, it appears the original message from Ms. Craiggie was removed. It appeared at 7:20am this morning, hence the responses.
C February 24, 2014 at 06:17 PM
Removed ??? I do wonder why !!! People, please go out and vote in the next election, and perhaps consider voting for some people who are NEW to the ticket, or just starting out and want to stay on. Time to let go of the old, and get on with the new!
Paula B Sarno February 24, 2014 at 08:06 PM
C Over the years Stoneham has been a "bedroom community" and home owners and renters have merely slept here and left the running of our community to those few that have stepped up to the plate. I initially was going to write a warrant article for the next town meeting citing term limits and the reasons for but as you see in 2014 the Planning Board seat is not contested so that the incumbent will be re-elected. The Board of Selectmen is I believe the only contested seat in our town. I agree that our boards need a change from the existing "Lifers" but we need people to step up and be counted. Residents that believe in community service and DO NOT HAVE HIDDEN AGENDA'S We cannot blame the "Lifers" who have definitely made positive contributions in the past for their continuation of service . We must consider that more residents need to volunteer and be effective.
C February 24, 2014 at 10:37 PM
Paula, totally agreed ! More than half of the people in town do not even vote....so sad! But I do like your idea of term limits and wonder, if they were in place, if more citizens would maybe feel as though they would have a chance of getting elected, instead of being afraid that the "lifers" are "town / family / connected" and therefore, perhaps more people would step up to the plate. Whatever it is, it would be really nice to see more involvement, and also from the town's side (such as ....hey...why didn't we put up that outside ice rink - so I don't have to go to Lynnfield or Reading- and where is the farmers market - so I dont have to bring my business to Wakefield) ??? Whole town needs to modernize and get with it !!!
Paula B Sarno February 25, 2014 at 07:07 AM
C wouldn't it be nice to dream of having Weiss Farm total green space with a Farmers Market, a half shell for music in the summer an outdoor rink in the winter, tennis courts, track and field, a small building as a museum dedicated to the individuals who have done so much over the years for the town and a learning center about Wetlands etc etc. Some vision just need the money :) Oh and make sure the small house is in keeping with vintage properties in area. Oh but wait a minute that address is 170 Franklin and we still have all those unregistered cars and a boat at 160 which is in non compliance with our bylaws mmmmm wonder what that is all about.
Patricia Walsh February 25, 2014 at 08:33 AM
Paula, I agree with term limits and would be happy to assist you in writing the warrant article for Town Meeting. It is sad that when the "lifers" are up for re-election those races generally go uncontested, but when someone like Ann Marie (who filled a short 9 month term vacancy) tries to get elected for a full term in order to finish the work she has begun, a newbie comes from out of nowhere to contest her re-election. I think Ms. Parker would have better served the town had she waited until next year when two board members are up for re-election. We need to encourage change, but make sure that these positions do not become stagnant which breeds complacency.
Patricia February 25, 2014 at 08:37 AM
If I may add something I've always wanted and inquired about, a community garden. If the town could just allow some open space to be tilled and created "sub plots" to "rent" each growing season. I've seen such community gardens Ipswich, Danvers, etc.. Stoneham has many apartment dwellers who may like a chance to garden. I feel it would be a great way to bring people together who enjoy gardening, fresh air and getting a little dirty. I suggest that anyone wishing to "rent" gardening plots pay a fee to cover the tilling and any water that would need to be brought. It could be done without costing the town. I inquired at town hall and was advised to speak to the gentleman that oversees Whipple Hill. I'm not sure anyone understands what I suggested and it never went anywhere. It dawned on me that there's no one in the town that wants to hear any new ideas or will take any suggestions. Stoneham has so much to offer but is rapidly losing any chance of growth, especially compared to surrounding towns.
Patricia Walsh February 25, 2014 at 08:47 AM
Patricia, I suggest that you contact Selectwoman, Ann Marie O'Neill. She is great at solutions to suggestions such as you are proposing. You can contact her through the Selectman's page on the Town of Stoneham website.
Paula B Sarno February 25, 2014 at 01:17 PM
Patricia, Another suggestion is to contact the director of the Senior Center as there is some land there( not much) but it's a start and pay the fee to the Senior Center. Wouldn't it be nice to have an adopt a garden for the Center and have an intergenerational program started. MMM wonder if the Director could find a Grant for that Just thinking:)
Tara February 25, 2014 at 02:45 PM
what at the high school near the tennis courts; would be great to include the students too! I am not sure if there is enough open space too hard to tell with everything covered in snow!
C February 25, 2014 at 07:09 PM
ALL great ideas ! Hopefully one day at least one of these will go through ! I dont understand why we had a farmers market and now do not ? It is really too bad that people fought Weiss Farm but are now flipping out because they do not like what the outcome is. Either you wanted her, or you did not ! Should have let it be, At least we were looking at "land and beautiful horses!" And not to mention, a family who gave to Stoneham. Oh well......someone made a comment about surrounding towns around us growing, while we stay stagnant. Oh, so true. Get a move on it Stoneham.
Patricia February 26, 2014 at 09:18 AM
Thanks for the suggestions and I will try to contact Selectwoman O'Neill. I'd be more than willing to work on this, see how other towns manage and maintain such a project. I've given it a bit of thought but I am sure there are aspects I haven't thought of yet. Thank you.
Tori M February 27, 2014 at 10:18 AM
Getting ready for my child to enter the school system got me thinking about all the potential upcoming devolpments in Stoneham. Could anyone direct me to or tell me about the other apartment projects status at the old boston regional and Fallon road? Are they still going to happen? Are all 3 apratments complexes going to be built at the same time and will the school system be able to handle this increase?
Paula B Sarno February 27, 2014 at 01:35 PM
Tori M recommend you keep posted on upcoming meetings of various town boards The Town of Stoneham has a web site: http://www.stoneham-ma.gov/ The School Dept. also has a website about Stoneham Schools http://www.stonehamschools.org/pages/Stoneham_Public_Schools For information about the various developments in our town we do not at this time have an economic development/planner or grant writer so that you probably have only the Town Administrator, the Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen to contact about developments. The Friends of Stoneham is a new group recently established of residents of Stoneham concerned about our community and currently are concerned about the Weiss Farm development.Check out their face book page-Friends of Stoneham
Tara February 27, 2014 at 03:49 PM
Here is the link http://friendsofstoneham.org/
George Georgountzos March 01, 2014 at 06:28 AM
Tori, send me a personal email and I'd be happy to let you know what I know about these projects. My email is ggeorgou@aol.com George Georgountzos (chairman of the Finance Board)


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