Home » League of Women Voters observing town government in action

League of Women Voters observing town government in action

Observation reports are submitted by Marblehead League of Women Voters members
who have attended meetings of various town boards and commissions. Observers are
solely responsible for accuracy of the information. Complete reports can be found on
the LWV of Marblehead Website www.lwvmarblehead.org.

LWVM Observer: Nancy Powell
1. Representatives from the Collins Center, a state entity located at UMASS/Boston,
presented an overview of a grant-funded ADA Transition Plan they are partnering with
Town of Marblehead to develop. The Collins Center will collaborate with a Boston-
based architectural firm to look at problematic access issues in town and prioritize areas
of need to determine what can be addressed with the limited resources available. Key
components of this project will include:
Public Input: A survey tool will be launched the first week of January to get public
comment on ease of access to public buildings, outdoor facilities, pedestrian
pathways/sidewalks, programs, communications, and public meetings. The survey will
be disseminated through direct contact with various stakeholders and as many
community members as possible throughout town. There will be a public comment
period twice during the process– once the plan is drafted and again on the final
Self-Evaluation of Programs and Services: Departments in town received a
questionnaire in November to inventory their programs, services, policies, and
practices. Areas to be reviewed include: review of Title II administrative requirements
including public notice, ADA Coordinator, grievance procedures, and self-evaluation.
Website Audit: The project will include an audit of the town website, its related pages,
social media and public communications.
Facilities Audit: The town provided a list of approximately 30 town facilities that will be
audited. Commission members noted the list appeared to exclude the Brown School.

Draft, Final Document Process and Next Steps: All audits will be combined into a
“Findings Report” and will identify problem areas. The Collins Center will then work with
the town, engage in the capital planning process to address the needed remedies going
2. Fair Housing: The Commission will take up the issue of Accessory Dwelling Units in
its next meeting and will suggest to appropriate stakeholders that accessory dwelling
units when built are ADA compliant. If an ADU cannot be made compliant, as is the
case with many buildings in Old Town, it should not be excluded from participating in
the ADU amendment.
3. Memorial for Rich Ramos: Commission members were saddened to learn of the
recent death of fellow member, Rich Ramos. Ideas were brought forward regarding how
to honor him for his love of sailing and his strong drive to make our waterfront
accessible. Ideas, including planting a tree or having projects related to the waterfront
be named after him, will be researched and discussed at a later date.