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Thread: A Ceremonial Mayor for Cochituate Village?!

  1. #1
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    Default A Ceremonial Mayor for Cochituate Village?!

    I wonder what people think of Alan Reiss' concept for Cochituate Village.

    I received the attached document which was forwarded to me. This document was a response to an invitation to the candidates to address issues from the CVS group. Alan wrote this document as a marketing plan to revitalize the village as they requested. He says he would be happy to do this for any group in town.

    [NOTE: My initial post excluded the word "ceremonial" before "mayor" in the title. I have added it to clarify that Alan is not promoting an actual mayor or an actual separation from Wayland as a whole. I have also added the above note explaining the context for the document's creation.]

    What do people think about this concept?
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    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 03-28-2009 at 11:10 AM. Reason: to clarify the context in which the document was written

  2. #2
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    Default Is this real

    Did Alan really write this? Why is this not on his site?

  3. #3
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    Default Where do you draw the line?

    Interesting...radical and where do you draw the line? What are the "boundaries" of Cochictuate?

  4. #4
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    Default Alan Reiss's comment

    I spoke with Alan Reiss earlier this evening about this document. He's in California on business but asked me to make clear that this document was intended to suggest ways that the Cochituate Village area could be revitalized as a coherent residential, architectural, and commercial community (with a ceremonial [Alan's word] and not an actual mayor), and was in no way intended as a "political manifesto" (my words) or as an "us against them" tract (my words again). Alan said that he'll seek to clarify this intention when he's back and has an opportunity to do so. He also said that he agrees that political differences among Wayland citizens should be reconciled, and divisiveness should not be encouraged or exacerbated.

  5. #5
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    Default Wow. You have GOT to be kidding

    Did you read that thing? I'm afraid there's no other way to interpret it other than as a separatist manifesto. The Machiavellian view would be that Alan can't get organized in the broader Wayland area, so (somewhat like Montreal), he figures he can secede from the union. Talk about taking a divisive "us vs. them" attitude to the extreme, I don't think I've ever read anything that made me feel more ostracized than that little write-up. I'm sorry Alan -- you have stepped WAY over the line this time.

    Carl

  6. #6
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    Default Clarification for this Article

    I would like to put this into the context that it was originally intended for. This was a written reply from Alan to a concerned CVS Cochituate Village group member. The question that was asked was "What would Alan do for Cochituate Village".
    The question was asked to address specifcially the Village because we feel that the village is losing its charm and we are being bombarded with out of
    character business proposals for here. For e.g CVS wanting to demolish old buildings and put in a concrete slab and T.D Banknorth looking for a 3 lane drivethru.
    This was not a campaign move to secure any sort of political position. This was simply someones vision as to how Cochituate Village might look like in the future.At all times everyones suggestions are welcome as to how to move Cochituate Village forward. Pauline Ahearne

  7. #7
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    Default

    Is there a definitive boundary for Cochituate? I found the attached image at city-data.com, but I have no idea if it's official.

    It would appear that Cochituate is bounded by Route 126 on the west (meaning that the HS is not included), then Old Connecticut Path up to Shaw Drive on the north. The boundary next seems to go off-road over to the Old Wayland Reservoirs and Rice Road before cutting south. Finally, the boundary heads east towards Route 30, including the Club House Lane and perhaps part of Mainstone.
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  8. #8
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    Default Liaison

    As the person who distributed Alan’s document, I feel the need to place it in context.

    There was a proposal from CVS to tear down the building that houses Morns/Dunkin Donuts/Wayland Wellness, as well as the building that houses Grape Ideas and build a 13,000 square foot CVS drive-through. Residents were only informed when abutters received notice. A group of us gathered in an attempt to prevent the demolition and building. As we moved through the process, and as the group grew, we established relationships with various members on the various boards and offices in the Town Building. We realized that we were/are pretty passionate about our neighborhood. We believed/believe that Cochituate Village has a lot to offer Wayland residents, those that live here and those that don’t.

    As an aside, I only speak for myself, I do not oppose commercial real estate in Cochituate. I understand that Wayland has earmarked Cochituate and Rt 20 as the two areas in town where commercial real estate should reside. I would like to be involved in the process and have a voice in my neighborhood. Hence the following:

    A member of the group contacted Alan and asked him what ideas he had in how to preserve and revitalized Cochituate Village. I was copied on Alan’s response, which was the document posted here, and distributed it to a group of people who were interested in staying informed about issues related to the area. I can assure you that the response was not political. If the person who forwarded the document also forwarded the text of my email, this would have been clear. Unfortunately this was not the case.

    In regards to the “ceremonial mayor” idea, it is my understanding that Alan was talking more about a liaison to town boards concerning issues pertaining to the area. I might imagine such liaisons already exist with the Dudley Pond Association, the neighbors who live on Gleason Road (in terms of Town Center) etc. As we moved through the process, we did establish relationships with boards and town employees, who worked hard at keeping us involved and informed. My understanding is that the “ceremonial mayor” (maybe a better description would be Liaison) would be a more formalized “go-to“ person.

    It is not an attempt to put “boundaries” on the area. It is not a political move. It is not fodder for the ever increasing mud-slinging. It is not an attempt to distract from issues that the town is currently facing (although I see that “strategy” happening all over the place).

    It is simply an attempt from people who think Wayland has a good thing in Cochituate – a pedestrian friendly neighborhood that all of Wayland can enjoy (park, ball fields, playground, small business owners that contribute mightily to our town). People who want to keep the “good thing” and maybe, just maybe, revitalize the area.

    I hope that as we move closer to the election, that people pick up the phone, visit a website or write an email to any of the candidates with any concerns or questions to get information. Some of the discussion threads, discussion boards, and circulating emails do nothing to educate and do to more to take the focus off the issues that the town is facing.

    To those of you who are focusing on the issues, as a voter, I thank you.

    Gretchen Dresens

  9. #9
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    Default but...

    It's an interesting document. There are some potentially useful ideas in there. Magnets and village maps are one thing. However, there is also what looks like a highly political piece that is hard to reconcile with the above comments.

    The document says:

    The Village of Cochituate Lobby could get votes passed on town meeting floor.
    Could get overrides passed or failed.
    Could get traffic signs enforced, placed or modified.
    Could get volunteers elected to public office.
    Could get zoning relief
    Could get planning relief
    Cochituate should understand that its the most dense, the highest populated, the oldest, and the most diverse region of Wayland.
    Cochituate should understand that it contains all but one of the towns schools, most of its water resources, 1/2 of is ambulance resources and moves the most traffic across and through town.
    Cochituate should understand that it can control the agenda of Wayland and its [sic] time for Cochituate begin to do that.
    Do we want a Cochituate PAC in town? That is what this sounds like. And if there is one, do want a "North Wayland" PAC to form as well? What would be the result of such PACs? Is this a good direction for the town? I find the ideas in this paper dangerous and divisive, even if that was not its original intent.
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 03-26-2009 at 09:54 AM. Reason: to fix formatting

  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    Do we want a Cochituate PAC in town? That is what this sounds like. And if there is one, do want a "North Wayland" PAC to form as well? What would be the result of such PACs? Is this a good direction for the town? I find the ideas in this paper dangerous and divisive, even if that was not its original intent.
    I agree. There seems to be a significant "disconnect" between the words and the professed intent. I have nothing against advocacy groups, whether they be the SOS folks, the WVN folks, the boys' swim team parents, etc. -- but I am deeply troubled by the thought of "north"/"south" advocacy groups that can only resurrect the geographic divisions that plagued Wayland in decades past.

  11. #11
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Perlman View Post
    I agree. There seems to be a significant "disconnect" between the words and the professed intent. I have nothing against advocacy groups, whether they be the SOS folks, the WVN folks, the boys' swim team parents, etc. -- but I am deeply troubled by the thought of "north"/"south" advocacy groups that can only resurrect the geographic divisions that plagued Wayland in decades past.
    As a Boy's swim team parent I feel like I must respond. We do work to advocate for things like a new pool in town but it is a facility that will be available to the entire town not just the swim teams. There is currently a great deal of noise attempting to create a north/south divide and I find it disturbing.

    I did not believe this piece had originally been written by Alan. Whether Alan meant his piece to fuel this fire or not it certainly has. Wayland's population is split almost equally between sections (51% to 49%) and the people have chosen to live where they do. Attempts at characterizing this differently are especially divisive.

  12. #12
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BTDowns View Post
    As a Boy's swim team parent I feel like I must respond. We do work to advocate for things like a new pool in town but it is a facility that will be available to the entire town not just the swim teams. There is currently a great deal of noise attempting to create a north/south divide and I find it disturbing.
    Ah, and to think that I chose "boys' swim team parents" because I was searching for a non-controversial example to add to my SOS and WVN references. But kidding aside, your point is right on the mark. SOS, WVN, Boys' Swim Team parents, library supporters, public safety advocates -- they all have Town-wide purposes, and that's what makes me comfortable with their advocacy. But any attempt to pit one section of Town against another should be condemned.
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 03-26-2009 at 07:16 PM. Reason: to fix quote formatting

  13. #13
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    Default Cochituate has unique needs

    The recent assault on Cochituate Village by CVS was a wake-up call. The residents of Cochituate joined together in unanimous opposition under the leadership of several very capable women.

    Such an encroachment by CVS -- which would have rendered four businesses failed, displaced two families and destroyed two perfectly good buildings -- was selfish, and frankly unconscionable.

    We have a beautiful village with a concentration of senior housing, within a short walk of small businesses, beautiful recreational facilities and the Wayland Town Beach. Who wants to see it destroyed?

    Cochituate has unique needs. Most importantly, the help of the town to prevent the opportunistic development of a depressed village that has been suffering in the light of recent improvements to downtown Wayland, and the Wayland Town Center projects. Cochituate Village has been left behind.

    What Mr. Reiss suggests is challenging and out-of-the-box thinking – it takes courage to go against the current viewpoint. I concur with Alan's ideas and suggest the formation of a Cochituate Village Association, much like the Dudley Pond Association; I don’t recall an outrage of divisiveness when it was formed. Such an association headed by a ceremonial mayor could speak as a unified voice for the specific needs of Cochituate Village.

    Before a "Wal-Mart" makes a move on the former Finnerty's Restaurant location, why not build a Senior Center within walking distance where most of our Seniors live? Or will that be looked upon as being divisive too?

    What are the other candidates saying about the future of Cochituate Village?

    Jeff Horan
    Resident of Cochituate Village

  14. #14
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    Default Glad to see thread start modified

    Kim and I have cordially discussed this and Kim has made two changes, which add more precision and clarity to the initial thread start.

    I appreciate that enews made these changes and they did it graciously after I had a chance to explain in more detail the documents content and context.

    -- The addition of the word 'Ceremonial' as an adjective to 'Mayor' is very important because it refers to a non governmental position which is essentially a figure head of a 'village' or town as part of the branding scheme of the marketing document I produced at the request of the CVS Cochituate group. This position could also act as a conduit and point of contact to the larger Wayland government from the group, similar to what the Dudley Pond Association or WBA has in place. Without the word 'Ceremonial' one could construe that I was the General Lee of 1861 in Wayland. So this distressed me a great deal.

    The CVS posters here did try to also explain this in their own way.

    -- The qualifying statement which better puts my document in the context in which it should be viewed which was a marketing study on how the 'village' could be both revitalized and protected and yes this could also include political organization. Not unlike what the CVS group does now and in particular the town warrant article 28 pages 52-59 and in which they have successfully convinced the FinCom to support it 7-0. Not a trivial task by any means.

    The ability for any group in Wayland, whether organized by schools, bodies of water, businesses or even geographic boundaries is a right which is protected at the local, state and federal level. Some may feel uneasy about it, I understand this, but whether I like or dislike a particular group's positions, I would fight to defend its right to organize and exist. No one should deprive a future Cochituate Village the right to organize itself politically. My document does speak to that and I hereby acknowledge this. Some may feel this is divisive, I do not.

    >>>
    I appreciate that Steve acted as an intermediary for me while I was hurried in and out of that lab in California and had a brief conversation with him by cell phone on a parking lot.

    My comment to Steve about the political aspects of my marketing plan had to do with the fact that I did not want any group to organize itself in such a way that it would try to separate itself from Wayland proper. I did not make myself clear about that to him and wanted to clarify more when I got back.

    So after a fews days of thought and sleep I will tell you that there is no reason why any group should not have the right to organize and advocate. If somebody believes that CVS Cochituate doesn't have that right then I won't be the one to tell them that.
    >>>

    In summary,
    -- Saying that I wish to split Wayland is divisive stating a falsehood
    -- Saying that I want a different Post Office for Cochituate Village is also divisive and a falsehood
    -- When I was your selectman I was a selectman for the whole town and that is what I would be doing going forward. So please have no fear on this.

    And propagating any of these falsehoods would be propagating lies about me and I do not deserve that.

    Wayland is a whole town composed of various types of people, of different backgrounds and of different means. The Village of Cochituate is proudly displayed on the Loker green and the concept of the Village is a residential, business, tourist and scenic asset to the entire town. What is good for the village is good for Wayland. I recognize this and we should all recognize this.

    Respectfully, Alan Reiss

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE: A friend forwarded me an archive article of John McEnroy who was nicknamed as the 'Mayor of Cochituate
    Village' and although he was not actually a mayor, he was in Wayland politics and was dubbed with this nickname as
    such. This is an example of a 'Ceremonial' Mayor - a figure head - a village elder - a spokesperson etc...
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    `MAYOR OF COCHITUATE' REMEMBERED FONDLY
    Article from:The Boston Globe (Boston, MA) Article date:August 4, 2002 Author:Bryan K. Marquard, Globe Staff More

    WAYLAND - Given the slightest encouragement, John McEnroy would delineate the boundaries of Cochituate Village. His friends, though, might argue that it was Mr. McEnroy who defined the village, just as it defined his political career and, in many ways, his life.

    After Mr. McEnroy died July 23 at 89, he was buried, as he lived, in Cochituate.

    The village, which makes up the southern tip of Wayland, was his passion through a career in local government that spanned three decades. Even during his last months in a nursing home, it was his favorite topic.

    "As long as he was able to talk, he liked to talk politics," said Harry C. Stewart Jr., Mr. McEnroy's grandson
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by AlanJReiss; 03-29-2009 at 10:57 AM. Reason: Inclusion of an actual 'Ceremonial' Mayor of Cochituate Village

  15. #15
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    Default Several concerns

    This is an excellent discussion. I was mildly horrified when I read Mr. Reiss's document at the recent Candidate Night and appreciate this opportunity to participate in this discussion.

    First - I live in "North Wayland" but never supported the CVS proposal. I was ready to work with my other Wayland citizens to make sure the character of our town was not destroyed by encroachment of “Rt 9 type” signage, tearing down of quaint buildings etc. My family lives in a town called Wayland and we care deeply about what happens on both sides of a questionable boundary. Our town is and continues to be enriched by the unique character of Cochituate Village. These discussions seem to suggest that if we live in "North" Wayland we don't care what happens in other parts of town. That is definitely not true for most of us.

    But I also think Mr. Reiss goes to far. Two key concerns.

    1) What are our priorities - I have attended several events around the school budget recently and the talk is all about things like how can we give our teachers (those people working very hard to make sure our children are well educated) a whooping 3 1/2% pay raise on their already small salaries. Why is it "tough economic times" when we are talking about our schools and kid's education but easy to ask the businesses and residents of "The Village of Cochituate" to pay for new business cards, stationary, signs, solar panels etc? I am curious about Mr. Reiss's priorities here.

    2) Government censorship - What the heck does this mean - "When people say Cochituate, they should be gently reminded that its the ‘Village of...’." Your kidding right? Or this one "Our schools can be encouraged to put on plays chronicling the history of our village and of Wayland." Or finally "The Town Crier can be adopted as the Village’s official newspaper and this can help to forge an important synergy.". I thought it was called the "Wayland" Town Crier.

    This document is definitely divisive - a very strong example of such. As some one from the "other side of the tracks" I support Wayland as a whole town and our Cochituate Village as an important part of that town. Please don't tear this town into two and destroy both parts.

    Liz Burns
    Sears Road

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