South Shore Tri-Town Development Corporation (SSTTDC) has proposed its own revised Enabling Legislation for the Southfield Development.
Board of Directors CEO Kevin Donovan presented the legislation publicly at the Directors’ meeting on Monday. He said they wanted to “make something work.”
“It’s my hope that we [came up] with a compromised version,” Donovan said, “It’s not about any one individual. It’s about the project and the communities and the people that are in the communities. I really would find it difficult to understand why nobody could support this.”
Donovan briefly went through the five main concerns the legislation addresses: funding for water and wastewater, Parkway financing, zoning changes, the towns’ revenue stream, and reduction of Administrative Costs.
Donovan said these issues “capture” everything Starwood has put on the table.
In more detail, the proposed legislation seeks to eliminate the SSTTDC CEO and CFO positions effective January 1, 2016, and adding an Executive Secretary, effective on the same date.
“It was clear that the towns want to get revenue back sooner rather than later,” Donovan said, “In order to provide for a funding stream for that, the two positions that we occupy if we’re eliminated would in fact allow enough money for 10% to go back to the communities effective fiscal [year] 2017.”
Donovan added that the Board of Directors would continue in their current role in this legislation, while Starwood’s legislation proposes changing the role of the Board to more of a Planning Board.
The SSTTDC legislation also proposes adding two additional members to the Board: the Secretary of Administration and Finance or his designee, and a member of labor appointed by the governor chosen from a list submitted by the president of the AFL-CIO.
Starwood’s proposed legislation adds four new members to the Board, two state representatives and two Southfield residents.
Matthew Barry, Starwood Vice President, thinks this legislation proposal is “great progress.”
“After five months of Tri-Town saying no change was required, they now have confirmed that they’ve heard us,” Barry said, “They understand the problems that we’ve presented, and they agree that legislative changes to the Enabling Legislation are the only path forward.”
Weymouth Mayor Susan Kay said the attorneys from Burns & Levinson the town hired to review Starwood’s proposed legislation will also review SSTTDC’s legislation. “I believe that [it's] advisable,” she said.
Donovan said the legislation will be referred to the legislative bodies of the three communities: Abington, Rockland, and Weymouth. He is looking for all comments to be returned by April 2nd so the Board can vote on a final document.