Select Board Policies
The Select Board adopt a number of important policies across a broad range of areas:
The Select Board has put together the following policy for review and commentary from the public regarding the warrant article requirements:
Select Board Warrant Article Guidelines Draft
- Policy on Federal Immigration Enforcement and Related Matters (PDF)
- Board of Selectmen Statement Concerning Communications with the Department of Homeland Security (PDF)
- Public Schools of Brookline School Committee statement affirming the district's core values
- Know Your Rights and Resources Brochure (PDF)
- Brookline Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Relations
STATEMENT OF THE BOARD OF SELECTMEN
February 7, 2017
The Brookline Board of Selectmen is deeply concerned by the Trump Administration’s recent statements and executive orders on immigration policy. While this Board, along with the rest of the world, continues to try to understand the implications of the administration’s unprecedented actions, we wish to reaffirm certain guiding moral principles that this Board believes Brookline values as they relate to the people who have been targeted by the President’s executive orders, which includes our commitment to providing welcome and sanctuary to all Brookline residents and visitors, regardless of immigration status.
Because of these principles, Brookline’s Board of Selectmen strives to protect the safety and well-being of all Brookline residents and visitors, regardless of immigration status, by supporting the health, mental health, well-being, safe haven, and sanctuary of refugees and immigrants, whether documented or not. We believe the actions of the Trump Administration in targeting and denigrating immigrants and refugees has created an atmosphere of fear and hatred in the country and, potentially, in Brookline. We also believe that an attack on one group will lead to attacks on other groups, as the increased incidence of anti-Semitic attacks in Massachusetts illustrates, and that attacks on immigrants, refugees, and other groups must be resisted and combated by all legal means.
We further reaffirm our support for the sentiments expressed in Town Meeting’s Warrant Article 24 voted at the November, 1985 Town Meeting and Warrant Article 26 voted at the November 2006 Town Meeting concerning safe sanctuary in Brookline for immigrants and refugees from all countries regardless of their immigration status.
In addition, the Town will respect the status of those who are lawful Permanent Residents and Visa holders.
The recent developments in Washington portend overreaching enforcement of existing immigration laws that threaten to violate the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including international treaties respecting immigrants and refugees that are a part of United States Federal law, and undoubtedly in violation of long established American moral principles. The likely aggressiveness of the new administration’s actions is evidenced by its threat to commandeer local police forces to perform immigration status checks and enforce immigration laws that are solely the responsibility of the Federal government. In response to these developments:
- The Board of Selectmen has initiated a review of the Police Department’s policies as they relate to responding to varying types of requests for assistance by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Board has elected to solicit the input of the Town’s Commission on Diversity, Inclusion and Community Relations by asking the Commission to review the current policies and to recommend any changes it believes are warranted, especially changes related to the police department’s interactions with immigrants and refugees.
- Town services and resources will be made available to provide for the health, mental health, education, shelter, sustenance, and well-being of all of our residents and visitors, including immigrants, irrespective of their legal status, and refugees; no actions against any person within the Town of Brookline shall be based solely on that person’s status as an immigrant or refugee; and no Town employee shall ask for information on the immigration status of any person unless reasonably necessary for the provision of services by Town employees.
- The Board of Selectmen directs Town Counsel to work with other towns and cities and the State Attorney General to develop legal strategies and measures to protect Town actions and to defend against any punitive measures undertaken by the Federal government against state and local governmental entities.
- The Board of Selectmen further requests that Brookline civil society, including houses of worship, service organizations, political entities, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and individuals (1) learn about, (2) provide support, welcome, safe haven, and sanctuary to, and (3) help integrate into the fabric of our community, all resident or visiting immigrants, irrespective of their legal status, and all refugees.
Select Board’s Policy on Public Comment at Weekly Select Board’s Meetings
Meetings of the Select Board are conducted in accordance with the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, G.L. c. 30, s. 18. The Select Board believes that the public should have an opportunity to comment on issues that affect the Town and are within the scope of the Board’s responsibilities. Therefore the Select Board shall set aside a period of time at each Select Board’s meeting to hear from the public which shall be referred to as Public Comment.
Public Comment is not intended to be a discussion, debate, or dialogue between or among citizens and the Select Board. Rather, it is intended to offer citizens an opportunity to express their opinion on issues of Select Board business. While the Board and/or administrators will not typically respond to citizen comments or questions posed at Public Comment, the Chair, as presiding officer of the meeting, may answer or request an answer to a question if they deem it appropriate. Further, should the Chair believe that an issue or question falls outside the purview of the Select Board they may request that citizens direct it to the appropriate person or body so that the matter is given proper consideration.
The following process will govern Public Comment at the Board of Select Board meetings.
The Select Board will schedule a 15-minute Public Comment period within the beginning portion of each Select Board meeting according to the following guidelines:
- Speakers may sign up by contacting the Select Board’s office no earlier than the Friday preceding the meeting. A sign-up sheet will also be available as people enter the meeting. People will speak in the order in which they sign up, unless more than one person wishes to speak on a single topic, in which case the Chair may call on them together.
- Any person wishing to speak must identify themselves and the specific topic for wishing to speak. The Chair will favor, in no particular order, those speakers who are Brookline residents.
- There will be a time limit of up to 5 minutes per person, which will be enforced by the Chair of the meeting. If the number of people wishing to speak exceeds 3, the Chair may, at their discretion, limit individual comments to no more than 3 minutes per person.
- If the Select Board believes that an issue requires more time, they may schedule an extension of the 15-minute Public Comment period after all other scheduled business of the Board concludes. In addition, the Board may schedule a separate public hearing on that issue.
- Discussion of individual personnel issues will be prohibited.
- Individual participation in Public Comment shall be limited to once every four meetings on a different topic, unless otherwise allowed by the Chair.
- Votes by the Select Board will not be taken during Public Comment.
- Responses to concerns will be made only by the Chair of the meeting, or other members, at the Chair’s discretion.
- On those issues that can be resolved by directing citizens to the appropriate staff, the Chair will advise the citizen of appropriate steps to take.
- The Chair of the meeting may terminate any individual’s privilege of address for inappropriate conduct or statement.
Adopted by vote of the Select Board on February 2, 2016
The Select Board have authorized the use of remote participation subject to certain conditions and restrictions.
Please read the board’s vote and policy dated September 20, 2022 (below) and the related regulations promulgated by the Attorney General, 940 CMR 29.10. If you have any questions please contact Town Counsel at 617-730-2190 or by [email protected].
September 20, 2022
To allow remote participation for meetings of Town Boards, Committees and Commissions, including the School Committee and public bodies organized by the Schools in accordance with the requirements of the applicable regulations, 940 CMR 29.10 subject to the following:
By this vote, the Select Board intends to allow remote participation in meetings of public bodies, as contemplated by 940 CMR 29.10(2). This policy is separate and distinct from any state legislation or regulation allowing remote participation by all members of a public body, such as Section 20 of Chapter 20 of the Acts of 2021, and shall survive any expiration of such legislation. Remote participation under this policy remains subject to the minimum requirements described in 940 CMR 29.10(4), including the requirement that a quorum of the body, including the Chair or other individual authorized to chair the meeting such as the Chair’s designee, be physically present at the meeting location.
In addition, pursuant to this Board's authority under 940 CMR 29.10(8) the Board adopts the following policy conditioning and limiting the use of remote/hybrid participation:
- Prior to using remote/hybrid participation, the Chair and any subsequent Chair as well as any staff person assigned to such Board, Committee or Commission shall be trained by the Information Technology Department and the Office of the Select Board or a designee to review the requirements of the regulations with respect to remote/hybrid participation; and
- Remote/hybrid participation shall be allowed in public buildings and public schools in rooms with town issued technology, as well as other devices, so as to ensure that members participating remotely are audible to all persons physically present at the meeting and joining remotely.
- A hybrid meeting must be booked in the relevant room with the relevant technology at least 24 hours in advance of the 48 hour posting deadline so that staff have enough time to accommodate the request and the public is notified properly. It is the responsibility of the Chair or staff to ensure the hybrid technology in the relevant room is functioning properly.
- If assistance is required prior to the meeting begins a reasonable amount of time must be provided for town staff or designee to assist. A reasonable amount of time shall be no less 24 hours during regular business hours prior to the start of the meeting to ensure the correct solution is achieved. On site hybrid/remote meeting support will be conducted by Town staff or designee, such as the Town’s community partner, the Brookline Interactive Group.
- This vote and policy applies to all Town and School public bodies that are subject to the Open Meeting Law.
CANNABIS SOCIAL EQUITY POLICY
Voted April 4, 2023
The Select Board seeks to further the public interest by encouraging diversity in the local cannabis industry. Toward that end, it adopts this Marijuana Establishment Equity Policy (“Policy”) in tandem with that effort.
This Policy is intended to provide opportunities for local and diverse applicants for Select Board Marijuana Establishment licenses who wish to establish a Marijuana Establishment within the Town of Brookline. Further, this Policy establishes the procedures for Equity Applicants to apply for a Host Community Agreement with the Select Board.
The purpose of this Policy is to promote and encourage full participation in the regulated marijuana industry by people from communities that have previously been disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition.1
Marijuana Establishment: Any type of licensed Marijuana-related business, including, but not limited to, Storefront Marijuana Retailers, Marijuana Delivery Operators, Social Consumption Marijuana Retailers, and Marijuana Couriers, as those terms are defined in 935 CMR 500 et seq., as amended, and the General By-Laws of the Town of Brookline.
Equity Applicant: Individuals or entities that have received one of the following:
- CCC Economic Empowerment Status; or
- CCC Social Equity Status.
3. Host Community Agreements
For any available Marijuana Establishment license in any category, the Town will exclusively accept and consider applications for Host Community Agreements from Equity Applicants for the 3 years following the adoption of this policy.
To the extent allowed by law, preference will be given to applicants who have resided in the Town of Brookline for the five years preceding the date of the application, and who continue to do so at the time that application is approved.
4. Transfer and Changes in Ownership
An Equity Applicant for a Host Community Agreement under this Policy who undergoes a transfer or change in ownership to a non-Equity Applicant loses eligibility to proceed as an Equity Applicant in the event the transferee/successor company does not qualify for a Host Community Agreement under this Policy.
Following the posting of an available Marijuana Establishment license on the Town’s website, applicants are required to complete and submit the Request for Marijuana Retailer Host Community Agreement for Equity Applicants with the following required supporting documents:
- Evidence of CCC Social Equity/Economic Empowerment status
- Evidence of a zoning-compliant location for the proposed Marijuana Establishment (see the Town’s Zoning By-Law) and the applicant’s legal control of the premises, via:
- Lease, or
- Letter of intent signed by a property owner to enter into a lease with the applicant for the location, or
- Required operating policies and procedures
- Traffic Management Plan
- Security Plan
- Diversion Plan
- Diversity Plan
- Complete supporting documents include site plans and plan sets that are certified by a design professional such as an architect, engineer or land surveyor (and that show compliance regarding required zoning buffer zones) and floor plans that indicate square footage.
Marijuana Establishments will be allowed to minimize the square footage of their premises to the extent allowed by law.
1 GL c. 94G s 4(a½)(iv).
(a1/2) The commission shall, in accordance with chapter 30A, adopt regulations consistent with this chapter for the administration, clarification and enforcement of laws regulating and licensing marijuana establishments. The regulations shall include:
(iv) procedures and policies to promote and encourage full participation in the regulated marijuana industry by people from communities that have previously been disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition and enforcement and to positively impact those communities;