Town's Decision on Pre-25% Design: MassDOT Project #606596 (Chatham, MA)

Stephen Buckley filed this request with the Department of Transportation of Massachusetts.
Tracking # 17-0423
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Appeal

Communications

From: Stephen Buckley

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c.66, §10, I hereby request the following records:

I am looking for any record received by MassDOT from the Town of Chatham concerning its choice of a recommended "pre-25%" design concept from amongst the various design alternatives for MassDOT Project #606596 as presented by a MassDOT consultant to the Chatham Board of Selectmen during its meeting of 11/12/13.

I can not find any such record on MassDOT's Highway Projects website, http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/highway/ProjectInfo.aspx, nor on the Town of Chatham's website for that project, http://www.wcroadwaydesign.info/documents.html

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Stephen Buckley
15 Balfour Lane, Unit T
Chatham, Mass. 02633

From: PublicRecords, MassDOT (DOT)

Dear Sir/Madam,

Please update your records to show that a response was made to the requester on May 19, 2017 and that the request is now closed. I have attached a copy of our response for your file.

Sincerely,

William J. Doyle, Esq.
Office of the General Counsel
Ten Park Plaza, Suite 3510
Boston, MA 02116
(857) 368-8752

[cid:image001.png@01D2E148.59D398A0]

From: Stephen Buckley

To: pre@sec.state.ma.us
From: Stephen Buckley
Subject: Appeal of Denial of Public Records: MassDOT Public Records Request 17-0423
Date: Thurs, 17 August 2017, 12:31 AM

Dear Public Records Division,

The purpose of this message is to appeal a denial of access to public records, due to the failure of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to be responsive to my request of 5/5/17 (below) in their response(s) of 5/19/17 (further below).

At several public meetings over the past few years, MassDOT made statements that the Town of Chatham has made a particular recommendation to MassDOT concerning the proposed West Chatham Roadway Design Project #606596. However, I can find no public record of the Town of Chatham informing MassDOT of any such recommendation. This is important information because federal regulations require that, to receive federal funds for MassDOT projects, the recommendations of the relevant towns and cities need to be considered by MassDOT.

However, in responding to my public records request, MassDOT has not provided me with any documents that show any such recommendation from the Town of Chatham on the subject project.

Yet, at several meetings that I have attended over the past few years, MassDOT has been telling the public and other government agencies (e.g., Cape Cod Metropolitan Planning Organization) that just such a recommendation has been made by the Town of Chatham to MassDOT.

Here is just one example from a MassDOT public hearing (2/19/15) on the West Chatham Project by Thomas Currier, P.E., the Supervising Project Manager, MassDOT Highway Division:

TOM CURRIER: And what we bring to 25% public hearing is the preferred alternative. This -- working with the Town, the Town is the proponent; the Town has determined that what was presented tonight is the preferred alternative after considering multiple previous alternatives.

[emphases added]
From page 118 of transcript:
25% Design Public Hearing
February 19, 2015
Town Offices Annex, 261 George Ryder Road Chatham, MA 02633
FOR THE PROPOSED West Chatham Roadway Design Project
Project No: 606596 Roadway Project Management Section

See "February 2015": http://www.wcroadwaydesign.info/documents.html

Please let me know if you have any questions about this appeal, as I can refer you to additional information on this subject (e.g., official videos of public meetings).

If you do find that MassDOT, in fact, has no record of a recommendation from the Town of Chatham, after it held so many public meetings on the subject project, then I hope that you would convince MassDOT to simply admit that no such record exists.

Thank you for your attention.

sincerely,

Stephen Buckley
15 Balfour Lane, Unit T
Chatham, MA 02633
(508) xxx-xxxx

P.S. This message will be posted, along with responses, in a public place (an email-archive) on the Internet.
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/openchatham

=====================================

Posted by Stephen Buckley (5/5/17) to massdot.rao@state.ma.us:

MassDOT Public Records Request: Town's Decision on Pre-25% Design (MassDOT Project #606596 - Chatham, MA)

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c.66, §10, I hereby request the following records:

I am looking for any record received by MassDOT from the Town of Chatham concerning its choice of a recommended "pre-25%" design concept from amongst the various design alternatives for MassDOT Project #606596 as presented by a MassDOT consultant to the Chatham Board of Selectmen during its meeting of 11/12/13.

I can not find any such record on MassDOT's Highway Projects website, http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/highway/ProjectInfo.aspx, nor on the Town of Chatham's website for that project, http://www.wcroadwaydesign.info/documents.html

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Stephen Buckley
15 Balfour Lane, Unit T
Chatham, MA 02633
(508) xxx-xxxx

================================================

From: "Doyle, William (DOT)" <william.doyle@state.ma.us>
To: "sbuckley@igc.org" <sbuckley@igc.org>
Date: Fri, 19 May 2017 09:11:14 -0400
Subject: MassDOT Public Records Request 17-0423- 1 of 2

Mr. Buckley,

Attached please find our response to your public records request. Due to the size of the files, you will be receiving two separate emails.

Sincerely,

William J. Doyle, Esq.
Office of the General Counsel
Ten Park Plaza, Suite 3510
Boston, MA 02116
(857) xxx-xxxx

From: "Doyle, William (DOT)" <william.doyle@state.ma.us>
To: "sbuckley@igc.org" <sbuckley@igc.org>
Date: Fri, 19 May 2017 09:11:41 -0400
Subject: MassDOT Public Records Request 17-0423- 2 of 2


William J. Doyle, Esq.
Office of the General Counsel
Ten Park Plaza, Suite 3510
Boston, MA 02116
(857) xxx-xxxx

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