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Natick Report is an online news site that tells you “more than you really need to know about Natick, Massachusetts.” We cover whatever is going on in the community from school news to everyday occurrences, always in our inimitable Natick Report style. Our readers are smart, active and want to know about the best that’s out there for themselves and their families.
We appreciate all of our advertising support. It helps cover the cost of running Natick Report and providing an independent and community-focused news source for the town.
According to the US Census, Natick residents are college educated, with 67% holding a bachelor’s degree. The median household income is $148,000.
The best way by far to reach Natick’s 36,000 residents is to advertise on Natick Report.
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Bob and Deborah Brown
General ad placement areas
- Ad to the right of our masthead on homepage:$500/month
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Advertise to them for $200/month
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Political advertising, Town election 2024
Details on political ad policies here
Flat fee of $200 for an ad to appear under news story #1.
All political ads will run in a single space, and ads will rotate approximately every five seconds.
To run a political ad, please email an ad image in jpeg format with dimensions of 540 x 150.
Payment is online at this link. Please hit the yellow “donate” button and follow the prompts. Once payment is received, the ad will be put up by 5pm of the day it is received. For payment received after 5pm, the ad will appear the next day by 5pm.
Contact Deborah Brown with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-397-4394.
You’re going to know Natick’s candidates for town-wide office better than you know your own family members (well, unless the candidates are family) if you watch all the different forums leading to the March 28 election.
Candidates are also reaching out to voters through websites, social media, and other means, hosting informal get-togethers at coffee shops, the rail trail, and you-name-it.
Coffee with a Purpose
This group has been meeting with candidates on Monday at 9am.
Catch up on past meetings with Library Board of Trustees and School Committee candidates on Youtube.
Select Board candidates are scheduled as follows.
Feb 27: Kristen Pope
Mar 6: Kat Monahan
Mar 13: Rich Sidney
Select Board Candidates Forum (organized by Natick Democratic Town Committee)
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 7 – 8:30 pm
This online event has been organized by the Natick Democratic Town Committee. Register in advance to attend.
Four candidates are running for two open positions on the Natick Select Board.
Climate Conversations with the Candidates (organized by EcoNatick)
Moderators will ask Select Board and School Committee candidates questions about how they will help lead Natick toward 2030 Net Zero goals.
Climate Conversations with Select Board Candidates – Tuesday, March 7, 7:00-8:15pm,
moderated by Pat Conaway.
– Increasing Natick’s Tree Canopy, Open Space protection, Recreational facilities
Climate Conversations with School Committee Candidates – Tuesday March 21, 7:00-8:15pm, moderated by Ian Mevorach.
Register is open to get zoom links for these forums.If you’d like to offer input on topics for the candidates to address, contact Rick Devereux at email@example.com. Plea
Questions can be also be submitted during the forum using the zoom chat box. They will be added as time allows.
Select Board candidates forum with Natick for Black Lives Matter
Saturday, March 11, online (link to come)
The session will be moderated by Marie Younger Blackburn, who will interview the candidates.
Natick 2023 Candidate Forum (organized by Yes for Natick, a political action committee)
Monday, March 13 at 7pm
The forum will be moderated by Deborah and Bob Brown of Natick Report. Oh, we know them.
Submit your questions for the candidates at YesForNatick@gmail.com.
Ask about Advertising on Natick Report.
Here’s a heartwarming tale to take you into the holidays: A Natick senior recently appealed her unusually high water and sewer bill, and the Select Board couldn’t deny the longtime resident’s compelling story.
Rita Aude, who her son Robert Audi described as being widowed and disabled, is a 30-year resident of the town living on a fixed income (Note: their last names are spelled slightly differently). When she received a shockingly high water and sewer bill in $4,745 in February she soon after contacted the town, which visited the property and determined a toilet was constantly running. Aude had a plumber fix the problem the next day.
Unfortunately, the new quarter was already underway, so the bill for that period came in high, too, at $1,490. Aude’s typical bills were for $90-$150 per quarter, and her water usage returned to the normal level once the plumbing issue was fixed. The overall bill for the 2 quarters would have accounted for about 25% of her yearly income from social security.
It turns out that the running toilet was in a seldom-used half bathroom attached to Aude’s bedroom. “Had we known we would of course repaired the toilet right away, knowing that it was putting out close to 1,500 gallons of water every day at its peak,” Audi said. His mother uses the main bathroom, which is outfitted with handrails, not the half-bath, described by the son as being akin to an airplane restroom in size.
The town issued what Town Administrator Jamie Errickson termed a “tighter” water and sewer abatement/adjustment policy effective in mid-2021. It was designed to make decisions for town officials less subjective and more clear, which among other things helped the Natick shrink its backlog of abatement requests.
The town rejected Aude’s initial request for abatement for not meeting its criteria, but steered an appeal of that decision to the Select Board, which serves as Natick’s water and sewer commissioners and can use its discretion in deciding on such matters. That’s what brought Robert Audi all the way from Sturbridge to Natick for a nighttime Select Board meeting on Nov. 16. (view discussion about 45 minutes into the Pegasus recording).
The Select Board considers the case
Following Audi’s statement, which included his mention of joining the Natick WaterSmart Program to get alerted if his mom’s water or sewage usage spikes, the Select Board members mulled the issue. Errickson explained that 1 option would be charging a resident whose case is legit a lower rate similar to their usual rate. In Aude’s case, that would have reduced her bill by a couple thousand dollars, and a motion was made to do that.
But then another motion was made to abate a full $6,000, leaving Aude to pay her usual amount.
Select Board member Michael Hickey said he’s always been sympathetic to this sort of situation. After hearing about the circumstances and that Audi had traveled east to help his mother (“what a nice son”), Hickey said: “I could not in good conscience expect this resident to pay anything approaching anything with four figures…”
Board member Rich Sidney, who made the motion to abate $6,000, said “We have here an elderly person who is trying desperately to stay in her house. This is something we’ve called our values for years, and we want to support her ability to stay in town and live her life. I think this is an unusual situation—she fixed the problem as soon as she knew about it, it’s not like she let it go for months. That would change my mind. I’m very empathetic to the circumstances.”
Board member Kathryn Coughlin, also in support, said “It’s really good to have anchoring values in… a political philosophy. But when it comes to applying that in a very specific situation with human beings and real world circumstances, it’s good to be able to reconsider.”
Bruce Evans, another board member in support of the big abatement, said “Policies are pieces of paper, people are people.”
Chair Paul Joseph made the decision unanimous, though acknowledged he’s previously voted against abatements, citing homeowner responsibility
“Consider this your compensation for advertising the WaterSmart Program on behalf of our community,” he quipped.
(In fact, I signed up the day after I heard this session.)
We’ve reached peak color in Natick this fall. The yellows and oranges, the reds and browns. The blacks and blues, the purples and greens. Yes, lawn signs are everywhere, both on private property and on public land, where they shouldn’t be.
You know the hot spots, along the stretch of Rte. 135 near the dog park, in South Natick at the intersection of Union/Pleasant/Eliot, and even on school grounds. The offenders are many, from political campaigns to private schools to realtors to companies that yes, sell yard signs. Extreme signage displays have been seen in town of late, such as those urging people to slow the @!(#% down, but hey, do what you will on your own property.
Section 6 Signs in Public Ways or on Public Property
No person shall place any unauthorized or non-conforming sign within the right-of-way of any street or on public property. The Building Commissioner is authorized to take down and remove such an unauthorized or non-conforming sign. Such sign shall be retained by the Building Commissioner for a period of thirty days after its removal. The owner of such sign may reclaim it within thirty days of its removal by submitting satisfactory proof of ownership to the Building Commissioner. If such sign is not claimed within such thirty day period, the Building Commissioner may cause such sign to be destroyed without incurring any liability to the Town or any of its Agents.
The issue even came up during the South Natick dam discussion at the Oct. 3 Select Board meeting (about 1 hour and 24 minutes) when a Save Natick Dam proponent said that some of their signs had been removed. That led to a brief discussion about when the town will take down signs put up on public land. We’ve heard Select Board pleas to the public in the past to at least remember to remove such yard signs after events being promoted have taken place.
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