Grafton Community Advisory Group

Mission Statement/Overview

Tufts University, recognizing the importance of community involvement in successful campus growth management, is convening and supporting a Grafton Community Advisory Group (GCAG) for regular public discussion of all matters of concern between the school and the Grafton community. It will be Tufts' key connection to its neighbors, creating a more open and regular opportunity for open dialogue between the campus and community, as well as a more effective way to get information from Tufts to interested neighbors. It is intended to provide a frequent, regular opportunity for Cummings School administration to inform the community about the school’s activities, and for area residents with diverse perspectives to convey concerns and input. It will help the veterinary school administration to more effectively reach out and remain a good neighbor to those around the Grafton campus.

The GCAG is comprised of Grafton residents, municipal officials, civic leaders, and Cummings School representatives. The GCAG is a relatively informal advisory group that meets three times a year and is open to anyone who would like to attend. Group meetings are co-chaired by one representative from the school and one from Grafton.

GCAG provides a forum for review and comments on the school’s programs, building plans, master plan and economic development activities. For example, the GCAG is the first tier of review and comment on the school’s implementation of its Grafton campus master plan. The group keeps apprised of – and offers comments and advice concerning – master plan permitting, project plan reviews, construction activities, and economic development. Group members play a key role as conduits between their respective communities and the veterinary school, helping ensure that the community is involved with, and informed about, a wide variety of Tufts activities, issues and plans.

Establishment

  • The name of this group is Grafton Community Advisory Group (GCAG). The group works in conjunction with  Cummings School's Dean’s Office to advise the school, to provide broad and diverse community perspectives on Cummings School activities, and to assist in informing other community residents of veterinary school news.
  • Its purpose is to improve communication between Cummings School and its neighbors.
  • All who participate in GCAG meetings agree to extend courtesy to others and maintain civility, openness and respect for the positions and opinions of others.
  • In recognition of the different constituencies represented, it is the intent of the organization to operate by consensus.

Membership

  • Grafton residents, especially from the North Grafton neighborhood, are encouraged to participate. Several municipal department heads or officials, civic leaders, and Cummings School representatives are asked to regular attendees at meetings.
  • The dean of Cummings School will formally confirm and appoint members to the GCAG, after initial advice and consultation with the Tufts Grafton Liaison Committee, civic groups, and other community leaders. (Note: the Tufts Grafton Liaison Committee is a separate, distinct executive committee for dialogue between Tufts and town government. Its members are: from Grafton – Town Administrator, a member of the Board of Selectmen and a community representative; from Tufts – the Executive Associate Dean, senior campus planner and a faculty member).
  • GCAG members serve for two-year terms and may be re-appointed for additional terms.
  • Members are expected to provide liaison between their respective communities and Tufts on issues of concern.

Meeting Schedule

  • The co-chairs convene the advisory group three times during the year. Special meetings may be called whenever there is important news to discuss. Either of the two co-chairs may ask for a special meeting. In addition, community members may contact one of the co-chairs to request that a meeting be held. Anyone who would like to be on a regular mailing/e-mail list for meeting announcements, etc., should contact Jean Poteete at jean.poteete@tufts.edu. Minutes will be taken and kept of each meeting.

2016 Meeting Dates

  • October 6, 2016
  • January 5, 2017
  • April 6, 2017
  • October 5, 2017

Officers

  • GCAG officers are two co-chairs—one from Cummings School and one from Grafton. Each will serve a term of two years. The veterinary school dean will appoint the Cummings School Co-chair. The GCAG membership will elect the Grafton Co-chair.
  • The co-chairs shall preside at the three meetings each year and have the usual duties of the chair: preparing an agenda (in consultation with an agenda sub-group, if needed), acknowledging persons who wish to speak and encouraging discussion to proceed in a smooth and orderly fashion.
  • From time to time, a special ad-hoc working group could be convened to address a specific topic of concern. This working group then would report back to the co-chairs and the group as a whole.
GCAG Members List as of April 1, 2016
Name Affiliation
Community Officials and Residents
Timothy McInerney Grafton Town Administrator
Doug Willardson Grafton Assistant Town Administrator
James Cummings Grafton Public Schools Superintendent
Matt Pearson Grafton Water District Manager
John Stephens Grafton Historic Commission Member
Gail McGrail Grafton Resident
Philip Dumas Grafton Board of Health Member
John Carlson Grafton Resident
Michael Gauthier Grafton Fire Chief
Kimberly D'Aiello IDEXX Corp./Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce Member
Alden Harris II Washington Mills
Joe Laydon Grafton Town Planner
Normand Crepeau, Jr. Grafton Police Chief
Paul Cournoyer Grafton Sewer Department Superintendent
Eric Overstrom Grafton Resident
Daniel Crossin Homefield Credit Union
Donna Blanchard Apple Tree Arts Executive Director
Brian Szczurko Grafton Public Works Department Engineering Assistant
Jeff Cloutier State Street Corporation Global Security
Elias Hanna Member, Grafton Board of Zoning Appeals  
Michael Scully Grafton Economic Development Commission Chairman
Colleen Lanza Grafton Job Corps Executive Director
Lloyd Hamm Homefield Credit Union President & CEO
Tufts Liaison Representatives
Joe McManus Executive Associate Dean
Lois Wetmore Cummings School Faculty Member and Grafton Resident
Cyndie Webster Cummings School Faculty Member and Grafton Resident
Jean Poteete Senior Campus Planner
Industry Sector Representative
Kevin O’Sullivan Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives CEO

Meeting Location

Meetings are held at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in the Kohnstamm Conference Room #106 in the Jean Mayer Administration Building.

Please see the Visitor Information Page for directions and parking information.