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DEVENS — The Devens Committee (DC) presented a draft closure process last week to the Devens Disposition Executive Board (DDEB) that calls for a comprehensive round of negotiations between all six stakeholders for Devens’ future.

The process is aimed squarely at the one remaining element the DC feels has not been clearly delineated. Specifically, decisions about disposition scenarios are being made almost extensively by one-to-one and one-to-two negotiating caucuses. It is also aimed at the direction taken by the DDEB’s Coordinating Committee (CC).

“Though this process has appeared to create some agreements, we feel it lacks the inclusiveness, transparency and efficiency to take us (to) the final steps to closure,” the DC proposal read.

The DC proposal calls for three to five negotiation sessions over a period of one month to be used to support the completion of all disposition steps prior to November.

When he presented the idea, DC member Phillip Crosby said, “I have expressed concern about how we have been evolving from my view mostly at the Coordinating Committee, and it’s served us quite well with (Harvard Selectman) Bill Marinelli being the engine.

“I have a continuing uneasiness about the last step,” Crosby said. “When the DC met with Harvard (last month) I was triggered at the agreement reached with MassDevelopment about housing. We can’t get consensus talking one on one when there may be other views.

Elements of the DC’s recommended process include:

* Examining all stakeholder interests and alignment groups based on degree of commonality.

* Seeking common elements in the interests.

* Identifying deal-breaker interests generally supported by all stakeholders.

* Re-examining currently advanced active disposition solutions and identifying potential others.

* Gathering information necessary to select three to five best chance solutions.

* Creating an evolution matrix against which all solutions are tested as being legitimately agreeable.

* Ranking them in order of success at achieving consensus.

* Narrowing them to one solution.

DDEB Chairman William Marshall asked if the DC recommended using the plan before general public hearings take place.

“In the end we have to be face to face,” Crosby said. “We’ve been taking one or two pieces out of the box and shaking them. This is a puzzle that must be put together with all the pieces.”

Crosby is not recommending discarding the on-going process, but to run the DC’s idea in parallel or perhaps use it as a last step.

DDEB Harvard representative William Ashe said one of the weaknesses in the current process is a lack of stated goals and objectives.

“They (goals and objectives) were in the first Re-use Plan and it has guided us for 10 years,” he said. “I don’t see what we’re doing here. Decisions are being made before reports and information are read in the papers. This isn’t the way it should go.

“What are the facts of the effect on neighbors, the water supply?” asked Ashe. “These are being affected by deal making.”

“I don’t think we’ve lost sight, but there are other aspirations of Devens residents and MassDevelopment that are additional dimensions,” Marinelli said. “This is not a bad thing.

“Reacting to Phil on my own, I’d say the Coordinating Committee is approaching step eight now,” he said. “Perhaps we haven’t hit all issues the way folks may like, (but) we’re at least close to finding (a solution). I’m reluctant to short circuit (things).

Marinelli said, “At first it made no sense to do a 2B (scenario) until MassDevelopment and Devens residents came to some (housing) numbers. That’s how the decision came out.

“Now thoughts are out (in public),” he said. “My suggestion is to work with the (DDEB) Finance Committee and when done, hopefully by early January, we can get all discussions out there. My sense is if we have to pick up and run with this, you can scratch off November, 2006.

“We need to get paperwork out in August or we won’t make it,” Marinelli said.

Ayer DDEB representative Harry Zane wondered if there was a sub text going on and asked if Crosby thought silent voices of today would be vocal later.

“I’d really like to know from this board where the final decision will be made,” he said.

“I thought the goals were clear,” Harvard DDEB representative Rick Maiore said. “The Steering Committee has codified it in a functional form. We broke that into manageable areas. I really have a problem with the comment (that) we don’t have goals and objectives.

Maiore added, “We have all the data compiled that can be categorized into solutions. We’re trying to marry the two now.”

Maiore said he sees the DC’s draft plan as a means of finalizing the disposition solution rather than developing it. He said at some point the DDEB must make a decision but it must be precise and well documented with an underlying background of strong, unanimous consensus from all six stakeholders.

“Perhaps,” said Ayer Selectman Paul Bresnahan, “we could define Phil’s idea as a ‘plug into’ the process.”

“Is there a feeling on this committee that we’re about to make a decision?” asked DDEB Vice Chairman Paul VonLoesecke.

Marshall answered, “At some point we will reach out to the public, but before that we will have reached a conclusion or we will be mired down.”

“The decision won’t be made in the Coordinating Committee,” Marinelli said. “It is a forum for achieving consensus in a smaller environment than other committees and the public. I believe the Coordinating Committee will have a recommendation.”

Devens business representative to the DDEB Finance Committee Lynn Cheney said one problem is the “chicken and egg thing” and that four scenarios that have come before the finance committee have now changed.

“It’s a moving target,” she said.

Marinelli answered, “When someone comes forward with an idea it is up to the Coordinating Committee to include it.”

“It’ll be a blur of colors unless we all get involved,” Crosby said.

“In my world we are allowed boundaries,” Marinelli replied.

“Why should we explore all housing in say, Harvard, when it is off the table?” Cheney asked.

“Who said it was off the table?” Marinelli replied.

“I think you’re all making my point. Please continue,” Crosby said.

DDEB Land Use Committee Chairman Heidi Ricci said, “We need to boil down all information and it must be done in the most open and transparent manner. I don’t totally understand what’s going on in all meetings.”

“I like this,” Zane said of Crosby’s draft proposal.

The plan is under study.