Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

by susan on January 4, 2010

Post image for Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

Time for another open thread. For those of you new to the blog, the open discussion thread is your place to ask questions, sound off on town issues, or share information with other readers. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Ask questions about programs in town or the town itself
  • Post a note about things that you’re selling or giving away, or things that you want
  • Share notices about upcoming events (Southborough or otherwise)
  • Register your thoughts on town issues or news stories
  • Point out interesting or helpful resources

You can add comments to the thread throughout the week. Check back often to see new comments. (If you read the blog via email or RSS, you might want to check the site from time to time for new comments.)

To view past open discussion threads, click here.

1 Papa Rosa January 4, 2010 at 3:17 PM

OK, here’s one: I love our post office branch, but why do they never seem to have pens there? Sure, the obvious answer is that thoughtless customers walk out with them. But the POs in Hopkinton and Westborough always have pens available, so why not us?

2 Fred January 4, 2010 at 4:36 PM

Any information about the fate of the old Capasso site?

3 minimom January 4, 2010 at 9:38 PM

my usual open forum comment……somebody do something with the corner lot in the center of town!! Some day I’ll move out of town to retire someplace warm…and I know that that will be the day the bulldozers come and create something pretty to look at when you turn the corner on route 30! Oh Well… In the meantime I’ll keep posting!

4 DLD January 5, 2010 at 7:49 AM

I’m with you minimom. Who owns that site? It is the first thing that many people see when they enter our town center and it is an eyesore. Even if the owner plans on developing it someday, couldn’t the town put pressure on the owners to clean it up in the interim?…a little grass and a few flowers…maybe maintained by the Southborough Garden Club, boy scouts or girl scouts.

5 John January 5, 2010 at 10:18 AM

I’m with Papa Rosa……it’s a good thing I usually have a pen with me at the Southborough Post Office or life would be a bit difficult. I’ve also noticed that their computers seem to freeze up more than Hopkinton’s, which causes delays in paying for postage and getting out of there.

6 Townie January 5, 2010 at 1:10 PM

That empty corner lot would be great for parking down town

7 Steve January 5, 2010 at 8:09 PM

I was wondering about the traffic light at the St Marks School Cross walk heading towards Marlborough. The crosswalk they use to get to the dorms. It only operated when someone looking to cross Rt. 85 pressed the push to cross button. The traffic signal would then turn red so they were able to cross. I have noticed that the traffic light now operates all the time and no longer operates just to the push to cross. I have been sitting at a red light several times with not a single person looking to cross. Is this change in the traffic light something that will be permanent?

8 susan January 7, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Steve, I asked DPW Superintendent Karen Galligan about this light. She told me it was paid for and installed by St. Mark’s, but is maintained by the DPW. Apparently they’ve had ongoing problems with it.

After the light was first installed, St. Mark’s found that kids weren’t pushing the button and waiting for the light to change before crossing, so in 2009 they installed an infrared sensor that would detect when kids are there. Problem is, it detects more than just kids – like blowing leaves and the like – which is why it goes off more than it should.

Galligan said they’ve been out multiple times trying to reposition and adjust the sensor, but so far to no avail. She said they may decide to disable it altogether and go to a flashing yellow light instead.

9 Chris January 5, 2010 at 9:57 PM

Another traffic light question, this one @ White Bagley & Rte. 9. I know it’s probably going to be a Comm of Mass jurisdiction issue…

Several years ago, after the state improved the intersection, the signals seemed to work properly, e.g. the sensor pads would trip the signals logically. However, about a year or so ago, they seemed to lose their ‘common sense’. i.e….

If I’m heading west on Rte. 9 and get in the left turn lane, and there’s no traffic coming (for awhile, think late at night, early AM), I’m still forced to sit and wait, and wait, and wait. The light used to stop westbound traffic and let you have a left turn arrow out of the full cycle, if oncoming traffic was light enough.

And even more frustrating, even if there isn’t any traffic on White Bagley or Breakneck, the cross light still cycles, and then I’m given a green arrow. This is ridiculous, a key use of these pressure pads is to reduce idling time which adds pollutants to the air.

To my knowledge, this also occurs in the westbound side, taking a left hand turn.

Any way for the town to contact the state to see if they can evaluate the programming?

10 susan January 7, 2010 at 12:27 PM
11 Ken January 8, 2010 at 6:35 PM

Susan,

Is it true that Authorities (Housing and Water) are supposed to make payments (PILOT) to the town for services?

12 Donna McDaniel January 30, 2010 at 1:26 PM

You may be thinking of certain budgets that are considered enterprise funds or revolving accounts, meaning the money collected, such as water fees, go into the department’s budget to use against its expenses and system improvements. Thus water department expenses are paid by the users, not by the taxpayers in general. (There are areas without town water.) At town meeting you’ll hear refererences to transferring money from the Water Reserves Fund. I’m quite sure that there’s a revolving fund for fees received for recreation programs and for some receipts for the Board of Health. The idea is to use receipts from a specific program to support that program. PILOT payments (payment in lieu of taxes) are from private non-profit entities who are exempted by the state from paying property taxes but have taken some responsibility (though probably never as much as we’d like) for supporting town services they use.

Previous post:

Next post: