Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

by susan on December 6, 2010

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Above: Milkweed at Chestnut Hill Conservation Land

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 KL December 6, 2010 at 1:52 PM

Whats up with the cruddy paving job on Main Street? They didnt even pave over the worst spots, and now the spots near the library are worse than when they weren’t paved at all!

2 southsider January 7, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Is there interest in asking that the next budget include some additional funding to expand transfer station hours? How much would 6 or 8 hours of Sunday coverage actually cost? I think a number of citizens would welcome the expanded service.

3 djd66 January 7, 2011 at 1:57 PM

+1 I would rather see them cut hours back during the week and expand hours on the weekend. This would be great if they would ever make this change.

4 Al Hamilton January 7, 2011 at 4:04 PM

I would be happy to drop a day during the week for 4 hours on Sun.

5 Chris January 7, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Yup, I raised this last year in an Open Question forum…there seemed to be some interest, but also the old “we’ve always done it this way, no need to change” sentiment. I imagine there are a lot of complex things WRT the contract currently in place.

What would be helpful would be to see what the surrounding towns/similar size do for their transfer station (dump) hours.

6 southsider January 8, 2011 at 10:07 PM

What does it take to put something to Town Meeting to decide? Is the procedure to shout ‘hold’ when the appropriate budget entry comes up and then later propose an amendment? My guess is that something like $20,000 added to that budget could be used to provide expanded services on Sunday. Any responsible town officials who read this and want to provide some clarification on what the wording should be? or what other way is appropriate to get this done?

7 John Kendall January 9, 2011 at 5:16 AM

If I remember correctly ( and I may be wrong here ), you cannot increase a budget on the floor, only decrease it. Al may have the answer to that or you can check with the Town Clerk’s office.

8 Gail Jenks January 9, 2011 at 9:03 AM

You may want to check this link on the Town website that might address your question.
http://www.southboroughtown.com/townmeetings.htm

9 Al Hamilton January 9, 2011 at 9:04 AM

You have 3 choices that I am aware of:

First, please be aware that there are labor issues here and I don’t know what our Union contracts provide for Sunday operations or pay rates but Karen Galligan I am sure does and I have always found her helpful. I believe the transfer station requires 2 people to operate.

1. 10 signatures on a citizen petition will put a warrant article on for the Annual Town meeting, About 100-200 or so (I dont know the exact number) are required to force a special town meeting. So you could offer an article to raise and appropriate a sum of money for Sunday operations. Alternatively you could legislate that closure during one day of the week to provide for Sunday operations. For inclusion in the warrante the warrant needs to be “open” which is under the control of the BOS. It is probably closed for the Spring ATM right now but it will almost certainly be opened again between now and the ATM for edits, additions and deletions. Once opened a citizen petition must be placed on the warrant.

2. I believe that the hours of operation (within the confines of the budget and labor agreements) are well within the authority of the Board of Selectmen. If you can convince 2 selectpersons to vote for Sunday operations then the deed is done.

3. On the floor of town meeting you can “Hold” the DPW budget. When it comes around for discussion you can move to increase the budget by X Dollars for the purpose of funding Sunday Transfer Station Operations. You may be asked to suggest an offsetting amount from another budget but this is not strictly necessary as was demonstrated with the Library budget last year. You will need to provide the clerk with written copies of your motion. There is a form for this at Town Meeting or you can prepare it before hand.

You might bring this item to the attention of the Advisory Committee, who are your fellow legislators, they can probably help you get good numbers for the option and advise you on the process.

Give me a call if you want to discuss.

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