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.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
John Kendall
13 years ago

Now that Town Meeting has concluded, it’s almost time for local elections. Who is running for office this year?

Where Now Southborough?
13 years ago

It was interesting to see the majority of the pre and post town meeting discussion of raises, over-compensation, etc linked to teachers. I thought the police and especially the fire fighters union sis an excellent job shifting the focus away from their own agendas and contracts.

I wish it were possible for the towns people to see exactly how much a police officer and firefighter in Southborough receives in TOTAL compensation, that is salary, overtime, stipends, etc sand compare that against a teacher’s salary. I think the townspeople should receive that information.

I see a disconnect each week when I read the fire logs and often see very little activity for fire and ems. On some days, there are no ems calls. Yet, we pay firefighters to work a 24 hr shift and we PAY them to sleep, if they do not get a call at night. I understand that was a benefit obtained via the collective bargaining for a contract years ago. Is it time to look at privatizing the ems service?

I also looked into the statistics recently provided by the police for their responses. The number of reported arrests does not make sense given the very low crimes (assaults, etc) reported in Southborough. I frequently see SPD officers pulling over cars on the state highway Rt 9. I also see in the weekly activity logs for the SPD that the arrests are very rarely for a Southborough resident. The overwhelming majority of the info I have read in the logs would indicate the arrests follow traffic stops.

Does it make sense that SPD is concentrating its patrol activity on Rt 9, which is a state owned highway also patrolled by the State Police?

Maybe this indicate that perhaps some of the SPD folks are simply bored patrolling the streets of Southborough and like the “action” on Rt 9 where they can make arrests. Hats off to the SPD folks for working hard. But I wonder if this raises an issue with the SPD as to where we are spending our patrol resources. I would much rather see the SPD cars on Rt 9 on a Saturday night, stopping cars speeding through the Main Street business district. I would much rather see the SPD cars making a greater impact on the increase use of marijuana by young kids who then drive their cars and out themselves at great risk.

OK – just some rambling thoughts. We are fortunate to have good police and firefighters.

There was a very interesting article in the 4/27/11 New York Times (US section) entitled: A State Manager Takes Over and Cuts What a City Can’t. The article describes how a state accountant has been appointed to manage the affairs of the city of Benton Harbor, MI which is in financial disaster.

Here’s are some interesting excerpts which could potentially be applied to the Southborough Police and Fire Departments.

“Mr. Harris began paying debts, laying off workers and considering a plan to merge the fire and police departments into a single unit where firefighters could ultimately answer burglary calls and police officers could put out fires.”

“The issue has divided Benton Harbor. Jeremy Connell, who leads the firefighters’ union, said he is anxious about negotiations for a new contract. He dislikes some of Mr. Harris’s plans (the combined police-fire services could be unsafe, he says). “But then I think, what choice do we have?” Mr. Connell said.”

“His vision for the fire department? “They don’t get paid for just being here, they get paid for doing things,” he said. That said, Mr. Harris also says he understands the benefit of collective bargaining, and is not out to take that away. (For the record, he has voted for Democrats in the past, but says his worries about “extremes” in both parties mean he probably would not classify himself with either for now.) ”

Wow! Its worth repeating his thoughts re firefighters payments: “His vision for the fire department? “They don’t get paid for just being here, they get paid for doing things.”

Interesting time in MI. I regret to say that we in Southborough are probably not far behind MI.

  • © 2024 — All rights reserved.