More than 700 sign petition to save the Swap Shop

There aren’t many topics that wholly unite the minds and opinions of Southborough residents, but the Swap Shop appears to be one of them. Yesterday morning a petition to save the Swap Shop was submitted to the Town Clerk’s office. The petition bore the names of more than 700 Southborough residents.

Commenter MLandry posted the text of the petition on the blog yesterday. In addition to asking that the Swap Shop remain open, the petition asks Selectmen to hold a public meeting to discuss rules and regulations for ongoing operation of the shop.

“We believe that the Swap Shop is one of the primary recycling operations in this community, and an important service to taxpayers, which they are entitled to,” residents wrote in the petition.

The petition was addressed to the three members of the Board of Selectmen, who last week supported DPW Superintendent Karen Galligan’s decision to close the Swap Shop for good on Thursday, December 1 due to reports of ongoing abuse.

Did you sign the petition? Do you think it will be influential in convincing town officials to reconsider their decision? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Alan Belniak
10 years ago

This is great news! I didn’t sign the petition, but would have. I was at the transfer station as it opened on Saturday, so I missed out on all of the activity. At any rate, I have a question. In an earlier post, it was revealed that Southborough DPW Superintendent Karen Galligan had/has the authority to close the swap shop, and that the selectmen merely weighed in with opinion (in this case, backing her decision, 3-0). If that’s the case, then shouldn’t the petition be submitted to Ms. Galligan, and not the BoS (since it’s Ms. Galligan that makes the decision)?

Alan Belniak
10 years ago
Reply to  susan

Ah, I see. I didn’t know the Superintendent role reported to the BoS (?!). In that case, then I see the logic. Well, as a swap shop-supporter, my fingers are crossed.

Helen
10 years ago

What exactly was the reasoning for closing the swap shop? Too much junk? Too much work for our guys there? Or too aggressive “customers” causing problems?

This is an invaluable resource to our town, and quite frankly the envy of people I know from other towns… I didn’t see the petition, but would sign it… but perhaps the rules need to be adjusted a bit for the safety of our residents.

I know of a town in Maine that has a similar swap shop, but when items are donated, they go into a silent weekly auction. You put a bid in a box, and whoever wins the bid gets the item. It helps pay for itself. Not sure how that would work here, but it’s a thought.

Helen
10 years ago

When I just reread what I wrote I want to clarify that I didn’t mean to sound like I was denigrating the guys who work there… I just know how totally trashed that place gets!

Terry Holland
10 years ago

Yes I signed the petition and agree this was done in hast and the Swap Shop just needs to have rules POSTED for residents to see and follow. Add more parking where the DPW now has to mow even if it is dirt for now.

The Swap Shop is a great idea and our town has been a leader in this area. Does not make sense for the town to go back 3 step in recycling. It will only cost us more money. Today with people lossing jobs and time so tough let them take items and sell if the origianl owners no longer want. Good for them.

I will try NOT to park longer then 15 minutes when I go and get to visit with friends while at the Swap Shop. Open the shop and find “better ways” to handle issues that come up.

One last thought, if this stays closed, then am I to assume that the next thing will be the schools closing?? After all I know we probley have one or two kids that have been held after in detentions and / or suspented from school. With the swap shop being an example, a few bad apples means that we will be closing things that the town is involved in. So the schools will be next??

Jim Freeman
10 years ago

@Terry – nice thought but the State mandates schooling – it doesn’t mandate a Swap Shop. Maybe we could start a “No trash left behind” program? =)

Terry Holland
10 years ago

I know….but that is what I feel this town has created….just close or stop the program without further thought. Very sad….

Danny Phaneuf
10 years ago

Does the town get money for recycling the tin, glass, and plastic containers, the newspapers, the cardboard, the books in the gray dumpster, or the metals in the metal area?
Again, every pound of material taken from the Swap Shop, for whatever reason, is one less pound we have to pay to have hauled away.

MM1772
10 years ago

As I’ve said in a previous post, I don’t consider it an abuse for people to get stuff from the Swap Shop and sell elsewhere. The stuff is getting reused, which is the whole point. And, as someone just pointed out, that’s less stuff going in the landfill.

If it’s a problem of the “lurkers” taking up valuable parking spaces, maybe the area off the grass could be designated as Long Term Parking, and the lurkers would be considered abusers only if they parked in the wrong place.

Terry Holland said, “I will try NOT to park longer then 15 minutes when I go and get to visit with friends while at the Swap Shop.” Isn’t that one of the charms of the Recycling Area, to run into friends and neighbors? And what about the non-profit groups who sell raffle tickets, pancake breakfast tickets, and so on? Will their response suffer because people don’t have enough time to empty all their containers and then stop by for a chat?

Sara D.
10 years ago

This is such a shame to see! Unfortunately, I have moved out of state for college otherwise I would have loved to sign the petition. I remember finding great stuff in there as a kid. It would be heartbreaking to see them shut it down. I hope they can come to some sort of agreement so it can stay open.

Mark
10 years ago

Swap Sundays – 4 hours of volunteers and leftovers are donated monthly. No cost, no traffic, and you could haave shifts worked by scouts, bands, churches, senior centers etc.

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