Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

It’s time for another open thread. What’s on your mind this week, Southborough?

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(Photo by Susan Fitzgerald)

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Alan
8 years ago

Is anyone else concerned with the direction the transfer station is going. More and more signs are going up, like the newest one’s about recycling is the law when our own selectman Mr. Rooney openly admits to not recycling. The sticker location change after the long fight years ago to allow us to put them on the rear window. I hear of more and more town folks getting warnings and fines for parking to long. Who sits and watches the 120 hours of film recorded from the three camera’s at the transfer station? The metal section getting closer and closer to being closed because of fear that someone will get hurt and yet no one ever has. Now we will be forced to somehow lift heavy metal over some fence with parking for only one car. Why do Karen Galligan and others continue to change the transfer station when our last citizens survey said the majority of use overwhelmingly said we want no change. I hear from other people they don’t even want to go there anymore and some have stopped recycling so they don’t have to stop in that area anymore. Where did we come up with all the money for the new fencing? Where is the money going from the people getting fined, towards next years transfer station budget to lower the sticker cost??? It feels like the DPW has started a war against the citizens who are now paying for the majority of the service. When you politely question any of the workers about the changes they throw there hands up and say It’s not them or it’s not there idea. What a sad thing that is happening and being created. Why are we in the trash business? Because we have always offered the service and in the past it was actually free for the town folks. It’s what we the people want.

Frank Crowell
8 years ago
Reply to  Alan

Welcome to the new America where elected and appointed officials know better then you and everyone else. For direct evidence, just listen to the news out of Washington, Boston or the press release of our state reps (or review a list of promises not kept). Only statesman I have seen in the last five years is Mr. Rooney and I do not care about his recycling habits. If he were an Independent, I would ask that he run for state office.

SB Resident
8 years ago

Alan you are not alone, but just like all government, the feeling is that there is nothing one can do without it costing more time than it’s worth.

The way I see this playing out in the long run is that the transfer station becomes fully paid for by the sticker, the increased cost combined with the decreased usability will make paying for a private hauler more desirable. Decreased use of the TS use will drive up the price of the sticker until the TS eventually closes. I give it ten years.

Ditto
8 years ago

I couldn’t have said it better myself. It is feeling like government being government and that is not appreciated. While speaking to one of our friendly operators on Saturday, I observed and discussed his actions trying to enforce the sticker rules. A thankless job that doesn’t require watching the video. Just keeping eyes open while manning the station and trying to be a friendly face and person to talk to about town, the weather and sports etc.. I include myself in the group that is sad to see the metal pile being sealed off from the people. I have gotten and helped other townsfolk reuse many an item from that pile. As Alan brought up; has anyone ever gotten hurt in there and isn’t there some protection that the town has to limit liability. People are scavenging on their own and the town shouldn’t be liable for that. Just some more of the small town feel slipping away.

Matthew
8 years ago

It was never an issue of anyone getting hurt. That thought is a distraction from the historical loss of aluminum to scrappers who come in pick up trucks and remove a full load, although no one has done this recently. The town gets “free” removal of the refrigerators, AC’s and etc.in exchange for this metal that is worth a lot. News that it was getting stolen prompted the cameras which I have been told cannot see a sticker on a bumper nor read a license plate especially in low light.

It is obvious that Karen has a plan for the TS to lower costs by moving all responsibility for re-use, “scores” and helping others off the shoulders of the paid town employees and onto the backs of volunteers who will man a trio of sheds far from convenient to the traffic flow. One for metal, one for the miscellaneous items in the current shed and one for a bulletin board full of other town jobs and services that will soon be privatized, eliminated or transitioned to non-paid seniors.

She said the new sheds will not be open when it gets muddy since the space in front will not be paved BUT the new drop off at the metal section will probably gets a nice coat of asphalt from the TS discretionary fund.The same fund that put up an expensive gate and bought useless cameras.
Why not pave in front of the new sheds? Why not plant grass? Have you noticed the hydro-seeding that occurred on town property around town including the entrance of the TS? Have you also noticed nothing has grown on the dirt in front of the three new sheds? What kind of dirt can’t even grow a weed in three months? That’s a mystery that we’ll never get to the bottom of I’m sure. But I can’t wait to tear through the mud in my 4×4 the first day it rains and I go to check out the shed. (Today I got a smoke machine I’ll be using for Halloween!)

Did Assabet pay for the materials for the sheds or just provide the labor? Can anyone find out?
Anyway the blame is not all on Karen. The less obvious crimes are the TV and computer monitors people still sneak in that he town eventually has to pay to dispose of, today I saw a pallet full being brought around to the front having been stored in the gray metal container next to the metal recycling. And don’t forget the hundreds of pounds of alkaline batteries that are NOT recyclable that get tossed in the little shed at the end of the sidewalk. The most obvious crime of all is the Saturday afternoon yard sale CRAP, 99% of which belongs in the hopper.A waste of labor and since you knew you were going to drop it all off, why not volunteer to help clean up every once and a while?

An finally how about all the recycling that gets tossed in the hopper because people are just plain lazy, don’t care, can’t be bothered, or have not yet imagined the pain and “inconvenience” their own children will suffer years from now when their little act of selfishness compounded by millions by others causes problems most think are only a liberal fear campaign.
I guess Karen thinks we just don’t care, and from what I’ve seen, she’s not entirely wrong.

Sharon
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth Melo

I drop off my batteries at The Battery Store in Marlborough (Hannaford shopping center).

Phred
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth Melo

This is evolving. As I understand it, currently Alkaline batteries ARE recyclable, but the economics mean that it’s generally not free. California is the only state that requires alkaline batteries to be removed from the landfill stream and recycled.

http://earth911.com/recycling/single-use-batteries/ is one reference. They point to a couple of local places.

The PBS program “curiosity quest” did a show on this – see http://www.curiosityquest.org/cqgoesgreen310.html I found the video on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMn-sDvgj4Q

The summary there is that in CA, recycling is mandatory, and the company they visited charges ~$55 for ~2GAL (35 lb) of batteries. Naturally, they are enthusiastic about the process :-)

Here in Mass, several companies where I once worked did collect them for recycling; we used them in quantity for radios, pagers, flashlights and other devices. I don’t know where they went.

Did you ask what happens to alkaline batteries at the Battery Store in Marlborough? Their website says that they only recycle the profitable types. (http://www.batteriesplus.com/t-batteries-plus-recycles.aspx)

Radio Shack also takes batteries for recycling – but again only the profitable ones actually get recycled.

Folks who would like to see batteries recycled in town might consult with the recycling committee (is it still active?) and see if there’s a creative way to fund it.

Folks who would like to minimize the quantity can consider switching to rechargeable batteries – they can pay for themselves after one gets past the startup-cost (charger.)

Or they can hang out here and complain.

Alan
8 years ago

I didn’t mean to insinuate the workers at the dump are not friendly and receptive, more like they are frustrated with the constant changes as well.

It does seem like the majority of people want the TS to remain the same, The changes that keep happening seem to be getting jammed down out throats and we have to just accept them with no discussion at all. Our town government is not listening to us.

southville
8 years ago

Just wanted to add a differing opinion here… I’ve lived in town 10 years, and the transfer station seems almost identical to what it was when I moved here. The issues of where the sticker goes is trivial to me, as is what the exact parameters around recycling metal and the verbiage of the various signs posted there. I’d say 99% of the time I go there no one is using the metal area, so the vast majority of people are more interested in the cardboard/plastic/swap-shop areas, which have seen no changes.

As far as I can tell, the transfer station is largely unchanged other than a few trivial things here and there, and we shouldn’t make a huge deal about the little adjustments they make while trying to improve it for all of us. Voice your opinion of course! But let’s take it easy on the doomsday predictions based on minor policy changes.

Alan
8 years ago

The cameras were all put in place to catch illegal dumping not to catch people taking metal. Like the big box of tiles I saw in the metal section a few days ago.

Because the metal is mixed the town receives no more money for aluminum and copper content, those would have to be separated to received additional money. The ac’s and fridges will still get taken for free without the precious metals. Trust me the metal company is making money and will whether the aluminum is there or not. But the big thing is most of us use items from the metal section and are not taking the metal to sell.

I have also priced a dumpster service and if the sticker price goes much higher, the TS will loose my business so the doomsday scenario is a real one. I have lived in town 46 years and remember the land dump on parkerville rd before the TS and remember when the TS was free.

Matthew
8 years ago
Reply to  Alan

Alan,
I picked up that box of tile, I may not have gotten it had it been left where more could have seen it in the shed. Perhaps the 3rd Assabet shed should be for construction materials and working small appliances.
Where was the dump on Parkerville?

Pat D
8 years ago
Reply to  Matthew

The John Lundblad playing fields near Neary School on Parkerville. Old dump was capped by the Army Corp of Engineers a number of years ago and eventually turned into playing fields cuz soccer and now lacrosse needed additional fields.

tristen
8 years ago

A home in Fayville was broken onto during the daytime when no one was home. The perpetrators may have entered from behind, along the train track. Have there been any other breakins in this area. This appeared to have been planned.

resident2
8 years ago
Reply to  tristen

Heard there was one on Oregon Road today. Here we go again.

Brain
8 years ago

Yes. A home on Oregon Rd and South-wood Rd was broken into on Friday. With only 1-2 police officers working the road at a time this will continue. The police department is funded to be retroactive.

The state/national average is approximately 2.8 officers per thousand. Southboro is about to break the 10’000 residents. So I would think we would have 28 officers. We have 15 including the Chief. If it was properly funded the department would have time to be proactive.

Just Curious
8 years ago
Reply to  Brain

Interesting post Brian.

I don’t see any correlation between the number of officers patrolling in a police car and reduced home break-ins. Police officers I have spoken with have told me that these house breaks are committed by people addicted to drugs like oxycontin. These are desperate people, not sophisticated criminals.

Like most crimes that are solved, the criminal are caught for any one of a million reasons and evidence left behind clears many old cases. That is exactly what has happened with the recent arrest warrants sought by Det. McCarthy. Kudos to Det. McCarthy for his liaison with the other departments which led to clearing these recent crimes.

Here are some other reports re average staffing levels:
“Cities with less than 10,000 residents reported an average of 3.5 officers per 1,000 inhabitants, the largest officer to individual rate among city population groups.”
http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/police/

Full time officers per 1,000 residents for cities of 10,000 to 24,999 residents is 2.0
http://www.theiacp.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=LF7xdWl1tPk%3D&tabid=87

Brian, I just don’t think that adding an extra patrol officer or two per shift would reduce house break-ins? Tell me why because I just don’t understand it.

Adding a patrol officer or two per shift might increase drunk driving arrests which would be a great outcome.

Also, your comment that the police department is “funded to be retrocative” probably should read “reactive.”

Frank
8 years ago

I think they should sell stickers for our homes to help fund the police department. Just make sure you put the sticker on the left front of the house.

tristen
8 years ago

The robbers wore gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints. These weren’t just some bored kids. The house evidentually had been watched to know when owners were usually around and not. The police can not be everywhere at once. All those people howling about how we spend too much money on the police, this is why we need more. They need to be proactive. And keeping on the look out in our neighborhood s. A patrol car passing by a couple of times a day would be nice. Southborough is a well run town. Let’s make it even safer.

resident2
8 years ago

I would vote for more officers in a minute. With the addition of Madison Place the already taxed resources of the department are completely tapped out. Maybe the new Chief will be able to get the department more much needed manpower.

Matthew
8 years ago
Reply to  resident2

How about we get a tax rebate for installing security devices at our houses?
I’ve installed a DVR system with night time capabilities. I have actually recorded animals getting into my trash and my kids messing around with my tools. The cameras are obvious and record people before they even get close.
Cost me $300 in hardware and it’s accessible via the internet using an app on my iPhone.
I’ll post the details if anyone is interested…

Watch your step!
8 years ago

Just wondering if anyone knows what the penalty is for letting your dog poop on someones walk and not cleaning it up. I just watched a fairly prominent town business women let her dog poop on a neighbors walk. It was not the first time on this neighbors lawn and she has never cleaned it up.
Is a public shaming in order or is this considered acceptable behavior towards a neighbor?

Frank
8 years ago

Matthew,

Yes please post the details.

Watch your step!
8 years ago
Reply to  Frank

Nightowl 8 channell DVR comes with 4 cameras and you supply the SATA drive up to 2 TB.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16881339087

Check out more options on newegg.com. For these prices, everyone should have something.

Bonnie Phaneuf
8 years ago

FYI,
Town of Southborough webpage under Boards and Committees shows a VANCANCY ON The Public Works Planning Board .Find out more go to:
Session Laws: Acts of 1991
CHAPTER 447 Act establishing a Department of Public Works Town of Southborough

Brain
8 years ago

The way I figure, if there’s one-two police on duty, one will be at the station dealing with walk ins and the other will be stuck primarily on a main rd like rte 9 where traffic is constantly busy. If we could increase it to four cops a shift 1 could be assigned to the north neighborhoods and 1 to the south neighborhoods.

I believe we would be much better off in catching these guys in the act with those additional cops. It sure as heck couldn’t hurt.

I would like to see more police for many reasons and this is one reason I wouldn’t mind having my taxes go up. If I’m going to spend more it should be for the safety of my family.

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