MWDN: BOS’ 2014 priorities include study on new police and fire building

by Beth Melo on January 7, 2014

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The Board of Selectmen met on Thursday to set goals for 2014. The Metrowest Daily News covered the discussion.

The biggest ticket item discussed was:

studying the feasibility of a combined new public safety building for the police and fire departments. . .

“it absolutely deserves and is in need of review,” Chairman Daniel Kolenda said after Selectman John Rooney suggested the idea.

Built in 1929, the building has many shortcomings, but town leaders haven’t reached a consensus on the best plan to replace it. Town Meeting approved a $98,000 study in 2008, but concerns over its accuracy and municipal finances led selectmen to put it on the shelf.

Selectmen intend to begin with evaluation of the previous study, rather than starting from scratch. One possibility considered is moving the Transfer Station to make room for a building in that location.

Rooney’s other priorities included increasing the police budget to allow for more training, more aggressively pursuing payments from tax-exempt organizations, and recruiting more business to town.

Selectman Bill Boland wants  Town Administrator Mark Purple to take a look at revising salary schedules to avoid automatic raises that he views as too high.

Boland would also like to see Purple make more information available to the community through an online forum for the town.

“I’d like to see a way where the resident’s prime source of information isn’t a blog, the newspaper or, the bigger one, rumor,” Boland said.

(Hmm. I’ll decide not to take that personally.)

To read the full MWDN article, click here.

(Photo by Susan Fitzgerald)

1 I'm just sayin' January 8, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Hmmm from me, too…..First, thank you, Mr. Boland, for having Mr. Purple look at revising salary schedules to avoid automatic raises! On your other comment, however….what is wrong with getting information from this blog?!!? It is actually the ONLY source I read to get information about what is going on in town. It is free to the residents, causes no increase to the tax base, lets Southborough businesses advertise to Southborough residents…sounds like a win-win to me. I absolutely believe that Beth, and Susan before her, report without bias on town news and goings on. I trust it far more than the newspaper reports on issues!! Perhaps an apology is in order…and let Mr. Purple deal with other matters, like the automatic salary increases, instead of finding ways to increase our spending…because you KNOW that an online forum will cost us for personnel to input and maintain that forum. We already have a forum that does a fine job of letting us know what is happening in town. It makes no sense for tax dollars to be spent on something we are already getting for free :-)

2 beth January 8, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Thank you for the vote of confidence. But, I don’t think an apology is in order. He didn’t slam the blog. He just said that it shouldn’t be only way to get information out to people.

I won’t comment on the issue of involved expense and resource for the town. But I don’t object to more easily getting ahold of more information than currently available online.

The town’s recent decision to use twitter more frequently (@17common) is one I appreciate. Just this week, I got a piece of helpful information from one of their tweets. I’m following up to write about it tomorrow. (Re: upcoming 2014 town election.)

3 I'm just sayin' January 8, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Yes, he did say “prime source of information.” Since I don’t do any social media type stuff i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc. and I get an email from you every day with news updates and probably would not go to any other online forum of my own volition (because I would forget or not have time, not that I don’t think they have value) I am sticking with you being my prime source of information! I wish you were given a better and easier way of getting information besides for having to chase down stories, (i.e. email from the Town House? or perhaps you already have that source stream?) from a tweet. Anywho, you are performing a great service for our town and I am very grateful! Thank you!

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