Another roundup of MWDN town government news: Candidate for superintendent, 2nd race for BOS seat, and DPW discipline “forthcoming”

Above: A town snow plow in action. Recently, DPW employees were accused of using one to plow in a state vehicle in the SPD parking lot. (Photo by Susan Fitzgerald)

Our little town has been keeping The Metrowest Daily News busy. There are three more stories about town departments and boards from the paper just this morning.

One is a strange little scandal that I have to imagine some will be calling “Plowgate”.

There is also news that now all 3 seats for Board of Selectmen look to be a race this election.

Meanwhile, so far, there isn’t a race for the Superintendent’s position. One internal candidate is being interviewed for the spot.

Read about these stories below.

Northborough-Southborough schools to interview assistant superintendent for top job:

Members of all three school committees in Northborough and Southborough said they intend to interview Assistant Superintendent Christine Johnson for the superintendent job next month. . .

The committees decided last month to conduct an internal search to replace retiring Superintendent Charles Gobron before opening the hunt beyond the district.

The only person to apply after a two-week internal posting was Johnson, who was hired in 2011 for her current job and served as a teacher and administrator at Algonquin Regional High School from 1988 to 2001. . .

Since there is only one applicant, all interviews must legally be conducted in public, Gobron said. Accordingly, he said members of the committees have formulated questions on their own and will interview Johnson publicly on March 5 at 5:30 p.m.

Gobron said the board plans to allow time for members of the public to ask Johnson questions at that meeting, the location of which is still being determined. (read more)

Video catches Southborough DPW covering state truck in snow:

At least one town employee is facing disciplinary action after the Public Works Department was captured on police surveillance video earlier this month piling snow on top of a state vehicle parked at the police station.

“It appears that some good employees made a couple of bad decisions,” Town Administrator Mark Purple said of a Feb. 5 incident in which a state Department of Transportation truck was damaged.

The Daily News observed a truck almost completely covered in a mound of snow in the police station lot on Feb. 6, the day after a storm dumped about 8 inches of snow on the area.

At the time, Lt. Sean James said the DPW had plowed the lot and that police were looking into what happened. Multiple sources told The Daily News that DPW Director Karen Galligan and another DPW employee plowed snow against the truck. . .

In an email Wednesday, Purple said that discipline would be forthcoming, but declined to say what that would entail or how many people would be punished. (read more)

Sixth person pulls papers for Southborough selectman:

Lifelong resident and longtime town firefighter Capt. Joseph Hubley Tuesday became the sixth person to pull papers for the Board of Selectmen.

“I’ve been thinking about this for some time,” Hubley said Wednesday. “(This race) seemed like an exciting opportunity.” . .

Hubley pulled for the two-year seat. If he returns papers, he would face former Selectwoman Bonnie Phaneuf, who has already returned her papers. (read more)

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10 years ago

Yeah Joe!! I fully support you!!

Tessa Stephens
10 years ago

So do I.

10 years ago

Is this latest embarrassing incident involving DPW Superintendent Karen Galligan enough for the Selectmen to finally dismiss her.As previously predicted she has placed our community in jeopardy with more reckless behavior.

10 years ago

It’s great and really tough to have two awesome choices when all I really want is both of them!
Thanks you both for stepping up!

10 years ago
Reply to  Matthew


You bring up a good point. Also, I understand that this DOT employee was asked repeatedly NOT to park his truck in the area where he parked it. There were other state employees who park their state vehicles in the lot an they put them where they were asked.

It looks to me that DPW was trying to send a message to this DOT guy by plowing him in. I have no problem with that, especially after he was told several times not to park there. As for the damage, whether intentional or not, the DPW person responsible for the damage should pay for it personally.

I don’t think this is a big deal. We have far more important things to worry about in Southborough. I’d like to hear from the BOS what the investigation into the missing drug evidence disclosed. Now THAT is important. Was it just a bad procedure?

Art Fay
10 years ago

If the guy is not allowed to bring the DOT vehicle home, why wasnt it parked at whatever DOT facility he works at, rather than at the police station? Sounds like a left-handed way of using the state truck to commute to work.

David Williams
10 years ago

Another embarrassing DPW incident; I agree that I have had enough of the head of the department, and don’t think this would have happened with Boland. What does it take to dismiss her? She is not up to the task.

10 years ago

The Lieutenant was quoted in another article about this as saying he was told to look at the video, but was never told to seek witnesses (clearly seen on the tape) while investigating…That makes this resident glad he did not get the position of Chief if he needs his hand held, step by step, through what an investigation is. If the past is any indication, there won’t be any real investigation and nothing will be done. This new Chief is going to learn very quickly how things are done (or actually, aren’t done) in this little town of ours.

David, what do you mean this wouldn’t have happened with Boland? Isn’t he still on the Board? The Chairperson doesn’t have anymore of a vote/power than the other members. Weren’t Karen and Boland both out to dinner together as part of the group in what was deemed “PizzaGate” now that I think about it? I could be wrong but I don’t think I am. Personal interests always come before what is right around here, and it never seems like it’s going to change.

My understanding is that it is standard practice to park DOT vehicles at local municipal lots so that it is not parked at the employee’s home but is nearby for easy access for specific reasons.

10 years ago
Reply to  Laura

I think th reference was to the prior head of the DPW. His name was Mr. Borland… Not the Selectman.

Al Hamilton
10 years ago
Reply to  Laura

I believe he was referring to John Boland, who was the previous DPW head, not Bill Boland the Selectman.

10 years ago

I am glad to be able to vote for Joe Hubley. There is not way I could ever vote for Bonnie again. The whole Pizzagate/Marty disaster what I thought of when I heard she was running again.

10 years ago

I am embarrassed for the town of Southborough and find the DPW and the department head to be immature and irresponsible. I plow large lots as well and find a car in the way a little frustrating but it happens. I would have never thought of plowing it in and if I did I would have been fired. I think they call it vandalism and charges should be filled.

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