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Board of Selectmen Meets - February 11

by Nancy Farrell
February 13, 2015

The Selectmen asked for patience and indulgence in the Town's snow removal, State Representative Carolyn Dykema spoke about what's going on at the State House, our football champions received a town proclamation for their team work and dedication, and Youth and Family Services Director Margaret Fitzpatrick presented the FY16 budget for review.

Selectman Jay Leary offered kudos to the Department of Public Works and Police for efforts dealing with the "unbelievable amount of snow."  If you have questions about snow removal, please call the Department of Public Works and problems will be resolved as expeditiously as possible. Jay Marsden cautioned that with this amount of snow and more on the way, "expeditiously" might mean springtime. Selectman Marsden expressed his confidence in the DPW's ability of handle the enormous amount of snow, reminding that there is a method to the madness of town's snow removal -- get the big stuff done first and finish up the small stuff. A careful allocation of resources is required. "This is not their first rodeo," Marsden said.  Paul LeBeau reminded that we are all in this together and asked that people contact the Board of Selectmen's office and the Department of Public Works with snow removal issues. Taking shots online, he said, is not constructive.

Jay Leary read a proclamation to the Holliston High School football team. The team was praised for its great team work and dedication, for bringing the community together  -- and for knowing when to run the ball. Holliston Panther Captain, #12, Nicholas Athy expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to play for a great town. He said it was an awesome experience to have the support of a community that drove us all season to succeed.  Kevin Conley described the "electric atmosphere," standing under the eaves out of the rain at Gillette Stadium on game day.  Jay Marsden talked about his experience at Friday night games as a community and family event. "It's more than just a football game," Jay Leary said.

State Representative Carolyn Dykema .reported that State budget discussions are later than usual due to the transition to the new executive administration  She said that communication with the new administration has been good and that Governor Baker has made a committment to making local aid a priority. Rep. Dykema talked about her proposal on a funding mechanism to deal with aging water infrastructure that mirrors the Chapter 90 funding for road work. Reminding that former Governor Patrick had declared opiate abuse a State public health emergency, she said that she has filed a bill this session that will require electronic prescribing for all controlled substances to prevent the forging of prescriptions for opiates for the black market. Jay Leary expressed concern about the difficulty of budgeting for the town without knowing how anticipated deficits at the State level will impact it. Kevin Conley asked about where funding would come from for improvements to the aging transportation infrastructure. Dykema suggested that this may be one of the reasons Boston is considering hosting the Olympics -- to fund large-scale public projects -- adding that there is an ongoing discussion to make sure that funding is regionally allocated. The issue of senior tax relief was raised by Paul LeBeau. The selectmen are looking into means-based tax relief programs for seniors. Dykema will stay in touch with the Board as the State budget develops. But the big question for Carolyn was: How is she doing in the Agricultural Committee's Kiss the Pig contest? "Vote for Brian Kramer," she said.

Margaret Fitzpatrick presented a budget for the Department of Youth and Family Services that is within the 1.5% guideline. "We could expand, there is the need and we could do it," said Fitzpatrick.  There is a need for more clinical hours through her department, she said. She commended the Holliston Business Association for the Community Action Fund, which was put to good use this past year to offer assistance to townspeople with urgent financial need. She mentioned that the Holliston Lions Club is starting a "quality of life" fund, similar to the Community Action Fund, but for less urgent needs. The Youth and Family Services department budget was reviewed and approved.

The Selectmen reported that a consultant from the Collins Center at UMass/Boston, Richard Kobayashi, has begun his work on the search for a new Town Administrator to replace Paul LeBeau, who will be leaving the post on July 4, 2015.

The selectmen presented letters for two boys in town, who have become Eagle Scouts. Daniel Hendrickson did a project to maintain and confirm markings on telephone poles that inform emergency vehicles of the position of fire hydrants. Nathaniel Bagge built a footbridge at Weston Pond from the soccer field to the island. Congratulations, Daniel and Nathaniel, and thanks for your good work.

Bob Blair, Steve Bradford and Steve Napolitano were appointed as the Memorial Day Committee.

Adams Middle School teacher, Adam Steiner, has asked the Board to look into forming a sister city relationship with Nouna, a small city of 20,000 in Burkina-Faso, West Africa.  Endorsing the middle school project, the selectmen will see what can be done. "There's a bigger world out there than Holliston," they agreed.

Downtown Nouna.

 

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Comments (2)

R.E Highway Dept. snow removal:

Mr. Legee, I'm eighty three, been here for fifty three, and from your comment I can see that we agree. So much for me. John Losch

- John Losch | 2/13/15 6:56 PM

The H.D. is doing a good job on our roads. In my eighty years of life and 52 years living here in Holliston I can not remember a February like this one.

Warren

- Warren Legee | 2/13/15 8:13 AM

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