Globe South Community briefing

Almost 50 seek town manager job

December 13, 2009

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There’s no shortage of applicants looking to fill the corner office of Town Hall. Nearly 50 resumes - some from out of state - arrived at the selectmen’s office before the Nov. 30 deadline for applications to become town manager. Now it’s up to the Town Manager’s Search Committee to choose a short list of candidates, and selectmen will make the final decision. “The committee is actively meeting,” said member and Abington School Superintendent Peter Schafer. “At this point we’re not working with any kind of timeline.” Joining Schafer on the committee is Town Moderator Shawn Reilly, Selectman Andrew Burbine, and Ann Welch as citizen-at-large. Town business is being overseen by Assistant Town Manager Dori Jamieson, who was given the responsibility when Town Manager Phil Warren left last summer. - Robert Carroll
‘GREEN GALA’ - Sustainable Braintree, a community nonprofit, is out to celebrate its inaugural year with its “Green Gala’’ holiday party. The event will be Jan. 23, at the Sheraton Hotel in Braintree from 7 p.m. to midnight . Tickets are $50. Profits will benefit the organization, its grants, and a scholarship program. Tickets can be bought online at: or by calling Angela Carnes, 781-843-0530. The group started the Braintree Farmers’ Market, collected new and used items for reuse and recycling, and worked to exchange incandescent bulbs for free, among other programs. - Matt Carroll

TURBINES TO BE RECONSIDERED - Wind turbines will be back before the Planning Board next month. The board is under a court order to reconsider its rejection of a private developer’s proposal to build two wind turbines near Route 3A. The board had scheduled a hearing for late November, but had to postpone it because the formal court order hadn’t arrived, according to board Administrator Jo-Ann Pilczak. She said the board now has the remand, and CCI Energy’s revised plan will be on the agenda of the Jan. 6 meeting at Town Hall. - Johanna Seltz

NINE ON CHIEF SEARCH PANEL - Town Manager Richard MacDonald has appointed nine residents to a search committee for a police chief. In all, 23 applied to help find a chief to replace former Chief Mark DeLuca, whose contract was not renewed this year. The appointees are the Reverend Catherine Cullen of First Parish Church, school Superintendent Sue Skeiber, Alexander Salmela of the town’s personnel board, businesswoman Paula Harris, human resources professional Elizabeth Steadman, Bay Road resident Jerry Steinke, law enforcement professional Phillip Tortorella, businessman Chris Barlow, and public relations professional James Borghesani. The committee will work with BadgeQuest, a professional firm based in West Yarmouth hired by the town to lead the search. The deadline for applications for the position is Tuesday. - Robert Knox

SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION ON HOLD - Construction of Hanover High School could resume as early as this week if a state appeals court judge sides with the town and issues a temporary reprieve against a work stoppage order granted last month in Plymouth Superior Court. The appeal was filed by Hanover Town Counsel James Toomey and seeks to override a Nov. 20 injunction by Superior Court Judge Richard Chin. Chin ruled that Callahan Inc., the Bridgewater-based construction firm awarded the construction contract, intentionally misled town officials about its accomplishments on its application. Town and school officials are hoping state appeals court Justice David Mills, who heard arguments from both sides last Tuesday, favors a reprieve. Meanwhile, construction machinery lies silent at the site of the new school. “The judge is aware of the urgency of this project,” said Selectman Dan Pallotta. - Robert Carroll

H1N1 VACCINES SET - The Board of Health and school nurses will hold an H1N1 flu vaccine clinic today, 1-4 p.m. at the high school for public and private school children and residents ages 10 to 24. Public Health Nurse Kathy Crowley said rules on who receives the vaccine will be enforced. “We have an adequate amount, but we don’t know how many people still want’’ it, she said. - L.E. Crowley

DISPATCHERS TO COVER SHARON - The Board of Selectmen recently voted to approve a contract with Sharon to have Holbrook dispatchers handle all of Sharon’s fire and medical emergency calls, starting in January, said Selectmen Chairman Robert Powilatis. While there will be some start-up costs, this move will mean additional funds for the town, including $50,000 in fiscal 2011, which begins next July 1, the first full year under the agreement. Powilatis said Holbrook Fire Chief Edward O’Brien has worked closely with Sharon officials to make this cost-effective for both towns, and officials are looking into including other towns in the system. - Kate Augusto

WELLSPRING SEEKS SANTAS FOR NEEDY - Wellspring Multi-Service Center is looking for people willing to play Santa to needy families. For 12 years, the center has matched donors with families, specifying the children’s wish lists. “This year the need is way up,” said Wellspring director Vinnie Harte. “We’re probably going to help about 200 families, which translates to about 300 kids. Last year it was about 170 families.” To participate, call Wellspring at 781-925-3211. Wellspring also needs non-perishable food for its Christmas meal boxes; food can be dropped at the food pantry, 814 Nantasket Ave, weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Johanna Seltz

FUNDS FOR TURBINES SOUGHT - Selectmen have approved a grant application prepared by the town’s Green Energy Committee to seek $150,000 in federal stimulus funds to build five small wind turbines and a carport that would house solar panels to produce electricity. The turbines would take up less space and produce less power than the large municipal one planned for the transfer station. They would be on town sites such as the fire stations and Silver Lake school campus. The carport, planned for Town Hall on Evergreen Street, would provide some electricity for Town Hall and a place to plug in electric cars in the future. The grant application goes to the state Department of Energy Resources, which is awarding funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to community projects. - Robert Knox

CHRISTMAS TREE CASH TAKEN - The Grinch struck early this year, stealing almost $500 from a Christmas tree stand that benefits a charity. David Singer said someone emptied the cash box at the stand in front of Roche Brothers’ parking lot sometime on the night of Dec. 3. Money from the tree sales goes to Brooks’ World Travels, a charity named for Singer’s late son, Brooks Thomsen Singer. Brooks was a well-traveled sophomore at Marshfield High when he died in 2003 after a trip to Peru. Brooks’ World Travels helps send groups of Marshfield High students abroad to experience and appreciate different cultures. “We’ll have to cut back unless we get all the trees sold,” Singer said. “We had 550 trees and we still have 400 to sell to raise the money we need. . . . I don’t feel anger [at the thief]. I hope they’re OK.” - Johanna Seltz

DEPUTY CHIEF TO RETIRE - Deputy Police Chief Paul Nolan, who is recovering from hip surgery, has decided to retire, according to Chief Richard Wells. Nolan, 54, has been on the force since 1980. He had been on leave since September, when a girlfriend said he bruised her face. A Brockton District Court clerk magistrate decided there was insufficient evidence to show he had committed a crime. - Matt Carroll

SCITUATE WOMAN ARRESTED IN BREAK-INS - A 24-year-old Scituate woman has been arrested by Norwell Police in connection with three house break-ins in November. Shawna Wright was arrested Dec. 1 and charged with three counts of breaking and entering and three counts of larceny from a building and destruction of property. She pleaded not guilty during arraignment in Hingham District Court and is expected back for a pretrial hearing this month. Also summonsed to court are Wright’s sisters, Kelli, 21, and Nicole, 20, on one count each of receiving stolen property. Odair Tavares, 25, of Scituate, is being summonsed to court on one count of receiving stolen property. Norwell Deputy Police Chief Jack Suurhans said the arrest and summons stem from house breaks on Cranberry Lane, Madison Court, and Grove Street during robberies in November. - L.E. Crowley

POLICE BOYS CLUB SEEKS HELP - The Pembroke Police Boys Club is seeking help from businesses and residents for its project to renovate the club’s historic building. The nonprofit operates out of the Grand Army of the Republic Hall, an 1896 building on Center Street constructed as a meeting hall for Civil War veterans from Pembroke. The group has carried out repairs to the building, but is looking for donations of money and equipment to continue. The club was established in 1980 by Pembroke police officers led by then-Sergeant Willard J. Boulter Jr., who is a selectman. Over the years, the group has mentored hundreds in such activities as boxing, karate, and weightlifting. Anyone interested in donating to the project can contact the club at Pembroke Police Boys Club, PO Box 84, Pembroke, MA 02359 or call Boulter at 781-389-4548. - John Laidler

TREE-LIGHTING SCHEDULED TODAY AT HARBOR - A special tree-lighting celebration will be held today at the Mayflower II in Plymouth Harbor. The event is sponsored by Plimoth Plantation, and the public is invited to attend. Hot cider and cookies will be served. The festivities are scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m., and the lighting ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. - Emily Sweeney

ANIMAL SHELTER REOPENS - The Quincy Animal Shelter has reopened, after shutting down for three months. The shelter closed because of a breakout of ringworm, an infectious fungus. The outbreak cost $10,000 to eradicate. The shelter is volunteer-run, with no paid staff. The nonprofit, “no kill’’ shelter since 1999 has placed more than 3,600 dogs and cats into new homes, according to the organization.

- Matt Carroll

CEREMONIAL LAST TOWN MEETING - Randolph will mark the end of a 216-year tradition with pomp and celebration. A ceremonial last Town Meeting, closing out this form of government, will be held Wednesday 7 to 8 p.m. at Stetson Hall, 6 South Main St. “This is the most significant, historic change to the town of Randolph since 1793,’’ said Town Clerk/Registrar Brian Howard. “We want to properly record that significance.’’ In April, voters approved a measure to abolish representative Town Meeting and elect a nine-member Town Council, with a full-time town manager. Wednesday’s celebration will include costumed actors who will portray the first Town Meeting members; the high school band and choir will perform the national anthem; and historic photos and artifacts will be on display. The event will recognize 66 people with 20-plus years of Town Meeting service and introduce the newly elected Town Council members, said Howard. Also invited are former town officials, and former state legislators. The public is welcome, but because the hall’s capacity is about 300, Howard asks that residents call the Town Clerk’s office at 781-961-0900 before attending. - Wendy Chow

HOLIDAY CONCERT - An unusual brass quintet performs next Sunday at the Holiday Concert of the First Congregational Church. The Occasional Brass Quintet combines classical, funk, and rock music, but for the holidays it also will perform seasonal classics such as “Jingle Bells” and “Jolly Old St. Nicholas.” The 3 p.m. concert also features a hymn sing, vocal solos, and church music director Harriet Clarke on the 1897 pipe organ. The church is known for excellent acoustics. Refreshments will be served at the free concert, which is sponsored in part by the Rockand Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. For more information, call 781-878-1790 or visit - Steve Hatch

SEA WALL REPAIRS - Repair work on sea walls in Scituate that have been declared a disaster by the Federal Emergency Management Agency will begin in the spring. However, selectmen will take a broader look at overall needs by forming a Seawall Committee. Department of Public Works Director Al Bangert said the Federal Emergency Management Agency has designated certain sections of the town’s 21-mile coast line eligible for reimbursement - about $1 million - after a storm in 2007. Work on those FEMA-designated walls will begin in the spring, but other sections that also need repair will be part of the mission of a proposed Seawall Committee, whose charge will include seeking grants and other ways to raise money for any future upgrades. “It doesn’t matter where the seawall is on the priority list - first or last - there’s no money to pay for it,” Bangert said. - L.E. Crowley

APARTMENTS TO STAY ‘AFFORDABLE’ - The 65 apartments designated as “affordable” at the Tammy Brook apartment complex on King Avenue will remain that way, thanks to $10.17 million in tax-exempt bonds approved by the state last week. The money from the MassDevelopment financing agency goes to an affiliate of Beacon Communities to buy and upgrade the privately owned 90-unit development. “This was something the town was very supportive of,” said town Planning Director James Clarke. “Beacon was the only bidder planning to maintain the affordable housing restrictions,’’ which expired last June. Beacon also plans substantial improvements to the heating, hot water, and electrical systems at the 12-building site, which was built in 1968, as well as new roofs and a handicapped-accessible management office and community space.

- Johanna Seltz