Thursday, May 9, 2013
Wrentham may go digital in terms of resident complaints.
Wrentham town appraiser Steven McCarthy presented selectmen with an idea on to help citizens connect faster to their town government Tuesday. McCarthy told selectmen about the use of what is called "People Forms," where residents can send complaints, ideas, requests and recommendations electronically. He said the difference from email here, however, is that one form would be processed and go to all applicable recipients by way of categorized boxes that a database would read and distribute. “Let’s say there was a complaint about trash not getting picked up, or there’s a dead animal in the road on South Street,” McCarthy said. “You’d click on the applicable box. If you go down a little further there would be a text box asking for more info. …
Saturday, April 27, 2013
A look at the candidates for the Wrentham Board of Selectmen this year.
Wrentham will see the outcome of the latest contested election for the Board of Selectmen April 30. This year, Geroge Smith has thrown his hat in the ring again against either Gail Pratt or Joseph Botaish. Currently, there are two seats available with Smith running against the incumbents. Smith says he wants to reorganize the Wrentham selectmen to be more efficient than before. Smith added he wants to see people coming into Wrentham for more than just its Outlet Mall and get tourists to support more local and small businesses. “It seems we can do more to encourage residents from other communities to visit Wrentham and take advantage of our great lakes by fishing, boating or swimming,” he stated on his Web site. Smith said he's served on …
Monday, April 22, 2013
Selectmen discussed ways of involving and educating Wrentham's youth in the inner workings of their town.
The Wrentham Board of Selectmen discussed recently how they could produce more interest in the town’s government. Their answer? Early involvement and investment in the town’s children. “Finding people who are interested in joining committees is always a challenge,” selectman Michael Carroll said. “There are a few things that we might try that would not have immediate dividends, but would pay off eventually. There are groups in town that might have an interest.” Carroll said involving kids and youths in town government early would help them to understand the importance of getting involved in the town. “When I was a kid in Boy Scouts, the troops would get together in town hall,” he said. “The troops elected Boy Scouts as selectmen, school …
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Wrentham does not have a need to supplement budget in 2014 with free cash, according to the town administrator.
Town administrator William Ketcham told selectmen on Tuesday Wrentham has at this point enough revenue not to use free cash in the fiscal year 2014 budget. Free cash is a term used to describe extra one-time use funds in the town’s budget. Last year, the town used $760,000 to supplement operational costs that weren't themselves a one-time use. “I strongly urge that free cash should be saved or devoted to capital spending, which would be non-repeated spending rather than put into our operational costs,” Ketcham said. “There is no need for free cash.” While selectmen agreed using free cash to substitute yearly incoming revenue is a bad idea, quitting “cold turkey” may not be good for the town. “We’ve been using free cash for the last few …
Friday, April 12, 2013
Wrentham selectmen candidates Joseph Botaish and George Smith aired their views during the Wrentham Citizens Alliance Debate Wednesday night.
Wrentham selectmen candidates Joseph Botaish and George Smith tackled the issue of the town's tax base in the Wrentham Citizens Alliance Debate Wednesday night. The other candidate, Gail Pratt, was unable to attend. Botaish and Pratt are the incumbents, while Smith is the challenger. All three are vying for the two open seats on the board. Both Smith and Botaish were asked mainly about expansion of the town’s tax base, which is a hot button issue. The proposed rezoning of property on Madison Street abutting Route 1 and Route 495 was the main topic of debate. Madison Street property owner Joe Lorusso has put an article on this year’s town meeting warrant that, if passed, would rezone the property from residential to commercial. In 2010, …
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Building inspector Nicholas Tobichuk announed he would be retiring this week.
The Wrentham selectmen voted 4-0 (with Charles Kennedy absent) to reluctantly accept the retirement of building inspector Nicholas Tobichuk. Selectmen praised Tobichuck for his years of service. “I had the privilege of working with Tobichuk in a renovation of my home,” said chair Joseph Botaish. “Everyone I talk to compliments him on what he does.” Tobichuk’s letter of retirement stated that he would retire in July 2013. He has been working for the town for more than 20 years. “It’s going to be a big pair of shoes to fill,” Botaish said. Selectmen agreed they would start a search committee to find a replacement building inspector for the town. They would ask Tobichuck himself to lead the search committee to find his replacement.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Wrentham is having Arts on the Common.
The Wrentham Selectmen voted 4-0 with Charles Kennedy absent to approve the Wrentham event Arts on the Common. The event, sponsored by the Wrentham Cultural Council, is set for June 1 this year, and is supported by the police chief. The event will feature local artists and entertainment. “We accepted over 20 artists already,” said cultural committee chair Andera Tooker. “They will each have their own tents. We do have entertainment that we’re lining up. There will be a dulcimer, violinist, a drum circle towards the end of the day and a barber shop quartet.” Tooker said the council is currently trying to set a portion of the event in which a section of road on David Brown Way. “We’ll block it off so we could do chalk art so the children …
Friday, March 8, 2013
Wrentham's snow and ice budget is at $200,000.
The Wrentham selectmen talked with public works superintendent Michael Lavin regarding the snow and ice budget Tuesday before Thursday's storm. “We’ve had 20 events,” said selectmen chair Joseph Botaish Tuesday. “Sanding events are constantly happening. It may be for a couple of hours or four hours, but it’s still an event that incurs a cost.” Lavin said, as of March 5, the snow and ice budget is running at about $200,000, mostly because of the Feb. 8 storm. “I couldn’t be prouder than to be a member of the DPW team,” Lavin said, regarding the February blizzard. “We had contractors that left in the middle of the storm because they couldn’t handle it. DPW staff didn’t stop for 26 hours. It showed their fortitude.” Selectmen agreed …
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Wrentham Selectmen vote to approve a bid on a new ambulance for the Wrentham fiire Department.
The Wrentham Board of Selectmen approved a motion to accept Attleboro’s Specialty Vehicle Company for a new ambulance. Despite the numerous bids put out to the town, Specialty sent out specifications that adhered to the town’s requirements and was the lowest cost at about $249,807. Town administrator William Ketcham said the new vehicle should be ready in six months, since the vehicle has to be built to the specifications set by the town. Ketcham said the old ambulance that the town is getting rid of is currently designated as Rescue 1, and will be traded in for a reimbursement to the town to be designated at a later date. “It needs to be taken out of service,” he said. “A number of repairs kept fit for duty, but essentially it’s …
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Wrentham selectmen to discuss street lights tonight.
The Wrentham Board of Selectmen will meet on Tuesday to discuss a study done on Common Street at the South Street intersection. The problem is, according to Wrentham town administrator William Ketcham, that the intersection going onto South Street is difficult to navigate in some traffic patterns and times of day. “You really can’t make a left turn certain times of the day coming out of the Commons,” he said. Also on the agenda for Tuesday: Discussion of forming elederly and disabled taxation and scholarship and education committees. Authorization of participation in Collins Center Performance Measurement Grant (STATNET) Vote to Approve amendment to Selectmen policy concerning agendas. Proposed budget review schedule from the Finance …