Thursday, April 21, 2011

Town Meeting will have to decide yeah or neah 20 million in capital spending

The Capital Budget Committee has voted to support nearly all of Kelley's $18.8 million in recommendations for fiscal 2012, while the Finance Committee prepared to vote next week.

Items include:

$8.5 million as a placeholder for a new McAuliffe branch library (which Town Meeting would consider this fall if the town receives a state grant);
$1.7 million for roadwork;
$1.02 million to replace doors and windows at Stapleton School (a project special Town Meeting voted last fall to support);
$975,000 to replace the Fire Department's Ladder 3;
$715,000 for town building improvements;
$500,000 for new school technology;
$250,000 to study a centralized public safety dispatch center.


The Capital Budget Committee is recommending Town Meeting buy only one of the trash trucks the DPW wants, at a cost of $241,000.

The committee supports the Police Department's $152,000 request to replace the fleet's 5-year-old laptop computers at a cost of $5,000 each, McCarthy said.

While they seem expensive, the computers are "made to take a beating," he said. They're so essential that if a laptop needs to be taken out of a police car for repair, that vehicle is taken out of commission.

"It's that critical to the day-to-day operations of the police," he said.

The School Department is asking for $500,000 for laptops for teachers, at $900 each, which the Capital Budget Committee hasn't voted on.

The Parks and Recreation Department seeks a little more than $300,000 for items that include tennis lighting at Butterworth Park and two Ford pickups.

Also on the list of recommendations: $75,000 for garage repairs and $95,000 for window work at the main library on Lexington Street.


(Keep in mind, Mr. McCarthey the chair of Capital Budget is related to a Framingham cop)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Town Meeting

For those of you who care about such things, below is the url for the upcoming Town Meeting.

http://www.framinghamma.gov/Weblink8/DocView.aspx?id=17740&&dbid=0

And the Special Town Meeting on May 5th.

http://www.framinghamma.gov/Weblink8/DocView.aspx?id=17820&dbid=0

The report from Finance Committee

http://www.framinghamma.gov/index.aspx?NID=1377

With 65 new TMM's, many of whom were recruited by Herb Chasen of Save our Schools, one might expect some serious debate over such things as the deal cut with the unions of heath care costs. It now stands at 16/84, which should be rejected. It's way past time for organized labor in this Town to live like the rest of us and pay more for their heath care coverage. There's the meals tax of over a million that may go to schools.. or maybe to where it was intendid, the stabilazation fund. A choice between town emplyees as bus drivers or to privatize... could save big time. The SC seems to indicate that school choice would only save 300,000 or so and may present problems with segragation and all the poor kids at one school. With 6% uneployment in thsi Town, there's plenty of poor kids to go around.

There's still rasies planned for many, and I think it's a bad sign that any raises are being considered. Then there's the question of 5 million in OT for cops and fireman.

And much more...

I'm open to any or all comments, suggestions and resonable debate on any or all of the warrant articales. But the biggest savings this Town can see will be in the Heath Care contract that should be rejected.

SJC rules: odor of burnt marijuana not evidence of crime

Yesterday the SJC here in Mass made a decision as a direct result of the overwhelming approval of Ballot Question 2, the decriminalization of marijuana. The court by a 5-1 decision made the right call in a case that exemplifies how law enforcement has used the war on drugs, specifically marijuana to bolster their arrest records, waste millions of public safety dollars, while violent hard core criminals prowl our state.

This decision will have an impact on Framingham Police as they are constantly using the "smell of burnt marijuana" to gain access to homes and cars, wasting tax dollars busting low level pot smokers.


From the Globe:

The state’s highest court, overturning precedent and denying police a crime-fighting tool, ruled yesterday that the odor of marijuana smoke is not enough for officers to order a person out of a parked car, now that possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is no longer a crime in Massachusetts.

“Without at least some other additional fact to bolster a reasonable suspicion of actual criminal activity, the odor of burnt marijuana alone cannot reasonably provide suspicion of criminal activity to justify an exit order,’’ the court ruled in a 5-to-1 decision written by Chief Justice Roderick Ireland.

The justices ruled that voters, in passing the 2008 ballot question, intended that possessing an ounce or less of marijuana “should not be considered a serious infraction worthy of criminal sanction.’’

“Ferreting out decriminalized conduct with the same fervor associated with the pursuit of serious criminal conduct is neither desired by the public, nor in accord with the plain language of the statute,’’ Roderick wrote.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Elections

Next week the party loyalists will be out to pick their favorite friends, ignoring the the historical facts, budget woes, lawsuits, etc, etc, etc and gleaming over doing the civic duty in voting.

I would guess the same 5 thousand party loyalists who always vote in local elections will vote for the incumbents. The opposition for selectman, one pathetic elderly R, one immature lunatic fringe and one highly educated rookie, have not given enough reason for the independents to come out of their caves.

The School Committee race is more what parents who are voters will seek out. The challengers all deserve a shot while Blummer is still on the Board.