Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Maybe I'll Join Hal In Oregon?

Boston is a city with a shade over 42 square miles and narrow streets that allow parking year round. There are – quite naturally – certain restrictions regarding permit parking for neighborhoods. When a snow storm is anticipated a snow emergency is declared and that means the streets must be cleared of vehicles. You leave it and you will lose it at $50 a day and towing charges.
In Middleboro, we have a ridiculous ban starting November First. The absurdity and pure silliness that gives a solid insight into that antiquated mindset of a town that has some leadership on the food chain that is clueless. Just apply the snow emergency concept and let people park as they normally do. Of course, from the home of “Silly String” one would expect no less.
Under no circumstances will I vote for a new police station and it has nothing to do with need – that is a moot question since the need exists. This is a pure family support since I now have children who have located in Middleboro and simply will not accept the additional taxes. I can certainly fiscally support it, but family first. But a few other issues have grabbed my attention.
With the first attempt a few years back Town Meeting overwhelmingly voted for it only to have reality hit home and watch the station go down in ballot flames. A thinly disguised attempts by radical preservationist failed miserably. Now the latest resurrected proposal has their own PAC! I give this a 50/50 chance. Maybe even a 60/40 to pass?
My questions regarding the latest station is why Lakeville’s proposal for a station is considerably more cost effective than Middleboro? The square foot Lakeville figure is approximately $500 per square foot, according to published reports. Middleboro’s projected cost is significantly higher per square foot. Maybe Middleboro should have hired those in Lakeville to do a study instead of our own committee?
Police station costs for similar communities are lower than what Middleboro is proposing. The research is simple to find online. I imagine the committee that did all the “research” would, no doubt, go into an auto dealership and pay MSRP and probably ADM (Additional Dealer Markup) if that was tacked on.
Middleboro absolutely had to have a new fire truck at a projected cost of about one million dollars. Lakeville purchased our old clunker, refurbished it and now it has been in operation ever since. Amazing how the community with the lowest median income of any town in the county has a prime rib budget while the wealthiest in the county has a 73% beef budget. Again, why Lakeville?
If the latest police station proposal goes south the next most viable option is what I see elsewhere around the nation – modular units. Seen a lot of these and they come in all types of configurations to meet any need from administrative to lock-up.
The real silent message in the last vote was one of resentment. Police make a bundle of money. The Enterprise often highlights public salaries and the police in the towns that they publish dominate the figures. Jealousy or not that exists and I have personally heard it first hand and that includes other town employees. Dump the ultimate public safety gimmie – The Quinn Bill – and you can have a station with no taxpayer cost.
The next item down the taxation road is a potential new high school. I fully expect when all the public input is shifted through and all the various studies are done the decision will be to construct a new school. No doubt the supporters will use the unethical “For the children” approach and maybe even attempt to use the fallacy (I have seen elsewhere) that an improved plant improves test scores. I am sure if we have a new high school the Ivy League schools will be recruiting in town.
Fantasy sports – which I admittedly could care less about participating in – now rakes in billions and – quite naturally – that means the potential of tax dollars. Nationwide the move is afoot to regulate and tax. One of the key elements that has been mentioned is that there was the possibility that a game was “rigged.” How so?
The reasoning is that one clever employee used proprietary information to play on a competing site and won $300,000. The major sites use similar methods and algorithms. Nasty and certainly open to legal and ethical concerns. But, wait! Turns out the lottery has had similar questionable internal scams in various states that have reaped millions. I may not “trust” business, but I trust the government even less.
The dreary eight-year sentence of what the “free stuff” crowd put in office is slowly coming to its disastrous conclusion. An empty suit of epic proportions will rely on left-leaning historians to somehow put a gloss on failure. Even the failures of the incompetent 43 make the current administration appear like the “JV Team.”
Selectman Knowlton is obviously unfamiliar with the restaurant business by his recent request to have the latest resurrection of restaurant failure on route 28 shrink bar size. Thankfully, David Fisher say an adamant and resounding “no” to this suggestion. That is not the trend in casual dining and that would certainly hinder the dynamics of food and beverage (booze) mix that impacts the bottom line.
Fisher is one who has a very positive track record in this business niche and is willing to invest the money to totally revamp “360” or “Shooters” into a viable business that has a respectable reputation and actually where families can go. No doubt his vision of a new concept is to transition back to Richards’s days, but with better ambience.
The Bumpkin was rather mild on town attorney Dan Murray in a recent column. Insert a LOL in there. That a simple decision is now going on three months means it has been either neglected or Mr. Murray has realized his original missive on recreation had no basis in common sense, facts or Weston Will interpretation.


Suo Mynona said...

Bogo -- long time. I see your "worthless" blog needs a comment. Anything for a friend. Middleboro and Lakeville share virtually nothing in common except a border. Comparing their public services and needs to Middleboro's is misleading. old folk that live in Lakeville receive no town services other than having the road plowed. tough cookies if you are too old to perform the madatory trash drop off. I do not know where Lakeville's considerable tax dollars go. Maybe to the selctmen that receive town health insurance, regional schools, building a water tower they could not afford and had to sell, buying a ladder truck that caught on fire and is too short to reach their taller buildings, the former hanging gardens at the public library? The move to Lakeville would be easy Bogo. Sell your house, take 100k out of your IRA and buy a 02347 home and enjoy the things your new town government -- just don't expect to find any place to sit if you attend a public board meeting.

On a positive note, Middleboro DPW is now purchasing and refurbishing dump trucks for town use at 1/4 the cost of new.

Richard McNair said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard McNair said...

I am sure based on what you have written that Lakeville will certainly do their station on the cheap. They are rather adept at that and can certainly "play" Middleboro whenever necessary. Probably "rent" space in our station - which may be a long shot at this juncture. Maybe we could move the old building from Lakeville if they build? I'm sure we could form a committee that would be capable of looking at all the angles and purchase the most expensive. Maybe even form a PAC to get the word out?

I choose Middleboro because it was cheap. Simple as that. The same hovel I purchased would have been twice as much in Hingham and even 50% higher in some nearby communities. That price discrepancy still exists.

The DPW figured out what they didn't figure out in Middleboro with a fire truck. Lakeville's is still operational so they did something right. Their school system performs well and the BOS getting some heath insurance is certainly of concern, but their budget apparently is stable. I have no idea of the credit rating but I will assume it is a reasonable one.

I have no great affinity for Middleboro or animosity towards Lakeville. Lakeville appears to be a nice community with respectable public services, a nice library,a COA, active volunteerism and the other various bells and whistles of a small town. In fact, I find Middleboro and Lakeville quite similar.

Middleboro is simple nothing special. Middleboro is plain. The town is pure vanilla and not memorable. A fact that can be said about many towns in Massachusetts including the town I was raised in - Whitman. Raynham, Carver, Plympton and so on with no Deerfield's around this area except for Plymouth would certainly fit that niche.

In either case, I have no intention of moving to Lakeville or anywhere else since there are emotional bonds (not the town) that keep me tethered. If not for that, I would be living in Hal's cellar. Or better yet a warm climate where I have only memories of cold temps and snow.

Hal Brown said...

Every couple of months I read your blog.... nice to be remembered in your title....
Alas, I think you'd find Portland far to liberal for you (although it is a great place to live).

Richard McNair said...

I have no problem with liberals, Hal, for once they are litter trained they do make nice, but rather vicious pets. I do find the more ardent ones as obnoxious, intellectual warped and one-dimensional as their brethren on the right. Both the conservatives and the liberals - or rebranded as "progressives" are the significant driving force behind the vast number of "I's" that have been created.