December 1, 2022

Is anyone listening?

Posted

August 24, 2022

Seekonk needs to stop and refocus on Town Employees. When you take the time to think about “essential” services. What is the first to spring to mind? Mine is Public Safety.

Our world has changed and people who want to do harm are not in short supply. We can no longer “afford” to ignore the people of Police, Fire and EMS.

Of course, I am speaking of contracts and the monies available for negotiations, and respectable numbers inline with other neighboring departments.

The goal is to hire and retain a full compliment of police officers which for the past many years has been 40. It has been far too many years since we can say we have a full compliment. So, what is the problem here?

The Board of Selectmen’s agenda has had too many items of “accepting resignations” and not just the police department.

It was recently announced that we are losing our Assistant DPW Superintendent. This is distressing because of the caliber of employee we stand to lose. We have not had to worry about the leadership of that department and the services provided by all. They are a championship team. The Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent have done a remarkable job. Whatever has gone on in that dilapidated, ancient, disgraceful building has not interfered with services. The roof and/or pipes make leak but that is a great group of people.

All this makes me wonder just what is going on here? WHY are people so ready to pick up pack up and leave? Is it money? Is it the working environment? Is it town leadership?

I wonder, does the town have enough money in its operating budget to pay town employees covered by contract?

This takes us back to budget preparation. The division of funding. We always assume the largest portion of funding “needs” to go to the school department. Alright let us assume it. How much will be left for town services and town employees? Answer: not enough and there has not been enough for years.

There is a solution, but will town leaders listen? We need a comprehensive look inside the school budget. When our generosity is expected so far over and above the state minimum required, we deserve a deeper look. We need to measure results. Keeping in step with Education Reform 93 does not exempt us from seeing exactly where our tax dollars are going when it comes to school expense. After all, it is for the children, is it not?

Further, to keep our town services functioning and not just surviving we need an equitable division of our funding. We start with accounting for what we pay for, what we need to pay for and what our needs will be in the future. Please strengthen your support for town services.

Thank you for listening,
Doreen Taylor


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