Updated About Town: A Town Manager's Report Without the Meeting
On budgets, fuel costs, safety and more.
With a severe weather outlook and more (more?) rain, you may want to stay inside tonight. The Revolutionary Revelry calendar is promoting Stump Trivia at the bar at the Aloft hotel on Marrett Road, from 7 to 9:30 p.m.
There is also a celebration of the Liberty Ride at the Battle Green from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m., but please, check the weather forecast first.
Posted at 5:45 a.m. this morning ...
It’s Tuesday and Town Manager Carl Valente always offers a report during the Monday night Board of Selectmen’s meeting. Well, there wasn’t one last night, but Carl came through anyway.
Here are a few bits of information from our leader’s desk.
Suspicious Minds …
The Lexington Police Department and Patch Editor Patrick Ball have been reminding us to lock our cars and homes. That’s a really good idea, because we’re in the midst of car and house break-ins, scams and a host of other rakish behavior by, shall we say, unsavory characters.
We’re being asked to use caution and apparently, we’re doing it well.
According to an email from our TM, one unfortunate National Grid Inspector had the police called on him six times last week.
Yikes! I don’t know his name, where he’s from or if he’s had to handle this with or without medication.
So, we’re sending him a collective apology, with a proviso: We’re still going to be careful and we’re still going to call the police.
“People are on high alert,” said Police Sgt. Christina DeMambro. “I’m sure it’s not exclusive to Lexington.”
That means a transfer to another city or town really isn’t going to help this guy.
Here’s my advice: Carry your identification; show it to the neighbors and, more importantly, call the police first and tell them where you’re going.
“It’s good that people are cautious and aware," said DeMambro.
Yes, I agree. I’m wondering if the National Grid guy does, though.
Oil and Gas …
The multi-town purchasing consortium Lexington participates in opened bids last week for gasoline, diesel and heating oil, Carl reported.
The town budgeted $2.95 per gallon and the lowest bid for fiscal year 2012 is $3.25.
“Based on advice from Dave Eagle of Arlex Oil, we went with the variable (daily) price for heating oil, as the expectation is that prices will drop later this year,” Carl noted.
The cost is approximately $45,000 more than we bargained for, but Carl thinks it’s a manageable amount if the town has the opportunity to amend the FY12 budget.
Senate Ways and Means Budget Proposal
Yes, Ways and Means released the proposed 2012 budget last week.
“In terms of State Aid for Lexington, this proposal is nearly identical to the House version ($11,000 more in the Senate version),” Carl noted. “The Senate also came up with its own of version municipal health insurance reform. It increases the amount of any ‘savings’ that a community would share with employees/retirees to 33 percent from the House version of 20 percent. It also provides for an arbitration panel, but it is not quite clear how the panel will work.”
I have a call in to Carl and will find out (or learn) about the arbitration panel. It sounds as though no one has answers yet.