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This Day In Norwood History-April 25

HIS MONTH AS TOWN MANAGER

Clarence A. Bingham Planning Many Economies for Norwood—
Already He Sees Chances for Doing the Town’s Business Better.

CLARENCE A. BINGHAM, Town Manager of Norwood

25 Apr 1915, Sun The Boston Globe

Clarence A. Bingham, town manager of Norwood, is rounding out his first month on his new job and says he will be ready soon to make a report to the Selectmen on conditions as he finds them, together with suggestions for Improvements In the method of conducting the town’s business.

Mr Bingham was selected from a large list of applicants for the job and has a free hand in running the public business of this growing, progressive-suburb. He is a young man, who hails from Woodrow Wilson’s adopted State, an engineer by profession and is still in his 20’s. He is responsible only to the Selectmen who hired him. and they have told him that they will back him up in anything that he does for the benefit of the town.

Young Mr Bingham Is of slight build, light complexion, studious, methodical, but, better still, practical, and has a lot of horse-sense. He is the town’s economy and efficiency expert.

His engineering knowledge and his previous experience in public works ought to be of great advantage to him and a benefit to the town. The Selectmen believed that they would, and it was mainly because of these things that they selected him out of a list of 149 aspirants for the place.

People Backing Him Up.

Manager Bingham is the Pooh Bah of Norwood, the whole works of the village that wants to take and hold the lead In ideal town government in the State.

Since coming to Norwood Mr Bingham has busied himself in getting acquainted with town affairs. Seated at his desk tn the temporary Municipal building the other day, Mr Bingham told a Globe man some of the things he was doing,

“It’s a little early to begin talking of what I am going to do,” said he, “but before long I expect to be able to report to the Selectmen what I have found out about the Town Government and the various departments, and I hope to be able to offer some suggestion looking for the bettering of conditions, I have seen enough already where I believe I can not only improve matters, but more than save my salary.

“I am very much pleased at my reception here on the part of the townspeople. I have had some experience in public affairs and in meeting people of different communities, and t must say that the people of this town are show a fine public spirit.

“Everywhere I have met with the best of feeling and everybody seems to want to do everything to help me and assist in bringing the Town Government up to ideal standards of efficiency and economy.

Buying at Wholesale.

“The first thing that struck me in my investigation of the town departments was the necessity of establishing a central yard for the public works. At present every department has a separate yard in a different part of the town.

“In the interest of economy and efficiency they should all be brought together under one roof. A site on the railroad line would be the best location, where supplies may be unloaded direct from the cars.

Heretofore the town has bought its coal supply separately In small lots for each department. By buying it all at once we can get a better price and more weight. We are about to advertise for about 40 carloads of coal of various kinds.

“All the department heads are cooperating with me in all matters, even the schools. The supply department is an important one in every city and town and if judiciously bought money can be saved over the old methods,

“We are planning to buy the oil for our streets in larger quantities, store it in our own yard and use it as we need it.

“I have been looking over the town crusher and we have some plans for improvement and economy there which will help matters. The same may be said regarding the school supplies and the materials needed in the town electric light plant.

“Just now we are doing considerable road repairing, as this is the season of the year when the streets need attention. We have two carloads of asphalt on hand, which will be used for repairs on the main street.”

Making Comprehensive Plans.

The first of the month Manager Bingham is to have an assistant who will look after his office details and then he says he can give more attention to his outside duties, such as street and sewer work, of which considerable is planned.

By laying out a comprehensive, plan in street and sewer work and doing it methodically, instead of jumping all over town, doing a piece here and another patch there, the town will profit by the new idea, he believes.

One thing Mr Bingham is pretty sure to advise, and that is the consolidation of several departments into a board of public works, which will have charge of the streets, sewers, lights, etc, with a single headed superintendent. This he believes is necessary and essential to a proper conduct of the town’s affairs.

From time to time he will make other recommendations of changes to the Selectmen until he has the department efficiently managed by the best men that he can get.

Meanwhile the old-fashioned politician is sitting back and watching the new fangled 20th century idea of town Government, secretly hoping, maybe, that it will be a failure because he sees in the town manager plan the passing of the day when public office was a private snap, and regretting the good old days when he and his friends made a good living off the town.

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