This Day In Norwood History-February 21


Finance Commission Preparing to Show Its Work at the Approaching Town Meetings.


Sun, Feb 21, 1915 – The Boston Daily Globe (Boston, Massachusetts)

NORWOOD, Feb 20—The results of the first work of the new Finance Commission of Norwood will be shown at the two town meetings coming in Everett Hall. Under the new town government act of Norwood, which went into effect in January, one feature is a Finance Commission of three.

Part of their work is to consider all articles in the warrants for the annual and special town meetings requiring the appropriation of money and report with recommendations. One of the meetings next Thursday evening is the adjourned annual town meeting, at which the town appropriations will be taken up, and the other is an important special town meeting.

The Finance Commission consists of one elected for three years, one for two years, and one for one year. When each one’s term expires his successor is elected for three years, so it is eventually a three-year office. They take the place of the old “Committee of Fifteen,” or appropriations committee, which was appointed by the moderator at the annual town meetings.

The work of preparing recommendations for town meetings is only a part of their duties. Some of the other work includes the preparing and submission to i he Selectmen, on or before Dec 31, each year, a detailed estimate in writing of the probable expenditures of the town government for the next fiscal year, specifying for each department. At the same time they submit an estimate of all sources of revenue. If any bill of doubtful validity is presented to the town, it is referred to the Finance Commission.

The commission has considerable power. In connection with its work, it can require the production of all books and records of the town and summon witnesses. They can employ experts, counsel and other assistants.

The commissioners have begun their work well. In connection with the two town meetings to come they have held several meetings which were advertised as public hearings on the articles in the warrants, something which has never been done before in the history of the town. This should save much time at the town meetings. The members receive no salary, and can hold no other town office.

The chairman of the Finance Commission is Clifford B. Sanborn, who was elected for the one-year term. He has served as moderator since 1904, and gave up that position to serve on the commission. He is clerk of the District Court and a lawyer. He has just finished two terms as Representative, has been chairman of the School Committee and served on the Sewer Commission. He is a large owner of business property in town.

Herbert H. Miller, clerk of the commission. was elected for the three-year term. He is manager of finance for the F. W. Bird Company, of which Hon Charles Sumner Bird is the head, and is office manager for all their various factories throughout North America.

He was town auditor in 1909, when the town accountant system was first brought up for the town, and was one of the first to advocate that system and one of the principal men responsible for its adoption by the town. He is regarded as an expert authority on figures and is a considerable property owner.

The other member, Francis J. Foley, was chosen for the two-year term. Mr Foley is a leading member of the Wellington Pierce Company, a large Boston manufacturing corporation. He is vice president of the Norwood Board of Trade and treasurer of the trustees of the Norwood Civic Association. He has taken a great interest in town affairs and is a substantial property owner.

All these gentlemen were candidates of the Charter Committee for the positions at the town election in January, and none of them had any opposition. They are all men of affairs, widely known outside of the community in which they reside. They are expected to be a valuable part of the new plan of government which involves the town manager idea for Norwood.

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