After a delay of one and one-half hours before a Quorum of Town Meeting Members was assembled in Memorial Hall Wednesday, the meeting was called to order and the three Articles of the Warrant were passed unanimously in less than seven minutes.
Under Article 1, $211,800 was appropriated on the recommendation of the Finance Commission for the construction of 7700 feet of Interceptor Sewer from the M.D.C. line behind the Norwood Arena to the Walpole Line. The sum of $101,040 will be transferred
from available funds to meet this appropriation.
In the same article the Town Treasurer was authorized to issue one year bonds if necessary amounting to a total of $50,000 with borrowing being reduced proportionately as grants from the Federal Government are received by the Town.
WALPOLE TO PARTICIPATE
The Town of Walpole made an appropriation of $60,760 at the May Special Town Meeting for its part of the joint sewer construction. The funds are being held in escrow by the Town of Norwood
Both Towns will benefit from the joint project: A connection by Walpole will eliminate the necessity of constructing sewerage pumping stations there and Norwood will open an area presently zoned for Residential and Light Industry to Town sewerage.
Article 2, on the widening of Lenox Street from Guild Street to Washington Street was passed with little discussion. Engineer Leonard Shire explained that most of the land takings would be on the railroad side of the street.
Selectman John A. Abdallah advised Town Meeting that problems connected with the widening of the railroad bridge comes tinder the jurisdiction of the County Commissioners and that body has the matter under advisement.
The article calls for no appropriation said Chairman George T. Mahoney of the Finance Commission since there is already $40,000 in the account.
The widening will most likely come under a Chapter 90 appropriation, said Selectman Harry B. Butters, and future land damages will be saved by making payments now. It will perhaps be several years before the project is begun.
The Finance Commission recommended the transfer of $700 under Article 3 to meet expenses connected with the purchase of three police cars being traded this year. The recommendation of the Fin Com was unanimous arid followed a special meeting Wednesday.
Finance Commissioner Ambrose J. Kelly was responsible Wednesday for gathering the ten final Town Meeting Members necessary for the quorum.
CONTROVERSY OF ARTICLE 3
At the Selectmen’s meeting Tuesday, Commissioner John P Morgan advised the Town Fathers that the Finance Commission would recommend “no action” on Article 3 for the appropriation of $700 to meet additional expenses incurred with the purchase of police cars.
A vote of 2-1 prevailed against making the transfer from the reserve fund with Fin Com Chairman George T. Mahoney casting the only vote in favor of the measure Commissioners Mogan and Ambrose J. Kelly voted in opposition.
When Town Manager Walter A. Blasenak opened the- bids on the replacement of the cars, the one he chose to award was above the appropriation made at the Annual Town Meeting. To meet the additional cost required a transfer of funds by the Fin Com, and Town Clerk and Accountant Bartley W. Connolly telephoned Chairman Mahoney and Commissioner Kelly to determine if a majority would approve the transfer.
Mahoney and Kelly gave verbal approval and Connolly advised Manager Blasenak who awarded the contract.
When the Fin Com met and cast a 2-1 vote against making the $700 transfer, the contract had already been awarded and the only recourse of the Manager and Clerk was to seek an appropriation at Town Meeting.
Commissioner Mogan complained to the Selectmen Tuesday that he voted against the transfer from the outset and having made a study of the request, would sustain his vote.
However, he urged that a resolution be adopted directing a department and department heads to make a concerted effort to keep within the annual appropriation voted by Town Meeting.
It is the prerogative of the General Manager under the Town Charter to award bids in the best interest of the Town, said Blasenak, explaining that contracts are not necessarily awarded to the low bidder Sometimes bids, although being lowest, are not according to the specifications. These must be discarded, he said.
I couldn’t have made the purchase without assurance that the funds were available and acted in good faith, assuming that you (Commissioner Kelly) were doing the same,” said Blasenak.
“The fact aS,” said Mogan, “the cars could have been purchased within the appropriation The action was not irregular as much as showing lack of good judgement and interest in the welfare of the Town.
“If this is the case,” continued Mogan, “be assured that the Finance Commission will do some real digging during budget time next year”.
Chairman James J. Drummey of the Selectmen remarked that Manager Blasenak had been led down a “primrose path,” adding that Commissioner Kelly had a responsibility of getting Town Clerk Connolly “off the hook ”.
Selectman Walter J. Dempsey moved that a meeting with the Fin Com be scheduled in the future on all proposals for transfer. Lacking a second, the motion was declared dead.
(All articles were originally published in the Norwood Messenger unless otherwise noted)
The Norwood Athletic Club Lost Only Four Games in Nine Years-This Day In Norwood History-November 18, 1939
Norwoodites still remember the 1907 Thanksgiving Day Conspiracy, engineered by Harry Corbett, organizer and president of the old Norwood Athletic Club, now a member of the Norwood police force. There are many who saw Phil Schlossberg, later famous for his…