.

Keyser: Towns Should Take Over School Maintenance

A look at events and happenings around Hamilton and Wenham with comments on stories.

Gee, how about that? Another week without snow. In fact, these past days the temperatures are right up there around 50 degrees. The eight foot piles of snow are down to about six feet.

In happenings around the two towns, I suspect the DPW is saving funds by not doing any more cleaning up of narrow streets due to snow banks, even though it means cars have to be very careful driving through these streets.

Speaking of the DPW, seem to be a lot of comments in stories relating to the problem with deep snow on schools roofs, that this department should be taking over the daily operation of aintenance for the school buildings. If this had been the case this winter, the closing of schools due to concerns of heavy snow levels on the school roofs would not have happened.

One comment seems to say what several have said - that the school department is in the education field, and not into maintaining buildings. If one checks out school departments in the area, the results would show that DPW departments do take over operations of school buildings. Maybe its time for town officials to look into the local DPW departments taking over the school buildings.

In speaking about schools, one of the issues coming from the operational audit is that the amount of $200,000 appears to be unaccounted each year in the school maintenance budget. In comments made about this missing item, both boards of selectmen and their chairman said, in effect, well, we really don’t know where the funds are, or there doesn’t seem to be very good record keeping, or that we really may never know where the missing funds have gone.

With remarks like that coming from the board that is supposed to be running the town business in both towns, it makes one wonder just well is our town business being taken care of by this board.

Having been around these towns for quite a few moons, a good answer to the missing funds is that every year the top person at the school office made up the yearly budget. When the total figure was short and more funds were needed to pay for school needs, the maintenance funds were taken to balance the budget.

The shortage in that fund meant no repair work on school buildings, and this has been going on for several years, not just one year. To add to this situation, the members of the school board were aware this was being done and yet voted every year to approve the budget. Therefore, the blame isn’t just with the top school head, but the school board as well.

That’s it for this week, and remember, a boiled egg is hard to beat.

Bob Gray February 20, 2011 at 01:56 PM
Appears that Beverly, Danvers and Gloucester, to name a few, are having their DPW depts. handle the school building maintenence now. Time for Hamilton and Wenham to do the same due to the dismall results of allowing the schools to handle it. What would have to happen would be for the DPW budget to absorb the monies given to the schools for maintenence and also have the personel handling it report to the DPW dept. Of course the unions would fight it as usual. They may have to give up some perks which would save the taxpayers some money!

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something