Plympton Selectmen chose Community Paradigm Associates as the firm to help the town hire its first town administrator. After interviewing three different firms since getting the funds appropriated for the position at May’s Annual Town Meeting, the Board settled on a firm at its meeting Monday, July 10, 2017.
Community Paradigm Associates is Bernard Lynch’s private practice for hiring consulting. The Board interviewed him at their meeting Monday, June 26, 2017.
Lynch, whose practice has only existed for three years, sold himself to the Board by citing his 30 years of experience in municipal government, most notably as the city manager for Lowell, eight years as well as Chelmsford for 20 years.
Selectmen were impressed by this experience, and all three members cited this as a reason for choosing his firm. Selectmen Clerk Mark Russo checked all the references for Community Paradigm, as well as the Collins’ Center and Municipal Resources and came away impressed with all three, but the enthusiasm surrounding Community Paradigm was particularly impressive to him.
Russo said that Community Paradigm’s references referred to Bernard Lynch as “a match-maker who knows the state so well.” Selectmen Chair Christine Joy said she gravitated towards Community Paradigm because of his experience, approach, and low cost.
Originally, Selectman John Traynor named Municipal Resources as his first choice. Traynor said, “We need to professionalize how we go forward and they can help with that.” Russo said that Municipal Resources’ references cited the organization’s professionalism as a strength.
Traynor also liked Community Paradigm and said he was convinced by the opinions of Russo and Joy to make it a unanimous vote. Former Selectman Colleen Thompson, who was still a board member for the interview with the Collin’s group and sat in on the meetings with Municipal Resources and Community Paradigm, also preferred Community Paradigm because of how much they wanted to involve the community. Thompson said, “That’s important to us.” Selectmen unanimously voted to begin negotiations with Community Paradigm Associates.
Potholes and dust on Montello Street
Selectmen scheduled an appointment with Highway Surveyor Jim Mulcahy to discuss the ongoing issues with potholes and dust on Montello Street. Discussions about potentially paving the road were discussed in a preliminary way.
A group of citizens who live on and around Montello Street were led by Kristin Fichtenmayer to discuss the road conditions at the open meeting. Fitchenmayer said the potholes are a major concern and that on average, there are 56 potholes at a time. She described the ones at 6 and 15 Montello Street as completely unavoidable.
Other concerns of hers was the amount of dust picking up since Montello is a dirt road. She said she had environmental concerns over the larger pickups. She also said the width of the road is problematic because cars cannot get by if a school bus is on the street.
Fitchenmayer said she’s understanding of Plympton’s being a small rural town, but wanted to know how the town will go forward. She said, “We want to know what’s the plan?” Fitchenmayer said that her husband Eric, also in attendance, is an EMS for Carver, and all of these factors make getting out on calls difficult.
Highway Surveyor Jim Mulcahy said he’s aware of Fitchenmayer’s concerns and agrees the Highway Department can spray the road more often in order to limit some of the dust pickup. Right now the department, is grading the road three times per year.
Mulcahy said they can grade the road five to seven times per year without stretching thin a small crew. He said, “We’re very aware and trying to stay on track of what’s happening in Carver. The town does want to eventually pave the road he said, but that discussion was agreed to be tabled until the Carver Urban Renewal Plan finishes its permitting process.
Selectmen Chair Christine Joy said she will try to reach out to Carver for more information for Fitchenmayer and the other residents. Joy said traffic studies are currently being done and the area of the study has been expanded. She said, “The Old Colony Planning Council has been very active.”
Potential dog hearing soon
A recent complaint surfaced about a German Sheppard biting an individual at 73 Mayflower Road. According to Christine Joy, the bite looks serious and warrants a dog hearing.
Selectman Mark Russo said that allegedly the victim was on the dog owner’s property for real estate purposes and was taking pictures. However, the report is still inconclusive. The owner has three dogs and its unclear which dog bit the victim.
Selectmen John Traynor said the owner is claiming none of his dogs were the one who bit the victim and right now, there isn’t any evidence at this time. Findings and recommendations are needed from the Animal Control Officer before the Board of Selectmen will proceed.
An employment section has been added to the town website. The Fire Department plans to post their open clerical help position here as well as around the Town House.
The next Board of Selectmen’s meeting is Monday, July 17. Open session starts at 6 p.m.