Editorial: Erving questions
Brief thoughts on some of the events making news from around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area:
Dateline Erving: The turmoil that has developed over the Board of Selectmen and its attempt to remove Almon “Bud” Meattey as fire chief is proving to be potentially costly for the town. This includes the need to use the services of the town’s lawyer as well as the potential for future litigation. It’s also proving costly when it comes to the confidence residents have in the handling of the matter by selectmen. While there are places in the business world where leadership changes are made with little or no explanation, this situation isn’t about a multinational company. Instead it involves a community of under 1,500 residents where Meattey has been with the department since 1982 and the chief since 2008. Unless there are some kind of criminal charges here — and none are indicated by the board — Meattey and the community deserve a better explanation as to why selectmen want a new fire chief.
Dateline Rowe: The news that Superintendent Michael Buoniconti plans on severing his ties with the Rowe School District when his contract expires in a year may have caught some residents off guard, but you had to know that something had to give here. Although there were some people pleased with his work, Buoniconti’s decision to get rid of Robert Clancy as principal at Rowe Elementary School back in 2011 didn’t sit well with plenty of residents. At the time, more than a third of the town’s population signed a petition calling for Clancy’s contract to be renewed. And since then the relationship between the superintendent and the Rowe school community has been cool, if not frosty. Now, we realize that in a year’s time the situation could sort itself out and Rowe and Buoniconti could get back together. But we could also see Rowe trying to assert more autonomy here. It will be worth watching.
Dateline Montague: The good news coming out of the plans to deal with repairing Greenfield Road, which connects the villages of Montague City and Montague Center, is that there seems to be complete agreement that the route is screaming for repairs. The not-so-good news at this point is that the same can’t be said for how people feel about the state Department of Transportation’s reconstruction plan, one that would widen the road in places and create some retaining walls. But if the state, town officials and residents along the road are committed to work together on this matter, there could be a satisfactory outcome ... meanwhile, conditions aren’t getting any better.