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Editorial: Pay now or later in Rowe?

Brief thoughts on some of the events making news from around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area:

Asking town residents to come up with $100,000 is the type of issue that one expects to generate plenty of questions. But we don’t see that Rowe residents will have much to debate when it comes to money needed for the elementary school’s septic system. Those putting forth the article — which will appear at the Jan. 9 special town meeting warrant — are advocating for a better-safe-than-sorry approach. If the existing system meets the state’s requirements, then there’s no need for the money to be spent. But if the system needs replacing, and residents don’t OK the money, then the funding would have to come from the $6.9 million slated for building the new school. Approving the money now, just to be sure, makes sense.

Pressure mounts on Deerfield

With the formation of a search committee to find Deerfield’s next town administrator, the pressure is building for selectmen to decide just how “strong” the position should be. Some town officials continue to disagree with a state audit that recommends the town administrator have a more significant role in managing the town’s day-to-day operations than in the past. While we think finding the best possible person for any position is at the forefront of a search, the exact duties of the position will determine who might apply for the job. Delays in updating its definition could cause issues later on.

The FDA hears what farmers said

We’re glad that the federal Food and Drug Administration listened to farmers, including those in our area, and are going to revise food safety rules that were proposed. Farmers complained that what the FDA was asking for when it came to precautions against contamination would place a significant burden on small farms. Obviously better food safety is the goal, but there has to be a recognition, too, of what’s practical — and of the differences between small farms and massive “farm factories.”

Deserving of the award

A round of applause goes to Raymond Zukowski in being named this year’s Recorder Citizen of the Year. After spending more than three decades with the Montague Police Department, including serving as its chief, Zukowski has continued to give to the community in retirement through a variety of programs and activities. Congratulations!

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