Editorial: Art program cut deserved airing

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

While the members of the Franklin County Technical School Committee may not have thought it necessary to inform the public of a plan to cut the budget for the arts program, we disagree. Obviously, had they known of the plans, there may have been parents and students who would have argued against axing the program. And, yes, this might have left some board members feeling beleaguered. But that comes with the territory of sitting on a committee, where members are charged with making hard decisions. While the intention might not have been to exclude the public here, that’s what happened. That can’t be considered healthy and shouldn’t be repeated.

Grant money aids the county

Government spending can be a heated topic. That’s because taxpayers don’t always agree on what’s appropriate for such spending. We’re sure that there are people, for example, who see state grants as a waste, while others see them as having true value. In Franklin County, there are now seven towns that see the value of the Community Innovation Challenge Grants. This includes Hawlemont in getting $130,000 toward creating its agricultural-based curriculum or money that the South County EMS service was awarded as it gets under way. Those seven grants amounted to $720,000, money that we suspect the recipients would have had trouble coming up with on their own. In this case, the county benefited greatly.

Who’s listening in Orange?

The Town of Orange’s financial struggles are certainly not a secret. And we believe that everyone involved in the debate has the best interests of the community at heart. Still, there are times where fiscal philosophy has to give way to the realities of what it takes for town services to function properly. We would like to think that selectmen and Finance Committee members are willing to listen hard to what Town Administrator Diana Schindler is saying. The best investment that the town can make is in its employees.

Loosening the grip of winter

Winter, it seems, still has a solid grip on the area — just look out your window. Even the fact that the days are getting longer can’t quite overcome the snow and the frigid temperatures. But there is another ray of sunshine coming that should help — spring training for baseball is getting under way. The Red Sox opened camp over the weekend, an occurrence that will provide a great diversion from anyone with the winter blues.

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