There was a lot of swearing during the Rochester Board of Selectmen meeting on August 11– swearing-in, that is.
Rochester officially welcomed and appointed its new town administrator, Michael McCue, who stood before Town Clerk and Selectman Naida Parker, right hand raised, promising to do his duty for the Town of Rochester during his first selectmen’s meeting as a full-time employee at Town Hall.
Parker also swore-in Rochester’s newest police sergeant, Sergeant Kevin Flynn, in front of about a dozen of his fellow officers and family members.
Rochester Police Chief Paul Magee introduced Flynn as a highly qualified officer with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Stonehill College, who has been serving the Town of Rochester as a patrolman since he graduated in May of 2005.
“We were fortunate enough to scoop him up,” said Magee, listing Flynn’s contributions to the Town of Rochester in his capacity as a D.A.R.E. officer, a certified school resource officer, head of the firearms licensing department and Bad Check Program, as well as other safety programs within the community.
According to Magee, Flynn’s most recent accomplishment was the overhaul of the entire firearms training program, and Flynn has satisfied all the steps for the promotion to sergeant required by law.
After Flynn completed taking his oath, Flynn’s wife Susie pinned the new badge onto her husband’s uniform and those in attendance applauded the new sergeant.
Later in the meeting, McCue’s town administrator report brought the board up to date on some new projects McCue has been pursuing since his transition to Rochester from the Town of Avon.
McCue showed the board an example of the Wright Express (WEX) card for which he is applying on behalf of the Town to use as a credit card for fuel purchases and vehicle repairs only. He said, so far, he has also met with most of the town department heads, with the exception of a couple.
McCue mingled with various board, committee, and commission members and chairmen just before the Board of Selectmen meeting began on the same evening during a casual “meet and greet the new town administrator” in the meeting room at Town Hall.
Also in the works, McCue is planning to hold monthly meetings with department heads tentatively on the last Tuesday of each month, and he said he has also requested that department heads provide him with monthly summaries of important activities and key issues from the previous month.
“So you’re not caught unaware in case something is questioned in public,” McCue told the board.
McCue stated that he is also in contact with the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General regarding procurement policy, the purchasing of goods and services for the Town, and ways to simplify procurement processes, adding that it has become “very difficult and complicated” lately. McCue told the board it is best to not find themselves “in the middle of an audit … with files floating around…”
McCue said he is still pursuing ways the Southeastern Regional Planning & Economic Development District (SRPEDD) could benefit the Town of Rochester, and McCue will be meeting with the SRPEDD director and other SRPEDD staff members later in August.
Another one of McCue’s ideas presented to the board was the utilization of prison inmates for painting and roadside cleanup through the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Project Labor Community Service Program, which raised a few eyebrows on the board.
“I’m just not sure I want the inmates to know where the Town of Rochester is,” said Selectman Richard Nunes, eliciting laughter throughout the room.
Also during the meeting, the board approved the warrant for the special state primary election slated for November 9, and also approved the request from the Rochester Board of Assessors to issue preliminary tax bills for fiscal year 2015.
In other matters, the board appointed Cheryl Hebert to the Old Rochester Regional School Committee with ORR School Committee Chairman Jim O’Brien present, and reappointed Kathleen McHenry as the Town’s assistant accountant.
The board approved the liquor license for Matt’s Blackboard, and accepted the resignation of Cynthia Underhill from the Rochester Historical Commission.
A dog hearing for Liberal and Melinda Texeira of 368 North Avenue scheduled for that night was continued until August 25. The hearing pertains to complaints that the dogs living on the property have “interfered with the quiet, peaceful enjoyment of others, constituting a nuisance” in violation of the law.
The next Rochester Board of Selectmen meeting is August 25 at 6:30 pm at Town Hall.
By Jean Perry