The Scouts and their volunteers won’t have to tackle the annual April town-wide cleanup on their own this year, now that the Marion Board of Selectmen on April 16 gave its informal blessing for volunteers from various Marion churches and organizations to join forces with the Department of Public Works (DPW) for the day.
George Linzee spoke on behalf of the First Congregational Church of Marion, saying the church, along with other locals, wish to volunteer their time to sweep sidewalks still buried beneath the debris of this past winter in preparation for the upcoming spring season. He said the sidewalks on Front Street are where the group specifically wants to target as it makes its way to Washburn Park to meet the rest of the volunteers and Scouts on Saturday, April 27.
The plan is to sweep away the sand, stone, gravel, sticks, and trash form the sidewalks, Linzee said, “For safety reasons, but also for aesthetic reasons. … This is our [neighborhood] and it’s getting to that time of the season when we’re going to be having guests.”
Linzee said the debris on the sidewalks flushing into the harbor with stormwater is also of concern.
He said volunteers would meet in the parking lot of the Benjamin D. Cushing Community Center that morning, and their efforts will be reported to the DPW throughout the day in order to coordinate street sweepers to follow after them. He also hopes the DPW can offer up some extra brooms and shovels if needed.
“Thank you for taking the initiative in doing something like this,” Board of Selectmen Chairman Norm Hills said.
In other matters, the board will have to reschedule a meeting with Finance Committee Chairman Peter Winters, Open Space Acquisition Commission Chairman John Rockwell, and ZBA Chairman Marc LeBlanc to discuss video recording and televising their meetings. None of the gentlemen could make it that evening.
The selectmen back in January asked the chairmen of these three boards to begin televising their meetings, but to this day none of them have acquiesced to the selectmen’s request, which Hills stated during the board’s last meeting two weeks ago, “Was not a suggestion,” but rather an order.
In other business, the newly hired town administrator, James “Jay” McGrail, sat in on the meeting shadowing retiring Town Administrator Paul Dawson, during which the selectmen approved and ratified McGrail’s employment contract.
Before adjourning, Selectman John Waterman suggested an additional discussion with the Finance Committee to discuss each other’s expectations.
“There were some areas in the past when they had expectations of us that we haven’t met,” said Waterman. “If we don’t know [what those are], how are we going to meet them?”
Also during the meeting, the board scheduled a special meeting for a public discussion of the Annual Town Meeting Warrant and the proposed fiscal year 2020 operating budget on Thursday, April 18, at 7:00 pm at the Marion Music Hall, 465 Front Street.
The next regular meeting of the Marion Board of Selectmen is scheduled for May 7 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.
Marion Board of Selectmen
By Jean Perry