To: Board of Selectmen
From: William G. Keegan, Jr., Town Administrator
CC: Assistant Town Administrator
Date: December 5, 2008
Re: Town Administrator’s Report for 11/06/2008
Here’s the latest with what is going from the front Office:
1. The Police Department Reported that Halloween Night was uneventful in Dedham and that there were minimal issues throughout the Town. Other than a successful band of candy seekers overtaking the Town’s streets, we are happy to report that it was a safe and enjoyable night for all our residents.
2. Election Day was also a very successful in Dedham as over 78% of the registered voters cast their ballots for State, County and Federal Offices and to address four questions on the ballot. The Town Clerk, Paul Munchbach reported at the Department Head Meeting on Wednesday morning that the entire process was very smooth throughout the Town. The fact that School was not in session that day was a positive contributing factor to concerns over traffic and pedestrian safety. Mr. Munchbach reported that while the voter turnout was exceptionally high in comparison to most elections, it was not the highest from his experience in Dedham elections. He remembers that during the Presidential Elections in which Bill Clinton was elected President in 1992, the Town had seen voter turnout of nearly 88%. There were fewer registered voters during that time, but the percentage of those voting was very high.
3. Neighbors helping Neighbors is a new partnership being proposed with members of the Dedham Clergy and the Town of Dedham. Chairman MacDonald and I met with Father Steve Josoma, Pastor at Saint Susanna’s on Tuesday to discuss how we can collectively work to help our residents during these difficult economic times. We were joined by several representatives of the Dedham Clergy who expressed an open willingness to assist in this effort. During the meeting we determined that we would like to plan a day in November that would allow us the opportunity to provide confidential counseling concerning housing finances, provide direction and resources on how to deal with day to day challenges in running a home under these difficult times and to simply lend a hand to our residents in their time of need. In the Town we have been monitoring the housing situation closely and we have sought assistance from the State through the Department of Housing and Community Development to help us deal with some of the challenges facing residents today. The day we have chosen for this event is Saturday, November 29, 2008 at the Saint Susanna’s Parish Hall. The event will begin at 10 A.M. and conclude at 12 Noon. If additional time is needed we will certainly accommodate that request. It is our collective goal to help as many residents as possible at this event and we welcome anyone to participate. We are working on the details now and will be providing more information as the date draws near.
4. Gateway to the Manor and the East Street Phase II Projects require the Board’s direction on how you want us to proceed. We would like the Board to take a vote on the options presented by the Director of Infrastructure Engineering regarding the design the Gateway to the Manor Project. This will enable that Department to plan the work for the next several months. With respect to the East Street Phase II project, Mr. Field has indicated that he is ready to finalize this project with the exception of the relocation of a few remaining light poles. At this time, there are some remaining funds available to do some alternate work items. Those alternates are identified in his memo to the Board dated August 28. I respectfully ask that the Board bring closure to both these items so that we can then refocus our attentions on to other projects.
5. Website Training for all Departments will begin this month and we have identified contacts for each of the Departments with just a few exceptions. Those exceptions should be resolved this month. I have spoken to Bob Stanley and he is preparing a training program that will be presented to all Department contacts. Once this training is complete, we will identify the names of all trained contacts on the individual websites and information will then be transmitted through these individuals.
6. Rustcraft Road MBTA Access was finally established last week for residents living at the new Station 250 and Jefferson at Dedham Station Apartment Complexes. Temporary access was granted by the T following a review by the Department of Public Utilities and the Federal Transportation Authority. A permanent access plan is awaiting funding from the Department of Transportation through a grant applied for by the Town. That grant is valued at over $700,000. If this grant is authorized, work will begin in the Spring to construct this new access.
7. The Annual Veteran’s Day Assembly will be held this Friday at theDedham Middle School Auditorium. The event begins at 8:30 and I will be attending. I know that all Board Members, if available are welcome.