By: Lawrence, “Lonnie” Brennan – January, 2010
They say that every path has a few puddles, and for many, 2009 was a washout. The year began with Gov. Deval ‘Together-We-Can’ Patrick’s foot pushed flat against the spending pedal.
Fresh off another round of finding taxpayer funded jobs for his friends and neighbors, the ‘Gov.’ proposed to increase the gas tax to 42.5 cents per gallon (from its current 23.5 cents). Despite his repeated outbursts, somehow the legislature managed to ignore the fool. Let me be the first to say vote “Anyone But Deval.” In fact, if you want a bumper sticker, go to VoteCoreValues.org and order one cheap.
In 2009, the media was full of crooks from Wall Street to Main Street, cheating celebrities, pop icons, athletes, and local pols.
Locally, in the opening months of 2009, the local newspaper showcased Heidi Donovan and her daughters, with a new t-shirt: “Be strong, be true, be you.” Karen Pelletier continued to keep the chairs hopping at her barber shop, and the Georgetown Record began recognizing local volunteers including Sandra Gerraughty (finance committee, Longview Fire, etc.), Scott Jones (‘Save the Teachers’ fund, Georgetown Education Foundation, etc.), and Deb Johnson (who, together with Laura and Rich Laflamme started the Mike Donahoe memorial roadrace).
Rep L’Italien made one of her rare appearances to speak before the Georgetown Special Education Political Action Committee, with President Lisa Woodford. Ms. L’Italien would also vote to re-elect Salvatore DiMasi as house speaker despite a horrific corruption scandal buzzing through the Boston media at the time. Within weeks, DiMasi would abruptly step down as prosecutors stepped in, making him the third indicted Democratic House speaker in a row.
With less than 90 days into his new job, Fire Chief Al Beardsley proposed that the selectmen change his new contract in the future: add 10 more hours work each week and give him a 37.5% salary increase. He also requested a 10.4% increase to the fire department budget.
Reg Tardiff, Jim Connolly, and Bert Hanlon ran a great Knight of Columbus basketball event for local youngsters. Dan Brodie and the Erie 4 crew and Troop 51 held their annual Italian Dinner to close January on a high note.
Senator Bruce Tarr warned of more cuts to local aid and education monies. Town Administrator Stephen Delaney predicted up to a 30% decrease in state education funding. Selectman Chair Matt Vincent announced a new 4-year agreement with Police Chief James Mulligan: a 3% raise each year, five weeks vacation each year, three personal days each year, and the ability to accumulate 90 days of unused sick time for a retirement bonus-paycheck at contract end.
Peter and Nanette Sarno’s famous Tenney Street Christmas display amazed neighbors once again. Georgetown Fish and Game revived their Ice Fishing Derby (kudos to Tom Simmons and crew). Highway Surveyor Peter Durkee sought money fix the highway garage roof. The Georgetown Education Foundation ran a great Gala to raise funds for the schools, and well-loved Sgt. Donald Cudmore was promoted to Lieutenant.
School Committee Chairman George Moker advocated a 4.9% increase to the school budget.
Jenn Greenfield and Sue Phillips organized a PTA Casino Night. Chandler Noyes and Kay Ogden ran a fundraiser that kept the Trestle Way greenhouse warm. Barbie Linares ran another successful PTA Spelling Bee. Taryn O’Connel achieved all-time leading basketball scorer with 1,326 points. Patrolman Scott Hatch was recognized for his efforts apprehending a suspect sought by the state police. The Georgetown Girls’ Basketball Team played in the Boston (TD) Garden! An incredible performance of Bye Bye Birdie included father/son musicians Jim and Dean Antonio, and father/daughter musicians David and Catarina Bongiorni.
Phil Trapani supported letting golfers at The Georgetown Club drink on the course. The school committee granted what turned out to be an average 3% raise for the teachers, this year, next year, and 5% the following year. More to follow next month…