Thanks for uplifting story
How refreshing to read reporter Michael Albans’s article about Karen Rose in (June 29) issue of the Banner. Among the day’s write-ups of sexual assaults on a child and the threats of violence spewed by a homicidal maniac against residents and members of the judiciary, we read about the efforts of a local woman to voluntarily rescue and rehab small animals who are orphaned, hurt or otherwise in need.
The story stands in stark contrast to the madness that is taking place today not just locally, but also on the national stage and across the globe. Compassion vs. rage … kindness vs. destruction … putting value on others rather than threatening to kill at random out of uncontrolled rage. Leading by example, Karen Rose shows the way that compassion and care can work—even in small ways — to undo the insanity and inhumanity that surround us.
Taxpayer concerns remain on rescue deal
I have yet to review the signed contract of the Town of Manchester and the Northshire Rescue which was signed to a 1 year contract without the town pursuing other avenues. First of all I believe much has been accomplished between the squad and the town. However, taxpayer concerns are visible and remain. Simply, the squad will have to build trust back with the town manager and the Selectboard.
Now understanding the priority of the squad should be understood by the town politicians. The priority is not satisfying the professional soccer teams (however an asset to Manchester) but that it’s not the question at hand. This should have been addressed by the town manager, who was on the organized committee which he attended one meeting and when contacted said all was good.
Prior to bringing the groups here and the organizations, it should be their responsibility for their medics. Now this doesn’t say they can’t piggyback with the squad and communicate to them properly and not hidden through the flawed, costly consultant.
The priorities should be to protect the taxpayer-voter community first and foremost. This does not seem to be the priority of the town manager and the flawed hired consultant, let me add a waste of money. As the process moved forward, damaging the morale of the squad and had some impact on protecting our taxpayers, traveling tourists and businesses health and safety.
Scenario: The squad was contacted four days prior to a soccer event; the squad, short of time by the communication, said “they will see if they could get together a crew with the squad at the game. Now mind you, the squad is 100 percent trained in paramedics and EMT, one of the few in Vermont. Two calls came in to dispatch, a car accident and heart attack, and they had to leave. I’m sure the intention of the squad was not to embarrass the town. So you answer what would be your priority. Seems to me the town of all people should realize priority but did not. Folks, it’s not a power struggle, it’s called successful teamwork.
The areas of town concerns they considered problems, the squad should and were never addressed to the squad prior to being slapped in the face with the initial article in the Journal. Is this transparent, surely not with the squad and the taxpayers-voters, absolutely not. And this is why I believe the embarrassment should be prevalent of the Selectboard as the controlling body of government that we elect to trust. Understanding the process of an executive session to discuss contract negotiations, much of the discussion should have been transparent to the taxpayers. Certain authorities can object to this however we the taxpayers were left in the dark.
The chain of command of government needs to be realized that The Selectboard makes the decisions, not the town manager, not vice versa.
In moving forward I believe surely the communication between the two entities has improved and will continue to do so, and remembering the squad’s reputation is that of 100 percent proven quality and service. In business if it is not broken don’t fix it, can add to make it better.
Having been a member of the Selectboard, the state statutes and bylaws were respected. The Selectboard to improve transparency to the taxpayers-voters between the two entities should invite the squad to a board meeting for open discussion quarterly to share the progress, and treated as they have been successfully managed and should be treated as a town department.
I am sure I will get some repercussions and denials, as there is some finger pointing. However not given the opportunity in open session and being listened to, but this is truly what went on worded with the Eagle Scout BSA Laws in mind, honesty and not full of political rhetoric. I am convinced that both parties can move forward with honesty, professionalism, teamwork, communication and dignity for our beautiful trending community.
Steven A. Nichols
Former Selectboard member