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Mendon Board Votes to Re-Establish Sergeants

From l-r, Mendon Selectmen Lawney Tinio and Mike Goddard stand with police officers Guy Kloczkowski and Dave Kurczy who were re-established to their sergeant rankings. Selectman Mike Ammendolia is on the far right.

During an April 23 meeting, Mendon Selectmen voted 2 to 1 to re-establish police officers to their sergeant rankings. Last year, due to mandatory budget cuts and the failure of the town's override, several officers were demoted in rank in an effort to reduce the public safety budget. During the discussion, the Board voted on whether or not to reinstate the sergeant rankings effective May 1 or wait until July 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year.

According to Finance Committee Chair Rich Schofield, waiting until July 1 would save the town a few thousand dollars, however funding was available in the current year's budget should the Board wish to make the rankings effective sooner. The two police officers in discussion were Guy Kloczkowski and Dave Kurczy.

In an effort to be fiscally prudent, Selectman Michael Goddard said he wanted to wait until July. "Just because we can, doesn't mean we should," said Goddard. However, after some discussion, Selectmen Lawney Tinio and Mike Ammendolia voted to re-establish the officers to their sergeant rankings in May feeling it was important to help rebuild the police department. Goddard reiterated that his decision had nothing to do with the officers themselves but more about financial management.

In keeping with public safety, the Board also voted to place advisory speed limit signs on Asylum and Lovell streets. According to Police Chief and Interim Town Coordinator Ernie Horn, he has received numerous complaints about speeders on those two streets.

State law allows town officials to post advisory speed limit signs as long as the speeds are realistic. The advisory signs will state 30 mph on the two streets and according to Horn are enforceable.

Also, the Board unanimously voted to support the Land Use Committee's Five Year Plan, which is being brought forward as Article 12 during the May 4 Annual Town Meeting for voters' approval. Land Use Committee member Peter Coffin was in attendance to answer any questions the Board had.

"It really hasn't changed since last year," said Coffin to the Board. "The primary objectives remain consistent."

There are nine main objectives to the five year plan which were read aloud by Selectman Tinio and include: To protect critical parcels of land for conservation and passive recreation; to provide active recreation areas to meet the needs of Mendon's growing population; to access funding and land protection strategies to protect or purchase land for open space or recreation; to protect the town's water resources; to support farmers who want to keep their land as agriculture and maintain productive farms; to help guide business and residential development to shape Mendon's growth; to provide cemetery space to meet future needs; to assist in the acquisition of land; and to work toward the goal of attaining 10 percent affordable housing.

Tinio stated the plan's objectives concerning cemeteries and affordable housing should be priorities for the Committee.


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