Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Book Sale at Bridgewater Public Library

There will be a book sale at the Bridgewater Public Library on Saturday, April 10th from 10AM to noon. Friends of the Library will have a preview from 9AM to 10AM.

Gently used books will be available for sale at a name your own price rate. The book sale is sponsored by the Friends of the Bridgewater Public Library.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Over $1,000 Raised to Feed the Area's Hungry

Recognizing that hunger is a real issue in our community in these difficult times, First Parish Unitarian-Universalist Church in Bridgewater decided to act. Organized by Ellen Bordman of Bridgewater, the church's Director of Religious Education, the Empty Bowls project has raised $1,079.00 to feed the area's hungry. The proceeds will be split evenly between the Bridgewater Food Pantry and Mainspring House homeless shelter in Brockton.

The Empty Bowls project initially involved gathering community members to paint bowls. "Painting Parties" were held at the Unitarian-Universalist Church and at the Senior Center in Bridgewater.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

This Week's Poll: Tax Collector/Treasurer Election

This April's municipal election will feature several contested races, one of which is for the office of Treasurer/Tax Collector. Will you be voting for Paula Linhares or Daniel Mahoney? Cast your vote in the Around the Common poll now!

ATC Readers Agree: Vote Yes on One!

Around the Common readers have spoken in the latest ATC poll and agree with the Vote Yes on One campaign that a Town Manager/Town Council form of government is best for Bridgewater!

Town Manager/Town Council: 75%
No Change: 13%
Town Manager/Open Town Meeting: 12%

Thanks to those who have voted!

Candidate for Treasurer & Tax Collector Paula Linhares Launches Campaign Website

Candidate for Treasurer and Tax Collector Paula Linhares has launched a campaign website. To check out the site and learn more about the candidate, please click here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Selectman Candidate for Re-Election Chris Flynn Launches Campaign Website

Chris Flynn, the current Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, has launched a campaign site for his re-election bid. Click here to view the site.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Selectman Candidate Mike Berolini Launches Website

Selectman Candidate Mike Berolini has launched a campaign website. Click here to view.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Memories of Haiti to Come Alive in Bridgewater

Mr. Jude Simon, a native of Haiti and a current resident of Bridgewater, will visit the Bridgewater Public Library on Tuesday, March 30th, to talk about his new boook Poetry Verses Political Satire and to speak about his memories of Haiti.

The chapters of his book reflect the reality of the 21st century by combining history and politics and connecting nations and generations.

Mr. Simon was born in Port-au-Prince, the youngest child in a family of nine. He studied in Haiti at the Faculte de Droit et des Sciences Economiques and after relocating to the United States he earned an Associates Degree in Business Management at North Shore Community College. He has a passion for both writing and justice for humanity.

Signed copies of Poetry Verses Political Satire will be for sale after the lecture and the profits will be donated to the Red Cross and other relief organizations including his former church which was damaged in the recent earthquake.

This is a free lecture that will begin at 6:30 PM in the library's Flora T. Little Room.

12th Annual St. Thomas Aquinas Golf Charity Tournament

The 12th Annual St. Thomas Aquinas Golf Charity Tournament has been scheduled for Friday, May 7th beginning at 9AM. There is a shotgun start at 9AM and the tournament will be held at Olde Scotland Links here in Bridgewater.

Foursome price is $540.00 which includes 4 players' green fees, range balls, golf, lunch, dinner, cart and golf package. Individuals can register for $135.00 and are offered the same items.

Sponsors are being sought for the tournament with sponsorship costing $125.00. If you would like to attend the dinner alone, tickets can be purchased for $25.00. Volunteers and prizes are also welcomed.

For more information or to register please call Mike Arrighi at 508.697.2110, Steve Arrighi at 508.697.0055 or Tom Arrighi at 508.889.2933.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

TGSC Weekly Message: Financial Management Under a Charter

Simply put, under the Charters the Town Manager is responsibility for building and managing the budget; the Board of Selectman or Town Council (BOS/TC) have fiduciary and oversight responsibility. Town Meeting or Town Council, depending on the charter adopted, makes the decision to appropriate the money.

Under the proposed Charters, the currently decentralized administration of the finances of the town are consolidated under a professional Town Manager. The Town Manager coordinates the efforts of the town’s financial team that consists of an appointed, qualified town treasure/collector, accountant, and finance committee.

The Charters require the Town Manager to submit a proposed budget for all town departments along with a budget message that explains the budget, its impact on departments, and any major variations from the current fiscal year. The proposed budget shall provide a complete fiscal plan of all town funds, activities and summarize the town’s debt position, including factors affecting the ability to raise resources through debt issues. A preliminary budget will be submitted no later than February 1st of each year. The final budget shall be submitted by the first Board or Council meeting in April and include the Regional School District budget proposal.

The Charters require a public hearing be held on the proposed budget and that the public be given fourteen days notice of the hearing date, location of where the public can acquire copies of the full budget, which will also be posted on the town website. At the mid point of the fiscal year, the Town Manager is required to hold a public hearing to assess the state of the budget.

The Charters also require the Town Manager to submit annually a five-year Capital Improvement Plan at least thirty days before submitting the operating budget. The Town Manager is also required to prepare annually a Long Term Financial Forecast (five-year) that identifies factors which will impact on the financial condition of the Town: revenue and expenditure trends; potential sources of new or expanded revenues, and any long or short term actions which may be taken that will enhance the financial condition of the Town. The Charters require that the Capital Improvement Program and the Long Term Financial Forecast be published on the town’s website an updated when changes occur.

The Charters require an annual independent audit of all town accounts and calls for an Audit Committee of no less then three members of the BOS/TC. The committee will oversee the work of the firm and receive the report and make recommendations to the BOS/TC based on the findings contained in the report.

The Charters allow the Town Manager to transfer unencumbered funds up to a maximum of $25,000 from one department to another, and from one line item to another with the concurrence of the Finance Committee and the BOS/TC. This provision preempts having to have numerous town meetings under the Open Town Meeting/Board of Selectman/Town Manager Charter to deal with financial matters that fall under the $25,000 mark. The Charters also require the Town Manager to reduce appropriations when it appears probable that the revenues or fund balances available will be insufficient to meet appropriations. The Town Manager will inform the BOS/TC as to any remedial action taken and make recommendations as to other steps that may need to be taken.

A nine-member Finance Committee will be formed to assist the Town Manager. The Town Manager will appoint three members to three-year staggered terms, the BOS/TC shall appoint three, and the Town Moderator/Town Clerk (depending on which Charter passes) will appoint three. The Finance Committee examines all budget and appropriations proposals and issues its review prior to consideration, debate, and vote of BOS/TC/Town Meeting.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

ATC Readers Vote: We Want the 4th of July Parade!

In what turned out to be a pretty close Around the Common poll, Around the Common readers voted that if they had to choose they would prefer the 4th of July Parade over the 4th of July Fireworks.

4th of July Parade: 55%
4th of July Fireworks: 45%

Charting a New Course New Episode Released

This past week, the Town Government Study Committee taped their 3rd show in the series "Charting a New Course". The show focused on the Council-Manager form of government, but also covered a host of other issues including the charters, appointed positions, and the town manager.

The format consisted of Q&A, which included a citizen panel and several professional town managers including Jeff Nutting (Town Administrator from Franklin, which has had a council-manager form of government for over 30 years) and our own Troy Clarkson. Sheila Whitaker moderated.

This edition of "Charting a New Course" will be airing until the end of the month on the following schedule:

Sunday morning: 11am - 12pm
Sunday afternoon: 3 - 4pm
Monday afternoon: 2 - 3pm
Thursday night: 7 - 8pm

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Rotary Club Breakfast

The Rotary Club of the Bridgewaters will conduct its annual Pancake Breakfast to raise funds for their "Scholarships for Scholars" on Sunday, March 28th at the Bridgewater Senior Center located on Wally Krueger Way.

The event will run from 8AM until 11AM and will feature pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, juice, milk and coffee. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and children under 12.

Net funds raised go to supporting community service awards to graduating seniors at three public high schools in the Bridgewaters and to other humanitarian programs supported by Rotary.

For tickets and more information, please contact Kevin Burley at 508.801.0773.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tomorrow Night's Board of Selectmen Agenda

Here is the agenda for tomorrow night's Board of Selectmen meeting. The meeting will be held at the BTV Cable Studio on Spring Street and is open to the public:

6:30 PM: Koplovsky Public Hearing Continuation

Regular Agenda:

1. McElwain School Discussion
2. Report of the Municipal Administrator
3. Ice Rescue Presentation: Tom Levy

Budget Hearings:

7:30 PM: Animal Control
8:00 PM: Law
8:30 PM: Selectmen's Office
9:00 PM: Town Buildings/Utilities

Open Forum
Board of Selectmen Comments/Reports

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bridgewater Community Emergency Response Team

The Bridgewater Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), as part of the Town of Bridgewater’s Emergency Management Department, is recruiting community based volunteers who can serve during local or regional emergencies and/or assist with public health and safety needs during the year. CERT training teaches you to prepare yourself, your neighbors and your community to be ready in the event of an emergency and to act on that training if the need arises. Because emergency services personnel will not be able to help everyone immediately in a natural or manmade disaster, you can make a difference by using the training to save lives and protect property. CERT Member duties can include:

Community Outreach

Assist Red Cross

Temporary Emergency Shelter Support

Basic First Aid

Light Search & Rescue

Health Fairs/ Flu Clinics Assistance

Crowd Control


Special Events Assistance

Over the course of 10 weeks, volunteers will be required to attend a weekly series of training classes covering topics such as First Aid, Fire Safety, Disaster Medical Operations, Light Search & Rescue and Disaster Preparedness. Completion of all modules is required to be certified as a Bridgewater Community Response Team Member. Additional training, refresher courses, continuing education and simulation exercises will be offered on a quarterly basis to CERT members to expand their knowledge and sharpen skills. Training is offered at NO COST and participants must be at least 18 years of age and possess a valid driver’s license.

INFORMATIONAL SESSION: Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 7:00 PM in the Community Room located in the lower level of the Bridgewater Police Station,

Bridgewater CERT is about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. Bring a family member, friend or neighbor and join other interested residents in finding out more about being part of the Team!

For more information, please email

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Coffee Sales at the Library

The Friends of the Bridgewater Public Library are sponsoring a coffee fundraiser for the benfit of the library. Fair-trade/organic coffee by Dean's Beans is being sold as Bridgewater Brew at the library and is available in medium or dark roast, regular or decaf and ground or whole bean. There is also organic hot cocoa mix available for sale. The library has mostly ground coffee and cocoa in stock and additional coffee may be ordered at the Circulation Desk.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

This Week's Poll: Which would you prefer in Bridgewater?

This week's poll question is relative to the 4th of July celebration here in Bridgewater. If you had your pick and could choose to have either the 4th of July Parade or the 4th of July Fireworks, which one would you choose?