Page 4 of 8 FirstFirst 12345678 LastLast
Results 46 to 60 of 106

Thread: Can Anyone Play This Game?

  1. #46
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    117

    Default

    I knew they had considered it, but the operative word was “seriously”. I do wonder what the HSBC’s remodeling/rebuilding option was really like. Bet it wasn’t like mine. In an attempt to minimize current expenses, I’d build one building this year, minimally repairing the others, build another building as soon as we can afford it, etc. etc. Like I would do if I was upgrading my own “plant”. Not as much fun for sure and it certainly wouldn’t be perfect. But it would seem to defy logic that it would be more expensive.

    Eventually, this all is going to get us to the big issue. Which for me is how much money the town is planning to borrrow in the next five years. You think taxes are high now when we only owe 32 million. Or that it's difficult to fund quality services. Wait until we owe 150 million and also haven’t done much to curtail the growth of operating expenses. I think Wayland has big problems. But I’m not ready to discuss it. I don’t think we’re ready either. We need to start with something smaller. Like septage. Even the schools are too big. We need to figure out how we’re going to address this. We need more people involved…

    donBustin@verizon.net

  2. #47
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    And Jeff, if the septage facility decision should be left to the cost-effective engineering professionals, couldn’t that be said of most aspects of town governance? And where would that leave us mere mortals? Note that Mr. Turkington said multiple times that the decision was influenced by the fact that the “engineers couldn’t guarantee” meeting new standards or the increased flow necessary to provide profitability. But not which engineers or any link to their report so that we could find out/check for ourselves. Not very transparent, he could be interpreting. OK, so nobody cares. I was just trying to find something that we all could try to understand together.
    There are two separate points here. Yes, many (if not most) aspects of town governance do require special knowledge, the decision to upgrade the septage facility being one of them. That's not to say that a broader segment can't discuss the issue, but in this case, there's simply no way that I could have an informed opinion to the effect that we should try to keep the facility open absent concurrence by a different group of engineers.

    The second point concerns the availability of information. It would be great if the identity and the report of the engineers were made available for anyone to examine. I don't know why that didn't happen, but three possible (and correctable) reasons include the primitive nature of the town web site, the lack of resources to update that web site, and even the lack of habit of posting such information.

  3. #48
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    I knew they had considered it, but the operative word was “seriously”. I do wonder what the HSBC’s remodeling/rebuilding option was really like. Bet it wasn’t like mine. In an attempt to minimize current expenses, I’d build one building this year, minimally repairing the others, build another building as soon as we can afford it, etc. etc. Like I would do if I was upgrading my own “plant”. Not as much fun for sure and it certainly wouldn’t be perfect. But it would seem to defy logic that it would be more expensive.
    Anyone who has observed the HSBC in action would be hard-pressed to question their diligence and sincerity. In my opinion, this includes their consideration (and the School Committee's) of the remodel/rebuild option.

    It is important to note that the remodel/rebuild option that the HSBC considered was one that met the educational spec and qualified for Massachusetts School Building Assistance (MSBA) reimbursement. The approach you lay out above likely doesn't come close to either, possibly falling short even of the "stop gap" solution that would address basic code updates but not address the educational program.

  4. #49
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    235

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post

    The second point concerns the availability of information. It would be great if the identity and the report of the engineers were made available for anyone to examine. I don't know why that didn't happen, but three possible (and correctable) reasons include the primitive nature of the town web site, the lack of resources to update that web site, and even the lack of habit of posting such information.
    A fourth possible reason: the engineering report doesn't sufficiently support the rationale given for closing the facility.

  5. #50
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Dave, regarding your "fourth" hypothesis, do you know if anyone interested in the engineering report has asked to see a copy?

  6. #51
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    235

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Dave, regarding your "fourth" hypothesis, do you know if anyone interested in the engineering report has asked to see a copy?
    I don't, Jeff. Were I aware of someone who'd requested the report and been refused, or who'd received the report and found it to not support the Selectmens' decision, then I would have characterized that fourth alternative as probable rather than possible.

  7. #52
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Anyone who has observed the HSBC in action would be hard-pressed to question their diligence and sincerity. In my opinion, this includes their consideration (and the School Committee's) of the remodel/rebuild option.

    It is important to note that the remodel/rebuild option that the HSBC considered was one that met the educational spec and qualified for Massachusetts School Building Assistance (MSBA) reimbursement. The approach you lay out above likely doesn't come close to either, possibly falling short even of the "stop gap" solution that would address basic code updates but not address the educational program.
    Jeff, my “approach to rebuilding” was just a simplistic example to easily show that it could be cheaper, with costs spread out and debt not increased so dramatically. I’m still not convinced that remodeling couldn’t be done that would meet current codes, educational objectives, and be less expensive. Or that it was seriously considered.

    Did you personally see the HSBC committee in action? And maybe you could provide the name(s) of those who advocated for considering the remodeling option? (Someone say on the HSBC committtee, school committtee, school administration, selectmen, town administrators, etc.?) So that I could find out from them if they’re convinced.

    donBustin@verizon.net

  8. #53
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    I've been at relatively few HSBC meetings, so I haven't seen that part of their work first-hand in any quantity. I do read their detailed minutes, however, hear their reports at our meetings, and attend other meetings (for instance, at the MSBA) with them. Other WSC members do attend the HSBC members, however--that part of you question is better addressed to them.

    I don't know of anyone associated with the schools who is a proponent of the Stop Gap solution, which is what your suggestion sounds like. I don't know if that's because the people you list unanimously oppose the Stop Gap, or because I just don't know of those who support it. If the former is the case, that's a strong (but not necessarily bullet-proof) endorsement against the Stop Gap, as at least a few of the HSBC members came to that group with a preference for finding a Stop Gap-like project.

    The Stop Gap would meet current codes but not our educational spec. Without state reimbursement, it might still be somewhat less expensive than the "full" project, but with far less value (value being performance divided by price).

  9. #54
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Shifting back to the original topic of the DF, I've taken a stab at thread categorization here.

  10. #55
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    117

    Default Let’s Sum Up and End this Thread

    Been doing this now for about a month, so let’s see what I’ve learned.

    A quick rundown of topics touched on in this thread:
    What’s going on at DF?
    Participation
    vBulletin usage tracking
    Forum categories
    Anonymous posting
    Board Members posting
    Provocative trolling
    Septage
    HSBC

    Didn’t do very good at finding out what the Discussion Forum’s purpose/function is or where its desired evolution might head. Couple of people shared their thoughts, but couldn’t get others to speak, so have no way of knowing what our collective thoughts are. I do believe there’s a lot of potential to something like the DF. A goal of mine was to see if we could share information and come to a consensus about an issue? Still is, but don’t as of yet see how to make it happen.

    In my thoroughly unscientific way of watching the “viewing”, I’d quess that just under 40 people regularly read what’s going on here at DF. That’s good. Plenty for my purposes. If only I could entice them to want to help analyze things in a cooperative manner…

    Kim does a good job of bringing info in and initiating subjects of import about Wayland. And Jeff seems to be the “de facto” moderator. I appreciate Jeff’s role here. He actually thinks and responds to what most anybody says. But Jeff, you make me laugh. Like when I make a criticism, I can just see you sitting down, trying hard, and fast, to think up some way to refute it. Sometimes you do that well, other times you miss completely (like you don’t read over your argument or think about whether it proves what you’re saying it proves, or is as comprehensive as you imply). That’s OK, we’ve already established that you’re human. And in fact I have great hopes for you, if you would only be a little more “change” and “reform” oriented. Right now though, I sense you have a tendency to be an apologist (justifying, rationalizing) for the status quo. The status quo can be a good thing, being the reasonable answer to existing reality. But I hope we all can see that the status quo doesn’t really make it (whether in Wayland, the state, the country, or the world).

    To sum – here, as in most threads, there’s been some good ideas, and some topics that could be continued in greater depth, but they’ll probably just fade away into obscurity. No forward movement, no agreement, no decisions. DF just a “talking shop”? That’s OK, still good clean fun! But I still wonder, “What do people want to know and do about town government/services? And is DF some kind of tool people can use?”

    A not-actually-related idea, “Has the DF ever used polls?” (Could have an ongoing “Polling Forum”.) Maybe we could poll the membership about anonymous posting? Then we’d have more information.

    I’d also love some personal feedback. Are my values clear? Do I bore you, should I go away, or keep talking? If you don’t want to say anything nasty to me in public, feel free to private message or email me (anonymously if so desired) and let me know what you think. Really. And thanks for your time and listening.

    donBustin@verizon.net

  11. #56
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    726

    Default

    Hi Don,

    We haven't really used polls much. I posted one once (more as a test of the functionality than because I thought it was an intriguing topic) about the most dangerous intersection in town. Feel free to post one! Make it something interesting...

    I see the forum as a place to share thoughts and opinions and have discussion. I'd love to have more town officials participating (thank you, Jeff), so that people could ask here whatever questions they might ask during public comment if they attended board and committee meetings.

    I thought it might also be a place to share information (as in, "I need a really good painter - anyone know someone they'd like to recommend?"), but I haven't seen any success with that. I've tried a few times to solicit information (my 4th of July post as an example - I was looking for good ideas for things to do on the 4th - I thought that might spark a new set of pages on the website).

    We can make of this whatever the members would like. Limited only by creativity and civility! :-)

    (and Don, keep writing - you're definitely not a bore!)

  12. #57
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    235

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    Hi Don,
    I see the forum as a place to share thoughts and opinions and have discussion. I'd love to have more town officials participating (thank you, Jeff), so that people could ask here whatever questions they might ask during public comment if they attended board and committee meetings.
    I can't think of anything (practical) that would increase participation in this forum more than having one or more members of the Board of Selectmen contribute and interact on a regular basis.

  13. #58
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Imagine [grins] throughout, at the appropriate places.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    Kim does a good job of bringing info in and initiating subjects of import about Wayland. And Jeff seems to be the “de facto” moderator.
    I wouldn't say moderator--Kim is clearly that, but not all that often, what with the DF not really needing much moderation.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    I appreciate Jeff’s role here. He actually thinks and responds to what most anybody says. But Jeff, you make me laugh. Like when I make a criticism, I can just see you sitting down, trying hard, and fast, to think up some way to refute it.
    Of course, I couldn't post this response "fast," so I didn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    Sometimes you do that well, other times you miss completely (like you don’t read over your argument or think about whether it proves what you’re saying it proves, or is as comprehensive as you imply). That’s OK, we’ve already established that you’re human.
    Maybe we should test that with a poll. Although, I just went back and checked--turns out, I've never missed.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    And in fact I have great hopes for you, if you would only be a little more “change” and “reform” oriented. Right now though, I sense you have a tendency to be an apologist (justifying, rationalizing) for the status quo. The status quo can be a good thing, being the reasonable answer to existing reality. But I hope we all can see that the status quo doesn’t really make it (whether in Wayland, the state, the country, or the world).
    Oh, I'd say that my detractors might have a different view than you about "change."

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    A not-actually-related idea, “Has the DF ever used polls?” (Could have an ongoing “Polling Forum”.) Maybe we could poll the membership about anonymous posting? Then we’d have more information.

    I’d also love some personal feedback. Are my values clear? Do I bore you, should I go away, or keep talking? If you don’t want to say anything nasty to me in public, feel free to private message or email me (anonymously if so desired) and let me know what you think. Really. And thanks for your time and listening.
    Definitely not boring.

  14. #59
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    726

    Default Stepping out of the box...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bernstein View Post
    I can't think of anything (practical) that would increase participation in this forum more than having one or more members of the Board of Selectmen contribute and interact on a regular basis.
    I will pursue this with some of our town officials. In the meantime, let's step out of the box for a moment... what impractical ideas might you have?

  15. #60
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Impractical ways to increase participation on the DF:

    • Provide cash or prizes (or have a drawing for same) for most posts (dangerous!), best post, ...
    • Serve adult beverages
    • Rename the DF "Facebook"

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •