Selectmen seek Capital Planning team, cable trouble input

Jan 23, 2018

Rochester's Selectmen said they were looking for two things during their January 22 meeting—members for a future Capital Planning Committee, and input on Verizon service.

Selectman Woody Hartley said that he felt the addition of a Capital Planning Committee would be highly beneficial to Rochester. "It's a way of getting a handle on expenditures," he said. "We won't have time to get it going this year, but if we can get five members who can start reviewing things with the plan to begin next August, that would be ideal."

There has been a bylaw concerning the formation of a Capital Planning Committee in Rochester's books since 1998, but no committee has ever been formed.

Hartley said he saw the Capital Planning Committee as a board filled with residents experienced in business and finance. Capital Planning Committees generally review any capital expenditure items on town meeting agendas, from purchases of equipment up to constructing new buildings, such as schools or public town buildings. It would be the duty of the Capital Planning Committee members to review the expenditure items and make recommendations to the Board of Selectmen, via the Town Administrator.

The board may also, depending on how it is formed, work on providing plans for future capital expenditure, and present capital purchases at any town meetings for consideration.

In the tri-town, only Mattapoisett currently has a Capital Planning Committee, whose members have been working on a 10 Year Capital Plan for the town.

Interested residents are asked to contact the office of the Board of Selectmen for further instructions.

Meanwhile, Selectman Naida Parker said she would like input from Rochester residents on the topic of cable.

"Just recently I had a very bad experience with a cable company we are currently in negotiations with," she said, naming Verizon as the culprit. "I'm willing to bet that my complaints won't be entered in the report they send us which is supposed to include number of complaints."

She added that, since the town is currently in negotiations with Verizon, now seems to be a prudent time to get input. Dissatisfied customers can call Parker at the office of the Town Clerk.

"I'd like to know if that's the usual experience, or if I'm the exception," she said. "We should be looking at the quality and service that we offer townspeople."