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Pelham - Windham News December 17, 2010 - 5

Cub Scout Pack 266 Spreads the Spirit of the Holidays

submitted by Kimber Leuteritz On Saturday, December 11, 21 Cub Scouts from Pack 266 and their families went to the Pine Hill Retirement Center to spread the spirit of the holidays. They sang an assortment of holiday carols and shared some cookies. Cub Scout Pack 266 carols at the Pine Hill Retirement Center annually in memory of their previous Cub Master, Eldon Haigle, who was a resident there. The Pine Hill residents and staff all seemed to enjoy the visitors and their enthusiasm. Cub Scout Pack 266 would like to wish everyone a very Happy Holidays and a safe and wonderful season! If you or your son is interested in learning more about Cub Scouts in

Windham, contact Kevin Rochford, Pack 266 Cub Master, at 578-2661 or, or Kimber Leuteritz, Pack 266 Committee Chair, at 893-2526 or

Transfer Station Manager Defends Staffing

by Barbara O’Brien Windham Transfer Station Manager Dave Poulson insists that the current staffing and division of responsibilities at the site is what is needed to get the job done efficiently, while consistently maintaining safe working conditions. To cut the number of employees who work there would cause a deterioration of services, he said.

“In order to have safe conditions at the Transfer Station, we

have to maintain current staffing,” Town Administrator David Sullivan said, agreeing with Poulson. The issue was discussed during the selectmen’s meeting on December 6. What provoked Poulson’s defense of site operations was Selectman Ross McLeod’s contention that he believes “management is top-heavy” at the Transfer Station. What McLeod was referring to is the fact that, in addition to the manager’s position held by Poulson, there is also a supervisor’s position. That job is presently held by Dennis Senibaldi, a former Windham selectman. “The supervisor is a working position,” Poulson said. “It’s a go-to person in my absence.” Furthermore, according to Poulson, the job of supervisor “is just a title.” It’s someone to coordinate operations, especially on Saturdays, when Poulson typically doesn’t work. “It’s basically a foreman’s job,” he explained.

Selectman Charles McMahon said he expects the supervisor to

always be on site when the manager is not there. Poulson said that it is very rare to have both himself and Senibaldi off-site at the same time during hours of operation. “If it does happen,” he

said, “we coordinate ahead of time” and “I’m always a phone call away.” “I want the staff on-site,” he continued, “It’s especially important on Saturdays,” which is the busiest day of the week at the Transfer Station.

Referring to financial compensation, Poulson said there is very little difference in wage structure between being an operator and being a supervisor. “It was the selectmen who talked me into having a second in command to begin with,” he commented. In addition to the manager and supervisor positions, there are

also two operators and a driver working at the town-owned site. Being budget preparation season and hoping to reduce the proposed 2011 town-operating budget further, selectmen wanted to know if the Transfer Station staff could be reduced from its current level. The Transfer Station has seen a reduction in staff of three employees within the past five years, Poulson reminded selectmen. “We can’t cut back any more,” he said. “It would be very difficult to function with less staff.” To reduce the staff further, he added, would mean difficulties in finding someone to work during vacations or when someone is out of work due to illness or family emergencies. “I feel the staffing is adequate now,” Poulson told selectmen. “We need a certain buffer.” As part of the 2010 upgrade proposed by Poulson earlier this

year, there is now round-the-clock video monitoring of the Transfer Station site.

Ending on a more conciliatory tone, McMahon said, “I feel

Windham has the best site in the area and I want to keep it that way.”

Attempt to Switch Field Maintenance Budget Fails

by Barbara O’Brien An attempt to switch money from the proposed 2011 Recreation Department budget to the General Government budget failed to garner enough support to pass, but it didn’t miss the mark by much.

During the December 6 meeting, Windham Selectman Roger Hohenberger suggested that $22,000 of the total $24,000 currently included under field maintenance in next year’s proposed budget be switched from the Recreation Department, which is under the direction of Cheryl Haas, and placed in the proposed General Government budget, which is under the auspices of Al Barlow. Hohenberger said he wanted the money to be placed under the grounds-keeping section of the General Government budget. He said he didn’t think the Recreation Department was the appropriate place for it to be any longer. When questioned as to why he wanted to make the switch in next year’s proposed budget, Hohenberger said he feels that, currently, field maintenance money is not being used for the purpose it was originally intended. Eight years ago, he said, a significant amount of money was placed in the Recreation Department budget to bring the then decrepit fields out of disrepair. And that task was accomplished, he said, also saying that since that time, “It’s taken on a different light than what it was set up for.”

According to Hohenberger, leaving $2,000 in the proposed 2011 Recreation Department budget for field maintenance should be sufficient.

Selectman Ross McLeod was quite vehement in his objection to Hohenberger’s proposal to move the money from one department to another. “This is just more bureaucratic inertia,” McLeod said, adding that the switch would just make it more difficult for Haas and the Recreation Committee to get their job done. “It’s much easier for the Rec. Committee to look at the needs and get the job done efficiently,” he said, also saying that “Refurbishment [of fields] and maintenance are one and the same.” Referring to the total $24,000 currently proposed for field maintenance, McLeod said, “There’s still more work out there to do than there’s money to do it.” Selectman Galen Stearns said he believes Maintenance Department Director Al Barlow already “has a lot on his plate” and shouldn’t be expected to also supervise maintenance of the town’s athletic and recreational fields. Stearns also said that he respects the members of the Recreation Committee and feels they are the ones who know what needs to be done. “Keep it the way it is,” Stearns encouraged his fellow Board members. By a vote of 3 to 2, selectmen did decide to leave the proposed field maintenance money in the Recreation Department’s 2011


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budget. Voting to leave the money where it was originally proposed were Selectmen McLeod, Stearns and Chairman Charles McMahon. Voting against leaving the money in the Recreation Department budget were Selectmen Bruce Breton and Roger Hohenberger. It was then proposed that the Recreation Committee be required to go through a three-bid process, under the direction of Town Administrator David Sullivan, for any expense costing $1,000 or more. Other department heads are expected to conduct a bid process only when a proposed expense reaches $2,500. “Why is the Recreation Department being singled out?” McLeod asked. It seems as if Windham “is becoming a bit of a nanny state,” he said. “We should not be setting up different limits for different departments,” Stearns added. “It’s ludicrous. We shouldn’t be micromanaging!” All departments need to just adhere to the existing policy, he stated. According to vague comments made by several of the selectmen, the Recreation Department was being singled out for more stringent management due to a prior $2,500 landscaping “faux-pas.”

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by imposing a three-bid process for expenditures of $1,000, it would make it much more difficult to get things done. “Everything will take a lot longer,” he said, explaining that it’s tough to get a written quote from vendors for relatively minor projects.

After further discussion, Selectman Breton proposed that the Recreation Committee simply provide a list of anticipated maintenance and repair needs to the selectmen in the near future. “I want to know where the money is being spent,” he said. The other selectmen agreed with Breton’s request, as did members of the Recreation Committee who were in attendance at the meeting.

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