We as a society have a responsibility to educate our children, protect our citizens and their property from crime, care for our elders, maintain assets purchased with tax dollars, and give all residents access to information through a public library. That's what this five-year plan will do.
The plan adds basics to our school services, so our children have access to safety and technology features that other school systems acquired years ago.
- External security doors with pass codes to prevent intruders from entering.
- Update and replace the PA systems that either don’t work at all or are in poor condition and which are necessary in case of a security breach for the safety of the staff and children.
Internal Technology Structure
- The plan includes a strategy to upgrade technology in the schools over five years. The goal is to provide 100 percent wireless coverage in two of the four school buildings, introduce 400 to 500 devices (Chromebooks and tablets), and move to 100 percent cloud-based computing.
- The plan also adds a library of online learning tools for both staff and students.
The plan provides our Police Department with the tools they need to protect our town.
- Wareham is a hub for gangs and drugs. The department needs to be proactive and not reactive. Currently there are six new recruits being trained at the academy. They will be hired at lower level salaries and when they come on board. Overtime, one of the biggest expenses, will be greatly reduced.
- Re-staff the Detective Division over five years. The Division now has only one detective (down from four).
- Keep five officers per shift. Without the override, staffing will be reduced to three officers per shift as of July 1. Three officers per shift are not enough to adequately cover the town especially if one or two are on a call.
- Implement vehicle replacement through a lease plan which assures the availability of safe and efficient vehicles for our police.
- Purchase a new generator for the Police Station ($54,000). The existing generator failed during the last storm, leaving no main command hub. If the override does not pass, the purchase must still be made, but funds would have to come from other sources, reducing the amount available for other police accounts.
- Purchase portable radios needs to be replaced ($59,000) for the safety of the officers. Now, if an officer is outside the cruiser, he/she cannot reach the station (radio in car might not be able to be gotten to depending on the situation). Again, the purchase must be made through other sources if the override is not approved.
The plan stabilizes other municipal services that are important to us, in a strategic manner that will ultimately save the town money.
- Hires Municipal Maintenance and clerical staff. Our Municipal Maintenance Department no longer does any preventative maintenance to town buildings, roads, properties, etc. Among the items included in this allocation ($150,000) is money to hire a crew member with HVAC experience, which will save money. The municipal staff has been reduced at Town Hall already by 1,214 staff hours per week since 2007 – the equivalent of 30 employees working 40 hours per week.
- Restores a Recreation & Lifeguard Program (includes summer youth jobs) ($140,000), enhancing the safety and attractiveness of our most marketable asset, with a goal of securing grant funds to expand the service.
- Protects our senior citizens in need by restoring a social worker position. The individual will be responsible for assessment, referrals, and direct services to seniors.
The plan preserves our library, a valuable resource for all town residents.
- The library would be able to continue to provide programs for all age groups including story times for children and after school programs for young adults.
- The library would continue to provide meeting space for the community.
- Without the override, the main library would be open one to two days per week. Some areas of the library may need to be closed at times such as the Children’s Room and the Computer Area. Spinney would also be opened limited hours depending on staffing. The library would be decertified, cutting state aid and inter-library loan services.
Source: FY15 Balanced and Contingent Budgets.pdf located on Town website (Page 13)