Well, we should have expected it.
It looks like the Sun had someone waiting at the town hall on Monday morning to see how people would react to the vote last month that closed the office for the day.
At the Board of Selectmen meeting on the 11th, Joe DiRocco proposed, and most of the board agreed, to close the town services (other than police and fire) on New Year’s eve.
This was outside of regular negotiations, and basically gave the employees a free vacation day.
Cathy Richardson spoke on behalf of the taxpayers, saying that its just not proper to just give some employees a day off, while the rest of us who work in the private sector have to work or use one of our few vacation days.
DiRocco played up the cost of heating the building (which must be heated to protect the plumbing anyways), as well as what he thought would be a lack of people looking for services that day.
This mornings Sun has a report by Lowell Sun Reporter John Collins, where he interviewed a number of people who showed up at the town hall looking for services.
Does someone who’s dog license was due yesterday now face a penalty for not paying on time?
What about someone trying to pay an excise tax before the end of the year?
These and a number of others showed up, and were turned away by a locked door.
Now we all do appreciate the work that our town employees do, and don’t begrudge the benefits they have negotiated.
But what do you say to the teachers, or firemen, or policemen? Do they deserve another vacation day because of this decision? Just because the schools were closed on this date, should the teachers be penalized the day that the municipal employees were given?
Overall, it was a nice gesture, but probably a wrong move by the town leaders.