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Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

January 22, 2012

Posted Thursday, February 2, 2012, at 12:01 PM

Dogs, golf courses, and your fire department? we met last Tuesday and discussed them all.

The dog issue is currently down to a low growl. We are sort of back where we started in October. Some local citizens discovered that Malden operated a gas chamber to euthanize stray dogs and other unwanted animals. Those people, as good Americans, objected to the gas chamber method. After much discussion pro and con and debate on what to do, I believe we came to a decision that anyone was welcome who wanted to volunteer their time and money to find adoptive homes for the animals or try to improve the animals' situation. It will all have to be done with the permission and cooperation of the Malden Police Department. That is the way it should be. We are a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We elect our chief of police, our city council, and our mayor and that group is legally responsible. Because this is America those same people have an unwritten duty to work with the public. I believe that the benefit of three months or more of discussion is that all the interested parties came to see each other's point of view and realized that there were no "bad guys" just people trying to deal with a problem. If you personally think you would like to help with unwanted animals please sign up and volunteer.

We didn't kill the municipal golf course. We left it on life support but the monitor is starting to look a little dicey. The park board has done remarkable work to cut the expenses of the course. They are close to moving their financial picture into the positive. The park board asked for $10,000 but the motion to appropriate the money failed. My position is that the course is a major asset of the City of Malden, and we should not let it disappear if we can support it in a financially prudent way. The United States Government was criticized for its bailout of the auto industry. It bought the auto makers some time, and they were able to restructure and Detroit is back. I saw on CBS that Chrysler's sales were up 23% and GM by some double digit amount as well. I believe that the City of Malden needs to help the municipal golf course. If we lose it a big part of our community recreational opportunity will be gone forever.

We voted to appropriate the Malden Fire Department an additional $50,000. The Malden FD has operated on short rations for a number of years. The food analogy can be used if you compare the Malden FD budget with Malden Nutrition Center budget. The fire department was budgeted at $266,000 and the nutrition center at $263,000. Both entities perform a valuable public service, but I don't believe there would be much argument about which one is the most important.

I have called a special session of the Malden City Council for tomorrow to vote on an ordinance placing the one-fourth cent sales tax on the ballot for the April municipal election. The tax would generate about $130,000 annually for the fire department. Most importantly, if we improve our local fire department sufficiently then we can lower Malden's fire protection rating from its current Class Six. Ask your insurance agent how much money you would save on your insurance if Malden was a Class Four.

I do not have a financial report for this week. We do have the city's annual financial report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011. I suggest you stop by the city hall and ask for a copy. The Malden City Council will meet in its next regularly scheduled session on February 21, 2012 at 7:00 P.M. at the city hall. If you've read the annual financial report, or audit as some people call it, then you can really grill us about whether or not we have spent your money wisely or foolishly.



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