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Tuesday, Sep. 27, 2016

November 25, 2012

Posted Wednesday, November 28, 2012, at 12:30 PM

We met as your city government last Monday evening. There was a gentleman present exercising his right to address his government about a perceived wrong. I was impressed with the way he conducted himself and the way your city council responded. In this age of public snarling about those issues that affect us all, it was a pleasure to see and hear a matter discussed without acrimony. I don't believe the citizen who addressed us achieved his goal, but I do believe he came away with at least some understanding that the remedy for his situation is in another branch of government.

We agreed to appropriate the money for a new snow plow in the amount of $6,500. I'm told it will replace one that is thirty years old and that the new one is designed to be operated on smaller vehicles. Personally, I hope it stays in the box or shrink wrap that it comes in and that we never need it.

On the other hand a White Christmas would be nice. There is a song, not "White Christmas," which says, "You can't have one without the other." You can't have a White Christmas without snow. Maybe instead of buying a $6,500 snow plow we should have ordered a $6,500 municipal sleigh, and if it snows we could just go around town picking everyone up and taking them to work, school, shopping, and on a sleigh ride.

The city council voted to raise the annual salary of our chief of police from $43,000 to $53,000. The position is a full time elected one and the salary cannot be changed during the four year term of office. At first glance you might think that a $10,000 increase (roughly 25%) is not justifiable. Consider that if the increase is not made now then the salary would be frozen for eight years. The cost of living index averages about 3% a year. If you compound $43,000 for eight years at 3% then it works out to more than $53,000. Anyway, that's what is done at city council meetings. We spend your money wisely or foolishly depending on your point of view.

In the spirit of Christmas and wealthy relatives, our "Uncle" sent us a check for $648,731.52. The money is the final reimbursement for the expenses incurred by the Malden Board of Public Works in reconducting our electrical system after the 2009 ice storm. The entire amount will go into the BPW's coffers and not the City of Malden General Fund.

I hope that everyone had a very enjoyable Thanksgiving, and I look forward to the upcoming holiday season. One of the great virtues of small town life is the sharing of the season with friends and neighbors. My friend Arden Tolleson has been practicing all year to improve his ability to play the mandolin. I am publicly inviting him and my friends Doug Dirks, Denny Blake, Clark Duckett, Cousin Phil Santie, the staff of the City Hall, the BPW staff, the Malden Police Department, the Malden Fire Department, the Malden City Council, and anyone else who has any holiday spirit to meet downtown at high noon on Christmas Eve and sing carols while Arden plays his mandolin. If you don't like that date and time, let me know and I will make every effort to accommodate you.

The financial report is as follows:

November 16, 2012

Balance $1,323,470.51

Revenues $675,669.59
Expenses $790,979.30
November 23, 2012

Balance $1,208,160.80

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