WHITMAN — Selectman Randy LaMattina reported to the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday, Feb. 11 that he continues to have conversations with Hanson Selectmen Chairman Laura FitzGerald-Kemmett about the school assessment issue. LaMattina said they spoke on the phone following the Wednesday, Feb. 4 School Committee budget presentation.
“Negotiations will pick back up now that we’ve got some numbers, and [we’ll] talk with them and see if there’s any progress,” LaMattina said, indicating the sessions would likely continue this week.
Selectmen Chairman Dr. Carl Kowalski said he also spoke with FitzGerald-Kemmett, on Friday, Feb 14.
“It is what it is — it’s not going to be easy, but I don’t think it’s going to be any more divisive than it is,” Kowalski said. “Her motives are to keep things peaceful, calm and [to] move forward in whichever way we can.”
Kowalski said FitzGerald-Kemmett “understands the limitations that we’re all under.”
“She understands out position and I am very cognizant of her position and what she needs to do for her community,” LaMattina said. “At the end of the day, this committee has voted, and the Finance Committee has voted, and the Whitman School Committee members have voted, and we’re doing what we feel is the right thing for our town.”
In other business, Town Administrator Frank Lynam noted that the town had received formal notification of a $331,000 grant for the complete streets program. He also met Feb. 11 with state Rep. Alyson Sullivan and a representative of state Rep. Mike Brady’s office about assistance from the state regarding the extended claw-back period for the Duval School roof, noting he did not see any relief coming regarding the Chapter 70 hold-harmless clause.
Sullivan also asked for a list of three items that could potentially be funded by the state on a one-time basis, inviting Selectmen to email him with suggested projects.
“It’s an earmark,” he said. “It may or may not come. Two years ago we got an approved earmark for $1 million for the ponds, but we never saw it. We’ll keep some hope there and hope it’s not a Charlie Brown football.”