RANDOLPH TOWN COUNCIL CAMPAIGN: Gordon looks to improve streets
Click here for original article in Nov. 4, 2017 Randolph Herald
Jesse Gordon, progressive candidate for Town Council at-large, announced his policy this week on street paving:
“I hear so many complaints so often about voters’ streets and sidewalks not having been paved in so many years,” says Gordon. “It’s the most common complaint I hear when talking to voters at their homes. I’d like to propose a few steps to help residents know what to expect from the town, and when to expect it.”
The core problem, Gordon says, is that residents have no means of knowing when their street will get paved. “People call up the DPW and are told different schedules and different rules depending on when they call and who they talk to,” says Gordon. “So I went to the Town Manager for the definitive answer - yes, there is a list of streets that will get paved in a particular order - I saw the big, thick book myself - and we’d like to publicize the rules now, and once elected, put that big, thick book on the town’s website for everyone to see.”
Gordon’s “big, thick book” is the Town Manager’s list of every street in Randolph, including its current condition, its estimated cost of repairs, and its priority for getting repaired. The town’s street paving system is to list all the streets in priority order, then re-surface or patch streets in that order until the allocated budget runs out, says Gordon.
“There are over 500 streets in Randolph,” says Gordon, “so even if the town could pave one street every week, that would mean your street got repaved only once every ten years. And currently they don’t pave one street every week.
“Some people think if they complain, they’ll get their street paved earlier, but that’s not so.”
The DPW’s rules prohibit changing the priority ordering of paving, to avoid political influence in the process, says Gordon.
“The only thing that will get your street paved sooner is to increase the budget for street paving,” he says. “It’s pretty clear to me that we should do so - that’s the taxpayers’ money, and they’re demanding more be allocated for this purpose.”
The proposed 2018 budget for “road materials” is $38,000, an increase from $28,000 since 2014; and the proposed 2018 budget for “lining and striping” is $30,000, a decrease from $33,000 in 2014; labor costs are rolled into the general DPW “laborer” 2018 budget item of $735,000 (an increase from $606,000 since 2014), according to Gordon.
Gordon also notes that many sidewalks do not comply with standards defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): “My stepdaughter’s wheelchair is OK on Main Street, but not on many side streets. I think we could get a big grant to bring sidewalks into ADA-compliance. That would accelerate lots of re-paving.”
Gordon’s campaign team is distributing flyers across town over the next few weeks with details of Gordon’s policies. The flyers can also be found at www.JesseGordon.com.
|Committee to Elect Jesse Gordon, 52 West St, Randolph MA 02368|
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