Councilors Cameron and Earl are considering an interesting approach toward our sidewalk problem – a sidewalk advisory board.
Normally, proposing yet another board or commission just makes the public groan – another layer of bureaucracy to fuss with.
But in this case, it would not just be a review board but a review board with cash! According to the Mayor’s rough estimates we could have as much as $150,000 a year coming in for sidewalks. This would be a combined pool of money from the Commonwealth-mandated amount of $60,000, plus the amount generated from the meals tax and a yet undesignated amount from parking fees*.
It would then be setup much like the Community Preservation Committee. This proposed advisory board representing members from across the community would then sit down to work out who gets their sidewalks fixed first.
Considering how many citizens are upset over the condition of these public walkways, these meetings will initially be hot and heavy with tough competition and winners and losers. (At least for each fiscal year)
Whoever will chair this board will need to have the diplomacy of another Mike Dissette (Is there more than one out there?) and the patience of Job.
– perhaps a reincarnated Caleb Cushing!
* And any state grants and any legislative earmarks and Chapter 90 funds, etc.