postheadericon Beacon Hill Blotter: Old School(s)

 The title of this blog entry does not reference the movie, but a hard fact for two of the towns I represent. Both Abington and East Bridgewater have aging facilities that need repair or replacement. Whitman’s Duval school also needed a roof repair. The past week’s events were dominated by the meetings with the MSBA and votes involving the final decision by the people of East Bridgewater to fund a new high school. Not only did the Abington Woodsdale school and the Whitman Duval school get their respective repair approvals, but all the hard work done by “A Better Community,” Superintendent Susan Cote, and the people of E.B. paid off with a positive vote to move ahead with the new school project.

Additionally, the residents of East Bridgewater also approved a new Senior Center to replace the terribly undersized building next to Town Hall. It was good to see that the townspeople recognized citizens at both ends of the spectrum who aren’t always able to effectively represent their interests.

Here are the events from last week;

BU junior Benjamin Kitchen, intern at the State House

BU junior Benjamin Kitchen, intern at the State House

Monday (2/7) – Congressman Keating held an open house at his Quincy office, which was a great chance to speak to the Congressman about some local issues, plus meet his staff. Our State House office was glad to get the help of new intern Benjamin Kitchen, a junior at Boston University, who is helping tackle a lot of the workload that’s greeted us since inauguration. That evening, the Professional Firefighters Association held a reception and I was able to get back to East Bridgewater’s Town Meeting for the vote needed to move the High School and Senior Center to the ballot for the coming Saturday.

Children's League Day at State House

Children's League Day at State House

Tuesday (2/8) – Spent a good portion of the day at the Children’s League legislative briefing/luncheon, followed by a chance to me to give Shaunna Leonard (Whitman resident, senior at Bridgewater State, and volunteer for the Dianna DeVanna Center) and her co-volunteer (Taylor, from Weymouth) a personal tour of the State House.

Wednesday (2/9) – Had a breakfast briefing by the Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs, followed immediately by the MSBA Board Meeting where approvals for “green” repairs and new constructions took place.

Thursday & Friday (2/10 & 11) – Work out of the district office (529 Washington Street, Whitman), along with our new volunteer office manager, Karen Bowen of Abington. Much of the work was office set-up as well as setting hours that I’ll be at Town Halls and Senior Centers each month.

Saturday (2/12) – Was the vote by East Bridgewater for the new High School and Senior Center. I stopped in at the celebration party at Cameron’s On the Green that evening to congratulate the people who had done so much to make the project happen.

Sunday (2/13) – Was able to give the “Eagle Charge” at the Court of Honor for Anthony Cesarini (of Abington), plus a citation from the House to honor his earning the rank of Eagle Scout, a title we both now share – Great job, Anthony!

Here are the activities for the coming week:

Monday (2/14) – All members of the House Committee on Ways & Means have a meeting with Chairman Dempsey to review the upcoming hearings to be held across the state.

Tuesday (2/15) – I’ll be holding my first District Hours at East Bridgewater’s Town Hall, from 5-6 pm at the 1st Floor Conf. Room.

Wednesday (2/16) – There will be the first W& M Hearing at 10am in the Gardner Auditorium at the State House, as well as a formal session at 1pm for vote on freezing unemployment costs to businesses.

Thursday (2/17) – Split day: District office in the AM, followed by a private meeting with W&M Chair Dempsey.

Friday (2/18) – Abington Business Council breakfast at the Abington Ale House, followed by a W&M hearing (location TBD).

I promised in last week’s post that I would explain the bills that I filed and that I co-sponsored. Due to the heavy activity over this past weekend, I need to postpone those details to next week’s blog post.

In the meantime, have a wonderful Valentine’s Day & come back next week to hear about the first series of Ways & Means hearings!

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