Livery license prompts CORI discussion
by Charles Kelleher Harris
DUDLEY- What was expected to be a typical public hearing about pole placement became a tense back and forth between several selectmen and a representative from National Grid.
Diane Clowes of National Grid came before the Board of Selectmen Monday night to present a petition from National Grid and Verizon for permission to place a pole at the intersection at Center Road. According to the meeting agenda, abutters to that location had been notified.
The representative began by stating simply where the pole was necessary and why. She stated that the pole currently in that location was beginning to rot. However before the conversation went any further, Selectman Paul M. Joseph expressed his displeasure with National Grid over other projects in town.
Joseph talked about a portion of Main Street where there were double poles. He said that the town initially requested the poles be removed in August of 2010.
"It was almost a year and a half before National Grid responded to us at all," Joseph said, "And since then we just get excuses. I'm angry about this."
The representative said that she was not familiar with the Main Street issue, as she does not usually work in the town of Dudley. She said her reason for being there that night was a "favor" to someone else.
Ms. Clowes said that while she would make a thorough investigation into the matter, National Grid wasn't the only corporation involved in the process, directing some of the responsibility to Verizon, because the two companies share poles.
"If you folks [National Grid and Verizon] can't get together then there is no wonder there are so many problems when outages occur," Joseph said, adding, "That a shot and I know that."
Joseph assured the representative that his aggression was not directed at her directly, but he wanted the message clearly conveyed to National Grid. Saying, "We have no animosity toward the messenger. We are just very unhappy with the customer service we've been receiving."
Vice-Chair Steven Sullivan also made mention of another project on Brandon Road, where National Grid had failed to remove several poles after a local DPW project. According to Sullivan, this project had also been neglected for a long time. DPW Superintendent Dan Gion came forward to offer details on the project and said that several cars had hit mirrors on the poles which now stand too close to the road. He also said it made plowing difficult in that section.
The National Grid representative said that she was not familiar with the Brandon Road project either, but that she "suspected" that Verizon and the local cable carrier would have to remove their wiring prior to National Grid doing so.
But Joseph was not swayed saying, "If they continue to delay we will take them over the public relations coals."
Joseph then suggested tabling the pole petition until the town was given clarification.
"I agree that we should table this until we get some answers," Selectman Peter Fox concurred.
"Can I suggest that you have Verizon here also to answer for their part in this?" the National Grid representative said. She went on to say, though, "There is a breakdown of communication [between National Grid and Verizon]."
The representative promised to address the issue immediately and to update the town.
The board voted unanimously to table the petition until they received satisfactory answers.
Another normally uneventful procedure also keyed off a deep discussion.
Robert Kaminsky, owner of Signature Limousine, LLC, came before the board to request a license. Kaminsky gave a brief overview of his livery service which he has operated for 18 years. He employs two other drivers. Their duties include transporting special needs children from time to time. This detail prompted Fox to ask a thought provoking question of Kaminsky.
"Have you done a CORI background check on your drivers?" Fox asked.
Kaminsky responded that he had not done so.
Joseph then asked whether or not Kaminsky knew if Massachusetts law required him to perform CORI checks on his drivers.
Kaminsky answered that he did not know.
Joseph recommended approving but holding the license until Kaminsky found out about the law and/or performed CORI checks on his drivers.
"We certainly want you to establish a licensed business in Dudley," Joseph said. He added that this was just a precaution.
Fox agreed saying, "I am not anti-business. But I think this a concern for the town as well as you as a business owner."
"The people I have working for me I've known prior to this for a long time," Kaminsky said.
"I don't care if they are blood relatives," Joseph said, "If the state requires this it should be done."
Selectman Jon Marsi asked Kaminsky if holding the license permit would hurt his business.
Kaminsky said it would not and that he was happy to find out about the matter.