|Parody post from Photo-'Toons 1.25|
Last Friday the Southbridge Evening News carried an article titled, “Council planning to fix radio issues at school”.
It opened with the following three paragraphs:
“Almost as soon as the new Torrey Road school opened last month, staff discovered the building gets no cell phone service.
It didn’t take much longer to find that police radios didn’t work there either.
According to Chief Daniel Charette, that was actually known earlier. Back in November 2011, he started talking with the contractors about fixing the issue, but the individual involved left the company and it fell by the wayside.”
The O’Zone has been been critical of Chief Charette in prior articles.
But I don’t think that this is really his fault. However, I do have to question why he is willing to be the point man on this matter and potentially the fall guy.
We have repeatedly gotten reports on the new Southbridge Middle/High School that universally ended with the phrase “on budget and ahead of schedule”.
So, let’s deal with that outrage first.
The article goes on to say:
“That may have turned out to be a good thing. Originally, he [Charette] said, they were talking a figure of $77,000 just to solve reception issues on the campus. Over the last week or so, though, Officer Brian Haggerty, Fire Chief Mark DiFronzo and Charrette, plus town officials, have been testing a different radio system all over town, since both departments have frequently discovered dead zones while responding to calls.
Charette said it’ll cost about $57,000.”
Welcome to the “Spin Zone”. The article expands on why “That may have turned out to be a good thing.’
A “good thing”? Is Martha Stewart now running Southbridge?
The “on budget” school project is now going to cost us $57,000 out of the town that should have been part of that largely state-financed project. Oh, never mind, we’re saving $20,000 – even though now it has to be part of the town budget.
Well, moving on to outrage two, the fact that this was a “dead zone” was only discovered in 2011.
Okay, so we are supposed to believe that all those people walking the site, working on construction and inspecting progress for the last ten years or so never made a cell phone call? Do you believe in leprechauns?
Finally, outrage number three.
I have spoken about this with a school committee member.
This is the first that they have heard about it.
So we opened a school where, if there had been a critical situation, cell phone, police radios and fire department radios most likely would not have worked.
This still may happen.
We could have included the cost to correct this in the “under budget” cost of the project.
But we didn’t.
We found a way to correct it for $20,000 less – but now it will come directly out of your hide, taxpayers.
And, of course, it won’t happen overnight, so there is still the risk that a student may suffer because of the inability to report a crisis condition in a timely manner. But what’s the risk? After all, according to unconfirmed reports there were only eight fights at SMHS last Friday.
But, then again, I guess I’m off the mark again.
After all, it’s only business as usual in the Brown-Eye of the Commonwealth.