Committee good for voters, town
News that the Lyndeborough Board of Selectmen is forming a committee to study the idea of building a safety complex that would house the fire and police departments should be welcome to voters as well as, of course, the departments involved.
Clearly fire and police officials are concerned about space, the former because of the difficulty of fitting new, and always larger, trucks into the current charming but small building on Route 31, and the latter because, as Police Chief Rance Deware said, “We do not have a secure evidence lock-up.” You can bet a clever defense attorney could make hay with that.
So, the formation of a committee is good news for the departments.
But voters should be pleased, too, because it shows that the town’s selectmen are thinking ahead and planning for the future, which has not always been the case. And that isn’t only true of Lyndeborough. Many towns are loathe to look too far ahead because to do so is to say to voters, in essence, that increased spending is going to be necessary and it might be best to spend sooner rather than later because, as we all know, costs only go up, never down.
That the proposed committee will include residents not connected with town government or with the two affected departments is also good news because one can be certain that there will be among those residents one or two, perhaps more, who will carefully question the basic concept of a safety complex and each specific item going into it, especially money.
That said, and while questions are always good, the idea is still to move forward, not run in place. Always remember that the officials who are proposing things that cost money are citizens of the town, too. Selectmen’s Chairman Fred Douglas is by no stretch of the imagination of spendthrift. No Lyndeborough official is. The town is still governed by the Town Meeting concept and those meetings can get quite interesting if people think their tax dollars aren’t being well-spent.
Well, we believe a safety complex is needed, as has been shown in other towns. Milford, for instance, built a facility for its ambulance service because new ambulances were too big to fit into the old. This is the problem facing the Lyndeborough Fire Department. And the integrity of evidence held by the Police Department, clearly a concern for Deware, should be concerning to all of us.
So, form this committee and let the study begin. But don’t let it go on too long. Let’s move on this.