LYNDEBOROUGH — The new town administrator, Russ Boland Jr., had a 14-month backlog of work waiting for his attention on his first day of work July 7.
“A long laundry list of projects were put on hold that now will systematically be addressed plus the day-to-day operation,” said Boland.
Former Town Administrator Burton Reynolds covered the administrator’s responsibilities on an interim basis two-days a week since former Town Administrator Kate Thorndike left for medical reasons. Reynolds is working on a per diem basis to help guide Boland.
“Last week, Burton and I spent a few days together to bring me up to speed on different projects,” said Boland.
Before Boland could even organize his desk, the phone rang with complaints from residents about logging operations and noise. Boland took charge by visiting the job sites to assess the situation and inform the supervisors of complaints with trucks idling at 4:30 a.m., disturbing the neighbors.
To get to know the layout of the town, Boland, a New Boston resident, said, “I rode with (Police Chief Rance Deware) and we addressed the logging issues on Crooked S Road and Herrick Road. We visited the school construction in Wilton and toured Center Hall, where I met members of the Historical Committee and drove on many roads.”
Next he’ll address the road agent’s concerns and tour all town buildings, Boland said.
On July 16, Boland held his first monthly department meeting.
“We exchanged ideas on how to make government more efficient. We’ll meet the Wednesday after the selectmen’s meeting to help improve communication between the departments,” said Boland.
One problem Boland had to solve is firefighters’ delay in signing forms to obtain their stipend checks.
“If the forms are not signed by Aug. 1, they won’t receive their checks,” said Boland at the July 9 selectmen’s meeting.
Boland won’t be sitting behind his desk all the time, and his hands-on approach means he’ll be out in the community as much as possible.
Boland organized a Management/Labor Safety Committee to look at ways to make operations safer and more efficient. If the town meets certain safety guidelines, it receives a 2.5 percent savings from Primex on its insurance rates.
“I want to keep the momentum going and keep department heads meeting and let people have a say in how to improve or do things differently and to maximize the return on the investment of the taxpayers’ dollars,” said Boland.
“I had some long days, but it’s been very enjoyable, and the days go by very quickly,” he added.