This was part of the packet of information the Board of Selectmen received for tomorrow’s meeting –
Email received from Ron Griffin on 4/27 /17, regarding appointment of a town Veteran’s Services Agent –
Hi again ….
I forgot to realize that you do not have background information on this topic.
I do not support the hiring of a full time Veteran Service Officer. This would be a waste of taxpayers money, especially knowing the veteran population is in rapid decline. However it is the law.
There are many ways that Medfield could comply with the law without hiring a full time person. Medfield has had time to even submit changes to the Law. The law ties this requirement to the towns full population not the veteran population. At the time 50+ years ago, when the law was made, the veteran population might have been a significant percentage of the towns population. Now it is perhaps 2%.
Other towns have hired full time employees whose primary function is providing veteran services but a secondary function as Chief Procurement Officer (Westwood). Others may have multiple responsibilities in the town, senior outreach, Volunteer coordinator, payroll, etc. etc. Some towns share a veteran service officer. A good example of that is Needham, Wellesley, Wayland and Weston which together hire two full time VSO’s that are shared by all four towns.
In Medfield’s situation, the towns of Sherborn, Millis, Dover and Norfolk have populations under 12,000 so they are not required to provide full time services so there is little incentive for them to share expenses. Walpole has a full time VSO providing additional services to the community and has no incentive to join with Medfield.
It is a requirement that when towns pool resources that they share a common boundary.
So for the better part of five years I have supported the idea that the town should look to hire a veteran with other credentials desirable for the town, especially when filling any employment position in town. I have always agreed to step aside should that opportunity present itself.
So when others view this issue, they will conclude that the town has had the time but not the interest. By continuing my employment I have enabled the town to ignore the issue. ( I was already the VSO when the town was served notice that they were non-compliant) I hope this has been helpful.