Around Ashland Town NewsJun 29, 2021 12:48PM ● By Chuck Tashjian
By Cynthia Whitty
Town Meeting Recap
Ashland’s annual town meeting on June 12 was comprised of 56 voters out of 12,441 registered voters in town. All 10 articles passed. Articles 1-5, 7 and 9 passed unanimously. Article 6 passed with a simple majority. Articles 8 and 10 passed with a 2/3 majority declared by the Town Moderator. For a list of articles and the meeting minutes, visit www.ashlandmass.com/449/Town-Meeting.
Town Election Results
For the annual town election on May 18, three candidates—Yolanda Greaves, Pam McQuillan, and Rob Scherer—ran for two seats on the Select Board, and three—Kathy Bates, Christina Fitanides, and Marc Terry—for two seats on the School Committee. Greaves and Scherer held onto their Select Board seats. For School Committee, Terry was reelected along with newcomer Fitanides. For official election results, visit the town website at https://bit.ly/3cvNqVk.
Police Chief Alfonzo Retires, July
The town announced in June the return-back-to-retirement of Police Chief Vincent Alfano effective July 1. Alfano, was officially appointed on July 24, 2019, after serving as Ashland’s interim chief since March of that year. In a social media post, Ashland’s town manager said, “Chief Alfano’s leadership has been instrumental in navigating the challenges of the last couple of years, not the least of which being a global pandemic. Through these pressures he has been a big part of Ashland’s realization of a new public safety facility, which is no small feat in and of itself.”
Residents Invited to Participate in Racial Equity Focus Groups
Over the last year the Town of Ashland through its Racial Equity Steering Group has been committed to gaining a better understanding of the perspectives and experiences of people of color within the community. In an effort to systematically collect this information and data, the Steering Group has contracted with Suffolk University’s Institute for Public Service to conduct focus groups and surveys. The Steering Group invites the community to participate and share their experiences, perspectives, and ideas. These focus groups will provide an opportunity for the Town to better understand the equity and racial issues facing our community. To participate, email Jennifer Ball at [email protected]
Awards and Recognitions
Police Chief Alfano presented Crossing Guard Barbara Thoresen recently with a plaque thanking her for her dedicated service to the Town of Ashland. Thoresen retired her post last July after serving for 49 years as a crossing guard. Many of the police department staff remember her safely crossing them to school when they were young.
Fire Chief Robie announced in June this year’s recipients of the Massachusetts Firefighter Service Award, which is given in appreciation and recognition of years of dedicated service as a career firefighter on behalf of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The recipients were: Firefighter Peter Stone, who just finished 50 years in April; Firefighter Mark Byron, 30 years; and Firefighter David Blake, 25 years.
Ashland Senior Center Introduces AIDE for Older Adults
Senior Center staff is introducing a new program, Activities, Internet Connection, Devices, and Education (AIDE), for older adults to connect, engage, and stay active. Qualified Ashland applicants 60 +, currently receiving one type of assistance (Fuel Assistance (LIHEAP), SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, Housing Assistance, or VA Pension) will be provided a tablet, internet connection and a Virtual Senior Center with activities and classes. Seniors will be able to listen to music, play a game and more. For more information or to apply, contact Candi Wilson at 508-532-7945, [email protected]
The town reports that construction work on the Route 126/ Pond Street Revitalization Project and Downtown Revitalization Project on Main and Front streets is significantly impacting traffic and asks residents to plan their travel accordingly. Visit the town website for details and to sign up to receive a newsletter at ashlandmass.com/160/Department-of-Public-Works.