By Bob Montgomery Thomas
Having read and saved both the print and electronic versions of page 10 of the August 31 edition of The Patriot Ledger, I was thrilled to see that Weymouth’s hard-working, hard-charging mayor was finally able to take some time off from her arduous task of running the town. The Public Advocate
If I’m not mistaken, this was the seventh or eighth time of her being away from the helm this year alone – which is kind of a good thing when you think of it…
Anyway, the article in question dealt with the local response to Tropical Storm Irene and how well Weymouth had fared in contrast to other areas that did not do as well. What a relief – seriously! The article’s URL is not available right now but I will post it when The Ledger decides that it’s safe to do so; but there are direct quotes from it below. The article’s title is, “Power restoration in the home stretch.”
Just like Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise on Star Trek: The Next Generation, the mayor entrusted the town to her very own Number One, Michael Gallagher, the Director of Administrative Services.
Photo: Captain Picard about to say to Helmsman Data, “Engage!”
So off she went, knowing full well that a major hurricane or tropical storm was going to hit close to home with the thinking that she could simply say to her Number One, “Make it so, Number One. I will be away for a few days on another, well-deserved R & R to the State of Virginia that I so cherish, right near the epicenter of the recent earthquake at Bush’s Fault.”
You cannot appreciate that “Make it so” command if you were never a “Next Generation” fan.
Quoting directly from The Ledger’s August 31 article:
“Town officials are hoping the last of the major power-system problems caused by Tropical Storm Irene will be repaired by sometime today. Michael Gallagher, the town’s director of administrative services, said most residents who lost power Sunday had their service restored Monday.
“But crews were still working to restore power to the McCulloch Building – which houses the town’s Senior Center (oops, someone at The Ledger forgot to mention that important town financial offices are located there as well) – and the neighborhood around Rindge Street on Tuesday afternoon.
“Gradually, we’re getting through this,’ Gallagher said, adding that Weymouth suffered less damage than many of its neighbors. Weymouth ‘fared very well,’ he said.
“Gallagher was filling in for Mayor Susan Kay, who was due to return today (August 31, which was four days after the well-in-advance-announced storm came through our region like a runaway freight train).
“The roof of the Abigail Adams Middle School, which has been undergoing repairs, and the sea walls in North Weymouth were not damaged by the storm, but the heavy rain and high winds may have worsened leaks in the Wessagusset Primary School roof, Gallagher said.”
Here’s a precious gem from the article: “Down the street, branches of the tree that brought down the power lines and cracked the utility pole were still resting on two heavily damaged pickup trucks. Nearby, a handmade cardboard sign had been duct-taped to a severely leaning utility pole.
‘“I am broken. Please repair me,’ it read.”
I guess if one wanted to, one could say that about the town’s chief executive officer. I’m just putting that out there as a maybe; nothing positive yet…
Meanwhile, the power was still out last night at the RK Mall on Main Street where Staples, the Hilltop Butcher Shop and Building 19 are located. I heard that the dedicated employees at Building 19 were leading customers through the store with lanterns and flashlights, so I drove by and verified it.
Perhaps Weymouth’s residents deserve that kind of attention from their now-more-than-ever absentee mayor.
The Public Advocate
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