The Groton Water Department hopes to increase its budget by 20 percent in FY07, from $1,200,000 to $1,390,000.

At the selectmen’s meeting on Jan. 17, Water Superintendent Tom Orcott told the selectmen that he wanted a new technician to monitor the Baddacook well. Orcott suggested upgrading the existing Autocad (whatever that is) employee who has pretty much completed the GIS work he was hired to do, to that of resource manager. The cost of this 40-hour position would be $52,000. “At max,” Orcott said, benefits could be as high $15,000.

As a resource manager, Orcott said he would “shift some of my job to him,” and this change in duties would be based on the needs of the department.

Fellow ratepayers, are you confused? I am. If the Autocad employee has done the job he was hired for, and he is not a licensed technician, then set him free. Also, why does he have to be promoted to resource manager? I also understand that in addition to the Autocad employee being the superintendent’s backup, one of the technicians is also the superintendent’s backup.

By the way, does the superintendent have a technician’s license? In other words, how can his backup not have a license?

It might be prudent to hire George Jetson, seriously, I am certain that the Water Department could find a way to “monitor” the Badacook well, unless of course there is an ulterior motive for all this action.

One never will find a “smoking gun” in the Water Department — only a leaky pipe or a dripping faucet.

Perhaps the time has come for a ratepayers association. The ratepayers need to know what the Water Department thinks we do not need to know.

This has and will continue to be an interesting week on the local mailing list. I have averaged about 30 or 40 e-mails per day since the various debates have started.

The situation in regard to the Recreation Committee hopefully will be resolved at the Monday night selectmen’s meeting. The plan as I understand it should have been put in place long ago.

It looks like the Groton Dunstable Regional School District will have to cut over “one million dollars” from the district’s budget.

I remember the new superintendent stated that he would not be asking for a raise in his first year, I wonder if highly paid non-teachers and teachers will follow suit. I would like to know what the salaries in the administration are. Isn’t this information a matter of public record?

If I remember correctly, the last time we gave the schools an override, they ended up with a surplus.

For those of you who are new residents, remember an override is not just for one year, it is forever. However, a debt service override lasts for the life of the loan only.

Nomination papers were available beginning Jan. 31.

The posturing has already started. I find it gives me cause to chortle when I see people gradually waiver from left to right while they try to walk in the middle of the road.

In the ensuing months I will have questions that will probably cause the candidates to take the “fifth.”

“In these days you have to be an optimist to open your eyes in the morning.” — Carl Sandburg

Semper Fi

Bill Miller is a Marine Corps veteran, retired banker and the current veteran’s agent for the town of Groton.