Editorials published by the Goffstown Residents
Association are written by various members and
contributing non-members of the GRA.

January 8, 2010
Kudos to Carl Quiram
DPW Director makes the right choice

Faced with a proposed reduction of over $761,000 to the $2.26 million road program, Public Works Director Carl Quiram met with the Goffstown Board of Selectmen last month to discuss his department's options.

During that meeting on December 21, 2009, Quiram and selectmen reviewed the Budget Committee's December 15th reduction to the road plan of $761,627 which resulted in a working total of $1.5 million.

Earlier in the budget season, Quiram had outlined to selectmen how he proposed to spend the original $2.26 million amount.  His plan had been to spend approximately $750,000 on reclamation of Addison Road, and use the remaining road plan funds (approximately $1.5 million) for maintaining and repairing existing roads, doing shims, overlays and more.

Suddenly faced with the budget committee's reduction, Quiram had two choices:  1) he could recommend postponing Addison Road in favor of preserving the town's current road infrastructure, or 2) he could recommend the Addison Road project go forward anyway and that plans for road maintenance and repairs be cut in half.

If Quiram had recommended the latter, it would certainly have fostered familiar cries that our prior investments on the road plan would be proven wasted, as needed maintenance could not be performed in light of the budget committee's recommended reductions. 

But Quiram knew better, because he knew that Addison Road could easily wait, and told selectmen exactly that.


Fortunately, Quiram chose the high road - and the right one.

"In true pavement management...you put your money into protecting your good infrastructure first," he told selectmen that night. "Over the last eight years, we've invested millions and millions and millions of dollars as a community in upgrading our roads.  We are much better off preserving that investment first."

Quiram continued.  "What does that mean for 2010?  The only really big project was Addison Road."

He then explained details on his intention to engage in maintenance, repairs, shims and overlays to existing roads, including roads his department had previously reclaimed.  As such, this part of road plan will remain unchanged, as it was all part of the original 2010 road plan.  

Quiram then addressed the road he had planned to reclaim.  In 2010, it was to be Addison Road.

"Addison Road was in there to the tune of about $700,000.  Our recommendation is going to be, and should be, that Addison Road be the first thing to be cut off that list, because Addison Road is not going to get any worseFor the next two or three years, it's going to look just like it does today, no matter what we do or don't do to it."


Unfortunately, despite Mr. Quiram's explanation that Addison Road will not get any worse and can wait a few years without ramifications, selectmen Scott Gross, Steve Fournier and Phil D'Avanza continue, as recently as at Wednesday night's budget committee public hearing, to spin claims of ultimate disaster for Goffstown and its roads should the reduction in the 2010 road plan not be restored.

It was refreshing to see a department head steer clear of the typical sky-is-falling rhetoric often heard in Goffstown when a request for funding is even questioned, let alone reduced.

We hope residents will realize that it is Quiram who "manned-up" to the realities of the times and the financial hardships all Goffstown residents are currently facing.  It is disappointing, however, to see that Gross, D'Avanza and Fournier are still singing the same old song.

In addition to rising unemployment, increased bankruptcies, evaporated college funds and depleted retirement accounts, Goffstown residents cannot at this time afford to spend $700,000 on a two-mile strip of road that Quiram himself pointed out will not get any worse if postponed for a few years.

Thank you, Carl, for putting Goffstown's residents - and their depleted wallets, first.





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