CHESHIRE, Mass. — Town Hall bid farewell to longtime Selectwoman Carol Francesconi as she chaired her last meeting of the board on Tuesday night.
First elected in 1989, the veteran public servant was returned for a 10th term in 2016 against one of the few challengers she's faced over the past three decades. She's served as chairman of the board numerous times and currently also serves on the Conservation Commission.
"I have loved every minute it of it," Francesconi said. "Almost every minute. Thank you all very much."
Before business officially kicked off Tuesday, state Rep. John Barrett III made an appearance and read a special resolution from the House of Representatives.
"We can't let you leave without a little bit of fanfare," he said. "This isn't your typical one that we run off — this is on parchment paper and it is in the record at the State House and your grandchildren can one day take their children to see it."
Barrett added that he and Francesconi have a history that goes go back to the County Commission days and he said she has truly made Cheshire a better place.
"What you are seeing today is someone who has served on the board for 30 years and I don't think you will ever see this again," he said. "So it is a very important day in the town of Cheshire ... you left this place a lot better than what you inherited. Your fingerprints are all over this community. ...
Congratulations on a job well done."
Former Selectman Paul Astorino, who served with Francesconi, also stopped by Town Hall to see her off.
"I just want to thank you for your years of service," he said. "The town is going to miss you."
Her final three-year term ends this Monday with an election that will bring two new faces to the three-member board.
The election will also determine, for a final time, whether the board will be expanded to five members.
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — New Highway Superintendent Bob Navin wants the town to take better care of its dirt roads.
He has asked the board to propose at town meeting buying a grader as opposed to continuing to rent one as they currently do. He has other ideas as well.
"The procedures here weren't to do them how I would do a dirt road," Navin said. "They don't rake them all the time because they didn't have a rake that worked all that great. After grading it needs to be raked out well ... compacted by a roller ... putting a dust control agent on it. That's the direction I want to head in with our gravel roads. A road done right will last a lot longer."
As for the grader purchase, that will be taken up by the town at next Tuesday's special town meeting. Town Administrator Edmund St. John IV prepared numbers for the board that weren't shared publicly but most members agreed that buying might be the best option.
The town will only be performing the Crest Drive work for now and DeAngelis said Geeleher won't necessarily do the other two roads. Work will include an upgrade to 8-inch ductile iron pipe, hydrant and valve replacement, pipe replacement across Route 8, and other associated road work.
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