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Published On: Fri, Jul 19th, 2013

[VIDEO] Kingston Selectmen hear tales of transfer-station trash talk, action promised

transferstation1TOWN HOUSE- The Kingston Selectmen had heard enough on Tuesday night as Paul Basler, the Superintendent of Streets, Trees & Parks, described threats and harassment against his employees at the Kingston Transfer Station.

“My employees are tired of getting harassed verbally, threatened physically,” Basler told the Board of Selectmen (BOS). “There is no need and, I’m sorry, it’s trash.”

Basler said he’s even had residents directly threaten his employees, saying they’d “meet them at the gate” after the transfer station closes.

BOS-Vice Chair and Kingston Police Sgt. Susan Munford elaborated on Basler’s call for action about unruly transfer-station users and told the board that a resident had recently “risen to the level of criminal activity” during an incident at the transfer station last week.


Kingston Transfer Station

Newly-elected Selectman Dennis Randall suggested issuing a warning to residents who misbehave at the transfer station and proposed revoking trash-dumping privileges if the resident’s conduct continues.

Munford, however, expressed concern that residents would dump trash in other areas of town if their transfer-station stickers were revoked.

Selectman Dick Arruda spoke to the possibility of dragging unruly residents into the Town House for hearings with the BOS.

“They can have their little hearing in front of the whole town so they can explain their actions,” Arruda said. “Really. It’s ignorant.”

Randall agreed with Arruda’s suggestion for a hearing and said, “we do it with dangerous dogs. We should do it with dangerous consumers.”

Munford also proposed citing residents with a 21D, an order that allows a municipality to enforce bylaws through civil fines. Selectwoman Sandy MacFarlane said that—under a 21D—the BOS would be able to lump the suggestions of Munford, Arruda and Basler into one solution.

“We can combine Paul [Basler’s] statement here with what Sue [Munford] wanted to add about the 21D…and you could add Dickie [Arruda’s] idea of a hearing,” MacFarlane said.

Basler also encouraged residents to peel old dump stickers from their windshields.

BOS-Chairman Elaine Fiore assured Basler that the selectmen would help alleviate the situation. “You know that we’re going to give you the support that you’re going to need,” Fiore said. “As much enforcement as is needed.”

While the BOS finalize a plan to address disorderly residents at the transfer station, Basler said he will be sending out written warnings to residents who cause problems in the meantime.

“I just want the public to know,” Selectman Munford said in closing, “if you do have a problem with the transfer station, at the transfer station isn’t the appropriate venue.”

The Journal wants to know…have you seen trash talk for yourself at the transfer station? Do you think the selectmen should take action on unruly residents?

Let us know by submitting a comment below!


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  1. VernElliot says:

    Basler’s 100% correct. No one has the right to treat any employee of any company whether its the transfer station or McDonalds abusively. I’ve seen an instance where the restraint of the transfer station employee should have been commended. There’s only 1 check I don’t mind writing to the town and that’s for my transfer station sticker. Basler earns his money in this town and perhaps the self important blowhards that are so small and petty that they feel they have to verbally abuse and threaten town employees should be punished with a fine. When someone’s wrong I have no problem calling them out. I’ve been in this town a lot of years and seen a lot of stupidity. But when you come down to it, the transfer station offers services that makes lives easier.

  2. Jack Donahoe says:

    There are no finer people anywhere than those who work for the town of Kingston. D.P. W., Fire, Police, Schools, or Town Hall employees are neighbors, former students, fellow workers and friends. I have seen those who feel entitled, display rudeness, contempt, and complete disregard of simple everyday manners towards many of our town employees. I maybe a little more sensitive than others because I am a former police officer, and my wife a teacher at K.E.S for, well for many, many years. Yet, I have never been treated with anymore friendliness and respect than by those who work for the town. (Some politicians are excluded).
    It was with a heavy heart that we recently moved from Kingston to Rowley, but my granddaughters need to have their grandfather closer by. During the few weeks we had to clean out all the assorted items (junk) we had collected I was at the Transfer station all most every day. I was not only directed to what goes where, but was given a hand unloading. Every single man there had a smile on his face and a quick story regarding the disposal of family heirlooms (junk).
    I only hope that the Town of Rowley can measure up to the standards that the Town of Kingston has set as what excellent workers and friends are.

    Jack Donahoe