Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


January 10, 2013

Editorial: Thumbs up and down

Thumbs up to recent news that Andover and North Andover will share some public works services as a cost-savings measure.

As we argued for many years about items such as sewer pumper trucks that only need to be used a few times a year, not every community in the country needs to operate independently in all matters. Andover and North Andover make natural partners.

North Andover Town Manager Andrew Maylor told his board of selectmen on Monday that North Andover and Andover will share street sweeping, catch basin cleaning, pothole repairing, brush cutting and tree maintenance services. It makes a lot of sense, and should be a relatively smooth transition if done correctly.

With Andover also looking to combine its own public works and plant-and-facilities departments into one department we can at least hope for a more streamlined local government, and more effective use of taxpayers’ money.

Thumbs down to the strength of this flu season.

Four Massachusetts residents and 13 New Hampshire residents have died from flu-related illnesses. The CDC reports that flu season has arrived early and is widespread.

The best protection against getting this illness is through vaccination and cough and hand hygiene.

Fortunately for those who live in town, the Andover Health Department continues to offer vaccinations to protect residents against the seasonal flu. Individual appointments can be scheduled with the public health nurse for flu shots. People wishing to be vaccinated should call the Andover Health Department at 978-623-8295.

We might feel differently by the time mid-February rolls around, but thumbs up, so far, to the appearance of some chilly days and a handful of snowy nights.

Last year was a record-breaker in terms of unseasonably warm weather and scant snow. Winter hardly visited us. With the mild temperatures, it was more like a typical winter in Virginia or North Carolina.

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