SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

March 14, 2014

Our view: Cheers and jeers

(Continued)

JEERS to lax oversight of financial matters at Beverly City Hall. Earlier this month, Mayor Michael Cahill and the commissioners of the Beverly Golf and Tennis Club recommended the city renew its contract with the company running the city-owned club.

As it turns out, Cahill and the commission chairman made the recommendation without knowing how much Golf Facilities Management Inc. has been making running the club — figures they are required by contract to share.

The city didn’t try to track down the numbers until The Salem News requested them. They show the club to be on stable financial footing, but it’s worrisome to know the city was ready to move ahead with a new contract without knowing if GFMI was making or losing money on the deal. (The city gets a share of membership fees if the gross revenue exceeds $550,000. The club took in a little more than $445,000 in membership fees last year.)

CHEERS to the folks in Danvers for coming up with a plan to make the town’s rail trail safer.

The 4.3-mile trail runs from Wenham to Peabody — and through part of the Danvers Agway parking lot. The area is a potentially dangerous mix of walkers, runners, bicyclists, cars and trucks.

“We’ve got to separate the people from the cars,” said Charles Lincicum, chairman of the Rail Trail Advisory Committee. “It’s absolutely essential.

The plan is to reroute the trail through a refurbished Putnamville Park on Wenham Street, which is next to Agway.

The work would include a boardwalk through wetlands and would be done with the help of volunteers, including Colin Butler, an Eagle Scout candidate from Troop 16. Boot and apparel maker Timberland has kicked in $4,000 for materials and will also provide volunteers.

The plan went before the Conservation Commission earlier this week. Here’s hoping it moves forward quickly.

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