Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Police Chief Appointment Coming

Norton Town Manager Jim Purcell will appoint a new Police Chief in the next couple of weeks, and only one thing is for certain - it will be one of the applicants from within the current department.

Of course, that is because only current department members were allowed to apply. Afraid to buck Civil Service and the politically active police officers and firefighters, Norton selectmen caved and did the easier thing by keeping the appointment local.

Because of that, we are guaranteed our next Chief will have no experience as a police chief. That is not to say the current candidates are not qualified, or will not do a good job. It is simply recognizing a fact - this was a rigged appointment process that can only result in one of the current officers getting the job.

Supporters of this system will say this is necessary to "keep the politics out" of the process. But that is a load of crap. That will be proven by the political fallout over the appointment, whoever it is.

Appointing a new chief will always be political, regardless of how you do it. Despite the best efforts of the Town Manager, this remains a political appointment as well as a professional hiring. And no matter who is chosen, you will hear grumblings about who got it, why they got it, and who favored who. It's just the way it is.

It is a shame this job could not be advertised in a way that qualified, experienced candidates from across the state could have applied had they chosen to do so. Then, if one of the current department officers had gotten the job, no one could say it was because the pool of applicants was artificially limited.

It will be interesting to see who is hired this week, and if there are any appeals of the process.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Red Sox - Champions Once Again!

I can't honestly say it had the same intensity as the last time in 2004 - but the Boston Red Sox are once again the World Series Champions, and it's a pretty sweet deal.

In 2004 the Sox won it for people like my grandfather, who went most of his life without seeing his beloved hometown team take the title. They won it for the older fans who had spent decades rooting for them, but never reaching the Promised Land.

This year, the Sox won it for the younger folks - the people of Red Sox Nation. This was an EXPECTED World Series win, something that would have been totally unheard of just four years previous. They were supposed to do it, they were favored to do it - and they did it.

The emotion of this great victory was different from 2004, but no less sincere. In essence, the Red Sox are becoming the Patriots of baseball. We now expect excellence from them - no, we demand it. There are no more "nice try" situations. They have proven they can do it, and now it is expected.

This was a great team, and hopefully the Sox management can keep much of it intact. Signing Mike Lowell would be a great step in that direction. Initially, I was in favor of pursuing Alex Rodriguex, undoubtedly the most skilled player in the game today. But I have come around to believing this Sox team would be better off with the quiet leadership of Lowell than the circus that is A-Rod.

And how about Terry Francona? He is so underrated and under-appreciated around here. The job he did this past season was sensational, and the fact he is 8-0 in World Series play says it all. He is the best Red Sox manager in history, and deserves to be paid and recognized as such.

So the Sox are World Champs: The Patriots are undefeated and rolling: Boston College is ranked Number 2 in the country: The Celtics are ready to open their season with three legitimate superstars: It doesn't get a whole lot better than this.

Life is good, sportsfans. Enjoy it while it lasts.