SELECTMEN NEWS Selectmen Consider Creating Finance DirectorTown Accountant Position

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Board of Selectmen recently receive a presentation from Rick Kingsley, of the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Collins Center for Public Management, after her reviewed the town’s financial management structure.The review was brought about by the forthcoming retirement of the entire Town’s Accountant’s Office, including Town Accountant Mike Morris.“Your financial structure was largely set up in your Town Manager Act, which was adopted in 1950,” Kingsley told the board. “It’s been almost 70 years since it’s been looked at in a detailed way.”During his review, Kingsley interviewed the department heads and staff members in each financial office, plus the town’s IT director. He also reviewed various documents provided by each office. He ultimately came up with several recommendations, chief among them — to create a Finance Director/Town Accountant position.Kingsley recommends elevating the Town Accountant’s position to that of the Finance Director/Town Accountant. The new position would oversee both the Treasurer/Collector’s office and Assessors’ office. The position would be responsible for the Town’s financial planning and operations, serving as the Town Manager’s right-hand person in creating and overseeing the town’s annual budget.Kingsley described several benefits that the new position would bring about. A Finance Director would create a focal point for finance and reduce the number of direct reports to the Town Manager. The Director would facilitate the formation of a financial team. The position would coordinate critical fiscal operations such as tax rate setting and tax billing.  The Director would ensure regular cash reconciliations and other sound financial controls. The would assess risk regularly to determine town vulnerabilities.Importantly, Kingsley also noted that finding a qualified Finance Director/Town Accountant is much easier that finding a standalone Town Accountant.“The labor market for accountants is highly competitive with a shortage of well-qualified accounting professionals,” explained Kingsley. “By enhancing the scope and authority of the position, you make the job more attractive, as does raising the compensation to $100,000-$125,000.”Kingsley noted that 7 of the 10 comparable towns near Wilmington already have a Finance Director position.Rather than amend the Town Charter, which would require a town vote and legislature approval, Town Manager Jeff Hull is recommending that Selectmen make a policy change, despite the fact that the approach has less permanency as future boards could easily change the position back.“It’s the suggested route because the process of hiring Mike [Morris’s] replacement is going to take place over the next few months,” said Hull. “There needs to be some measure of certainty which position that person will serve. They are two distinct roles and responsibilities, and targeting two different types of people with different skill sets.”“I would like board to consider the prospects of taking a vote to revise the town accountant position and to create a finance director/town accountant position at your next meeting,” added Hull. “As the position gets advertised, we can be clear what it is the town is seeking.”Selectmen asked for recommendations from the town’s Finance Committee and Town Accountant Mike Morris before taking an any vote.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSELECTMEN NEWS: New Finance Director & Town Accountant AppointedIn “Government”SELECTMEN NEWS: Finalists For Town’s New Finance Director Position Revealed; Public Interviews ScheduledIn “Government”5 QUICK QUESTIONS with Wilmington’s New Finance Director Bryan PerryIn “5 Quick Questions”last_img read more

Stop treating Google as your doctor

first_imgAre you among those who log in to Google every time you are down with body ache, fever or cold, only to get more confused and scared? Many young Indians with smartphones in their hands are falling prey to the “Google-as-your-doctor” phenomenon and the dangerous trend is on the rise in the country, health experts feel.Although there is nothing wrong in checking your symptoms or trying to find more about your illness on the internet, they say that one should know where to stop. The ideal situation is to use search engines only when someone is diagnosed with a certain medical condition and wants to know more about it. The information available on internet should be used to educate oneself rather than trying to find a cure for the disease. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“The biggest problem is that internet is loaded with enormous information which could be correct too but then your symptoms could be similar to some other disease which may cause confusion. Therefore, correct diagnosis of your health abnormality is very important,” said Dr Satnam Singh Chhabra, head (neuro-spine surgeon) at the Sir Gangaram Hospital.He has observed many young Indian adults getting hooked to the internet to look for every little thing, even self-diagnosis. For instance, if one has a health abnormality, then the instant reaction is to Google the symptoms before seeing an expert or a doctor. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“But one should be careful as people normally look for symptoms to get rid of curiosity and anxiety but to the contrary, it just worsens the scenario and leaves them more anxious,” Chhabra said.According to Dr (Prof) Raju Vaishya, senior consultant (orthopaedic and joint replacement surgeon) at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, one should beware of getting trapped into “Google as your doctor” behaviour as this may cause more harm than good.“Yes, there is an increasing surge in young Indians with smartphones who google common health symptoms. I find more such patients coming to me with queries related to hand, wrist and elbow,” said Vaishya.  Dr R K Singal of the BLK Super-specialty Hospital had an interesting case study to share: “Once a patient in his mid-30s came to me with severe headache. He told me that he thought he had a brain tumour. After diagnosis, we found that headache was due to prolonged sore throat and rhinopharyngitis (common cold).” “The patient visited me after a month of self-diagnosis through internet. Whatever he found on the internet made him believe that he had a brain tumour,” said Singal.According to Singal, people in the 25-40 age group are more hooked on to the internet and such self-diagnosis only increases one’s anxiety. Dr. Rahul Gupta, senior neuro and spine surgeon at Fortis Hospital in Noida, is attending to many young Indians who come to him with weird health queries after scanning Google. “Self-medication via the internet can be dangerous. Patients at times do not follow our advice and waste our time with silly questions,” he stressed.Another danger of self-diagnosis is that you may think that there is more wrong with you than there actually is.“For example, if you had insomnia, inattention and depression, you may believe that you have a sleep disorder or major depression. Thus, you may make things worse by worrying more as well,” Singal noted.Self-diagnosis is also a problem when you are in a state of denial about your symptoms. One may think that generalised body aches started with a worsening of mood, but a doctor may elect to do an electrocardiogram for chest pain that reveals possible coronary artery disease, the experts felt. Are health websites trustworthy when it comes to answering health symptom queries? “I don’t see any harm in doing that because it’s about your health after all. In fact, a lot of times my patients come back with queries after surfing about their health abnormality on the internet,” Chhabra said. So, educate yourself as much before or after you visit your doctor, but let the experts do their job. Let your doctor prescribe you a treatment well-suited for your ailment.“One should be wise enough to understand which is an authentic website with relevant content as there are a lot of paid sites which exist only to make business,” Chhabra advised. Vaishya asked youngsters to share their internet-acquired knowledge with the doctor but not to force it upon the doctor to follow it.“Trust your doctor more than Google,” Gupta summed up.last_img read more

Baluchari silk makes comeback in Bengal thanks to state project

first_imgKolkata: The sale of Baluchari silk has seen a sharp spike in Bengal, after the state government launched the ‘Baluchari’ project a few years ago, aiming to revive the textile which harks back to the colonial times.”In collaboration with the West Bengal State Handloom Weavers’ Cooperation Society (Tantuja), the Directorate of Textiles had launched the Baluchari project, which has been a major success. The sale of this particular kind of silk has increased on a major scale as we roped in weavers from Bishnupur, who blended some old and new designs, keeping in mind the current trend and demands of the consumers,” said Director of Textiles Debasis Ghosh on Wednesday. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseBaluchari, a quintessential textile of Bengal, which found a home in Bishnupur of Bankura district after its place of origin Baluchar in Murshidabad, had succumbed to the vagaries of nature. Even in Bishnupur, the design, looms, weaving technique and the thread used underwent drastic change with time, leaving the originality of the textile in shambles. In such a scenario, the Baluchari project has aided its grand revival, with the hike in sales figures. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataGhosh further said: “After the launch of the project, the West Bengal State Handloom Weavers’ Cooperation Society eventually undertook its marketing duties and launched an exclusive showroom in Park Street which specialises in Baluchari silk, among others. The annual turn- over of the showroom has reached crores.” Tantuja procures handloom fabrics from cooperative societies and artisans through 12 procurement centres and two training-cum-production centres. It has 83 sales outlets all over India. Speaking about the initiative taken by the government to help the farmers in cultivation of silk, the extension officer of the directorate of textiles Partho Pratim said: “There are 59 government sericulture farms in Bengal which cultivate superior-quality seeds. These seeds are then given to the farmers at a subsidised rate, who then produce the raw silk. When the raw silk is sold in the market, the farmers earn good revenue. The weavers who buy the raw silk spin it into sarees, shawls and other garments.”last_img read more

Police should take suo motu action against BJP leaders for encounter comment

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday the police should take suo motu cognizance against those BJP leaders who advocated the “Uttar Pradesh model” of encounters in the state to wipe out criminals. Banerjee also condemned the lynching incidents across India, saying the country belonged to each and every citizen irrespective of his or her caste, creed and religion. “Some BJP leaders are threatening to conduct encounters in West Bengal. I don’t know why the police did not file a suo motu case against them and take action. The police should take suo-motu cognizance,” she said while speaking on the floor of the assembly. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata The Trinamool Congress supremo’s comment came in the backdrop of two senior state Bharatiya Janata Party leaders saying on Monday that the party would follow the “Uttar Pradesh model” of giving free hand to the police to wipe out criminals in encounters if it comes to power in the state. Referring to the incidents of lynching in the country, the chief minister said: “I strongly condemn what happened in Jharkhand. People are living in fear. They are killing people.” Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state Tabrez Ansari, 24, was allegedly tied to a pole and thrashed with sticks by a mob in Jharkhand’s Seraikela Kharsawan district last Wednesday on the suspicion of theft. The newly-married youth was purportedly seen in a video being forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”. He succumbed to his injuries on Saturday. Banerjee accused the BJP of promoting communal divide in the country. “The country is for all — for Muslims, Hindus, Chirstians, Jains, Sikhs. I fear that the BJP might change the Constitution,” she said. “Is it a fault of someone to be born in a certain religion or caste? Is it my fault that I have a certain surname?” “The Union Home Ministry is sending advisories to Bengal over law-and-order issue. But what about the law and order issue in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand or Haryana? Did they send any advisory to these states? The answer is no. This (sending of advisories) is politically motivated to malign Bengal,” she said. The chief minister said the administration would take stern action against those who indulge in engineering riots and spread fake news. Banerjee claimed that the entire administration was taken over for the past six months by the Election Commission because of the Lok Sabha election, accusing the poll body of functioning at the behest of the BJP. “I admit that there were some gaps in last six months as the entire administration was taken over by the EC. Just like in other part of the country, the BJP has undermined each and every institution in the state,” she said.last_img read more