About a year ago, William Linnane helped the Westborough Housing Authority solicit funds from local groups for a new air conditioner.
Linnane now wants to help the agency in an official capacity.
He and Whitney Street resident Jill Dupree are running for the three-year term on the housing board on the March 5 annual town ballot. Incumbent Charles Naples is unopposed for the five-year term on the ballot. Incumbent Julie Pappazsis isn't seeking re-election.
“I’m not there to change things. I’m there to assist them in running a little better, with a background that isn’t there,” says Linnane, a retired construction industry professional.
The Smith Street resident has served Westborough in several capacities. He is the board of selectmen’s designee to the Central Mass. Regional Planning Committee.
“I have some value to bring. I see how they operate. I see the economies of scale that they bring,” says Linnane, who served four years on Westborough’s advisory finance committee.
Linnane says he helped the Westborough Housing Authority seek community donations for a new air conditioner about a year ago.
“On one of their buildings, they were replacing the windows. After they ordered the windows, then they realized that the air conditioning units that are in the building did not fit back into the new windows,” he explained.
“As I understand it, they have an architect that’s supplied by the state that did the evaluation, put together the bid specs. But, somebody missed it somewhere that that’s what they needed.
“So, the potential solution was to buy a sleeve where the existing air conditioners could’ve gone into an opening that was still available below the windows. But when they went to do that, they found that the sleeve was too expensive: they would be blowing money and would still have an old air conditioner.”
Linnane says he helped the housing board revise its draft letter “to the local organizations, trying to get money so they could buy a new air conditioner.” The board sought to raise about $15,000, says Linnane, who is a member of the Westborough Civic Club, and a director of the Rotary Club of Westborough.
Linnane says he’d like to see the housing authority explore “a little different approach” to some facets of its work.
“Potentially, they could piggyback on some other bids that go out for the town. But, we have to fully investigate that. An example would be a couple of years ago, the school had some paving that needed to be done at one of the schools. The DPW goes out yearly and gets good prices to do paving. So the schools said, ‘Would you include us in your bid request?’ The housing authority could theoretically do something similar – I think, but it has to be asked,” he says.
“The schools paid, and the housing authority would pay their fair share.”