We agree with Council President Peter Gill that the town should move forward on the issue of the temporary closing of the Norman Siefert Ferry Terminal Building because of a minor problem with the grading (not with the facility itself). Gill said Tuesday night (in an open forum with a busy agenda) that this is not the time to assess blame and he’s right. The Council voted to refer the matter to the Finance Committee because a town appropriation of funding might be necessary.
Councilor Craig Mael let it be known that he wasn’t pleased with the closing of the ferry terminal building and questioned what the final cost of correcting the structural issue could be for the town. Mael was looking out for the best interests of the town and certainly raised a valid point.
However, the bottom line is that the ferry terminal building project has been a wonderful development and asset for the town. Our congressman, Edward J. Markey, was instrumental in securing the federal grant and Speaker Robert A. DeLeo secured a state grant that ensured that the town would not have to reach into its funds to complete the project. Those who joined Norman Siefert and his family at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the building no doubt considered it a glorious day for the town and the public landing.
Town Manager James McKenna stepped up immediately when he was notified that there was a small problem with the ferry terminal building. He displayed outstanding leadership, gathered his team together, and made sure that the issue was being addressed promptly and professionally. As a result of the manager’s efforts, the building has received clearance for handicapped accessibilty and the state has issued a reprieve on its action so that the ferry terminal building will soon reopen.
McKenna, who was so instrumental in accelerating the process that brought us the new building, will meet with the appropriate parties involved in the construction of the ferry terminal building and will keep the public informed about the situation. Were this a school building and it required its closure for any length of time, we could understand an uproar, but we believe that McKenna is on top of the situation and with the help of the Town Council, will bring it to a resolution soon.