Homeowner wants his favor returned via free internet
Nov 07, 2013 | 3036 views | 3 3 comments | 112 112 recommendations | email to a friend | print
To the Editor,

My name is John Dowling and I purchased the house with the picket fence next to the Wilmington Town Hall about 35 years ago.

About 10 years ago I received a call front Sonia Delury who had a big favor to ask me, which was that I allow her to string electric and phone wires over my property in order to save the town the expense of putting up a pole and wiring it. I said go for it, and that in return you and the town owe me a big favor.

After Sonia left, a new person took the town manager’s job. The town computer system was upgraded and for whatever the reason was, I lost wireless and reported it to the town manager. He could not be nicer, said he would call the technician back and have him solve the problem, and he did.

On or about Friday, September 6, I had my first meeting with Scott Murphy and explained I had lost my wireless capability and the reason for that was due to a computer technician working on the village wireless project, which effected my wireless connection.

Mr. Murphy told me that a person named Gretchen was handling the problem and that she would look into it. I mentioned to Mr. Murphy that I had done the town a big favor by stringing the wires over my property and that I felt that the town owed me a big favor in return.

I had my second meeting with Mr. Murphy a week and a half after our first meeting. He waved a few papers at me and said he had done nothing about the problem because he was too busy. He took my telephone number and told me that Gretchen would call me the next day. At what time of the day Gretchen would call, he said he had no idea.

The next day after being next to the phone until 1:30 pm, awaiting Gretchen’s call, I went back to the town hall and Mr. Murphy was on the phone for 40 minutes. I sat in the hall until he saw me and screamed “What do you want; I have no time for you!” And I replied, “I would like five minutes of your time, but not in the hall where everyone can hear what we say.”

I asked when Gretchen would call so that I didn’t have to sit next to the phone all day. Gretchen called me within an hour and we had a meeting in which she said she would call the computer people.

A week later on that Friday, I believe it was the 11th, I called the town hall and was told that Gretchen had left at about 3:30 and someone was nice to give me her phone number. I called her at home and she said she had no time for me and that she had a very important call coming in.

On October 16, I had a selectboard meeting. I brought with me five copies of a letter, one copy for each selectboard member, which included all the facts as I knew them. I said that I did not know why a member of the selectboard never once asked Mr. Murphy to spend five minutes on the telephone with the computer company to have a technician over to solve the problem.

As a citizen and a taxpayer I was under the impression that town officials would work on my behalf but at least I would have expected a town official to say thank you for the savings of the $4,000 or $5000 cost of the pole and if we can do anything for you in the future, let us know.

I think the town owes me something. I was brought up to believe if someone does you a favor, you owe them one in return.

John Dowling

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Colby Dix
November 09, 2013
seems to me that 10 years of free internet at $40/mo. estimated cost adds up to about $4800. how much of a favor do they 'owe' you? perpetuity? go ahead and have the lines removed if this is a big issue for you, and negate the saving to the town and enjoy the fact that you scammed free wifi for a decade. kudos. but IMO the town owes you nothing further.
uncle fudd
November 08, 2013
sadly this town is all about take,take,take, not to mention alot of broken promises. now if your name was cincota or one of the other town pets they would be bowing down to you.

Good luck, and I agree with chap, if they don't have a easement to string these wires over your property, tell them to get them off,now
M Gilberg
November 08, 2013
John - Take the bull(y) by the horns.

Consider calling Green Mountain Power, Sovernet, Vt Tel, Duncan TV, Fairpoint and any other provider who has improperly strung its lines over your property (without an easement) to service Wilmington's Town Hall and give them a short window to remove their wires from your property.

I would guess that might get Mr. Murphy's attention.

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