Treasurer’s Departure Breaks Chain of Service  
Thursday, December 16, 2010

When Treasurer Eleanor P. Doros leaves Webster Town Hall at the end of this month, the service line for municipal treasurers, established by the late Joseph S. Chmielewicz in the 1957 town election, will be broken.

There’s no full-time assistant with a municipal address to step forward. While no one gave Ms. Doros or her predecessor, Dorothy V. Dabrowski, a leg up to office, they gained incumbency at the polls, like Mr. Chmielewicz, but experience was on their side. Both were assistants to the town treasurer when they took out nomination papers.

The continuity line reads Mr. Chmielewicz, Ms. Dabrowski, and Ms. Doros, and going on 54 years. If there’s any reason for her end-of-2010 resignation, other than the possibility of a winter vacation, Ms. Doros is keeping her own counsel. She allowed, however, that the powers that be might like to make her office and probably another one appointive. Town meeting attempts at this have been denied.

“I’ve been at Town Hall for 35 years,” says Ms. Doros. “It’s time to leave.” While she’s only served eight years as treasurer, Elly, as she’s known in municipal circles, came into the department with credentials as assistant town collector and subsequently built a laudable reputation as assistant town treasurer. She worked for former Collector John E. Bialy before transferring to Treasurer Dabrowski’s office.

There’s still experience within her office, Ms. Doros allows, but the full-time assistant, Linda Wisnewski, lives in Dudley. “I don’t want to be the town treasurer,” said Ms. Wisnewski, adding she’s willing to help until the next town election.

Precedent for the pending vacancy traces to 1956, when Town Treasurer Frank P. Stefanik resigned to accept a job as manager of the Webster Five Cents Savings Bank’s Oxford office. Selectmen turned to Ernest R. McGuinness. Then vice president and treasurer of Webster National Bank, Mr. McGuinness agreed to an interim appointment, working mostly from his bank office.

Mr. Chmielewicz, a part-time assessor at the time, won the treasurer’s office in 1957, and Thomas W. Gorski was appointed to fill his position as assessor.

The agenda for the Nov. 29 meeting of Webster selectmen listed an executive session with a Mark Bobrowski.

It lasted probably an hour. There wasn’t any subsequent disclosure on TV, so I checked Town Hall a couple of days later, getting the standard line: After the executive session minutes are approved.

Then I Googled Mark Bobrowski. He’s a lawyer for projects proposed under Chapter 40B, the affordable housing law, and his credentials and accomplishments are impressive.

This seems the tie with plans to rehabilitate the original Bartlett High School building for affordable housing, given that it’s the only municipal project of the kind that I know about. Proposals have been on the record for some time. Public assemblies have been held, town votes recorded and illustrations prepared. So, what requires confidential treatment now?

Friend Ann C. O’Connell of Webster ladled spaghetti Dec. 4 at the St. Louis School supper, capping day one of the school’s annual Christmas bazaar.

Her services came with a disclaimer: “I didn’t make the sauce because they couldn’t afford it,” she declared. “Don’t forget, my mother was Italian.” The implication was secret, top-shelf Italian ingredients, and hang the cost.

The sauce wasn’t 100 percent what Mother O’Connell, nee Caroline Manzi, might have produced, but it was very good, Ms. O’Connell seemed to concede. She still uses her late mother’s recipes, sometimes with a bit of a put on, possibly remembering that Grandpa Tony Manzi established an Italian-style market and fruit store early on, and several of her mother’s siblings were associated for decades with the long-gone Main at School streets store.

Ann, a retired educator, was one of the people who labored hard for a years in the citizens campaign that killed plans for a mega-landfill in Douglas at the Webster line. This is the badge of honor that she shares with a great many Webster and Douglas citizens.

Maybe she’ll share her mother’s spaghetti sauce recipe with our readers some day!

Mention here of Edmond Bazinet, one of the World War II veterans whose service memories of Second Island Beach on Webster Lake led to town acquisition and development of the property as a World War II memorial, brings comments by Charlotte Brisbois, still a local historian but now of Colorado Springs, Colo.

She was a member of the class of 1939 at Bartlett High School, and Edmond Bazinet was class president, says Ms. Brisbois, recalling a chance meeting in Boston in 1945. “He was returning to the Army base, and I was stationed in Boston,” says Charlotte.

Ms. Brisbois had Webster and Dudley addresses at different times through the years, but lived in Perryville, a Dudley village at the Connecticut line, after World War II.

Still, Charlotte enjoyed the Webster Beach because of veterans status and sums up the current sticker charge for Webster residents by quoting famed newscaster Walter Cronkite’s evening signoff: “And that’s the way it is.”
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