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Stoughton Looks to Hire Lobbyist to Deal With South Coast Rail Project

Stoughton town manager Michael Hartman will looking to hiring a lobbying firm to represent the town's interest at the statehouse with South Coast Rail and the building of a new high school.

"They will access to Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate and the Governor," said Hartman. He said they will be hiring a firm that is registered with the state. 

Hartman will be interviewing firms and then bring the names back to the selectmen for their approval. The board approved the action by a 4-0 vote.

The idea came out of a joint meeting between the selectmen and the school committee last month at the police station. The board was given $150,000 for expenses, regarding the South Coast Rail at the fall special town meeting.

"It is imperative that we move forward with something like this." said selectmen chairman John Anzivino. "We have to attack this from any angle we can. The cost now is peanuts of what it is going to cost the town (if the South Coast Rail goes through.)"

Selectmen Tj Recupero said he was in favor of spending the money now, because the spending will save money in the long run.

"What would the town be like if we get a bad deal on something that is coming town, no pun, attended like a locomotive?" he said. 

Hartman said the town has to be proactive in dealing with South Coast Ra project.

"Not to participate could be disastrous not only for the next decade, but beyond," he said. "It time for the committee to be more proactive and get a hired gun."

Anzivino said he is still working with the state representatives to set up a meeting with Governor Deval Patrick to voice Stoughton's concerns over the project.

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