Callahan stresses teamwork as Oxford town positives
Oxford Town Manager Jen Callahan, a former Massachusetts state representative.
By JANET STOICA
When Oxford Town Manager Jennifer Callahan was asked what the town’s major accomplishments have been, the overview she gave was quite remarkable. She was quick to mention the teamwork and achievements of all town employees.
“Oxford is very fortunate to have exceptional employees who work for the benefit of all of us. Our town employees come to work each day and do the best job they can. This is why at our town meetings we vote for the best benefits we can for our town workers,” she said. “Teamwork is essential for our town’s success.”
“Last year we had a lot of great success coming out of the pandemic and trying to pick up our normal business routine,” said Ms. Callahan, “but I can’t be more thrilled about our master plan and the well-measured spending of our resources for capital projects and community planning. Our financials were addressed in a very positive way. The success of our accomplishments is reflected in the $6 million in grants we received.” Examples are the $2.8 million MassWorks grant received to provide sewer access across Route 20; a $200,000 Green Communities grant; $302,000 street grant; and an ADA grant of $182,000 to increase ADA access.
“These are huge opportunities,” said Ms. Callahan said. “We also have the Leicester Street bridge project which will make over that structure using multi-million dollar state funding. We have many other grants that will help Oxford like the Open Space Recreation Grant. I’m proud of all our departments working together to obtain this funding. An example is the Lowe’s Pond Dam that will be replaced with assistance from the Department of Conservation which is a significant infrastructure project. Another great asset to our town has been the appointment of Laura Wilson as our Senior Center director. We have seen a very positive response from our town’s celebrated senior population to her appointment. Her hard work and dedication has been a great success for all of us.”
The Mass. School Building Authority has recently granted funding for new roof replacements in the town’s two elementary schools and the town has also recently begun a feasibility study for its Community Center. “The building needs upgrades and a final report is due in February,” said Ms. Callahan. “We realize this building is a valuable asset to our town and we want to ensure it remains that way.”
Successful town activities launched and well-attended by townspeople include the Winter Festival, Movies-on-Main, Teddy Bear Picnics, Carbuncle Pond activities, and the Holiday Parade. “Our master plan and publicity has attracted people to come downtown and enjoy the camaraderie of their fellow neighbors. It brings people closer together. It’s so positive,” said Town Manager Callahan.
“We have been so very successful working together in all our town departments,” said Ms. Callahan. “Our employees have been great. Other projects that we’re looking forward to include grant funding for the French River Bike Trail by having discussions with adjoining towns, our Visitor Center on Charlton Street, and our Store Front Enhancement Program that will offer assistance to our local businesses for their façade improvements in the areas of signage and landscaping. We hope to work on unique storefront enhancements. We are also looking forward to the Orchard Hill improvement and expansion project. This looks like it could be several hundred million dollars of new investment in Oxford that includes beautiful townhouses. I am very excited about the work we do here. I said when I came to Oxford four years ago that I wanted to make sure we improved the town for all residents and I believe with the hard work and great accomplishments of all our town employees we are well on our way to achieving our goals.”
“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results”
– Andrew Carnegie
Contact Janet: [email protected]