Cemetery Care May Suffer

Letters / Apr. 22, 2010 1:49pm EDT

This is an open letter to the citizens of Randolph.

In 1977 I was approached by the Randolph Selectboard and asked to supervise the running of the cemeteries. I agreed to try. Now, 33 years later, things have changed.

I have given a lot of time and effort to the town of Randolph cemeteries over the years. I have taken calls at all times of the day, holidays and weekends, answering questions about the cemeteries, hunting for graves of long-dead relatives of people from all parts of the country, and arranging for burials.

Yes, I have been paid as cemetery commissioner, but I have felt that I had to go above and beyond that pay, to help people. I have over the years, assembled a great cemetery crew who have worked hard to help me with my objectives. They have cleaned up and maintained these cemeteries on the budget that the town gives us.

I have never gone over this budget, which includes paying the crew, buying the necessary equipment and hopefully making you proud of the condition of these cemeteries.

Your selectboard has opted to renew the town manager’s contract and he has apparently decided that I cannot run the cemeteries without his supervision. Usually by now the crew is working in the cemeteries doing the spring cleanup and preparing the equipment for the summer and burial season ahead. He has decided that the crew will not start working until after the first of May.

As most of you know May is the busiest month for the cemeteries, because of spring burials. There are only four weeks in May before Memorial Day. That means that with winter clean-up, regular burials and spring burials, the crew is going to be working nonstop to accomplish this work.

Generally, the week before Memorial Day is spent mowing and preparing the cemeteries to look nice for the holiday. That may become impossible, especially if it should be a rainy month, or if there are a lot of burials. You must remember that we have burials from funeral homes other than Randolph and Vermont.

I want to thank the Day Funeral Home, for their assistance. They help me keep the records and charts, do deeds, arrange for burials from out of town and generally make my life easier, especially when I am away or otherwise unable to do these things.

As you read this you may be asking: Is this a resignation letter? Well, that is a distinct possibility. I will be doing some serious thinking in the next few weeks. Because of the constraints that I have been put under, I am not sure that the cemeteries can be maintained as I would like.

In the meantime if you have any questions or concerns regarding the cemeteries in Randolph please call the town manager or your selectboard.

David Barnard


Cemetery Commissioner

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