Dighton Approves New Police Chief Amid Budget and School Concerns

In a recent meeting of the Dighton Board of Selectmen, the appointment of George Nichols as the new Chief of Police was approved, a significant acknowledgment within the community. This decision was met with gratitude for Nichols’ willingness to serve in this important role. The meeting also addressed concerns regarding the school district’s budget deficit, with discussions centering on the potential impact of cuts on education quality and the need for advocacy for additional state funding.

The budget discussions were a major focal point, revealing a tense atmosphere around the financial state of the school district. A member presented troubling data about decreased state transportation funding and a minimal increase in Chapter 70 funding, which did not align with the district’s rising enrollment and inflationary pressures. The expiration of ESER funds further compounded the issue, with the district reportedly being overstaffed last year. Reductions in teaching positions and support staff were proposed, raising concerns about the consequent increase in class sizes and the overall effectiveness of the district’s educational environment.

The potential budget cuts were scrutinized for their adverse effects on various departments. The need to manage the impact of these cuts, balance class sizes, and respond to community concerns was highlighted as a critical challenge. The member expressed fears that the district was “perilously close to not being effective,” indicating the seriousness of the situation.

Advocacy for additional funding became a part of the meeting, with a motion made for the Board of Selectmen to urge an increase in Chapter 70 funding from state legislators. The importance of this advocacy was stressed in light of the district being “on the cusp of a Renaissance,” according to the member who called for action.


The meeting also delved into the interplay of surplus funds and their allocation, with discussions around budget discrepancies between the school committee and the town, especially concerning public safety and fiscal responsibilities. The need for collaboration and shared responsibility was emphasized as crucial for navigating potential budget shortfalls.

In addition to the budget deficit and educational concerns, the meeting was noteworthy for its approval of community-driven initiatives. The Dighton Lions Club received approval to install two new entrance signs with planters, a move aimed at supporting local businesses. The Bristol-Plymouth High School students were recognized for their efforts in contributing to the Dighton Public Library building project, with the Friends of the Library covering the cost for interactive smartboards.

Moreover, the meeting oversaw the Town Administrator’s update on the annual audit, which highlighted a clean management letter and compliance with federal procurement requirements. Other local issues discussed included a town parking ban, affordable housing opportunities, and a community garden initiative.


The retirement of two long-time employees from the Dighton Water District was acknowledged, and a new treatment plant manager’s approval was noted. The upcoming election for the Water District Board of Commissioners was also mentioned.

The Public Health Excellence Grant Inter-Municipal Agreement between Northern Bristol Public Health Alliance communities was approved. Additionally, the contract with the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development for a housing production plan was debated but ultimately approved, despite concerns voiced over its alignment with residents’ desires.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Town Administrator:
Michael P. Mullen, Jr.
City Council Officials:
Peter D. Caron, Nicole Mello, Leonard E. Hull, Jr., Karin Brady (Executive Assistant/ HR Coordinator), Leeanne Kerwin (Administrative Assistant)

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