Brookline — Busy Thanksgiving Season

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Brookline has had a busy week.

First, the town and its unions agreed to adopt the state’s Group Insurance Commission as their insurer for municipal employees — which should be a big source of savings.

The longstanding position of the Town Administrator has been no movement from the current premium cost-sharing arrangement of 75% (i.e. the town pays 75% of the premium and the employee pays 25%) but, at the end, the town will end up paying 83% after three years. I don’t have access to either side’s numbers but it appears to be a win-win all around.

Next, they’ve decided to take matters into their own hands and try to utilize stimulus funding to improve service on Bus Route 66 – a heavily used route that cuts across Brookline, Boston, and Cambridge. I’m not sure what exactly they can as a municipality, but I salute their effort to jumpstart the process and to focus on high-volume bus routes, one of the underappreciated but vital pieces of the transportation system.