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January 31. 2013 9:03PM

Brookline bids farewell to a valuable man

BROOKLINE - Sometimes the value of the work volunteers do for a town goes unnoticed, but as the man who has helped Brookline maintain its information technology for years moves on, the town wants to make sure he knows how much he is appreciated.

According to Town Administrator Tad Putney, the town knew that Russ Heinselman had provided a tremendous service to the town for nearly 20 years, volunteering to take care of the computers and networks in Town Hall, the ambulance facility, the fire station and the library.

"He's been doing the updating, the trouble shooting, even purchasing new equipment for years," said Putney, "and he's been doing it in that true Yankee spirit of working frugally without sacrificing efficiency."

But the town didn't realize just how much Heinselman had saved them in IT costs over the years until he announced that he and his wife were downsizing and moving out of town.

"We decided we need to find a service provider to do the work Russ had been doing," Putney said, "and it turns out it's going to cost us around $35,000 a year for the same service Russ has been doing for free. Sometimes you don't know how valuable someone has really been until he has to leave."

Putney said the town doesn't want Heinselman to go away not knowing how important he's been to Brookline, so on Monday night, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., the board of selectmen will be hosting an open house at Town Hall to thank Heinselman for his years of dedication and service.

"We're inviting residents in to thank him, to honor him, and to wish Russ and his wife, Barbara, well in the next stage of their lives," said Putney.

The open house will also be shown on the town's community television station so that folks across town can be part of honoring Heinselman.

nfoster@newstote.com


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