Thursday, March 26, 2009
The Upcoming Middleborough Elections
In this election season, perhaps I could make some observations as to one candidate for Selectman:
I will not vote to put Spataro back in office, since, among other fatal flaws, it looks like the accuracy of his memory is as bad as his ability to show up to meetings on time. For example, he says he did not raise taxes for the people of Middleborough, yet in 2007 he voted to decrease the tax split from 7.5 to 5%--costing residential taxpayers, the fabled average tax payer, $70-80 more on their property taxes. He also says he opposed the CPA to save people an average of $48--a tax which would not go into the general fund; yet, he still cost us $22-32 in taxes. Short memory, or myopia?
He now claims that the Town needs to work with SRPEDD for its economic future; yet he was the one who lambasted SRPEDD regarding its position on the casino and called for Middleborough to withdraw from SRPEDD--until it was explained to him how bad that would be for the Town.
He and the other Selectmen have squandered the negotiation position they had with regard for the IGA because they refused to push for immediate talks to address the Marshall issues and the Carcieri petition for Cert. Now, the Tribe has the leverage to walk away without cost, where before we had leverage based on an apparent breach by fraudulent inducment. Just plain dumb.
Steve could not even screw up the courage to challenge the Chair for no longer doing the Pledge of Allegience, but once a room full of veteran voters came in to protest, he buckled like cheap flooring and said he supported doing the pledge. There is some leadership.
More interesting is that he has no courage to challenge the decisions of his fellow BOS members, but does find the courage to abuse citizens who persistently attend the BOS meetings to ask for answers. They are the "cheap seats," and "rabid followers," and seekers of "15 minutes of fame" -- a Selectman = fame?
He takes credit for the appointment of the new Town Manager, but forgets his embarassing and public excoriation of Mr. Fohlin, a candidate for Town Manager, and that his outburst made it more difficult to immediately find a new set of candidates.
He claims that his cheap seats outburst should be forgiven because it was his only ouburst "in 20 years." I guess that doesn't count the Fohlin outburst and the SRPEDD outbursts. Short memory or selective memory Steve?
Support for Mr. Spataro is support for a lackluster follower who suddenly finds some voice just about election time, and looks to please any LARGE block of voters--not the rest of the rabble. For gosh sakes, he did not even know the actual Town budget.
At one time I opposed his recall and then switched--my bad. It seems I should have stuck with my first instincts.
As for the position of moderator, I respect that position too much to see it go to anyone with an entrenchment with the status quo and an agenda that could negatively influence the free flow of debate at Town Meeting. Unlike Selectman, the Moderator position could be the centerpoint of the democratic process, or it could be handled as a dictator--there is only one moderator. That position also appoints other committees.
Being a competent Selectman does not necessarily qualify you to be a good moderator. In my view, Wayne Perkins is too entrenched in the pro-casino orgy to really separate himself from that issue if it comes up at Town Meeting. With the massive sell-out of our current BOS to the interests of the Tribe (more through their laziness and ignorance of the terms of the IGA), we would simply be handing over Town Meeting to the casino interests. I can remember his excited little chant to me before the beginning of some of the BOS meetings--"The indians are coming. The indians are coming"--a scary concept if any articles against the Tribe's interests come to Town Meeting floor.
Putting the casino aside, I think that the moderator needs to be more distant from the political fray and less connected to the players. Wayne is many decent things, but he is entrenched with the political interests and really is one of the players. He has very specific agendas and is a master at getting his way. This is not a bad thing--just bad for the position of moderator, and the voters need to protect the moderator's neutrality at the cost of losing their voice.
I will not tell anyone who they should vote for, but I am working from the process of elimination--eliminate all bad choices first, and then work with what is left.
Just my opinion as a citizen, and former member of the BOS
Posted by AMB at 6:22 PM