Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Judging Our Town Government

Kenneth M. O’Brien

On Monday night the five member collusive majority on the Southbridge town council once again backed the town manager’s agenda.
Despite efforts by the four-member minority to reduce the proposed budget, the FOS clique pushed through what served the interests of the town hall bureaucracy.

As a result, you’ll see another property tax increase of at least 3.7 percent. This is on top of a 4 percent increase in water and sewer rates.

I have attempted to find a simple way of summarizing how successful this crew has been in governing this town.

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words.

Therefore, here is my 6,000-word picture essay on how to judge what this group has done on behalf of our town relative to other towns in the area.

We are going to have a town election next month.

The choice is simple.

Are we going to elect the Clark-Clemence-cronies who are continuing the policies that started with the “Restore Confidence” fraud that emerged almost fifteen years ago? We can go back to the same pattern of the Chernisky-Carlisle cabal or we can say “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

These bandits are entitled to their own opinions, but, as the above shows, they are not entitled to their own facts.

Charts from city-data.com


  1. moronic is what this post is. did you ever think you were the reason? oh wait, aren't you the one who quit the people of southbridge? yes, that's right.

  2. Oh Joy!
    How I love these enlightening, well-reasoned comments.
    Perhaps I should require an ID before posting remarks!

  3. I am a bit disappointed at the chair as he didn't use his power to require the 2/3 vote that is clearly needed to subsidize this budget. I can appreciate he's got a tough job and seemed thrown off by Ms. Clemence' fluff vote, which meant nothing. Notwithstanding a super-majority to over-rule him, he determines what is in order. He could have taken the lawyer hack's opinion and the Clemence' fluff vote and simply ruled that in his opinion a 2/3rds vote is needed for the money transfer.

    Robbery is what it was, plain and simple. Government corruption at its worst and most blatant.

    Well, the Chair's slip is excusable. The 5 member cabal is criminal.

    As an amusing note, I was sitting right behind the Police Chief and the Fire Chief whom were both mocking the minority. It was deplorable that these government employees are so political and whose only interest in government is self-preservation and enrichment.

  4. Mr. O'Brien, please get it right, as I did not label you a moron I simply stated the post was moronic ...."moronic is what this post is"

    Then I stated maybe you were the reason..."did you ever think you were the reason?"

    Please quote me correctly.

  5. moronic - having a mental age of between eight and twelve years
    retarded - relatively slow in mental or emotional or physical development; "providing a secure and sometimes happy life for the retarded"
    adjective idiotic, simple, foolish, mindless, thick, stupid, daft (informal), retarded, gormless (Brit. informal), brainless, cretinous, unintelligent, dimwitted (informal), asinine, imbecilic, braindead (informal), mentally defective, dumb-ass (slang), doltish, dead from the neck up (informal), halfwitted, Boeotian, muttonheaded (slang) Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002

    Having said that, what was moronic? If you can’t be specific, then what am I expected to respond to other than moronic name-calling.

  6. Once you've answered that question, please go on to explain how I might be the reason.

  7. ...the Anonymous babblings of an idiot. Ken, you’ve spent way too much time acknowledging this nameless fool.

    Great -- and complete -- post! Any investor, any business owner, and any potential homeowner would run from Southbridge based on these facts. But I guess facts are "moronic". I only wish I had someone like you to provide this info when I bought 9 years ago.

    While many towns can legitimately claim that much of the decline was the housing crisis, we can't. They've begun leveling off and we continue to decline. Who wants to purchase in a town with one of the lowest performing school systems; one of the highest tax rates; a future mega-dump; a ghost town of a downtown; rising crime, while at the same time having one of the largest and most costly police departments as compared to similar towns; a budget that continues to bloat despite all of the previously mentioned issues; and town government that is clearly on the "moronic" level? You'd be a fool to buy here. I am a fool that was misinformed.

    Oh, but wait, the argument is that you caused this, Ken. Maybe you should pay me the money I've lost on my home? LOL!

  8. Thanks Raciel:
    I just wish we could distribute these charts along with my earlier table of the relative tax rates of Southbridge and surrounding towns (see my post of February 13, 2011 “Turning The Tide”) to all voters prior to the next election.

  9. We could! I have access to a high capacity color printer. We could print them in the 1000s. We only need volunteers to spend a Saturday passing them out door to door. I know of several people who would spend a weekend putting (real) info out. Our democracy depends on it.

  10. Raciel:
    I’m on board! Contact me at obanion@netzero.net to work out the details.

  11. By the way, I'm still trying to figure out how I caused this!
    Any ideas what that is supposed to mean?

  12. I think it means you have voodoo dolls in your basement and that represent the town and are putting pins in them nightly. Stop it!

    Will email you tomorrow. :-))

  13. Thanks, thelug. We have our first volunteer. I can round up a few others.

  14. This is exactly what the Realtor Joan Lacoste? said at the BOH minor site assignment hearing back in 08? Please forgive me if I have the year wrong.
    She said if you go through with this, the property values in Southbridge will fall! Now seeing as how we were also headed into the worst economic depression in our time and many thought her words were false, with this presentation of several towns comparing home values, it is now evident that Ms. Lacoste's stark warning and premonition has indeed come true.


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