Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Southbridge Town Council Reorganizes

Kenneth M. O’Brien

At its first meeting following the June Town Elections the Southbridge Town Council elected its leadership for the coming year.

Councilor Catherine Nikolla was elected Chairman of the Council.

Councilor Denise Clemence was elected Vice-Chairman of the Council.

As my only comment on this outcome, allow me to offer my proposal for the Town's new promotional campaign going forward.


  1. Ceasar lives! Or, is it Caligula?

    Coordination like this sure begs the question: Did they plan this during an illegal meeting? Anyway, the entertaining part of this is when Southbridge hits the inevitable financial iceberg, they will be the ones steering the ship. Get your life rafts now and Make Southbridge Home!

  2. That childish comment said, I do wish them luck and hope they gain some reasoning. We'll all need it!

  3. Yes, that's right! Southbridge will be (metaphorically speaking) burnt to the ground when they're done.

  4. As Tiny Tim would say from A Christmas Carol: "God bless us, everyone!"

  5. Finally Mr. Clark has achieved his goal of removing the problematic Councilors and after he silences Marketti he will have complete unchallenged latitude to appoint Casella-friendly Board of Health members to ensure maximum profits!

    What is good for Casella is good for Southbridge!

  6. I know that many are going to think I'm full of it when I say this, but I promise you, I'm sincere.

    It's a new council, and nothing's even happened yet.

    My suggestion would be let's be hopeful that it's been organized in such a way that they'll be successful, and do a good job.

    We've seen council's come and council's go. If we look in hindsight at what's happened (or not) in this last council, or the council before it, I can't think of many things that jump out at me as rousing successes.

    That's not a criticism of the chair or vice-chair, but it's a tough position.

    I've already spoken to Cathy, and told her I'm supporting her as chair. That doesn't mean we won't disagree, but contrary to what some think, I don't wish for failure in this town.

    One of the things I'm happy to hear is that the Charter Review Committee's recommendations will be heard early on. This has dragged on too long, and frankly, an up or down vote, or anything, to bring this to an end would be nice at this time.

    It's almost been a year since it was completed, and that's far too long to let it drag on. That can't be pinned on Cathy, by the way.

    If this arrangement is successful, I think that would make all of us happy.

    So, again, let's at least give them the chance before we declare it a failure.

    Yes, this is the real Dennis, trying to look at things in a little bit different light.

    Let my criticism begin!

  7. Dennis I agree with you ( wow I cant believe that I said that) Lets give them a chance...Just maybe they will do the right thing....But lets not stop with just the Town Council...The liquor Board...Its time to do the right thing stops with who you are but what is the right thing..its ok to give some time to get things done but to go on for years is crazy...the Board of Health its time to say hey lets move forward stop with the court BS lets stop taking care of family members do what you say you said you would and lets get going there are also other issue with the BOH than just landfill...Once the state get done with the investagation of the remaining 2 members and the Town Council works on the Charter changes to include the BOH than hopefully the town will appoint new members that will work to make and keep the landfill safe and also work on other issues...The Airport is destoyed they need a new place and member now the time to get that board going...lots of new things can happen this year give them a chance and lets see what they will do...we will all know in a short time

  8. I'm not sure what the picture of Obama above means. What does Obama have to do with the Nero fiddling while Rome burns metaphor? In fact, what does it have to do with Southbridge? Seems to me in this instance, Nero would be starting the fire or running away, while Southbridge burns.
    As far as the comment above about Clark silencing Marketti, all I can say is "Ain't gonna happen!"

  9. Congratulations, ladies! I am looking forward to seeing what happens with the Town Council moving forward. And I don't care if it's an unpopular opinion: I'm optimistic. There, I said it.

  10. In other news, I am aghast. Who on Earth is doing your Photoshop work these days, Ken? Obviously you can't afford me, but daaang.

  11. One word... Bankruptcy.

  12. Optimistic... yes, I could say I am quite optimistic that the town will be bankrupt soon and we can look forward to the state taking over and booting these imbeciles out of the town hall. The only guy on the council with intelligence and class was not reelected, so I guess this town gets what it deserves.


  14. yeah right, "a better working council", LOL what they are is a bunch of people more interested in their own personal agenda than the interest of the town residents.

  15. In fairness, any side you support has an agenda, and the prevailing party has the opportunity to move their agenda.

    Councils in the past that didn't move their agendas have no one to blame but themselves....not talking to any council in particular, in general.

  16. What happened to the Dennis I knew and loved?

  17. I'm still here.

    I just believe in a sense of balance and fair play.

    Plus, complaining hasn't worked...I'm willing to try teamwork.

  18. Yeah, teamwork. Like everyone voting to give Clark a raise when he was already out looking for a new job with a huge pay cut. Dennis, teamwork only works if the goals are just.

    Cathy is for the moronic smartcart program that towns without trash and recycling contracts have to use to keep their landfills running cheaper. She has pushed one bad policy after another, all to the detriment to our citizens, our health and our tax rates. Denise is equally bad. This is a full on green light for corruption and cronyism, raiding the coffers and an eventual finger-pointing, sputtering municipal bankruptcy.

  19. Dennis couldn't beat'em so now he wants to join'em. Fat chance. What a maroon.

  20. It would be so much more refreshing if I knew who the devil I was talking with.

    I'm glad I gave up blogging...way too many anonymous posters these days...if people are going to use a fake name, can you at least be creative?

    Everyone being anonymous is confusing.

  21. Not a devil, just a deacon... at least some of the time...

    Just think of us a voices in your head.

    Kinda like...

    a conscience.

  22. Hi, Deacon, long time!

    Not sure I follow your comment, but let me share this quote...as you know, I read a lot:

    "Instead of always harping on a man's faults, tell him of his virtues. Try to pull him out of his rut of bad habits. Hold up to him his better self, his real self that can dare and do and win out. --Eleanor Porter (1868-1920)"

  23. Do tell Dennis-what virtues of Clemence, Nikolla, and Clark can be called upon to keep chloramines out of our water. I am an avid gardener and I don't want to have to have a well dug to save my flowers from being damaged by the ammonia.

  24. No, instead tell me: how well is your approach working? You have to work towards a middle ground, or figure out how to get people elected that will do what they say.

    What's YOUR plan/idea?

  25. I just read in the paper all citizen appts to subcommittees will end at the end of July. This could be good or bad. I hope they know what they're doing.

  26. Dennis, Mr. Clark isn't interested in compromise, and there is no sense fighting him because he uses the police and the press to settle any differences. He manipulated the last election by providing documents to the media that influenced the election.

    The solution is either to establish a City form of Government under a Mayor, or return to the time honored Town Meeting form of Government.

    Dennis, your quote that recommended that we try to build on the virtues of Clark, Nikola, Livengood and Clemence is a little too challenging. They may very well have virtues, but they are not very apparent. I say none of them have any more right to decide what happens in this Town than the average citizen. None of them have demonstrated knowledge or ability above the average citizen-this is why I we should change our obviously broken form of government that has the consent of very few citizen's. They frequently act like they are monarchs that are better than everyone else. Since there is no need to fight them, we should just include everyone by returning to the form of government that worked for well over a century!

  27. Dennis, working toward the middle ground was the technique of Steve Lazo and Doctor Rich Logan. How did that work for them?

  28. I like Steve and Rich, but I disagree with your statement. How did they work towards middle ground? The answer is why it didn't work for them. Can you say collaboration?

  29. How did Rich & Steve work toward middle ground? First, by not firing Mr. Clark when the majority wanted to, and for a half dozen good reasons. An example of their working toward and WAY beyond middle ground can be observed even in the eir last meeting- when they all rehired Mr. Caprera and Anna Smith. I like and respect Steve and Rich as well, and I believe Dr. Logan was our best Councilor, but the Council does not and can function due to "in the dark Clark" not keeping them informed.

    The Council is NOT supposed to be the Yes men and Yes chicks of the Town Manager and the "rulings" (LMFAO) of the Town Attorney, the man that hired Mr. Clark in a meeting in his law office. If Steve Lazo has done anything wrong, it was that he failed to keep the manager in line, and he failed to correct the manager when he was out of line, which happened too often. Essentially, the compromise that you prescribe for this sick town may kill the patient.

  30. The majority could have dealt with Clark if they felt that way. They didn't. You either do what's right, damn the torpedoes, or you do what's politically correct to get re-elected. They didn't do the former, but they did the latter.

    Inaction isn't doing.

    Just look at the Charter.

    BTW, I know who you are, can't you just say it?

  31. I must say OMG again...Anonymous that Lazo has done nothing wrong...DPW barn 12 million and climbing he pushed and supported it....The new Jr/Senior School just wait thats going to be a monkey on our back...he supported and approved the plan NOT to let the voters vote on this project and the location....Water Meter issues o you are going to tell me it wasnt him....but he was well aware of it.... How about the under handling manner in which they got McDonald voted in as vice chair...o he didnt know but did you forgot about the statement he read from....How about the LOgan BS when it came to a point of order dealing with the Board of Health ...How about stopping other councilors from speaking because they had a differant view...you want to know about the conection with the liquor board go ask him..it goes on and on

  32. Dennis has been on the front line for a long time, so we should probably cut him some slack. In a way he is right, we should be able to work with the manager and the town council. Unfortunately, town officials will treat you one way if they believe you are a lone wolf and another if they know you have supporters in the community. The best idea is to organize. There is a second meeting this Friday for those interested. At the Art Center 7:00 Pm. Only when we work together as a group will the politicians listen to what we have to say.

  33. Dennis's approach is the most productive in that it gains the most supporters to his position in the long run. The middle is where most people actually are. I, myself, am more cynical because of the ideology and tactics I've observed from the majority of the new council. We'll wait and see. I predict we won't wait long as it will take only one, or two meetings to see where they're taking us and how they handle debate.

  34. "If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously. If you pretend to be bad, it doesn't. Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism."

    ~Oscar Wilde

  35. "Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power." - William James.

    "Pessimism never won any battle." - Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    Former friends and supporters:

    I'm not delusional, and I haven't lost it. In fact, I've never seen things as clearly as I have the last few months.

    If you blame one side, you have to be honest and look at the other side.

    If no progress was made when the majority party you supported was in "power", is that the other sides fault?

    How do we find a way to make things a win-win as often as possible? You have to at least reach out and TRY to find some way for all to feel victorious.

    Attempting to get what you want so the other side appears to have lost? Not going to happen.

    So, of you don't agree with me, I'd love to hear your specific ideas on how to succeed on your most important issue? Do you have a better idea than optimism and trying to compromise?

    Please let me know how, when you have zero power and influence, to do it?

    And please don't talk recalls-it will never happen--or investigations. Neither is a strategy, both are by products of frustration.

  36. Your Friend and will continue to beJuly 14, 2011 at 7:24 AM

    Dennis I have both agreed and disagreed with you over the course of the last couple of years. I could not have agree any more with you on your lastest stand and comments. We as a community have to come together to make things work. To be a people of constant critizem with no suggestions. Will continue to bring the community to its knees with no sucess on anything. I would'nt want that to happen. But to have everyone agree is not the answer either. Our system is what it is. This system is what the residents of our town want. It wont change with a very small group of people that oppose everthing. It takes the comunity in a whole. Having been to a few council meetings and watching it on TV you see its the same group that agreen or oppose things no matter what. The same 1/2 dozen or so people, that alone wont change things. What it does say the people in general are satisfied with what is going on because they dont go. You dont see the revolt on eihter side of the issues. But what shows the most is when the citizens have had enough is at the polls. This last election said it all. My friend you have a good one and enjoy life as it is.

  37. Thank you, my friend! How have you been?

    I appreciate your comments...it can no longer be about two factions, for and against, but finding the middle ground and compromise.

    It's not a diss to anyone; if it's a diss at all, it's to everyone, myself included.

    Often I wonder how many people could be big enough to at least admit that?

    The frustration I have is when people on both sides, who I presume have good intentions, can't see that things aren't working or progressing, and think that getting angry, or threatening recalls, will work.

    It won't, and it never will.

    As hard as it has been for me to admit that not all of my attempts at change have been great, at least I can say that, and move on.

    Having said that, the reason for compromise is that no one "side", if you will, will hold onto power forever, and power should be used to benefit all, whenever possible.

    So the group that was in power, now isn't. The group in power now, won't be forever.

    The only way to help the town is simple:

    Focus and compromise, and coming together, not driving each other apart.

  38. Dennis,

    Many positive ideas have been discussed by those opposed to this government's status quo. The impediment to progress on any of these suggestions are the very officials and special interests you hope to appease. Many of us have all ready tried the "common ground" tactic, but I believe you are operating on a false principal with your presumption of "good intentions" on both sides. This is simply not the case, and their is plenty of evidence to prove it. The only compromise you will achieve is that of the health and well-being of the community in favor of unchecked corruption. There are criminal misuses of government and authority going on in Southbridge and they absolutely need to be investigated. How, you ask? What you recognized early on was a need for a real and unbiased 4th estate. You were on your way to producing one. What happened?

  39. Some of the analysis posted today is laughable. How out of touch do you think we are? When did our side have all the power? Five councilors vs. four Councilors,the town manager and his Attorney is not having power. It requires at least six councilors to control the town council. If they fired Clark or Caprera, the people that talk like you have been talking recently would throw a hissy fit. Clark was almost fired but that was prevented from happening due to the unfortunate death of the Councilor with the greatest historic perspective, and as you know, the political strategist of the Clark side said he wanted that good Councilor to drop dead.

    The Council had a majority, a weak majority, but with the help of a laughable legal opinion and a money hungry town manager, they voted that they didn't need six to take that $500,000+ from the enterprise fund, a luxury that the health oriented Councilors never had the luxury or dark intentions to take. I don't care to compromise with law breakers. It is time to throw them out, not join them and toast marshmallows. they are actually charging tornado victims to dump waste into their own dump! Free trash my azz!

    The people that you want to collaborate with want to break the law AGAIN by stacking the board of health without changing the Charter first. Despite your best intentions, Councilor Nikolla smiles in front of the cameras but she calls a one of the people that is trying to save the landfill from getting used up to quickly "stupid" for pointing out the litany of Casella violations and broken promises.

    Not unlike Maréchal Pétain, your collaborating perspective will sound good to some, but I am not going to get in bed with those people, and it isn't because I do not appreciate fleas. Other town's that made the mistake of adopting the 'manager' form of government have returned to the old ways, and all we need to do is sit back and allow the Clark team to continue to mess things up with a new sense of acceleration to convince the people of this town, the ones that don't bother to even vote (a/k/a "the majority") to vote to take our Town back from the handful of Councilors and return it to the community. It is called democracy, and we ought to try it. Some people want to concentrate power even more by establishing a mayor, but if they succeed, I doubt that will work much better than the current form. The $13 Million Dollar DPW building, the building of a new high School next to an old dump, and inviting an out of state business with a criminal history to use up our landfill in less than a decade are three examples of TERRIBLE decisions a Southbridge Town Meeting would have never allowed.

  40. I do not believe for one second that "people in general are satisfied". What I do believe is that
    1. People feel they have no power and no one listens to them. They feel that a small number of well connected people make all the decisions. They don't go to elections because they have given up.
    2. Many people have no idea of what goes on in this town. My husband regularly tells people at work about issues in this town that they have no idea even exist. People have busy lives, work, family, responsibilities and unless you can go to the town meeting or have cable you don't know where individual councilors stand on the issues. We don't have a free weekly town paper, as all the surrounding towns seem to have. Why NOT?
    3. I do believe that the large percentage of renters in this town might take less of an interest in local politics.... they probably don't feel property taxes, the dump or water issues concern them directly (even though they do). Renters are generally less involved in local politics.

    In fact, I have yet to meet ONE person who is satisfied with the state this town is in.

  41. Presently, it only takes five councilors to get rid of the TM...read the Charter.

    To answer your question, where was everyone when I needed them?


    Sorry if the truth hurts, but neither side has done well with compromise.

    I notice no one has one solid idea, other than complaining.

    What's your SUGGRSTION?

  42. Dennis, when you and Maestro Marketti needed support to keep you on the town's website, the five councilors on your side "compromised" just like you are currently advocating we all do.

    The town manager is addicted to the extra $Million he skims from the water and sewer with his rate increases, and the net $Million he gets from Casella. He'll be gone when we have to pay $2-$3 Million a year to get rid of our trash elsewhere.

    The majority took over a half $Million from the enterprise fund, and instead of complaining about that violation of the law, the manager released information to the press intended to influence the election, and was he successful? You betcha dude, and you want to compromise with these thugs?

    Joe Marino is correct when he claims that the board of health was stacked in order to allow an unwanted landfill expansion, and he was right 35 years ago when he said a town council will ignore the taxpayers.

    The solution is all around us in Charlton, Sturbridge, Woodstock, & Dudley. A town meeting government, with decisions made by one and all. No more politics of exclusion, with less than a dozen people leading us down the road to political perdition.

    Dennis, if you don't see teh value of self government, it doesn't mean it won't happen. You are often a talented author of thoughtful observation, and we all know you came up with the "Make Southbridge Home" campaign that Mr. Clark took credit for. Sadly he is using that campaign to try to get people to stay here, instead of advertising in other places to attract people here.

    When the People lead, the leaders will follow. You are good at making your point on the keyboard, but what we write here or on other Blogs does not reach the voting majority. I understand why you don't speak before the Council- Queen Katherine would make faces at you and humiliate you, and you are very proud, but there is going to be more involvement, money is being invested to establish a Democracy, and this winter there will even be "Democracy School" offered right here in the Republic of Southbridge, and I predict that a dozen knowledgeable speakers will bring down the clowns.

  43. There was no compromise. They caved in, but I removed myself already.

  44. Dennis, in all fairness Raciel and I have offered a solid suggestion. Come down Friday and hear what we have to say. If you don't like it walk away. At least we are trying but to say no one is offering any ideas is just not true. I won't say we have all the answers, but these things take time, and I'd truly like to hear what you have to say. Besides, I might want to do a cartoon about you and I forgot what you look like.

  45. Sorry, Mike, I wasn't speaking of you and Raciel. I'm talking about the anonymous posters with nothing to offer.

  46. Just a point of information regarding the vote to steal the enterprise funds for those saying the majority had the power. The power of determining what was in order (required) or not in order was with the chair, not the attorney, or the majority. That was Lazo's privilege. The Chair's ruling could be overturned with, I believe, a 2/3 vote (which they didn't have). The town attorney offered a flawed and illogical opinion which 5 councilors pushed for and voted a meaningless gesture of support. Although they were the majority, it was in the chair's power to rule that regardless what the attorney felt, this vote required 2/3. In this case he felt it needed a 2/3 vote but did not require it. It seemed he caved, or didn't understand his capabilities.

    I would love Dennis to join us. But as you said before, he's been on the front line for very long. He deserves some R&R. Some of us can take the new chair's contemptuous stare downs for a while. My hope is that she will be open to dialog instead.

  47. In all honesty, I'm kind of into the new chair's contemptuous stare-downs, although I have been told I am too nice to ever warrant one. Alas.

  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

  49. Raciel
    You use strong words such as steal the enterprise. I understand its a form or figure of speech and is not ment that someone such as the town manager is stealing. This is why the group that you are trying to form is going to fail before it starts....If Chairman Lazo felt that this was a flawed vote he could have ruled it out of order as he has done in the past with former councilor Logan.... Its also your opinion that the town attyorney offered a flawed ruling...were is your law degree. In my humble and flawed opinion you are wrong in your statement and maybe you dont understand his capabilities...I was thinking about attending your new activist group meeting hoping that it would attempt in a civil manner address issue in a positive and constructed way that would benefit all of the residents of this community...but after reading your lastest comment all that is going to come out is the same old BS

  50. Well, on the bright side, at least people are starting to talk here, Ken.

    It woUld be better if people would all stop calling themselves anonymous, though.

    Anyway, I've had my say, and you either agree or you don't, which is fine.

    I was never a fourth estate, though. It was a place to vent, speak, or whatever. But not a fourth estate, although I appreciate the compliment.

    Some may call compromise collaboration, as if they're bad words.

    They're not.

    I keep asking for specific steps to get this council to help with those matters you strongly believe in, and other than Mike and Raciel, it's not substantial.

    It's just complaining without a plan.

    You may not like my idea, but at least I have one.

    Don't like the TM? What can you do other than complain?

    Want to fight the Smartcart?

    Whatcha gonna do? If you think going to citizens Forum and sticking it in their eye is going to help, take it from someone who knows: it won't.

    If compromise and working towards a mutually beneficial outcome is wrong, you arent ever going to accomplish much, other than frustrating yourselves.

    You'd think that I suggested everyone curtsy every time you see a councilor.

    I think what I'm suggesting is rationale, and reasonable.

    But I won't keep coming back to read the same complaints without a solution.

    For twenty five years of work, the best executives have said "complain all you want, provided you've got a better idea, and present it professionally, so you'll be listened to."

    Words of wisdom.

  51. When a legal opinion can make a room full of lawyers laugh, this isn't the first opinion offered in town hall that is an embarrassment.

    It doesn't take a lawyer to be able to identify bovine fecalicity.

    The last word has not been heard of the looting of our town's enterprise fund, but like Ms. Regis said as she grinned before the vote "what can they do to us? Put us in jail?" Probably not, but don't be surprised if charges are brought up, but that would be from an Attorney that ain't from Sou'bridge, so what do they know?

    Yup, Steve Lazo could have challenged that vote, but little minds that don't realize that our Council IS the local legislature wpu;d have cried and complained that Steve is not an Attorney. Muni lawyers are only clerks and will provide opinions a la carte, but the Legislature makes the laws, and our Council is junior to the state legislature and didn't have the required two-thirds, so they broke State Law. After the vacations are over, the long arm of the law will finally reach out.

  52. Dennis, how many times have you spoken at Citizen's Forum during a regular Town Council Meeting. At least twice, right?

    If Christ himself addressed the Council, they'd likely vote 2-7 to let him speak because he is from out of Town, and if he spoke anyway they'd throw out his opinion and ask what Wally wants ; )

  53. No offense, but anonymous insinuations aren't going to do anything.

    I recognize the writer from my blog.

    So let me ask you:

    Give us the date of this "apocalypse?"

    Otherwise,this is more wortless blather, and it proves my point:

    There is no plan, just constant complaints that will solve nothing.

    I hate to tell you, but the AG has bigger fish to fry. And whether you like it or not, the council is, to an extent, insulated.

    Plus, you'll pay for their defense in the end.

    Yet another "anonymous".

  54. If I could get my security software to clear this blog specifically, I could sign this. No apocalypse is insinuated, I was just wondering how many times you went to the Council before you got the look from the unWelcome Wagon Hostesses (I am not speaking of Ms. Regis.)

    Dennis, you didn't read me write anything about the AG-this isn't a frivolous Open Meeting or Executive meeting complaint. This is not the turf of the AG, but could be handled by DA interested in functional government, and our DA does have the integrity to consider action, but even the taxpayers can correct this in a civil action. A half $Million looted and it is much more serious a violation than the issue with a former school business manager in recent years that was discharged. I have already heard people blame this on Steve Lazo, in recent weeks during the campaign-that Steve "refused" to do anything about it! Ha! Steve and three others voted against the looting. When John Gotti of NY stated that his lawyer said his business activities was OK, did they let him off because his lawyer said it was alright? It is just an opinion, never a ruling. The looting is not a violent crime of course, just one more glaring example of the failure of due process in our local government. Read that opinion provided to the Council ; )

    Watch your mailbox in the Autumn Mr. Resident, a video/print monthly that reaches the unWired is coming to town ; )

  55. Man, why does Dennis Martinek get all the good anonymous mail? I'm a registered voter too, you know. I've got a neon green door now, in case you want to leave any creepy packages in front of it. Just sayin'.

    God, you folks are some crazy, crazy people and I am Utterly Fascinated by you all. I think I should be able to do fairly well here, even if our illustrious host Ken O'Brien never gets around to deciding to like me.

  56. I have been watching too Amelia, and Dennis is getting the mail because he is making statements and pontificating like a town father, and he is just a political pup like you and me.

    He was a great Blog moderator, and it looks like maybe he wishes he didn't quit.

  57. To think that it takes a degree to see that the opinion was completely flawed is mind boggling. It's part of the problem since many in town defer common sense to the "attorneys" and "professionals" that have repeatedly gotten us into this mess. This isn't some complex constitutional dilemma; it was a simple reading of the laws and Charter and an understanding of what takes precedent. His opinion took us in a loop to nowhere except where the town manager wanted to land. By the attorney's own speech that night, the TM presented him with a problem and he gave him his fix. In that respect, the TM got exactly what he (we) paid for. Many times that's exactly what the attorney's job is. I wonder if the Chair had asked the Attorney first, if the answer would have been the opposite?

    Regarding the group - If you didn't read the original invitation to the meeting, it clearly states that the purpose is to hold our representative's accountable. We have yet to determine how that will happen. I may be voted down on the ways I wish to approach them. The collective conscience of the group will prevail. I'm also not speaking on behalf of the group here. Other than the postings announcing the meetings themselves, I never have. I've always spoken for myself. You should still come to the meeting to offer your solutions, or, if only to make up your mind after actually attending a meeting.

    I am receptive to reasoning and input so I will rephrase my loose words in case anyone mistakes my metaphor for a legal accusation. "It appears the council appropriated funds not consistent with the laws of our town and state." How's that?

  58. Anonymous, I didn't blame Steve for the taking of the funds. I simply stated that he had the power to stop it but didn't. He really wanted to not have the money taken, but he probably didn't realize he had the power to stop it. It's too bad. That would have made the whole unbalanced budget be rejected.

  59. Anonymous (I really don't know which Anonymous I'm talking to now - it's so confusing), I really want to publish something to the unwired as well. That's a population with the most potential to activate for voting. Let's talk!


  60. Raciel's recent explanation of what Steve could have done sounds like what a thoughtful Town Attorney would have suggested if our town attorney provided the council all legal options to the Council, not just the a la carte pick made by the town manager. Statesmen and real public servants seek numerous opinions and reason out what is best. The current method of relying on one requested opinion makes our Council essentially obsolete. Town manager tells the Attorney he wants to get the money without the required six votes, and the Attorney tells the Council it is acceptable? In towns, numerous Attorney's offer their knowledge through opinions a town meetings on occasion-and for free !
    It is not the manager's fault, it isn't the Lazo's fault, it isn't the good rocket scientist's fault, and it isn't Katherine Nikolla's fault! It isn't even the Town Attorney's fault. After all, even virtual absolute power has its weaknesses. The reason that many of the town council's and town manager's have failed most of the time since we adopted a city form of government is that we are not a city, we are a town. Calling a municipality a town when it has a city form of government is political lipstick on a pig.

    We ask out Town Managr's to do the work of a finance committee, a negotiating team, a landfill operator liason (and campaign manager for the "partnership") as he tries to balance a $25 Million budget, changes health plans, deals with the Union's and chisels the school budget almost as large as the one he manages. No wonder our manager's have take a financial short cuts by adding a $Million to the sewer and water-and those were legal.

    Nobody is claiming that we are occupied by an evil army, and neither are the financial manipulations or our weakened national bonds an Apocalypse. Yet breaking state law to loot $500K+ needs to be rescinded, and if Mr. Clark can't balance the budget, maybe he should hire someone who can. Maybe he could sell more water, but HEALTHY water, which would be easier if he doesn't unilaterally insist on chloramines. Even the board of health is against it. I don't mind when politicians try to get us to drink from the kool aid party cup, but please don't put ammonia in our homes unless it is to clean the floor.


  61. Anonymous number...whatever..

    No pontificating, not missing anything, but signing off...

    I can't stand the lack of creative ideas here.

  62. Eloquent as you can often be JP- but get a haircut!

    Mr. Martinek, if you don't want to dilate your mind, keep your eyes closed-protecting our water and air is an absolute need! It is our right. What is the name of your Blog? Why did you get banned? Hiw
    rude was that?

    Hang in there with the Fiorum and here- you bring the best out of Katherine. And don't forget the contaminated soil issue!


  63. Hey, minority party, how's it feel ?

  64. @anonymous ie jp, it's actually a 45 million dollar budget for the town. I'm not sure where you're arriving at 25 million.

  65. http://www.natlawreview.com/article/extreme-makeover-arts-edition-paducah-kentucky

  66. " as he tries to balance a $25 Million budget, changes health plans, deals with the Union's and chisels the school budget almost as large as the one he manages."

    The $25 Million (round numbers) is the total budget, less the school budget. It wouldn't be fair to credit the manager with balancing the school budget when that work is done by the school department, and although he cuts money off the top of the school budget, it appears that more time is put into planning the school budget.


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