Thursday, July 28, 2011

Will Cart-Man Strike Back?

Kenneth M. O’Brien

Just as citizens celebrate their triumph over the Cart Monster, there are rumblings that Clickolla has plans to make that victory short-lived.

Such an administrative end run around the democratic process would be nothing new in Casellaburg.

We have Carlisle’s distortion of the Charter to create a five member Board of Health.

We have Healey’s “side letter” that altered the start date of the SRD contract as it was originally defined.

Now we have a variety of signals that there will be another avenue taken to re-animate this "Cart monster corpse".

One local blog that has served as a “stalking horse” for FOS and administration interests has gone to great lengths to castigate the opponents of the SMART cart program and attempt to cite vague bylaws to intimidate people.

On this site we have had anonymous comments such as, “…We will still have the smart carts eventually, but casella will have to pay for it. The town is obligated to assist on permitting and required to be co-operative partners. Allowing mob rule is not being co-operative.”

Or, “Just because the Southbridge Adult Student Council voted against borrowing the money, they do not have the authority to stop Mr. Town Manager Clark from saving the sussessful program by working with our partners Casella who are so dedicated to the environment that that will devote their own moneyfor the program with their own resources.

Mr. Town Manager Christopher Clark has the full authority to accept our partner Casella generously paying for this wonderful green program from the tipping fees without Council Authorization.”

In July 27th’s Evening News we have the Council Chair saying, “
If this program does not go through, I will make it my mission to ensure that enforcement happens.”

Now I have several comments regarding these remarks.

First, there’s an old adage that goes back to WW II that “loose lips sink ships”.

I suspect that some people are saying more than they should to attempt to demonstrate that they are “insiders”.

Next, there’s a very clear attempt to intimidate here.

Another remark that I would make is that these “suggestions” are being floated in the hope of building support for a re-animation of the “SMART Cart corpse”.

Also, I would say that recent Casellaburg history (as cited above) is illustrative of the very alternative tactics that I am suggesting are in the works.

Finally, I would employ the old observation, “Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t out to get you.”

Ultimately I have to say to those who are proclaiming triumph after Monday night’s meeting, “don’t let your guard down.”

What will you do to prevent citizen intimidation through selective enforcement of town bylaws that hasn’t happened in the past?

What will you do to prevent administrative implementation of this program with no voter control?

What will you do to prevent attempted alterations in the town charter that will amplify the power of unelected bureaucrats to implement not only this, but other programs, regardless of citizen outrage?

All that I can say (in keeping with the following video) is,

“I'm verklempt, talk among yourselves.”


  1. There was another post suggesting that people refrain from gloating, and Mr' Livengood stated that he was offended that people clapped. Some of the Council didn't want to vote as they did but suddenly they were contending with the whole story, so it was wise to just say no.

    I wonder if Doctor O'Leary was facing re-election as a member as a board of health, would he have listened to the Airport safety expert from the U.S. Air Force instead of the airport expert from the Southbridge Airport commission? Proof that an elected board of health makes more sense than allowing a bureaucrat to make decisions best made by the voters. What's nest? An appointed town council? most town have a three member board of health, and most are elected.

    But the Airport is in the past, as is smart cart. If it comes back, there will be even more data to defeat it. I suspect all these threats that smart cart will return were intended to get some of us to continue to fight the smart cart (a threat to our collective community wealth) instead of the chloramines, a greater threat to our health.

    What was shocked was that Mr. Clark admitted to Kevin Buxton that he had no idea how much it will cost to switch, not even knowing if the "disinfecting" ammonia will add to costs or save the water company money. Obviously a case of premature facilitation.

  2. To make such a blatant undemocratic move will only serve to galvanize the community. One only needs a common enemy to unite an army. Mr. Clark strikes me, if anything, as an astute man, and has assessed the situation well. He fully understands that this fight he won't win and could spell his demise. Any councilor supporting such an undemocratic move would also be the target of the majority of this town's citizenry -- especially an energized and awakened one. But the less astute leadership, who apparently can't even tell the difference between 5 minutes and 4 minutes, may push him to this end. I would predict the other councilors would distance themselves from this cabal pretty quickly should they make this bad move. Does he not realize that Ms. Marcucci was at the forefront of firing a Town Manager she felt had usurped too much power?

    That said, I think it's a dead issue. Recycling and Southbridge's environmental resources will be a priority for United Southbridge, but the costly Smart Cart won't be in the picture.

  3. Premature facilitation?

    What about the businesses and people in Charlton that need good water? You Southbridge people are so provincial, but in this case, there is nothing you can do. You can't brow beat your Clown Council into reversing your town manager's well thought out plans of co-operation this time-he is in total control of this particular issue, and there is nothing you or your clown politicians can do about it. The dye is cast.

  4. cart man did strike back today. Casella was under orders to not pick up trash not in containers. NOt only did I see trash being left behind one worker said that they were being watched and couldn't take it.

    No warning to the public, no education of the new enforcement, just another take that citizenry approach.

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  7. Pularski, I don't agree with you most of the time, but as time goes on, I understand why you look so annoyed sometimes.

    IF this is true, that our by laws are being enforced for the first time in over 30 years just to spite those of you that took a wise stand on the little casella carts, I agree that we should throw the bums out-all of them, including especially the town manager.

    TAKE BACK OUR TOWN !!!!!!!!! There is nothing like fascism to unite a group of people. If Mister Clark actually ordered casella not to pick up trash during the hottest time of year, he is putting politics ahead of the Public Health. he should absolutely be charged criminally if this rumor is true.

  8. Thank you, Ken, for your valuable insider info. Some people on here just can't stand the thought that a insurgent group can be successful. So they yap to make themselves believe that they and their kind are still in charge.

  9. If this is true I don't see how it isn't going to suddenly, randomly make them all look like huge jerks to that other 80% of the electorate that generally looks the other way.

    Come trash day in my neighborhood I'm gonna make a 40 gallon bucket of popcorn, sit on my front stoop, and just watch all the drama go down.

    Anyhow, part of me wonders if this isn't just yet another distraction; the real issue right now is the chloramines. Ugh.

  10. Good point Amelia- butif they don't pick up a plastic bag on my lawn, a bag that DOES comply with our by laws, I will call Mr. Clark at home and ask if he wouldn't mind storing my trash in his trash container for the week. i still can hardly believe that story! Mr. Clark and the Council are not so petty as to put out bad information about a by law and then ticket people or refuse pickup without reading the current by law first.

    Chloramines ARE the issue, it is a good thing we have maternal energy around here to guide us toward protecting the public health, although hundreds of bags sitting around for an extra week is 3-5 times worse than getting a fine. It can't be true.

    What still astonished me, and there are witnesses to this, including a camera: when it was pointed out to the health director at the last board of health meeting that Spanish speaking people with health issues are not being informed about the risk to their health due to the Chloramines, he said they are not required to be informed by law, so they won't be doing it. Mr. Clark promised two meetings ago that the residents will be informed, so when is it going to happen? Does Mr. Clark know that the Spanish speaking community and much of the population that rents have NOT been informed either? Did Mr. Morin inform him or is he in the dark? The landlords received the notices, but not the tenants .

    Let's give Whitewater a break and postpone the introduction of ammonia/chloramines until after Labor Day?

  11. Maybe Mister Clark can show what a class act he really is by signing on to O'Zone and comfort everyone by telling us that he is delaying the Chloramine introduction until labor Day?

    Please, fellow ozone readers, refrain from sarcasm about Mr. Clark, we need him to be reasonable.

  12. John P. FitzgeraldJuly 29, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    I've sat on the sidelines of your site, Mr. O'Brien for a while now without making a comment. The intent of this place seems to be good however I'd like to add some third person perspective. I know that many people have mentioned it already, but allowing these anonymous posters, most of whom are the same person pretending to be others is ridiculous. If you watch the patterns and keep an eye out for certain words that most people don't use over and over again you can see the patterns rather easily. Why is everyone so brave about spouting off about trash and chloramines, but need to do so anonymously? I know, they fear the man. Yes, I'm sure that the man will put extra chloramines in your water if you ID yourself.
    Secondly, is there any reason we don't know who the head of this new group is? If its Mr. Raciel, I'd like to offer this commentary. You seem to be well-spoken, articulate, and professional. If Marketti and others here are part of your group, I agree with the other writer (who, by the way seemed to be giving credit to both sides) to tone down the rhetoric. As John F. Kennedy said "victory has 100 fathers, defeat is an orphan". Call it gloating or anything else you want to. You will NOT succeed by rubbing someone's nose in it as to why something was defeated. You'll only rub them the same way. You need to be as professional in victory as you are in defeat but Mr. Marketti seems content on bashing someone who simply gave credit to both sides, while claiming victory by your group. Maybe your group had something to do with it maybe not, but put yourself in others shoes. Plus, didn't this site attack Cathy Charette for showing the same exhuberance when her candidates won?
    Lastly, you have a chance to make a difference with this site, and you don't have to trade your beliefs to rise above it all and ask your readers to at least try to write something different or of value, or use your editorial control to keep it moving and not use it as a tool for some to push their propaganda. I believe that you are a decent and obviously bright man, but you are being used in my opinion, by a small vocal faction who writes one side of the argument, and then reply to themselves as someone else. It's obvious to the outside reader and observer--at least this one. I miss SOS, although there were times it got out of hand. At least all sides felt welcome (to a certain degree) to speak. Here the likes of Marketti, who is a talented individual, seem to thrive on beating down anyone that doesn't bow at the altar of US. To succeed you first need to get over yourselves and your personality conflicts. Otherwise you're as bad as those you keep complaining about. You just can't see it.

  13. In a conversation with White Water today I learned that the chloramines will not be released into our water supply for at least a week, perhaps as late as week and a half from today.

  14. John P. FitzgeraldJuly 29, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    So much for open dialog, Mr. O'Brien. Maybe you can tell me and your readers why you took my post down? Nothing libelous, no bad words, but dare to inject reason and thought into this forum, and criticize Marketti, Pulawski or you, and your thin skin comes through. What a farce! Sorry if I insulted Pulawski because he doesn't know me, which is driving him nuts, but that's life and this is a lopsided blog. If you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen.

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  16. Disregarding a BOH decision can have criminal implications for both Mr. Morin and Mr. Clark. There are seriously concerned people with the money to call them to court if they attempt to circumvent a health decision due to budgetary and contractual failures on Clark's part. I guarantee this will happen if they show such arrogance.

  17. From your mouth to the judges ears-any Doctor that takes the initiative to bring this to superior court would ear the deep respect of the community.

  18. ear=earn-pardon me.)

  19. To J. P. Fitzgerald:
    I didn't remove your post.
    Something about it tripped the SPAM filter, which is why I was able to recover it.

  20. John P. FitzgeraldJuly 30, 2011 at 5:07 AM

    Dr. Tonninghar--or should I say, Harrington, like the hospital (nice word scramble): your empty, stupid, baseless, self created "guarantees" make me ROTFLMFAO, to quote you John. Is it any wonder you're not taken seriously? Who are these deep pockets, and where were they with your beloved RATS? Not invented yet. Pathetic and desperate.

  21. To John P. and Raciel, all this petty back biting BS is intended to try and demoralize our group. Stand up for your beliefs and defend them, but don't sweat the petty sh*t.

  22. Mr. Marketti, as usual, you are incorrect. A part of me hopes this group IS successful, but while you're busy slapping yourself on the back, you're missing the point: your intimidation ingratiates you to no one. If Pulawski can tap it down, why not you? Your sense of self importance and credit claiming will be your undoing. Pompous attitudes, Mr. Raciel, will kill your group, which CAN be effective, but not with Marketti's chip on his shoulder and attitude! I appeal to your sense of professionalism to encourage him to tap it down as well!

  23. P. John FitzwillyJuly 30, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    Hey John P Fitzgerald, you just asked a blogger using an obvious alias if it's any wonder they're not taken seriously? You then go on to associate them with an unrelated organization (RATS) that focused on a wholly separate topic than chloramines. How do you know whether a "guarantee" from an anonymous poster has any merit? Do you fancy you have the ability to read minds and divine the identities, intentions and finances of everyone in cyberspace? Lastly, if all the anonymous bloggers are the same, why do you keep arguing with me?

    Stay on the issues people. Don't be distracted.

    Ammonia in our water is bad. Chloramines would not even be discussed if we didn't have to supply water to Charlton. Clark blundered another deal and he's looking to cover his ass. That's all this is. Like Mr. Fitzgerald says.... (note the four dotted ellipse) pathetic and desperate.

  24. John P. FitzgeraldJuly 30, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    Sorry you don't know me, but I'm not in the book because I dont have a landline. But I know you all too well from watching you on the boob tube (with emphasis). You people blow smoke over and over and over again up peoples kazoos and you're never right. No idea what you mean by the dot dot dot thing, but if you think I'm of Indian ancestry, you're wrong yet again. Please continue your guessing games though! It's quite a trip. Not like the one to the pipes at the landfill, mind you. How's the view? One day you'll realize that politics in Southbridge aren't like they are elsewhere and your empty threats are funny. Like when you thought I was some former football player from town--you got those names wrong too. Good due diligence. US will fail with YOU!

  25. Fartzgerald, do you know what you are talking about? The Rats have held the landfill expansion up for over 3 years dude.

    George Chenier, Mr. Clark, Bob and Denise Clemence, Ron Chernisky, Bob Checkosky,Kathy Nicola, Bob King, Dale Ferron-even John Gotti they all laughed at the rats lawsuit and said it was a nuisance law suit, but it is in front of the Surpreme Court right now, isn't it? ; )

  26. John P. FitzgeraldJuly 30, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    Not for long, and while you're at it, to your comment about money behind you, it must be waaaaayyyy behind you since your pro bono attorney hasn't gotten a dime from you. Such a threat. Ooh!

  27. John P. FitzgeraldJuly 30, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    If you mock, my name, I'll mock your Polish heritage.

  28. My Polish Heritage? I am French and Irish ; )

    You mock the Emerald Isle and mock your own name half the time you make a post!

  29. Who made a comment about money behind them besides Fitzgerald?

    Fartzgerlad. hehe. Obviously a typo??

  30. The Rats group should be laughed at they are a joke. Watching JP at citizen forum is like watching the comedy channel...he said on a recent post the he got bit by a bug that went up his boxers is that when he got cought with his pants down with Paul when they were issued a NO TRESSPASSING order from the town after for some unknown reason the flare was put out

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  32. Once again, Mr. Fitzgerald, you miss the point.... I don't care who you are. Your identity is meaningless. You have no idea who is writing on this blog and yet you try to discredit arguments based on our supposed backgrounds. You are the only person who has suggested that RATS or their pro-bono attorney have any relation to this discussion. Once again, as with our identities, you are wrong.

    How about the issue itself?

    Why should we have ammonia added to our water against the ruling of the BOH? How does this benefit this town in any way?

    Go ahead, try to answer.

  33. I don't know who you are Amelia P., but in my opinion you made the most compelling argument against chloramines by suggesting the lead in your home's old pipes could become compromised with chloramines, and you and your kids could be ingesting it. Right there you got me as a convert.

    But more importantly, you apparently impressed the Chair, which is hugely important. The Chair is the only one with enough power right at this time to slow this down. Not even another councilor (although another 5 could) can do nearly as much in this instance as the Chair.

    My point being, you were so successful in connecting with the Chair on your first foray into the Monday limelight that I hope you continue to impress upon this powerful woman how important it is to you, as well as to the rest of the community, to look a little further into chloramines before implementing a long-term financial commitment to this form of disenfectant.

    Girl power.

  34. Amen!

    I am meeting with my lawyer Tuesday to find out how I can warn my tenants without taking on the liability, and if the town actually puts that nasty ammonia in our water, which is made from urine, I am getting a well.

  35. It is not just homeowners that are affected. Restaurants, pet stores, supermarkets and hospitals will all need to purchase new equipment to remove the ammonia. Chloramines make draft beer taste awful and beer brewing nearly impossible without spending thousands of dollars on filters.

    Anyone with diabetes or kidney issues will need to upgrade their home water system to remove the chloramines or risk serious health consequences.

    Make Southbridge Home? Give me a break.

    This is the most anti-business, poorly thought out economic decision since trying to turn the town into the largest dump in Massachusetts. I own a business and property here in town and I am outraged.

    Typical Clark, going for the quick fix without being able to grasp the long-term. I will happily join with this United Southbridge group or anyone else who works to recall councilors who vote for this and I can already name off the top of my head about three dozen signatures I can get in the first day.

    I've had enough!

  36. Three dozen signatures? You've lost Caoutte to the dark side. Who do you think is going to first off, get 25% of 12,500, voters to sign a recall petition? You can't recall anyone recently elected. Next, how are you going to get enough people mad enough to go out and vote for a recall when they won't vote in the first place? You're dreaming or high or both. A recall is impossible, and even if it ever were possible, the dark side is so much more organized than you that you'd all be wasting your time. Let's waste time trying to recall people who would only be replaced anyway with more people from the other side. Great plan. You live in a fantasy world. Talk big, do nothing. Please, promise us all its going to happen, so we can laugh at you when it doesn't. 36 down, 3,100 signatures to go. Why not spend your time on something productive? Because you have no real plan other than big talk. What a joke.

  37. Cookie, I said 100 signatures on day one. I can easily get a couple hundred off my customers, who will be just as ticked off as I am. Now take my simple offering and multiply it by twenty other business owners or residents and there's your recall petition. You better believe most of those people will be angry and vote for a recall. I know three other owners in my line of business who can outdo my modest tally with their employees alone and it will not be hard to convince them this is worth it when they see the numbers. To think businesses won't motivate when they see what this is gonna cost them is what's naive.

    I am telling you now, I have never gotten involved in the politics of this town at this level but between my water/sewer, tax increases and now this BS, which all cost money and hurt business I will be very active in putting the pressure on.

  38. Go for it Will, their are a dozen knowitall pundits that will tell you it is impossible, but they never even tried, and many people are behind you 100%, even though I believe the best way to accomplish what you are trying to do is to throw out the whole Council and manager by returning to town meetings and selectmen.

    The best way to stop the chloramines might be to convince the Council that they need to stop selling the people of this town down the river with schemes selling off our landfill space on the cheap, and ruining our water so an extra few hundred thousand Dollars can be skimmed out of the water company revenues.

  39. Will said: "I can already name off the top of my head about three dozen signatures I can get in the first day." now, last time i checked, three dozen equals 36, not 100. At least keep the lies straight. God bess you, i wish you luck, but I will bet you $1000, privately through Mr. O'Brien, that you won't come close. Only catch? We have to agree on a time frame. As for changing the form of government? All for it, but if you understand the political process, you don't wave a magic wand over it, and make that change. It has to be through a Charter review committee, and then a vote by the council. Since this council s going to tear apart the last committees reccomendations because those in power sat on their asses doing nothing, do you really hold out hope for that as a possible alternative. Ain't gonna happen. Have a good one.

  40. HG,

    Sorry made a mistake there. I did originally say three dozen on the first day not 100 and that's what I meant.

    No lie pal, and I'll be happy to take that $1000 bet and let O'Brien hold the dough. I'll even cut it down to 8 hours to make it sporting. Signatures start at 8 am and I'll have 36 by 4 pm, any day so long as it's a non-holiday tues-sat.

    First, let's see if a recall is even warranted. If they ignore a board of health decision, they are breaking the law. Anyone whose been involved in supplying the service industry and dealt with the state of MA knows that.

    I agree with you that the type of government aint gonna change with the current folks in power but I don't think it's beyond people to listen to reason and not push anti-business policies.

  41. Read the charterJuly 31, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    Beware of what appears to be well meaning advice from the KnowItAlls. Read the Charter-you do not need the approval of the Council OR a Charter Committee to change the Charter, although their co-operation would certainly be helpful.

    All you need to have the Charter modified is a petition with as many signatures as you can collect in a day, maybe by lunchtime, and you can start a Hearing before the Council. ( I think it is 15 or 30...)

    Even if the Charter proposal fails in terms of votes from the Council, you can go around them by going directly to the voters. Sadly, it requires a large turnout, but a large turnout came out for our last bite at the charter, and these Councilors are worst than that batch. It is true that a recall of Nikolla can not occur until later this year. Langevin & Marcucci are likely to be thoughtful enough to keep, and maybe thoughtful enough to appreciate.

    Mr. C. is known as a great signature collector, but he has hurt his reputation and lost much of his magic by dealing with some unsavory characters. Professional signature collectors are affordable, and although their services are beyond the reach of many of the local politicians, they are cheaper than a new well and pump.

  42. Everyone who is outraged about this, please attend and share your outrage at the August 8th Town Council meeting. United Southbridge WILL BE THERE!

  43. When this landfill deal was first suggested back in '07, the council kept cutting off the speakers and I didn't get that the landfill wasn't going to last 35 years-the rats said that Casella would use up the landfill-but the town said it would last 35 years, and the experts picked by the town did, too. Even though it means the town isn't getting the promised money, I am very glad it is going to be used up in five years or so.

    At the Red Sox game a couple weeks ago, someone sitting near us asked my son where we were from, and my son said "Southbridge" with a grin on his face. The girl replied with a "eeeeewww, that's the garbage town". They were from Douglas, and they were smart enough to reject a major landfill, but Senator Moore didn't abandon them like he did us.

    I think the town should be required to buy every home within 3/4 mile of the landfill from the landfill proceeds. Then the town can rent these homes to all the politicians that say that the landfill doesn't stink. It is too bad that Catherine Nikolla is a cigarette addict, because if she could smell, she would have never voted to expand the landfill.

    Industrial Park-ha. Who would want to do business with such a stench? I guess our wise leaders figured that if people will deal with the stink at the sewer, they'd deal with the stink at the landfill. Well, were are all those jobs promised by Mr. Clark and Mrs. Clemence's Future of Southbridge? Not one new job, excepts at the Police station, from the trash proceeds! Not one, but we spent $6 Million for that road before replacing our pipes and fixing our dam.

    Me I'd like to see a board of selectmen with Darlene Marcucci, Doctor Richard Logan, and Helen Lenti, and I think the three of them have the wisdom and intelligence to get us out of this stinking mess. Ha, Smart carts? There ain't nothing Smart about our garbage deal, and I think the Councilors that approved it are nothing but trash!

  44. STOP the PropagandaAugust 1, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    At lunch I heard the big fat loudmouth claim that Mister Clark is appointing two chemists to the board of health instead of a "qualified Doctor with over thirty years of service". If you people want to protect the community and have any influence, you can't be shooting your mouths off in public places making false claims about Mr. Clark. he'd never appoint a chemist over a qualified doctor. When I was a child-everyone on the board of health was a Doctor-now we have none. If Mister Clark appointed chemists instead of a qualified Doctor, it would imply that he was trying to cover up something at the landfill, and he'd never make such a ridiculous decision because the rats would be evidence that he really is a Casella pawn.

    Both the pro-revenue and pro-health sides make valid points, but the pro-health side isn't going to win anyone over telling lies about Mr. Clark.

  45. It isn't a lie about Mr. Clark-check out the Agenda of the EHS posted in town hall.


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