Friday, August 5, 2011

Agendas And FOIA Requests

Kenneth M. O’Brien

Things keep moving quickly in Southbridge these days. First, the agenda is now available for Monday, August 8th’s meeting of the town council.

Most notable is the following (and, oddly enough, once again the last item on the agenda):

15. Vote to rescind the precedent created as a result of the ruling of Ex-chairman Lazo on a Point of Order at the Town Council Meeting of Monday, July 19, 2010 whereby Ex-chairman Lazo ruled that “the 2004 by-law creating a five-member Board of Health was null and void”. (Roberts Rules, p.294, line 28) “

I hope that the Chair won’t mind staying late if there are a lot of speakers on this point.

Note that the meeting is being held in the Pioppi Room at Jacob Edwards Library - not at town hall. I assume the meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. as usual, although the agenda does not contain this information.

Also, I received the following today from Dennis Martinek, and I am posting it here with his permission:

“Records Request
From: Dennis Martinek
Sent: Fri, Aug 05, 2011 12:27 PM

Dear Maddie,

Pursuant to the Public Records Law, M.G.L. c. 66, as amended, and the Public Records Access Regulations, 950 CMR 32.00 et seq., I am requesting the following public records in the possesion, custody or control of the Town of Southbridge, and its agencies, divisions, or offices:

1. All copies of documents, memorandums, including but not limited to the complaint filed against Dennis Martinek in or around February of 2011;

2. All copies of documents, memorandums, including but not limited to the complaint filed against Father Peter Preble beginning in or around June of 2011;

3.  All copies of documents, memorandums, including but not limited to the complaint filed against Ann Beinema regarding her service on the Board of Health from January of 2011 forward;

4.   All copies of documents, memorandums, including but not limited to the complaint filed against Twelve Crane during their "rave" last year, including the documents related to, including the final determination of, whether or not the sons owner was in possession of fertilizer or illegal drugs, as noted in the report by the police.

5.   All copies of documents, memorandums, not limited to the order by the Chief of Police instructing Det. Ryan Ruettger to attend the EHS meeting earlier this week.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at (508) XXX-XXXX.

Thank you,

Dennis J. Martinek”


  1. No offense to you in the least, Ken, because you and your site are terrific--but this is why we need Dennis back,
    Can't anyone that knows him convince him to get back to what he's best a? Between him and Ken, it would be a true force to be reckoned with. What's he want, money, recognition, to be the bouncer at Centerfolds, or something else? There has to be a way to get him back! Please! We need more voices to hold these people accountable.

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  3. I thought that I would wait until after 7pm to post this, since it's now less than 48 hours before I would expect Monday's town council meeting to be held.

    The lack of a specific time is a violation of the posting requirements of the Open Meeting Law. Thus, this meeting will have to be rescheduled.

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  5. I started following Southbridge politics when I ran for State Rep and realized what a self serving rat's nest this town council really was. Now they want to get rid of the one person who is not only doing her job, but has Southbridge's best interest at heart. Amazing. I watched the video posted by Marketti earlier this year, and it is clear your town manager ( and I would imagine Ms. Clemence is sneaking around this issue somewhere) want to either dissolve her position or try and pressure her out the door. There should be a real sense of outrage over this issue but sadly once again, there is not. Casella is NOT your friend, nor do they have the best interest of the town in mind. Apparently neither do some of your councilors. Too bad as it is a nice town with some great people, and I wll bet more than a few of you miss Dennis. Bloggers get a bad rap but then we say what everyone else is afraid to. More is the pity since Dennis was the best at what we do.

  6. Bob Cirba nobody wants to hear from you in Southbridge go back to Spencer

  7. Bob,
    Yes, Dennis did very well with SoS, and not only was it an effective Blog, it was often the most dependable source of News in our community.

    That Pesky Flea only speaks for himself, your campaign for state Rep was unique in that you addressed the most serious local health issue of our time, and you are admired for it by many. Not only were you aware of the issues involved in allowing a megatonnage landfill in our midst, you were able to identify the fact that our state Legislators should have done something to help us, you realized that the mega-tonnage landfill IS not just just a local issue, that it IS indeed an issue that desperately needs the attention of the General Court of the Commonwealth.

    Bob, despite the rude unqualified remark by the pesky pusillanimous putrescine pest, I assure you that many people in this town would be proud to make you an honorary citizen of our community.

  8. Thanks for the kind words and while I can not speak for Dennis, I can speak to the incredible frustration as a blogger when you feel like you are yelling into a well. There is not an incredible amount of support for what we do and often you are labeled as a heretic to the system that we are trying to help fix. Too often people watch and do not participate and those of us who do rarely venture out again in that capacity. The absolute vacuum that exists not only in local politics but on a state and federal level is frightening. We feel like we are not empowered to address the issues that face us, and when we do we are often told by the very people we vote in to represent us that it is none of our concern or there is no citizen input at this meeting. This country was built on ideas of change and that is what scares the folks in power. Not all of them mind you, but a small enough core to keep the rest on the sidelines. I like the people in Southbridge and I believe you have a town worth fighting for. The people I know because of the campaign changed the way I think about issues I was not even aware of and I think made me a better blogger. I met Dennis through the blogs, and his advice and friendship is something I values as well as his voice. But I understand all too well why he is quiet now because a blog is what we call (and Ken will no doubt agree with this) Feeding the Beast. It takes time, concern, and hopefully an agenda that we think as bloggers is important enough to share, and maybe others will too. That is why blogs are poison to politics. They make people see issues in a different light and not always in the way others would like who want to control the conversation. You have some very good people in Southbridge who care and fight hard for their town. Dennis, Amelia, Rachael, Maddie, Ken, John, Monica and Demetri, to just name a few. Remember the revolution was started with an idea and spread without the internet, cell phones, I phones, or anything remotely electronic. All you need is a little help. Keep up the good work Ken as there are too few voices for folks out here and you are keeping the conversation going which is what we are all trying to do.

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