Monday, August 8, 2011

Southbridge Town Council Rescinds Board Of Health Ruling

Kenneth M. O'Brien

At it's meeting tonight (August 8) the town council voted 7 2 to adopt the following motion:

"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) “

Voting no were councilors McDonald and Vandal.

This sets the stage for the town manager and the council majority to attempt to appoint a fourth and fifth member to the Board of Health thus restoring a pro-Casella majority.


  1. The people voted for the charter which says a three member board of health. Any tickering of the member amount should be done by the people in an election.
    Voting in this town is not even close to perfect but it would take the political majority of any council out of the equation.

    No Town Manager should stack any board and no council should stack any committee to gain any political favor. They continue to forget the government is supposed to be: of the people, by the people and for the people. It certainly is not supposed to be all for Cashella and what ever agenda these councilors want.

  2. This shows me exactly who to vote for in the next election... the two councilors that voted against the attempt of Clark to "stack the deck" which he is obviously doing. Why the hurry otherwise??? The people should have a say in this change and the board of health members should be elected, not all appointed by the town manager, who obviously has his own agenda and a little hint, it isn't the health or well being of the residents of Southbridge.

  3. southbridge undergroundAugust 9, 2011 at 1:29 AM

    This was very sneaky, because the Council only voted on the action by Doctor Logan and Mr. Lazo Why did they go for the ruling instead of the vote that supported it at the following meeting??

    Was it to get around the need to have a person on the prevailing side introduce a motion to reverse a legitimate vote ?

    This is the second to the last town council. We need to elect a council next June that will hand the town government back over to the people, we need democracy, we need to TAKE BACK OUR TOWN !!!

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  5. Amelia,

    I don't know what you are saying, but it sounds so melodic when you speak it in a foreign tongue.

    Rock on, young warrior.

  6. Copy and paste into Google translate if u are having issues Reading Spanish

  7. Los votantes elecciónAugust 9, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    Cariño, no se preocupe de su hermosa cabeza.

    Estamos a cargo, que son la elección del pueblo, y vamos a controlar Southbridge como mejor nos parezca.

    Conseguir un trabajo y permanecer fuera de él, sabemos lo que es mejor para el Southbridge

  8. Los votantes elecciónAugust 9, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    Si no te gusta, tienes la libertad de movimiento.
    Ser libre.

  9. well they passed a law in 75 - thats the way it is,somethings will never changeAugust 9, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    clearly both sides of the issue speak spanish - I'm so not impressed.
    The meetings are conducted in English where it is more obvious to all that they think they know what is best for us wee little people.
    Lets keep the fight focused on the issue at hand and not a culture war or some other distraction.

  10. Los votantes de Elección, usted señor tiene la libertad de expresión y el derecho a guardar silencio, al igual que todos nosotros. Sin embargo, no trate de decirle a alguien que mudarse debido a que están expresando su opinión.

  11. It was great from Amelia, but from the rest of you it sounds non inclusive, as if you have to speak Spanish to be part of the discussion.

    I refuse to translate with Google. If you want to convince me but make it harder than it has to be to understand you, then I am not going to bother.

    As for appealing to Spanish speaking voters, well there is just no future in that. As bad as voter turnout is in this town, the ones who are monolingual in Spanish hardly vote at all. They don't knw a chloramine from a cucuracha, and you can't make them care.

    Auf Wiedersehn!!!

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  13. Show Clark the MoneyAugust 9, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    The EPA recommends that the town treat our pipes with a special glaze before adding chloramines-this is to protect us from lead in our water that will be released from pipes and solder when they add the chloramines..

    Why doesn't the town manager want to protect us from the decision he is making? Is he smarter than the EPA?

  14. The legal opinions rendered by our current and former town counsels on the composition of the Southbridge Board of Health are clearly faulty.
    The argument advanced by Kopelmann & Paige rests upon the reorganization provision of the charter.
    To be valid, one has to accept that the BOH is under the jurisdiction of the town manager. It clearly is not under his jurisdiction. It is an independent, quasi-judicial body.
    As regards, Attorney Caprera’s argument, the logical conclusion would be that a town bylaw can supersede the Mass. General Laws (the conjunction “or” under his logic would apply to them as well).
    To accept these opinions as precedent (especially the latter) would mean that the council can sidestep all the provisions of state law and amend the town charter simply by means of a bylaw.

  15. Mr. O'Brien, I agree. Admittedly I'm not a lawyer, but I went to a halfway-decent college, and I'm capable of reading a legal document.

    The intent of the Charter is pretty damn clear. It says 3 MEMBER BOARD OF HEALTH right there. Just because our municipal government apparently has a long, storied tradition of flouting the law for whatever reason doesn't mean it's right to keep doing the wrong thing, just because there's a precedent.

    Following the precedent and doing what the lawyer says, in the interest of being a good teammate, is not helping the town. I would think all these people ran for local office because they wanted to help the town. Yeah? Why else would you be running? Just for the sake of having power and influence?

    And on a related note, why are these folks acting like martyrs because a bunch of citizens want to weigh in on their decisions? Public service is a privilege. You're lucky to even be there.

  16. Hopefully most of them won't be there for much longer. What they are doing is clearly illegal and outrageous. Self serving a**hats.

  17. Interesting. I never new that a repeated f*ck up over several years was considered "legal precedent". I guess you learn something new every day.

  18. By the way, while we're all loitering in this little spot of democracy, click on the ad links to support our brother in doing the work the for-profit media don't do.

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  20. Mr. O’Brien, I concur with your observation. Our Charter was violated by a gang of seven. I thought maybe Councilor Langevin and Councilor Marcucci would come to their senses and see they had no legal authority to change our charter during a town council meeting. I had hoped they would make a motion to properly amend the charter in June of 2012, a mere 8 months away. Unfortunately, they did not come to their senses. I have a greater trust for someone that chooses to work within the construct of the law set before them. A person that chooses to manipulate, or circumvent the laws that governs us is a person that cannot be trusted.

    I’m not sure if anyone caught the end of the meeting where Councilor Regis (a true bureaucrat) set the ground work to remove Mr. Paul Zotos. This gang of seven has no moral compass from which to guide themselves. If this is what they’re doing, we need to come to his aid. He is the one that provides unfettered access to the public – the true intent of “public access” – and now it seems they want to work outside the system and shut the light off that he provides.

    They talk about “moving forward”, yet most of the councilors have been on and off for quite some time and I have seen nothing improve. Absolutely nothing! In fact, things have gotten worse. They’ve proven to simply not have the capacity to right this ship.

  21. Geez
    What is MM and JS going to do with their anti, edited to their liking vidios against all those things that they are against. (Everything that is.

  22. Bug, I don’t think you quite get it, it’s Mr. Zotos that seems to be under attack and it’s Mr. Zotos I was writing about. His videos are recorded live and unedited. Please don’t change the direction of the discussion to fit your political views. Detracting from the real issue at hand contributes nothing. So you don’t misunderstand what I’m getting at, we have the right to live unedited video of a town council meeting, plain and simple.

  23. Eddi,

    Its blatantly obvious to all who "Peskey" is.

    Think FOS and blog.

    They are Clark butt munchers.

    Ignore them.

  24. D.C. VFW Pool FansAugust 9, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    Pesky, MM & JS will still get their edited material on Cable 13, and if the town fails to put their submissions on, it will be very co$tly to the town, and if their work is not allowed on the air, it will prove even more the fascist tendencies of the Clark administration.

  25. Manique MannerlessAugust 10, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    What is worse, Jim Sottile editing subcommittee meetings so we don't get put to sleep
    our town attorney editing the history of the 3 vs. 5 board of health membership issue so the Council and Mr. Clark can have cover on their violating our Charter?

    WHO was Mr. Caprera quoting when he said that it isn't right to say that "they are changing the Charter?"

    They aren't changing the Charter-but they NEED to change the charter-what they are doing is VIOLATING the Charter.

  26. Hey Eddie I guess you miss my point. When a govermet enenty such as the Southbridge Cable TV they should form no opinion because they control the programing or at least should. Mr. Zotos has crossed the line on many occasions involving the work he does with JS and MM. He allows the use of town own equipment and allows the 2 the use of the equipment. That's what gets him in trouble. I also would like to know how many copies of meeting he prints for free that he does regardless which side is requesting. I believe that by doing this he is creating his own demise. Not only that I also wonder on the accountability of equipment and supplies (who watches the hen house) you can say what you want he created his own mess. He has been warned over and over. And by the way I am not a member of FOS or United Southbridge and will not. Just a plain old person from Southbridge that watches, listen, and tries to stay informed.

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  28. This is silly-do your homework! Paul is required by law to put on whatever is submitted, and also to share equipment with either side.

    He has been warned? That's the sad part-he has been warned TO break the law, not to go by the law and allow free access to all.

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  33. Stephanie J DeMartinoAugust 15, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    Wow, a lot of posts removed.
    I will speak at General Gov't tomorrow night about what is happening because I was involved in the preliminary meetings leading up to this. I was of the belief that the changes being made to the Charter and this was from Attorney Caprera's recommendation, were to first made a motion on, then seconded, then voted on, and if the vote held, on to special legislation and then back to the voters on the ballot. The issue of the 3 BOH members and changing it to 5 BOH members was part of that and was voted on and was voted to go onto Special legislation. I was surprised as anyone to see that it did not go that route and instead was put on the agenda for the the 8/8 TC meeting and voted on. I believe it is a violation of the Charter. I will say so tomorrow night at our General Gov't meeting in the rice Conference room at 6:30 pm.. Thank you.


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