Thursday, May 10, 2012

Exploiting The Victims


Dan Butler, who has gained prominence as a voice of Southbridge tornado victims, posted the following on the Southbridge Tornado Relief FaceBook page on May 8.


UPDATE on the "Rebuild Western Mass" rebate crooks: about 3 weeks before the 1 year anniversary of the tornado and we have STILL yet to see a dime from this ripoff program and they just continue to give us excuse after excuse. today i got a phone call from them, and the guy told me that he received a call from Peter Durant's office claiming that we had issues with the program....

i told him "yup, i called the state rep and told him you guys are a scam and a waste off our tax dollars". so he then tries to go over the program with me again and i told him "look, it's been almost a year. i have spent countless hours on the phone with you guys, filling out paper work, allowing your inspectors to come into my home TWICE and i am sick and tired of you wasting my time....either tell me we qualify or hang up". he then tells me that they need some more paperwork: proof of purchase on our new doors which we already submitted, we need to fill out a W9 form and he needs a statement from out insurance company proving this damage was tornado related. THEN, he proceeds to tell me that through further review, our new doors won't qualify because suddenly now the UV rating has gone up to 5.0.....we have 2.9 doors which are brand new energy star doors! he also said our ceiling and wall insulation won't qualify because its not a high enough rating either...despite the fact that THEIR INSPECTOR told us what insulation to install when he came out to the house when it was still just studs!!! anyone else having any luck with these idiots!!!!????

Well we found out earlier this week what Southbridge will be doing to help them. The same elements that were behind approving $172,000 to buy a second street sweeper rather than allocate resources to relieve their plight have come up with another slap in the face.

Their answer – “Let’s have a cookout”.

Town Council chair Nickolla announced at Monday’s meeting that the Future of Southbridge group would sponsor the event. It would take place in lieu of their annual “meet and greet” which has been held in prior years to “impartially” benefit their favored slate in the annual town election.

When councilor Laurent “Butch” McDonald criticized such an event, council vice-chair Clemence (a favorite of the Future of Southbridge stalwarts) launched into an impassioned pique of righteous indignation. The matron of outsourcing Southbridge jobs to Canada has never passed up an opportunity to capitalize on bemoaning the misfortunes of tornado victims while doing precious little in concrete terms to benefit them. Mr. Butler’s post is relevant in regard to his lack of help from State Representative Durant given the close association between the Stat Rep and Clemence.

This poses an interesting contrast to the manufactured furor over former council chairman Steve Lazo’s presence on the day of the tornado helping residents clear downed trees. The fact that Paul Zotos was in the vicinity and recorded some of his efforts and showed them on Southbridge Cable TV was later a strong subtext in Zotos’ removal from the position of Director of that operation.

The victims of the tornado, and indeed all Southbridge residents, should recognize the callous way in which their situation has been and is being exploited by political opportunists.

They should start a fund raising program for the tornado relief effort selling T-shirts emblazoned with, “My House Was Destroyed And All I Got Was A Lousy Hot Dog”.



23 comments:

  1. aka Jester

    Better Yet:

    “My House Was Destroyed & All I Got Was Boloney in a Bun.”

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  2. Feeling the same frustration!

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  3. This was just posted on the Southbridge tornado relief facebook page - draw your own conclusions ---



    Tammy Dupuis Edmonds 5:25pm May 10
    Does anyone know if Southbridge has a minimum fee for water/sewer? I just got the bill for the" tornado house" for almost $250 but the thing is no one lives there and the water was shut off so I don't understand how I can be charged for usage if there is no water to use? I just dealt with the bills I was left with at this house and I haven't even started to repair it yet and there's another bill. Does this nightmare ever end? Anyone have any answers or ideas? I do plan on calling to find out,

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    1. She should talk to the Lazo family. Its exactly whats been done to them.

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  4. AKA OLD TIMER I was there the Day The council chairman was helping clear peoples back yard with many from Sims health club kudo's to the chairman! I saw Mr. Zoto's filming all the area that was damaged. The I went to the Southbridge Fest that same day and saw Nikolla and Clemence laughing and having a good ole time they werent to concerned about the tornado victims then when they really need help but it was election time and they were more concerned about getting Nikolla elected that June shame on them. Well guess who's up for election CLEMENCE NEED I SAY MORE.

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    1. Old Timer,

      I am not one to normally respond on here, however you say these two were laughing it up having a good time? Possibly so, at the table that they were working at the Southbridge Fest.

      I do recall Denise worked there all day and Cathy came and helped some that day also. Along with myself and a few other volunteers.

      I do recall that people were asked to stay away from the tornado stricken areas if they did not belong there, as there were emergency workers and red cross there.

      Please, before you type the words, get your facts straight.

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    2. Is the hibernation over? It's baaaaaack. Believe nothing she says. When it comes to facts Miz Manna makes em up as she goes. Leave us victims alone and tell Clemence and the others to go have their cookout at YOUR house. Lying politicians not welcome!

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    3. On that same day, Councilor McDonald and Former Councilor Logan were walking through the neighborhoods handing out FEMA information and checking on the residents. Ms. Manna, it is well known you're a relative of Councilor Clemence. You're correct, looky loos and rubberneckers were asked to stay out of the area.

      Councilors are part of Town Government and they should have been working alongside Lazo, Logan and McDonald. But Cathy and Denise can't do that. They were too busy propagating lies and rumors about Dr. Logan and Mr. Lazo. You only see your side of things, and you, Denise and Cathy are the only ones who are right.

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    4. Miss Manna i have my facts straight they were asking for help at that point in time. Yes they asked that people that didnt belong there sight seeing not to be there right after the storm. theses people were helping the victims, The town officials should have been there not having fun at the fest, And arent you clemences cousin? that right there tells a tale you for one should go away your stay in the public light is getting old and ugly. You do nothin for this town but grand stand ! The old Timer that knows

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    5. Monique much like Nikolla and Clemence always feels that she is entitled to her own set of facts.

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    6. An unintelligent nobody. Who cares what she says?

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  5. If I was one of the tornado victims Id Tell Clemence and Nikolla to shove those Hotdogs you know where! She probably will be giving away some more of the outdated knifes from her business she has left over that wont sell in Canada. She is pathetic.

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  6. this is mr. butler......i guess i should say thankyou for spreading the word about the constant frustration we all have dealt with in the last year....this is just the tip of the iceberg, we ALL have our own stories. i just want to say that i was in no way complaining about mr. durant's office in my post. he has contacted us several times about this same issue and we have now put together a list of neighbors who have had the SAME exact issue with this rebuild western mass group, it's a growing list. though nothing has been done to this point, we are all hoping that mr. durant will help us in some way. we are all just so sick of fight for every little thing. i HATE having to go to town meetings and as for help, i am a proud person, very self sufficiant, but i do it because i now what all my neighbors (my friends) are dealing with....i just wish more could find the courage to come speak with me. i personally thank everyone who has been there for us the past 11 months.....we personally thanked each and every one in the boo we have produced and will be available shortly.

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    1. Speaking as a former state representative myself I can only conclude that you are being played.

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    2. aka Jester

      Possibly by both State & Local Boloney Barkers!

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    3. ooops, apparently the "k" button wasn't working on the computer i typed from earlier, sorry about that everyone.

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  7. It's very sad that people feel this way. But you know what people, I feel the same. MEMA, FEMA, RED CROSS, UNITED WAY, AND THE OFFICE SET UP TO GIVE OUT FOOD COUPONS WAS A JOKE. No one helped us. We had to help ourselves. But yet, they all pat themselves on the back each and every day on what a great job they did. What they did was get your name, address and telephone number and no one followed up with you. All these nice things that Denise and Cathy with a "C", Regis and the like all show their faces every where. They get free publicity, photographs, interviews. All the things they put Laza and Zotos down for. Well guess what, at least they got down and dirty. They actually helped people. Sorry to say councilors, minus two, you're not nice people. All we have to do is watch you on Monday nights. It's enough to make you puke. A free lunch. You are the only ones getting a free lunch and it's at our expense. All these rallies and benefits that are going on in and around our community. The money is going to the towns, not to the people who need it. Towns are hoarding the money and using it for their budgets. Tornado Victims of Southbridge, how much money have you been given for all these great Tornado get-togethers? Not a cent I bet. How bout that bike rally coming up soon in Sturbridge for the Tornado Victims. How much do you think you will see from that? Zip!

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  8. Dan, it's been one year and Mr. Durant hasn't done any more for you than the Town Council. Time to stop waiting and being nice to him. He's had twelve long months. That's absurd!

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  9. I vividly remember going to the Governor's conference in Springfield a few weeks after the tornado. I was there with the town manager, the DPW director and Denise. I assumed we were going to try and meet with the Governor to plead our case. The manager looked like a dear in the head lights. It didn't look like he went to the meeting with a plan. I found one of the Governor's aids and got the TM a meeting with the Governor before the event began. After the event, when the Southbridge delegation was heading for the door, I approached one of the Governor's secretaries and explained Southbridge's situation. I asked him to come to town and see the damage for himself. He promised me he would, gave me his business card and asked me to have the manager contact him to set a date. I gave the business card to the manager and left the event feeling that, at the very least, we moved the ball forward.

    In retrospect, I don't think Chris should have met with the Governor himself and I think leaving the responsibility for setting up a meeting with a state official with Chris was also a mistake.

    The point of all this is that the slow progress in the tornado affected parts of town may simply be a shining example of the town managers inexperience. I don't think he knows how to handle a disaster on this scale just like I don't think he knows how to manage the budget. His time in Southbridge has been on the job training for which he is paid very well. He is protected by a council that, for the most part, has less experience than he does. Chris may one day grow into an effective manager but he's not going to get there by being defense and working with a rubber stamp council.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for this additional insight, Rich.

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  10. I recommend to the tornado victims to BOYCOTT this fake Nikolla-Clemence barbacue send them a message that day and send clemence a message in june! Langevin was elected never said a thing about the victims or even tried to help them and he lives down there another blow hard. Hows Marccuci working for you victims she never says anything and a NO SHOW at many meetings since shes been there along with Part time Pam. The only ones that were concerned is Vandal, livingood, Mc Donald, OH almost forgot Spinnelli because he says hes not the brightest bulb up there how true hes inlove with himself and lets all remember him this june he never helped the tornado victims either.

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  11. AnonymousMay 10, 2012 10:22 PM - i agree with you 95%, but i will argue that the red cross DID help us and so did the united way in southbridge (bonnie). red cross was on our street the next morning after the tornado hit with breafast, lunch and dinner.....they waled around handing out food, water, ice, emotional assistance and even assisted when one of my neighbors injured himself clearing debris. they stayed for weeks and i thank them for that. the united way did several rounds of food cards for big bunny and credit cards for walmart which we used to buy pillows, blankets and underwear. catholic charities next door from the town hall has been wonderful to all of us too. operation tree party....a regular citizen wored hard to get a $10,000 grant to purchase trees for all of us! honestly there have been some amazing people out there who have gone above and beyond and i will find a way to thank and to pay every one of them back, that's just how i was raised, and i was also raised to show respect to the fullest extent.....which is what i have tried to do each time i have spoken on behalf of my family and my neighbors at the town meetings.....and i honestly and truely thought that i had gotten through to kathy back on december 19th when i was told our area would become priority #1 if they voted on the sweeper that night, but sadly i have come to the realization that it was all for not. we are going on 5 months since that meeting (when they voted to buy the street sweeper despite my efforts to use the money more wisely) and i am still waiting to hear back from tom daley on ANY word on how they are going to improve our current drainage issues, no help to any of my neighbors who have spent thousands out of pocket trying to removes enormous tree and debris piles and the biggest kick in the face is that they waited to do our 2 streets LAST with the street sweeper this year....that's disrespect where i come from. now i do than ms. clemence for coming and helping us plant trees back on april 21 but why have they ignored us for so long? we didn't as for this. we are good people, we pay our taxes....heck we paid our taxes while we were waiting to get a new roof and start rebuilding the half of our house that got ripped off. and we paid our building permits which i also argued about...we weren't trying to ad on, we were trying to mae it livable again so why not waive the fees like all the other towns did, BUT we paid them. i follow the trash by law, despite the fact that i now pick up extra trash daily that blows across 169 from the dump road because there are no trees now...and i am constantly picking plastic bottles, scratch tickets, addressed envelopes from other towns and more out of cady brook....because i care about this town. we are not just complaining for the fun of it, we just want to be treated decent.

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  12. If anyone thinks that calling State Rep Durant will do any good, think again. Unless it is an agenda item for his buddy Clemence, you can forget it. Calling Pete is like talking to the dog. Fact is at least the dog gets it.

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