Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Southbridge Town Council Decides (?) On Town Meeting Petition (Video)

Text of this agenda item follows:

9. Shall the Town vote to approve of a measure proposed by petition on March 31, 2014 in accordance with Chapter 12, Section 3 of the Town Charter, as summarized below?

The measure proposes the filing of a so-called Home Rule Petition with the state legislature for special legislation to amend the Town Charter. If approved by the voters at this election, the proposed legislation would take effect upon enactment by the state legislature. The proposed legislation seeks to reestablish an Open Town Meeting-Board of Selectmen-Town Administrator form of government, as in effect prior to March 2, 1973 under the General Laws, special acts and bylaws of the Town of Southbridge. The legislation would abolish the 9-member Town Council and the position of Town Manage. The legislation provides that the process for calling for and holding an open town meeting would be governed the General Laws, special acts applicable to the Town, and the Town by-laws existing prior to March 2, 1973. The legislation would establish a 5-member Board of Selectmen, with each Selectman serving a a term of 3 years and limited to 2 consecutive terms of service. The Board of Selectmen would have the powers of the Town Council provided for under the current Charter and, further, would appoint all Town officers and employees, subject to the civil service laws or as otherwise may be provided by the General Laws and the Charter (a 15-member Finance Committee would be appointed by the Town Moderator). The legislation would also create the position of Town Administrator, who would serve at the will of the Board of Selectmen and exercise all the powers of the Town Manager as provided for under the current Charter. Any person appointed as the Town Administrator would be required to qualify as a registered voter of the Town within 6 months of the date of appointment.


  1. Yes, let’s trust Joe. Just like we trusted him with Executive Session Minutes when he was a Town Councilor before: “Councilor Marino read a statement regarding the newspaper articles in the prior week, regarding leaking of confidential information to the newspaper. Councilor Marino stated he was the one who did it. He stated he did this to bring more of this into the public eye, as everything discussed had already been well publicized. He stated also he wanted to lift the lingering shadow over the Town Council. He stated it wasn't his intention to drag this through the mud anymore, and he wanted to put an end to it.” [AGENDA ITEM #18. COUNCILORS' FORUM]

    1. What terrible secret did former Councilor Marino reveal when he shared Confidential material from an Executive Session? Was the town harmed by what he released, or were we informed about something that was being hidden by a Town Manager that was using an Executive Session to hide information that would reveal his incompetence or sneaky methods?

      More recently there was Executive Session information that was revealed and despite a State Police Investigation, the identity of the party that violated the confidentiality was not revealed. Apparently it is not that big a deal?

      At least J.J. Marino admitted that he broke the confidentiality and continues to take the heat for trying to illuminate some of the dark shadows that lurk in town hall.

      I have known Mr. Narino for about 45 years, and frankly I disagree with him about 85% of the time. Of all the things he has done as a public official, and of all the things he failed to do, his breaking the rule of silence when he felt the public's need to know was more important AND taking the heat for it is a stand that I believe is worthy of admiration, not criticism.

    2. You don't know what Joe leaked or the circumstances under which he admitted it, but you're defending him. That is just plain stupid. But you apparently are an example of the thinking process behind those supporting this idea.

    3. As regards the more recent incident that you mention, the State Police report on that can be found at the bottom of the right hand column of this blog. It has been there since almost the beginning of The O'Zone, and it warrants being read again today in light of some information about another potential candidate for town council in the upcoming election.

    4. In your response to my not knowing what Joe leaked, all I remember us that at the time it happened My impression was that I was glad that he did it, that too much was made of it, and that I admired him for doing it.

  2. He didn't confess until the council was about to hire an attorney to investigate and prosecute. As to what he leaked, I'll leave it to you to look up, but it involved personnel issues and no one person should be able to judge what is suitable for public release, unless of course you favor a bunch of Edward Snowdens running around doing whatever they please. Maybe we're better off knowing what Snowden revealed, but it doesn't absolve him from being prosecuted.


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