Former Superintendent of Southbridge Schools and current town delegate to the Central Mass Regional Planning Commission, Arnold Lanni, appeared at Monday night’s Town Council meeting.
Mr. Lanni spoke during the public hearing on the fiscal year 2015 town budget. He addressed the fundamental failings of the Council and the town government in general to deal realistically with the basic problems of the community.
For a Council that has consumed its time with trivialities like sign and graffiti bylaws, Mr. Lanni’s remarks were a refreshing dose of common sense. In many ways it served to crystallize the fermenting anger that has given rise to the insurgent, and misdirected, effort to revert Southbridge to a town meeting/selectmen form of government.
The failure of a listless and self-satisfied town administration has led to a community-wide malaise that has resulted in a slate of candidates for town office that may be the most undistinguished in Southbridge’s history.
The spirit of compassion and community service inherent in Southbridge residents has been well demonstrated by activism in such areas as the Relay for Life, Southbridge Fest, and the Bicentennial planning efforts, among many others. But faith and confidence in local government to address the real needs of the public has dwindled to the point of abject apathy.
The remarks by this learned and accomplished resident should serve as a clarion call to all who really want to deal with making Southbridge the kind of community it can be.
Unfortunately, the lack of any response by our town solons is illustrative of their lack of vision (or one might venture, concern).
His comments follow.
The entire video of Monday's Town Council Budget Hearing and Regular Meeting can be found HERE.