Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Prominent Southbridge Resident Speaks Truth To a Vacuum (Video)

Ken O’Brien

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.


  1. Can a brand new Councilor be elected Chairman/Chairperson?
    Earlier this week there were comments posted on this blog discussing write-in Council candidates.
    If he could elected AND made Chairman, Southbridge has an opportunity to get back on track. The idea of the next Council possibly electing Denise Clemence frightens me.
    Clemence appeared noble defending the DPW Director at the last meeting, but what has escaped the attention of the public is WHY those before her departed. They both encouraged Mr. Clark to take actions on matters that we continue to lay swept under the rug that could have jeopardized a major source of revenue. The law makes it possible for the Council to ignore certain health board issues, but it is not so easy for a registered Massachusetts professional engineer to keep their head in the sand on such a matter without risking their P.E. credentials.

  2. After reading my post I realized that I failed to mention that if anyone knows Mr. Lanni well they ought to encourage him to run for Council. I know that I would vote for him, and if this blog encourages its readers to vote for him and a few people stand outside the polls for him, he will make a good showing. I know that he"d get votes from many of the DPW employees and others that care about our town.

    1. The key question, as with all other prospects mentioned, is would he accept such a draft effort?


All comments subject to moderation. All commenters must use their own name or a screen name. No comments labelled as "Anonymous" will be published. To use your name or a screen name select "Name/URL" from the drop down menu. Insert you name in the "Name" space and leave the "URL" space blank.