Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Southbridge Town Election Candidates 2014

Below is a list of candidates for contested positions in the June 2014 Southbridge Annual Town Election who had submitted papers with a sufficient number of signatures as of yesterday’s deadline and who have not withdrawn previously submitted forms.

            Town Council                        School Committee
              (3 openings)                             (3 openings)
            Miguel Estrada                        Brent Abrahamson
            James Marino                          Scott Lazo
            John Pulawski                         Christopher Olivo
            Gus Steeves                            Raymond Page
            Albert Vecchia, Jr.                  LeAnn Pate
            Paul Zotos

Now we have the cast for a sequel....


  1. This is patheticMay 7, 2014 at 5:42 PM

    Hacks, whacks and zeros. Will the last person to leave this town turn off the lights please.

    1. Pathetic, instead of walking away from town and asking those behind you to turn off the lights, be grateful that we have an opportunity in this election to take back our town government by empowering us all to determine our destiny
      Secretary of State Galvin has an excellent booklet explaining the town meeting form of government. It is posted at [another site].
      You sound very disappointed in the choices we have for Council. Just imagine how pleased will be when sharp minded people like yourself will have your say at Town Meetings-you are obviously skilled at finding perceived
      Shortcomings in candidates. If you can zero in on our town's problems as confidently there is little doubt that you can set this town on a proper course at the first town meeting of this century.

    2. Dear Peasant, who is also May B Y below (The odd formatting of your emails makes it obvious): Rather than re-printing generic pamphlets from the Secretary of State, why not print the actual petition. Apparently a lot of people who signed it never read it (at least that's the implication of one of your supporters on another site who expressed aggravation over Mr. Steeves doing just that while others waited to sign it).

      While were at it, why haven't any of you answered Mr. Steeves' legitimate criticisms rather than only attacking his motives?

      The supporters of this petition keep talking about restoring local control, but they've produced such a shoddy document that they admit that it'll have to be substantially re-drafted by the legislature. Now there's local control, right?

      Face the facts - shouting local control is as useful as William Wallace in "Braveheart" yelling freedom. How'd that work out for him in the end?

    3. I do not have a copy of the petition, nor do I know of any of the Petition proponents agreeing that the General Court will be making substantial changes. My guess us they won't make many changes at all-that is your theory-and being a former State Rep you could be correct.

    4. Don't rely merely on my statements. Review the comments of Attorney Lauren Goldberg who is far more an expert on such matters.

      I think, however, that it is clear that, with all the material that they are putting out, the one thing that "We The People" is not making freely available is the actual wording of their petition. Why is that?

  2. What sense is there in voting for town counsil candidates who want to eliminate the town council or school committee candidates who want a state takeover?

    1. I didn't know that any of the School Committe candidates wanted a State take over of the schools, but I can certainly imagine why a pro-Tientsin Meerying Council candidate would run.
      Remember when a talented town councillor was frustrated with the antics of his fellow Councillors and write a fax stating that if his fellow Councillors didn't get it together he INTENDED to resign at a future date? Well, the town government on advice of its lawyers decided to change the meaning of intention, and also accepted the intention to resign in the future as an actual resignation. The town spent $Thousands in legal fees to remove that Councillor and used Police powers to prevent him from sitting in the seat that he was elected to serve in.
      This was not something that happened on the last Century-in fact there are people on the Council now that we're on the Council then.

      With a history like that, can you understand why a well meaning citizen would be concerned that the next Council might use that same law firm to delay or deny the will of the voters regarding our form of government? By serving on the Council. A pro-town meeting Councilor can help prevent such a potential manipulation if the people want town meetings and Selectmen.if the voters deny the effort to return to town meeting/ Selectmen, a pro- town meeting
      Councilor can do their best to reduce the hostility directed at Citizen's that dare share their perspective at the Citizen's forum and they could also do other things to make the town more business friendly and more fair regarding the water and sewer rates by putting pressure on the all powerful Town Manager

    2. Bent Abrahamson wrote a couple of blog posts in favor of a state takeover and also supported an online petition in favor of the state taking over the Southbridge schools last year.
      As far as your argument about O'Brien's resignation, that could just as well have been done bya board of selectmen as by a town council. Having a town meeting would have made no difference. So your reason for running for council while you oppose its existence makes no sense. Even if Marino, Pulawski and Zotos are elected they'd still be outnumbered two to one.

    3. Let's say three people are elected that are unwilling to play legal games to delay or deny an approval of the petition by the voters. That does not mean that the other six pro-Council members of the Council will stoop to trying to dodge the will of the people. It means that the three new Council members that will honor the will of the voters only need two Council members that will also honor the will of the voters. In my opinion, Conrad Vandal, Shawn Moriarty, and Rev. Churrasco all have the integrity to honor what the people want. Councilors Clemence and Manna may believe that the people are not smart enough to know what is best for them.

    4. And if the voters don't approve the petition we'll be stuck with three councilors who don't approve of the government they are a part of.

    5. Have Faith in the PeopleMay 11, 2014 at 1:31 PM

      Three candidates that do not suffer from a superiority complex that tricks them into thinking that their options are oif greater value than the 1000-2000 that vote and the 4000 that are so fed up with the Council that they don't even bother voting.
      In my humble opinion, it will be refreshing to have three new Councilors that have the vision to realize that we need to change how government business is conducted. Too bad that our Councils tend to lack vision even more than intestinal fortitude. Then again, even with fortitude and vision, like when Logan and Lazo and the majority held up the road, one bad town manager and one VERY bad apple and we were out over $6,000,000.00

      Kenneth, the people were wise enough to vote for you, so have faith that they might do the right thing and embrace the time honored traditional form of local democratic governance
      In New England-the Town Meeting.

    6. Old Preppy ChickMay 11, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      You got Pulowski who has contempt for the Council form of government, Apple that has contempt for the voters, Zotos who has contempt for anyone that diesn't want to listen to him complain, George Steeves that will agree with the last opinion he heard unless the opinion is that action needs to be taken, and Marino that has contempt for everything and has never been for anything but himself. That leaves the Puerto Rican kid who I know very little about except that his is against tobacco, so I am voting for him because the Puerto Ricans are under represented. Or maybe I will vote fir the three long haired hippie looking dudes and make believe we will be the next Northampton.

    7. Have Faith In People:
      I do have faith in people, and that's why I believe that the current system where, on average, over 1,000 people vote in each Council election, gives more of a voice to the people over a town meeting that will be lucky to get half that.

    8. Is your town meeting going to allow absentee voting for people who work during the hours the meeting is in progress? The current system gives people a twelve hour window to vote on ballot questions like your petition and allows for absentee ballots.

    9. OUR Town Meeting, not my Town Meeting. Maybe you don't know how this will work, no doubt due to Joe Marino it giving you a copy of the petition. In the petition we still get to vote in the annual election, only instead of voting for the nine people that pick the one person with the power, we actually vote directly for the five people with the power. One of the reasons I feel like we need to take back our town government is that the majority of the Council can no longer fire the man with the power, the Town Manager. What good is it if six thousand people come out in a town election and the elect a Town Council (kind of like a student government) that can't even fire a rotten manager with a majority of five out of nine votes?
      We will likely have at least as many voters at the annual Town election, maybe more because it will be in Aoril when it usn't hot as hell, and they get to DIRECTLY vote for the five leaders with power (the Selectmen) instead of picking nine people that vote for a leader that requires five to hire and two thirds to fire after a committee that includes unelected people select who the Council votes for. If we try a truer democracy in town we might like it.

    10. First, I don't have a copy of the petition. Perhaps you could send me a copy. It seems that there is a real good effort to only allow summaries, rather than the specific wording.
      While I opposed the change in the Charter to fire the town manager, the people voted for it. Isn't that the same procedure your petition is supposed to adhere to?
      I don't recall any motion to fire the town manager since Coughlin. If that's your gripe, why didn't you mount a campaign to fight that?
      As far as real democracy, I suppose that's a function of how you define it. If you define democracy as the potential participation of everybody who doesn't work second or third shift, I guess your plan is more "democratic". I would argue that such a system is much more skewed to the extremes of the income scale, hardly representative of the population.

  3. Here's my prediction for School Committee...Lazo, Page and Olivo win, Lazo and Page are already good friends. I see Olivo and Congdon join the Lazo and Page side. With that...Lazo as chair and Congdon as vice chair. The horror on the other girls faces will be priceless.

  4. Can't wait for the electionMay 9, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    Glenda I hope your right! Say what you want about S. Lazo, he loves this town and when something is broken and he thinks he can fix it, he always volunteers. I was never a believer until i had my own private conversations with Mr. Lazo. He has my vote!

  5. So, we have a biased ex-reporter, an old-timer who wants to be on the council but to do away with it, a former town employee who's a nice guy but not a politician, a blowhard who never gets that his popularity is up there with Caligua in his heyday, and an unknown. Is this town really that stupid that they can't find, for once, a write in candidate with a brain? And what's with the still missing councilor Peloquin, who didn't resign, won't show up, and hopefully will resign soon, causing another election? Such crap is the norm in Southbridge.

  6. On the council front, if we settle for the unknown and the overblown we still have to choose among a fool, a ghoul, donkey stool, and senile drool.


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