Thursday, June 19, 2014

Adding It Up - Part III

Ken O’Brien

Of all the issues that confront us as voters next Tuesday, this has given me the most pause.

Frankly I have never seen such a sad lot of candidates for town council.

Let’s start with the obvious.

I eliminate Joe Marino and John Pulawski first and foremost because they are essentially stalking horses for the referendum to alter the form of town government. Additionally, as regards Mr. Marino, he has already demonstrated his contempt for the rules by having confessed to leaking executive session minutes. Those who want to look past this seem to overlook the reality of the situation. Mr. Marino did not confess until he was faced with the imminent threat of a full blown investigation and the resulting consequences.

As for Mr. Pulawski, beyond the matter of his support of the petition, there is the issue of a variety of personal matters that have transcended the usual.

Albert Vecchia has been a mainstay of Southbridge politics for years. That’s probably one of the reasons Southbridge has been a joke for so many years. The last time he was on the council he provided the deciding vote in favor of the landfill access road. He has used the same basic document to campaign for council for the last, what, eight or ten years? Hey, Apple, I wrote that for you. The fact is he has never lived up to it – he’s just used it as a campaign document to forget about after he was elected.

Miguel Estrada. Honestly, he’s a conundrum. I couldn’t understand what he said, and so I have no idea what he stands for. I say this after making it a point to listen to him twice on the video of the candidate’s night. I don’t know if I’ll get blowback on this, but I can’t vote for someone when I have no idea where they come down on the issues.

Now, as for Gus Steeves, I’m torn. Intellectually I like Gus.  But when it comes to the reality of the situation I believe that he is living on another planet. I like you Gus, but I can’t vote for you. Good luck.

That leaves Paul Zotos. Paul has shown a profound love for this town. He has also demonstrated a commitment to the “small” things that matter to people in their everyday life. I will vote for Paul.

However, that still leaves two blanks.

I plan to write in Gary Fontaine and Steve Lazo.

So that’s what I plan to do – vote for Paul Zotos and write in Gary Fontaine and Steve Lazo. (Remember to not only write in their name but to also fill in the oval next to their name).

Do you really have a better option?


  1. Write-in sounding good!June 19, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    I'm voting Zotos and Pulawski... Pulawski's debate performance really spoke to me--I think he started a little weak, but ultimately his points aligned with things that are important to me-and the guy showed a lot of intelligence.

    As an English only speaking person--I can see where a lot of people had trouble understanding Estrada. I had no problems hearing him (years of customer service/sales), and he *had* my vote. He's really helping to spearhead a Latino business movement in town. His company helps people develop business plans, and apply for financing--and he's not corrupted by the "good ole boys" network in town. However, my boyfriend tried to contact him several times through his company and his cell phone with no return phone call. He left a message offering to have a sign on our front lawn, and an inquiry for a business-related question. No return phone call.

    That kind of ruined it for me :(

    I agree with everything else--and I think I was originally for Steeves, but now seeing where his allies are aligning I'm very apprehensive. I'll be curious to see where his financing is coming from.

    I don't really have a third. Can we really get a write-in movement going? Gary Fontaine always seemed like a good guy.... :-D

    1. There's always an opportunity for a write in movement. Just do it!!!

  2. John Pulawski sure has transcended the usual. He sticks out his neck and helps the most serious of drug addicts by bringing them for care in Worcester and Springfield. I know bc he got my brother-in-law off heroin after eight years of addiction. I know of at least six cases like this. No good deed goes unpunished as they say- John has been arrested and severely beaten up for his efforts. And of course the DA threw out the kidnappings charge bc the Court already knew John as someone that has been helping people get treatment. And then there is his so called tax problem even though he does not owe a nickel. Only in Southbridge.

  3. It is nice that Stephanie is supportive of my
    attempts to help a few people by letting them know some of the services available to them, but sll I am doing is giving someone a hand. When someone beats the odds and overcomes their addiction, THEY deserve ALL the credit. I did not get anyone off of heroin, they did it themselves.

  4. Don't Vote for SteevesJune 21, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    Beware of voting for Gus Steeves. You think your taxes are nuts now, wait if he's elected. We'll have conversation initiatives, more local regulations, etc. He gives "granola" new meaning. Do we really need a 60's throw-back at the "dais" every other Monday?

    As for his ethics, just go back and read some of his writings in The News. He demonstrated morally-bankrupt behavior during his years with the paper. He and Walter Bird did more damage to the paper and the town than anything else.

    Steeves should stay on his commune on Lebanon Hill and communicate with the birds.


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