Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Southbridge Election Results

Question #1 Failed

Town Council: Miguel Estrada, Gus Steeves, Albert Vecchia Jr.

School Committee: Brent Abrahamson, Christopher Olivo, Raymond Page


  1. The question had merit but poor execution. Lots more poor would of supported a mayoral form of government.
    The Spanish speaking population is now responsible for translations to the rest of the town. Good luck to meeting secretary in understanding Estrada's votes. Vecchia winning guarantees strife and must see tv. Steeves is a half ok if he stays away from his own personal crusades.
    2 out of three SC are solid. The guy that calls everybody else a bully and a racist while being exactly that somehow got elected. he is now going to have to vote on both sides of every issue to stay consistent with his previous positions.
    These candidates, these results make a good case for proprely changing our form of government .

  2. These results is what you get with the amount of voter apathy which in turn causes low voter turnout. Here we go again, we are in for another year of failing schools and acrimonious government.

    1. Another Bad Year!June 25, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      I was looking forward to reading your response this morning, "Just Sayin". They are always so full of truth and insight. The apathy is killing Southbridge!

    2. Another Bad Year...
      It is hard to be insightful when the loonies can turn out the vote and regular guys and gal are fed-up with the system and do not turn out because they feel that nothing will change the way things are headed.

      Some predictions (although they are easy to make with these results)
      1. Abrahamson will join the Bobble Head Chorus.
      2. Stevees will push his environmental agenda trying to force the citizens of Southbridge to live the way that he feels fit. (of course on the taxpayers dime)
      3. (and this is my hope) Estrada will invigorate the Hispanic community to become more active in local politics. Thus his actions will energize more of the community to take notice of what is happening. (I do see reason to Hope here)
      3. Apple will try to mitigate the spending and taxing plans of the Loony Left. However, I do not know how successful he will be.
      4.Olivio and Page will try to keep the Bobble Head Chorus from marching to the beat of the "Road to Ruin". However, it has yet to be seen that any thing can change their tunes.

      Just Sayin'

    3. One Last set of Predictions:

      1. Zotos will make a bi-monthly appearance at TC Meetings. Some of what he will say may very well be true, but he will certainly be entertaining.

      2. Pulawski will probably make only monthly visits to TC Meetings for he is not as dedicated as Zotos.

    4. Just Sayin'...
      Wonder who you are referring to when you say "Loony Left?" Many of the councilors support Republican candidates; Durant, Baker, Romney. "Right-wing nut-jobs" more like it. It's hard to predict the future, but I doubt Apple will try to mitigate anything except who will be the next Chair and Vice Chair. Even if Apple said he was against raising taxes, how can we believe him after his switch on the road? Zotos got a raw deal, but can easily make a come back. Apple did. Pulawski should move to Webster. He'd probably win an election there.

  3. Another Dumb VoterJune 25, 2014 at 7:23 AM

    Mr.O"Brien caught something on that petition that the other 700 or so people that signed it missed- the election if did selectmen over three years.
    I caught something yesterday while in the poll booth. The petition I signed was not on the ballot!
    What we were offered yesterday was only a switch of the 9 member council to a five (or six) member Council with an annual meet 'n' greet.AKL the power if the Town Manager was returned to the Time Administrator. That is NOT what was on the petition, so of course I voted against it!

  4. The way I see it, those who disagree had every right to get signatures to put their petition on the ballot. However, there is an obligation to get all of the terms and conditions portrayed in an accurate and fair way, and in my opinion, that simply wasn't the case.

    This measure didn't lose because of low turnout. 33% of a larger data set would have resulted in...roughly the same numbers.

    Before you try to sell a product, you have to define the need. Anger at people you don't like is the emotional tie, but it's not the real reason someone would favor something so drastic, especially when the basics were wrong (the 6, instead of 5, selectmen).

    If you want to do this again and again and again, I'll wish you luck (but not sign your petition). Trying to remove people you don't disagree with by changing government to another form isn't the answer.

    I learned a long and hard lesson running twice, and being involved with many of you, most of whom by now I presume that I nauseate, to put it mildly:

    You can't act from emotion, you have to act from the mind. You have to see the bigger picture and learn the art of compromise and negotiation. Your product didn't sell because you weren't selling your product--again, you were selling the emotion.

    Emotions come and go, but in the end, people are most comfortable with the Devil they know, rather than the Devil the don't. That's why I voted No, but at least I'm not afraid to say it, say why, or engage in intelligent debate about it.

    And you have to identify a need.

    For those that will just sling arrows, I ignore you. Another large lesson I learned: skin, get thicker please!

  5. Restore DemocracyJune 25, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    The petition supported by almost 700 people has yet to be placed on the ballot, so it is not being brought over and over. It has yet to be brought to the ballot box. It would be nice if the firmer polls can be reopened so ALL the voters can vote. Chestnut Street is a lo g walk for elderly that live in the Globe or elsewhere.

    And I agree that it would be helpful to fix the typos, remove the language related to the DPW Director, but that would mean collecting all those sigs again.
    It would be politically prudent to collect more sigs than the number of votes that sere casr against the K & P petition "summary", as difficult as that may be.

    1. "It would be nice if the firmer polls can be reopened so ALL the voters can vote. Chestnut Street is a lo g walk for elderly that live in the Globe or elsewhere." So, are you saying it would not be a long walk for them to the Town Hall too, to vote at the "Open Town Meeting" or if needed, to the High School for more space?

    2. Restore DemocracyJune 27, 2014 at 10:11 AM

      Both the Town Hall and the old High School are more geographically Central, but in some town's they are now allowing people to vote on Town Meeting warrants on paper ballot from home. A new law also allows members of a political body to vote electronically as well, but I don't know if any Town meetings have achieved that yet.
      My point was that the Council shut down three polling places that were spread around town and the result was many elderly no longer bother to vote-even going to town hall to get an absentee ballot can be difficult for them, but the next town meeting question will be edited( you know, that one single number typo that caused so many to deny the question), and if course the subject of the town engineer can be discussed at the first town meeting, Free rides can be provided to town hall in the eeeks keading up to the election so more people can get absentee ballots and vote on the issue.

    3. May I explain in the simplest terms how to go about getting an absentee ballot (since I travel a lot, as does my wife, this is how we vote):

      Call Town Hall and request an absentee ballot. Simple form is mailed to you. Fill out form, affix postage and mail back. Get ballot in mail. Put in enclosed envelope and mail in.

      Done. Yes, it costs postage, so if that is a burden, you have another option: offer rides for people to the polls, or, petition the council to open another location for the elderly nearby.

      Elections cost money. Each location requires police presence, and poll workers. It's not free by any means. I look to the Afghanistan and people of Iraq when they first tasted freedom, who traveled long distances, with the threat of death to vote.

      Nearly 90% walked away with the proud purple stain on their finger from voting.

      My point: don't make excuses, problem solve. If you can't figure out this simple fix, you probably won't be able to figure out the problems faced by the Council.

      Excuses, no matter how many you have, wouldn't have changed this outcome.

  6. Zoto's did exactly what I expected him to do---act like an ASS!!!

    1. Were you there, or not?

  7. Does it matter If I was there or not?

    1. Spinelli started itJune 27, 2014 at 7:00 PM

      If you where there then you would know Spinelli started it and that it was he who first acted like an ASS!!! It takes two to tango toldyaso.
      Spinelli was the instigator here!

    2. Shameful Town Councilor ConductJune 29, 2014 at 11:17 AM

      What's the story behind the Zotos remarks? Did Spinelli steal something? Or was he referring to the incident at the Kennedy Donovan Center on Worcester Street? (I still can figure out why an institute like KDC that relies on mostly government funding didn't prosecute the offending party. I you steal an item at Big Bunny or Big Y they will quickly prosecute you. Oh, that right, these two supermarkets operate without taxpayer funding. Maybe no prosecution because Daddy is a town counselor?)

    3. So if I understand you correctly, it's OK to act like an ASS is some one else acts like an ASS? Reminds me of my childhood days when one of my parents would ask me-If Jimmy jumped off a bridge would you? I'm still here, Jimmy's not, so I guess I did the right thing?

  8. Big Mamna Mac and The Newest Lap DogJune 27, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Can you believe this town voted in Brent Abrahamson? That truly shows how little the town cares about education. Just what our students and staff needs - another pontificating, self-important, blow hard. Can you imagine how long meetings will take with Big Mamma Mac and her new lap dog rambling on?
    One more reason why my children attend Tantasqua.

  9. Latest from the school department. . . The new superintendent appointed her partner to the position of academic dean the day after the elections.
    I must have missed that job posting, search committee interviews, etc. You know - the stuff in the hiring policy that the bobbleheads boasted about at their last meeting.
    I hope the girls know, you can only lie so much, then the kids eventually ensnare you.
    If I wax LM, KD, EQ, or JC I'd be putting the For Sale sign on my house now. At some point all the lies you've told and all the people you have hurt will be staring you right in the face.

    1. Homeowners Rule Renters DroolJune 27, 2014 at 6:55 PM

      EQ is only a renter and she can move out of town at the end of any given month

    2. All Aboard ! 7:00 AM Bus to Quaboag is DepartingJune 29, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      Hopefully at the end of this month! EQ is a renter - no wonder she could care less about spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on non-educational issues, i.e., $400,000.00 on unemployment for many wrongfully terminated teachers, even more than that for legal fees, arbitration payments to wrongfully terminated staff, $27,000 for a superintendent consultant (Buzz), etc.

      $27,000 (nearly $600.00 per week) to sit home in Southwick, MA and answer the new superintendent's questions. Shouldn't we have hired a superintendent that knew how to do the job? McLoughlin and her crew have had two years to find a permanent superintendent. Instead they anoint a former principal with a checked past who did nothing as a principal to improve that school. Granted she is a yes woman for the girls.

      But where was the intergalactic search committee like the one that brought us Ely? Where were the super search committees like the one that worked on finding a super principal for the new high school? (the winner for that job was not even close to being a finalist by that search committee - probably why we don't do search committees anymore.)

      McLoughlin, Donovan, Congdon and Quinney continue to violate their very own policies. They defer to the adage - Do as we say, not as we do.

      51 weeks until we throw McLoughlin and Donovan out. 103 weeks until Congdon and Quinney also get the boot. Hope the taxpayers can hang on until then. I know that far too many students aren't waiting. Stop by the Edwards Library at 7:00 any morning and watch our tax dollars board the bus to Quaboag.

    3. The thing about our tax dollars going to Quaboag is that they give us a better value than when they are spent here.
      If you put the children and their education above the jobs program that eats up over a third of our budget (a/k/a teacher salaries) you'd see what a great value we get sending our children away for an actual education.

    4. Non-Transparency CommitteeJune 30, 2014 at 7:05 PM

      Good Value,
      I thought that McLoughlin and Donovan were going to fix everything. They gave the teachers union one of the best packages ever presented to the SEA (Southbridge Education Association). It was bestowed upon the union because of the work that SEA President Dave Williams and other union workers did to help McLoughlin and Donovan get elected. (You could contact Williams to verify, except he is vacationing in Belize for the month of July! Not many of us working people in Southbridge can spend a month in Belize year after year.)
      The school committee knows that they broke the bank with this quid pro quo, but they laugh at the taxpayers. Have they released the contract to the public? I think it's on the same web page as the Ely and Perreault investigative reports.
      Aren't these the same two girls who promised "transparency?"

  10. The problem, in hindsight, with the ballot initiative was proven, in my opinion, with a 2-1 loss at the polls:

    If you can't get people out to vote for your initiative; if you can't get people to go to the current set of meetings; how on Earth did you expect that people would come out in droves to a Town Meeting form of government?

    Folks, the times have changed. People are more concerned with real, and sometimes, not so real issues in life. Have remote voting, they might be interested. But as we've all learned from the Council, who wants to come down to be belittled publicly?

    No one.

    This government, although I don't agree with many of the people, will never change. The people are content to pretend that our taxes aren't out of line, that the constant purchases we make are meaningful... in other words, the status quo rules the day, and always will.

    Without a solid seven people with the guts to make decisions, things that will impact people and purchasing, we'll never progress as a town.

    I have zero interest because, quite frankly, I have more important things in my life--family, work and education. And the smart people I know in town that would be great? As they said, why put up with that abuse.

    This is an issue created by the people in town, who have to look at the monster that they have created. Only they can undo the damage.


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