Tuesday, February 23, 2016

5 Councilors Violate Charter

Ken O'Brien
Councilor Manna
A note of appreciation goes out to Councilor Manna.

During Councilors Forum last night she moved to hold a second meeting of the Council this month next Monday. This would be to comply with the portion of the charter that says. “2-5-1: The council shall meet regularly at least twice in every month." (See video of the Council meeting below, beginning at 2:34:02.)

Not one of the remaining five councilors present would even second her motion. This, despite the fact that every one of them took an oath to “…abide by the Charter…” as demonstrated by the following video from the last reorganization meeting.

I hope that voters will keep in mind that each of the following councilors, as a result of this action, violated their oath of office. Such an action should, at the very least, preclude their reelection.


  1. It's so hypocritical that Councilor Carrasco would cite the Charter to justify his action with regard to appointment of a bylaw review committee and then ignore the obligation to hold at least two meetings a month. It's not a matter of choice!

  2. Good for the ganderFebruary 23, 2016 at 6:57 PM

    We need a vote of no confidence in the town council.

  3. Mr. O'Brien your too funny!February 23, 2016 at 10:43 PM

    I find your comments funny Mr. O'Brien. You state that Councilor Carrasco used the Charter to defend his bylaw review committee. He stated the reason for not having the first meeting (snow emergency) and he also stated that he would be willing to come next week and hold a meeting, if the motion got the support from the councilors, which the other four did not support.
    Therefore would cause a no quorum which I believe is the other reason for not being able to have a meeting.

    Continue to knit pick because when you abruptly resigned from council and then tried to rescind that decision the charter was not an issue then.

    1. I don’t get the joke.
      Your comments are a mere stringing together of non sequiturs.
      As regards my resignation, you’re right – the charter was not an issue. So why bring it up?
      Using the charter to support his bylaw review argument is hypocritical because he could have scheduled a meeting for February 15th, but he didn’t. If you review the tape you can see that his gaze while making his remarks about a meeting on the 29th essentially was telling the other councilors not to do it. He simply didn’t care about adhering to the charter and his actions belied any comment (a Freudian slip?) that he was not intentionally violating the charter.
      You say that the prospect of not having a quorum was the reason for not scheduling another meeting. Now that is speculating. You could say that about any scheduled meeting. If there’s no meeting the blame devolves to those who didn’t show up. In this case the blame is on all five who didn’t even muster a second to Manna’s motion. I repeat, the charter doesn’t offer a choice in the matter, unlike the selection and timing of a bylaw review committee. (P.S. Even his argument about picking the committee within a year was disingenuous when you consider how the council failed to observe the five year mandate on the selection of a charter review committee.)
      Finally, the expressions are nitpick not knit pick and "you're too funny" not "your too funny". Apparently you come up short on literacy as well as humor.

    2. Dysfunkbridge VoterFebruary 24, 2016 at 6:44 PM

      This post was a real wake-up call for me, because it verifies how truth, histirucal perspective and following the law has no real place in our community any longer. As some asked here in recent months, what ARE we celebrating during this Bicentennial year?

      First, IT PAINS ME SOMEWHAT THAT Mr. O'Brien corrected YTF from the position of an English teacher instead of a History teacher, but K O'B was probably attempting to avoid taking us down the bumpy road of correcting the claim that he ever resigned.

      Until the dictionary redefines the meaning of the word INTEND, all Councilor O'Brien did was extend the courtesy of warning the Town Clerk that he INTENDED to resign at a future given date, which we were recently reminded of when Shaun Moriarty's rendered his resignation, not an INTENTION to resign but an actual resignation, yet it was treated differently. Even though Councilor O'Brien did not ever resign, not only did the Town spend,many $Thousands to subvert the will of the voters even before the Court date, an armed Southbridge Police Officer, Patrolman Ritchie I believe, was ordered by his superiors to keep the duly elected Councilor O Brien from sitting where the voters wanted him,the dais of the MacKinnon Chamber of Town Hall. The fact that there is no shame in resigning aside, I just want to say shame on Mister Christopher Clark for hiring lawyers to remove a Councilor that challenged Mr.Clark's bad choices, shame on the Council for not firing him for it, and shame on the Superior Court for allowing a highly paid law firm to bully the will of the voters upon a party without legal representation...

      As for the current lack of lawful order by our Council, at first I did not consider it a big deal. Shucks, February is a short month, one Councilor took himself off the roster and another is unable to attend due to poor health, AND we had awful weather, BUT now an AWFUL precedent has been set, because we have a Council that is comfortable ignoring the Charter. The vast majority of this Council also decided it was alright to break the Open Meeting Law by voting to borrow $1.75 million for a sewer line to the airport, and very few of us will still be alive before the rents and possible sewer fees will pay for that ridiculous investment. How can the voters defend their treasure when the Council votes to spend our money without even putting the vote on the Agenda so opposition can be organized?

      The Charter does not say that we need to have two monthly meetings unless there is snow. Even the School Committee is having two meetings this month, but they run their operation better than the Town Council does. Our Council, with the exception of one member and Conrad who was excused, us intentionally breaking the Charter. This is why some of us,want three,days in the House of Correction when the Council defies the Charter because there is currently no.incentive other than honor, which is no longer valued like in the past.

      And now that the Councilis away and failing the Citizens, a meeting is going to be held in Town Hall next week by department heads,appointed Commissioners, the Town Manager, hired Engineers and the Corporation that runs this Town more than AO ever dared, and the Council won't be meeting next Monday to stop it.This neeting is actually to plan an expansion that the Majority of the Council claims it is against. Will this virtual Mutiny be televised on Cable TV? Ha, I do not think so. Hopefully the Council will have an Emergency meeting to at least demand,transparency at the meeting of the people that REALLY run this Town.

  4. TC lacks leadershipFebruary 24, 2016 at 6:10 PM

    Ms Manna tried to do the right thing. The chairman lacked leadership.
    He should of called a meeting to meet the charter conditions and left it up to the rest to show or not.
    Instead of leading he led from behind which is another way for saying he did this breech backwards.

  5. Meet Monday ot walk.February 26, 2016 at 5:59 AM

    Councilor Manna should wrie up the paperwork Councilors use to call a meeting. I think it requires three or four Councilors to call an Emergency meeting.

    What is the emergency? Making sure there is transparency in town hall. because I looked deeper into the so called "mutiny" and there is such a meeting planned next week in order to oroceed with the landfill expansion with the Engineers.

    it looks to me that the Council does not want to hold a meeting Monday so they can act surprised when town hall and their Board of Health co-operates with the expansion behind their backs.

    The Mutiny Meeting should be at least be on cable access, even if it demonstrates that the Council is powerless to stop the expansion unless they make personnel changes at the very top. The Council clearly stated they are against expansion and claimed there was no need to be concerned or talk about leachate coming to the Big Y Plaza. This Mutiny proves that the Council is either pulling our leg, or they do not have a leg to stand on, but if they allow this it is time for a massive recall so they can all walk.

  6. This is silliness. The council is supposed to meet regularly twice a month, but given the extenuating circumstance of a weather emergency for one of the "regular" meetings, they were not able to. Calling an emergency meeting or making up a meeting on a non-regular evening is not the same as meeting "regularly". Try sending your complaint to the Attorney General's Office so it can be dismissed as frivolous and more serious issues can be discussed.

    1. You're wrong, they were able to meet twice.
      If the weather were so bad that they couldn't meet a second time you might have a point. However, there was no reason that they couldn't meet on February 29th.
      The fact is that the Charter doesn't make not meeting twice optional.
      As regards the AG, I've been there when I was a councilor and town manager Carlisle was twisting the Charter into knots. The AG won't get involved in local matters if they don't have to.


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