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Thread: A Ceremonial Mayor for Cochituate Village?!

  1. #31
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    Well, as it currently stands we have one large geographic Wayland. Cochituate electing to embrace its identity is remotely akin to the South doing the same.

    One political party not wanting another would be more like youth soccer not wanting youth lacrosse.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Well, as it currently stands we have one large geographic Wayland. Cochituate electing to embrace its identity is remotely akin to the South doing the same.
    My analogy focused on the incongruity of arguing against the creation of new PACs given the longstanding role of SOS in Wayland politics.

    Your focus is, what? To divert the discussion from truths you find uncomfortable, but can't dispute? By likening Cochituate to the Confederacy?

  3. #33
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    If it is SOS that you're reacting to, wouldn't the creation of a non-geographically based anti-tax PAC (like RSVP, which has been active in the past, but not so much recently) be more appropriate?

  4. #34
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    Dave,sorry, I missed that you were referring to SOS. I may not have the sequence correct, but didn't WVN come before SOS? The former may not be a PAC, but they serve a similar function.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    If it is SOS that you're reacting to, wouldn't the creation of a non-geographically based anti-tax PAC (like RSVP, which has been active in the past, but not so much recently) be more appropriate?
    I am not "reacting" to SOS at all; its founders identified a set of issues and grew an organization to address them. I am opposing arguments, such as yours, that other Wayland residents should not take similar actions to address issues important to them. If these issues attract residents living in one part of town, why should this prevent them from organizing to address those issues? Should we Glezen Lane residents not have banded together to force resolution of the safety issues created by the Town Center because the result was a geographically-based organization?

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Dave,sorry, I missed that you were referring to SOS. I may not have the sequence correct, but didn't WVN come before SOS? The former may not be a PAC, but they serve a similar function.
    Why would it matter which organization was created first?

  7. #37
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    I've certainly got no objection to geographic organizations that focus on specific causes: Bow Road/Glezen Lane and traffic, Cochituate and CVS, etc. When the issues become town-wide, however, I think that we stray into dangerous ground: passing/failing overrides, electing town-wide candidates, etc.

    Dave, I commented on the sequence of WVN-then-SOS only because I inferred (perhaps incorrectly) that you were suggesting that SOS was the original and sole "lobbying organization" and that they would not like competition.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    I've certainly got no objection to geographic organizations that focus on specific causes: Bow Road/Glezen Lane and traffic, Cochituate and CVS, etc. When the issues become town-wide, however, I think that we stray into dangerous ground: passing/failing overrides, electing town-wide candidates, etc.
    We are well into dangerous ground. The issues addressed by SOS are not geographic, yet their actions have produced polarization and nastiness. New organizations will form to counter SOS's perceived undue influence on Wayland government. Those who seek a retreat from dangerous ground should focus on the root cause, rather than argue against counteraction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Dave, I commented on the sequence of WVN-then-SOS only because I inferred (perhaps incorrectly) that you were suggesting that SOS was the original and sole "lobbying organization" and that they would not like competition.
    I never suggested that SOS is either original or sole; what's relevant is their dominance and approach. They clearly don't want competition. Dominant organizations always seek to preserve their position; some are able to do so without offending everyone else; some are not.

  9. #39
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    We'll probably have to end up agreeing to disagree about the value SOS brings (lobbying for responsible growth, lobbying for increases in state aid, etc.). As I see it, they offer a counter-balance to the influential Wayland Voters Network.

  10. #40
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    Default the "third rail" issue

    Jeff and Kim have it exactly right on the "geography" point in its broadest sense.

    There can be no legitimate objection to the formation of groups to lobby about local neighborhood issues (like those that have coalesced around Dudley Pond, Bow Road, Glezen Lane, the development of the Nike site, Town Center traffic, etc.) or to the formation of groups to lobby about Town-wide issues of general application (like schools, public safety, the library, taxes, etc.). In fact, I'm hard pressed to think of any such example that wouldn't be an appropriate expression of interest, with one exception -- the third rail of historical Wayland politics -- the old north/south divide.

    Much of this divide has faded as Wayland has become more homogeneous, and any calls to resurrect it would be recklessly misguided. Alan's memo did that by writing that "Cochituate should understand that it can control the agendy of Wayland, and it's time for Cochituate to begin to do that". He may have just gotten carried away with his own rhetoric (and visions of t-shirts and stationery), but a call for half the population (actually, 51% by Alan's estimate, if I recall correctly) to "control the agenda of Wayland" is an invitation to resurrect old animosities and resentments based on a north/south divide. As Dave points out, there's enough friction over taxes and development (as there is in many towns). If one portion of Town were to follow Alan's prescription and organize to control the entire Town, this will inevitably lead to development of a north Wayland PAC to counter a south Wayland PAC. This is a path that should be discouraged by all people of good will.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    We'll probably have to end up agreeing to disagree about the value SOS brings (lobbying for responsible growth, lobbying for increases in state aid, etc.). As I see it, they offer a counter-balance to the influential Wayland Voters Network.
    This is the second time in this thread that you've tried to put words in my mouth, Jeff. I did not say that SOS doesn't bring value; clearly they do. My concern lies with their approach, which I characterized as "the ends justify the means". Well-funded schools operating in an increasingly poisonous atmosphere cannot be an acceptable outcome.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Perlman View Post
    Jeff and Kim have it exactly right on the "geography" point in its broadest sense.

    There can be no legitimate objection to the formation of groups to lobby about local neighborhood issues (like those that have coalesced around Dudley Pond, Bow Road, Glezen Lane, the development of the Nike site, Town Center traffic, etc.) or to the formation of groups to lobby about Town-wide issues of general application (like schools, public safety, the library, taxes, etc.). In fact, I'm hard pressed to think of any such example that wouldn't be an appropriate expression of interest, with one exception -- the third rail of historical Wayland politics -- the old north/south divide.

    Much of this divide has faded as Wayland has become more homogeneous, and any calls to resurrect it would be recklessly misguided. Alan's memo did that by writing that "Cochituate should understand that it can control the agendy of Wayland, and it's time for Cochituate to begin to do that". He may have just gotten carried away with his own rhetoric (and visions of t-shirts and stationery), but a call for half the population (actually, 51% by Alan's estimate, if I recall correctly) to "control the agenda of Wayland" is an invitation to resurrect old animosities and resentments based on a north/south divide. As Dave points out, there's enough friction over taxes and development (as there is in many towns). If one portion of Town were to follow Alan's prescription and organize to control the entire Town, this will inevitably lead to development of a north Wayland PAC to counter a south Wayland PAC. This is a path that should be discouraged by all people of good will.
    When one group exerts what others perceive to be undue influence over town government, like-minded residents will organize to counteract that influence. If you seek to reduce polarization and friction, then work to mitigate the perception or reality of that undue influence. Arguing against the formation of counteractive groups is interpreted as an attempt to preserve the status quo, and thus raises rather than lowers the temperature.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bernstein View Post
    When one group exerts what others perceive to be undue influence over town government, like-minded residents will organize to counteract that influence.
    Fine. Just don't try to draw a line between north Wayland and south Wayland. That's not the distinction you've drawn, but that's the third-rail issue.

  14. #44
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    Default Isn't that part of communism?

    I think political groups in town are not seeking to be the only such groups; that is irrational and not normal in a democracy. Those seeking to start new groups should be invigorated by the discussion and possible disagreement and not blame the "opposing" camp for forcing them to have to organize to get "their word" out. That seems juvenile and in the "did too, did not" kind of argument that I used to have with my brother when we were kids. This is democracy guys, not communism.

    By the way - I think the Bow Road group should have been allowed to have their meeting with officials.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Perlman View Post
    Fine. Just don't try to draw a line between north Wayland and south Wayland. That's not the distinction you've drawn, but that's the third-rail issue.
    As I said, any attempt to impede or constrain counteraction will be perceived as preservation of the status quo. Focus your concern on the mitigating the currently toxic environment before it gets worse.

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