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Thread: Response to ConcernedSchoolParentsOfWayland.org

  1. #1
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    Default Response to ConcernedSchoolParentsOfWayland.org

    A new political action committee called ConcernedSchoolParentsOfWayland.org (CSPOW), which endorses the lockstep BaronGrasso ticket, has seen fit to send out several mailings, one of which is shamefully misleading.

    The first postcard points out that the Wayland Public Schools Foundation (WPSF) funds textbooks while the Wayland Public Schools uses part of its budget to pay for the golf team, ski training passes, and Ultimate Frisbee. The current budget does not cover ski training passes, and it's been years if ever since the Ultimate Frisbee club had any funding. The bigger question, though, is whether Wayland residents really want an education of the type that CSPOW--and by extension, Baron and Grasso?--suggest.

    By my estimation, the net athletic budget after fees is on the order of 2% of the overall school budget. This amount exceeds the generous amount raised by the WPSF each year. One might reasonably conclude that CSPOW would therefore eliminate athletics entirely or make it fully fee-based, such that many Wayland students would be unable to participate. Is this the Wayland Public Schools that you want?

    The second postcard is the real transgressor. It compares the Loker School in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009, noting that the building remains fully open. CSPOW suggests that there were no savings from the building's closure. They make this false assertion ignoring the estimated $550,000 in savings estimated by the School Committee.

    CSPOW, its Chair, Jane Vanelli, its Treasurer, Betsey Brigham, and anyone else responsible for this misleading campaign should be ashamed of their actions.
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    Last edited by Jeff Dieffenbach; 04-06-2009 at 08:19 AM. Reason: to change title; rewording per request of moderator

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    Default I too feel those postcards are inflamatory & untrue

    It is high time that people stop blaming those who volunteer on town boards for their personal dissatisfaction. We should be thanking the School Committee for their service.

    It is shameful to send out postcards with completely incorrect information to intentionally incite anger and create ill-will. The postcards are a plea for help and not the kind the voters of Wayland can assuage.

    Wayland has so many great things to offer its citizens and it is dangerous to portray our School Committee and administration as not being up to par. This attitude and these campaign tactics are setting a very poor example for our children, and in the end could cause our schools a lot of damage.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Price; 04-03-2009 at 07:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Price View Post
    It is high time that people stop blaming those who volunteer on town boards for their personal dissatisfaction. We should be thanking the School Committee for their service..
    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Price View Post
    Wayland has so many great things to offer its citizens and it is dangerous to portray our School Committee and administration as not being up to par.
    If the actions of volunteer officials can't be criticized, what's the point of holding elections?

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    Dave, I agree that warranted criticism of public is completely valid. The stuff that has been going around town the last few days, however, is closer to science fiction than warranted criticism, however.

    How do we hold a fair election when misinformation campaigns are running rampant?

    In addition to the postcards Jeff mentioned, have you seen the piece from the ironically named "Voice of the Concerned Citizens for Truth and Fairness in Wayland Town Government 2009" that is riddled with untruths (including stating that Gary Burton's salary is $302,498 and that teachers want a 26% raise)

    We should all want town residents to go to the ballot box with accurate information guiding their decision making.
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    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 04-04-2009 at 07:52 AM. Reason: to add attachment

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    Dave, I agree that warranted criticism of public is completely valid.
    Do you really mean warranted? Who decides what is or is not warranted?

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    Fair enough. Nobody is trying to decide for anybody whether their opinions are valid - but starting with being honest would be a really good start.

    Fair argument: we pay Gary Burton too much.
    Unfair argument: we pay Gary Burton $302,498

    Why is the first one fair? It's an opinion. Also fair would be a factual argument that used the real number. Unfair: a lie.

    So, for example:

    Fair: we pay too much for athletics
    Fair: paying 2% of our school budget on athletics is too much
    Unfair: The Schools shouldn't be funding Ultimate Frisbee (since they aren't)

    Fair: we shouldn't have reconfigured the elementary schools
    Unfair: there were Zero Savings associated with reconfiguring the elementary schools

    Do you agree?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    We should all want town residents to go to the ballot box with accurate information guiding their decision making.
    Like an accurate traffic impact analysis for the Town Center?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bernstein View Post
    Like an accurate traffic impact analysis for the Town Center?
    Yes. Or at least one done well and honestly. People are always going to argue over the specific assumptions, and question accuracy.

    You're not arguing with my basic premise are you? I mean, you agree, I assume that "we should all want residents to go to the ballot box with accurate information guiding their decision making"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    Fair enough. Nobody is trying to decide for anybody whether their opinions are valid - but starting with being honest would be a really good start.

    Fair argument: we pay Gary Burton too much.
    Unfair argument: we pay Gary Burton $302,498

    Why is the first one fair? It's an opinion. Also fair would be a factual argument that used the real number. Unfair: a lie.

    So, for example:

    Fair: we pay too much for athletics
    Fair: paying 2% of our school budget on athletics is too much
    Unfair: The Schools shouldn't be funding Ultimate Frisbee (since they aren't)

    Fair: we shouldn't have reconfigured the elementary schools
    Unfair: there were Zero Savings associated with reconfiguring the elementary schools

    Do you agree?
    Dishonesty in any form is unacceptable and inexcusable. It appears, however, to be all-too-common in Wayland politics. You reap what you sow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bernstein View Post
    Dishonesty in any form is unacceptable and inexcusable. It appears, however, to be all-too-common in Wayland politics. You reap what you sow.
    You reap what you sow? Who is "you"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    Yes. Or at least one done well and honestly. People are always going to argue over the specific assumptions, and question accuracy.
    After the town voted to approve the Town Center, during the Planning Board hearings, the developer radically increased required modifications to the 126/27 intersection, radically increased the projected impact on nearby residential streets, and declared that a single-entrance configuration would no longer acceptable. There was no change to the site trip generation data; just a simple bait-and-switch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    You're not arguing with my basic premise are you? I mean, you agree, I assume that "we should all want residents to go to the ballot box with accurate information guiding their decision making"?
    Certainly. Unfortunately, distortion is common practice here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    You reap what you sow? Who is "you"?
    Based on first-hand observation over the past few years, I consider Town Government primarily responsible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bernstein View Post
    Dishonesty in any form is unacceptable and inexcusable.
    I think you hit upon the key point.

    It doesn't matter whether you think others have misbehaved before you -- nobody is excused from being honest. Period.

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    Default It's ok to criticize

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bernstein View Post
    If the actions of volunteer officials can't be criticized, what's the point of holding elections?
    It's ok to criticize for sure. Remember "Obama is a Muslim" and "Obama is best friends with a Black Panther?" These were the death-throes of some pro-McCain supporters doing anything to hurt Obama's chances of winning the election. Both statements were untrue and fabricated. These postcards fan a fire - the information is intentionally incorrect and incomplete.

    I wanted to show my support to the school committee. I don't think they are perfect. I think it's great that lots of people are running for election - that is what makes good democracy. But good democracy is not furthered by trading false facts.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Price; 04-05-2009 at 06:34 PM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bernstein View Post
    Based on first-hand observation over the past few years, I consider Town Government primarily responsible.
    Dave, you aren't specific, so it's not clear for what Town Government is "primarily responsible," but one reasonable inference is the recent dishonesty (Baron, Vanelli/Brigham, anonymous) that I've pointed out. If that's indeed what Town Government is responsible for, please elaborate. How has Town Government been "dishonest?"
    Last edited by Jeff Dieffenbach; 04-04-2009 at 01:40 PM. Reason: Addition of final question.

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