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Thread: Response to ConcernedSchoolParentsOfWayland.org

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    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?"
    Based on first-hand observation, I consider Wayland politics to be rife with dishonesty, nastiness, and hypocrisy, with an atmosphere that is becoming increasingly toxic. It starts with Town Government, which acted dishonestly and deceptively in its efforts to ensure approval of the Town Center at any cost, and vilified anyone pointing out issues, including long-serving volunteer officials. I have already provided facts substantiating this assertion in an earlier post on this thread.

    While not at the same level, Jeff, your little game with the School Committee web site was no paen to either honesty or civil discourse. For example, you posted

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Well, both the "Registrant Organization" and the "Admin Organization" are listed as the Wayland School Committee. I find it interesting that none of the people taking exception to the ownership and control of the WSC web site chose to indicate that simple fact.

    Maybe, like me, they never thought to look. Maybe they looked and saw it, but didn't want to undermine their already tenuous arguments. So far, unable to come up with a logical, legal, or ethical complaint, the best they've been able to do is repeat the weak "I don't like like it, it's bad, but I can't articulate a convincing reason why" line of attack.
    conveniently omitting the fact that you were then listed as the domain's registrant and administrator, and taunting those who called you on it.

    (For the details, see http://www.waylandenews.com/forum/sh...p=934#poststop )

  2. #17
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    I’m going to chime in here…I have never seen anything as divisive as the Wayland political environment. This is only my second year in Wayland, but it seems to me that there is an “anything goes-as long as it serves our purpose” attitude. Opinions are stated as facts, characters are bashed, inflammatory statements are made, and the use of questionable tactics for political gain are all just Politics as Usual in Wayland. This mindset serves no purpose except to whip people into a frenzied “us vs. them” mentality, and it distracts voters from the real issues at hand. It’s been explained away as “it’s not illegal”, or as “the other side does it”; but just because it’s legal doesn’t make it the right thing to do. Just because “the other side does it” doesn’t mean it’s ok. It’s just like I tell my kids-if everyone else jumped off a cliff would you do it too?

    There’s blame to be laid on both sides-from an SOS co-chair’s Election Notes to an SC candidate’s website controversy (two examples). Not illegal, but probably not the most effective way to go about winning votes, or more importantly, uniting this town and showing true leadership. I’m all for spirited debate, respectful disagreement and/or criticism; it’s all a part of what makes our country so great. But it seems to me that the “respect” aspect is missing here. Why not stop the finger pointing, and redirect all of that energy into something truly valuable: concentrating on the issues.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bernstein View Post
    While not at the same level, Jeff, your little game with the School Committee web site was no paen to either honesty or civil discourse. For example, you posted

    Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach
    Well, both the "Registrant Organization" and the "Admin Organization" are listed as the Wayland School Committee. I find it interesting that none of the people taking exception to the ownership and control of the WSC web site chose to indicate that simple fact.

    Maybe, like me, they never thought to look. Maybe they looked and saw it, but didn't want to undermine their already tenuous arguments. So far, unable to come up with a logical, legal, or ethical complaint, the best they've been able to do is repeat the weak "I don't like like it, it's bad, but I can't articulate a convincing reason why" line of attack.
    conveniently omitting the fact that you were then listed as the domain's registrant and administrator, and taunting those who called you on it.

    (For the details, see http://www.waylandenews.com/forum/sh...p=934#poststop )
    Dave, you can call it a "little game with the School Committee web site," but where's the "game?" The site has always been the official Web site of the Committee. The fact that I registered it is irrelevant--it's only about the content and who controls it (the full Committee).

    How is the quote of mine that you have provided a "taunting" of anyone? I was simply responding to criticisms of the site that never actually articulated a problem. I'm still yet to hear a reason why the registration and/or use of the School Committee Web site is in any way inappropriate.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Dave, you can call it a "little game with the School Committee web site," but where's the "game?" The site has always been the official Web site of the Committee. The fact that I registered it is irrelevant--it's only about the content and who controls it (the full Committee).
    You conceded that as the registered administrator, you controlled the site, not the School Committee; you said that you'd rectify this, and you mostly have. It's a little late to pretend that nothing was wrong; that game won't work either.

  5. #20
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    Default false equivalency

    Whatever one thinks of the registration history of the School Committee website (a total non-issue, in my view), no reasonable person could equate that with the active misrepresentation by CSPOW that there were no savings from the Loker closure, when in fact there have been approximately $550,000 in savings, as detailed by the School Committee.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bernstein View Post
    You conceded that as the registered administrator, you controlled the site, not the School Committee; you said that you'd rectify this, and you mostly have. It's a little late to pretend that nothing was wrong; that game won't work either.
    If I ever said that I "controlled" the site, I meant only that I was the one who made changes to it. The site's content has *always* been under the control of the School Committee as a whole.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Camp View Post
    I’m going to chime in here…I have never seen anything as divisive as the Wayland political environment. ...

    There’s blame to be laid on both sides-from an SOS co-chair’s Election Notes to an SC candidate’s website controversy (two examples). ... I’m all for spirited debate, respectful disagreement and/or criticism; it’s all a part of what makes our country so great. But it seems to me that the “respect” aspect is missing here.
    I don't agree with equating an individual's endorsement of candidates with the registration and deceptive use of a web domain.

    The Town Crier endorses candidates. Current office holders endorse candidates. Over the course of the past few months, many residents have written to the Town Crier to endorse candidates. Just because an individual serves as an officer in an organization shouldn't preclude that person from activities in which so many others participate.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    The site's content has *always* been under the control of the School Committee as a whole.
    If that were true, then there would have been no reason for you to change the site's registration information, as you have done:

    Domain ID84343660-LROR
    Domain Name:WAYLANDSCHOOLCOMMITTEE.ORG
    Created On:09-Mar-2002 18:03:19 UTC
    Last Updated On:22-Mar-2009 14:50:39 UTC
    Expiration Date:09-Mar-2010 18:03:19 UTC
    Sponsoring Registrar:Tucows Inc. (R11-LROR)
    Status:OK
    Status:AUTORENEWPERIOD
    Registrant ID:tucKiJvxanR8LteX
    Registrant Name:Jeff Dieffenbach
    Registrant Organization:Wayland School Committee
    Registrant Street1:Wayland Town Building
    Registrant Street2:41 Cochituate Road
    Registrant Street3:
    Registrant City:Wayland
    Registrant State/Province:MA
    Registrant Postal Code:01778
    Registrant Country:US
    Registrant Phone:+1.5083583763
    Registrant Phone Ext.:
    Registrant FAX:
    Registrant FAX Ext.:
    Registrant Email:info@waylandschoolcommittee.org

    Anyone can compare this to the registration information captured last July in

    http://www.waylandenews.com/forum/sh...p=934#poststop

    to see what you changed.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Perlman View Post
    Whatever one thinks of the registration history of the School Committee website (a total non-issue, in my view), no reasonable person could equate that with the active misrepresentation by CSPOW that there were no savings from the Loker closure, when in fact there have been approximately $550,000 in savings, as detailed by the School Committee.
    No one has claimed those issues to be equivalent. However, Mr. Dieffenbach's honesty and civility -- or lack thereof -- in his posts on the School Committee website issue are entirely germaine.

  10. #25
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    Dave, in what way or ways have my posts on the topic of the registration and use of the School Committee Web site been dishonest or uncivil?

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    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.
    I came across this W. H. Auden quote:

    “What all schoolchildren learn,
    Those to whom evil is done
    Do evil in return.”

    I doubt Auden intended to excuse evil-doers to whom evil was done, but it is human to retaliate. To stop the escalation, we must identify and correct the root cause. We need a Town Government for all citizens, not just a well-organized minority -- however well-intentioned they might be.

  12. #27
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    By the way, Dave, I changed the site's registration address because the School Committee agreed to such a change. Why? Because after six years of use, a few residents claimed that the registration was potentially misleading. The Committee responded to that input, changing the registration address (but not my name as Webmaster) and adding clarifying language to the site. I don't understand what is wrong about the Committee being responsive.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bernstein View Post
    I came across this W. H. Auden quote:

    “What all schoolchildren learn,
    Those to whom evil is done
    Do evil in return.”

    I doubt Auden intended to excuse evil-doers to whom evil was done, but it is human to retaliate. To stop the escalation, we must identify and correct the root cause. We need a Town Government for all citizens, not just a well-organized minority -- however well-intentioned they might be.
    Dave, on this last point, I think that we're all in agreement. During my time in Town Government, I've worked to find a balance between the demand for services and the ability to pay for those services. I even codified those words in the form of the Finance Committee's Mission Statement, which I drafted.

    To be sure, I've advocated for the schools and for school funding consistent with Wayland's fifty-plus year history of supporting education. I've done so within the Finance Committee guidelines. On at least two significant occasions, I've voted to spend less than what the Finance Committee recommended. One was the elementary school reconfiguration, the second was the decision not to pursue temporary modular classrooms at the High School. Neither decision has been universally within the school parent community, I might add. Why did I do this? Because in both cases, I thought that the decisions were in the best interest of the town as a whole.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    By the way, Dave, I changed the site's registration address because the School Committee agreed to such a change. Why? Because after six years of use, a few residents claimed that the registration was potentially misleading. The Committee responded to that input, changing the registration address (but not my name as Webmaster) and adding clarifying language to the site. I don't understand what is wrong about the Committee being responsive.
    You posted this at 7:55 PM on 07-13-2008:

    http://www.waylandenews.com/forum/sh...p=925#poststop

    At 2:55 AM on 07-14-2008, I responded by posting the whois record, which made it clear that the site was entirely under your control:

    http://www.waylandenews.com/forum/sh...p=934#poststop

    At 06:22 AM on 07-14-2008, you posted this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    If the process isn't overly cumbersome (for instance, requiring the services of a notary public, or a DNA sample), I'll look into changing the address, phone number, and email address over to those of the Wayland Public Schools. I'll leave my name, as I'm both the one who registered and the one who administers. I wouldn't want to mislead anyone.
    http://www.waylandenews.com/forum/sh...p=936#poststop

    So you were still defending your "no change is required" position at 8 pm, but publicly reversed yourself a few hours after my post pointing out that you alone were in control of the site.

    Now you claim your motivation for making the change had nothing to do with the control issue we'd been actively discussing, but was instead motivated by residents concerned that the registration was misleading? Were these concerns expressed between 3 am and 6 am?

    Do you not understand why I question your honesty?

  15. #30
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    Dave, as someone who runs several websites, I've been very confused about the debate over the School Committee's registration change, and after reading the thread you linked to, I'm a little confused where you find Jeff was inconsistent.

    I, for example, run the Claypit Hill PTO site. When I first took that on, I believe I registered the site in the name of the Claypit PTO president, figuring she was ultimately responsible for the site, and that she may well hold that position longer than I held the webmaster position, so it would be easier to have it in her name.

    Later, I changed it to me because (1) I was paying for the site (I haven't bothered to submit expenses yet, though I suppose I should), (2) I realized she wouldn't be involved enough to know what to do with any notices she might receive, and (3) I realized that I probably will be webmaster longer than she is president (just guessing, Jen!). Also, I knew from the debate over the schoolcommittee site that is pretty easy to change the registration information.

    At no time did anything change about the running of the site. I maintain the site, but I do so under the control and direction of the Claypit PTO board.

    Sadly, I think the biggest outcome of all of this (and by "all this" in particular I mean the soswayland.com controversy) is that many people will have learned the wrong lesson and will register their domains privately in the future, reducing accountability and transparency.

    [full disclosure: waylandenews.com is privately registered, a step I took when I initially registered the site, fearing that using my name and email address would result in unnecessary spam. I clearly never intended, however, to hide my involvement in the site :-) ]
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 04-05-2009 at 10:14 AM.

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