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Thread: Article 2 @ Town Meeting

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron View Post
    ... this site is owned and operated as a mouthpiece for a single point of view only. ...
    Jeff, this remark of yours doesn't match reality. WaylandeNews.com doesn't have a single point of view (beyond the occasional endorsement/editorial), but rather, links to articles from many different points of view. There are several exchanges taking place right now on this Discussion Forum on topics ranging from tax policy to comfort with digital technology. It's a blank slate that's nothing more or less than what we collectively make of it.

  2. #17
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    Default Internal inconsistency

    Jeff,

    Do you see any inconsistency in these comments of yours?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron View Post
    I think I heard more than once from SOS types during Town Meeting (Rob Waldron was one for sure, when attempting to shut down Annette Lewis' motion regarding freezing non-union salaries) that "we appointed/elected these people, so let them do their jobs" or something very similar to that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron View Post
    Change the PCC AFTER the fact if you don't like the decisions they make or the powers they are granted, but don't do what was done.
    It seems that you are criticizing Rob Waldron for wanting us to just accept what appointed/elected officials do, and yet you want us to just accept what the PCC did.

    People were questioning what was being proposed (that is what an article is -- it is essentially a proposal, it is certainly not a done deal - that is why we vote!). Certainly you are not suggesting that we should just go along with whatever the appointed (not elected) PCC suggests just because they propose it?
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 04-19-2009 at 07:26 PM. Reason: to delete a sentence that was based on misreading the prior post

  3. #18
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    A letter in today's Town Crier from the Public Ceremonies Committee (PCC) makes several interesting charges.

    WAYLAND - The Public Ceremonies Committee (PCC) had intended to remain silent on the matter of the Lydia Maria Child Award presentation [at the recently completed Annual Town Meeting] until meeting with the Board of Selectmen as voted at Town Meeting.

    ...

    However, with the publication of the Town Crier letters [presumably from 4/16, referring to the Strong and Moore letters] attempting to explain the amendment and criticizing Moderator Peter Gossels on due process, we are obliged to bring forward what this incident is all about without embellishing the facts. Innocently or with complicity, these letters are part of a highly orchestrated campaign to stifle the responsible performance by the Public Ceremonies Committee when that conduct fails to please authoritarian top-down interests.
    I find it interesting that in one breath, the PCC claims not to be "embellishing the facts," then in the very next asserts without evidence the existence of a "highly orchestrated campaign to stifle" the PCC.

    Prior to Town Meeting, I was part of several in-person and email exchanges on the topic of the PCC awards, just as proponents and opponents of various other articles and candidates almost certainly were. All of the conversations of which I was a part were ad hoc and in no way approached "orchestration." I have no idea whether Ms. Strong, Ms. Moore, or anyone else who objected to the awards had been in communication with one another in advance, and I suspect from their lack of evidence that the PCC doesn't either.

    The PCC goes on to posit the notion of "authoritarian top-down interests," also without evidence. In reality, decision-making in Wayland is highly distributed. Multiple elected boards work in their respective areas of focus. Thousands of citizens vote at the polls. Hundreds of citizens vote at Town Meeting. They do not do so in lock-step.

    To be sure, different combinations of these citizens communicate with one another from time to time, but they are certainly not all in agreement on every topic. The notion that a small group somehow controls Wayland is insulting to the thousands of residents who do their own thinking in helping to make the decisions we make as a Town.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    A letter in today's Town Crier from the Public Ceremonies Committee (PCC) makes several interesting charges.



    I find it interesting that in one breath, the PCC claims not to be "embellishing the facts," then in the very next asserts without evidence the existence of a "highly orchestrated campaign to stifle" the PCC.

    Prior to Town Meeting, I was part of several in-person and email exchanges on the topic of the PCC awards, just as proponents and opponents of various other articles and candidates almost certainly were. All of the conversations of which I was a part were ad hoc and in no way approached "orchestration." I have no idea whether Ms. Strong, Ms. Moore, or anyone else who objected to the awards had been in communication with one another in advance, and I suspect from their lack of evidence that the PCC doesn't either.

    The PCC goes on to posit the notion of "authoritarian top-down interests," also without evidence. In reality, decision-making in Wayland is highly distributed. Multiple elected boards work in their respective areas of focus. Thousands of citizens vote at the polls. Hundreds of citizens vote at Town Meeting. They do not do so in lock-step.

    To be sure, different combinations of these citizens communicate with one another from time to time, but they are certainly not all in agreement on every topic. The notion that a small group somehow controls Wayland is insulting to the thousands of residents who do their own thinking in helping to make the decisions we make as a Town.
    The "PCC affair" is yet another embarassing symptom of Wayland's toxic, politicized atmosphere. I see the usual apologists are hard at work.

    The first step in escaping from a deep hole is to stop digging, but this town seems to have an endless supply of shovelers.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bernstein View Post
    The "PCC affair" is yet another embarassing symptom of Wayland's toxic, politicized atmosphere. I see the usual apologists are hard at work.

    The first step in escaping from a deep hole is to stop digging, but this town seems to have an endless supply of shovelers.
    Dave, honestly, I just don't see the point of a comment like this, other than to perhaps contribute to toxicity and shoveling. It seems to me that this is a relatively civil discussion, and you just threw an insult in there without any constructive purpose.

    Perhaps you have some ideas to help detoxify the atmosphere, or something otherwise helpful to add?

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    Dave, honestly, I just don't see the point of a comment like this, other than to perhaps contribute to toxicity and shoveling. It seems to me that this is a relatively civil discussion, and you just threw an insult in there without any constructive purpose.

    Perhaps you have some ideas to help detoxify the atmosphere, or something otherwise helpful to add?
    My point, Kim, is that its time to stop shoveling. Continued tit-for-tat nitpicking, and debating whether an egregious action was or wasn't pre-meditated just dig the hole deeper.

    Any reasonable group of human beings asked to approve the recognition of fellow citizens for long-term voluntary public service would do so without hesitation -- even if they disagreed with the positions and objectives of those being honored -- and especially with the candidates standing before them in Town Meeting.

    I would be making the same point if a plan to recognize the leaders of SOS at Town Meeting were sabotaged. Jeff Dieffenbach has made a concerted effort to improve education in Wayland based on what he believes. It's obvious to any one reading our posts that he and I disagree on a range of issues -- including this one -- but if asked to support public recognition of his service, I would do so in a heartbeat.

    Ask yourself why our town didn't respond in that way, and why posters here continue to rationalize what can only be characterized as a downright nasty act.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bernstein View Post
    Ask yourself why our town didn't respond in that way, and why posters here continue to rationalize what can only be characterized as a downright nasty act.
    Dave, you aren't clear about the identity of the "poster here" to which you are referring. My most recent post in no way rationalizes what you call the "nasty act" (presumably, the Town Meeting objection to the PCC proposal). Rather, it takes exception to a new communication from the PCC that alleges without evidence "orchestration" and "authoritarian top-down interests." The PCC communication is hardly of the healing sort that so many people appear to desire.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Dave, you aren't clear about the identity of the "poster here" to which you are referring. My most recent post in no way rationalizes what you call the "nasty act" (presumably, the Town Meeting objection to the PCC proposal). Rather, it takes exception to a new communication from the PCC that alleges without evidence "orchestration" and "authoritarian top-down interests." The PCC communication is hardly of the healing sort that so many people appear to desire.
    If you review my post, you will see that I used the plural posters; there are many posts in this thread that seek to justify the reprehensible action taken at Town Meeting.

    Criticizing the PCC "communication" as you have, Jeff, is like criticizing a mugging victim for not having gotten the details right in their police report. They are wounded, they are mortified, and they are unfortunately lashing out. While I would rather they take a more constructive approach, the PCC should not be the initial focus of our efforts. If meaningful and timely corrective action were taken, the PCC would most likely settle down on their own.

  9. #24
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    The "mugging victim" analogy isn't fitting, in my opinion. They weren't a tourist taking an evening walk through Central Park.

    The PCC is an official body that took an official action that they knew would be controversial. They attempted to honor a group for standing up to authority, then complained when another (de facto) group stood up to THEIR authority.

    Here's my analogy: in writing the letter in today's Town Crier, the PCC is like one Survivor contestant complaining that that they were out-manouvered by another Survivor contestant.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Here's my analogy: in writing the letter in today's Town Crier, the PCC is like one Survivor contestant complaining that that they were out-manouvered by another Survivor contestant.
    Your analogy conveniently ignores the the hard-working volunteers recommended for recognition by the PCC and humiliated by the reaction. You might not agree with their positions or tactics, but their sustained effort on our behalf -- like yours -- is unquestionable.

    Is Survivor-style interaction acceptable here, Jeff? If so, you should introduce The Prince and The Art of War into the middle school curriculum so that children can better understand what their parents are doing and be prepared for life as citizens of Wayland.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bernstein View Post
    Your analogy conveniently ignores the the hard-working volunteers recommended for recognition by the PCC and humiliated by the reaction. You might not agree with their positions or tactics, but their sustained effort on our behalf -- like yours -- is unquestionable.
    In three of the cases, that's a far more charitable view than the one to which I would be inclined. But that's not really the point. In my view, the point is that in the immediate aftermath of the most contentious election that we've seen in some time (preceded by the next such), the PCC unwisely and stubbornly sought to have Town Meeting approve its honoring six people who are very much associated with one side of the partisan divide that has emerged. I would have considered it just as unwise if the PCC had sought to honor only the SOS leaders (whom I would see as more deserving).

    As far as "humiliation" is concerned, the responsibility for that lies at the feet of the PCC for calling the six individuals to the front of the room and handing them their awards before its motion had been approved. The PCC should have followed proper procedure by first making its motion, and waiting until Town Meeting had passed that motion before calling the six forward. Instead, the PCC put the cart before the horse, and the six were embarrassed. I wish it had been otherwise, but avoiding that embarrassment was not enough justification to go along with the PCC's unwise insistence on having its way.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bernstein View Post
    Your analogy conveniently ignores the the hard-working volunteers recommended for recognition by the PCC and humiliated by the reaction. You might not agree with their positions or tactics, but their sustained effort on our behalf -- like yours -- is unquestionable.
    That's right Dave, I'm steering clear of making any statement about the intended honorees of the PCC. For the record, with absolutely no disrespect to Ms. Strong, I stood and opposed the amendment to defer the conferring of the award.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bernstein View Post
    Is Survivor-style interaction acceptable here, Jeff? If so, you should introduce The Prince and The Art of War into the middle school curriculum so that children can better understand what their parents are doing and be prepared for life as citizens of Wayland.
    I couldn't care less about Survivor, but as a former fan, am certainly qualified to refer to it. As for The Prince and The Art of War, I have no objection to their being taught when developmentally appropriate. Of course, I wouldn't limit the examples to school parents, what with WVN and others being such fertile soil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Perlman View Post
    I wish it had been otherwise, but avoiding that embarrassment was not enough justification to go along with the PCC's unwise insistence on having its way.
    So you'd rather publicly humiliate six fellow citizens than have them be "unwisely" recognized in a procedurally flawed manner.

    You are burning down your own house.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    For the record, with absolutely no disrespect to Ms. Strong, I stood and opposed the amendment to defer the conferring of the award.
    Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bernstein View Post
    So you'd rather publicly humiliate six fellow citizens than have them be "unwisely" recognized in a procedurally flawed manner. You are burning down your own house.
    You shouldn't presume to put words in my mouth. I don't agree with your "humiliate" characterization (I'd use the term "embarrass"), and I view the "flaw" as more substantive than procedural.

    However, I think that you have a point in your "burning down your own house" comment. It's hard to dispute that Wayland housing prices have lost ground in recent years relative to Weston, Wellesley and Lincoln. With nods to those who attribute this to the tax rate and to those who attribute this to the decrepitude of the high school, I suspect that at least as great a factor is Wayland's reputation for litigiousness and contentiousness. Some self-restraint by those who are quick to engage in the fray would go a long way to remedy this (and I include myself and the PCC's would-be honorees in this category).

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