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Thread: Who dem da “bad guyz”?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    117

    Default Who dem da “bad guyz”?

    I don’t know, but from reading last week’s Crier, it almost seems that those who were attempting to keep the Historic District Commission (HDC) from hiring a lawyer might be.

    The newspaper seems to be complicit also. The two front page articles: “Stellar review” of Fred Turkington... of course, the review was by the selectmen, and Fred does their bidding. It’s Fred that didn’t allow the HDC to have a lawyer in the first place. (I have wondered what the town counsel’s “conflict of interest” was, or was that only an excuse for not providing a lawyer?) And it’s Fred that brought the appeal against the Superior Court’s decision to allow HDC to have their own lawyer. (Which according to eNews “news” Sunday, the appeal was rejected.)

    I have no interest in arguing about this, what I wanted to point out was the second front page article, “Mass. Municipal Association (MMA) backs developer”. Serious/important sounding support. But looking closer it turns out the Fred is Director of the Mass. Municipal Managers Assoc. (MMMA), and the MMA is the parent of the MMMA. So, “Director” Fred’s “Association” supported his position (how odd) and in the newspaper this was presented as if it’s an independent organization. (Hmm)

    The real kicker is how everybody’s complaint was that the lawyer the HDC wanted was “not impartial”. Like some rule says lawyers are supposed to be impartial? Like the selectmen, the developers, Fred, and the MMA are impartial?

    Really? Isn’t this just more “deception to cajole”?

    And since I complaining (still) and on this deceptive misinformation kick, how about: the new ALS service – it’ll probably be a good service, but did we townspeople get all the information before we voted on it? It was after the vote that we heard that Emerson Hospital was organizing multiple towns for a regionalized service. Wayland had said “no thanks”. Bet that would have been cheaper for us and a neighborly cooperative thing to do. But no... we weren’t told anything ‘bout this before the vote, so we couldn’t consider it. Or how about the new recreation director? We’re told this is the big regionalization initiative that’s saving the town $34k. But in fact, the position was only just created this year, so it costs us money, not saves money. (It does cost us half of what it would cost if we weren’t sharing, but it’s never presented that way.)

    Every week for 25 years it has been stuff like this. I used to think it was funny that to me the town looked mismanaged and that the affluent and intelligent town’s people seemed to play “let’s pretend” or maybe rather, didn’t care to notice. Yup, services are being cut, town’s going deeper into the red, it’s all getting more and more expensive – but it’s great here! (Isn’t this hurting all the lower income people in town?) But Fred is doing a great job (the selectmen too by inference). I’d hate to see it if these “guys” did a “bad” job.

    Of course, it doesn’t do any good to complain about all this here, perhaps it’s actually counterproductive. Maybe this talking is just, well, talking.

    And Jeff

    Not withstanding your always excellent rebuttals of my positions, I don’t really have a clue as to what you actually believe or what your opinion on any of this stuff is. You should know town government better than most anybody – finance committee, school committee. You should be telling all us citizens where the problems are and what we might do about them. I do believe that you sincerely work to make things better, but you defend the status quo and the powers that be, when it/they seem so dysfunctional. Yes, you have to work with them, but not to get too personal, I do wonder when the real Jeff will stand up?

    New Years is coming, it’s always fun to think we can set out on a new course, make a new beginning. Perhaps we can, perhaps it’ll be an honest and cooperative journey. And I promise, I’ll stop being so negative (well, I‘ll try... ).

    Merry Christmas, Happy New Years, or Happy Holidays to you all!

    donBustin@verizon.net

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
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    1,431

    Default

    Don, I don't know nearly enough about the Town Center project in general or the HDC issue specifically to have an informed opinion. Now, when it comes questions of the schools and sledding, fire away!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    726

    Default Response from Town Administrator Fred Turkington

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    I don’t know, but from reading last week’s Crier, it almost seems that those who were attempting to keep the Historic District Commission (HDC) from hiring a lawyer might be.

    The newspaper seems to be complicit also. The two front page articles: “Stellar review” of Fred Turkington... of course, the review was by the selectmen, and Fred does their bidding. It’s Fred that didn’t allow the HDC to have a lawyer in the first place. (I have wondered what the town counsel’s “conflict of interest” was, or was that only an excuse for not providing a lawyer?) And it’s Fred that brought the appeal against the Superior Court’s decision to allow HDC to have their own lawyer. (Which according to eNews “news” Sunday, the appeal was rejected.)

    I have no interest in arguing about this, what I wanted to point out was the second front page article, “Mass. Municipal Association (MMA) backs developer”. Serious/important sounding support. But looking closer it turns out the Fred is Director of the Mass. Municipal Managers Assoc. (MMMA), and the MMA is the parent of the MMMA. So, “Director” Fred’s “Association” supported his position (how odd) and in the newspaper this was presented as if it’s an independent organization. (Hmm)
    We received this response from Town Administrator Fred Turkington:

    Mr. Bustin, I am happy to discuss the narrow legal question of the right of town employees or boards to independently chose and engage legal counsel that was the subject of the friend of the court brief filed by both the Town of Wayland and the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA). I believe a copy of the brief was posted as a PDF file on Wayland Enews, as well as the Town Crier website, so all can be informed of the important legal issue at stake.

    On matters of broad public policy, the MMA may choose to file friend of the court briefs in support of the legal positions of member communities. Although the headline seems to suggest the Town and MMA are siding with a developer, the brief clearly explains that the Town is supporting efforts to set aside a procedural motion that breaks with an unbroken series of case law recognizing executive authority (whether vested in a town administrator or a board of selectmen) to appoint legal counsel for the municipal corporation. The fact that the HDC availed itself of pro bono legal counsel, while limiting the costs to taxpayers in the immediate case, does not set aside the untenable position a town would be placed if elected and appointed boards could independently retain legal counsel.

    I take exception to the inference that MMA supported the brief as a "favor" to a member of the board of directors. As noted above, MMA supports issues of broad public policy consequences without regard to the representatives elected by members organizations including mayors, councilors, selectmen and managers/administrators. MMA supported the position of the Wayland School Committee in the classification of individual evaluations of the performance of the school superintendent in the public discourse. That action not only predates my service on the MMMA Executive Committee (and by extension, as a non-voting member of the MMA Board of Directors), but also my employment as town administrator.

    For the record, I have been elected to a two-year terms as a district representative on the MMMA Executive Committee, which changes my status to a voting member of the MMA Board of Directors, effective January 24, 2010.

    I am unaware of anyone previously questioning the connection between service in our municipal association and the advocacy positions on legislation or cases.

    Fred

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    117

    Default

    This was posted before “Fred's” response (whoa), but Kim was installing this beautiful new version of DF and somehow lost my post. (a ha, a conspiracy to silence... just joking) Now this post is out of order and actually responds more to Jeff. I bet you can figure it all out.

    OK, I still have questions about the town’s financial foundations and am at the moment pursuing that elsewhere but will return to it later. With you Jeff, fine to stick with schools, they’re important and over half the town’s budget.

    I’m away a few days and can’t elaborate now, but in time I’d like to explore how we might reduce or at least constrain the school budget without sacrificing educational quality. I concede that reducing quality is a “non-starter” in any discussion, even though my images of quality are probably much different from the average Wayland parent. That’s why I think mechanisms for “parental (and student) choice” are interesting – a way to define quality and to give parents/students more say over their education.

    Reducing expenses (town’s as well as school’s) might be approached with some combination of “competition” in the providing of services (perhaps with private companies involved) and some “regionalization” (e.g., for procurement, administration, data processing… ). One only has to think of how a corporation would structure a statewide service to see that the way towns provide services and schools lack a certain efficiency.

    I know that talking about these things might threaten some vested interests, but as taxpayers I believe it’s our obligation. I don’t have any answers, I just want to explore in order to see what we might come up with.

    I do think we’ve entered an interesting time, one where all our layers of government have borrowed way more than we can afford and this will have consequences (not good ones) that will become increasingly obvious to ordinary people. People who then might be receptive to some “evolving new model.”

    Upon my return, perhaps we can pick up on some of these issues and see what we think. I’ll use an existing school thread or start a new one so that we don’t have to discuss this under “bad guyz”.

    Till then, please don’t drink and drive, and help your children use designated drivers.

    donBustin@verizon.net

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    726

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    This was posted before “Fred's” response (whoa), but Kim was installing this beautiful new version of DF and somehow lost my post. (a ha, a conspiracy to silence... just joking) Now this post is out of order and actually responds more to Jeff. I bet you can figure it all out.
    I promise there's nothing so sinister going on! I have been working on upgrading the software our forum runs on, and had backed up the database before Don made his post. When I got everything restored and turned on, this was with an import of the backup which was missing Don's post. So, as Don knows, I emailed him and alerted him of the problem (and even included the text that needed reposting). I welcome feedback on the new forum (but please make it good feedback, because it was painful work getting this working!!)

    Happy holidays all,
    Kim
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 12-29-2009 at 07:58 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    117

    Default Is this all confusing enough?

    Oh Kim, maybe I shouldn't have made my little joke, I'm sorry if you felt people might think you did it on purpose. Everything you did was just fine. Yes, all OK! What I really like about the new DF is that it looks different. More modern, pretty. And, you didn't know, but I was hoping to start a number of new threads come January. And now they'll go into a brand new DF. New Look. New Year. New things to do. Yes.

    The real reason I'm posting now is that on my previous, reposted post, there originally had been a title that I forgot to repost, and I liked the title. So here it is:

    Jeff is not a “bad guy”

    Course it made more sense following Jeff's post and leading my “OK”, but hey. And while we're on the subject of “good guys” let me say that Fred might be one, it's hard to tell. He's in a difficult position, working directly for the Selectpersons. He has to execute what they tell him to. He only has limited room to maneuver. I remember watching a selectmen's meeting and a couple of the more decisive members seemed to be leaning towards a course of action that I would have called “not right” and Fred quietly mentioned some information that would have led them to a “better” course if they had been listening. The discussion continued, Fred brought the information up a second time, and a little while later a third time. To no avail.

    Like I said, there's only so much Fred can do, but I did appreciate his effort. I do know that for people in his position, the better the Selectmen, the better he'd do his job, and I bet the better he'd like it.

    That's it for me, I'm supposed be doing something else... even if my old post didn't get all straightened out.

    Look's good, Kim! (but I can still make things confusing! And did you notice that Fred and I don't write in the same way at all)

    donBustin@verizon.net

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    Or how about the new recreation director? We’re told this is the big regionalization initiative that’s saving the town $34k. But in fact, the position was only just created this year, so it costs us money, not saves money. (It does cost us half of what it would cost if we weren’t sharing, but it’s never presented that way.)
    Don,

    The "new" recreation director was the position that was left when the DPW was created and Parks were seperated from Recreation and placed into the DPW. This position was not created but had existed in the pre-DPW structure. So the savings is actually a reduced salary from what had been pre-DPW and was budgeted post DPW. Sorry to ruin one of your conspiracy theories.

    Ben

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