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Thread: Don Bustin for Selectman?

  1. #1
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    Default Don Bustin for Selectman?

    I know it's early, but I'm interested in understanding the positions of the various candidates for Selectman. I don't know if this DF is the right place for this, but since Don posts here quite regularly, I thought it'd be a good way to get to know him and his intentions better. So Don, if you wouldn't mind, could you give us some fodder to chew on? I wouldn't mind hearing from the opponent Mr. Bladon as well, but I don't think I've ever seen him post here?

    Thanks.
    Carl

  2. #2
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    Default John Bladon for Selectman?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Rosenblatt View Post
    I wouldn't mind hearing from the opponent Mr. Bladon as well, but I don't think I've ever seen him post here?
    I agree, I would like to see Mr. Bladon post here and give us something to chew on.
    At least Don has been here and has already given us plenty.

  3. #3
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    Default Scary, but True

    Thanks Carl for bringing this up and yes, I am hopeful that we can have a meaningful discussion and explore what it means to be a good Selectman and whether I, or John, do or don't measure up. Wouldn't this be a great forum for candidates to present themselves and argue it all out?

    I haven't been posting lately because I've been writing things for a website that will attempt to “explain everything” and if I read these eNews discussions, my mind heads off in a new direction, and it's very distracting. I just came here now because on the website I was giving directions to here, as a source of town information, and wanted to make sure of the specific “path”. Was I surprised to see my name up in lights!

    Hopefully, the website will be up and running this coming weekend. It will give “plenty of fodder” and I'm counting on all of you to let me have it. I do support openness and honesty. You could guess that, right?

    I'll be back and I'm sure we'll have lots of fun, until then,

    donBustin@verizon.net

  4. #4
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    Default

    My apologies for being away so long, things have somehow become busier. First thing I noticed upon returning was the two Jeff’s “War” of words and I went “oh my!” You might know that I feel discussion forums are wonderful venues for citizen information sharing and have great potential and that this discussion forum is the best one in town. I also thinik of this as entertainment and of people who post as “content producers”. Seems the “executive producer” might take the “boys” aside to discuss the entertainment value of their “content”. What if a new-to-the-site viewer, seeking information/entertainment, clicked on a prominent “educational” thread and found pages and pages of vitriol. They might go, What?” Leave, never to be seen again…

    Welcome to John O’Brien

    A new poster! One who’s enthusiastic and articulate too. Great! (c’mon, I’m not saying other posters aren’t) I’m curious as to your (John’s) initial take on this discussion forum? What did you expect to find? Hope it would provide? Thoughts about it in general? Sorry to see your “running” thread has yet to find fleet-footed partners. Me? I’m too old to run. Well, I am running, but that’s another story.

    Yes, there is an election

    I would like to explore how the discussion forum might be used to help people prepare for the election in a month. There are three contested position: DPW, School Committee, Selectmen and many Warrant Articles (final versions will soon be available. I do know of “waylanddebates.org” but as I feared, it’ll be hard to get people to start using it).

    What shall we do? Information? Debate? Slander? Any ideas? (Let’s see if we can make it both informative and entertaining.)

    I don’t have a final vision of what I’d like to see happen here. I also have a somewhat special interest, so I’m looking for your suggestions. There’s such potential, we should explore it. I’m going to be busy but will participate in whatever we want to do.

    I await your response. Let’s begin.

    donBustin@oneWayland.org

  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    I await your response. Let’s begin.
    donBustin@oneWayland.org
    So Don, I have some campaign questions for both you and John Bladon:

    1. Do you feel that Wayland citizens should be given line item decision power when voting on override ballot questions?
    Put another way, would you advocate not passing any override going forward unless it posed to the citizens as a menu override?

    2. How do you feel about asking or forcing all town administrators to take an immediate pay cut of say, 10% to show sacrifice along with other Wayland citizens?

    3. How do you feel about asking our rank and file town employees to take a pay cut of equal or lessor (say 8%) to also show sacrifice along with other Wayland citizens?

    4. Do you think that large groups of elected and appointed officials, including highly paid administrators should be organizing and congregating at private meetings which
    are closed to the general public and even more importantly when those private meetings are hosted by ballot question committees, political action committees and
    most notably under the condition that those committees have supported and have played a significant role in getting those same officials elected?

    5. How do you feel about representative town meeting for Wayland?

    6. How do you feel about the Official Ballot article for Wayland?

    7. Do you think that people want their voting privacy at town meeting and if so why haven't they asked for it very often?

    8. Do you think that social intimidation exists in Wayland in Wayland town meeting which biases or coerces the vote?

    9. How do you feel about the town investing in Electronic Voting Equipment and why?

    I would be interested to hear what you and John Bladon have to say... and at that, I'd like to hear what anybody else has to say.

    Thanks.. Alan

  6. #6
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    Default

    Alan, this is great! Let's get some specific questions out there. Your list might just a little heavily weighted toward the stuff you are currently mired in.

    Perhaps we ought also talk about some of the non-Town Meeting procedure-related articles, such as:
    • the 30 Recreation Proposal
    • the Wayland Rail Trail
    • the Affordable Housing Trust
    • the Community Pool


    If you're for cutting salaries (item 3 from Alan's list above), would you therefore advocate amending the Town Clerk's salary article (Article 13) to cut it by a similar amount?

    What, if any, services would you recommend targeting for consolidating with other nearby towns?

    If people have suggestions for questions, please post them here. The WaylandeNews Editorial Board is currently drafting its Candidate Q&A and welcomes your thoughts.

  7. #7
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    Default Questions, Questions, Questions BUT SO FAR NO ANSWERS

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    Your list might just a little heavily weighted toward the stuff you are currently mired in.
    If you mean mired in since 2004 then yes, I'm mired in them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    If you're for cutting salaries (item 3 from Alan's list above), would you therefore advocate amending the Town Clerk's salary article (Article 13) to cut it by a similar amount?
    What criteria would exclude the clerk from a uniform cut to all administrators?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    What, if any, services would you recommend targeting for consolidating with other nearby towns?
    Yes, lets share electronic keypad voting equipment with other towns to cut its cost.



    Something tells me Kim that John Bladon won't be here answering the questions I posed.
    Don Bustin will you?

  8. #8
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    Default

    Alan, as your being "mired", I was referring specifically to your current warrant article, and the fact that 3 of your 9 questions were targeted quite specifically toward it. Though I'm sure it weights heavily in your thoughts, I'm not sure Electronic Voting takes up 33% of the Town's collective concerns at this moment.

    I didn't suggest any reason that the Town Clerk might be different from other employees, merely that her particular salary is on the Town Meeting warrant, so it will be addressed in public, and before any other of the salaries. So if someone is for that cut you propose, then I assume that they would, in fact, be in favor of amending the Town Clerk's salary, and I just thought it was worth being clear about that. It is very easy to say, "Yeah, let's cut salaries!" But here we would be putting a very human face on it. So I wanted to be very clear and explicit about what was being proposed.

    It would be nice if John did answer here, but I don't believe he has participated in online forums, and I'm not sure anyone should make that a "requirement" to support a candidate. Several have spelled out reasons why some people prefer not to participate in forums generally, and individuals may have those or other valid reasons not to. I will be quite satisfied if he responds to the Q&A that we intend to send out shortly. We will post to the website (and here) when the Q&A is available.
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 04-18-2010 at 03:58 PM. Reason: clarification

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    I didn't suggest any reason that the Town Clerk might be different from other employees, merely that her particular salary is on the Town Meeting warrant, so it will be addressed in public, and before any other of the salaries. So if someone is for that cut you propose, then I assume that they would, in fact, be in favor of amending the Town Clerk's salary, and I just thought it was worth being clear about that. It is very easy to say, "Yeah, let's cut salaries!" But here we would be putting a very human face on it. So I wanted to be very clear and explicit about what was being proposed.
    Your missing the point Kim. You don't cut salaries by making a motion at town meeting to single one person out.
    You do it as a concerted plan and agreement by the BoS and FinCom and have all administrators take that cut simultaneously.
    The fact that I or someone else would not be so rude as to yell out... "cut the clerk's salary" means nothing to the scenario I just described.

    Leadership on cutting salaries must come from the top and be done uniformly as part of a larger plan to cut town expenses.

  10. #10
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    Default

    OK, so we both think the other is missing our point.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    OK, so we both think the other is missing our point.
    No I got your point. You think that some amendment at town meeting by a citizen to cut the clerk's salary is a valid method to cut salaries for ALL administrators (as if some avalanche will occur thereafter and all administrators will take a cut) or is some proof of resolve to make a salary cutting statement.

    I only believe this because you said: "It is very easy to say, "Yeah, let's cut salaries!" But here we would be putting a very human face on it. So I wanted to be very clear and explicit about what was being proposed."

    So that would be NO CUT by intimidation which is NOT the way to do it. That was your point.

    My point was that you do this in a PROFESSIONAL manner where a larger plan is created and agreed to by the people in charge and then when the poor clerk gets hit with the salary cut she, at least, understands that she is not being singled out. Business' do it just in this way. And yes, our town is a business with a $62M budget. It should be run like that and especially with respect to salary changes...

  12. #12
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    Default Patience my friend, we have a month

    Of course I'll answer. I will check here everyday, but sometimes not multiple times, and unfortunately, my writing is slow...

    Question 1 – Ballot Question Override, Menu Choice

    I would support people voting down the current Debt Exclusion Override as a message to our leadership that they (residents) are serious about wanting cost savings.

    On the bigger question of Menu Choice, I'm for decentralized, democratic decision making (as much as possible/reasonable). As menu-based choices give people a say over how their dollars are spent, I'd say “Yes”, I'm for them. It is also like a “line item veto” where we wouldn't have to accept some extravagant proposal just because it was included with, say, desired spending for the schools. Please understand that on any idea for reforming how we do things that I or others suggest I'd stress experimentation/pilot-type initial implementation to see if effects match our expectations.

    Questions 2 & 3 – Pay Cuts

    Reducing salary expenses would be very helpful and yes, I'd ask all to do so. Do I think employees would altruistically make this consession. No, I don't. What I do hope for is that in the current contract negotiations town employees can at least be convinced to accept keeping pay and benefits at this year's levels, while we see how the economy and town's finances evolve.

    I'll be back with the other questions. Alan, in #6, which/what is the “Official Ballot” article?


    donBustin@oneWayland.org

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanJReiss View Post
    No I got your point. You think that some amendment at town meeting by a citizen to cut the clerk's salary is a valid method to cut salaries for ALL administrators (as if some avalanche will occur thereafter and all administrators will take a cut) or is some proof of resolve to make a salary cutting statement.

    I only believe this because you said: "It is very easy to say, "Yeah, let's cut salaries!" But here we would be putting a very human face on it. So I wanted to be very clear and explicit about what was being proposed."

    So that would be NO CUT by intimidation which is NOT the way to do it. That was your point.
    NO, that wasn't my point. But I will resist my very real temptation to stop there and make you guess again. :-) My point was to put "a very human face on it", so we weren't discussing amorphous hypothetical people but actual ones. Real-world decisions, not "virtual reality" sound-bite easy ones.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    in #6, which/what is the “Official Ballot” article?
    I believe he means the Australian Ballot proposal, which would pull some of the Town Meeting voting off the Town Meeting floor, and put it to ballot at the polls instead.

  15. #15
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    Default

    I had originally imagined we’d examine how the Discussion Forum might be used at election time before we got into issues/positions. Might we discuss what qualities are preferred in our elected representatives? How residents might be better served by all candidates, or elected officials for that matter, participating in something like the Discussion Forum? Etc., of course ending up with issues/positions.

    In time, maybe more candidates will show up. For now, maybe they don’t yet know this is going on, maybe they don’t want to take the time, maybe they are concerned that what they might say could alienate some voters, or maybe they think the “audience” just isn’t here.

    Me? I think we have to put effort into creating what we think is beneficial, that more information is better, and that the audience will follow.

    Question 4: “Backroom” Deals

    This one’s easy, “No.”

    Private meetings/arrangements only serve to undermine our “Trust” in our leadership. Everything should be public, 100%.

    Question 5: Representative Town Meeting

    I’ve long been interested in the idea of having our own legislature and would like to explore the conceptual underpinnings and the experience of neighboring towns that have tried it before I could say I understood how it might want to be implemented in Wayland. That said, reasons why I’ve thought it appealing are:

    In general, it seems difficult to get a significant percentage of adequately informed and involved town residents. Seems easier to imagine, say, 100 representatives putting in the effort required to be informed decision makers. There’s probably already 100 sincere/concerned residents who put in countless hours serving the town so I don’t foresee a shortage of talent.

    It would make the logistics of decision making simpler.

    Representatives would be the town’s informational/communications channel to their constituents (a few streets in their own neighborhoods) and as such would bring government closer to those it serves, maybe prompting more involvement.

    Representative Town Meeting might be designed to reduce the power/influence vested in the few individuals who make up the Selectmen, Finance, and School Committtees, giving it instead to a broader representation of citizens.

    The politics of it all would be interesting and it would be easier to observe what’s actually going on.

    donBustin@oneWayland.org

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