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Thread: Don Bustin for Selectman?

  1. #46
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    This part of this discussion happened because you contrasted Mr. Bustin's refreshing apology after inaccurately accusing a FinCom member of behavior that could only be construed as unethical with Mr. Bladon's you-thought inaccurate response to a question, which it seems was itself inaccurate. Odd...

    John, I agree with you entirely on one thing. It is refreshing when people just admit it when they are wrong and demonstrate humility.

    Whether the email you posted represents an OML violation or not, it certainly was a mistake. I know Mr. Jurist regretted it, and he apologized. I, like I suspect you, John, would like to see 100% transparency. I'd like to see all these emails going to a public repository. It is not germane, however, to this discussion of the BOS candidates.
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 04-25-2010 at 06:17 AM. Reason: added missing word "see"

  2. #47
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    I didn’t mean to be away so long but there was so much stuff to do. Perhaps there will soon be more free time in which to post. I originally had thought we could have good discussions around the upcoming election/ballot, but I haven’t done much to move that along. Another thread’s discussion of spending on the bath house and/or electronic voting is good though.

    My last little attempt to show a bit of the dynamics of how things are done in town didn’t turn out so well, let’s see what trouble I can get into now.

    Will Paul Grasso (or John Bladon for that matter) help us understand?

    If you’ve read anything I’ve written lately, you’ll know that I’m “picking on” 30 Rec, the Loker Recreation Transfer/Lease, as being a curious example of how the town does things. Mr. Grasso, after being pretty silent in public this last year, showed up here the other day. That’s good, perhaps he would explain to us the thinking behind the Finance Committee’s support (5 to 1 for approval) for Article 25. Maybe he would share the “paper trail” of the Finance Committee’s deliberations concerning the financial arrangements and implications of the 30 Rec proposal?

    Paul, let’s start with the business plan or financial details the private developers presented to your commmittee for consideration, and on which I assume you based your recommendations. Could you tell us about them?

    donBustin@oneWayland.org

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    I received Mr. Bustin's campaign flier in the mail today, and find myself confused. He cites a vague "divisiveness and antagonism" in town. To be sure, there are issues on which Waylanders disagree, but at present, the only attributable "divisiveness and antagonism" that I see emanates from Mr. Bustin himself.

    It is an easy inference from Mr. Bustin's flier that said divisiveness originates from an unnamed "small influential group." This group allegedly supports Mr. Bustin's opponent, John Bladon. Ergo, one might reasonably conclude, Mr. Bladon and the divisiveness are connected. "In league," as they say.

    To find evidence of Mr. Bladon's alleged wrongdoing, I reviewed the WaylandeNews Selectman candidate Q&A document. Reading the first question, "1. What do you bring to the table that makes you a better candidate than your opponent?," I felt sure that I would find the first of many smoking guns. You can imagine my surprise to find that not only did Mr. Bladon not slam Mr. Bustin, he didn't even mention him. In fact, Mr. Bladon made no reference to Mr. Bustin anywhere in the document. Or anywhere in his campaign, to my knowledge.

    The same cannot be said of Mr. Bustin, however. In response to question 1, Mr. Bustin divisively and without foundation accuses Mr. Bladon of ducking issues and offering tired answers. In answer to several questions (4 and 8), Mr. Bustin alleges failings, again without any backup, in the area of town finances and, presumably, on the part of the Finance Committee on which Mr. Bladon serves. It's not just Mr. Bladon that Mr. Bustin attacks, however. In this thread on April 21, Mr. Bustin wrongly charged another Finance Committee member with impropriety with respect to reviewing Town Meeting articles, an allegation quickly discredited and for which Mr. Bustin felt obligated to apologize.

    Mr. Bustin's insults fly further even than the Finance Committee--he targets countless majorities of Wayland voters. In my observation, Wayland Board of Selectmen members have led out town with a common positive outlook for at least the last 15 years. They have proposed budgets, operating overrides, and building projects that have been almost universally approved at both the polls and Town Meeting by majority and often two-thirds votes. Are these voters being manipulated by Mr. Bustin's unnamed "small influential group?" Has said unnamed group been operating for decades to dupe Wayland residents? If so, Mr. Bustin needs to present his evidence--unlikely if he won't even name his bogeyman--or again apologize for his divisive, antagonistic, and untrue allegations.

    Mr. Bladon has run a campaign that to my knowledge is entirely above board. The same appears to be true for both School Committee candidates. In response to the Board of Public Works question 1, two of the three candidates (for two seats) go so far as to say that any of the three would make excellent public servants, and the third speaks only of his own qualifications. Why, one wonders, must Mr. Bustin stand alone in slinging divisive mud?

    To paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen (and with apologies to Chris Reynolds), "I know OneWayland. Mr. Bustin, you are no OneWayland."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    I received Mr. Bustin's campaign flier in the mail today, and find myself confused. He cites a vague "divisiveness and antagonism" in town. To be sure, there are issues on which Waylanders disagree, but at present, the only attributable "divisiveness and antagonism" that I see emanates from Mr. Bustin himself.
    To quote SNL's Seth Meyers, Jeff, "really, really?"

    If you haven't been living under a rock for the last few years, you would likely agree that SOS and their like-minded followers are on one side and a growing group of disenfranchised voters are on another. Check out every town meeting for the last few years and you'll see evidence of this. Check out nearly every election sign placement and you'll see Bladon/Butler signs posted together...the two candidates being pushed by the SOS crowd (reminds me of similar sign-holding/placing projects in races past that I have e-mail evidence in regards to the coordination of by SOS). Check out http://www.wickedlocal.com/wayland/f...litary-Academy and review the shameful comments of an anonymous poster(s) (who everyone could identify easily by now), bashing a story about a candidate's young son who is graduating with honors from West Point.

    This town is highly divided in many ways, Jeff, and will continue to be until people on both sides of the table step up, acknowledge the divide, and honestly try to fix it. There is currently no such thing as One Wayland, regardless of whether you, Chris Reynolds, Don Bustin, or anyone else uses the moniker. There should be at least a better effort for one, though....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron View Post
    If you haven't been living under a rock for the last few years, you would likely agree that SOS and their like-minded followers are on one side and a growing group of disenfranchised voters are on another. Check out every town meeting for the last few years and you'll see evidence of this.
    Jeff, please help me--in what way is a group of voters in Wayland "disenfranchised?" In what way do town elections and Town Meeting results provide evidence of this alleged disenfranchisement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron View Post
    Check out nearly every election sign placement and you'll see Bladon/Butler signs posted together...the two candidates being pushed by the SOS crowd (reminds me of similar sign-holding/placing projects in races past that I have e-mail evidence in regards to the coordination of by SOS).
    Yes, I've seen a number of Bladon-Butler sign pairings. I've also seen some Bladon-Kinney combinations. As I see it, all three of those candidates bring serious credentials to their bids. Regarding your point about SOS, I'm confused--they were responsible for co-locating Baron-Grasso signs in last year's election?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron View Post
    This town is highly divided in many ways, Jeff, and will continue to be until people on both sides of the table step up, acknowledge the divide, and honestly try to fix it. There is currently no such thing as One Wayland, regardless of whether you, Chris Reynolds, Don Bustin, or anyone else uses the moniker. There should be at least a better effort for one, though....
    Division is not equal to disenfranchisement. As you note, the divisions are many, not one. The latter would trouble me more than the former does. In Wayland, the different areas of honest disagreement aren't all characterized by the same one group against the same other group. And being divided isn't just a Wayland phenomenon, it's a national (perhaps global) one. I wish that weren't the case, but I wouldn't be willing to give up the things in which I believe simply for the purpose of ending division. At some level, the very concepts that make this country great--liberty, democracy, capitalism--promote rather than squelch division. It's okay to disagree--as a town and a nation, let's just not do it disagreeably.

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    Excellent Jeff D. Doing your bit for the election? A bit disingenuous though. A vast majority of people I’ve met know exactly what I’m talking about when I mention “divisive, politicized atmosphere”, which has only been aggrevated by some of our selectmen. (You said the selectmen have a “common positive outlook”, What?) The fact that you won’t be upfront about all this leaves me confused. You’re obviously intelligent, but as I’ve said before, I just don’t understand what world you see, or why you see it the way you do?

    You’re right though, it will appear as if I’m being antagonistic because I will confront those people whom I think are pushing they own personal agendas and those who remain quiet about it.

    Let’s not digress – since I don’t imagine Paul Grasso or John Bladon will join a discussion about 30 Rec, (it’d be nice if they did) perhaps you, Jeff D. would be willing to venture to explain how it has happened the way it has and how it shows the common interest and not some small group benefiting? For some reason, the Finance Committee did not give 30 Rec “due consideration” before recommending approval, and I think it can be shown. I await the “paper trail”. The physical plan, the business plan, the cost-to-town analysis, feasibility reports, relevant committee feedback, impact statements, public hearings, proposed lease and rent-back arrangements, anything? Where are they, what were the Finance Committees deliberations concerning them, and everything seemingly hurried before the Recreation Commission can finish its town-wide recreation needs study? And then giving the Selectmen authority to make all future arrangements, never returning to town meeting for approval. What possible reasons can there be for doing things this way? At what added cost to the town? Well?

    (Just so you know, I think using the “Loker Rec Land” for recreation is a perfectly good idea, it’s just the way its being done that seems so odd.)

    donBustin@oneWayland.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    Excellent Jeff D. Doing your bit for the election? A bit disingenuous though. A vast majority of people I’ve met know exactly what I’m talking about when I mention “divisive, politicized atmosphere”, which has only been aggrevated by some of our selectmen. (You said the selectmen have a “common positive outlook”, What?) The fact that you won’t be upfront about all this leaves me confused. You’re obviously intelligent, but as I’ve said before, I just don’t understand what world you see, or why you see it the way you do?

    You’re right though, it will appear as if I’m being antagonistic because I will confront those people whom I think are pushing they own personal agendas and those who remain quiet about it.
    And perhaps I don't understand what world you see, or why you see it the way you do. Certainly, your vantage point is no more objective than mine.

    Regardless of what you think of others in elected or appointed office, slamming John Bladon is completely unwarranted. From my perch, he's approached his work on the Finance Committee with honesty, integrity, and energy. As it happens (and I'm sure that he would agree that this is more coincidence than due to his efforts), his tenure has coincided with a reduction in operational overrides. Whatever you think of the atmosphere in town, to put it at Mr. Bladon's feet is mud-slinging plain and simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    Let’s not digress – since I don’t imagine Paul Grasso or John Bladon will join a discussion about 30 Rec, (it’d be nice if they did) perhaps you, Jeff D. would be willing to venture to explain how it has happened the way it has and how it shows the common interest and not some small group benefiting? For some reason, the Finance Committee did not give 30 Rec “due consideration” before recommending approval, and I think it can be shown. I await the “paper trail”. The physical plan, the business plan, the cost-to-town analysis, feasibility reports, relevant committee feedback, impact statements, public hearings, proposed lease and rent-back arrangements, anything? Where are they, what were the Finance Committees deliberations concerning them, and everything seemingly hurried before the Recreation Commission can finish its town-wide recreation needs study? And then giving the Selectmen authority to make all future arrangements, never returning to town meeting for approval. What possible reasons can there be for doing things this way? At what added cost to the town? Well?

    (Just so you know, I think using the “Loker Rec Land” for recreation is a perfectly good idea, it’s just the way its being done that seems so odd.)
    I don't have any insight into the project or the process, and would therefore add no value by commenting.

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    My mistake, Don--I erred. I am of course by almost any measure more objective than you in the race for a seat on the Board of Selectmen, as I am merely a spectator while you are a participant.

    For the record, I don't know Mr. Bladon beyond a few meetings attended by the Finance Committee and the School Committee. He and I are not friends (not that I would have any objection to being friends with him), and are really only the most casual of acquaintances. Don, while you and I have not to my recollection spoken in person, we've certainly corresponded both publicly and privately. However little I know you, I know Mr. Bladon less well. I say this only to put to rest any thoughts that I'm favoring a friend over you. I've taken no public stance on either of your candidacies, only on the difference between the way that you and all of the other candidates are conducting yourselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Jeff, please help me--in what way is a group of voters in Wayland "disenfranchised?" In what way do town elections and Town Meeting results provide evidence of this alleged disenfranchisement?
    Let's be more specific, then. It is a feeling of disenfranchisement, then. When the minority (a significant one, in this case) is left to feel powerless, that is akin to disefranchising regardless of whether they have the authority to vote or not. When a group in town intimidates those not in its population, this is akin to disenfranchising regardless of whether they have the authority to vote or not. You are aligned and supported by SOS, Jeff. I don't expect you to associate with the feeling, therefore. However, since you were re-elected by such a narrow margin, I would expect you to be sympathetic and work towards unity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Yes, I've seen a number of Bladon-Butler sign pairings. I've also seen some Bladon-Kinney combinations. As I see it, all three of those candidates bring serious credentials to their bids. Regarding your point about SOS, I'm confused--they were responsible for co-locating Baron-Grasso signs in last year's election?
    I have not seen more than a couple Bladon-Kinney combos. I know exactly where all the Dieffenbach/Astley combos were last year, and the Bladon/Butler ones are in the same places this year. Certainly not in every case, but I am proof positive that SOS coordinates these sign placements. I have an e-mail from the last two elections from 'SOS' sign coordinators showing so (two different people, both of whom refer to themselves as such). Also, I am in no way saying we did not try to co-locate Baron/Grasso signs last year. We did. SOS did not. Your point is confusing...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Division is not equal to disenfranchisement. As you note, the divisions are many, not one. The latter would trouble me more than the former does. In Wayland, the different areas of honest disagreement aren't all characterized by the same one group against the same other group. And being divided isn't just a Wayland phenomenon, it's a national (perhaps global) one. I wish that weren't the case, but I wouldn't be willing to give up the things in which I believe simply for the purpose of ending division. At some level, the very concepts that make this country great--liberty, democracy, capitalism--promote rather than squelch division. It's okay to disagree--as a town and a nation, let's just not do it disagreeably.
    No, it isn't. But the authoritarian/seedy (violating campaign finance laws, lying about candidates, etc) tactics of the majority (embodied by the current elected officials and the political action committee supporting them) are equal to the sense of disenfrachisement I refer to. To deny this shows an insensitivity to the problem and a willing denial of your own near mortality in the last election. Your quote that you "wouldn't be willing to give up the things in which I believe simply for the purpose of ending division" smacks of selfishness and inflexibility. Listen, many of us have been forced to give up our kids' community as the result of what is largely felt as political posturing. I think at least giving the perception of being flexible would be good. You do not give that perception with statements such as these, even if flexibility is your intention (not saying it is or isn't). I'm not holding you out as a lone wolf, either. Lou Jurist's e-mail earlier this year where he slammed a resident, criticized Gary Burton and talked of preparing for the next fight on the override in purported secrecy while toting the party lines in public session is another example. The posturing behind the scenes involved with the final itteration of Article 6 on this year's Warrant is another example. I could go on and on.

    It all goes back to SOS and it's formation and evolution, Jeff, in my opinion. There are many good people who serve our town as elected officials -- good people with good intentions. The ladies who run SOS are not these people -- they are, in my opinion, a destructive force in Wayland that has created, fostered, and flourished in an atmosphere of us vs. them. They are a group that purported to 'Save Our Services' while sitting by silently as schools have closed, class sizes have gone up, town services have diminished, and real estate values have plummeted. That is what Don Bustin was referring to, Jeff. He wasn't slamming John Bladon at all, but rather slamming SOS' support of him. Of this, I am sure. Whether you'd like to believe it, he is far from alone in his beliefs.

    By the way, I agree that is OK to disagree. The atmosphere in Wayland politics is poisonous, however. That is NOT OK, and it needs to be fixed before anything here gets better. People from both sides of the aisle who agree to work to do this will be the real leaders of this town, in my opinion.

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    Jeff B., I'll address the rest of this later. As to Mr. Bustin's treatment of Mr. Bladon, however, you are incorrect. As I wrote above, "In response to question 1 [of the WaylandeNews Q&A survey], Mr. Bustin divisively and without foundation accuses Mr. Bladon of ducking issues and offering tired answers."

    To quote Mr. Bustin directly: "Mr. Bladon supports the status quo, shares the same perspective as the small group that already influences the Board and town decision making, will not confront the issues, and will only provide the same tired answers."

    To say that Mr. Bustin wasn't slamming Mr. Bladon is to deny what's right there in front of all of us. There's nothing gray about this one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Jeff B., I'll address the rest of this later. As to Mr. Bustin's treatment of Mr. Bladon, however, you are incorrect. As I wrote above, "In response to question 1 [of the WaylandeNews Q&A survey], Mr. Bustin divisively and without foundation accuses Mr. Bladon of ducking issues and offering tired answers."

    To quote Mr. Bustin directly: "Mr. Bladon supports the status quo, shares the same perspective as the small group that already influences the Board and town decision making, will not confront the issues, and will only provide the same tired answers."

    To say that Mr. Bustin wasn't slamming Mr. Bladon is to deny what's right there in front of all of us. There's nothing gray about this one.
    Jeff, come on. I said Don was slamming SOS. His quote supports that. He is slamming the status quo. He is slamming SOS. He is slamming the majority. It is in no way a personal affront towards John Bladon. Listen, I don't know John or Don and have no feelings about them positive or negative. I'm simply trying to put some perspective on what you perceive a personal attacks and what I see as the thoughts of a disenfranchised (as I explained above) candidate/citizen. I can't believe you can't see this.

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    I wasn't addressing whether Mr. Bustin was slamming SOS. You said that Mr. Bustin was NOT slamming Mr. Bladon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron View Post
    [Don Bustin] wasn't slamming John Bladon at all, but rather slamming SOS' support of him.
    Yet Mr. Bustin clearly WAS slamming Mr. Bladon. Further, Mr. Bustin is the only candidate slamming anyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Bustin (from his WaylandeNews Q&A)
    Mr. Bladon supports the status quo, shares the same perspective as the small group that already influences the Board and town decision making, will not confront the issues, and will only provide the same tired answers.

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    Jeff B., here's my response to the points that you raised.

    There's a difference between being disenfranchised and being in the minority. In Wayland, there have been countless opportunities for people to make their voices heard and many opportunities to vote. Decisions made by board members may not have come out the way that you would have preferred, operating and capital budgets may not have been approved by the town to your liking, and candidates elected to office may not have been your choice. But that doesn't make those decisions, budgets, or elections wrong.

    I can't imagine that we'll ever agree about the value of the role that SOS has played, but I'll throw in my two cents. It's important, I think, to distinguish between the communication of the organization and the communication of its members as private citizens. Being the former should in no way rule out the latter. I certainly don't have every communication that SOS ever sent at my fingertips, but I recall them as being fair and advocating for certain levels of service. I don't recall their ever endorsing any candidates, although early on, I think that they did list candidates who endorsed them and their mission. SOS never sent an email on my behalf. They never wrote a letter endorsing me. They never put up a sign for me. They never held a sign for me.

    No, I managed my own sign placement. Good friends who were not part of SOS' leadership organized letters and sign-holding. Did any SOS members ever hold a sign for me? I don't know. Did any ever circulate--on their own behalf, not that of SOS--an email advocating for me. Yes. I don't see the crime.

    You claim intimidation in almost the same breath that you cite my thin vote margin. Apparently, people couldn't have been too intimidated. To be sure, friends of mine in the Loker neighborhood declined to put signs of mine on their lawn, citing concerns about how their neighbors might react. I don't in any way slight them for that. Intimidation, though, isn't a one way street.

    In what way haven't I "worked toward unity?" I've always approached my work as a town official with integrity, thoughtfulness, and hard work. My decisions may not have always been popular, well-communicated, or even right. That said, I HAVE always worked for the good of the town and the students our schools educate. That's the nature of politics, however--balancing competing interests. You can't do the job and avoid leaving some people dissatisfied. Vanishingly few Wayland politicians on the "contentious boards," especially in the post-2002 "modern era" have navigated the political shoals without damage (Joe Nolan is the only one who comes immediately to mind--good on ya, Joe!).

    How are you "proof positive" that SOS coordinates sign placement? I placed all of my signs last year without their help, and without any coordination with Malcolm Astley.

    You wrote: "Your quote that you 'wouldn't be willing to give up the things in which I believe simply for the purpose of ending division' smacks of selfishness and inflexibility." Gosh, it sounds to me like having principles and standing by them. You appear to prefer pandering and flip-flopping. You've said in the past that you don't vote for incumbents. Well, I guess that's standing by a principle of sorts. Just not as strong a principle as supporting politicians whose stances are in keeping with yours.

    You wrote: "I think at least giving the perception of being flexible would be good." Do you really stand by that statement?

    You wrote: "By the way, I agree that is OK to disagree. The atmosphere in Wayland politics is poisonous, however. That is NOT OK, and it needs to be fixed before anything here gets better." That sentiment is at odds with your language that I've documented here, and that you subsequently stood by proudly. Please explain to me how language like that is not part of the poison problem.


    By the way, the only flaw I have with the DF vBulletin platform is that when you quote someone who has in turn quoted someone else, the someone else's quotes don't come through. As a result, I opted to quote you as I've done above--I don't know how well my thoughts above connect with your original points.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    By the way, the only flaw

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt
    Flaw? Maybe you just need to play around with the software...
    I have with the DF vBulletin platform is that when you quote someone who has in turn quoted someone else, the someone else's quotes don't come through. As a result, I opted to quote you as I've done above--I don't know how well my thoughts above connect with your original points.
    Nested quotes don't work? I beg to differ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Jeff B., here's my response to the points that you raised.

    There's a difference between being disenfranchised and being in the minority. In Wayland, there have been countless opportunities for people to make their voices heard and many opportunities to vote. Decisions made by board members may not have come out the way that you would have preferred, operating and capital budgets may not have been approved by the town to your liking, and candidates elected to office may not have been your choice. But that doesn't make those decisions, budgets, or elections wrong.

    I can't imagine that we'll ever agree about the value of the role that SOS has played, but I'll throw in my two cents. It's important, I think, to distinguish between the communication of the organization and the communication of its members as private citizens. Being the former should in no way rule out the latter. I certainly don't have every communication that SOS ever sent at my fingertips, but I recall them as being fair and advocating for certain levels of service. I don't recall their ever endorsing any candidates, although early on, I think that they did list candidates who endorsed them and their mission. SOS never sent an email on my behalf. They never wrote a letter endorsing me. They never put up a sign for me. They never held a sign for me.

    No, I managed my own sign placement. Good friends who were not part of SOS' leadership organized letters and sign-holding. Did any SOS members ever hold a sign for me? I don't know. Did any ever circulate--on their own behalf, not that of SOS--an email advocating for me. Yes. I don't see the crime.

    You claim intimidation in almost the same breath that you cite my thin vote margin. Apparently, people couldn't have been too intimidated. To be sure, friends of mine in the Loker neighborhood declined to put signs of mine on their lawn, citing concerns about how their neighbors might react. I don't in any way slight them for that. Intimidation, though, isn't a one way street.

    In what way haven't I "worked toward unity?" I've always approached my work as a town official with integrity, thoughtfulness, and hard work. My decisions may not have always been popular, well-communicated, or even right. That said, I HAVE always worked for the good of the town and the students our schools educate. That's the nature of politics, however--balancing competing interests. You can't do the job and avoid leaving some people dissatisfied. Vanishingly few Wayland politicians on the "contentious boards," especially in the post-2002 "modern era" have navigated the political shoals without damage (Joe Nolan is the only one who comes immediately to mind--good on ya, Joe!).

    How are you "proof positive" that SOS coordinates sign placement? I placed all of my signs last year without their help, and without any coordination with Malcolm Astley.

    You wrote: "Your quote that you 'wouldn't be willing to give up the things in which I believe simply for the purpose of ending division' smacks of selfishness and inflexibility." Gosh, it sounds to me like having principles and standing by them. You appear to prefer pandering and flip-flopping. You've said in the past that you don't vote for incumbents. Well, I guess that's standing by a principle of sorts. Just not as strong a principle as supporting politicians whose stances are in keeping with yours.

    You wrote: "I think at least giving the perception of being flexible would be good." Do you really stand by that statement?

    You wrote: "By the way, I agree that is OK to disagree. The atmosphere in Wayland politics is poisonous, however. That is NOT OK, and it needs to be fixed before anything here gets better." That sentiment is at odds with your language that I've documented here, and that you subsequently stood by proudly. Please explain to me how language like that is not part of the poison problem.


    By the way, the only flaw I have with the DF vBulletin platform is that when you quote someone who has in turn quoted someone else, the someone else's quotes don't come through. As a result, I opted to quote you as I've done above--I don't know how well my thoughts above connect with your original points.
    Jeff, there's a lot to respond to here. The overarching theme, however, is that you and I can argue our points til kingdom come and we'll likely never see eye-to-eye. A few quick responses, and then I won't waste your time or mine dredging out long e-mails that you have to counterpoint and so on.

    I do think (and always will) that SOS is a cancer, you think they're just fine. My "proof positive" is that I have copies of e-mails from people identifying themselves as representatives of SOS wanting to place your signs on lawns (and from the Jurist/Fletcher election). You may not have seen them, but they were sent. There were also phone calls made in the same vein. Additionally, having the named heads of SOS approach voters at the polls at distribute cheat sheets with their names of on them is endorsing voters. Just 'cause you leave off the name of the organization doesn't make it right. You think that's OK. I don't -- seeing as they were a BQC at the time.

    I discuss intimidation and you see none. Do you think it is normal to have the assessed value of your home sent in anonymously to the town claiming the town is being cheated during a campaign? I'm not at liberty to discuss many of the kinds of things that happened behind the scenes during the last two elections on this board, but should you and I every discuss this offline, I can tell you how it works maybe I already have and am forgetting I did so). It is upsetting, to say the least. The "not wanting to put up a sign" is more of privacy issue then intimidation. The same happened to me, but I always chalked that up to a desire by the homeowner to "stay out of it" vs. fear of reprisal of some sort.

    I've never claimed to be perfect. I've said some rough things in the heat of the battle and had strong opinions that may not have always been my favorite replayable quotes. I've never claimed otherwise. If I searched the boards and tapes of meetings, I'm sure you have too. By the way, this happens in every phase of one's life. However, you and I disagree on many occasions about the tone of voice I take in these online discussions. I am direct and do not mince words, not because I seek to attack personally but because I am taking a passionate stance. You characterize it as "bad behavior". I do not. The example you site in the Technology forum is a perfect example of where we don't agree here.

    In the end, Jeff, I talked about flexibility. As it relates to your position on the WSC (and this is ALL I'm discussing), I think my ultimate beef is my (and I share this thought with a large number of others) perception of your arrogance. It never seems to be that you could be wrong. It never seems to be that you acknowledge the other side has a point. You are so dogmatic about your beliefs that you have lost sight that your neighbors might not share them. Now , what I said may not be true. However, that is the perception of many and when I said the perception of flexibility is important, that's what I meant. Look, I have voted Republican for most of my adult life. By default, many of my friends share opposite political views than mine. However, our lack of seeing eye-to-eye does not impede our ability to get along.

    One clarification, I did not say I never vote for incumbents. I did say I am currently against voting for incumbents, locally, nationally, and otherwise (except for Scott Brown, who I just voted in and is not proven on way or the other).

    One side note, don't give Joe Nolan credit for navigating the political waters. He hasn't. Tom Fay and Steve Correia come to my mind as far more successful on this front. Both SOS-endorsed, but both (in my mind) willing to listen to everyone. Maybe that's not true either, but that's the perception.

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