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Thread: Don Bustin for Selectman?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    Dave (Kim too), it’s hard to believe you think it’s inconsequential that an overwhelming majority of Wayland residents are essentially disenfranchised?
    There are Wayland citizens who want to participate in TM, but are impeded by factors mentioned in my previous post. In no way have I characterized this situation as inconsequential; on the contrary, I advocated a continuous effort to mitigate these impediments.

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    I also fear you glossed over one of my points, I was asking you to help me understand, not dissect.
    Your comments on RTM began with the statement "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.", and then proceeded to list what you considered to be the virtues of RTM. My response identified erroneous assumptions (e.g. RTM would make decisions now made by the Selectmen) and faulty logic (e.g. RTM would bring citizens closer to the process of government). If you disagree with these points, then explain why.


    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    Regardless, I do agree that TM should be continually improved, which gets us too Alan’s questions 6–9, which all relate to the Warrant articles about TM voting.
    The adoption of RTM would eliminate TM; termination is not a form of continuous improvement.

  2. #32
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    ... Turns out one of the Finance committee members is a lead petitioner for the Australian Ballot article.
    Wrong.

    He was given all the TM voting articles to review. You’d have to watch the meeting and see if you think he presented all the facts in an unbiased manner. Regardless, procedurally, it seems only “fair”, “just” whatever, that these questions should have been given to someone less involved.
    Can you provide specific examples where Mr. Stack presented these articles in an "unbiased manner?" Besides your own beliefs, how do you know how much Mr. Stack was "involved" in championing any particular article?

    As it turned out, he proposed supporting the Australian Ballot, and the whole committee then endorsed it.
    Wrong. The vote of the committee was split 3-3. It was initially 4-2 against it, but I changed my vote to support it.

    Mr. Bustin, I respectfully ask that when you make claims about the actions, biases, or conflicts of interest which would impair the objectivity of the Finance Committee -- or anyone else, for that matter -- they be factually-based.

  3. #33
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    Default Zero is a perfect score too !!

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Grasso View Post
    Mr. Bustin, I respectfully ask that when you make claims about the actions, biases, or conflicts of interest which would impair the objectivity of the Finance Committee -- or anyone else, for that matter -- they be factually-based.
    On Electronic Voting the FinCom was 0-7 against it... PERFECT SCORE !!
    Finally, I did something PERFECT !

    But the next day the FinCom (Cherry specifically) told me that "the FinCom thought that Electronic voting was the way to go and that 'we' would eventually get there" they just didn't want to spend the money now and wanted to try some rule changes.

    I'm all for rule changes but there are no rule changes which would..
    1. Allow town meeting to count 2,000 votes in 5 seconds flat
    2. Provide computer based accuracy to the vote as opposed to counting methods which are plagued by human error like listening to shouting (and then deriving numbers when needed) or by having people roam around counting standing people who could move to another place in the auditorium during the division transition process.
    3. Absolute removal of illegal votes like e-voting does by not handing out keypads to non-registered voters... where any non-registered voter could shout or blend in during a standing count.
    4. Provide a method of legal proxy voting to increase participation without adding bodies in a tighly controlled format.
    5. Take advantage of the state bar code system to integrate check in and eliminate the costly and error prone manual data entry that the clerk has to do after the fact.
    6. And last but not least; provide absolute voting privacy to people where they are no longer intimidated, coerced or put under undue social peer pressure to show up and vote a particular way 'or else' be ostracized or even NOT show up due to embarrassment or fear of the same.

    But of course, the FinCom didn't think that collection of items wasn't worth the price right now.
    Maybe that $900K bathhouse is?

    Oh, I only know about that intimidation stuff first hand because of people telling me that they couldn't put my election sign on their lawn but they still 'silently' supported me.... they couldn't put it on their lawns because of fear of retaliation from that group that always seems to want to save our services. (This happened many times) My memory is pretty clear on this... it was mostly in the Loker area of town... I think near Mr. Grasso's neighborhood.

    By the way, town sharing to reduce costs was pointed out also to the FinCom because I did bring up Westwood .... and I am attaching a recent letter I received from them.

    Still pretty amazing I got that ZERO PERFECT SCORE... go Alan !

    Anyway, I hope that my response above is factual enough and if not I await any factual retort such that I may debate it.

    Best, Alan

    P.S. Go to http://www.electronicvoting.info and get your FREE 'PRIVACY IS PRICELESS' button as a collector's item for Wayland May 2010 Town Meeting.
    Limited quantities, act now !
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by AlanJReiss; 04-22-2010 at 08:29 AM. Reason: Added the P.S. so go there now... www.ElectronicVoting.info

  4. #34
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    Alan, you can add another 0-2, 1 for being off-topic and 1 for quoting irrelevantly quoting Paul. [grin]

  5. #35
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    Paul:

    It’s unfortunate that this is our first encounter, since I’ve always wanted to talk to you about town finances. You, and Kim, are right. There’s nothing I can do except apologize. My opinion was formed from speaking with other people, I must have misunderstood what they were saying. I am learning I am now in a different position, one where I must have my facts straight before I speak. This has not always been my goal in speaking, or my usual way of sharing information. I will learn. I will do better.

    My apologies to all involved.

    Having something else I need to write, and also being somewhat embarassed, perhaps this is a good time for me to take a short break from the discussion here. Maybe after the weekend, and with the Warrant finalized, we can start to go through the articles and see what we think about them.

    donBustin@oneWayland.org

  6. #36
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    Jeff, I don't think it was off topic... it is wide open for topics from Bustin for Selectman and this thread turned FinCom and voting on articles of which mine was included in that group. And Paul did say factually based decisions by the FinCom.... so I decided to point out their factual based decision on Electronic Voting.

    But if I can add another 0-2 to my 0-7 and get a 0-9 then I have an even more PERFECT SCORE !


    Hey did you get your button yet?
    Last edited by AlanJReiss; 04-22-2010 at 09:08 AM. Reason: Added Jeff since I'm talking to Jeff and factual reference to decisions by FinCom

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanJReiss View Post
    Jeff, I don't think it was off topic... it is wide open for topics from Bustin for Selectman and this thread turned FinCom and voting on articles of which mine was included in that group. And Paul did say factually based decisions by the FinCom.... so I decided to point out their factual based decision on Electronic Voting.
    Alan, actually your post is off-topic unless you are accusing FinCom of acting in a biased and unfair manner. Certainly merely disagreeing with you is not grounds for calling them biased? Do you believe all seven members of FinCom are biased and unfair?

    I appreciate Don's apology, though am concerned about how he initially said (emphasis added):

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    The committee divides up the articles amongst the members, each gathering background information and presents a proposal to the whole committee. Turns out one of the Finance committee members is a lead petitioner for the Australian Ballot article. He was given all the TM voting articles to review. You’d have to watch the meeting and see if you think he presented all the facts in an unbiased manner. Regardless, procedurally, it seems only “fair”, “just” whatever, that these questions should have been given to someone less involved.
    Yes, I guess "you'd have to watch" to know how things were done. Kind of implies Don did... but, now it appears that he didn't. I am disturbed by his repetition of accusations and innuendo that are non-fact based, or as it turns out, completely fictitious.

    But thank you for the apology, Don. It was the right thing to just apologize for the mistake rather than try to defend it. I wonder if perhaps now you are beginning to wondering if things in Town government are simply not the way you had been led to believe?

  8. #38
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    Thank you, Don. It's my first year on FinCom and I consider the appointment a privilege which all members work hard to uphold. Many citizens will disagree with our recommendations and opinions, but I believe the deliberative process to be fair and open.

    Paul

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    Alan, actually your post is off-topic unless you are accusing FinCom of acting in a biased and unfair manner. Certainly merely disagreeing with you is not grounds for calling them biased? Do you believe all seven members of FinCom are biased and unfair?
    Mr Stack was mentioned as part of a FinCom analysis on TM format changes and, in particular, e-voting... so my post was never off thread.

    Where did I use the words biased or unfair? I think you confuse me with Bustin.
    I would use other words like lack of due diligence and inadequate time to consider the article which has a great deal of detail behind that...
    I could go into it if you want me to?

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanJReiss View Post
    Mr Stack was mentioned as part of a FinCom analysis on TM format changes and, in particular, e-voting... so my post was never off thread.

    Where did I use the words biased or unfair? I think you confuse me with Bustin.
    I would use other words like lack of due diligence and inadequate time to consider the article which has a great deal of detail behind that...
    I could go into it if you want me to?
    Alan, just look at the quote you used as a lead-in to your post:

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Grasso View Post
    Mr. Bustin, I respectfully ask that when you make claims about the actions, biases, or conflicts of interest which would impair the objectivity of the Finance Committee -- or anyone else, for that matter -- they be factually-based.
    If you would like to discuss your warrant article further, you are welcome to start a new thread on that topic.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Grasso View Post
    Mr. Bustin, I respectfully ask that when you make claims about the actions, biases, or conflicts of interest which would impair the objectivity of the Finance Committee -- or anyone else, for that matter -- they be factually-based.
    It is ironic that Mr. Bustin's opponent, John Bladon, just made an incorrect public statement himself, when he stated at the League of Women Voters Candidates night that we've had no violations of the Opan Meeting Law with our School Committee or Board of Selectmen. While I'm not certain about the BOS (I think there have been violations with them, as well), there certainly have been with the School Committee.

    I like the fact that Mr. Bustin was very quick to apologize when his error was pointed out to him. That is something you don't see much of coming from our elected officials, and Mr. Bustin gets a lot of credit for that, in my book.
    Coupled with his humility and straight forward talk, Don Bustin represents a refreshing change from the spin, the arrogance and the condescending, holier than thou attitude that so often come with the territory with politiciians of all stripes.
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    It is ironic that Mr. Bustin's opponent, John Bladon, just made an incorrect public statement himself, when he stated at the League of Women Voters Candidates night that we've had no violations of the Opan Meeting Law with our School Committee or Board of Selectmen. While I'm not certain about the BOS (I think there have been violations with them, as well), there certainly have been with the School Committee.
    [NOTE: the quotes below do not refer to "posts" by the Moderator or John Bladon, but I thought the quote formatting would make the quotes easier to read]

    I just checked the tape, and here was the question posed to Mr. Bladon:
    Quote Originally Posted by LWV Moderator
    "Given the violations of the Open Meeting Law that Wayland has experienced on the Board of Selectmen and School Committee, what will you do to prevent future violations and improve transparency?"
    The response by Mr. Bladon was as follows:
    Quote Originally Posted by John Bladon
    "I'm not seeing any violations of the Open Meeting Law. There probably have been. We're all human, and we do make mistakes. I think the Open Meeting Law is a good thing, and I support it. I think that as Selectmen we should set the right tone and be completely open and answer questions from citizens whether it be in a meeting or whether it be off-line, and I would certainly do that if I were elected."
    I suspect Mr. Bladon was referring to "not seeing any violations" on the Board of Selectmen, since that is the Board he is running for and his focus. His answer was not completely precise, but I think it would be a stretch to call it "incorrect", especially when his next sentence was: "There probably have been." (And one must also consider that he was answering impromptu to a question not before him in writing - so he may well have been thinking, "That question is wrong -- I haven't seen any violations from the Board of Selectmen!")

    I have to agree with him, I am not aware of any findings of violations against the BOS. (If I'm wrong about that, I hope someone will correct me.) I do recall that a resident filed a complaint back in December (regarding a brief session with Niki Tsongas), but I have not heard that any violation was found.

    As far as the School Committee goes, there was one violation, though it was at this point six years ago, and it was a complicated enough case that it took a third hearing to finally have a judge rule that the Open Meeting Law was actually violated even then.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    I like the fact that Mr. Bustin was very quick to apologize when his error was pointed out to him. That is something you don't see much of coming from our elected officials, and Mr. Bustin gets a lot of credit for that, in my book.
    Coupled with his humility and straight forward talk, Don Bustin represents a refreshing change from the spin, the arrogance and the condescending, holier than thou attitude that so often come with the territory with politiciians of all stripes.
    I'm with you, John--apology and humility are fine traits, as are avoiding spin, arrogance, condescension, and holier-than-thou-ness. I assume that it was just a simple oversight that you didn't explicitly laud these traits in all citizens, not just those holding or running for office.

  14. #44
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    Kim, as I’d said in my post, I’m not sure about OML violations by the BOS. Maybe I was thinking of that complaint you mentioned in December.
    So, let’s focus on the one you refer to by the School Committee.
    It is hard to imagine how Mr. Bladon was not aware of this since it was all over the paper for years, and most specifically, since the ruling came down from the Supreme Court of Massachusetts on December 31, there were several articles about this in the Crier and the MWDN.

    That’s not to say that he couldn’t have simply missed it, of course. It may just not have been on his radar, and he can’t be expected to know everything that’s going in town, just because he’s on one board.
    However, Don Bustin did know about it. And he wasn’t on any board.

    To say there was only one violation with the SC and it was 6 years ago is to not tell the whole story.

    On December 31, 2009 the Supreme Court of Massachusetts ruled that our SC had violated the Open Meeting Law in 2004 by withholding information from the public that the publc had a right to see.

    Twelve days after this December ruling , in which the SC was determined by the court to have "violated the letter and spirit of the open meeting law", the Chair of our SC sent out the following email to all of his board members:





    The Open Meeting Law does not allow a quorum of any board to communicate with each other in any setting that is not public, including emails, phone, or serial emails or serial phone calls, etc. A quorum in this case is 3 or more members, since it is a board of 5.

    People can decide for themselves, but as I read this, it seems the law was violated 3 times:
    1. Simply by virtue of the fact that this email was even sent by the Chair to all 4 other members of the board.
    2. The words, “I had thought before the meeting that we had a near consensus…” suggests that it was violated again, as the “near consensus” to which he refers, did not take place in public.
    3. The “More to come after my next case” at the end suggests that Dr. Jurist had every intention of continuing this dialogue after his next patient.

    Now, if this were a court of law, I’m sure there is some reason one could provide to explain #2 and #3 above as not violations.
    But it is not. It’s a forum. And it seems to me that it is reasonable to conclude that #2 represents a violation and #3 represents an aborted one.
    Looking at the whole, it would not be unreasonable to conclude that in fact there is a pattern here, and perhaps a long-standing history of violations. Can I say that with certainty? Of course not. That’s for the courts to decide.

    However, it is incumbent on citizens to pay close attention to details like this and not accept that “there was one violation, though it was at this point six years ago” and leave it at that. There is MUCH more to this story than that.
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    I'm with you, John--apology and humility are fine traits, as are avoiding spin, arrogance, condescension, and holier-than-thou-ness. I assume that it was just a simple oversight that you didn't explicitly laud these traits in all citizens, not just those holding or running for office.
    Jeff, I don’t understand your point. Are you suggesting that my not pointing out these traits in all citizens was an oversight?

    If so, I can assure you that it was not.
    We’re talking politics here. I was not referring to the public at large and not sure why I would.
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

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