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Thread: Kent George's reprehensible attack on ... well ... just about everyone

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  1. #1
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    Default Kent George's reprehensible attack on ... well ... just about everyone

    In a July 20 letter to the Wayland Town Crier, Kent George uses the relatively innocuous sounding word "conjecture" to describe his mean-spirited and wholly unfounded attack on a host of people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kent George
    WAYLAND — TO THE EDITOR:

    I have been wondering for a while why the state auditor’s office would refuse to do an audit of Wayland’s School Department. It doesn’t seem logical especially when the auditors’ website proclaims an “important function of the division is to serve as a resource for cities and towns. Communities, by vote of the governing body, can request an audit of any local municipal program, contract or vendor.”

    Article 28 on the warrant for annual Town Meeting was passed on April 23 of this year and subsequently the Board of Selectmen followed up on that vote by formally requesting an audit of the School Department. Almost immediately a letter to the Board of Selectmen from the auditor denied the request.

    However I recently learned that a key political figure in Wayland is now the chief of staff for the state auditor, Suzanne Bump. Jonathan Saxton, Democratic Town Committee president and campaign manager for State Rep. and former U.S. Senate candidate Tom Conroy, D-Wayland, was recently appointed to the position.

    Just wondering if some current or former School Committee members used some clout with Tom and/or Jonathan to derail the audit request? Or was someone just embarrassed to be part of the string of school and town finance operation problems and wants it all kept under the rug? Pure conjecture on my part, of course.

    No answers yet … stay tuned. – Kent E. George, Indian Dawn
    I responded with the following comment:

    According to a press release issued by Wayland Police Chief Irving on June 18 and posted by WaylandeNews.com (http://waylandenews.com/wordpress/20...car-break-ins/), Wayland suffered a rash of car break-ins. Kent George has a car.

    Just wondering if Mr. George might have been the perpetrator? Pure conjecture on my part, of course.

    Kidding aside, baseless accusations of the sort Mr. George fabricates here are reprehensible. If I'm not mistaken, this was the state auditor's SECOND refusal to perform the requested audit, the first such request having come well BEFORE Town Meeting. Perhaps the promptness of the second response was made possible by their already having made a first response?

    And for the record, not only did I (a former School Committee member) NOT use any alleged 'clout' with anyone, I don't know of any current or former School Committee members who did. Mr. George should be ashamed of his wholly unfounded attack on Shawn Kinney and other School Committee members both past and present. The same goes for Mr. George's smears of Suzanne Bump, Tom Conroy, and Jonathan Saxton.

  2. #2
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    After re-reading Mr. George's letter several times just to be sure, I would say that he has not "accused", "attacked" or "smeared" anyone.
    He has asked questions - something that more and more Waylanders are doing on the heals of a number of unsettling revelations about the way Wayland has been managed in recent years.

    Indeed, if we'd had more people asking questions in the past, we might not be in the position we're in today.

    Like the bumper sticker says:
    Name:  question-authority-300x157.jpg
Views: 593
Size:  16.2 KB ......even in our small town where said authority might be a neighbor, a friend, your kids' soccer coach or someone you see at church. It is our responsibility to be involved and to question.
    John Flaherty

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

  3. #3
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    Had Mr. George been interested in simply asking questions, he might have limited his letter to the first two paragraphs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kent George
    I have been wondering for a while why the state auditor’s office would refuse to do an audit of Wayland’s School Department. It doesn’t seem logical especially when the auditors’ website proclaims an “important function of the division is to serve as a resource for cities and towns. Communities, by vote of the governing body, can request an audit of any local municipal program, contract or vendor.”

    Article 28 on the warrant for annual Town Meeting was passed on April 23 of this year and subsequently the Board of Selectmen followed up on that vote by formally requesting an audit of the School Department. Almost immediately a letter to the Board of Selectmen from the auditor denied the request.
    Instead, he questioned (that is, attacked/smeared) the integrity of the Wayland School Committee, State Representative Tom Conroy, State Auditor Suzanne Bump, and Wayland resident Jon Saxton.


    Had Mr. George been interested in an honest answer to his question, he might have checked with the Auditor of the Commonwealth's office, or with even less effort, the Wayland. Board of Selectman's office.

    Instead, he chose what might at best be described as the lazy option. A quick inquiry on his part would have found the attached two letters from the Auditor to be readily available. The first of the two is particularly enlightening, as it was written by that office back in February, to my knowledge BEFORE the School Committee or any of the other falsely accused even knew of the inquiry.


    So, the explanation for the Auditor's quick response to Wayland's SECOND request for an audit is that the Auditor had already responded to Wayland's FIRST request almost half a year earlier.

    Mr. George was wrong to write his despicable letter. The Town Crier was wrong to publish it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Instead, he questioned (that is, attacked/smeared) ....
    And therein lies my point.
    Questioning ≠ attacking/smearing.
    John Flaherty

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

  5. #5
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    John, you are indeed the master of the careful snip to change context. What I wrote was the following:


    Instead, he questioned (that is, attacked/smeared) the integrity of ... [emphasis added]


    Clearly, my elaboration with "attacked/smeared" was to leave no doubt as to the meaning of my use of "questioned."

  6. #6
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    Here's what Mr. George wrote:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kent George
    However I recently learned that a key political figure in Wayland is now the chief of staff for the state auditor, Suzanne Bump. Jonathan Saxton, Democratic Town Committee president and campaign manager for State Rep. and former U.S. Senate candidate Tom Conroy, D-Wayland, was recently appointed to the position.

    Just wondering if some current or former School Committee members used some clout with Tom and/or Jonathan to derail the audit request? Or was someone just embarrassed to be part of the string of school and town finance operation problems and wants it all kept under the rug? Pure conjecture on my part, of course.
    We are all familiar with the "have you stopped beating your wife?" sort of insinuation, and I think most of us dislike this sort of letter. There are LOTS of things we could question, but it is not right to publicly insinuate improper ethics without any sort of justification (particularly when it would be so easy to get the documentation necessary to get the necessary facts - see attachments in Jeff Dieffenbach's earlier post).

    I can only imagine the sort of flak I would get had I written a letter like this... Would these be OK? "Joe Schmo just spent a lot of money on his house. Just wondering if he might be cheating on his taxes..." or "I saw Tim at lunch with some woman I didn't know. Just wondering if he might be having an affair." These aren't accusing, just questioning.

    So merely questioning by itself can be smearing (as in "have you stopped beating your wife?"). An interesting discussion on the topic (slandering by innuendo) is here: http://www.waylandenews.com/forum/sh...-truth4wayland, with some real parallels.

  7. #7
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    There is no comparison between "have you stopped beating your wife?", and "wondering if some current or former School Committee members used some clout..."

    The first points the finger at the person and essentially states that they have done something illegal and immoral in the past and asks if they've stopped doing it.
    The second ponders whether they've done something (that is not necessarily either illegal or immoral) and it does not accuse them of having done so in the past.

    This is not a smear. It's a legitimate question.
    John Flaherty

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

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