Friday, March 23, 2018 01:27

Posts Tagged ‘Clinton’

So Whats The Plan?

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

As I detailed in my column in last weeks Times Courier, the budget process has continued in a haphazard fashion and without any real direction.

In typical reactive fashion, the Clinton Board of Selectmen showed a true lack of leadership while meeting with Clinton’s Union heads last night, May 27th. They made no real progress towards a FY10 wage freeze. The BOS of course did not meet and proactively discuss this  together as a team and come up with a unified plan they all agreed on. So with no clear plan or course of action to offer to the Unions this muddling around was doomed to failure. When you have a entire board, with all its members putting their own spin on what to do, how would you as a Union head react? I don’t blame the Unions at this point. No Cohesive Plan, No Deal!

My opinion is to offer the Unions a level wage for next fiscal year and to open the contracts and extend them another year, with next year and the year after coming in at the contracted percentage (I believe there is a year left on all the Union contracts).  The BOS in a last ditch effort to balance the budget have fumbled and are now on borrowed time trying to pull out of a death spin.

Whats next, close the Bigelow Library, cut the COA budget? Actually the non-unionized employees are at the mercy of the board and getting no increases. Why couldn’t the BOS have negotiated with the unions a long time ago WITH a plan…while there was time? Lots of questions NO answers, other than a complete lack of a plan and no capable leadership.

Dissed At His First Meeting & Other Observations

Friday, May 8th, 2009

First Selectman Sheridan gave the BOS a little pep talk on how the Selectmen should be respectful to, and trust each other. Then within a very short time you have Chairman Dickhaut calling newly elected Selectman William Connolly “Hon” and Billy. To me that’s the height of disrespect during an official BOS meeting. Bill addressed her as Madame Chairperson which was respectful.

Dickhaut obviously likes to be the center of attention and seems real good at cutting other members off while they are speaking. This is unacceptable behavior from the Chairman. The duty of the Chairman (she made sure to mention she has been doing this for a loooooong time) is to run the meeting and allow for input from all Selectmen, not to cut them off as well as act dismissively to Mr. Connolly, who she obviously doesn’t like. She is of course allowed to give her opinion, but she takes it way to far, she practically filibusters on certain subjects and dominates the meetings.

I disagree with her first on the trust issue,if I were Bill, and I had four colleagues that tried to keep me from getting elected, by voting in their own candidate at the annual caucus and campaigning for him , I certainly wouldn’t be trusting any of them!  Second, all the selectman have the right to talk to the press and use any media including the internet to get their message out to the public, It’s called transparency in government…

On another note, the discussion about which projects to fund with stimulus money was like watching a bunch of kids argue over who gets what candy bar! I happen to agree that any project already funded through town meeting vote or other mandate should be at the bottom of the list not the top where they put them.

There’s never a dull moment in Clinton politics!

An Endorsement and Commentary

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

I’m sure you’re all aware I support Bill Connolly for election to the Clinton Board of Selectmen. I wish him well tomorrow and hope to hell he pulls this off. If the position goes to Weeks you can expect a completely NON-TRANSPARENT board With the two power hungry Selectmen calling the shots. The only difference will be that instead of 4-1 votes they’ll nearly always be 5-0.

Even with Tony Fiorentino as a board member it was hard to see any transparency.

I know the Weeks camp and his handlers believe they have this in the bag, but you know what, sometimes logic prevails and the best person for the job is elected.

Please Vote Connolly

The other candidate for selectman will be lucky to grab 300 votes give or take. Of course it’s his prerogative to run. Statistically there’s no possible way he can win and has alienated many voters through his reactionary rhetoric on this Blog and both internet forums in town. If you’re not for him, or question his lack of answers, you’re a “HACK”.

I believe the Strong Chief will prevail as well. Most all voters see through this vendetta driven personal attack on the Chief. In reality it’s about a position and not the person that holds it.

I wish the rest of the candidates good luck, some better luck than others though;)  See you at the polls tomorrow…

Where's Weeksie?

Monday, April 27th, 2009

In a blatant show of disrespect for the voters of Clinton, Robert Weeks, candidate for the Clinton Board of Selectmen didn’t show up for candidates night  as I predicted a month or so ago.  The reasons for this are very simple, his handlers, Kevin Haley, Maryrose Dickhaut and the rest believe that you loose far less votes by not showing up and feigning a prior engagement, illness or lame excuse  instead of actually showing up and being made out to be a complete ignoramus. Bill Connolly would have eaten Weeks alive as he has excellent knowledge of the issues that face Clinton.

As good old Honest Abe said: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. Well myself and others aren’t easily fooled, Mr. Weeks DOES NOT deserve a place in Clinton’s Town government.

My highest praise goes  to all the candidates that did show up for for candidates night. All the school committee candidates  showed up as well as three of the five assessors candidates.

I’m focused on the Selectman’s race and have to say that Bill Connolly was the hands down winner. Clifford Blake did answer some questions, but I nearly died when he started reading answers from his candidates profile and the other very general statement he keeps posting online at the different forums.

I also thought it was in poor taste for him to leave as soon as he was done and not display the courtesy of staying and listening to the other candidates that listened to him.

Please Vote Connolly May 4th

Budget Frustration – Updated

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

So BOS Chairman Haley is frustrated about their attempt to take a “first look” at the FY10 budget, he’s wasting his time he says. He’s reportedly frustrated because the board asked departments to submit -3% budgets and some of the elected offices did not comply. What does he expect? These are autonomous departments that DO NOT report to the BOS.

In reality Chairman Haley does not need to be frustrated as the BOS has the power and ability to reduce the budgets of these autonomous departments by the -3% asked for. The BOS is responsible for the submission of the budget, and as such could just cut each dept by the necessary -3%, it would then be up to the requisite department to decide what and where they are going to cut from their budgets.

Stop whining and show some leadership Chairman Haley, you and the BOS “OWN” that budget. Get on with it, you’ve been working at the budget since last December and you still can’t come up with a completed one.

Another issue with this budget process is the fact the BOS have not approached the unions and asked them to forgo raises this year to possibly enable the unionized departments to reduce potential layoffs. This shows a huge and remarkable lack of leadership. Many of the surrounding towns have already done this, and the unions agreed. An Example: Webster Police Officer’s agreed to a pay freeze and giving up all 11 paid holidays for next fiscal year, one of them calling it a “no-brainer.” The 22 police officers and five sergeants in the police union are among nearly 100 town employees who have agreed to wage concessions to help save the town approximately $300,000 and prevent layoffs of employees, The Police Chief has agreed to make the same concessions as his staff.

One officer said: “A lot of people think unions never give anything back. They think that in negotiations the object is to get what you can get. To a point, that might be true, but also, the function of the union is to maintain the people you have” . “When you see all these other companies closing or laying off people I think everyone is just glad they still have a job.” Our BOS hasn’t even broached the subject with our unions, this is completely unacceptable. When we have budget problems and the unions aren’t even approached and asked to possibly consider this action we as citizens need to ask ourselves why not.

Why is the BOS so complacent and unwilling to approach our unions and at least pose the question? Again, I’ll tell you why, It’s a lack of leadership from the top down.

Perhaps it’s time for the Finance Committee to take the bull by the horns and get the budget process done. They will certainly do a heck of a better job on the budget than the BOS have done.

Three Card Monte Clinton Style

Friday, March 6th, 2009

The Clinton Board of Selectmen on Wednesday the 25th of February voted to play a game of Three Card Monte, with you the taxpaying public of Clinton. With secretive text messages and a total lack of a plan or real data from the COA or Senior Center Building committee the BOS voted 4-1-0 (Tony F, thanks for trying to bring some process to this game) to use $475,000 of the allocated and approved $1,400,000. leaving a total of $925,000 to complete a Senior center. Of course we all know this amount of money is not enough to build the center and another $400,000 to $1,000,000 will be needed.  Our elected officials have effectively backed us into a corner and setup the con, the three card Monte table…Is the CDBG (community development block grant) of $700,000 for the Senior center under card 1, 2  or 3? You’ll never pick the right one, as its not there. The cards are three black two’s with no red Queen!  By the way we have no Economic Development Director anymore to write grants, and no professional grant writer worth their salt will do this on a contingency basis.

I feel as though the public has been misled and not well informed on this purchase and project,also  that the BOS, COA and Senior Building Committee will be back trying to pry your wallets open again due to poor planning, process and a lack of direction. This is not to say I don’t believe the Seniors shouldn’t have a center, they should, but I attribute this to the failure and lack of leadership our elected officials have demonstrated in not working within the fiscal bounds set forth with the $1,400,000 Warrant article.

“So, for a little history lesson on the American Legion property; There was an emergency BOS meeting I attended on a Saturday in June 2006, nearly three years ago. This was under executive session which is now a moot point as the property is in the process of being purchased. This meeting was recorded by Town Administrator Mike Ward, however this key piece of information has never been transcribed or made available to the public or press. It should speak volumes about the cost of the property.  As Selectmen we were previously approached by the American Legion Board of Directors through their attorney and offered the property for $350,000, we as a board voted yes to put this on the June 2006 town meeting warrant…then the lawyer sends us a letter indicating they now wanted $375,000, we weren’t happy about this development but in the name of acquiring the property the seniors desired we voted to change the article and pay the extra $25,000 very grudgingly. Well it happened once again, the lawyer sent another letter indicating his client wanted $400,000 and we voted in emergency session on that Saturday in June 2006 to remove the warrant article as we were being played like suckers and in bad faith! So there’s the truth about that meeting right from my lips to your (ears) eyes in this case. Subsequently the American Legion put it up for sale on the market and got $319,000 from Don Dobeck. He can’t really be faulted in this as he is a businessman and certainly isn’t in the business of losing money.

It’s your elected officials, specifically the BOS that have FAILED you and the seniors in not adhering to the fiscal constraints set forth. We have town owned land that could have been used and a senior center could have been built within budget. They chose not to follow this voter approved mandate. Flip the monte card taxpayers, you lose, Ante up!

The last comment I’ll make, is I find it incredible that candidates for assessor and school committee are mentioning the senior center and pandering for the seniors votes, where were they before running for office?


Watch this Three Card Monte Video. The Mark represents the citizens of Clinton! Watch to the end where the Soother picks him clean!

You’ll have to copy and past this into your browser as i can’t seem to hyperlink it.

A Hypocrite Is Someone Who Acts Contradictory To His Actions

Friday, February 20th, 2009

The Board of Selectmen are the Licensing Authority for the Town of Clinton, as such the following hypocritical quotes from chairman Kevin Haley are disturbing at best, showing no leadership whatsoever. These quotes are from the Worcester Telegram:

“Selectman Kevin R. Haley, the chairman, said his board has no authority to issue a liquor license extension to the Old Timer.

“My understanding is it’s the fire chief’s decision, and he should be able to decide whether the law pertains to the Old Timer, or it does not pertain to the Old Timer,”

“It’s a shame we’ve come to this point — that the chief has not been able to work things out with the Old Timer”

So how come with regard to the other sprinkler issues in town did this very same person and same board voted to ORDER the Fire Chief to sign a liquor license against his judgment? I’d say this is the usual modus operandi of the board – A total lack of leadership, dictators when it suits them and the “who me” excuse when it doesn’t.

I don’t know all the particulars and love to dine at the OT’s. I do however believe the BOS and especially Chairman Haley and MaryRose Dickhaut are continually trying to setup the Chief for failure as they’ve been gunning for him. They’ll do whatever it takes to show him in a poor light, no matter what…Actually, they never let the facts get in the way of their self serving agenda!

In this corner

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

Here it is Friday the 13th of February, nomination papers have been available for a week and there are a couple potential races. A three way assessors race and a school committee race. My question is where are the political pugilists vying for the Selectman’s seat? This is the real deal, the premier Bloodsport bout!

I’m sure the Haley and Dickhaut camps are out beating the bushes to come up with an ally to help them further their self serving agenda’s. A couple of the names that have floated by would be less than desirable and not necessarily people that would be doing this for the right reasons. There has been one person whose name I’ve heard bandied about that would be a really good fit. Lets hope for our sake the person in question does run and is supported by the citizens of Clinton that are sick and tired of the Status Quo.

My sincerest thanks to Tony Fiorentino for putting up being ignored and on the losing end of a lot of 4-1 votes. I can’t say I blame him for wanting to leave now. When you cease to be able to make a difference through the plotting of your fellow Selectmen it gets old, fast. Good luck in your future endeavor Tony, you’ll do great, it’s our loss unfortunately.

To you potential candidates, lace up the gloves and get ready for Bloodsport…It’s going to be a rough 15 rounds in the ring, Bing…there’s the bell, round one is starting!

Disregard For Public Safety

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

I have to admit that I’m very pleased with a vote where Clinton Selectmen LeBlanc and Sheridan voted in favor of public safety.  Now I realize this doesn’t happen often, as I pretty much disagree with their votes that typically mirror Chairman Haley and Selectman Dickhaut.

Our story goes like this; The old alarm system at the Fire Station which receives alarm calls from approximately 10 municipal and 100 private buildings was damaged for good during the large ice storm in December. The unit is old and is unrepairable. Haley and Dickhaut have had a vendetta against the Fire Chief for a long time, voting to remove his Strong Chief status and are plainly Anti-Fire Chief.  So it doesn’t surprise me that they threw common sense out the window and voted NO on buying a new alarm system.

The 3-2 vote (LeBlanc, Fiorentino, Sheridan – Yes and Haley, Dickhaut – No) was the right thing to do, if this saves even one life then 60K (even in these days of budget cuts) was small price to pay. As for Haley and Dickhaut, they should be damn ashamed of their anti-public safety, personel agenda vote. This is not looking out for the good of Clinton’s citizens!

Boltons Gain – Our Loss

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Thanks in no small part to the Clinton Board of Selectmen and especially to Maryrose Dickhaut’s verbalization of her total lack of support for funding the office of Community and Economic Development, Don Lowe has taken the opportunity to apply for and be selected as Town Administrator for Bolton, Ma.

Don was always a gentleman to work with, and I wish him the best in his new position. I know he’ll thrive and Bolton will be all the better for it. They made a good choice.

As for Clinton, Don didn’t apply for the job in Bolton when it was first advertised as he was working on some projects here in Clinton. When the job was re advertised I believe it was after he had his “budget talk” with the Clinton Board of Selectmen. Dickhaut basically stated that the Office of Community and Economic Development is a burden that should not be funded. This is one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever heard. Really penny wise and pound foolish.

Mr. Lowe has in his tenure applied for and been responsible for the Town of Clinton receiving more than seven million dollars in grants for items ranging from infrastructure improvements including roads, sidewalks, water and sewer lines etc and of course the open space grant for the Rauscher Farm property. This is just one facet of that office. It has been instrumental in bringing businesses to Clinton, (just look as far as Scholastic Books) and retaining those that we have.

To even hint at the fact Clinton doesn’t need this function is so shortsighted and lacking in forward thinking I cannot comprehend how anyone could broach an idea so ridiculous and dangerous to our economic well being.

Ladies and Gentlemen, when your taxes are through the roof and downtown Clinton looks like a ghost town, you’ll know why, and who caused this to happen. It’ll be interesting to see if they fill the position, and if they do, who the worldwide search will find “right under our noses” to fill it.

Do people “get it” yet?  We have lost and are loosing some really good people in our town government. Tony Fiorentino has had enough, Phil Duffy called it quits and Don Lowe is leaving for a more stable job, one where he was wanted. The return to the past in our town government is what is doing it.  We’ll be lucky to find any foward thinking candidates that want to bother to serve.