3 to 2

We Are Doing ItThis past Tuesday Stoneham voted for something our town has not had before that I feel is exciting and worth noting: For the first time in history, Stoneham has a Board of Selectmen with three women. (I was pretty certain this was accurate, but I couldn’t find a record that listed who was on all prior Boards of Selectmen anywhere before 2012, so I ended up having to call a variety of life-long residents around town with generations of Stonehamites in their families to confirm.)   As a town we have had a consistent track record of women participating in town government, and this new “three to two” roster on the BOS is just one more reflection that Stoneham is a town that encourages the opposite of what has been the norm in national politics when it comes to gender.

The two elected BOS members have something tremendous in common, and I’d argue the most important trait, that they bring to the five member leadership team: Caroline Colarusso and Raymie Parker both have proven track records of working tirelessly for Stoneham.

stonehamselect-1515854175-1778Raymie Parker: Following her 2014 BOS candidacy, Raymie escalated her already notable résumé of Stoneham involvement farther by participating in various groups and committees:

My involvement in Civic and Community Events includes the Strategic Action Plan for Stoneham Square created by the Town with support from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the Stoneham Transportation Advisory Committee (STAC), Socks for Seniors, and several one-time events.

I decided to volunteer to serve on the Strategic Action Plan committee to understand the potential for our town – particularly for our town center. Our public participation activities included community workshops and meetings to provide residents and stakeholders the opportunity to develop a collective vision for Stoneham Square. The recommendations made following this six-month effort resulted in many wonderful improvements including a Stoneham Square website, a how to do business guide, and a façade improvement program. Also a product of this committee was the formation of the Stoneham Community Development Corporation (CDC), STAC, and Stoneham Square Advisory Committee.

I worked with Raymie on a portion of the early MAPC efforts in Stoneham, so I can attest to her drive and passion when it comes to moving initiatives ahead.

154071_lgCaroline Colarusso: Following her 2014 candidacy for State Representative, Caroline immediately poured her enthusiasm and already-in-progress Stoneham-focused advocacy to work towards a successful 2015 BOS run. Now entering her second term, Caroline can continue building upon serving Stoneham:

She’s fought HARD against the Weiss Farm Project, and stood up to high rise apartment complex projects that our town cannot afford. She continually calls for accountability in how our tax dollars are used and managed, including reviews of funds and improprieties, she brought attention to the snow and ice budget, and oversight to the trash accounts. She provides oversight and really isn’t afraid to challenge the “status quo.” She supported technology initiatives over and beyond what has been part of the approved school budget. As a mother whose children all attended Stoneham schools, she understands the importance of helping our students be successful so they can excel and compete.

Caroline constantly works to help keep Stoneham affordable for seniors and young families. She makes decisions with the interests of residents at heart. Based on her efforts to manage the town’s costs, it’s obvious she gets that people are struggling to make ends meet while raising a family. At the same time, she has helped to make Stoneham more attractive to visitors and businesses by supporting tax incentives to grow small businesses.

I’m excited to see what’s to come for Stoneham as the new BOS begins its work. Congratulations to both Caroline and Raymie!

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It Wasn’t Illegal, And it was Accurate

During this past holiday weekend two of Stoneham’s most busy Facebook groups lit up when a resident posted how they were in receipt of the following flyer:

29594582_10213775572936642_802768955585574733_n

Because it was unsigned, the speed in which the accusations of whom was responsible were lobbed in what I truly think was some kind of record. From there, the accused were cleared when Raymie Parker, the Board of Selectmen candidate named in the flyer and others confronted the person directly while they were going door to door (See Tom Boussy and Caroline Colarusso‘s statements). This morning the original Facebook post about the flyer was removed, only to have another go up with similar accusations because the new poster hadn’t seen the original post and resulting commentary that absolved the accused of guilt.

This new posting lead to a discussion that went in a different direction, however. Before I even begin, I’m going to say the same thing I said in both Facebook groups: I do not condone the flyer creator’s methodology of delivering a piece of writing with no name on it. It’s not a tactic I would ever use. While it’s not illegal, we live in a small town, and so my opinion is that distributing unsigned media runs the risk of ruining the credibility of the message.

As I said, the new posting took a slightly different turn and twice the subject of whether or not the flyer had any truth to it came up, with one person very adamantly saying it did not. I was around back in October of 2015 and was tuned in to what was happening, and just how dangerous a few of the issues listed in the flyer were. I ended up digging up a lot of information out of “digital mothballs” (I highly recommend Carbonite file back-up services), and sharing those items within the two Facebook group posts. However, those comments are buried and I felt it was important enough that I share them in a more visible format.

First I’ll start with this flyer created by Anthony Wilson (he wasn’t a Selectman at that time) to explain how serious the items Raymie Parker was putting forth in October 2015 were:

Vote-No_Full

Now for the resident’s flyer. This part:

Flyer 100 Signatures Snapshot

True. Here is the list of signatures showing the “Warrant Article On Recall Elected Officials” did not make it to Special Town Meeting because it failed to garner the required number of signatures.

Next:

Flyer Provisions Snapshot

True and True. Here is the entire Warrant Article Packet from Special Town Meeting of October 2015. For the purpose of this write-up, here is Article #1, first page in the Special Town Meeting packet with Raymie Parker’s signature (note- redacted images at the respectful request of a local gentleman. To see the full record, visit the prior link):

Oct 2015TM WA 1 Redact

Article #3, first page in the Special Town Meeting packet:

Oct 2015TM WA 3

Article #3, second page in the Special Town Meeting packet with Raymie Parker’s signature (note- redacted images at the respectful request of a local gentleman. To see the full record, visit the prior link):

Oct 2015TM WA 4 Redact

In all fairness to the resident that created the flyer, while his methodology was one I’d never use, the flyer wasn’t inaccurate. My purpose for sharing this was to have everything in one place from start to finish: The flyer itself, the fact that the people accused were NOT involved in any way with the flyer, and factual verification of the flyer’s contents.

I have heard many say that the most important thing in an election is for people to vote at all. I’d take that a step farther and say it’s also crucial to be an informed voter. While I have been clear in other writings about who I’m supporting in this election, I’m not including that here because my goal was purely one of providing full facts that dispelled misinformation, as well as delivering evidence.

I hope to see you all at Stoneham’s Town Hall to vote THIS Tuesday, April 3, 2018.

Leading by Example

TB Role ModelYesterday I published a piece that reminded me about why I ever cared about what goes on in Stoneham’s town government in the first place: It all impacts the community I’m raising my daughter in.  I met Tom Boussy through my support for former Selectman Ann Marie O’Neill. I’d never seen a person more passionate about a community until Tom. So when I watched that Board of Selectmen meeting from December 5th, 2017, Tom’s impromptu statement about why any person runs for Selectman stuck with me. This under three minutes clip really says everything, so if nothing else this is all you need to know about Tom Boussy:

“There is a reason every one of us came and ran… That’s our job: We represent people.”

The rest of this puts more weight on what Tom has done to contribute to the five member team that bears the huge responsibility of shaping Stoneham (Source: Cristine Linn):

“Stoneham neighbors, please get out and vote for Tom Boussy THIS Tuesday, April 3, 2018. During his six years on the board, Stoneham has seen more improvements than it has in over 20 years.  He advocated to get the staff numbers at the police and fire departments to the correct levels. He also fought to bring back departments that had been abandoned for years like the Town Planner and Rec Department. (In fact, Tom fought hard for the Town Planner position, spearheaded the process, and was involved in the hiring decision. The Town Administrator at the time had no intention of hiring a TP, but Tom insisted and didn’t stop until Stoneham got one. Is that why he is called a bully? Because he has tenacity and fights for the citizens??) He has ensured that any projects coming into Stoneham paid mitigation for requested zoning changes, including the highest amount paid for a billboard in Massachusetts at $100,000 per year. And when the developers at 42 Pleasant Street tried to go to Town Meeting for a zoning change, he orchestrated a “no vote” to bring them back to the negotiation table where they agreed to install sidewalks from Pleasant Street to Main Street at no cost to the town.

When he was first elected there were a lot of empty store fronts and buildings in disrepair. To-date there has been massive investment in Stoneham, including the new building at 380 Main Street which was the result of hard work to make a deal with the owner, utilizing for the first time ever a TIF (Tax Instrumental Financing package).

As for Stoneham’s downtown, he resurrected the hugely successful Farmers Market, brought in the Food Truck Festival that brought 5,000 people for two years in a row to Stoneham’s Common, and wrote an Article that passed at Town Meeting to start the “façade program.” When the trash contract came up, instead of the “status quo” he fought for increased recycling for lower trash fees.

Tom also fought hard for the Bike Path.  Tom also believed that Stoneham should take some pride in its appearance and spear-headed town-wide beautification efforts. Gnarly bushes and overgrown grass on Main Street have been replaced by beautiful landscaping that is admired by all that travel through Stoneham’s main artery. The manicured, vibrant islands truly say something about our town.

Stoneham needs Tom Boussy to continue his hard work for residents on the Board of Selectmen. I hope you will join me in voting for Tom this Tuesday, April 3rd.”

BoussyFlier LG 3_30_18

I’m With Them… Because They’re OPENLY With Us

SilenceDeafenSilence can hurt. Sure, there’s turning the other cheek when people conduct themselves in ways that are hurtful. But when people call someone a “bigot” and “homophobe,” and then you defend them because the person being attacked told you directly that they support you… only to have them say nothing official or public record… well, it can make you feel really foolish and embarrassed. Especially when you have a young child that admires the person who refuses to stand up and say they’re not anti-equality. So from that point on you just accept that people are who they are and try to let it go.

Obviously I’m talking about Caroline Colarusso in all of this and if you aren’t tuned into the history, the links in my prior paragraph will fill you in.  I now sit here nearly a year and a half later and a lot has taken place in the community, but notably for me is that I ended up meeting new people around town because of some issues that adversely effected a few neighborhoods, such as adding double yellow lines to certain streets and the MWRA contractors illegally using residentially zoned property. I watched Board of Selectmen meetings around subjects like these and saw Selectman Tom Boussy and Selectman Caroline Colarusso tirelessly advocating for the residents that were impacted.

Following the meetings I had the most frustrating discussions because I watched Caroline work so hard for the community, met neighbors who were thrilled by her efforts, and yet… I couldn’t get past her never officially saying that she supported all residents, no matter who they were or what their LGBT status was. Just feeling that someone’s onboard with viewing me as a “second class citizen” because I happen to be gay makes any championing of resident issues feel hollow. (And no, she never said that directly, but she never publicly said she supported the equal rights of all people either.)

On many occasions I asked Caroline to say something in response to being labeled anti-equality over the past few years. Each time I did that, she said things along the lines of, “It’s not worth trying to respond to the attacks. No matter what I say, they’ll attack me anyway. People who know me, know where my heart is.”

That was not enough for me (I explained why that wasn’t enough in the links I included in the first paragraph). I also got sick of looking stupid for supporting someone who I felt didn’t support me as an “equal.” These last couple of months especially became aggravating for me because I ended up seeing Caroline in several places publicly with my daughter, who of course wanted to spend time with Caroline, namely at Stoneham Arena during the “Skate with Nancy Kerrigan” event. Vanessa, who is currently learning to skate, was so excited to cruise around the ice with Caroline and Nancy.

CCNKV Skate 2_22_18

Me, I wasn’t as thrilled.

This past week my friend and prior Selectman candidate, Cristine Linn wrote an article about her candidate opinions for April 3rd, 2018’s Stoneham election. It beautifully summarized Tom and Caroline’s achievements during each of their tenures on the BOS, but naturally right after, there were attacks on Caroline posted to social media (and on Cristine, too, for that matter). Out of frustration, I texted Caroline and said, “You make it impossible for so many to stand behind you! I don’t get why you insist on letting people label you like this if it’s not who you claim you are. Silence on this is not acceptable.”

Caroline called me right up. “I get it now, Liz. I’m so sorry for hurting you, and I know it hurt Vanessa, too. Your friendship means a lot to me and you’re right. I can’t stay quiet on this anymore. I’m not going to sit and fight with attackers on social media, but I am going to make my feelings clear.”

I didn’t know exactly what she meant by that because, well, I’ve been let down before. But to my surprise last night I got an alert to a new post by Caroline on Facebook:

CarolineCPost 3_29_18 FB

I will absolutely admit I was shocked. And then it felt good. It still does. Now in second grade, Vanessa can read, so before school this morning she read Caroline’s post.

“She finally did the right thing,” Vanessa said. “So she does support our family. I don’t get why it took her so long.” (Which then led to a conversation on how staying quiet on some things is NOT the right approach.)

It is reassuring to know definitively that she openly supports ALL families in our community. I do forgive her being so stubborn in taking too long to actually publicly put it out there. That’s what I look for in Board of Selectmen candidates: Those who stand up and represent the interests of everyone who lives in Stoneham.

On Tuesday I hope my neighbors will join me in casting votes for the two Selectmen seats:

Tom Boussy: Here are his own words about why he ever decided to serve our town in the first place, which really resonate with me:

“There is a reason every one of us came and ran… That’s our job: We represent people.” -Tom Boussy

BoussyFlier LG 3_30_18

Caroline Colarusso:

See you all at the polls this Tuesday, April 3rd! No matter the outcome of this or any election, it’s important to remember we’re all neighbors in Stoneham. We all have differences of opinion, and that’s what makes this community great.

 

 

 

Really Real Direct: No Hashtags Here

SpeakYourMindI’ve had numerous people ask if I thought a social media post written by current Stoneham Board of Selectman member, Shelly MacNeill was directed towards me. Whether it was or not only she can answer. I was going to send her a direct message, but decided I might as well respond right where it began: In public.

ShellyMacNeillScreenGrabFB 3_29_18

First of all, as many people know I ran for Selectman in 2017. It was a great experience even though I lost the race and I wouldn’t have done anything differently.  I give all of the current candidates credit for putting themselves and their families out there, especially when social media makes it so easy to make a candidate a target.

I’ve never complained about anything that was said about me or behavior that went on while I ran. I was accused of being a “puppet” and not writing my own material. During and after the candidates forum I was laughed at and mocked by people who have run for Selectman in the past. I remember making fun of myself after the candidate’s forum in a Facebook post, only to get a nasty message from one of the current Selectman candidates.  

During my campaign last year my kids relayed nasty comments about me that they heard from classmates– clearly modeled conduct learned from the adults around them. I used that as an opportunity to further teach my kids about “having a thick skin,” and how simply ignoring this kind of disrespect is the best reaction. I’m proud to say it’s brought my family even closer.

After the election,  my campaign committee compared the voter list to the list of voters whose doors I knocked upon to see who actually voted. While going through the list my committee came across a handful of people who did not live in the Town of Stoneham, and yet they voted. These people included an attorney in town, an out of town relative of another attorney, a fireman, and relatives of a former BOS member. Did I take it personally? No.

I’ve been accused of making fake Facebook accounts in the past. Anyone who knows me and my character knows I don’t need a fake Facebook account to speak my mind. I have every right to call someone out and express my opinions. I won’t ever be silenced.

I wrote an opinion piece on my selections for this year’s race and my piece was insinuated to be “fake news.” Others have written opinions in the past and I don’t recall their opinions to be called fake news or the authors referred to as “cyberbullies.”  

Shelly, I agree with you that the worst comes out of people during election time. I stand by my position that I do think it’s a conflict of interest to have a town employee on the BOS, or really any level of government employee for that matter. I’ve seen some passive aggressive posts you have commented on directed towards me, but I’m glad you’ve decided to “rise above” from now on. Because this kind of immature social media commentary depicted in this image isn’t a good reflection of someone in elected town leadership:

Shrilly 3_29_18

Cristine’s Really Real Truant Pen: Stoneham’s 2018 Election Candidates

Vote2018

The 2018 Stoneham election is now less than a week away and I have been asked who I’m voting for by a lot of neighbors. I’ve really enjoyed the conversations, and I decided to share my thoughts with the community. As a lifelong Stoneham resident, a Mom that is currently raising kids that attend Stoneham schools, and a prior Board of Selectmen candidate, I have a deeper perspective and understanding of what both the School Committee and Board of Selectmen mean to the direction of the town. (Not to mention I’ve pretty much been involved in Stoneham politics since I was five years old. My parents brought my siblings and me to every Town Meeting, so Stoneham politics are “in my blood.”)

I took a lot of time to research and consider my candidate choices for this year’s election, and I came to one important conclusion: We need the crucial combination of balance and experience on both the School Committee and Board of Selectmen.

Here’s who I am voting for in the Board of Selectmen race, and I hope you’ll join me in supporting these candidates with your votes:

TomBoussyJPEGlogoTom Boussy: During his six years on the board, Stoneham has seen more improvements than it has in over 20 years.  He advocated to get the staff numbers at the police and fire departments to the correct levels. He also fought to bring back departments that had been abandoned for years like the Town Planner and Rec Department. (In fact, Tom fought hard for the Town Planner position, spearheaded the process, and was involved in the hiring decision. The Town Administrator at the time had no intention of hiring a TP, but Tom insisted and didn’t stop until Stoneham got one. Is that why he is called a bully? Because he has tenacity and fights for the citizens??) He has ensured that any projects coming into Stoneham paid mitigation for requested zoning changes, including the highest amount paid for a billboard in Massachusetts at $100,000 per year. And when the developers at 42 Pleasant Street tried to go to Town Meeting for a zoning change, he orchestrated a “no vote” to bring them back to the negotiation table where they agreed to install sidewalks from Pleasant Street to Main Street at no cost to the town.

When he was first elected there were a lot of empty store fronts and buildings in disrepair. To-date there has been massive investment in Stoneham, including the new building at 380 Main Street which was the result of hard work to make a deal with the owner, utilizing for the first time ever a TIF (Tax Instrumental Financing package).

As for Stoneham’s downtown, he resurrected the hugely successful Farmers Market, brought in the Food Truck Festival that brought 5,000 people for two years in a row to Stoneham’s Common, and wrote an Article that passed at Town Meeting to start the “façade program.”  When the trash contract came up, instead of the “status quo” he fought for increased recycling for lower trash fees- the opposite of what his two opponents did: John DePinto cost the town $100,000 by delaying the trash vote for a year, and Raymie Parker used misinformation to support continued use of what was an insolvent contractor, costing the town $500,000 per year when Hiltz went out of business. It’s also worth noting that Raymie Parker fought and continues to fight against the Rec Department. One of Raymie’s objections on using mitigation money for the Rec Department Director is that she felt the mitigation funds should not be used for a position. The Rec Director position came from the I-93 billboard money. Normally I would agree that the people who are impacted by a project that calls for mitigation should get something in return by way of that money, but in this case the billboard did not negatively impact anyone. Hiring a Rec Director was a way to give back to the town. The Rec Department is an investment. Every other town around us has one. It’s a tool used to attract families to invest in our town and fill our schools. A Rec Department, if supported, should be a money maker as you see in the towns around us.

Tom also fought hard for the Bike Path; something his two opponents were adamantly against and tried to derail for years.  Tom also believed that Stoneham should take some pride in its appearance and spear-headed town-wide beautification efforts. Gnarly bushes and overgrown grass on Main Street have been replaced by beautiful landscaping that is admired by all that travel through Stoneham’s main artery. The manicured, vibrant islands truly say something about our town.

For the last six years we have had a steady increase of free cash, lowering fees and increasing services. This kind of progress has not been seen since for the last year, however, when the majority of the current board has decided to be a “three member board” instead of working for you, the tax payer.

 

FyJHia6i_400x400Caroline Colarusso: You can’t argue Caroline’s advocacy for Stoneham’s best interests. She’s fought HARD against the Weiss Farm Project, and stood up to high rise apartment complex projects that our town cannot afford. She continually calls for accountability in how our tax dollars are used and managed, including reviews of funds and improprieties, she brought attention to the snow and ice budget, and oversight to the trash accounts. She provides oversight and really isn’t afraid to challenge the “status quo.” She supported technology initiatives over and beyond what has been part of the approved school budget. As a mother whose children all attended Stoneham schools, she understands the importance of helping our students be successful so they can excel and compete.

Caroline constantly works to help keep Stoneham affordable for seniors and young families. She makes decisions with the interests of residents at heart. Based on her efforts to manage the town’s costs, it’s obvious she gets that people are struggling to make ends meet while raising a family. At the same time, she has helped to make Stoneham more attractive to visitors and businesses by supporting tax incentives to grow small businesses.

She strives to improve public safety, and time and time again she –and Tom Boussy–  have taken every opportunity to stand with neighbors and neighborhoods. (She and Tom were the only ones that held the MWRA accountable for raiding our streets.) She has proven her loyalty to the citizens of our town, and has always been available for residents when they have had questions or needed assistance.  She has  an open-door policy and constantly holds office hours. Town government has become more  responsive and accountable.

Caroline has been a champion for seniors, both financially and as a population. Having a family member with signs of Alzheimer’s disease, I applaud her raising awareness for something that touches my family and many others. Every November she presents medical professionals to our town  to conduct a forum that helps educate residents on how to detect the warning signs of Alzheimer’s.

For me as a Mother of two and a Nurse, I appreciate her commitment to ban recreational pot shops, and that she truly cares about helping to end substance addiction while supporting the families that are directly struggling through it.

 

Town Employees – A Really Real Concern

Untitled-14

Currently we have two BOS members who are also, or who have been, state workers. This makes me wonder if they are more biased towards the issues of town employees and sometimes less tuned into the citizens. If Raymie Parker is elected to the BOS, she’ll be the third municipal employee. That means we would have a BOS that could be more interested in promoting pensions and pay than the citizens. As a town employee, Raymie will have to recuse herself from EVERY town issue. She has promised not to take the BOS stipend, but the fact of the matter is that she CANNOT take it. She can only draw one paycheck and it is in her best interest to retain the pay of her town job than it would be to take the BOS stipend.

Don’t get me wrong, town employees are of vital importance to the town, just as they are to any organization. But the reporting structure of a town is unique and has some differences that a company does not, which is why I’m concerned about Mrs. Parker as a candidate. First, the town citizens are the decision makers. They elect the BOS to represent their needs. On the other side of the house are the town employees. We want highly competent and functioning employees to provide the best possible service. At times there may be differences of opinions between both groups. The town employees, for the most part, are represented by the Union to fight for their interests. Therefore, the town citizens need the BOS to fight for their interests. This creates a system of checks and balances. That is not to say the BOS should be anti-town employee, but in an election the citizens are voting for the person they believe will protect our neighborhoods, uphold our by-laws, and to be someone we can turn to when we have an unresolved issue.

 

School Committee

This year’s School Committee candidate pool has three excellent ones, which makes it a tough choice. These three have the right qualifications in common: They’re established adults with “life” experience who have gone through the rigors of careers, homeownership, and most important of all they are all parents of current Stoneham Schools’ students. These candidates are:

 

Jaime Wallace

George Georgountzos

Cory Mashburn

 

No matter what your views of the issues are, the most important thing you can do is VOTE! Please get to Town Hall on April 3rd and do your part to contribute to Stoneham’s future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dissolving Clarity

Like most Stoneham residents, I’m busy. I try not to be too busy to at least pay attention and so when I saw there was an Infrastructure Subcommittee meeting scheduled for Monday with this agenda…

InfrasMonAgenda 11_2_17

…I thought it was good because I kept seeing upset posts in the Stoneham Community Group Facebook page regarding the MWRA project. Then I saw this post in my newsfeed this morning…

InfraStructure Meeting Dissolve 11_2_17

…and was entirely confused.  Then in looking at the Stoneham government website I saw this:

MWRADissolveNotice 11_2_17

I decided to ask the Chairman of the Board of Selectmen directly so I can simply share the exchange with the community and avoid speculation:

On Nov 2, 2017, at 10:19 AM, Liz Erk wrote:

Hi George, 

I received an alert that the infrastructure sub-committee was going to have a meeting on Monday to hear concerns of residents from Oak Street, as well as discuss the conditions of our roads and sidewalks, and listen to resident comments on unresolved issues within the town. Soon after I got a second alert that the BOS is meeting tomorrow, Friday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. to vote on dissolving the sub-committee and prevent the community-focused meeting scheduled for Monday.

In trying to find out what the heck was going on with these two meetings, I was told the Chairman of the BOS tried to prevent the infrastructure meeting from taking place, to which the town attorney said there was  no legal authority to block that meeting, and so then the Friday BOS meeting was scheduled. To me, this looks like an attempt to prevent Stoneham residents from being heard. And what makes that worse in my mind, is the appearance of a bigger interest in protecting the MWRA and not the residents of Stoneham—especially given the complaints residents have been making about the MWRA’s project impacts on their properties. I’m asking you directly as the Chairman, rather than post to the community Facebook groups because I cannot stand public speculation without asking the parties involved directly first. It just perpetuates a cycle of negativity that doesn’t serve the community. I’d rather hear from you first please. Are you really trying to dissolve the subcommittee and prevent the Monday meeting that would allow residents’ voices be heard in an official, public capacity?

Thanks for all you do,

Liz

From: George Seibold‎

Sent: Thursday, November 2, 2017 10:46 AM

To: Liz Erk

Subject: Re: BOS Meeting Tomorrow at 5:00 p.m.?

Hi Liz, I put the same agenda item on Tuesday’s meeting, the following night. I added public comments to the agenda for the board of selectmen. That’s the one thing that passed chairpersons did not allow, I’m not sure where you live Liz? I have to deal with this everyday.   Well aware of the frustration. If you watched their last infrastructure meeting, it looks like it was just self promoting themselves and not what the board discussed on what that sub committee is supposed to do.     Sorry I cannot go on I am working I just wanted to get back to you. If you want to give me a call feel free. 781-727-0786. And I know you like to have everything in writing but I am looking out for the residence of this town not just my neighborhood.

Sent from my iPhone

***

On Nov 2, 2017, at 12:03 PM, Liz Erk wrote:

Hi George,

I’m working, too, so it’s another reason why I wanted to ask you directly in writing. It drives me nuts when things are posted in forums with inaccurate info. People then don’t have time to sift through everything and then facts are lost. Having things in writing allows for accurate reporting.

I did watch the meeting, I don’t know what you mean by “self-serving.” From what I observed, that one meeting was focused on asking the MWRA officials directly about the MWRA project in Stoneham and its history. As a whole, it looked to me like that subcommittee addresses issues that include the MWRA and other areas pertaining to infrastructure matters throughout the town.

Putting the MWRA on a lengthy list of BOS agenda items puts residents at a disadvantage. I think having a dedicated forum led by elected officials gives residents a more solid, focused area‎ in which to concentrate on what is an elaborate, complex situation. So I disagree with your desire to dissolve the subcommittee.

I do like your resident comments section of the BOS meeting agendas, though it’s unfortunate that it’s like “live voice mail” in which there aren’t direct responses allowed. I understand why this is, of course. Things need to be formally on the agenda in order to follow public meeting protocols. I appreciate your efforts in getting residents’ voices heard as a compromise at least. It’s a great start because often residents don’t know where to begin and this gives a good “start point.”

‎Thank you again for responding.

Best,

Liz

***

From: George Seibold‎

Sent: Thursday, November 2, 2017 12:20 PM

To: Liz Erk

Subject: Re: BOS Meeting Tomorrow at 5:00 p.m.?

 

Thanks Liz. I do feel that you might be mislead on what I stand for when it comes to this town…  my outlook is for everybody, not the select few.  Enjoy the weather.  It’s nice out there!

George

Sent from my iPhone

***

On Nov 2, 2017, at 12:34 PM, Liz Erk wrote:

I wish. I’m glued to my desk, but I like having my window open for faux summer. 😉

I am going to post something later and will include everything here. While I disagree with you on some town issues, I am in the belief that your heart is in the right place. That’s what elected offices are supposed to be all about, especially at the local level. (and why I ask people directly. I don’t like it when people post things that are speculation and without facts. It just starts trouble that is entirely unnecessary. This town is our community and home.)

Thanks again for your hard work, and your fast replies.

Liz

***

I didn’t really gain any insight into my original questions through this exchange, except that I believe the Infrastructure Subcommittee should be kept in place. From what I’ve observed in meetings since its inception, it doesn’t just focus on the MWRA, but at the moment that is the utility with the biggest impact to our town’s day-to-day. (I will update this post with a clip of the meeting where it was formed, once I track it down) As it is right now, I don’t think what’s currently happening with the MWRA is going to get enough time that it needs crammed into a BOS meeting. (That agenda isn’t posted yet, so I cannot link to it at this time) The Infrastructure Subcommittee meeting agenda is quite loaded with a number of important items. If I lived on Oak Street, I’d want this meeting to proceed. (Quite frankly, as a resident NOT on Oak Street, I want this meeting to proceed. These are all agenda items that we should be supporting our neighbors on by staying informed.)

The vote to dissolve the Infrastructure Subcommittee takes place tomorrow, November 3rd, at 5:00 p.m. (The subcommittee is led by Tom Boussy and Caroline Colarusso.) Please try to attend (though I can imagine if most residents are like me, they’re either still working or wrapping up their work week at that time). Be sure to reach out to the Board of Selectmen and share your thoughts:

George Seibold: geoseibold@gmail.com
Shelly MacNeill: macneill616@gmail.com
Anthony Wilson: aww181@yahoo.com
Caroline Colarusso: carolinecolarusso@gmail.com
Tom Boussy: tboussy@thbcompany.com