At least we tried

Discussions about upcoming warrant arcticles or anything else related to Town Meeting.

At least we tried

Postby 4TheKids on Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:54 pm

What a shame this town is so divided. I truly hope this sends a strong message to our town officals.

However, I won't hold my breath. I have lost total faith in our Town Manager, BOS and SC.
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At least we tried

Postby CuriousT on Thu Jun 26, 2008 12:27 am

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Political capital is for politicians; I trust and hope you have seen the last of this Mr. Rauseo on the public stage in Tewksbury. He tried his best to work within the system and got blindsided; he tried his best to work outside the system and got insulted, abused, and threatened.

What you say is true Bob but he also 'took one for the team' because not only did he get the attention of the 'insider' crowd, he also brought a surprisingly large block of supporters to Town Meeting and was nearly successful in throwing town government into total disarray.

And that's not a bad thing because people were ready to let that happen in order to drive home the message that they are dissatisfied with the efforts of their TM and Board of Selectmen.

The first steps to make some significant change may have actually taken because the pounding Keith took just showed everyone in broad daylight what-- and especially who -- is wrong with this town right now.

There was plenty of anger in the building and, after giving this some more thought, I think anger can actually be a good thing because it often is the first step in effecting real change.

Keith I really wish you would reconsider your resignation, because the pounding you took just made you the symbol for what's wrong with this town. You got the ball rolling and I think that by sticking around, you'll allow the pro school movement to gain some numbers to the point where in a year or two, we may be able to vote a few of these stiffs out of office and get a new Town Manager in here.

I fear that by pulling out now, this little 'movement' you've created will peter out -- or at least not be orangized/concetrated enough to make any difference.
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At least we tried

Postby redbarchetta69 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 12:54 am

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You know what the sad part is? If Keith's group had left that position they wanted to cut from the Senior Center intact, his budget probably would have passed. Stacking the hall with seniors was the difference.

Not necessarily. Remember that Cressman served on the Senior Center Building Committee and was instrumental in getting it built. He did this knowing the seniors would support his budget and vote for pro-Cressman candidates for selectmen. He may be running the town into the ground, but he's smart enough to game the voters. In politics special interests always remember who their "friends" are.
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At least we tried

Postby KLHRM1@VERIZON.NET on Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:12 am

how can people support the TM when he has already admitted in the past that he lost 1m dollars.

I am ashmed that our so called SC elected officials sat there last night & did not in any way try to support our kids. Is the stipen worth your reputation.

Keith good luck to you & your family. You & your team deserve alot of credit for trying to get our town back in shape.
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At least we tried

Postby moretpani on Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:41 am

Wait, wait, I see one person standing there without a ribbon.!!!! No wait, it was my dipper… It was on too tight… never mind.
What a f..n joke.

As for the fire chief, I guess he was right, Keith should have asked him if he needed more money, but there was no time. He and the “Mysteries fourâ€￾ had to come-up with a new proposal in two weeks. Something the TM could not do in a year, more like in 22 years. Chief, why did you object for more $$$. If you have too much give some to seniors, they are on “fixedâ€￾ income….

The question is (I should have asked this last night) , how much can one sue the town for if the Fire, ambulance does not make it in time?
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At least we tried

Postby RickGuida on Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:13 am

Good Morning All,
I would personally like to thank all the residents of Tewksbury that took the time to attend the TM last night. Regardless of which side of the discussion you were on the mere fact that you exercised your right as a citizen is admirable.
I would like to thank all of the people that expressed there support for the effort that was put forth last night. There were many kind words offered and I know that all of us of appreciate it. Unfortunately I also uncountered something that quite frankly stunned me. The rudeness of many was appalling. As my wife and I try to teach our children, there must be tolerance for differing opinions as well acting in a dignified and respectful manner to all.
As I thought about what occured after the meeting last night I at first was bitter and demoralized. I kept thinking about being refered to as the "WE" group.
The more I thought about it the more I came to embrace the moniker. My mind kept wondering to one of the fundemantal documents that make this country the greatest in the world. As we all know the Declaration of Independence starts with the words "WE the people....." How appropiate that we the people had the opportunity to try and make a difference.
My aim by trying to contribute in a very small way to this effort was simple. To me it is about priorities. These priorities that my wife and I embrace is that our children live in a safe and vibrant community. We hold the education of our children as a top priority. We will continue to be advocates for them and will always strive to provide the best educational opportunities to them.
On a personal note, I would like to thank Keith Rauseo for devotion of both time and the well being of his family to this effort. I have only known Keith a short period of time but have come to repect his opinion and clear and common sense manner in which he has been an advocate for our children. The families of elected officials should not have to endure what his fine family was subjected to. The elected official excepts these digressions and by nature of there serving put themselves out there for critizism etc. The line was crossed by some people by envolving Keiths family in the debate and no one should have to tolerate that.
Thank you Keith, the children of Tewksbury have lost a great advocate for there education.
Again, thank you to all and please keep fighting for what is right and just.

Rick Guida
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At least we tried

Postby 4TheKids on Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:43 am

I recall seeing/hearing Mr.Consaul pleading with parents at past SC meeting that they need the parent support..." We need the numbers".

Still trying to figure out Mr. Consaul are you truly there for the school parents & kids. Because you obviously decide to skip out on the parents and children last night.

Dr. McGrath... You send your parents reverse calls to remind us to vote etc. Well now it is your good faith from that nice pay raise you got.... Keep our teachers will you.

OUR teachers have worked just as hard as you have if not harder. Our children deserve a proper well funded education. Start pounding the pavement with the SC and make things happen. If you can't find alternatives to make things happen then it is time for you and the current SC to step aside. Maybe someone new would be more passionate about what their elected or paid to do.

Zee I think you mentioned something about young Mr. Sitar last night not being very professional. He had his sights set on joining Chief Ego.
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At least we tried

Postby MAD House on Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:43 am

From my experience in the "real world" of business: If the compnay runs in the red 2 years in a row the CEO is fired.

I'm appauled that both boards of directors Selectman and School Committee allow the CEO's of thier companies to run their repective companies into the ground. Al the while collecting larger than life pay checks and benefits.

We need business sense. Not political Hacks.
MAD House
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At least we tried

Postby Nacca on Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:05 am

Everything you need to know about how screwed up this town really is can be summarized by Chief Donovan last night. His ego was hurt because he wasn't approached by Keith. He doesn't want more money for his budget if it means going against the Town Manager. Remember that the next time he is crying for more funds!!!! The relationships in this town are far too cozy.
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At least we tried

Postby concernedmom on Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:11 am

If we don't need the South Firestation for 2-7 months out of the year, than why do we need it at all?
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At least we tried

Postby U8Coach on Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:30 am

Thank you everybody who stood up and debated the merits of the alternate budget as well as the TM budget.

If I had my own microphone at my disposal, here are a few things I would have pointed out:

#1 - Todd Johnson stated in his opening remarks that this was not a perfect budget. By definition that means that there was room for improvement in the budget which is exactly what our goal was from the beginiing: To improve the budget.

#2 - Mr. Johnson said that to oppose the TM budget would ruin the fabric of our community. I disagree. The loss of a single life due to the closing of the fire station would rip the fabric of our community apart. The loss of 32 teachers will severely rip the fabric of our community. Turning over the administration of thr senior center to a volunteer board will not rip the fabric of our community. Closing Town Hall would not rip the fabric of our community. Many people disagree, but that is what the debate last night was all about.

#3 - Chief Donovan said that he never asked for more money and that he was satisfied with the TM budget. In fact his departmental request for FY09 was $6,076,410.00. The TM/Fincom recommended budget was $5,626,164.00. So in fact he did ask for more money.

This speaks directly to the issue of what is wrong with this entire process in my opinion.

If we have fixed costs which are escalating beyond our control and which cannot be reduced or eliminated (utilities, salaries, special education, etc), then would it not make sense to fully fund all of these increases first before we entertain an increase in funding for any other line items?

#4 - The School Department received an additional $174K over last year's budget. Special Ed increased by $750K this year. Salaries, utilities, and other fixed costs increased somewhere in the order of $2 million dollars. If the town had funded the increase in special ed. and the increase to the Tech, the schools would have received enough money to save all of the teachers. It burns my blood to see the schools get hammered year after year yet to have the Fincom and BoS pat themselves on the back for their generosity to the schools. The ratio of the budget which is allocated to the schools is not relevant. It does not matter if the schools are receiving a 2% larger piece of the pie this year if in fact it does not cover the cost of a single fixed line item in the department.

The numbers you see at Town Meeting are manipulated to make the BoS and the Town Manager look like heroes or magnanamous benefactors. It is all for show because when you walk the halls of the schools and see those classes with 30-40 kids in them you cannot escape the truth.

However, the people have spoken and I guess it will be every man, woman, and child for themselves in this town.

At least I can say that I made an honest effort to change the way our budget is handled and to try and get things moving in a more positive direction for our kids. At no point did I resort to name calling or threats throughout the debate. It truly saddened me to see some of the behavior last night during the meeting. If it was hard to get parents to go to the meetings before last night, it is going to be damn near impossible now.
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At least we tried

Postby Lilbigmouth on Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:42 am

take your fight and your GROUP to the state house!!!
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At least we tried

Postby jules2 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:58 am

I was pretty sick last night after watching the debacle. I'm ready to pick up stakes and get the heck out of dodge. Keith: for you to rise above the "herd" and keep your cool, remain respectful and eloquent was just incredible to see. No one envied your position last night- but you really showed class and I hope that you realize that there were MANY there in your corner! Please don't be defeated by it-- we need you. Thanks to the alt. budget committee for ALL of their work and dedication to the cause. They did in weeks what it has taken the Board YEARS to try to figure out. I was appalled by Joe Gill constantly interrupting people at the mic and Mr. Carey's outbursts as well. Why the proponents of the TM budget in the front and opponents in the back?? That alone spoke volumes to me! Some seniors call for respect, but did not show it last evening.
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At least we tried

Postby drfu100 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:59 am

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If it was hard to get parents to go to the meetings before last night, it is going to be damn near impossible now.

I disagree. I think some of us will be more determined than ever. What a sweet victory it was that for the first time in the 10+ years I've lived here, the taxpayers to refused to rubberstamp Cressman's budget and voted it down.

While we may have lost the debate last night, it felt good to put our so-called town "leaders" in the spotlight and on the spot, and make them justify their actions to our faces, rather than read their soundbites in the newspaper (I never thought I'd see a Chief of Police throw a tantrum and shout that he DOESN'T want more funding and DOESN'T want more staff).

Change is happening and they don't like it one bit. I'd like to think this momentum will only continue and grow as this town continues to spiral out of control. Kudos and many thanks to Keith and the WE group for getting the ball rolling.
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At least we tried

Postby justamum on Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:47 am

I look at what occurred at TM last night with sadness. I can see things, as alot of you can, from both perspectives.

Yes, we need our children to receive a well rounded education. Also, we need to take care of our seniors - not the senior center - our seniors.

I took care of my Dad for many years and would never trade that time for anything. The TFD came to my house many times to assist him and ultimately the last time when he passed away. The men from the South Tewks Fire Station were AWESOME and arrived within a moments notice. When a life is on the line - TIME is important! I will be forever grateful to the Fire Dept for all they did for my Dad AND my family. On the other end of the age spectrum - education is just as important! I have a child entering TMHS in the fall - and the way I look at it - he needs to get his cards in order in the next four years - because after that it is his life! We have to give the kids the SOLID basis that they need so that they can live their lives and become upstanding senior citizens one day!

It is all about RESPECT ! We need to respect one another. Respect seems to have fallen by the wayside lately. Maybe we can find it somewhere...............
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