DO SOMETHING!

By Mike Flaherty | Jun 27, 2011


Speaking for myself, what has happened to our Town Government?  Is it a new problem, or has it always been there and I'm just noticing now?


I am refering to the notion that there is nothing that our elected and appointed officals can do about certain things. 


We say, DO SOMETNING about the 40b housing issue in this town?  They say they can't do anything because it is a state mandate that allows developers to bypass our zoning laws.  Yes, Westfield will help us achieve some magic threashold that the state likes to see, but many point out that 40b developers can STILL build here if that figure is met.


We say DO SOMETHING about the incredible sewer betterment fees that now are up to $32,000 for some homes.  They say, they can't do anything about it.  The state is mandating that these homes need to be sewered - even if it is by 2024.


We say, DO SOMETHING about the mental institution that is slated to start housing "clients" on July 1st in a postcard-perfect family neighborhood.  They say they can't do anything.  Their "hands are tied" because, like 40b, the state exempts these types of homes from our zoning laws.


We say DO SOMETHING about the bare minimum funding of our schools.  They say they can't.  The state uses an old formula that puts Wareham at a disadvantage for state aid.


I don't know about you, but I am fed up to my eyeballs with folks who want to be elected or appointed to lead this town but constantly keep telling me they can't do anything when it comes to the most important issues facing our lives.  Why?  Because the state won't let them.  And oh by the way, we get the same answers from our state reps.


Enough.  What's up with that?  We need to DO SOMETHING!  If not, then put a fork in Wareham and just let the state run it.  It virtually does already.



====================================
From Inside Tip:


In all fairness to the BOS, being a selectman can only be a thankless and difficult job at best. Sometimes, just like the saying, “God hears all prayers and sometimes the answer is no,” selectman can seldom please everyone. They are often faced with winners and losers or those pleased and those upset by their actions. I don’t think anyone begrudges them for this as long as they acted correctly and fairly and without an obvious or agenda driven partiality to one outcome over the other. There are almost always people on both sides of an issue and Lynne Road is not different.
====================================


Inside Tip, here is the thing...


Pointing out how profoundly "inapropriate" it is to place a home for schizophrenics, recovering drug addicts, and sex offenders in a family neighborhood of some 17 kids, is not discriminatory or partial nor is it perpetuating an agenda.  It is common sense.


Some officials have pointed that out.  I am particularly encouraged by how Cara Winslow and Steve Holmes have reached out to the community to help get answers.  Others, unfortunately, have been disappointedly silent.


It wasn't long ago when Ellen Begley and Mike Schneider were absolutely right when they stood up for the children in this community by challenging the failed school bus safety inspections that were covered up by the school dept.  When they didn't get answers, they kept digging and digging and they were very public about the stonewalling they were receiving from the town when it came to getting answers.  And Selectman John Cronin wasn't being partial when he called the school dept "disgraceful" for trying to price Ms. Begley out of the information she was seeking.  It was the truth.  That information was given free to her by the state (go figure).  In the end, the Transportation Director was held accountable.


Fast forward to today and the trouble folks have had getting answers from the town yet again.  Where are Ellen and Mike now?  Where is the woman I voted for and who I called my "Hero" for her diligence on the school bus safety issue?  Where is the man who filed an open meeting law violation with the state and forced the school committee chair, to retract his previous statements that attempted to strip the validity of at-large members' votes on the Transportation subcommittee? 


I understand Begley and Schneider are new Selectmen and maybe still trying to fit into their new roles, but the children in this community need them again. 


I hope the old Ellen and Mike show up Tuesday night.  In fact, I expect it.  And I expect them all to represent US and to DO SOMETHING!

Comments (18)
Posted by: Joe Leggett | Jun 27, 2011 08:16

"DO SOMETHING!" sums it up well Mike. I'm holding on commenting further till after Tuesdays BOS meeting.



Posted by: WarehamThinker | Jun 27, 2011 08:19

Don't hold your breath waiting for Mike and Ellen to do something.  They're as much a part of the old regime as anyone else, in my opinion.  They managed to convince Wareham that they were different people because they weren't actually sitting in the selectmen's seats at the time, but to me, that makes little difference since they supported the people who were in the seats.

 

Both were vocal supporters of that miserable paper that attacked good citizens, thankfully the man who ran it has finally given up - probably the best thing to ever happen for Wareham in a long time is that man quitting.

 

All I can say is I can find solace knowing that I DID something - I voted against Mike and Ellen.



Posted by: old lady | Jun 27, 2011 08:27

Mike, I believe you are wrong about the school bus issue and about Ellen and Mike. Time exposed the bus issue as not what they tried to say it was and time will show that Mike and Ellen are not what you think they are.



Posted by: Hometowngal | Jun 27, 2011 09:19

Mike, I've been involved in community happenings for more than forty  years and have never seen such lack of leadership as in the past six years. We had a board who decimated our town government. Look at where all those past employees are working now and the communities they went to are doing well. Those communities welcomed their expertise. Wasn't our former Chief of Police just praised in the newspaper last week for his management style ?

Looking back over the years, Wareham has in fact had its struggles, but we built a new high school, built an addition to the middle school,built a new library, put an addition on the sewer plant, our roads were in good shape, we had very little crime and what we had of crime was petty stuff (domestic abuse etc); our appointed boards and committees were not constantly attacked and functioned very well without having liasions telling them how to run thier meetings; good people chose to get involved, worked hard and never had their names dragged through the mud by a nasty journalist.

Why did you move to Wareham? Because it offered you a nice community in which to live. But, you yourself have seen the change.We never had such a divided community until the last five or six years. The elected officials in charge eliminated all the historical connections that made this community what it was. Got rid of anyone who had worked to make this community a good place to live.The previous Board caused such divisiveness that we may never recover from it. Instead of asking the community for ideas on how IT wished to move forward, they made their own decision on how things should be and shoved everyone else down the tube if anyone voiced concern in opposition. Look at the nitrogen issue. An agenda moved forward by two people, Ed P and Brenda E. The community responded and acknowleged that they recognize the need to do something. And formed a consensus group to move forward. Was that enough? No, someone's agenda took over and now we have elderly mobile home residents in fear of the park owners closing the parks and selling to developers because of the cost to upgrade the sewer system. Instead of tryng to work out a solution, they pushed their own agenda without regard to the community as a whole.

A lot of the other things you asked about can be easily corrected by new zoning and planning. Look at Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester, our neighbors. They don't have the rash of developement we have seen with low income housing. Why? Look at their zoning. Wareham has done numerous studies and spent lots of money. But the studies sit on a shelf and are ignored. There is no leadership to make all the recommendations from these studies happen.

If the town had listened to the concerns of the West Wareham Strategic plan, there would be no Walmart moving to West Wareham. Zoning would have been in place to prevent it. Instead, the Zoning Chairman was ostracized and criticized when she tried to look ahead as a community. Same with her efforts to prepare for 40B. We had new leaders who only wanted to dictate and accomplish what their personal agendas were, not what the agenda of this community as a whole wanted.

Elected officials represent not themselves, but the community. And we haven't had that for six years. Ellen and Mike are taking orders from the previous regime, so you won't see them being good leaders. Watch a prior Selectwoman as she sits in the rear of the Selectmens' meeting room and sends hand signals to Ellen and Mike. Ask theTA how many phone calls he receives on a daily basis from two former Selectwomen who continue to give him his marching orders.

Can we change things? Yes, we can. We can make zoning changes. Go to the meetings and speak out. Ask the Board to re-visit our Zoning by-law review committee. Have them pull out the Master Plan. Get some good forward thinking, smart, retired engineers or planners to sit on the committee and come up with some good zoning by-laws. Go to the Planning and Boards of Appeals' meetings and ask them to develop a set of you know what and deny some of these projects coming before them instead of giving a rubber stamp on everything. Make hard conditions for projects to adhere to. Petition our state for changes to 40B rules.

 If Walmart wants to move, condition them to so many things that it would virtually cost them a fortune to move. Tell them we need two police cruisers to patrol their new facility, make them pay for the details, tell them we need a new fire truck in case all the new product catches fire, tell them we need a new street sweeper to clean Toby Road of all the trash and paper bags that will accumulate once they move there (look across the street on Cranberry hwy and see the mess along the pond). Make them pay out of pocket for all the things it will cost the town to keepup with, if they move. And you know what, they won't move because they can't afford to adhere to the conditions. Make them pay to hire people to walk along Toby Rd. each week and pick up the litter. And, it's legal for a town to put conditions on a project so long as they are reasonable. New police cruisers, a street sweeper, and a fire truck are reasonable. Clening up the litte they cause is reasonable.The town would have to pay to cover the increased responsibility.

Yes, Mike, it's only been for the last six years that our town government has failed. I've been around a long time, worked with many past administrators and boards and I can honestly tell you that although we've had many different leaders, it's only been the past few that have created such blight on Wareham. We have a fractured Board of Selectmen, so we won't see any positive action. Ellen and Mike are puppets of the previous electorate and are still trying to move that agenda forward; Cara and Steve are on the opposite side, trying to bring back rational thinking. And Walter is trying to be the peace maker, therefore he becomes ineffective to either side, so we have a stalemate.

They don't say much on Tuesday nights but they sure do call and stop by the town hall daily.YOUR Ellen and MIke won't show Tuesday night, but the behind the scenes leadership will be in the shadow.  Look for it.



Posted by: watersprite | Jun 27, 2011 11:16

Mike,

 

I believe many in Wareham feel your frustration and seething anger.  It is one thing to be on the outside criticizing, but it is much different being on the inside and holding the same position.  Why?  You can't make deals by constantly calling people out.

 

That being said, it takes real strength of character to stand up a oppose your base of supporters, whether they are voters in Town or state officials in Boston.  What is happening in Wareham is absurd.  A lot of the problem starts with an untouchable topic - trailer parks and the plight of the very low income residents who live in them and hundreds of converted vacation bungalows.  Tax base, schools, police, fire, pollution control, 40b, other town services -- we have a disproportionate share of people in town who are net users of tax dollars.  It's not their fault for the most part, but its a fact and there is never a concerted effort to find a remedy.  Playing to them politically is too easy a way to get votes, especially if once you're in office you don't do anything to actually help them.

 

If our elected officials won't take on this third rail issue, does that mean they should remain neutered on other important issues?  It seems so.  Selectmen could use their bully pulpit to get derelict properties cleaned up.  They could express outrage and make it unmistakably clear to the DMH-backed builder that he is unwelcome in the Lynn neighborhood and it would be his and his possible residents to find another place.  They could all stand up and agree to develop a Town Master Plan that would help move the town forward.  They could demand that the FinCom, TA, and School Dept. develop a standard way of meeting publicly over the budget crisis that faces our entire school system next year after the one-time infusion of medical holiday bailout funds is exhausted.  And they can insist that the TA and his entire Town organization respond to serious inquiries into their performance with complete answers that demonstrate they respect the intelligence and concern of the questioners.

 

It would be great to have an active, cohesive board, one that doesn't have special agendas and a scratch-my-back attitude.  I for one, don't care if there is public disagreement on Tuesday nights -- so long as it is reasoned and respectful -- and its clear that people are working to move Wareham in the same direction.

 

Be leaders.



Posted by: Inside-Tip | Jun 27, 2011 21:39

I know someone who needs to do the right thing.

There is a lot more to the Don Bliss story than you might have read recently in the news papers and I suspect Town counsel will soon be earning his keep. To suggest Wareham’s behavior has been merely egregious in this matter would be an understatement. Interest is accruing at $500+ per week, plus there may be additional 5 to 6 figure damages and penalties for the Town as well because we will not pay him or tell him why. Andrews is ignoring him.

To date, despite a direct BOS order that Mark Andrews pay Don Bliss in May, Andrews has not paid Lt. Don Bliss. A recap: we wrongfully fired Don Bliss, we did lose the lawsuit and the BOS did make a decision to not appeal the ruling because finally, this BOS accepts that the past BOS/Town acted badly in the Bliss case; so why have we not paid him?

As with Don Bliss, Lynne Road and virtually every case we’ve lost over the years, we had legal advice before we acted. Or perhaps the BOS got one of those “Directed Opinions” after they fired Don. I’m certain we had counsel at every stage of the legal process. Yet we now not only seem unable to abide by a legal ruling from the court, but the BOS is completely incapable of ordering Mark Andrews to do anything whatsoever and what’s worse is that they are perhaps the only people in town who don’t know it. 

It’s got to be that friggen Stockholm Syndrome. That’s the one where you fall in love with your kidnapper. Where is counsel now? Evidently merely losing the case was not enough for us. No, we want to get sued again. Don Bliss is the only officer in town who has not been issued a permanent car to drive, as befits his rank. So now are we punishing him for winning his wrongful termination case by using discriminatory and retaliatory employment practices against him. By the way, Don won because he was right and the BOS was wrong. The fact that a court may rule to take every car from everyone until Don Bliss gets one too is about a week away. FYI BOS, he probably should not be assigned the worst car in the fleet now either folks.

Everyone should be outraged by Andrews conduct in this matter, but the more important issue, yet perhaps less noticeable than that we are willingly in contempt, indifferent, ignorant and arrogant is that we also apparently committed perjury in our testimony before the court. It’s either that or the money was there at one time and Andrews has emptied another fund without consent. 

We have virtually destroyed Don Bliss’s life. His family struggles every day to make ends meet and hold a life together after we ripped it apart. The personal and financial strain on his family was supposed to end when the BOS lost, but it continues. WHY?

According to testimony from Mr. Sanguinet (past acting town administrator and then assistant TA under Andrews) testified the settlement money, ($250,000 or so) was in escrow and ready for paying a judgment in case Wareham lost. So why has Don Bliss not been paid? After all, Sanguinet testified we had the money. Testimony, that’s the one that begins with you raising your hand and swearing to tell the truth. Maybe we should begin every BOS meeting with that one. Or was the money there when Sanguinet said it was and perhaps someone spent it for something else and did not feel obligated to tell anyone?

There are only four reasons for Don Bliss not being paid if the money was truly in escrow, as sworn to by Sanguinet: stupidity, incompetence, revenge or perhaps Mark Andrews has spent the money to cover ½ million + in unbudgeted overtime expense or to hide some other financial benchmark he missed. Maybe Andrews is waiting for the new fiscal year to begin next week so he can grab $250,000 and begin 2012 in the red so to continue the new financial shell game“Wareham, You’re Busted”. Maybe he now even has BOS approval. 

Didn’t we just work for days at town meeting to pass a Balanced Budget for 2012? Keep in mind what I wrote about the Healthcare Trust Fund. Good Luck! If this is Andrews’ plan, a biblical financial shortfall will occur next year when hopefully, Andrews is merely a bad memory for Wareham. My guess is we are already short $750,000 to 1.4 million for 2012 and it has not begun yet.

If Andrews did indeed raid the fund set aside to pay Don Bliss and he spent that money he should be terminated for cause on the spot.

Back to Lynne Road, Chairman Cruz stated, promised and assured those citizens at last Tuesday’s BOS meeting that the Town would be forthcoming with information and assistance within two days and I understood that to mean any documents that the folks on Lynne Road might need to fight their battle would be immediately forthcoming, as all present understood that time was of the essence. Didn’t you all hear that too? 

Well isn’t it strange that Myles Burke not only keeps public records locked in his office, which is I believe is against the law, but he has also refused to furnish Lynne Road residents copies of public information about their own homes. He has forced residents of Lynne Road to file “Public Information Requests” and assured them that it would take some time to pull the records together. The records they seek are the information cards which the building department uses (or is supposed to use) every day and which are immediately accessible to anyone in the building department, providing of course Myles Burke is at work that day and that his office is unlocked. This is how Chairman Cruz intended to keep his promises? Or maybe Burke and Andrews don’t really give a rat’s behind what Cruz wants?

If I were Burke I wouldn’t want to give up the cards either, particularly if they showed that there were in fact restrictive covenants on them and therefore the building permit for the 7 Lynne Road should not have been issued without HOA approval. Or I were Myles, I wouldn’t give them up until I’d made new ones. Maybe the cards do or did show the correct information and because Burke had them locked up in his office the day the permit was pulled the inspector never saw the correct info. 

Beneficiary: The concept of a "beneficiary" will also frequently figure in contracts other than insurance policies. A third-party beneficiary of a contract is a person whom the parties intend to benefit from its provisions but who is not a party to the contract.

Also, food for thought, our Town Counsel made an argument Tuesday evening that only the beneficiary of the HOA covenants could bring an action to stop 7 Lynne Road. This is often referred to as “standing” or the right to act. Which meant he was putting the burden back on 40 odd citizens to protect the entire Town. He may have been selectively correct in his opinion. Yes ,the Lynne Road residents/HOA may be the beneficiary of the HOA covenants, however, as the Planning board made the HOA a condition of approval of the cluster subdivision, I’ll bet a compelling argument could be made that the Town is also a third party beneficiary thereto and therefore obligated to enforce them. 

TUESDAY NIGHT WILL BE INTERESTING. A Game.



Posted by: justin beiber | Jun 28, 2011 07:52

I would be interested to hear what Mr. Flaherty proposes the BOS could DO to resolve the Lynne Road situation. 



Posted by: Mike Flaherty | Jun 28, 2011 12:16

 

Joe, thanks for your remarks.  The inaction must be especially frustrating for you.

 

 

================================
WarehamThinker wrote:


Both were vocal supporters of that miserable paper...
================================


WT, say what you will about the defunct political activist from Halifax, and these days I would probably mostly agree with you.  But Robert Slager's coverage of the school bus safety inspection fiasco was spot on.

 

 

================================
Old Lady wrote:


Time exposed the bus issue as not what they tried to say it was...
================================


Huh?



Old Lady, you are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to revise history.  The facts are clear, but you don't have to take my word for it.  Here, let Wareham School District Business Director, Ana Miranda, help explain the "obvious" reality for you.
 


------------------
Quoting directly from a one-on-one interview with The Wareham Observer and Wareham School District Business Director, Ana Miranda


ROBERT SLAGER - One of the issues that people are having with this, though, is that this information has been available to the school department on a yearly basis. And this seems to be a reactive step to an on-going problem. And people are wondering if this isn’t just a case of the school department and the school transportation department being caught with their pants down. I don’t have to be a certified mechanic to look at this and see “brake-line burst.”

 
ANA MIRANDA - Let me say this to you. These reports come to a transportation director. The transportation director isn’t required, I mean, you have someone working for you. It’s their job. If there was something they should have let us know. We can’t act on what we don’t know.
 

ROBERT SLAGER - So you are saying you were never informed of this?
 

ANA MIRANDA - Not until December, no.
 

ROBERT SLAGER - And these go back years, right?
 

ANA MIRANDA - Yes. Years. Yes. Yes. In the process of, you know, how are things going? It’s OK. Everything is OK. Everything is OK. Well, obviously, things were not OK.


Source: http://www.thewarehamobserver.com/news.php?viewStory=925
------------------

 
Again, you are free to defend the indefensible, but those with children in the Wareham School system can't.  I am grateful that the School Department had the sense to quickly DO SOMETHING in finding a new Director of Transportation.



Old Lady, if you wish to discuss this further, then please start a new discussion, Otherwise I would like to stay on the topic regarding the examples of the inability (or unwillingness?) of our town government to DO SOMETHING when needed.

 



Posted by: Mike Flaherty | Jun 28, 2011 12:39


Justin Beiber, if I had the answers, then I would have run for Selectman.  Instead, I thought I would leave it up to the "professionals" - those who said they could and would help LEAD this town. 


And I expect better from them than smirks.


But I do know this.  If I were at that table, the least I would do is assure the residents of the community that I (we?) would do everything in my power to preserve their safety and the quality of life that they have enjoyed before all of this.


Remember, 7 Lynne Road is essentially a (for profit) motel for transients who, according to the state, will live there no more than 30 days.  Whereas, the families who built their homes there to make it the community it is today are tax-paying RESIDENTS who did so to raise their children and to potentially live the rest of their lives there.


Also remember that we (the town) required these RESIDENTS to have a Homeowners Association which resulted in the covenants that were broken.


So if I were a Selectman, I would consider these RESIDENTS as PARTNERS (imagine that) on this issue day one.  I never would have let it get to the point it has in the 11th hour where Town Council is just now getting up to speed with the issue.  I would have insisted that the BOS Chair formally put these RESIDENTS on the agenda WELL BEFORE last week.



That's what I would have DONE, Sir.



Posted by: justin beiber | Jun 28, 2011 14:51

     "And I expect better from them than smirks." What's that remark all about? I have not attended any recent Selectmen meetings, so I'm not privy to this type of behavior, if indeed that is what you are referring to.

     When I first read about the Lynne Road situation, I thought of all the drug dealers in town and I thought about NIMBY. I even wondered if my own life-long battle with depression would ever prevent me from finding decent housing.

     So I drove over to Lynne Road to see the neighborhood for myself. One thing I am sure of. This is no place for a half-way house. The residents of this enclave have spent too much time and effort establishing their landscapes to have it all thrown back in their face.

     Lynne Road along with its two connecting cul-de-sacs is one of the nicest developments in town. This simply cannot happen. But what to do?

 



Posted by: Inside-Tip | Jun 29, 2011 22:02

WOW, great BOS meeting, huh? Yep. Told you so. Dover amendment applies. Nope, even though the town ordered the covenants as a condition for the cluster plan approval, Wareham is NOT a beneficiary. Really? Then why insist on them in the first place unless there existed some need to have them or some, yep, benefit for the town. While the Town may not have enforcement rights, perhaps the argument could be made successfully that it is, regardless, responsible for them and also perhaps liable for their enforcement. 

The benefit for the Town was to insure an already clustered subdivision, with undersized lots, did not become a hodgepodge of non-conforming structures by the willy-nilly issuance of building permits with homes being in such close proximity to each other. Unbridled additions, or further development would have affected the values of the homes and therefore affected the town financially. (consideration)

What you saw last night was a very bright man, and Jay is one of the brightest, trying not to spank his bad dog in front of the children and public, but at the same time letting them all know that they have no one to blame but Burke and Andrews for this mess should it get to the litigation phase.  

(Note: no matter how good your attorney, he cannot rise above a client who lies to him or hides the facts. I would keep that in mind as this progresses.) 

And consider also; every time two parties go to court both have an opinion from their attorneys that the law is on their side. Just because Jay says its so is not indicative of how the law suit will proceed and I’m not referring to White suing Wareham. The town has not heard the end of this from the residents is my guess. 

What Jay really said was, had either Burke or Andrews informed the BOS early enough on or denied the permit which would have put the matter before the Zoning Board of Appeals, we would have had many more options to affect this outcome. No you say, well if it were not true then Jay would not also have recommended that we write a new policy as an early warning system. You see, due to the arrogance or incompetence exhibited by Burke and Andrews, we have bound the town to a course which should it deviate from now, it would suffer potentially enormous financial loss or so they tell us.

OK, but even all of that is spilled milk. It’s done. The BOS will not fight the fight because they have allowed themselves to be unwittingly maneuvered into a well-orchestrated and planned outcome. They have theirdirected opinion covering about every offense committed and they have also put the emotional and financial burden of protecting the Town on the backs of a few homeowners. “Good day’s work BOS. We’ll have two more beers over here!”

There are two questions; Will the BOS take action to insure that this does not happen again and then hold those responsible to account? I’ll give you 5/2 against.

Lynne Road, as I have stated numerous times, is a sad matter, but the more important item to our welfare is that we need to deal with a systemic propensity to be told and accept half truths and complete lies when speaking to certain town officials. We need to impress upon our BOS that truth does matter and the mere fact that we get past one issue or another here and there does not mitigate the fact that people we employ feel perfectly safe lying to the voters in the surety that the BOS will protect them. We have a systemic cancer, which needs correcting, and then all the Lynne Roads will miraculously stop.

The BOS needs to accept that their job is to enforce all the rules and laws, not just the ones which are convenient or with which they agree.

Wareham is about to hear from a higher authority. The next few weeks should be interesting. The only question really is will there be 2 or 7 public spankings.

Let’s recap: 

The permit for Lynn Road was issued on April 14, 2011. According to Jay, the Town may have acted to revoke or challenge that issuance if it had done so within 30 days.


The citizens of Lynne Road asked both Myles Burke and Mark Andrews what could be done to stop the facility beginning shortly after the permit issued.

As late as may 25th people were still asking Andrews for an explanation of Lynne Road and he’s still ignoring people.

On may 27th, Town gets letter from State regarding Burke. State has notified Town that Burke may not issue permits or do inspections.

When asked why he issued permit for group home in a residential neighborhood, Myles first claims that he did not know it was to be a group home and that he was not aware of the covenants. 

When confronted with the fact that the town did know of the covenants, Myles jumps to a new horse, then states that CMR 780 covering group homes applied and he had no choice but to issue the permit. OK, so now he’s issuing a permit for a group home he’s already claimed he was unaware of. Good and you? 

Lynne Road residents unable to get a straight answer from Burke or Andrews ask and get on the BOS agenda.

30-day appeal period on permit expires. 

Senator Pacheco says, “TOO BAD WAREHAM”.

Andrews holds a meeting in his office with two Fellowships execs, a rep from the Sate DMH, Burke and two citizens, but does not invite any Selectman,

Andrews tells resident that Town Counsel looking into Lynne Road.

Andrews tells Cruz residents are A-OK with the sex offenders helping their kids off the bus.

Andrews/Cruz remove Lynne Road from BOS agenda because residents are “satisfied”

Pesky residents won’t go away and Andrews schedules workshop meeting which he does not attend.

Cruz refuses to put Lynne Road on BOS agenda.

Residents show up for citizen’s participation.

Andrews has a medical emergency and misses meeting.

At 21st meeting, Town Counsel states that he had heard about Lynne Road for the first time only the week before, nine weeks after the fact, but the information packet he needed to address it had been delayed in reaching him for some reason and he’d only received that on Monday June 20th. Jay confirmed those dates last night. 

Apparently, Andrews held the information from Town Counsel until the night before the next BOS meeting, which caused a delay until this week for Town Counsel to render an opinion. Another week lost.

Facility scheduled to open July 1st.

At 21st meeting Cruz assures citizens that nothing more will be done with Lynne Road until Town has legal opinion from Town Counsel on 28th. Refuses to take an actual vote to clarify what he promised, so I’m sure it’s my misunderstanding but:

on Friday the 24th, Town issues another building permit to Group Home facility despite Cruz’s promise. WTF!

I understood Jay to say last night that the check box on the building card indicating HOA covenants did not apply because applying the HOA covenants was a local rule or zoning issue, which would be waived by the Dover amendment. Therefore, I assume Jay was now admitting that the HOA information was on cards, or known to the Building Department, yet Myles Burke and BOS members had previously stated that the Town was not aware of those restrictions or they would have honored them. Honoring and enforcing are two entirely different legal issues. 

Past practice has proven that the building department did insist on HOA approval for permits on Lynne Road.

The town could have protected itself by hiding behind the HOA covenants. 

Burke would have been entirely within his rights to deny the permit based on use, zoning and the HOA covenants and sent the applicant to the ZBA for a ruling.  

A properly credentialed Inspector with the requisite years in the building trade who possessed the mandatory college degree with all the necessary years in municipal enforcement who had also passed the certification test and had taken all the current continuing educational courses would certainly know all the legalities related to CMR 780 this or CMR007 that and cluster zoning and HOA rules. Right. Oh yes, Myles Burke does not meet the minimum standards to be a Director of Inspectional Services, or have any of those other resume entries which would allow him to issue occupancy permits or to hold the job he has, but lucky for us he knows all the rules inside and out. Really?

At every juncture, Andrews could reasonably be accused of blocking Town/BOS involvement in this issue. Now we have missed the 30-day deadline for action and coincidently, the Attorney General is rattling her saber and intimating a civil rights action. Am I the only one who recognizes the convenient timing and the coincidental nature of this threat coming as Town Counsel is delivering a legal opinion? Smell like a favor by a senator called in by a Wareham official for a friend in the construction business to you?

Jay is correct when he states that Town’s are allowed to make certain kinds of errors and that they may act differently in the same circumstances without penalty. Really? Well maybe with this caveat: as long as that action is not malicious, conspiratorial or intended to advantage one person or group at the expense of another.

I hear that perhaps that other folks are about to weigh in on this and maybe other matters as well. Andrews may not be the only one with friends in high places. This is not over quite yet.

Someone said tonight that Andrews would be gone in 2 years. Perhaps we can do better than that if we refuse to accept this madness and do what he is hoping we do, forget and move on. Let’s not!



Posted by: old lady | Jun 30, 2011 06:14

I'm sorry if I upset you Mike. The topic was in your post and I wanted to point out the error. I will not address it further because of the many problems this town has in the present.

I think it is time for the selectmen to go back to square one. They need to replace the inexperienced and unqualified people they have managing this town.

The problem with Lynne Rd is a perfect example. There were ways to stop this at the beginning but our administration did not.

The sewer problem is not a mandate from the state and does not need to be done now. More research needs to be done and experts need to be listened to.

I have seen the town management come up with money for outrageous salaries and projects they favored. I believe they could give more to the schools if they wanted to. We need our selectmen to put people in place that can work with the schools.

 

I hope these comments are within your perimeters. I value your posts. I disagree with you often and feel you listen to and believe the wrong people. You probably feel the same about me. Bottom line is we want the best for Wareham.

 



Posted by: Mike Flaherty | Jul 04, 2011 20:43

I was just re-reading HometownGal's comments, and I just wanted to say, Thanks.

 

Thank you for taking the time to collect your thoughts in the way that you did.  You mentioned a lot.

 

One thing I wanted to focus on...

================================
HometownGal wrote:


A lot of the other things you asked about can be easily corrected by new zoning and planning. Look at Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester, our neighbors. They don't have the rash of developement we have seen with low income housing. Why? Look at their zoning. Wareham has done numerous studies and spent lots of money. But the studies sit on a shelf and are ignored. There is no leadership to make all the recommendations from these studies happen.
================================


I have always wondered about this.  Why just Wareham?  Why don't other neighboring towns seem to have this issue? 


Now, HomeTownGal (or anyone else), can you elaborate on what sort of zoning and planning changes could make Wareham less attractive for 40b housing?



I wonder if town counsel touched on this during his presentation at the last BOS meeting and how Wareham can be in a better position in the future to challenge developments protected by the Dover Amendment?



Different but the same?



Posted by: Zorro | Jul 05, 2011 10:42

Mike, your re-reading of HTGs comments, and your questions about zoning and such made me think of some comments I posted on another site regarding the Lynne Rd situation.

They may be somewhat relevant here, as I think in Wareham, building, zoning, planning, conservation are all pretty interelated.  My other comments were in-part:

I believe the HOA has gotten a restraining order from a judge until sometime later this month on the issuance of an occupancy permit.

The neighbors seem to be at the mercy of the 'you didn't complain within 30 days' of the building permit being issued arguement.

Two weeks ago, with persistent questioning, Mr Schneider did eventually get Mr Burke to admit that the only way a neighbor, or abuttor, would even know of the issuance of a building permit would be by seeing it posted on the work site.

I know for a fact, that there is NO proactive communication from the Town before, when, or after a building permit is issued, given to anyone.

I guess that makes it pretty easy for anyone with the right connections to get a permit in, say July, not do anything with, or display it until say, September, and therefore, preclude any ability for anyone to challenge it (beyond 30 days).

I know of at least one Town in Ma. anyway that requires notification to abuttors at least 30 days PRIOR to issuance of any such permit.

Seems to me like this could be a good idea for Wareham too, unless, 'the way we do things around here' would find such a by-law too restrictive.

 



Posted by: WarehamThinker | Jul 05, 2011 11:37

Hometowngal's comments were touching, because she  summed up succinctly what has been happening around Wareham the past few years.

 

The title of this thread is "Do Something!" and the truth is - the problem this town faces is that all of the "doers" were chased out by the "do nothings."

 

The town's supply of "doers" have been defamed, demonized, and demoralized to the point that I doubt the town will be able to recruit good people to help any time soon.



Posted by: Mike Flaherty | Jul 10, 2011 10:39

====================================
(from a different thread)
Nicole Dipasquale wrote:

You have got to be kidding me?  Citizens have spoken about standing up for what is right.  Citizens have spoken about standing together to become united.  There is not one citizen (of Wareham) that can possibly think that this town is headed in the right direction after reading a few of these articles.  How am I (or we) to have any faith in our town officials when they are sitting on the side lines allowing this town to be ruined?
====================================


My sentiments exactly, Nicole.

 


====================================
(from a different thread)
Frightened wrote:

 

"This all comes down to Ellen and Mike"
====================================


I disagree.  The whole BOS is letting us down here.


I have an image in my head that I can't get rid of.  I had a front row seat to the last BOS meeting.  There I saw Sean Murphy, a Wareham native and an active duty Chief in the United States Navy (and fellow Seabee BTW), sit at the table and explain in no uncertain terms to the BOS that Myles Burke was not honoring Walter Cruz's promise to ensure he get the information he needed.


Repeatedly Walter Cruz kept telling Mr. Murphy to go to the Town Hall in the morning and get the information he asked for.  And repeatedly Mr. Murphy kept telling Walter that is EXACTLY what he has tried but has been getting NO WHERE with the Town administration.  Mr. Murphy pointed to the fact that he was told it would be 5 - 10 days to get a response and how that was unacceptable given the time-sensitive nature of the issue that everyone agreed with at the previous BOS meeting.


At that meeting, never, not once, did anyone from the BOS simply look to Mark Andrews or to Myles Burke (who were both there) and simply ask them why it was taking so long for Mr. Murphy to get the information that everyone agrees is essential to sorting out the Lynne Road fiasco.


Why not?  It isn't interfering with day-to-day operations for the BOS to simply ask the TA questions on why nothing is getting done - when residents and taxpayers aren't getting anywhere themselves.


Or maybe.  Just maybe.  Mr. Andrews or Mr. Burke could have taken the opportunity to offer an explanation themselves without being prompted.  But as we all know, that didn't happen either.


And given the wheel chair ramp permit (recently posted on Wareham Week) issued for 7 Lynne Road that was signed by Myles Burke after the state told him he had no authority to do so, then I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to understand the stonewalling on the administration's part.


Stonewalling??  Now why does that sound familiar?  Oh yes, I remember now.  Isn't that what Ms Begley endured from the School Committee with her own requests for information.  The irony, and I dare say hypocrisy, is staggering.  It was wrong then, and it is just as wrong now.  For Ms. Begley to be silent about this now is more than disappointing.  In fact, I consider it dereliction.


To Mike Schneider's credit, as Walter was trying to quickly move on to the next agenda item, he motioned to at least waive the fees for Mr. Murphy's information request.  To which the BOS voted unanimously in favor of.  Too little way too late.


Don't get me wrong, there are definitely a couple of selectmen (Winslow and Holmes) who are trying to help residents get the information they need, but this nonsense of all of them allowing Walter to protect the TA from providing answers publicly and directly to the residents of this community needs to stop.


DO SOMETHING!



Posted by: Mike Flaherty | Jul 10, 2011 10:48

 

Main Entry: der·e·lic·tion 

Function: noun

1 a  :  an intentional abandonment b  :  a state of being abandoned
2  :  a recession of water leaving permanently dry land
3  :  an intentional or conscious neglect < dereliction  of duty>



Posted by: frightened | Jul 10, 2011 16:08

mike: keep the fire under them. Thank you.



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