Election news: Parry running for BOS and investigating sabotage

by beth on March 24, 2014

Former Selectman David Parry pulled papers on Friday to run in the coming Board of Selectmen election. He will be up against four other candidates for the 2 seats with a 3 year term.

Parry reported an incident over the weekend that he believes may have been an attempt to sabotage his run.

Friday was the last day for pulling the official papers that must be filed with 44 registered voter signatures. Over the weekend, Parry was collecting signatures when someone apparently took a set of his signed official papers.

According to Parry, he spent 4 hours collecting 180 signatures at the Transfer Station. He then “very briefly” left the table to speak to friends inside the swap shop shed and returned to discover the clipboards, signed papers and pens gone.

Fortunately, he had additional sets of original papers that he had left for signatures at other establishments. He rushed to retrieve them and return to the Transfer Station to collect more signatures before closing. He writes that he was able to get enough signatures, but is upset to have lost the contact information for those 180 potential supporters.

Parry is hoping that security video at the DPW will reveal who was responsible. He has publicly emailed a request to Karen Galligan, DPW Director, to hold the video and allow him to look at it on Wednesday.

The candidate indicated he would wait to see what the video reveals before deciding whether to involve police or pursue violations of election law.

As of this morning, DPW staff hasn’t had a chance to review the video to see if the incident was captured. 

Galligan said that staff is in training today, but she hopes someone can retrieve the file this afternoon. She doesn’t know if the table was in view of the camera. She also wants to check in with the Town Administrator on  the policy for allowing the public to view it.

This isn’t Parry’s first experience with election shenanigans. According to the former selectman, when he was running in 1995, all his signs disappeared from lawns in the middle of the night. Two weeks later, they were discovered by Northborough police along an industrial roadside.

In a possibly unrelated incident, Parry reports that he and supporters were also victims of a verbal assault on Saturday. Two hours before his papers disappeared, a unfamiliar man:

strode by screaming loudly at a whole group of us standing there, at the [Transfer Station] a stream of loud, vulgar obscenities

He says the man returned at 5:00 pm, but took off after Parry told him he was on “Candid Camera”.

Parry is the citizen behind the citizen’s petition Warrant Article to appoint and fund a committee to review the Main Street reconstruction project. He has been the most publicly vocal face of the movement.

The deadline for filing nomination papers is 5:00 pm today. So, look for an update from me tomorrow on who’s in the running for the May election.

1 Resident March 24, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Mr. Parry should involve the police immediately and not defer to the discretion or the schedule of the DPW.

2 Bupters March 24, 2014 at 8:57 PM

If most of the comments below are typical of the reaction to Mr. Parry’s unfortunate experiences, it seems the police might be the most viable source of support.

3 Bupters March 24, 2014 at 9:01 PM

Correction: I should have said “Some of the comments”.

4 RB March 24, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Although alleged violations of election laws are serious and no joking matter, I find it ironic that the tables have turned – Mr. Parry has to turn to the person that he has publically chastised and criticized on numerous occasions for assistance – Ms. Galligan!

5 Bupters March 24, 2014 at 9:14 PM

And why not?

6 Al Hamilton March 24, 2014 at 2:42 PM

It is a shame that Mr. Parry was verbally abused. I am afraid that it takes a thick skin to run for office and try to serve your community to the best of your ability.

7 Bupters March 24, 2014 at 8:58 PM

Mr. Parry seems quite up to it.

8 Mark Ford March 24, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Furthermore, what?? I’ve disagreed with David at times, but what kind of person steals signatures?

I presume security cameras have Freedom of Information Act rights–after all, they too are a completely public document.

I agree with Resident, above–involve our new Police Chief. Let’s get to the bottom of this. If it was an intentional act, it’s despicable.

9 Resident March 24, 2014 at 6:40 PM

I don’t know how you “unintentionally” steal clipboards, pens & official documents. Or, once the culprit is caught, are we going to call it a “prank” like the recent snow plow incident?

10 Bupters March 24, 2014 at 9:13 PM

I guess one is supposed to have a “thick skin” and suck up any attempts at undermining or sabotage.

11 Mark Ford March 25, 2014 at 11:37 AM

I was trying to be kind…but here’s a couple of ways: an employee sees the unattended table and tosses them, thinking they were left behind. A Southborough resident, seeing that same stuff, takes it home with them intending to get in touch with Mr. Parry but has not yet done so. (Admittedly longshots.) I’m just amazed that such a theft could happen in Southborough. Sabotage is ugly. And yes, Resident, I agree. I would never call the snow plow incident a “prank.”

12 Bupters March 25, 2014 at 1:21 PM

I was agreeing with you, but was indirectly responding to Al Hamilton’s comment above.

It is possible, but unlikely, that the clipboard was tossed, or taken to someone’s home. Those would certainly be preferable scenarios. Given, however, that there was also verbal abuse from someone that day also at the Transfer Station directed towards Mr. Parry and his supporters, and that there have been incidents of sign removal when he and others ran for office at other times, it seems much more likely that someone stole the documents. I think that, especially if unscrupulous behavior like this is to continue, the police should be involved. I’m disgusted at some of the insensitive and downright strange comments on here regarding this.

13 Al Hamilton March 25, 2014 at 5:32 PM

For the record, speaking on behalf of my fellow gutless pathetic weasels, I was referring to the verbal abuse that Mr. Parry endured. I think it is a shame but it comes with the territory. If you want to find out what a terrible person you are run for office. If you don’t have a thick skin this is not a job for you.

14 Alan March 24, 2014 at 5:54 PM

It was pretty windy Saturday, I wonder if everything on his table blew away. Hopefully the video will solve it. I always keep quiet is situations like this and get my facts before I cry foul, that way I save myself embarrassment when the truth comes out.

15 Bupters March 24, 2014 at 9:14 PM

MM..Clipboards blowing away..Mmmm..

16 just curious March 24, 2014 at 6:35 PM

….. or to review the video to see if this incident actually happened.

With all the recent hullabaloo over the recent posts using multiple fake names which all bore remarkably similar styles, wording and CAPITAL LETTERS, well, I have my doubts about this latest alleged event. I will hold judgement until DPW reviews the video, but I suspect that if DPW does not substantiate this claim then there will be a hue and cry for an independent review by a non-town employee. Sort of like our own “grassy knoll” conspiracy.

17 Bupters March 24, 2014 at 9:14 PM


18 Art Fay March 25, 2014 at 8:59 PM

there had to be a second spitter
behind the bushes, on the gravelly road….

19 Donna McDaniel March 24, 2014 at 9:04 PM

When I ran for Selectman, our committee had painted our own signs (red and blue border with McDANIEL diagonally across center). One night my family woke up to the sound of a loud “WONK” or some such and knew what it was. Various signs around town had been whacked hard although not too broken to restore.
Ironically, I think that that brought some more supporters to my side, those disgusted with the thought of destroying signs though the fact is there’s no way of knowing if the opponent knowns anything about it. Some supporters can get carried away/
Anyway… it’s terrible that anyone would express their opposition in this way in completely contrary to what democracy expects of each of us.

20 Alan March 24, 2014 at 9:47 PM

If someone was trying to sabotage his running for selectman, why would they risk getting caught by taking the time to take the pens as well.

21 Bupters March 25, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Must’ve been the wind…

22 Publius March 24, 2014 at 10:59 PM

The signatature caper sounds a bit far fetched. And why would anyone sabotage his candidacy? Sounds like the candidate will do that without any help. Serving the town is serious business with serious consequences. Getting elected should not be about vendettas or pursuing selfish personal interests. The greater good often involves tough decisions made by those who serve.

23 Kim March 24, 2014 at 10:59 PM

Sounds like a publicity stunt.

If he cant keep track of his papers now, what will happen when he is in a selectman’s seat with sensitive documents.

24 M March 31, 2014 at 9:36 PM

Why would he do this for publicity? For those of you accusing Mr. Parry of making up this story, you are not thinking clearly. HE asked for the video to be reviewed. Why would he do that if he didn’t really think it happened? “Gee…Let me say something shocking and then ask for proof that I am making it up.” ??!!

These comments turned into ridicule and just proved to me that are enough people in town who dislike Mr. Parry and therefore this could likely have happened.

Politics can bring out the worst in some folks. Let’s be civil please.

25 Frank Crowell March 25, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Can’t wait for the video – pop corn and beer time.

Let’s hope there is not a “17 minute gap.” It would make “Uno Gate” a walk in the park by a Grassy Knoll :)

26 Alan March 25, 2014 at 11:12 AM

“Wind Gate”

27 Just Curious March 25, 2014 at 9:28 PM

Or maybe “Breaking Wind.”

28 Tom Marcoulier March 26, 2014 at 8:12 PM

Now that’s funny.

29 Bupters March 27, 2014 at 8:47 AM

It’s mean humor.

30 doubting thomas March 26, 2014 at 12:59 PM

This is all a conspiracy by people opposed to……

This story about stolen papers, damaged signs, CONSPIRACIES, and the Main St controversy should begin “Once upon a time…….”

I hope the good people of Southborough see through all of this smoke and consider these bizarre and self-serving claims when they evaluate which candidate to support.

Maybe it is time to hire an outside lawyer, send a letter to DPW demanding to identify all the users of the transfer station that day, order all town employees not to discuss this situation………

Opps, that was Unogate and Marty’s mess. We do not need a return to that kind of leadership.

There are several good candidates running for selectman.

These bizzare claims I’ll dub Trans-gate will cause me to vote for someone who is not and has never been a selectman. How can I vote to elect a former Selectwoman who voted for the Main St project and attended more than a dozen meetings, yet now as a candidate for election, is now exoressing reservations? Timing is everything in life. No thank you.

Vote for some new people. We have some great choices this year.

It is time to give some new people a chance.

31 Deleted March 28, 2014 at 11:24 PM

Comment removed for apparent violation of comment policies:
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32 Alan March 26, 2014 at 3:56 PM

I agree with Mr Hamilton’s comments above. If you want to find out what kind of a person you are, just run for office. I don’t agree with Mr Hamilton on a lot of issues but I can say this from his actions, He always explains how he reaches his decisions very clearly and he seems to be in the race for selectman for the good of the town. He does not seem to have a specific agenda and for that you have to respect him.

33 Maryanne Adamson March 26, 2014 at 5:30 PM

According to the press, it was the DPW swap shop staffer who told Mr Parry that the culprit might be caught on camera and suggested that it be viewed.
So the story is obviously true, and there are multiple witnesses to the crude verbal abuse.

34 Bupters March 27, 2014 at 8:46 AM

It’s irrelevant who commenters would like to see running for office, and who they like or dislike who might be running. If a candidate has reason to believe his signatures are being stolen, and is being verbally harassed as well, it should be reported. It has nothing to do with how well someone holds up under the pressures of campaigning and being in office. If people in elected positions have put up with this kind of treatment before, that should have been reported too. There is no reason to be enduring immature and illegal behavior.

35 Resident March 27, 2014 at 9:47 AM

I am really shocked at some of the comments on this topic, especially from Al Hamilton. Why are so many people unwilling to accept Mr. Parry’s natural, an In my opinion, very conservative, reaction to his papers being taken in his attempt to run for office? This is no small matter. Why is the possible culprit being given the benefit of the doubt while Mr. Parry is being accuse of a publicity stunt? I do not know Mr. Parry personally, but I believe that he served as a member of the BOS many years ago without controversy. Why is his running for office now being seen as self-serving just because he has taken a position on one issue and worked very hard to ask questions and provide information to the community? I was peripherally involved with the Main Street project several years ago and I must say that if the information that is being presented now had been presented then, it would have been very helpful. Unfortunately, it now seems that the information available then may have been somewhat biased. I, for one, am glad that questions are being asked now. Not sure how it will affect my position, but I’d rather have the facts and options.

Spitting, verbal abuse, stealing papers – none of this is a laughing or trivial matter. Mr. Hamilton, I suppose if residents who disagree with you started spitting and swearing at you when you are out in public, you would take it without complaint?

Someone posted that they are glad that there was no video so that Southborough will not appear on the local news. Really? That is your concern? Unbelievable.

36 Al Hamilton March 27, 2014 at 11:49 AM


Let me be Crystal Clear:

1. If Mr. Parry’s papers were stolen it is a matter for the police and he should file a complaint. If the event happened as described it is despicable and if the perpetrator is caught he/she should be punished.

2. If Mr. Parry or his supporters were spat upon that is an assault and a matter for the police and they should file a complaint. If the event happened as described and the perpetrator is caught he/she should be severely punished.

3. If Mr. Parry’s yard signs are stolen that too is a matter for the police.

4. If Mr. Parry or his supporters are forced to listen to unflattering or vulgar speech that is where I draw the line. I disapprove of such behavior, but it is free speech. A number of posters on this board who support Mr. Parry’s position on Main St have made unflattering comments about Mr. Rooney, Ms. Galligan, and Mr. Boland. They have a perfect right to do so even if such remarks say more about them than the targets of their venom.

If you run for public office you are going to have to listen to people say and write unflattering and possibly vulgar things about you, it is a fact of life in a free society.

37 Resident March 27, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Mr. Hamilton, your reply is appreciated as is the clarification of your opinion on this matter. I apologize for “calling you out.”

38 Resident - 2 March 27, 2014 at 10:51 AM

I think Mr. Parry’s reaction to this event say a lot.

If I had spent all day at the transfer station collecting signatures and then had them disappear after I had left them sitting on a table unattended while I had a conversation inside the swap shop, I would have blamed no one but myself. Maybe someone disposed of them maliciously, maybe someone thought they were abandoned garbage and just decided to clean up, maybe someone used the table to sort through their trash and accidentally picked up and threw away the sheets. It doesn’t matter.

The person who is most at fault for this disappearance is the person who left important papers sitting there unattended. If it were me, the last thing I would have done is made this disappearance public to draw attention to the fact that I was this foolish.

39 Resident March 27, 2014 at 12:41 PM

There are two “Residents” commenting on this post. Perhaps beth could assign a 1 and a 2?

I do not think it is foolish to expect that you could turn your back on such a table for five minutes and expect things to be as you left them when you return. Let’s not be ridiculous. It was obvious what the table was there for and it was not for “sorting trash.

40 Bupters March 27, 2014 at 1:01 PM

I suppose that another time Mr. Parry should nail down his clipboard, in case he, perhaps, needs to use a restroom.

41 beth March 27, 2014 at 1:38 PM

As other “Resident” pointed out, another commenter has already been posting on this particular story as “Resident”. So as not to confuse the two of you, I changed your pseudonym to Resident – 2 for this article.

42 Deleted March 27, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Comment removed for apparent violation of comment policies:
– Be transparent. You don’t have to use your real name when you comment (although bonus points if you do), but pick an alias and stick to it. No using different aliases within the same comment thread (i.e., you can’t pretend to be different people commenting on the same thing). If you’re an elected official or town volunteer, disclose that when you comment on something related to your work.

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43 Resident - 2 March 27, 2014 at 7:00 PM

I have no agenda. I’ve never even met any of the BOS candidates. All of know about them is what I read on this blog and right now I’m not terribly impressed with one of them.

So how long was he gone from the table? In the article Mr. Parry said “very briefly”. I don’t know what that means but it does say he was speaking to friends and I know that when I’m speaking to friends I sometimes lose track of time and it is longer than I expect it to be. In defending him Resident then states he was gone for “five minutes”. Try looking then shrinks this to “a minute or two”. I won’t comment any further on this.

To respond to your questions: I do think the person who is responsible is the person who left the forms unattended. This is different from being at fault. Mr. Parry didn’t do anything wrong, per se, but he did show that he is not careful and responsible. Its not the image I would want to project if I was running for BOS. And I live on this planet – thanks for asking.

44 Bupters March 28, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Resident – 2: I don’t care whether he was gone for two minutes or half an hour. Most people would logically assume that it was safe to leave their obvious campaign materials in a spot designated for said materials, while they occasionally go somewhere nearby to use a restroom or to chat with someone.

I can’t imagine deciding that someone is not responsible or careful based on this event.

45 Deleted March 28, 2014 at 11:49 PM

Comment removed for apparent violation of comment policies:
– Be transparent. You don’t have to use your real name when you comment (although bonus points if you do), but pick an alias and stick to it. No using different aliases within the same comment thread (i.e., you can’t pretend to be different people commenting on the same thing). If you’re an elected official or town volunteer, disclose that when you comment on something related to your work.

– Be real. When you submit a comment, you must enter a working email address. Your email address will not be published on the site, but for administrative purposes, it must be valid.

46 Townie March 27, 2014 at 9:49 PM

Like many have been saying, such acts of others and consequences come with the role of running to serve a community but, just because that is the case, it doesn’t justify what this person did. Bottom line, they shouldn’t have done it. No matter what the circumstances, it shouldn’t have been done. It’s disrespectful but also shows a sign of weakness. Think about it, instead of being an adult and bringing such concerns up with Parry himself he decided to take the easy way out and steal signatures.

Regardless of the complexity of the situation, Parry deserves to know who did this. Not just as a person running to support our community but as a human in general.

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