Candidates’ Night – May 7

by beth on April 23, 2014

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Above: The two candidates for Board of Selectmen answered questions from the public at the Library’s Candidates’ Night in 2012. This year, the field is crowded with seven candidates vying for 3 spots on the board. (Photo by Susan Fitzgerald)

Library Trustees have issued their public invitation to the annual town Candidate’s Night:

The Trustees of the Southborough Library will hold their annual “Candidates’ Night” at the Southborough Library on Wednesday evening, May 7, to give voters a chance to meet the candidates and get answers to issues of concern. All candidates running for election or re-election in May have been invited.

The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a “Meet & Greet” session with refreshments. A program with candidates in contested races only will begin promptly at 7:00 pm. Former Town Moderator John Wilson will serve as moderator for the evening.

Candidates’ Night is one of the Southborough Library’s civic programming events furthering its long-range mission to be “the center for life-long learning at the crossroads of our community.” The Library is located at 25 Main Street, Southborough. Handicap access is available through the elevator at the lower level entrance.

For a reminder of who is running for contested positions (Board of Selectmen and School Committee) and their position papers, check the blog’s Town Election page.

And make sure you mark your calendar to vote on May 12th.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Frank Crowell April 23, 2014 at 9:05 PM

Just wondering, will Ms. Harragan be there to explain using her school email address for her re-election campaign (MetroWest story today)?

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2 Al Hamilton April 24, 2014 at 12:32 PM

The article can be found here:

http://southborough.wickedlocal.com/article/20140423/NEWS/140428877/11436/NEWS

I originally noted Ms Harragans use of her school email address in her campaign statement on this blog. I sent her an email (to her school address) on April 11 suggesting that this was neither appropriate nor wise since this email address is a public record that can be seen by anyone making a public records request.

I also informed Mr. Martel as he is the non incumbent candidate for one of the 2 positions and might have been disadvantaged by this inappropriate use of public resources.

Mr. Martel suggested that I give Ms. Harragan a second chance to correct this violation. I sent her a second email on April 17th. To date I have not received a reply to either email.

Mr. Martel then made a public records request (Note that both my emails and Mr. Martel’s request are public records) as described in the article and informed the Metrowest News.

It was only as the story appeared to be going to press that the school email address was removed from Ms. Harragans blog posting in the afternoon of the 22nd. The article was released early in the morning on the 23rd.

This may seem like a trivial matter but it is a clear violation of Mass Campaign Finance Laws and Ethics regulations. You do not need to dig very deeply to find this out. All of the other incumbent candidates in various races understood this. Unfortunately, there seems to be a prevailing attitude among some members of our k-8 school committees that transparency and appropriate use of public resources is not important. Over the years we have seen a number of public records requests stonewalled and the open meeting laws ignored. Now we have another example of inappropriate behavior.

Our K-8 schools consume nearly 50% of every tax dollar we raise. I am not complaining about this, like everyone else I want strong schools. Transparency is critical to maintaining the support of the roughly 2/3 of the electorate that do not have children in our schools. It really is time to let some sunshine in on the policies and practices of our School Committee.

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3 concerned_resident April 29, 2014 at 7:23 AM

Folks,

The change in size and character of Southborough’s Board of Selectmen, our intrepid town leaders, is shaping up to be THE most important decision that residents can and will make in the next few years and perhaps for many more to come (incumbents tend to hang onto their positions, don’t cha know!). Well, then, I would ask Sue, Mysouthborough’s website manager, to coordinate a thread or other method to compile the primary goal and top 3 objectives that each candidate would focus on during his term. Strategy and tactics matter so please candidates should SPECIFY HOW they will SUCCEED (not simply try … anybody can do that) to achieve their key objectives and as a result, their primary goal.

And candidates, please, do not tell me that your main objective is to lower taxes, improve the quality of life for residents, and protect senior citizens in town. We all agree that these are laudable objectives. Let’s dig deeper, eh? Put on your thinking caps and tell the fine people of SB how these or other MORE FINELY defined objectives will be accomplished.

Without an ‘apples to apples’ review of candidates, how can we make an intelligent choice in this most important election. If we can conduct a side-by-side comparison of features and functions of a new flat panel HDTV online, should we have the same convenience when selecting our town leaders? I’m just saying ….

BTW – Sue … you are doing fantastic and diligent work in maintaining this forum for all SB residents who care about the issues! Building upon the progress that Beth made over her tenure. Thanks!!!! A site way more effective than a town hall meeting for exchanging ideas.

http://www.communityadvocate.com/2014/04/28/profiles-southborough-board-of-selectmen/

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4 beth April 29, 2014 at 7:39 AM

As I included in the story – The site already has a dedicated spot with position papers for each candidate including their “priorities/key issues”. They also write about why they are running and why you should vote for them.
http://www.mysouthborough.com/candidates-for-town-election-position-papers/

(FYI – Thank you for your support, but you have me and Susan reversed!)

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5 concerned_resident April 29, 2014 at 7:57 AM

Hi Beth,

Ooops! I mixed up your name with Sue … but you know what I meant. thanks!

Regarding the Candidates position papers, I did review it and found some info valuable, but most candidates don’t specify anything that helps define a clear plan. More platitudes, lofty fluffy objectives and pithy strategies that just dribble off….
Candidates, can you step up to answer the questions I’ve posed in my earlier post. Succinctly, but meaty responses that actually identify tactics would be enormously helpful. Now if we don’t see such responses, well then we might just conclude that there is no clear plan to present, and that’s still useful information to digest. Either way, we will have more info than we have now.

p.s. While I have not just yet decided to support Mr. Hamilton (though I very well might) I am impressed with the degree of details and thought he put into his candidate website. http://www.al4selectman.com/

This exemplifies the detail I would like to see in responses to the questions (goal, objectives, clear ‘workable’ strategy, and specific tactics … a timeline would be nice too)

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