SWL: AG’s office determined BOS broke Open Meeting Law

by beth on March 30, 2015

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Selectmen attempted to reverse an Open Meeting Law violation this winter. Southborough Wicked Local reports that the state determined their actions weren’t sufficient.

Earlier this year, Desiree Aselbekian filed an Open Meeting Law violation complaint. She alleged that the Board of Selectmen acted improperly by voting in closed executive session on the performance evaluation and raise for Town Administrator Mark Purple.

The board later apologized for the accidental violation and moved to fix it through a public vote.

That vote accepted the increase and approved the previously conducted evaluation. The evaluation wasn’t shared, but the public was notified that they could get a copy through the Town House.

Today, SWL reports that the Attorney General’s office determined that wasn’t enough. The AG’s office found in favor of the complaint:

[Assistant Attorney General Kevin Manganaro] wrote “professional competence” matters with nonunion employees —such as a performance review — must be conducted in open session.

“While it is clear that professional competence must first be discussed in an open session, how that evaluation will factor into a contract or salary negotiation strategy may be a suitable discussion for an executive session,” Manganaro wrote.

SWL referred to a letter posted on the AG’s website. That letter now orders selectmen to release the minutes of the executive session within 10 days.

Because this was not a lawful executive session held in compliance with G.L. c. 3OA, § 21, the minutes may not be withheld in part or whole under the Public Records Law

Click here to read the full letter. SWL’s full article is available here.

Since the original complaint was filed, the board held executive sessions to negotiate salaries for Police Chief Kenneth Paulhus and Fire Chief Joseph Mauro. Both were followed with public votes on the salaries and without public discussion of their factoring performance evaluations.

This may be a grayer area, as the evaluations were conducted by Purple, not directly by the board. However, other non-union employee evaluations are discussed at public Personnel Board hearings. 

It’s safe to say the violation won’t be quickly laid to rest.

In January, SWL reported Aselbekian claimed that BOS Chair Bill Boland, with 8 years experience on the board, would be familiar with the state law. She alleged the Town purposely hid the raise.

Boland is now running for re-election against Aselbekian and two others. He’s is also in a 3-candidate race for Town Clerk.

1 Townie March 30, 2015 at 9:35 PM

Sounds like it’s time for a change of faces on the BOS. Glad one of the candidates knows the rules and is not afraid to say anything when the BOS veers from them.

You got my vote Desiree

2 Mom23 March 31, 2015 at 10:42 AM

Time to vote Desiree back in and keep the other yahoos in line!

3 beth March 31, 2015 at 11:31 AM

“Back in”? I know she served on the regional school committee. I’m not aware that she was ever on Board of Selectmen.

4 Desiree Aselbekian April 1, 2015 at 5:22 PM

Beth,
First, a huge thank you to the residents who posted offering me support. I am grateful and appreciative for their confidence.

Since people are talking about my town service specifically, let me clarify. I have never served on the Board of Selectmen. However, you are correct, I was an elected member of the Algonquin Regional School Committee from 1999-2005. Moreover, I was an elected member of the Southborough K-8 School Committee from 2000-2005.

If you or others are wondering about my public service, please visit http://www.ElectDesiree.com (it will redirect you to my main site) or more specifically my community experience page at http://www.desireeforsouthborough.com/community-experience.html.

I hope that provides clarification.
Thank you,
Desiree

5 Resident March 31, 2015 at 4:30 PM

We need more people like Desiree looking out for the taxpayers of Southborough. Bill Boland has held a seat on the BoS for WAY too long. It’s time for better, transparent and much more responsible representation for the residents of our town.

6 Resident 2 March 31, 2015 at 6:57 PM

And Mr. Bolland wants to be the Town Clerk in addition to being a Selectman? If after 8 years on the BOS he can’t follow the Open Meeting Laws, why should we think he’d be able to follow all the rules as Town Clerk?

7 southsider April 1, 2015 at 12:56 PM

I think Bill Boland does a nice job of representing how I feel the town should be run. There are benefits that he brings to the table each day because of all that experience. The newspapers are routinely reporting OML violations all through central Mass towns. That Southborough has so rarely been found in violation may, in fact, be a feather in Mr. Boland’s cap!

8 concerned_resident April 13, 2015 at 7:37 AM

Hi Southsider,

you mention “benefits that [Bill Boland] brings to the table each day” in his role as a BOS member. I just don’t see any of them.

I would ask you (or Bill B supporter) to list three important, wise and impactful decisions he has made or proposals he has taken a leadership position over the last three years (forget about each day). BE SPECIFIC please.

Beth, please coordinate two or three distinct threads about our CURRENT BOS members and their past positions on issues that matter to the community. I think it is vital that we, as voters, consider that broad range of issues that each BOS member up for re-election has taken. I want to know if past campaign promises or political stances are verified with ACTUAL decisions. thanks

9 beth April 13, 2015 at 8:31 AM

Who would define what the issues that matter to voters are?

10 concerned_resident April 13, 2015 at 9:26 AM

Hi Beth,
ONE THREAD: PROMISES MADE vs. ACTIONS TAKEN
I would suggest that you, me or others start the discussion by posting past election promises, policy statements or guiding principles that Bill Boland ran on and those of candidates seeking his seat. Then let’s challenge the BOS incumbent and challengers to provide SPECIFIC examples of how he met those targets or how a challenger would meet his/her policy objectives. Simply promising to be a nice guy or gal who wants to preserve our cozy town ‘way of life’ wont cut it anymore. No more platitudes …. if you want the reins, tell us where you want to take us and where you guided the wagon.

SECOND THREAD:
If we/you framed the issues by type (budgetary / priority services; quality of life; “vision for future” issues) then posters can add their input and voice support or objection to the issues. Prior to the election, we could close the thread, compile the results and present the issues to each candidate for their input…. NEED IDEAS and even better A PLAN that might effectuate the issues of most interest. that’s about it I guess

11 beth April 13, 2015 at 10:10 AM

Sorry, I still don’t see it.

I think it’s pretty hard to define the issues.

From my observation over the past couple years, the “issues” people deeply care about pop up out of nowhere. The fact is that selectmen are often called upon to balance expense to taxpayers vs services to town, and to make judgement calls on sticky issues that no one foresaw. (Whether the choices they make are good or bad are in the eyes of the voter.)

I don’t see a clear list to make of promises vs votes. (In fact, I can’t find any specific promises made in the last election except to act in the best interests of the town. Once again, a judgement call.)

People are free to ask questions about how Mr. Boland voted on specific issues. They are also free to ask how any of the candidates stand on specific issues. But it seems inappropriate for me to write a post in which the whole concept would be a focus on (or attack) one candidate.

You may want to attend Candidates Night and ask him questions yourself. Beyond that, if you are looking for more on what promises he made last time around – you can read a 2012 piece run on Boland and his then opponent (Leo Bartolini) by the Metrowest Daily News: http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/x792223738/Southborough-selectmen-candidates-make-their-pitch?zc_p=1

12 RB April 13, 2015 at 11:16 AM

I agree with Beth – that is what Candidates Night is for.

Also, talk with the candidates – I am sure they will answer whatever questions you may have.

The other thing I like to do is use Google to obtain information on the candidates. There is plenty of information on the incumbent candidate as well as his challengers. In fact, I recently did just that and I was quite surprised to learn that one candidate owns an “adult boutique” specializing in, among other things: “high quality sex toys, lingerie, lotions, and DVDs.” I bet that may make for some interesting Candidate Night questions!

13 Alan April 2, 2015 at 2:02 PM

When voting for town clerk, ask yourself a question, “would I want this person to marry me and my spouse to be”? This is in fact in the Town Clerks powers.

14 Mom23 April 13, 2015 at 2:03 PM

Paul Berry performed many weddings in the front of the town hall. He also was sometimes hired to go out and perform the ceremony, so yes, it is definitely in the powers of the Town Clerk.

15 Jared April 17, 2015 at 12:32 AM

Is Mr. Boland still a candidate for both Selectman and Clerk? Someone told me he had pulled out of one of the races but I don’t know which one, or if that is just a rumor.

16 beth April 17, 2015 at 10:20 AM

I heard a rumor on Wednesday night that someone pulled out of Clerk’s race. I got confirmation from the Clerk’s office this morning that it was Bill Boland.

He withdrew before the ballot deadline. So, the ballot will list only James Hegarty and Doriann Jasinski for that race.

17 Publius April 29, 2015 at 10:39 PM

Question, what exactly is Desiree’s Desires? Has this been discussed by anyone?

18 Surprised in Southborough April 30, 2015 at 10:49 AM

Publius-

I googled Desiree’s Desire and went to this website: http://desirees-desires.com

There is a picture of Desiree on the front page.

The first page also includes this statement that describes her store as a “…retail boutique specializing in high quality sex toys, lingerie, lotions, and DVDs.”

Her website also says ” No question is ever off limits with Desiree. Please feel free to consult with her before purchasing any of our sexy lingerie, playful novelties, exciting toys, delicious lotions, or stimulating DVDs. Desiree is sure to offer you what you are looking for or maybe even a little something sexier.”

She did not mention her business products at the Candidate’s meeting last night at the Library, but, ironically, she did speak at length about her desire for transparency in town government.

When Southborough cable airs the video from the Candidate’s night, take a few minutes to watch all of the candidates. Pay special attention to the remarks Desiree made at the end of her presentation and her tone. I’m pretty sure she was the last candidate.

Whatever she is selling is not illegal and she has been in business for a few years so somebody must be buying it.

Everything I have posted above are facts. The comments below are my own opinions.

Clearly Desiree is very intelligent, but I find Desiree to be shrill and abrasive. I do not like the fact that she and her boyfriend applied to be on the same committee that she chairs – DPW Planning – yet neither she nor the boyfriend disclosed that information. Common sense tells me that when appointing someone to a board, you might want to consider getting a diverse group of people on a board, not 2 people from the same address. And she is clamoring about a lack of transparency in town government?

I have observed Desiree at several town meetings over the years and I always recall the tone of her questions as harsh. I wonder how she will work with the other selectmen? Would I want to sit with her for several hours every week for the next 3 years? No thank you.

Maybe I’m the only person in town who was unaware of Desiree’s business. I wonder what the good people of Southborough would think of somebody opening a store like Desiree’s Desire right on Main Street? I’ll bet that most people would think a store selling sex toys is not in keeping with the rural character of Southborough, even if it is legal. We just wouldn’t want it in our town, or at least I wouldn’t want that or any other ‘adult’ business here in town.

I do not want somebody who sells sex toys representing me as my selectman. That is not why I moved to Southborough and those are not values that I support. I will vote for one of the other candidates.

19 Al Hamilton April 30, 2015 at 4:06 PM

The candidate started a legal business and has apparently made a success of it. This sort of anonymous, puritanical, trash talk puts the small in small town.

I am supporting a different candidate but I appreciate that Ms Aselbekian had the guts to put her hat in the ring and offer us a choice. Far too often we don’t get one.

If you want to look down your nose at a successful entrepreneur the show the same guts she did and run for office.

20 Desiree Aselbekian April 30, 2015 at 7:40 PM

Dear “Surprised in Southborough,”

Thank you for asking questions about me. First, I’m very pleased you find me intelligent. With a Master’s Degree and Law Degree, I think I have earned that accurate assessment. I feel compelled to respond to your inquiry about my business and my family because you are, in fact, calling my integrity and honesty into question. I find it ironic that you are accusing me of not being transparent when you can not identify yourself on this blog. However, I would be more than happy to sit down with you for coffee or tea if you would like to learn more of the facts.

Relative to Candidates’ Night, I was never asked about what I do for a living. Furthermore, nobody asked the employment of my two male opponents either. I felt my time was best served by offering detailed responses to voters concerns about how to move our Town forward. Certainly, if I were asked about Desiree’s Desires, Inc., I would have been more than happy to discuss it.

Relative to my business, my mother and I opened an adult specialty boutique in Upton, MA with heavy concentration on sexual health and wellness in 2010. Over the years, we have built a substantial customer base that is sent to our boutique from their ob/gyns, urologists, and therapists. Additionally, sexual health is part of overall body wellness that leads to stronger heart health, cognitive health, and longevity.

At the time of our creation, in December 2009, the economy was still struggling. Many banks were not giving loans to new start-up businesses. However, with a detailed business plan with 5 year financial projections, we secured a loan quite readily. Within the past 5 years, my mother and I have worked very hard to build a business that is welcoming and profitable. You might have even seen our TV commercial on cable.

You see, I’m not hiding anything. My name and face are everywhere and have been since I was 17 years old when I made my first successful run for Regional School Committee in 1999. At the time and perhaps still, I was the youngest elected official ever in the Commonwealth. I’m the first person to tell anyone what I do. I have knocked on over 1000 registered voters’ doors, and I’m very happy to answer questions about what I do. I have actually received very good feedback about my business savvy. Additionally, you can learn about my family’s long history of small family businesses on my campaign website. http://www.desireeforsouthborough.com/family-history.html

Personally, I respect your right to not want to visit my boutique. I don’t, however, appreciate your blatant disrespect for me personally and my family members. My “boyfriend” is actually my significant other who for all intent and purposes is my husband. Jamie was interested in serving on the Public Works Planning Board to broaden his professional knowledge base of municipal government, as the DPW provides the vast amount of services to the residents of our Town. I was appointed by the moderator to serve on the Public Works Planning Board for a two year term over two months before Jamie was appointed by the Planning Board for a three year term. Your information about our disclosure couldn’t be further from the truth. I spoke with the Town Clerk and State Ethics Commission, and Jamie spoke with the State Ethics Commission to confirm there was no conflict of interest. For anyone who has attended our meetings, there is not one person who could make a valid claim that we are in “cahoots,” and we occasionally vote differently on topics. Many significant others (married or otherwise) have done this in the past in our town. Please refer to previous Town Reports, and you’ll see this is not a problem.

I’m sorry you have such a negative impression of me. It’s okay not to like me, and that’s your prerogative. I can, however, assure you I want what is best for our Town. What you call my “harsh tone” is actually better described as my passion and enthusiasm for what’s right. It’s all about progress for our Town’s future. Again, if you are so inclined I’d be happy to talk with you personally. Send me an email at Desiree@DesireeForSouthborough.com or give me a call at 508-485-0167.

Kindly,
Desiree Aselbekian

21 concerned_resident May 1, 2015 at 7:57 PM

Hello Desiree,

Well said – polite but firm, clear and concise. You got my vote (and I am an undecided voter, until now). Folks, consider her boldness, her intelligence and passion.

Desiree, I would like to hear two or three brief but specific initiatives that, if elected, you would pursue to achieve the goals you outline on your website.
http://www.desireeforsouthborough.com/ideas—positions.html

New Info Technology is one, but how about expansion of the tax base while preserving the small town look and feel of Southborough? Is school enrollment in flux and does that portend changes in the budget allotment to school system?

I would asks these questions of all candidate. Lets try to avoid the platitudes and get to specifics) thanks

22 Desiree Aselbekian May 3, 2015 at 2:37 PM

Dear Concerned_Resident,

Thank you so much for bringing the focus back to the issues. I greatly appreciate your questions. In fact, because of your reference to my website, I decided to create 3-5 action plan/initiatives to each one of my overall goals. I believe this will answer your questions and also give more specifics for others regarding my ideas.

As always, please feel free to contact me directly with more questions or concerns.
http://www.desireeforsouthborough.com/ideas—positions.html
Thank you,
Desiree Aselbekian

23 Publius April 30, 2015 at 3:22 PM

Most candidates would willingly describe their employment and business backgrounds at forums and candidates night. What one does is part of who they are. And yes style and manner does matter especially when seeking elected office.

24 What? May 3, 2015 at 11:15 AM

Publius:

Really? I watched the entire candidate’s night video and I heard minimal attempts, if any, from either Mr Boland or Mr Shea elaborating on their employment histories? Neither made it a significant part of their platform for office. The audience asked no questions relative to the topic.

Although Desiree did mention something that she was an education policy advisor in the State Senate and small business owner in her remarks. She also said she had a law degree, I think. She did not elaborate on the State Senate part and I don’t know what that means, but it seems relevant to what she’s running for. I’d like to know more. Maybe we should explore employment histories with candidates? But she seems qualified to me. And given I know little of the other two, except Mr. Shea is an engineer, I’d say Desiree is the most qualified if you use their employment history as a factor for choosing after watching the videos from this weeks event. But as many have said here, I don’t think that is a great indication of whether they will be a good representative for us or not. Their vision for the Town is what matters.

This whole post and story smells of good ol’ small-town old-boy network politics set up by the current leadership team in the Town House. I agree with Mr. Hamilton on this thread, this type of behavior is what puts the small in small town. We are way better than this.

This is also may be the type of leadership Desiree was seemingly warning taxpayers of in her closing remarks on the video. If you want more of the same leadership in the Town House, vote for Boland (Chair of the Selectmen) and Shea (the Chair of Finance Committee). If you want something different vote for Desiree.

25 beth May 3, 2015 at 12:52 PM

Brian Shay is not the chair of a finance committee. He is the chair of the advisory committee. That committee reviews articles for Town meeting and provides voters with their advice as to whether to support or oppose.

26 southsider April 30, 2015 at 5:05 PM

Is this factual? ” stimulating DVD’s” “sex toys”

27 New Resident April 30, 2015 at 8:03 PM

I don’t find the particulars of Ms. Aselbekian’s business problematic at all. These products are legal and are used by consenting adults (and probably by some among the readers of this blog!) I think her experience as a small businessperson is appropriate for town government. There are aspects of the current selectmen’s personalities that I appreciate, but not everyone has to be exactly like them in every respect. Diversity in a working group is good and can make it more productive, as different viewpoints can be expressed.

28 Modern day American May 1, 2015 at 9:41 AM

Hi Surprised in Southborough and Publius,

By both of your comments and your arguments, it seems that you are questioning the character values of Desiree. While I completely agree with you that the people of Southborough have the right to know the occupation of all of the selectman, I do not agree with your assessment that Desiree’s work reflects poorly on her character, or that it is relevant to her ability to be a good selectman.

Adult stores in the US are some of the most lucrative businesses in the country. According to IBIS World, last year the industry revenue was $1 billion, and the industry itself grew .7%. From a business perspective, jumping into the adult store industry right now would be beneficial for any entrepreneur trying to succeed. I cannot fault Desiree for seeing a business opportunity and taking it, and initiative is personally what I would love to see in any selectman. We need a selectman who is not afraid to fight for what the town needs, and who is not afraid to pursue results.

In regards to what the “good people of Southborough would think” about a shop like Desiree’s, I believe you underestimate the modern viewpoint of Southborough citizens. We are in a day and age where sex and sexuality is not something to be covered up or hidden.

Sex toys are not these dirty objects that induce erotica in the unsuspecting and naïve masses. They are available for people to explore their sexuality, understand their own bodies, keep relationships strong, etc. They are beneficial to those who elect to use them, and countless studies have shown that they strengthen long-term relationships. Sex toys do not threaten the security of families, they do not “corrupt” the masses into perverted citizens, they do not harm in any way. The fact that you imply that Desiree should be ashamed for selling these products AND that her business reflects poorly on her ability to be a good selectman is quite frankly absurd.

Desiree is a business owner, a very good one at that. She is savvy about different strategies, she knows how to get things done, she has innovative and progressive ideas, and she gets results. I do not see anyone questioning the other candidates’ occupations, nor do I see you criticizing them for being assertive on their opinions. Where you recall Desiree’s tone at town meeting as “harsh,” would you recall Bill Boland’s tone regarding renovating the police station as harsh? Or would you recall it as assertive? Is it that you are expecting Desiree to be the motherly, feminine figure instead of an assertive leader in town meetings? Is it that you are more comfortable seeing the men debating and making decisions? Because I am personally having trouble seeing the diversity in that.

Where you may perceive Desiree as harsh, I perceive her as strong. Where you see her as someone you can’t work with, I see her as someone who is willing to fight for what she believes in. Where you see just a woman, I see a leader. I see a leader that Southborough needs.

29 I second! May 3, 2015 at 11:17 AM

Modern in America:

Extremely well written and articulate. I second this post!

And nominate you for Board of Selectmen to run next year!

30 Resident May 1, 2015 at 10:14 AM

Call me old fashioned, but I cannot fathom having a selectman who sells sex toys and porn as one of the town’s executive officers. It is inconsistent with my idea of my representative, and I wonder how many of her supporters knows about this business. And, it is clear that she is not a consensus builder but rather divisive.

31 Publius May 1, 2015 at 2:17 PM

Adult stores are hardly some of the most profitable businesses in the US. But it is true there is some demand for porn and peddling porn can be a legal business. For any part time elected position what all the candidates do outside of the time spent town business is relevant as is their policy positions. Maybe in the future candidates will be marijuana retailers. But it is relevant since the BOS has to act on things such as zoning and siting of businesses.

32 beth May 1, 2015 at 2:57 PM

Since some may not be clear on selectmen’s role – I want to address that statement. I don’t believe the Selectmen have any real role in zoning.

Zoning bylaws are generally drafted by the Planning Board (or citizen’s petition). The bylaws are then voted on by residents at Town Meeting. While the BOS makes recommendations on each article, they have no authority. And voters often cast opposing votes to their view.

As zoning stands, adult businesses are apparently restricted to the industrial park zone.

Interpretation and enforcement of the bylaws is done by the building inspector and Planning Board. And override of zoning is handled by the ZBA.

I think the closest that selectmen have in influence on these matters would be that they appoint members of the ZBA (and fill temporary Planning Board vacancies between elections). So, I don’t really see a selectman as having the ability to site an adult business downtown, even if that was her goal. (Not that I’m saying it would be.)

(If anyone who has contradictory information, please rebut.)

33 Desiree Aselbekian May 1, 2015 at 3:52 PM

Beth,

For the record, I have absolutely no intention of trying to change any zoning laws relative to adult districts in Southborough. My mother and I are very pleased with our location in Upton. The Town has been very welcoming to us, and we are pleased to be staying here for at least another 5 years.

I appreciate the opportunity to clarify this issue,
Desiree Aselbekian

34 Doreen A May 1, 2015 at 3:48 PM

Mr./Ms. Publius,

As Desiree’s mother and business partner, I take great exception with your characterization of our business, which you clearly know nothing about. We do not run a 1970s red light district porn store. In fact, our high-end boutique caters to those looking to enhance their sex lives and improve their sexual health and wellness. It is apparent how far behind the times you actually are.

All Desiree wants to do is lead this Town into the future without any hidden agendas. I’m quite proud of my daughter and all of her accomplishments. Shame on you for trying to tarnish her character when all she has done in her teenage years and adult life is support our Community. I raised a “spitfire” who is a very determined woman. I’d like to think she takes after myself and her grandmother.

Let’s put this subject to rest and focus on the issues. I’ve had enough of this BS!!!

Doreen Aselbekian

35 Bill May 1, 2015 at 2:51 PM

Unbelievable. Porn? There isn’t a single mention of porn on her website. These rants against Desiree are ridiculous. Who cares??

36 Desiree Aselbekian May 1, 2015 at 2:52 PM

It seems that my business is greatly distracting from the original message of this blog post: that the Board of Selectmen did, in fact, violate the open meeting law. I’m rather perplexed as to how we arrived to this topic from the origins of the post.

I find it disconcerting that after what I and my supporters perceived as a very successful showing at Candidates’ Night, an anonymous post surfaces at 10:39pm that very same night inquiring about my business. This was followed by a response at 10:49pm from a rather disgruntled individual. This line of inquiry surfaces on an original blog post that had not received activity in 12 days since April 17th. I ask voters to consider that this “stinks” and resembles negative campaign tactics at its best.

I have not once stated anything negative about either one of my opponents. I have no interest in discrediting either one of them. They have both given their time to our Community over the years, as have I. Our political records can speak for themselves. Voters are more than entitled to judge me on a myriad of issues in order to decide if they will vote for me or not. That’s the beauty of choice in America.

I ask you to consider this: for those of you who are just learning about what I do for a living, does that automatically negate all of the good things I have done to promote our Community? I have dedicated the better part of my adult life to Southborough beginning my service to our Town at the age of 18. I managed to get elected in 1999 before I even graduated high school. I went to Wheaton College because it was a great school and local (where I graduated with honors in only 3 years). I lead the regional school committee in successful passage of a $60 million addition/renovation. Additionally, I lead the K-8 school committee when the Finn and Woodward School renovations occurred. Students today are benefiting from my involvement and leadership on those issues.

For the record, at no time have I ever been identified as a difficult committee member who didn’t work well with others. I worked with a combined 13 other people in my school committee days, and we all worked very collaboratively to get issues resolved and move the districts forward. Additionally, in my recent position on the Public Works Planning Board, I don’t know of any individual who I have not worked well with including Ms. Galligan. In fact, if you attend our meetings you’ll find it is actually good for a few laughs.

I’m not going to apologize for my discovery of Open Meeting Law Violations. Nor am I going to back down from my position of lack of transparency on budget issues, such as the lay-off of a 25 year senior employee without disclosure to the Advisory Committee or Town Meeting voters. While I ultimately support the restructuring of the DPW, I do not support making those decisions behind closed doors.

Our Town has substantial challenges facing us in the near future, and we need leaders who understand the Town’s history, are honest, and are willing to do the right thing. Again, I have no idea how my small family business affects my ability to do this. In fact, there isn’t one member of the current Board of Selectmen who owns a small retail business. Moreover, I worked for former State Senator Pam Resor for 4 years as her educational policy advisor. In that time, I developed legislative skills that are still relevant today. In fact, I have provided guidance to the BOS on the procedure to file a Home Rule Petition for 911 Field and legislative avenues to facilitate a better response to 84 Main Street. My ability to relate to the business community and my governmental knowledge base will actually diversify the Board quite substantially, as no other Selectmen has a combination of these skills.

I’ll leave the voters with this story: a customer visited our boutique just this week and told us he was a fourth generation small business owner. He asked about how we were doing, and then said, “If you can run a small business successfully, you can do anything.” I firmly believe the voters of Southborough are sophisticated enough to know “a business is a business is a business” (quote from the President of the Corridor Nine Chamber of Commerce when referring to my business).

I thank all of my supporters for your unwavering backing during this recent attempt to smear my name. I trust we can move forward together and be successful on Election Day. Let’s continue to stay focused and move Southborough forward.

Kindly,
Desiree Aselbekian

37 Tessa Stephens May 1, 2015 at 7:03 PM

You have my vote Desiree.

38 resident May 1, 2015 at 4:04 PM

As long as what they are doing is not illegal, then there is nothing you can do. You can pass judgement on them but they have lives outside of being a selectmen too. I doubt Desiree will be peddling her porn during the meetings so who really cares what she does outside. If there wasn’t a market for it (and you would be surprised!), Desiree wouldn’t be selling it. I don’t like lawyers, does that mean I don’t vote for John Rooney? I think it was dirty pool that this was even brought up. I don’t know what Bill Boland does for a job, or some of the others either, so I don’t judge him on that. Let’s put on our big panties and make a decision based on what each candidate can do for us, not what they do in their personal time.

39 Tessa Stephens May 1, 2015 at 7:04 PM

Please stop calling it porn. Sheesh.

40 concerned_resident May 1, 2015 at 8:07 PM

Please good people of our fair town,

Let’s not be distracted by any ‘shiny objects’ this close to the election. Don’t let ‘Lee Atwood-like tactics’ influence your vote. see http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/atwater/etc/synopsis.html

Focus on things and issues that impact you, your kids, your neighbors and of course elders in town who need our support.

What any candidate does to earn a living is only relevant if it is illegal or unethical. ‘nuf said.

Now back to the issues! BTW, who is going to fill the pot hole in front of my house? (LOL)

41 Resident May 2, 2015 at 8:31 AM

Tessa, Really? The selling of XXX (triple X) dvd’s, by just about anyone’s definition, is porn. Sheesh.

42 Jim Foley May 2, 2015 at 8:47 AM

Desiree, you have my vote also. We would love to have one of your signs in our front lawn.

43 Tessa Stephens May 2, 2015 at 5:05 PM

I would too Desiree

44 Michael Weishan May 5, 2015 at 12:22 AM

I already have TWO Vote for Desiree signs in front of my house, but I will wholeheartedly lend one to anyone who may lack, should there be a need.

45 Southboro Voter May 5, 2015 at 12:02 AM

Desiree,
You are a breath of fresh air. We need you to bring change from the stagnation of old styled town politics. You have the courage and vision to get the ruling of the Attorney General of BOS breaking the Open Meeting Law. All of us knew it and complained about it, but we couldn’t do more than talking. You got it and already made the biggest contribution to improve the politics of this town. We need you to revisit other past BOS decisions discussed behind illegal closed doors. You are the candidate who has the charisma and personality.

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