Roundup of town politics in SWL: Candidate deception, Police Chief politics, and Warrant Article on appointing chiefs

Below are excerpts from some of Southborough Wicked Local’s recent coverage of town politics. Stories cover:

  • A follow up on accusations against David Parry in Bill Boland’s letter in My Southborough yesterday. (Voicemail appears to show Southborough candidate misrepresented self to state)
  • A followed up on a story from December about politics in the Police Chief search.  (Consultant didn’t back in-house candidate for Southborough chief)
  • Donna McDaniel’s column on issues to be dealt with at tonight’s Annual Town Meeting. In it, she described her concerns about an article related to the appointment of police chief, plus fire chief and DPW head, that hasn’t received much attention. (Plenty of Homework: Just days to Town Meeting) 

Voicemail appears to show Southborough candidate misrepresented self to state  April 16:

Selectmen Tuesday released a voicemail that appears to back their assertion that former selectman David Parry misrepresented himself as a selectman to the state a few weeks ago.

“I’m a Southborough selectman” Parry appears to say in a message selectmen said was left with the state Department of Transportation March 28.

In the message, Parry requests that the state agree to meet with him in short order to discuss their plans for the Rte. 9/I-495 interchange near the Red Roof Inn.

“I need to come in today, this afternoon, because I have a meeting on it Monday morning,” Parry says in the message. . .

“If I said that, it was an innocent mistake,” Parry said Tuesday when asked about the voicemail. . .

Tuesday, Boland said Parry’s behavior lately has been “inappropriate.” In his letter, he alleged that Parry has threatened town officials in recent weeks and might have ulterior motives in opposing the project.

“People should know that some of that has taken place,” Boland told The Daily News Tuesday. “He’s tried to bully a lot of people.”

Boland said he believes Parry is trying to kill the project because his attempts to convince others to bury wires on the street have failed. He also said Parry’s opposition could be “retribution” against the town after a recent failed attempt to convert a home he owns on Main Street into condominiums. . .

Worcester Registry of Deeds records show Parry filed paperwork to declare a condominium trust in January and then withdrew the paperwork in late March.  (read more)

Consultant didn’t back in-house candidate for Southborough chief – April 12: 

Recently released records show a consultant who quit during the town’s tumultuous police chief search did so because he didn’t think a popular in-house candidate should have been considered for the job.

“To say that I am disappointed and frustrated regarding the police chief process would be a gross understatement,” Stephen Unsworth, director of BadgeQuest, wrote the town in a letter released after a public records request. “From day one, I was assured that the selection process would be one of legitimacy, not inappropriately influenced.”

In the letter, Unsworth said he did not believe it was right for the Police Chief Search Committee to invite popular in-house candidate Lt. Sean James to an “assessment center” because of political pressure. (read more)

Plenty of Homework: Just days to Town Meeting – April 7:

We have “only” 30 warrant articles to consider. I say “only” because 30 is fewer than usual; still don’t be surprised if it takes us as long or longer than recent meetings. I am surprised, though, at a few articles we haven’t heard much about. . .

Back to the selectmen’s request to have the town administrator appoint the two chiefs and DPW head. I disagree on several points. For one, I think we elect selectmen to take the role of leaders among citizens like us, leaders who know the town as only residents can and thus can be more sensitive and open to our concerns. We need leaders to be responsive to us— the people who live down the street or show up see at soccer games or school graduations. And we might note are the ones a selectman looks to when re-election time comes along.

The two chiefs and DPW head are obviously key figures in our community. Selectmen should understand that, in all respect, an administrator, no matter how good he/she may be, is not beholden to the voters in any way; it isn’t a post that includes listening and being sensitive to us. (read more)

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