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The Truth about the Election

The Truth about the Election (for Selectmen in Stoneham)…
“I swear that what I am about to say is the truth…so help me God…”
There are just a few days left in the race for the Selectman seat to be decided on April 1.  I have heard that politics in Stoneham is a blood sport,  but by any measure I have to believe that this election represents the nadir.   The actions, deceit and lies promulgated by the Parker campaign are part of the most vile and sordid campaign strategy since Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall.   It makes you ask “if she is capable of these things now, what will she be capable of if elected?”  and “Is this someone I can put my trust in to help run my town?“ 
Of course, the blame for this travesty of democratic decorum and mockery of the democratic process is not for her to accept alone.  Her supporters were forced to develop a campaign strategy around a lie, a lie that anyone who cares to look beyond the pictures of cheerleaders and false and misinformed platform statements will plainly discern for themselves.  You cannot truly be committed to change in this town if your most vigorous supporters are the biggest obstacles to change. This cast of indigenous bottom feeding insiders have squandered the potential and future of this town for their own gain. Why would any of these people support anyone who they thought would truly bring change to the town and threaten their control?  They are supporting a candidate that they selected, someone who, as a town employee, is already seriously conflicted and will need to recuse herself from many important decisions.  They selected a candidate who, based on her performance at the Candidate’s Forum, either does not have the intellectual capacity to be a Selectman or just does not care to be informed about the issues.   They are supporting a candidate that they know will vote the way they want her to vote.  
And so this campaign developed around a lie has offered nothing but lies to try to persuade the voters of Stoneham to elect their candidate.  Here are a few:
Parker says that she will increase funding for the Senior Center by transferring funding that was previously allocated to clean up the islands.   The funding to clean up the islands was coming from donations from businesses in town, in exchange for an opportunity to advertise on the islands and also on the town website.  The portion of the funding that was not covered by the donations was part of the DPW budget specifically earmarked by Bob Grover.  So, is Parker planning to raise our taxes or perhaps take the money from another cash-strapped town department?  How much more money does Grover have that could be reallocated to other departments?
With respect to the islands, Parker presents a plan that is ostensibly her own: donations from landscapers and developers, and drought resistant plants.  These very ideas were developed by the Town Beautification Committee and presented to Grover months ago.  Where do you think she got them?  Interestingly enough, she also includes utilizing the Sherriff’s Department.  Do you think that a certain person’s ties to the Sherriff’s Department had anything to do with this?
Parker says that she supports increased accountability and transparency in town government.  Yet she opposes “SeeClickFix” on the grounds that the DPW does not have the staff or funding to implement it.  The real reason that she and Bob Grover oppose this program is not because of staffing or budget constraints, but because Grover does not want a light shone on the wasteful and inept practices of his department.  This is the same reason he opposes a line item budget.  He and Parker know that if the town knew exactly how he spent his $17m budget, he would be working somewhere else.    She and Grover both use misleading statistics that purport to show that the Stoneham DPW budget is less than  neighboring communities.  In fact, when factoring in the parts of Stoneham that are controlled and maintained by the state (such as the Middlesex Fells), Stoneham spends considerably more than larger neighboring communities, and gets much less in services.
 Parker claims to have taken a leadership role in driving change in the way we deal with our trash.  Yet every effort she has taken so far has served only to delay the process and ensure that the contract stays with Hiltz.  While others are trying to improve the percentage of trash we recycle, reduce the trash fee by introducing more automated methods of collecting trash, add more hazardous waste collection days, and pass worn but useable goods onto folks who could still use them,  Parker insists on maintaining the status quo.  I think she doth protest too much.  Is it because Grover has an “interest” in seeing the contract stay with Hiltz?  What could this possibly be?
The Parker campaign strategy was designed around the fact that there is no compelling reason for the benefit of the public good that Parker should be elected.  Her campaign slogan is "Nothing changes...if nothing changes".  The insiders are counting on that.  Here is an excerpt from an email sent by one of them:
On April first your vote for Selectmen, will impact what kind of town Stoneham well be for the next decade:
You can vote for a Selectwoman who will put  Stoneham's interests  first; not put the interests of  Beacon Hill  first.
 
You can vote for a Selectwoman who will be independent and represent your voice; not the voice of the political insiders.
 
You can vote for a Selectwoman who will make her own decisions; not one whose decisions are decided by others.
 
You can vote for a Selectwoman who is positive about about  Stoneham; not one who speaks negative about Stoneham.

 This is an opportunity to elect a Selectwoman who wants to maintain Stoneham's unique character and that is why my choice for Selectwoman is Raymie Parker.  I ask you to join me and cast your vote for Raymie Parker.


Here is what it should have said:

You can vote for a Selectman who will put all of the interests of Stoneham residents first, not put the interest of Town Employees and insiders first...
 
You can vote for a Selectman who will truly be independent and represent your voice, not the voice of those opposed to true change...
 
You can vote for a Selectman who is informed enough to make her own decisions, not one who will need to recuse herself or look down the table to see how she should vote...
 
You can vote for a Selectman who is trying to bring positive change to the town, not someone who is trashing it in the media to get elected...
 
This is an opportunity to elect a Selectman who doesn't want to maintain the status quo in Stoneham...she wants to improve it for everyone...and that is why my choice for Selectman is Ann Marie O'Neill...
 
Abraham Lincoln once said “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”  Given what I have seen of Ms. Parker so far, I am not willing to take that risk.  I have seen enough already.  A people gets the government it deserves.  We deserve better than this.  Make the right choice, Stoneham.


Cristine Warren Linn March 31, 2014 at 09:48 PM
I didn't want to comment because I didn't want to be a part of this post but I feel I have to. I am so sick of hearing how "mean" Ann Marie's supporters are. There have been things said and done by supporters on BOTH sides that have been out of line. To say Ann Marie has no integrity is ridiculous. She has time and time again said not to pay attention to the nonsense. This is why day after day Ann Marie and her "cronies" post only information pertaining to the issues Stoneham faces. I being one of her "cronies" and supporters am offended. I have no idea who John Dough is and don't care. I can guarantee you Ann Marie doesn't either. She is too busy focusing on the issues. Calling Mr Maisano the only one with self-respect and human dignity after what he implied is sad.
Russ March 31, 2014 at 10:40 PM
Avery, You have related some facts of which we should be aware, specifically that Raymie and her family have been a part of the community for a long time and that she is a contributor. I believe that the author of the article employed facts and reasonable conclusions drawn from the facts. Your commentary is devoid of any facts. It's simply a litany of unsupported, subjective allegations. That was vicious and irresponsible series of ad hominem attacks. This has no place in Stoneham town government. As I noted above, if you need someone to spar with just assume I wrote the article. We all have the right to comment but not all of us want to subject ourselves to the vile, unsubstantiated attacks that have been common of late. Further, just refer to Cristine's comment immediately above for the reality of Ann Marie's professional approach. She does not engage in ad hominem attacks which are used by those without substance to further their cause. I've only met Raymie once but I feel that she personally would not condone the behavior as well. It's the established political crew that engages in this behavior.
Russ March 31, 2014 at 10:51 PM
btw ... John Dough is likely a composite of several people - those with the information and others with the literary skills. ???
Paul John Maisano April 01, 2014 at 09:01 AM
Melisa, Today, is election day. Tomorrow, we shall start anew. Regardless of the outcome of this race the open discussion remains. Just a footnote to your first posting. You quoted my words incorrectly. For the record, I wrote the following; "TAKE OFF YOUR WHITE HOOD OF ANONYMITY......I beg you", you quoted me saying; "white hood of humanity". One word changes the entire meaning of the statement. My intent was to portray the author as one hiding in secret. Furthermore, I never mentioned the words, or wrote an acronym, that remotely led the reader to summarize the content as racial. I insisted that all review the context of the entire thread paying special attention to what I wrote, not what others wrote carefully created within their text. In fact, you, and most of the contributors, unilaterally gave birth to this negative thought process. Since you obviously do not know me, let me share some of my public work most recently on Voters rights, & Black History month on this youtube link.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NyUDLsMofs. If you invest three minutes to view/listen to the content, you will recognize your commentary may have been severely misplaced. Another point in case to each of you is my recent published article called; 'WE ARE THE WORLD'. After you review these links you might choose to reassess your opinions, not for my benefit, but for your own. Today, please enjoy our democratic process by your participation, and a special thanks to those candidates who place themselves within it for the 'public good'. I remain ...Paul Maisano
Melisa Passanisi Thorne April 01, 2014 at 10:19 AM
A White hood is a white hood and if you ask anyone, it really has not other connotation. Be mindful of that, the next time you go on a pointless rant. And for the record, I am not in support of anonymous posts, if you can put your name to it, then don't say it. I also have a problem with the behavior of many that feel it's ok to trash talk the other candidate and think it will actually help the candidate they support.

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