Category Archives: Foxborough-Casino

Unbuilt Land

It began as wooded land and is now a parking lot. Should it be home to a cable TV station? A biotech park? A Casino? What’s next to be proposed for Kraft’s Route 1 land?

All the former have been suggested. All Meaningful Entertainment TV wanted the Selectmen’s help in bringing an upstart cable tv network to town. The State created incentives for a growth area and biotech park. The Selectmen refused to listen to the land owner and a casino developer. What do you think would work there, and bring money to both the land owner and town?

Healing

There are a number of websites and pages out there devoted to Foxborough; this is one of them. Some have been around for years, others are very new. A few have been highlighted in the newspapers recently with the addition of the owners’ businesses touted in the last paragraphs. Others have not proclaimed themselves to the newspapers and seem to do their thing quietly and without fanfare.

The moderator of one anti-casino page has started a new page “minus the gossip” yet continued the gossip there and included on both pages a snippet or link to an article about another residents’ drive to get the casino issue as a town-wide vote. Why do that if your aim is to heal? A bit of “do as I say, not as I do”? A teachable moment.

“Our town was torn apart by the casino issue. There are many other issues that we do agree on, and as we work on these issues we will be working on healing.”

Our town was torn apart by people behaving badly, not an issue.

The town meeting vote in 2004 mentioned so often by people opposed to a casino was marred by the controversial developer and did not and could not include casino style gambling because it was not legal in Massachusetts yet.

It’s unfortunate that some do not understand others are able to differentiate between candidates and issues. There are good things happening in town like the expansion of Boyden and volunteerism, but our community will not “heal” until a vote by town meeting or ballot is taken. Not a vote for candidates, but one on the issue of gambling as it is allowed now- or a casino.

http://www.foxbororeporter.com/articles/2012/05/28/opinion/letters/11520047.txt

http://www.foxbororeporter.com/articles/2012/05/28/news/11530606.txt

http://www.thesunchronicle.com/articles/2012/05/30/foxboro/11538447.txt

Powers And Duties Of Town Officials

In case anyone is wondering, here is information about the powers and duties of some of our elected, appointed and hired employees and volunteers.

  1. Article 2 “Town Officials”
  2. Chapter 5 of 2004 “Strong Town Manager”
  3. Chapter 11 of 2012 “Strong Town Manager” Amended

Why is this confusing and why do we need yet another consultant to tell us what they all mean?

Some have said what was and wasn’t intended with the 2004 change in form of government, but intentions aren’t what was legalized by that ballot vote and legislative approval of the vote.

Town Employee Pay

At the May 22 meeting, town manager said Selectmen can ignore the vote of town meeting and include in contracts extra compensation for town empoyees who are in the military and get deployed. While waving the “it’s patriotic” flag, how American is ignoring a stated “No” by town meeting on the issue? Unlike the casino where the May ballot did not state “are you in favor of a casino?”, the town meeting warrant article was specific. The article can be brought back to town meeting as the Meals Tax was- it was approved on the third try. Circumventing a majority of voters’ wishes on specific legislation by writing it into a contract the TM and Selectmen negotiate seems sneaky, at best.

Doubtful those opposed to the article at Town Meeting are UnAmerican or UnPatriotic. What about other residents who are not town or state employees in the same predicament? We don’t have a draft anymore so are extra perks from the town or state required since people sign up knowing the implications and possible hardships they might be subjected to? How is Foxborough’s safety net helping- is it or isn’t it?

Yesterday’s meeting was equally enlightening as to how the town manager and some of our officials approach things. A 19 slide presentation on Fire Over Time (FOT).

“If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”
― W.C. Fields

If we consistantly have that much OT and $$$ under-budgeting, change how you’re doing things. All changes to any employee’s schedule is a change in the budget numbers. One of the slides contained a simplistic math formula but seemed to ignore different pay rates for employees. If one firefighter is paid $35/hour and another is paid $34/hour, even that small initial difference could lead to a much bigger difference when all is said and done. Different starting base pays will not change the hours of OT but will change the money now and later for salary/pay, benefits (medical, disability, pension etc.) and other. OPEB is already underfunded by about $60 million. How does time spent (straight and OT) for stadium events factor into the equations? If employees time for stadium events are paid for by the stadium/Kraft orgs, how is the OT and money accrued by those employees covered further out when it’s retirement time?

Why does the chief get OT? Shouldn’t that be a salaried position? Managers have to work as long as needed to accomplish their tasks- all for a set amount of money stipulated in their CONTRACTS. What verbiage do town employee contracts contain?

The Election & Selectmen

After last week’s elections, the board of selectmen makeup has changed. Gone is Harrington. Returning is Brue. Newcomer is Coppola. While the ballot did not say “do you want a casino” or “do you want information about a casino”, the acting Chairman DeVellis and Sullivan claim as much by their words on May 8th.

Wynn and Kraft “suspended” their offering. As sometimes is the case in campaigns, maybe this means they will be back. Kraft Org should not be forced to leave the land fallow or a forever parking lot due to Foxborough’s zoning and NIMBYisms.

At the first meeting of the newly formed board, DeVellis was elected Chairman, Sullivan vice-chairman, and Brue clerk. Folks in town keep talking about the need to “heal”; if this is really the wish, why did they not offer one of these positions to Walsh? She has been there as long as DeVellis and longer than Sullivan’s current term and longer than Brue.

  • DeVellis, Chairman- term expires 2013
  • Walsh- term expires 2013
  • Sullivan, Vice-chairman- term expires 2014
  • Brue, Clerk- term expires 2015
  • Coppola- term expires 2015

Or maybe she didn’t want one of the positions? Since members aren’t supposed to discuss business in more than threes outside of public meetings, how did it come to pass that the three nominated and elected to the named positions were all seated at the top of the table at the beginning of the meeting?  Sullivan and Walsh were in the seats they had occupied for the last year, but Brue and DeVellis were not. What i the protocol for nominations of the Board of Selectmen positions by its members? First to speak, first to get a vote on their preference?

The talk seemed to sound as if the decision had been made before the meeting began. During the Trader Joe’s meeting, Harrington first alluded that DeVellis would be Chairman when he spoke about what the next selectmen could do and what “he” the next Chairman could do and one of them said “or she”. Do outgoing or up-for-election folks talk about the positions and the who’s for the next term before election day?

DeVellis looks for calmer days

BY THE NUMBERS

Annual Town Meeting

May 14th is the Annual Town Meeting. Preceding this is a Selectmen’s meeting and Advisory Committee meeting.

Here are the agendas:

6:30p.m. Board of Selectmen

6:45p.m. Advisory Committee

ANNUAL TOWN MEETING, MAY 14: Advisory Committee recommendations

7:30p.m. Warrant

  1. ARTICLE 1: Elections
  2. ARTICLE 2:Reports of Town Officers
  3. ARTICLE 3: Reports of Town Committees
  4. ARTICLE 4: OPERATING BUDGET  Employee compensation and Transfer/borrow for FY.
  5. ARTICLE 5: CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT BUDGET
  6. ARTICLE 6: PERSONNEL BY-LAW
  7. ARTICLE 7: FIRE CONTRACT
  8. ARTICLE 8: POLICE CONTRACT
  9. ARTICLE 9: HIGHWAY CONTRACT
  10. ARTICLE 10: BOYDEN LIBRARY EMPLOYEES CONTRACT
  11. ARTICLE 11: FISCAL YEAR BUDGET ADJUSTMENTS
  12. ARTICLE 12: DEPARTMENT REVOLVING FUNDS
  13. ARTICLE 13: FUND QUALIFIED OPEB FUND
  14. ARTICLE 14: FUND STABILIZATION
  15. ARTICLE 15: REDUCE BORROWING FOR BOYDEN LIBRARY PROJECT
  16. ARTICLE 16: REDUCE BORROWING FOR OAK STREET WATER TREATMENT FACILITY
  17. ARTICLE 17: EXPEND HIGHWAY FUNDS
  18. ARTICLE 18: LEASE OF TOWN PROPERTY FOR LANDFILL SITE
  19. ARTICLE 19: GRANT OF CONSERVATION RESTRICTION ON TOWN PROPERTY
  20. ARTICLE 20: PUBLIC WAY DISCONTINUANCE
  21. ARTICLE 21: OAK STREET EASEMENT
  22. ARTICLE 22: STRETCH ENERGY CODE BY-LAW Stretch Energy Code – Information
  23. ARTICLE 23: ACCEPTANCE OF CHAPTER 137 OF THE ACTS OF 2003, AN ACT RELATIVE TO PUBLIC EMPLOYEES SERVING IN THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES
  24. ARTICLE 24: PARKING BY-LAW
  25. ARTICLE 25: AMEND ZONING BY-LAWS  There is no section 3.4 in the zoning by-laws and if this article is accepted the sentence would be modified to read – “The Board of Appeals shall not have authority to authorize a use variance”
  26. ARTICLE 26: AMEND ZONING BY-LAWS  An affirmative vote on this article will cause the page and a half of copied state statute to be replaced by a simple reference to the state statute.
  27. ARTICLE 27: AMEND ZONING BY-LAWS  Regulation of the siting of “Family Day Care, Large or Small”
  28. ARTICLE 28: AMEND ZONING BY-LAWS  Add a number of streets to the Design Review Overlay District
  29. ARTICLE 29: AMEND ZONING BY-LAWS  Updates to flood plain maps and designations

Next up? Town Meeting Monday

http://foxborough.wordpress.com/2008/01/08/renewable-energy/

http://foxborough.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/renewable-energy-in-foxborough/

Solar / Renewable Energy in Foxborough

Poll: Let Us Vote by Ballot

As so eloquently stated in some letters to the editor in the newspaper and stated by the BOS in the Fall, let all of Foxborough vote on the proposed Wynn casino by a ballot measure. If we vote after more concrete- rather than conceptual- details are released, that will settle the debate once and for all.

Town meeting is not a fair place for many reasons: it has a limited capacity, time is not good for enough people (500? at town meeting versus thousands at the polls) and there are always last minute changes to town meeting warrant articles.

How to Shut Down Town Government

Local groups are requesting residents and non-residents show up for meetings. If enough or too many people show up at these meetings so that room capacity is reached and people are not allowed in, the meeting has to be canceled. If this happens, and happens repeatedly, Foxborough government business will grind to a halt.

Is that really what people want to do to try to get their point across about issues important to them?

If your group has something essential to say, designate a speaker or two; the whole world doesn’t need to be present to get your views across. Thanks to the hard working volunteers at Foxboro Cable Access, BOS, School Committee meetings are shown live on cable, the web and on weekend repeats. We can phone and e-mail officials too.

Town Manager

Where to begin? In August, the chairman and town manager met with Kraft Group and the subject of a possible casino came up. Do you think that Kraft Group told either gentleman which companies had shown an interest in a casino or just that some had? The chairman and town manager let the board and public know they had a meeting with the Kraft Group. When the town manager put forth articles for the board and planning board to consider that related to Kraft land on route one (the articles were written by a Kraft lawyer) in late August early September, he said he had received calls from companies (about four) showing interest in siting a casino Foxborough. At this time, town manager said we should be prepared so we could have a seat at the table. In early December when news came out it was Wynn wanting a casino, town manager cried foul claiming he knew nothing about a casino or anyone wanting one. When did his view of it being good for the town to have a seat at the table change and morph into what we saw at the December 27, 2011 meeting where he read a multipage letter stating why he was advising the town not to consider being a host and the subsequent adamant stance against anything casino? Whiplash from the 180o about face on the casino issue?

The BOS first voted to not put the articles on the special town meeting warrant and not force the planning and advisory boards and themselves not to do a ton of extra work to get those articles researched by the fall special townm meeting. As put here earlier ( http://foxborough.wordpress.com/2011/09/

http://foxborough.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/a-seat-at-the-table/

http://foxborough.wordpress.com/2011/12/

http://foxborough.wordpress.com/2011/12/17/what-changed/ )

the selcetmen could not and did not outlaw gambling in town.

During the March 13th meeting, town manger advised the BOS chairman that the Kraft Group representatives should not be allowed to speak. Despite the attorney’s statement that they were not a bidder and would not be a bidder, they were not allowed to speak. Is this because it wouldthen be knowbn that town manager’s “hard ball” position is to threaten eminent domain during negotiations? A hard stance from both sides of a negotiation is to be expected; arbitrary threats of land taking should not. At one of the March meetings, Randy Scollins said he had opened the March 5th letter from Kraft Group stating they were not bidding, then Scollins went on to say he thought this was just for the first round and there would be a second round. How could both Scollins and Paicos not understand the Kraft Attorney saying at the March 13 meeting they were not and would not be a bidder for the billboard management deal?

More stunning is that Paicos did not have a copy of the letter in question, but Brue did and appeared to be the only Selectman that did. How did that happen?

Now we have another lawsuit against the board.

We also have an unhappy town manager. The “yes casino” crowd has talked about ways to and wanting to oust the town manager while the “no casino” crowd thinks he’s the cats meow. Despite articles in the newspaper, talk amomg locals and at local establishements the town manager first claimed he didn’t know about the talk of people wanting him ousted, then he says there was talk among board of selectmen members- how can he have it both ways and be a fly on the wall to know what more than one selectman has or has not discussed with other selectmen outside of their regular meetings? Anyone have whiplash over the town manager’s statements and actions? When the Selectmen were meeting to discuss the lawsuit and restraining order, the town manager was busy doing TV interviews said the chairman.

What say you?

Poll: Trader Joe’s