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?
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.
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?
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?
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
ARTICLE 24: PARKING BY-LAW
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”
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.
ARTICLE 27: AMEND ZONING BY-LAWS Regulation of the siting of “Family Day Care, Large or Small”
ARTICLE 28: AMEND ZONING BY-LAWS Add a number of streets to the Design Review Overlay District
ARTICLE 29: AMEND ZONING BY-LAWSUpdates to flood plain maps and designations
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.