Tuesday, August 27


          We have had a lot of people complaining that they could not hear what the BoS were saying at the “OPEN MEETING. Well the BoS spoke very clearly last night at their meeting. They said NO, citizens do not have the right to hear what the BoS are discussing at THEIR meetings. Their emphatic statement was that “This is OUR Meeting and by law we only have to be heard by each other”. This supercilious gang believes that we citizens may have the right to be there; but we DO NOT have the right to hear their deliberations. Like a cage full of monkeys at the zoo, we can look at them but we don’t have to understand what they are saying.
          If that isn't bad enough these arrogant thugs feel that they don’t have any requirement to allow the citizens to speak at the BoS meetings. Technically this is true, the chairman rules the floor. However, I recall not too long ago a couple of citizens, sued for the right to speak at town meeting. While the court did rule in the towns favor it cost the town a lot of money to defend their right to prohibit free speech. I think we’re still paying for that debacle. Do we have to go through this again? This is how they introduced their new gag rule. When a citizen was recognized by the chair and started to speak, the chairman cut him off and asked if what he was about to discuss was on the agenda. When this citizen said no the chairman cut him off and said that citizen’s time is limited to discussing only items on the agenda.
          From now on any Egremont citizen is required to anticipate any questions they might have in advance and make a written request to Mary to put it on the agenda. Is this so the BoS can screen the questions? Doesn't this kind of resemble the Politburo in Communist Russia? You remember; the system where a person would have to apply in writing to ask any government official a question. The government would then have to decide if they wanted to allow that person to ask the question, put that person in prison or kill them. I don’t know about you, but I think this is a bunch of bolshevic. What are these three people doing to our town? When are the citizens going to wake up and take control? Does this picture resemble someone on the BoS? Could they be related? Could one be a reincarnation of the other? They certainly do have identical political philosophies.  

Joseph Stalin


Bruce Turner


Wednesday, August 14


Well I guess I’m glad I’m not a betting man because I would have lost that bet for sure. I didn't think Reena would go for a closed session if her life depended on it. However, because she does have character and integrity, in a final attempt to negotiate in good faith, she actually went behind closed doors and gave the BoS a chance to make things right. Of course it was an exercise in futility because this BoS doesn't have the character or integrity to negotiate in good faith. They have proven time and time again that they can’t be trusted. Apparently a hand shake is not good enough here. We all heard the deal that was made on the 8th of July and yet Bruce denies it.
I do see why the BoS wanted to negotiate behind closed doors. If the BoS allowed Mary to make this offer in an open meeting they would have been laughed to scorn. I don’t know how Mary could have made this offer with a straight face. It is said that you know you have mastered the art of false sincerity when you start to believe your own press. Well Mary believes her own press. You should have heard her when she made the final offer to Reena. Her voice became soft and cuddly as she thanked Reena for agreeing to meet behind closed doors. And since she had the floor she wanted to make a proposal. Dripping with that false sincerity Mary said she believed this offer was a beneficial solution for both parties.
I would never have believed that anyone could have made such a ridiculous proposal. And to make it with such contrived passion. Mary you shouldn't be in Egremont; you belong in Hollywood. That performance could have won an academy award. I know that both Reena and her attorney had to pause. Not because they were considering the proposal; but because they couldn't believe Mary had the audacity to make it. Did she actually believe that this offer would be acceptable? She must think she is dealing with total idiots. Or perhaps this was the proverbial Hail Mary pass and she was actually thinking this might work. If I were Reena's attorney I would have fallen off of my chair laughing. I see why Mary wanted a closed hearing; it’s better to look foolish in front of two people, rather than thirty five.
Since everyone is probably wondering let me tell you about this wonderful deal. Mary actually offered to give Reena almost everything the town owed her if she would just go away and not sue the town or any of the officials. This amounts to 75 accumulated sick days which accumulated because she rarely took a sick day, 50 vacation days, 25 of which would not be paid because vacation days can’t accumulate while she was on paid administrative leave and 3 personal days. This adds up to almost 21 weeks which would bring her to the end of the year. I hate to say it Reena but I told you so. I told you that you have to force these people to do their dirty deeds out in the open.
Charlie said he thought Mary was giving Reena a gift. REALLY CHARLIE! A GIFT! If that’s what you consider a gift I would hate to be at your house on Christmas. Then he went on to insult and berate the chief beyond belief. He actually dared her to sue the town. Then as usual he reiterated many times that he was a commander in the Navy. I have a news flash for you Charlie; everyone knows you were a Navy commander, you tell them several times at every BoS meeting. It’s unfortunate that the Navy couldn't teach you to be a gentleman. I don’t know if you were aware of it but you were talking to a lady. Have you no shame?
The bottom line is that the BoS still hasn't dealt with the chief of police issue. Think about this at the special town meeting when these same people ask us to cough up another fifteen thousand dollars because this issue is not yet resolved. We can force them to put an end to it by not funding it. We have the power to stop this insanity; let's end it and get on with the rest of the towns business.


Sunday, August 11


I know it’s been awhile since the last post but it is summer and things are a little quiet at the town hall. There is however a very important BoS meeting tomorrow at 7:00 pm. I suggest that anyone who can be there make it a point to show up. Come early if you want a seat because there will be standing room only. There will be a few surprises in store. We have the Chief Bucknell finale up first on the agenda. It is posted as a closed session but I wouldn't count on it.
Will the BoS finally deal with the police chief fiasco? Your guess is as good as mine. What we do know is that at the last hearing Mary, with a crocodile tear in her eye, begged Reena to consider going into closed session so the selectmen could talk openly. Mary said that they didn't want to discuss these issues in front of all these witnesses. Don’t you find it odd that the BoS would have to hide from the people in order to openly discuss the issues with the chief? What are they hiding?
It seems to me that if Bruce and Mary were comfortable with firing Chief Bucknell they had two perfect chances to do so. The first time, on July 8th, Charlie motioned the BoS to ask for the chief’s resignation or fire her. Then after these two cut a deal to return the chief to her position Charlie goaded them into reneging; well sort of. The second time, on July 22nd, Charlie motioned the BoS to ask for the chiefs resignation or fire her. No one seconded the motion so it died on the floor. Instead Mary begged for a private meeting with the chief. If the BoS had a legitimate reason to fire the chief I’m sure they would have done so without hesitation. I wouldn't think these selectmen were afraid of the people who showed up at the meeting. Imagine this group being afraid of the citizens. Preposterous!
Now the chief did say that she would consider going into closed session but she did not commit to it. I hope she tells them to screw off; or in more polite terms, that after careful consideration, and on the advice of her attorney, she decided to keep the hearing open. I’m sure if they offered to restore her to her position and a seven figure settlement she would go into closed session. Short of that there is no reason for the chief to go into a closed room with the people who reneged on the last deal and hammer out a new deal. Who knows what these three louts have in store for the chief if they get her behind closed doors. When a bunch of thugs ask you to step into the alley it’s not a good idea to go with them. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow if we have a police chief or a seven figure lawsuit.
Another interesting item on the agenda is the resignation of the building inspector. Mr. Race has been the inspector for a long time. I have to wonder if he was asked to resign because he displeased Charlie or if it was an act of conscience. My hunch is that it has something to do with either the police station not getting a C/O or the fact that he didn't back the planning board in their attempt to bend the law to fit the DeLacy situation. But that’s just a hunch. With the mushroom treatment we get from this BoS we’ll probably never know.
So if you can make it I promise you it will at least be entertaining. Don’t stay away because you think they are going into closed session. Mary stating it will be closed so emphatically is wishful thinking on her part. If I were a betting man I would take odds that the chief will opt for an open hearing again. There is absolutely no upside for Reena to go into closed session. The BoS have made it abundantly clear that they will not put her back in charge under any circumstances. It’s best to force the BoS to do their dirty deed in full view of the people. Of course this will leave her no other choice than to commence the lawsuit. I can’t wait until Officer Pilone is deposed. That will be priceless.

Friday, August 2


          The finance committee meeting was if nothing else informative. If you want to know what goes on in this town then follow the money. The FC meeting is where all the money issues are discussed. There were a lot of boring details that aren't worth writing about so I’ll just get to what I thought was interesting.
          One of the subjects of course was the water company. As you may know the BoS voted to rehire Jack Muskrat on a part time bases. The vote was two to one with Charlie being the only one to stand against keeping the guy who lost literally hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars. Charlie argued that this is a perfect time to give the water company a fresh start. Bruce and Mary would have nothing to do with that; they want to keep things the way they are. After all Jack has done such a great job.
You may recall that Jack couldn't touch any of the monies because he could not be bonded. This is why the water customers had to take their payments to Mary at the town hall. Now, because Jack can't be trusted to do the billing, that task had to be given over to the town hall. Charlie was right; why do we even need Jack? The irony is that jack will now be paid more to do less. I have to wonder what power Jack has over Bruce and Mary.
One of the FC members was so horrified that they brought Jack back that he was visible angered. He asked when the BoS voted this in. Well it was on the agenda the night of the Chiefs hearing on July 22nd. Perhaps if the crowd that came for the police issue put the same passion into the rest of the meeting Bruce and Mary may have balked at rehiring jack as well. They say that democracy is rule by angry mob. Sometimes the angry mob is right.
 Then the discussion turned to the town voting to defund Jacks position, which is a good segue into the Special Town Meeting, (STM) scheduled for Sept. 16th. I think we citizens are going to have to start taking a more active role in running our town. So in that spirit let’s go over some key issues on the draft warrant for that STM.
Article 1 wants to take an undetermined amount of our money for water company wages. The FC recommends this action but I say lets hold out on giving the WC any more money until they listen to Charlie and start fresh. The town will still have to kick in whatever is needed to balance the WC books but it’s a way to tell the BoS to get in line.
Article 2 asks the town to put more money into the interim chief’s budget. I hate to tell you I told you so, but when we were asked to put up 15k to pay an acting chief at the last (STM) I opposed it. The BoS said the money was to be used to fund a 20 hour per week position at 25 dollars per hour. At this rate the 15k would last for seven and a half months. This should have taken us through the end of the year. I guess the BoS is telling us that this fiasco will go far beyond the end of this year. It seems to me that on July 8th the BoS made a deal to end this by Dec. 31st. I have an idea, let’s take away the funding for the interim chief and force the BoS to deal with the issue. Why should we have to pay another dime for the BoS’s stupidity. 
Articles 4 &5 deal with the police department budget as well. Why on earth should we put any more money into a police department that is so dysfunctional? If we don’t vote to fund the police budget the BoS can’t spend the money. Perhaps if the police dept. feared that the town would defund the entire dept, they would be a little more agreeable in negotiating their collective bargaining agreement. They might even think twice about refusing to work with their Chief.
We the people have the power of the purse I can’t understand why we don’t use it. I know a lot of the townspeople agree with these positions but if they don’t get out and vote it doesn't matter. There are going to be a lot of crucial issues voted on at this upcoming Special Town Meeting. The only way to change what’s wrong with the town is to participate. So if you’re not registered to vote then please register. If you are registered to vote then pry yourself away from the prime time lineup for one night and get out and vote.