Marsha’s way

By , August 19, 2010 9:30 am

Post from contributor Rich Young.

In the few blog postings I have written here, I have always tried to convey my admiration for anyone that serves their local community. We should always be thankful when someone comes forward to lend a helping hand. For me, this applies to local government, the school systems, local sports groups or any town activity for the benefit of others. These individuals will always have my heartfelt thanks, until they cross the line.
That line was crossed at the last Selectmen’s meeting. The Chair of the Board decided she would make it impossible to comment on what she termed, “her Board’s business”. She stopped short of asking for a blood sample and a retinal scan of those lowly townspeople that dared to think that they could speak to their elected officials. Marsha instead wanted “her Board” to adopt a set of rules that would make it impossible for anyone to discuss the Selectmen’s meetings agenda the same day. You would be forced to wait until the next meeting to comment on any action taken. EVEN IF THEY WERE BASING THEIR DECISIONS ON ERRORS OR WRONG INFORMATION!
I try to attend Selectmen’s meeting whenever I can. Sometimes life becomes a roadblock but I enjoy going to listen and comment when appropriate. You see in Marsha’s eyes I have the wrong philosophy. I want to be an active participant in my local government, she would rather have me watch from home and stay away from the meetings. I shouldn’t ask pesky questions or share opinions. Marsha has all the answers; she can solve all of our problems. She doesn’t need our input or ideas. After all we live in a town with no fiscal issues, we have all of our fire stations open, we have a state of the art police station and who can remember the last time the schools had a layoff. Marsha has solved all of our problems single handedly. SHE DOESN”T NEED OUR IDEAS!
The amazing part is her rationale behind her decision. She said too many people comment on everything and it has gotten out of control. Isn’t that an issue with the Chair of the Board and not the townspeople? If there is an appropriate time to speak and make your opinions heard, shouldn’t she as the Chair ask the person to withhold their comments until the proper time? Last time I looked, that was one of the key responsibilities of the Chair of the Board of Selectmen.
She also argued that this was the business meeting of “her Board”. I could not disagree with her more. This is a business meeting of the town and the townspeople need to be included and allowed to participate in the discussion. The “Comment’ section should open the meeting, so that those ideas could be included in the Board’s discussion not left until 10pm.
I attended the meeting prior to this one. I attended to be a part of the discussion on if the Board should adopt Robert’s Rules of Order. I had served as a Chair of a School Board and had the Rules as our operating guideline. At the end of the meeting, it came time to the “Other” portion of the program. She said that no one had followed her new guidelines. I got up and asked if she could explain her new guidelines. She did and they were completely different from the new rules she is trying to impose. They had one meeting in between and she on her own decided that her own rules allowed too much discussion.
I was allowed to participate in the discussion about Robert’s Rules of Order. During the discussion, Steve Spataro and Mimi Duphily both chose not to adopt Robert’s Rules because they were afraid it would limit the ability of citizen to participate. Let’s see if they choose Marsha’s Way!

9 Responses to “Marsha’s way”

  1. Bumpkin, reading this post I couldn’t help but remember a post of my own, that I published WAY back in 2007. It was a parody of the rush to the TMFH I called Votestock, and was set one year in the future, when (I had assumed due to her obvious lack of leadership skills) Marsha would be long gone from the board. Someone even quoted from from the part about Marsha the other day, so apparently it still resonates. Here is an excerpt I thought you would appreicate:

    We caught up with former chairwoman of the Middleboro Board of Selectman, Marsha Brunelle at her new home in Bainbridge Island, Washington where she currently makes a living breeding hamsters.

    “I love hamsters, don’t you?” asks Brunelle, “they so… quiet. They can’t talk, can’t even make a sound as a matter of fact. No… they just run in their little wheel all day. Can you think of a more perfect life than that? And if they get out of hand… say, if they bite… well, you can just take your gavel and… never mind.”

    If Brunelle regrets voting for the unprecedented town meeting, she doesn’t show it. “Adam Bond just kept saying he could make the casino go away. And I was all for it. I just wanted to go back to business. Dog complaints, variances… that sort of thing. You know.”

    Shortly after the interview began, Mrs. Brunelle refused any more questions regarding the casino. “I checked,” she said, ” and no where does it state that I have to take any more questions.”

  2. Bolshoi Bob says:

    So let me get the new rules straight.
    Wednesday – Let the selectmen know if I want to bring something up.
    Friday – The selectmen release the agenda for the Monday meeting.
    Monday – The Selectmen’s meeting.

    I recommend that EVERYONE place a request with the selectmen to discuss an item ‘to be determined’ that will be on the agenda on to be released on Friday. This way the public can still use the ‘public comments’ time and follow the rules.

  3. I joined a group of Town residents who attempted to discuss the poorly advertised land auction at which the Precinct St property was sold for less than its reasonable market value to gambling investors.

    It was known at that time that the Mashpee Wampanoag were ‘interested’ in Middleboro as a location and Stephen Graham had been seen in the Town Hall poring over Assessers’ Maps with former Town Manager, Jack Healey.

    The Chairman of the BOS at that time was Marsha Brunelle.

    Marsha had the topic removed from the Selectmen’s Agenda after it was placed there by a town resident.

    During the Monday evening meeting, when Town residents attempted to discuss the issue, Marsha stated ‘we’re not going to discuss the land auction.’

    Period. End of discussion. This isn’t a democracy.

    The Town leadership successfully sold its only bargaining chip and then employed the scare tactics of ‘they’ll build a casino and the town won’t get any $$’ to cram a hastily crafted agreement through.

    BTW, how’d that work out for you?

    I am a firm believer in the value of allowing others to express their dissent, disagreement and unique perspectives because frequently, it provides a better, more efficient, less expensive or simpler way of doing things.

    In fairness, there are 5 members on the BOS. Simply because the Chairwoman behaves like a tyrannical ruler does not mean that the 4 other members must behave like Bobble Heads, nodding agreement.

    Several weeks ago, there was a presentation by the Green Committee and it was publicly stated that the energy costs of the Town Hall are 5 times what other comparable buildings cost.

    I heard Ca-ching Ca-ching of my tax dollars better spent on teachers, children, library books, the Council on Aging or the Park Dept.

    For Marsha, it was simply a big yawn to be endured, yet, next election, she’ll tell you budgets are ‘bare bones,’ ignoring the pro-active actions of other towns.

    You get the government you deserves. Next time Marsha is up for election, she’ll get all warm and fuzzy again and voters will forget.

    I hear she’s great with hamsters.

  4. RichY says:

    Make no mistake about this. The new ideas are Marsha’s plan for a better Middleboro but they need to be approved by the entire Board of Selectmen. They need to stand up and agree this is wrong.

    I have already sent my request into the Board to speak on this issue! I would ask every reader to do the same!

  5. Mary Stone says:

    When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Winston Stone masquerading as Mary

    @Middleboro Review



    To the Editor:

    RE: Bumpkin’s Personal Affront (Bumpkins need not apply,” Bumpkin’s Corner, Aug. 12)

    Sir: For whatever reason, the Board of Selectmen obviously wants nothing to do with you/your “skills.”

    It took 5 strikes for you to realize this? (I happen to have a 36″ vertical leap and offered to play for the Celtics but when they didn’t return my two calls, I gave up on that dream.) So maybe you could count this comment as Strike 6 and now go away — please. “There’s no whining in baseball and politics” someone once said.

    Tom Perrault

  7. bumpkin says:

    Tom made a good and valid comment and attached his name to it. You sir however are an anonymous pussy.

  8. When will they learn says:

    Bumpkin –
    We don’t always see eye-to-eye, but we do this time; your anonymous poster needs to grow a set.



    We can disagree on issues without dripping the venom and anger you exude.

    Differing opinions are the most productive part of democracy and yield greater insight and better ways of doing things.

    Methinks you have festering wounds you need to address elsewhere.

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