Civil Action

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On a recent episode of my morning radio show, I commented on the recent actions at a Subcommittee meeting of the Southbridge Town Council. At the Protection of Persons and Property subcommittee meeting last week and item was debated on hiring three new police officers. The Police Chief brought forward the request for the new hires and it would bring the force close to its original strength. It would seem that with the reduced staffing levels of the force some officers are working 16 hour shifts.

The item was debated and voted on and the panel decided to hire only one police officer this time around and maybe, just maybe look at hiring the others in three to six months. This is where is gets exciting.

Read the entire story in the Worcester Telegram

Counselor Pam Regis took exception to the vote and had these words to say “Mr. Chairman,” she said, “if you’re going to have Councilor Vandal do your dirty work for you … at least give him what you have written down, so he at least looks halfway decent and can read it from what he has in front of him, instead of you doing it for him.” She went on to say, “Just put your hand behind him and make his mouth move like the puppet he is.” She then left.

Now I was not at the meeting but I believe that this was completely ridiculous. I agree that three officers should have been hired but I am not on the Town Council and did not have a vote. The comments were not called for and in fact made this particular counselor look rather foolish and the fact that she got up and left the meeting was just more fuel for the fire.

Southbridge, like most town in Massachusetts is suffering from lack of money in the budget and it trying to find ways to cut. For the past few years the Town Council has been plagued by outbursts, name calling, and just silly actions. This town is facing very serious problems and we need serious people to come to the table with ideas and solutions. Calling people names is not helpful and it is time that the people of Southbridge take a stand and stop all of the nonsense.

The Town Council of the past was a real joke. Citizens would often be talked down too and counselors would take swipes at each other all the while the cameras were rolling.

The people of Southbridge need serious leaders and we have them in Steve Lazo, Denise Clemence, Larry MacDonald and some of the others. We need these people to step up and take control and bring some civility back to the Counsel and get busy with the work of the people.

1 Comment

  1. Fr. Peter – It was to replace three officers, the money is already in the budget. We would actually be saving money because these officers that the Chief wanted to hire have already been through the Academy – from Worcester. When they graduated they were laid off due to Worcesters Cuts. We are actually down more than three officers, at the begining of the year we did have 36 full time officers. Also in October, we have another officers leaving due to retirement.

    Steve Lazo was not at this meeting, as Chair maybe he should have been there to see what was going on. Cathy Nikolla was there, Denise Clemence was there and Pam Regis. All three of these people walked out of that meeting that night, along with myself, my husband, and a police officer that was there.

    The item was tabled, so no one can talk about this. Subject closed…now, how fair is this? It is not, the reasoning for all of this is because the school is going to cut programs and almost $1Million is spent on school choice.

    First, let me say the school budget and town budget are two seprate things, one does not effect the other. Second, we have no control on how the school spends their money. Is this a reason to table this item? Now the safety of our town is suffering…we have officers working double shifts, OT is being spent…

    A few years ago our town was staffed 39 Full Time Officers, now we are down to 31. We area community of 17,000+.

    I am not upset with Pam in saying what she said. I will be very honest with you, I was thinking exactly what she said. I have sat at these meetings for over a year. I seen what happened last year when the Chief tried to put through two promotions, within budget. I have seen what happened to the vote on the access road – I have heard of the threats being made to town employees. This is what is unacceptable. We the people of Southbridge need to stand up for what is right. More people need to get involved. "I am mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore!"

    There will be a rally August 3rd begining at 5:30PM at the Town Common we will walk up Main Street to the Town Hall and Picket for "Public Safety" we will then enter the Town Hall at 7:00PM. I do hope you will be able to join us.

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