WVN #10: Vote...your conscience, not someone else's
- WAYLAND VOTERS NETWORK
April 26, 2004
Dear Wayland Voter,
Tuesday, April 27, is the annual Town election. We hope you receive
this newsletter before the day is over. We apologize for the delay
in posting it. We have been experiencing email meltdown.
Polling places are open from 7:00am to 8:00pm. If you or anyone you
know needs a ride to the polls, please call the following number,
which will be monitored all day: (508)333-1408.
And please remember to vote your conscience, not someone else's.
We say this because of the emergence of a Political Action Committee
that appears to be behaving like a new local political party.
Dubbed "Citizen's for Wayland's Future," it has announced itself via
a large ad in the Town Crier endorsing a slate of candidates and a
position on a Town Meeting article. We believe this is unique in the
history of Wayland; political parties have not been involved in
purely local races. In the past, each candidate campaigned on
his/her own platform with support from each individual's own campaign
But now we have a group spending money on behalf of, and pushing, a
slate of candidates. To what end? This is not completely clear.
The group's stated goals are, no doubt, ones that each and every
candidate supports (long-term planning, careful growth of the tax
base, and preservation and enhancement of Town services, schools and
quality of life).
Perhaps one clue to the not-so-hidden agenda of this new group is its
membership, as listed in the Town Crier ad and on a flyer left at
many homes over the weekend. Most of the founding members are
elected or appointed officials, including the Chair of the Board of
Selectman, another BOS member who's running unopposed for another
office, the Chair of the School Committee, another School Committee
member, the Chair of the High School Building Committee, another HSBC
member, a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission, a member of
the Town Center Committee, and a Library Trustee who's also a Trust
Fund Commissioner. Spouses and friends of several of these
individuals are also among the founding members, as are the authors
of a widely-disseminated email that included negative and inaccurate
information in an attempt to discredit two non-slate candidates, Pat
Abramson and Mark Santangelo. Another clue is the fact that, where
an incumbent exists (School Committee and Board of Health), this
group endorses the incumbent, and its choice for Selectman is the one
among three Selectman candidates who is most closely associated with
the Town's existing power structure. In addition, the group's
address is that of the Chair of the Board of Selectmen.
Of course, any resident, public official or otherwise, is free to
support any candidate they wish. But the composition of this group
and its slate leads to the hypothesis that CWF exists primarily for
the purposes of strengthening the current power structure and
promoting its policies and pet projects.
And so, on the one hand, there's the CWF "insiders" slate of Tichnor
for Selectman, Gordon for School Committee, Seveney for Planning
Board, and Wolf for Board of Health. On the other hand, there's
the "outsiders" lineup of Abramson or Mueller for Selectman,
Santangelo for School Committee, Lauer for Planning Board, and Besso
or Kilcoyne for Board of Health. Don't the CWF founders realize how
divisive this is? Don't they know this reinforces what WVN has heard
countless times from voters: "Wayland's run by a clique they'll
eventually get their way my vote doesn't matter I used to be involved
but I've given up, what's the point ."
Well, WVN believes your vote does matter. And we trust you'll
exercise it the old fashioned way, by learning all you can about the
candidates and then making up your mind, one candidate at a time.
Thank you for reading this Wayland Voters Network newsletter. Please
forward it to your friends and neighbors in Wayland and encourage
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reply and send when they receive an e-mail confirming their
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Wayland Voters Network
Margo Melnicove, Chair