SeeClickCampaign: Show Me the Money

ShowMoneyOCI thought I was done posting about tomorrow’s election for the night, but then I received a rather unsettling email:

—— Original message——
From: Bob Sweeney
Date: Mon, Apr 6, 2015 7:56 PM
To: Charles F. Houghton;
Cc: A group of residents whose privacy I’m respecting
Subject:Re: Please vote tomorrow. Follow-up to last meeting request.

Bob Sweeney,,Erin Sinclair,let’s get stoneham back to where it belongs

On Apr 6, 2015 5:54 PM, “Charles F. Houghton” wrote:
Just a reminder: Tomorrow is Stoneham’s Town election. As always please remember that all politics is local. Please get to the polls and vote!

What, exactly, does “back to where it belongs” mean? Terrorism against residents and elected officials? Or continued defiance against the law?

I posted earlier about how our community deserves continued transparency and accountability. So that leads me to my next question:

Why is it that Bob Sweeney has not reported his campaign financials? And I don’t just mean this year. As it turns out, he either failed to report or provided woefully incomplete financial records for each time he ran for Selectman.

This not only is as wrong and insulting to us residents as not bothering to show up to the Candidates Live Forum, it’s also ILLEGAL. You can read the Massachusetts’ Office of Campaign & Political Finance explanation in full right here. Of particular interest to me is this portion:

Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or both.

Last I checked, Stoneham is a Town within the State of Massachusetts and no Selectman candidate is above the law. And yet Bob Sweeney seems to think he is with his non-reporting and his sloppily emailed one-liner of “Bob Sweeney,,Erin Sinclair,let’s get stoneham back to where it belongs.” I don’t like what he infers regarding he and his daughter Erin. (As a side note, I do like Erin a lot. I just don’t appreciate that Bob Sweeney sounds as though he plans to use his daughter to push his own agendas.)

I’m looking forward to receiving some answers from the Office of Campaign & Political Finance.

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SeeClickCrickets: No Show = No Respect

Tonight were the Stoneham Town Moderator and Stoneham Board of Selectmen candidates’ live televised forums at Stoneham TV. I plan on writing about the contents in the coming days, but for starters I want to focus on one thing: No Shows.

Seriously. Nothing says “I don’t care about or have any respect for the Stoneham community” than not showing up to make your case for why we, the residents of Stoneham, should vote for you.

Let’s start with the Town Moderator forum:

MeansForum 3_23_15 ImageLG

Larry Means already had my vote during last year’s Town Meeting workshop, co-hosted by Tom Boussy and Larry Means. Moderator Means and Selectman Boussy worked hard to ensure all residents had the opportunity to understand exactly how the Town Meeting process worked, thus providing us all with everything we needed to be able to effectively and properly participate.

Larry Means’ challenger, F. John Carino gave us this:

EmptyChair
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Next we have the Board of Selectmen candidates:

SelectmenForum 3_23_15 ImageMD

Quite frankly, given what I shared not long ago about Selectman Bob Sweeney’s lovely conduct, his no-show at tonight’s forum is consistent with his inability to actually show up to most Board of Selectmen meetings in general. The silence and absence of Robert Sweeney is almost deafening, next to actually yelling “I don’t care about Stoneham.” (But yelling actually requires effort.)

I thought I recognized Sweeney in a debate against Clint Eastwood a few years back…

EastwoodChair

SeeClickBullied

womens-rights copyOn April 7, 2015 we will be voting on two seats for the Stoneham Board of Selectmen. There have been a lot of positive changes that have propelled our Town forward over the past several years. I was very excited to see a wider pool of Selectmen candidates this year, which means the excitement about contributions to continued progress is growing!

However, I was shocked and dismayed to see who is running for re-election. Ordinarily I’d never be so bold as to call out someone by name in a negative way, but I have had personal experiences that make me feel it is my duty to do so. As a resident, woman, and Mother, I am asking my neighbors not to vote for Bob Sweeney.

A year ago I was an active part of a sitting Selectman’s re-election campaign, serving as her Communications Manager. As I had stated then, up until that point I had not been active in anything Town-related. The Selectman candidate’s hard work had inspired and compelled me to change that. This, of course, made me and my activities visible, thus opening me up to criticism from the opposition’s supporters, which was perfectly normal and expected, as with any political campaign.

What I feel was not appropriate was what Bob Sweeney said about me in regards to his, shall I say, “deeply passionate dissatisfaction” with my efforts of supporting a candidate he was against, both to community members and on one occasion within my earshot. To have called me a b*tch, as well as made homophobic and misogynistic comments about me was not only disgusting, it was downright disturbing conduct for a public official.

Bob Sweeney has a documented history of such outrageous behavior and it’s time the community puts an end to his ability to adversely affect our Town. I mean really, the arrogance to act out in an explosive way during a meeting, as reported here:

Veteran Selectman Robert Sweeney cursed an elderly Larson Street resident and stormed out of a public hearing this Tuesday night on designating George Street as a one-way street.

With the Town Hall hearing room packed with area residents frustrated by the impacts of the one-way change, Sweeney’s outburst followed a suggestion by Larson Lane resident Art Bourrell that one of the Selectmen may be related to a George Street resident.

Even though Bourrell was the first speaker of the night, that suggestion of impropriety was enough for Sweeney, whose daughter (Erin Sweeney Sinclair) resides on George Street.

“Hey guy, why don’t you kiss my ass, alright?” interrupted the longtime Selectman in a raised voice, before storming out of the side door in the hearing room.

This is not the only occasion in which Bob Sweeney has disrespected residents during public meetings. But what was more disturbing to me was an incident that took place on June 10, 2014 in relation to a Board of Selectmen meeting. This was a matter of public record, so I most certainly invite and encourage residents to contact Town Counsel Bill Solomon (781-438-4543) to discuss and obtain further information, as warranted by the Request for Public Information Act.

As a result of that incident, there has been a police presence at every public meeting. This is what our Town has come to because of Selectman Sweeney’s actions, and I feel it’s absolutely unacceptable for Bob Sweeney to be permitted to continue in a Stoneham leadership position.

There have been many incidents beyond these that have involved Robert Sweeney, but I wanted to only speak out regarding my personal experiences and these two readily accessible ones that are of public record, as I respect my community neighbors’ safety and privacy.

I want to make it VERY clear that this post is of my own accord. While I’m an open and vocal Selectman Tom Boussy supporter, my overall point is that I feel Tom Boussy, Caroline Colarusso, and Erin Sweeney Sinclair are a refreshing candidate pool for the two open Selectmen seats- WITHOUT Bob Sweeney. It’s time for change away from Sweeney’s boorish brand of Town ‘leadership.’

I greatly hope that Stoneham residents make responsible and clear choices on April 7th, 2015.