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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SeeClickVote: Boussy & Means

Less than 24 hours to go! Tomorrow, April 7, 2015, vote to re-elect Tom Boussy for Stoneham Selectman

BoussyFlier LGjpg

…and vote to re-elect Larry Means for Town Moderator

LarrySignStandout LG

In case you haven’t seen it, I invite you to read this email regarding both candidates from Selectman Ann Marie O’Neill.

In her words, regarding Tom:

Personally Tom Boussy has my vote. Three years ago Tom stepped forward as a complete unknown. Tom questioned why we weren’t doing better as a community, why our services were decreasing and our fees increasing. In three short years Tom brought unprecedented reform, budget transparency, and innovation to Stoneham. I would like to see our community continue in this direction.

Ann Marie’s thoughts on Larry:

The Moderator is another important, contested position up for election. The Moderator presides over Town Meetings, is required to keep order, and have an intimate understanding of Robert’s Rules of Order – the practice Stoneham abides by during Town Meeting. In addition the Moderator appoints members to the Finance and Advisory Board and the Bike Committee. Current Town Moderator, Larry Means, was the only candidate to show up for this portion of the Candidate Forum. I have seen Larry keep order during meetings that were spirited. He is fair, respectful and understands the format to which our town subscribes. Larry has my vote!

See you at Town Hall tomorrow!

SeeClickClear: We Deserve Transparency

TransparentVoteBoussy LGTomorrow is Election Day in Stoneham! I’m excited to get out and vote to re-elect Tom Boussy because he’s the one with the proven track record for transparency and delivering on his promises:

In Tom’s words:

Upon my election in April of 2012 I pulled up my sleeves and began to work.

Town Website

The first problem I wanted to fix was the town’s website which was outdated, featured stale content and hampered communication with our residents. I formed a sub-committee with former selectman Rich Gregorio to re-launch the website.

I worked with our team to improve functionality and make the website more user friendly and relevant. Once we had the web site rebuilt, we could work to keep citizens informed on matters large and small. We were able to launch email alerts and we strive to make information more accessible.

SeeClickFix

Next, I sought to give residents a more direct voice. I discovered a web-based tool called SeeClickFix. I formed a team with Selectman Ann Marie O’Neill to launch this tool, which gives residents an opportunity to report issues online and then follow their issue through to completion.

Open Check Book

Soon after, I saw that the City of Woburn had received a grant to implement a new program called Open Checkbook. I learned there was a second round of funding available that would allow new communities to use this too. Open Checkbook allows residents to access and view each and every financial transaction that takes place in the municipality.

I worked with our Town Administrator and Town Accountant to win the grant for Stoneham to access the Open Checkbook program. As a result, at our most recent annual town meeting we had a 45 page budget available for review before the town voted on a $67,000,000 Budget. I continue to work to bring Stoneham current with today’s technology so that we will maintain our competitiveness in the future.

Fees / Trash

Last year I worked on a sub-committee with Selectman Vallarelli with the goal of containing trash removal costs, which were spiraling out of control.

Trash is contentious in any town and Stoneham was no different. Stoneham needed to reform its program and through hard work and compromise we were able to increase services by adding unlimited weekly recycling and save the town over $200,000 a year.

A great byproduct of this initiative is promoting environmental conscientiousness by increasing recycling from 13% to approximately 25%. Further, we were able to reduce the trash fee from $260 a year to $150. I worked with our Town Attorney to have a home rule petition passed by the State House to put the trash fee directly into a revolving account so that the trash fee would only be used for trash and not funneled into our free cash account or used for any other purpose.

Remember, my fellow Stoneham neighbors, we get the government we deserve on Election Day when we choose whether or not to vote. We deserve a Selectman that works in the best interests of our community. We deserve a leader that has gone above and beyond to fulfill his promises during his first term. We deserve the one candidate that has tirelessly worked to move Stoneham in the RIGHT direction.

We deserve to re-elect Tom Boussy.

SeeClickTheft: Reading Between the Signs

StrongerCommunityBoussy LGThere is a SeeClickFix report of stolen campaign signs. I’m really sick of this trend that seems to occur during every election. How does taking a sign do anything effective?? It doesn’t erase a candidate or make people forget who they are. Not to mention it’s an arrestable offense. Can you imagine making the newspaper for being arrested for theft of a sign?! That’s right up there with beating up the Liberty Tax sidewalk dancer.

I feel like this type of behavior is the equivalent to when people mail anonymous letters, post commentary on social media with false identities (I especially don’t miss the old Patch for this reason), or make accusations without any supported facts or sources. It simply stirs the Drama Pot and creates some very unnecessary, negative results. (And as an aside note while I’m mentioning these activities, like or hate what I write, my identity is clear and I always link out to sources/ facts in anything I post because credibility is everything.)

I was pleased to receive a SCF alert that Selectman Tom Boussy had responded to the sign theft report, and I wanted to share it here:

about 5 hours ago · TBoussy (Verified Official)

Theft, in any form, is a prosecutable crime, and I am glad that the Stoneham Police requested the poster contact them to report the theft directly. As a candidate, resident, and current Selectman, I’m dismayed that this is still occurring in our community. We need to let it be known that we have a zero tolerance stance when it comes to theft in Stoneham. Any businesses or individuals that have witnessed criminal activity, or have videos/ photos to help identify those responsible for removal of any campaign signs, please submit them to the Stoneham Police Department immediately. Anyone who runs for public office or voices their opinion has every right to do so- without any kind of harassment or interference. No matter what side of an issue any of us are on, we are a community. Tom Boussy

Thanks, Tom. And remember, kids, stealing is wrong. If/when the signs thieves are caught, I recommend this as punishment. And they should have to hold their sign while standing next to the Liberty Tax guy on Main Street:

KidThiefSign
Earlier this year, two children (Unique Caruthers, age 11, and Xacherey Scott, age 14) stood on an Indianapolis street corner, with cardboard signs.