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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Sudbury IS an Ethical Town

Resident Michael Fee says Dan De Pompei opinion about Sudbury is wrong.

Dan De Pompei’s letter last week questioned whether Sudbury has a code of ethics “defining the moral principles and duties of all our elected and appointed officials.” 

He should be pleased to learn that every elected and appointed official signs the following pledge: “I agree that if appointed, I will work toward furtherance of the committee’s mission statement; and further, I agree that I will conduct my committee activities in a manner which is compliant with all relevant State and Local laws and regulations, including but not limited to the Open Meeting Law, Public Records Law, Conflict of Interest Law, Email Policy and Code of Conduct for Town Committees.” 

All of the aforementioned policies are readily available for review online, and each newly elected and appointed official receives a manual and training on the requirements and nuances of the various requirements in a formal, annual session. Violations of state ethics laws are reportable to, and punishable by, the State Ethics Commission. 

Although I’m sure Mr. DePompei has the best of intentions, any inference drawn from his letter that suggests that Sudbury town government lacks ethical regulation or oversight is simply inaccurate.

Michael Fee

Henry’s Mill Lane

sudburyguy March 15, 2012 at 01:01 AM
This entitlement one hears from folks such as Mr. Fee, Mr. Morley and Mr. O'Brien really has to go. Who appointed them above examination by the citizens of Sudbury? Let's start fixing things by electing Pat Brown (with a bullet) and Dan De Pompei. Let's bring in some folks with a bit more humility and earnestness to better serve the town versus to reap rewards from their service.
Michael Fee March 15, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Call me old fashioned, but I reject the notion that reasonable political discourse can be undertaken anonymously. If you take issue with anything I have said, or done in my capacity as Planning Board Chairman, please feel free to contact me directly. Michael Fee
Sudburytoo March 15, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Joe, I agree. Let me add that the fact that Drobinski and O'brien now have essentially silenced public comment by forcing discussion to be in writing and submitted well prior to the meeting is absurd. Taxpayers should be able to express an opinion at all public meetings but our elected and appointed officials have taken that voice away from the public and continue to do what the minority wants. Whether it is a school committee meeting, board of selectmen meeting, planning board etc... the same trend continues. They refuse to let the public voice concerns and continue to work their own agendas. It is time for change and greater transparency in Sudbury.
Thrice Rusty March 15, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Was anyone at the LS committee meeting the other night? I heard from a friend that somebody tried to ask a question about the $150,000 found hidden in the postage meter and Mark Collins just started yelling at the citizen and wouldn't let him talk.
Sudburytoo March 15, 2012 at 03:18 PM
I also heard that the LS school committee basically tried to silence anybody talking about any problems at the "special place" They believe the problem will just go away if it isn't discussed. Who is the board of selectmen liaison to the LS school committee? You guessed it, LARRY O'BRIEN!
Publius March 15, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Michael Fee: "Call me old fashioned, but I reject the notion that reasonable political discourse can be undertaken anonymously" So, you would be opposed to the Federalist papers, written anonymously by our Founding Fathers to lobby for approval of the US Constitution? Or perhaps you are opposed to "Common Sense", anonymously published in support of the Revolutionary War? Unfortunately for you, this country was founded on the principles of anonymity to fight against tyranny and oppression. Of course, the tyrants would always be opposed to anonymity. Best Regards, Publius
JON999 March 15, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Mr. Fee, People use pseudonyms, and have throughout history, for one good and sound reason – to avoid retaliation from their governments. Particularly in a small town, you and other Town officials have tremendous power over the citizens (to decide to waive or not waive certain subdivision bylaws, for example). With that power should come some humility. Is that really asking so much? Also, perhaps you are old fashioned and have therefore not noticed the power of social media (facebook, twitter, etc.) to create historic political change around the world. The liberations of Egypt and Libya, for example, were largely driven by ordinary citizens who were now able to freely collaborate and communicate their grievances - anonymously - without fear of retaliation (death in these cases). We have legal protections for “whistleblowers” for similar reasons. I hope you can see that anonymous postings do not preclude reasonable discourse but may even encourage a more open, transparent, free, fair and peaceful society. Certainly, there are disadvantages, including abusive language, ad hominem attacks, and many other types of inappropriate conduct, which I do not condone.
JON999 March 15, 2012 at 04:00 PM
If you are still with us, the outstanding question remains unanswered, and is not a political one: Did you consult with counsel before deciding that Planning Board member Chris Morely was not a conflicted party in the matter of the 40B project under consideration near his home, your decision being based on the fact that Mr. Morely lives two doors away from the project site, not one? Bonus question: Was this your decision to make or should it have been Mr. Morely’s?
Thrice Rusty March 15, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Wow this is all news to me. If this is true we need to vote Morely out and vote pat Brown in. It's time for some new blood in Sudbury. What do we have to lose? We are on the decline, its worth a shot.
Michael Fee March 16, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Jon, you seem like a reasonable person with a legitimate question. I am happy to speak or meet with you to discuss your concerns.
siobhan hullinger March 16, 2012 at 01:06 PM
I would like to hear the answer as well. It's important to have the question answered in this public forum in order to understand why the vote was allowed.
Sudburytoo March 16, 2012 at 02:57 PM
I believe many people would like the answer to this question. There is no reason this cannot be made public in the interest of transparency and ethical government. This is a perfect example of the problems we currently have in Sudbury.
sudburyguy March 16, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Who would want one in his/her neighborhood? But it would be wrong if someone had a position in town that gave them inside information that others don't have and then utilized that to their own gain.
JON999 March 16, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Mr. Fee, I appreciate the offer but I’ve probably said enough. My concern should be clear and is not frivolous. I don’t want to expose my family to all of the various people who run the Town and the Schools so I won’t be able to contact you directly. My posts speak for themselves.
Thrice Rusty March 16, 2012 at 07:17 PM
JON999 we call that getting Michelle MacDonald. After she does it Tom Conroy will reward her with an award at town meeting.
pmotw March 16, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Mr. Fee, We all know you are reading these messages and you are avoiding being TRANSPARENT to the public. Please answer the question.
Kirsten Vandijk March 16, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Freedom of speech means also being able to refrain from speaking without being bullied into a conversation that is not in his or her best interest. Let Mr. Fee be and time will tell. There is no need to pressure anyone into conversation. Let this "debate" of sorts be done in a gentleman or gentlewoman -ly manner.
Michael Fee March 17, 2012 at 02:20 AM
Folks, last post for me on this thread. I don't question anyone's right to blog anonymously. Have at it. But if you want me to respond to something, you should contact me directly or identify yourself. I don't think it's unreasonable to know who is asking the question.
Sudburytoo March 17, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Dear Michael, The ones asking the question are the general public, you remember, the group that you took an oath to serve. Remember. What do you have to hide? Where is the transparency? Where are the ethics?
siobhan hullinger March 17, 2012 at 11:12 AM
Mr Fee, I am not anonymous and I said I was interested in the answer as well. By all means, I am not pressuring for an answer but you have put parameters on who you would reply to and I believe I have satisfied those. Now, I guess I have an additional question(s) - why the parameters? And why is it so difficult to explain the allowance of Mr Morely's vote? This diatribe is symbolic of how hard it is to get explanations from any committee - even in the conventional way. If a decision was made, it should be easy to explain. You seem to be more interested in knowing a poster's identity than answering the question.
BFKASS March 18, 2012 at 04:10 PM
The planning board does a great job posting their meeting minutes. A quick google search shows Mr. Morley's participation in the meetings surrounding the development in his neighborhood. From the minutes of 5/23/2007... "Mr. Morely announced that although he is not a direct abutter, he is a neighbor in the area, but does not believe that constitutes recusing himself from these discussions. Chairman Fee asked if anyone opposed Mr. Morely's participation. No objections were voiced. " I haven't had time to research the Old Lancaster project. From these minutes, it appears to be a regular development, yet in June 2010, I found this article where it looks to be a 40B: http://www.wickedlocal.com/sudbury/news/x1722581509/Sudbury-residents-raise-concerns-about-40B-project-on-Old-Lancaster-Road?zc_p=0#axzz1pTAbeLvQ This article is especially humorous to read with all the "We are no against 40B, but..." statements coming from the neighbors. Now, I ** believe ** this is back to being a McMansion development with no 40B.
Thrice Rusty March 18, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Love the comment from yet another "insider" Doug Barth. He thinks 11 homes on 7+ acres is too much? That's more than a half acre per house! Not too shabby. I am sure Mr Barth is perfectly fine with 150 units on Landham Road (along with the other 2 developments already approved for that area) though seeing that it's nowhere near his house. Morely doesn't have a leg to stand on with this one. He should have recused himself Point Blank. We can't complain anymore Sudbury unless we do something about it. Vote Morely and O'Brien out. Vote in the new DePompei and Brown. I don't know much about Eric Poch but I haven't heard of any shady dealings from him so he has my vote as well.
joanne March 18, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Eric Poch was the one who used private info from school directories to send out email blasts, when Drobinski was up for re-election.
Thrice Rusty March 18, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Thanks Joanne, I had forgotten about that. I guess it's a moral vs. an ethics issue. If using those lists was illegal then Michelle MacDonald would have been put in jail long ago. Instead her buddy Tom Conroy gave her an award. Go figure. I guess I won't vote for either Morely or Poch now. The sad thing is that one is going to win no matter what.
Let's Open our eyes March 21, 2012 at 01:54 AM
I think your kids were in the same class! Not a nefarious plot to send an email to fellow parents is it?
joanne March 21, 2012 at 01:10 PM
@ Lets open our eyes- I would like to point out that my email address listed in the directory was, and still is incorrect. However the main office has the correct one. So someone would have to get my email from the main office or the school data base. The following is one the first page of the directory: The information contained in this directory is provided solely for the personal use of the student, parent, and staff community. Any other use is unauthorized and strictly prohibited, Directory information is specifically NOT to be used for solicitation of any kind, nor distributed in any manner for commercial, advertising,or marketing purposes. Violators will be subject to all liabilities and penalties of law. When I contacted the Town mgr's office and the school superintendent's office about said emails, I was told in fact, that the in information provided in the directories was not to be used for political reasons.
Let's Open our eyes March 21, 2012 at 04:21 PM
So I'm confused - if as you state above "my email address listed in the directory was, and still is incorrect" - How could the information have been obtained from the directory?!? Hence, no conflict....
Let's Open our eyes March 21, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Slander is a dangerous game when there is a lack of fact.
joanne March 21, 2012 at 05:28 PM
As I stated above, my email was obtained from the front office or school database- you are not allowed to enter the school database in order to obtain email addresses for political reasons- I am not and never would slander anyone! I am sure the sender had his reasons for sending the email, my point is, the way he went about getting them was wrong-
joanne March 21, 2012 at 07:31 PM
I must say though- although I didnt personally approve of how my email was obtained, I will still vote for Mr Poch. I truly believe he has done a good job.

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