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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Support De Pompei and Brown

Sudbury resident Bryan Semple says change is needed on the Board of Selectmen and Planning Board.

Please join me in supporting Dan De Pompei for Selectman and Pat Brown for Planning Board. Both of these candidates will add some much needed political diversity into our town’s political leadership. This diversity is needed to solve what I think are the three core issues our town leadership has failed to solve over the past 10 years:

  • Reliable funding for our schools
  • 40B development
  • Highly transparent government.

School funding is an annual exercise in voter roulette. The current leadership has been unable to fashion a coalition of voters with the cost centers to pass budgets on a consistent basis. Hiding behind our three cost center approach, the administration has blamed voters for what is in fact a lack of leadership.

In addition, when the current administration was presented with dramatic cost savings that were not politically expedient in the form of the Budget Review Task Force, this administration quickly scuttled the task force, formed a G4, and a consolidated working group which has done little to implement the toughest savings. Only through the intervention of the state legislature have we made progress on insurance reform. 

But we still have two sets of administrators in the town, Lincoln continues to pay only 15 perctn of the L-S budget, and not all town employees are on the Group Insurance Commission plan.

De Pompei can bring needed diversity of opinion to all political discussions to forge the voter and cost center coalitions needed to pass tough votes and push for reform when needed. To think the town will not need overrides in the future is unrealistic. But to continually propose overrides that fail is detrimental to the towns and schools operations. We have to continue to deliver excellence in our schools, more so today in the face of global competition. The school funding roulette game we play has to stop.

On 40B, both Brown and De Pompei have been vocal in their opposition to the law. This is a far cry from the current administration which believes 40B is a useful tool and was willing to send a “neutral” letter to the state about the Johnson Farm development. Those in town government who support voluntarily giving up control of our zoning board to outside state interests with 40B, are either misguided in the belief it builds sufficient affordable housing, aligned with the interest of developers, or are politically pandering to the state’s Democratic Party agenda. 40B brings more school-age children to town. Supporting 40B goes against the need in town to reduce our school-age population to reduce the budget gap. It is illogical to be a school supporter and 40B proponent when you can’t get basic budgets passed the electorate for sufficient school funding.

Finally on transparency in government, Sudbury does a good job in this area.  But we need excellence. As we work to build coalitions of voters to pass the tough votes, we don’t need hints of conflicts of interest tainting our processes. Simply by having diverse voices in our government, trust in government is improved.

Please vote on March 26. I will be there voting for De Pompei and Brown.

Bryan Semple

15 Revere

Landham Road March 26, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Carol, You are blogging as if your job is on the line.
Thrice Rusty March 26, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Dan DePompei is making an attempt to tackle the issue. O'Brien has stood by for the last 6 months and said absolutely nothing about Johnson Farm. Larry was BOS Chair when our town planner handed in her housing production plan the day after the Johnson developer handed his in. One day sooner and none of this would be happening. Something tells me that Ms. Kablack's timing will be a little more efficient under Dan DePompei. Now Sudbury who would you rather vote for???
Eric Poch March 26, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Hi Bryan - just curious - am I part of the "current administration". For the record, I have never voiced support for the 40B law, nor have I ever endorsed its use as a tool.
JON999 March 26, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Eric, I would politely add that you did say at the LWV's Candidate Night that "there is nothing the Planning Board can do about 40B" (paraphrasing but very close to verbatim). This is simply not true. The Planning Board can waive one of its own subdivision bylaws. In fact, it did so just last year - at 301 Old Lancaster Road - when the developer threatened a dense 40B development there - resulting in an attractive 5-unit luxury home subdivision. This may have been the right decision, but it did deprive the next neighborhood threatened by 40B from the benefit of the 12 units not built there counting towards the 40B safe harbor thresholds. Also, the Planning Board can think more pro-actively and holistically about recommending the Town to purchase/conserve open space. Had some foresight been employed, there might not be 4 very large, very dense 40Bs approved or likely to be so within a very small radius in South Sudbury. You are right, "40B is a state law" but the Planning Board (neighbors, too) leaving one neighborhood of Sudbury so exposed, while protecting others, was an unfortunate mistake, in my opinion. I have a simple rule-of-thumb: if someone is not willing to admit they are against 40B, then they're for it. (feel free to challenge this rule-of-thumb). (Mr. Fee has my name/email and I have shared these thoughts with him - you can easily contact me directly through him if you please)
Kirsten Vandijk March 26, 2012 at 09:54 PM
The Planning Board needs to approach any and all affordable housing proposals in a cautious and forward thinking manner. Equal distribution of these projects throughout ALL of Sudbury instead of a segregated approach is an easier bite to swallow.

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