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Finance Committee Shuffle Concerns Residents, Selectman Calls Process a 'Black Eye for the Town'

Selectman Bob Haarde believes new members were added to the Finance Committee behind the scenes, and members voicing dissent were punished.

Selectman Bob Haarde said he is very concerned with the recent changes to the Finance Committee. (File Photo)
Selectman Bob Haarde said he is very concerned with the recent changes to the Finance Committee. (File Photo)

Several Sudbury residents have expressed concern over the way new members were added to the Finance Committee, including selectman Bob Haarde, who said he believes the process is the latest sign of a troubling trend in the town’s local government.

Town Moderator Myron Fox made the addition of Jeff Barker, Adrian Davis, Fred Floru and Jose Garcia-Meitin to the Finance Committee.

Haarde and other residents who have reached out to Patch believe it appears new members were recruited behind the scenes, and the application and interview process did not take place as it normally does.

Tammie Dufault and Robert Stein, who were previously members of the Finance Committee and who were critical of the town’s spending, are no longer on the board. Haarde said he believes it is due to the stances they took that were in opposition to the remainder of the board.

“Financial statements were not released until it was too late to impact the Town Meeting warrant, which I would say is unfortunate,” said Haarde. “We had members who wanted to see the numbers before Town Meeting. Unfortunately those members are now gone, and they’ve been replaced. It does appear they’ve suffered retribution for seeking more financial transparency.”

Haarde said his biggest concern is that he believes the Finance Committee situation is just another sign of a bigger problem.

“This is a longstanding problem in Sudbury that anyone who voices dissent is silenced,” said Haarde. “Instead of having public discussion like adults and allowing all voices to be heard, Sudbury doesn’t operate that way. Sudbury tries to silence anyone with that voice, eliminate that voice, and not work through any of the issues that are before the town.”

The Sudbury selectman said he believes the solution comes by more residents getting involved in town government. Haarde also said he hopes to see the town arrive at a point where residents can agree to disagree. 

“These Finance Committee appointments that were done secretly and privately without any discussion are a real black eye for the town and a big step backward,” said Haarde. “The more people that get involved, the sooner we will get a place where we can sit down as adults, discuss things as adults, and let all voices be heard. We can agree to move on as friends and residents. That’s how a town should be run. I hope we get there soon.”

Editor's Note: The wording of the second paragraph of this story was changed on Monday, May 19, as the timing of the appointments was incorrectly written.

Dave Dell May 19, 2014 at 08:24 AM
Back room recruiting outside of the selection process also guarantees that no objective oversight and discussion of spending will occur, so the drunken sailor spending of the town will start to take control, and taxpayers will be manipulated because alternatives to excessive spending will be squashed. Taxpayers deserve better than to be manipulated just like committees in town, and this is a very dangerous path. I hope Mr. Haarde and other reasonable people in town do something about this. A legal action must follow.
JON999 May 19, 2014 at 09:29 AM
I wonder if people are worried about being hit with a tax increase if they publicly criticized Myron Fox's slippery move here.
Sudbury Citizen May 19, 2014 at 10:19 AM
Matt Schooley, very disappointed you wrote this article with the wrong facts. Did you call Mr. Stein or Ms Dufault ? Did you speak to Mr. Fox. Where did you get all the wrong facts about how it took place ? They DID NOT APPOINT new members the last night of Town meeting !
James Madison June 01, 2014 at 07:38 AM
Sudbury Citizen, it is widely known at this time that your post is incorrect. Ask your boss to apologize for misleading you. Myron the great Fox did in fact appoint the new members on the night of Town Meeting. He may have worked within the bylaws yet the may view his actions as protecting the establishment for a few more years of their spending not seen since the construction of Lincoln Sudbury High School.

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