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Haarde: No Hard Feelings Not Getting Chairman Position

After Town Meeting, Larry O'Brien was voted back as the Board of Selectmen Chair.

There was no argument. Just a handshake and a "congratulations."

Selectman Bob Haarde said that was his decision the night Town Meeting ended on May 8 when he learned he would not be the next chairman of the Board of Selectmen.

"There was no explanation ... other than me expressing my desire to be the chairman," Haarde said. "I thought it was my turn, as I had been told."

According to Haarde, after he was elected two years ago, current selectman John Drobinski said the chairman's position rotates every year. Drobinski asked Haarde to vote for him, and in turn Drobinski would vote for Haarde when it was his turn.

The Board met on stage at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School when Town Meeting ended at 10:41 p.m. when the vote went down.

"I was asked to vote for both of them when it was their turn with understanding I would be Chair when it was my turn," Haarde said. "After the meeting I went straight home and was sound asleep by 1:45 a.m."

O'Brien said he was not at liberty to explain why the Board didn't reorganize.

"A motion was made and I seconded it. John made a motion, and I supported it," O'Brien said. "Bob didn’t make a case for it, there was no other discussion other than he’d like to be chair. Bob picked up his portfolio and left, and the meeting was over."

Haarde said he doesn't want to come across bitter over what happened, and that if he had to guess today he would run for re-election next year.

"I believe the Board of Selectmen's job is to represent the people of Sudbury. I think about people first," Haarde said. "I think through everything ... that ‘s where I’m coming from. I have mixed feelings about (running for re-election). If I had to guess I’d say I’d run again."

A message left for Drobinski was not returned at the time this story was published.

Edward Stark May 30, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Thank you for serving us so honorably Bob. Thank you also for having the sound judgement to go home that night and not to Lavender where your fellow Selectmen and Town Manger chose to go. Not sure where this town would be if not for Bob Haarde. I hope he runs again and we reward him with another term. All we have to do is look to the recent behavior of the other two Selectman to see how much Bob's level head is needed in Sudbury.
Andrew MacEntee May 30, 2012 at 12:59 AM
John Drobinski is on tape saying that the tradition in Sudbury is that the selectman running for reelection is given the opportunity to be chairmen of the BOS John Drobinski is on tape saying how important it is to respect Sudbury traditions John Drobnski is a hypocrite Larry O'Brien's statement treats Sudbury citizens like a ship of fools when he claims "he was not at liberty to explain why the Board didn't reorganize". What's next - we are not at liberty to tell the truth or pay taxes?
Sid Bourne May 30, 2012 at 11:11 AM
Bob Haarde is being a real gentleman here, willing to downplay this slight by John Drobinski and Larry O'Brien. Watching the May 22 selectmen meeting, I noted that Haarde had to request the minutes of the May 8 meeting be corrected to record that he had asked to take his turn in the rotation as chair, but was denied that honor by the other two. Sudbury is really lucky to have an ethical, honest selectman in Bob Haarde. He needs the support of the people, because he seems to be undermined frequently by the other selectmen and town insiders.
siobhan hullinger May 30, 2012 at 11:33 AM
I applaud Selectman Haarde for taking the high road. It can't be easy trying to serve the townspeople with two others who are compelled by their own self interest that in the end will ruin our lovely town.
JJoseph May 30, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Thank you Bob Haarde for rising above the shenanigans from the other two Selectmen. You are well respected for your professionalism, hard work and integrity. I imagine it must be difficult to be constantly fighting the Sudbury insiders, but please consider running again for Selectman. Sudbury is in dire need of people with your qualifications, inegrity and willingness to listen to the people you serve. Keep up the great work you do for all of us.
Daniel W Murray May 30, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Politics as usual in good old Sudbury. Hopefully Selectman Haarde will stay the course and try and change the existing self serving political climate in a supposedly enlightened town.
RT Paine May 30, 2012 at 04:52 PM
It will be a cold day in Lavendar's before Larry and John let Bob be the Chair and control the agenda. Why he might even propose an agenda item for an independent investigation of what happened at Lavendar's, what liqour lincensing authority members were present and were false statements made about what occured.
Bryan S May 31, 2012 at 12:55 PM
From the Town Crier - May 2011 “It’s tradition after each Town Meeting to elect the senior member of the board who is running for re-election,” said John Drobinski, the previous chairman. http://www.wickedlocal.com/sudbury/news/x447604224/OBrien-to-chair-Sudbury-Board-of-Selectmen#axzz1wRsBvWX6 Yet this year, the tradition changes. Bob Haarde is the senior member running for re-election. Yet he is not elected chair. Selectman Drobinski and Selectman O'Brien - can you explain why the tradition changed this year? Why is it that Selectman Haarde can't be the chair? In your own words, it is tradition.
pmotw May 31, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Selectman Haarde is doing an outstanding job representing the taxpayers concerns and interests. He stands up for what he believes in and most importantly what is best for the taxpayers. Mr. Haarde shows genuine concern and respect for the manner in which tax revenue is spent and raised. He will not be intimidated by dirty politics that have corrupted many aspects of this town. These old school politics have driven up the cost to “manage” this town along with endless permanent tax increases. Not electing Mr. Haarde for Chairman of the BOS is a huge mistake and further enhances the image of Mr. O’Brien and Mr. Drobinski unwillingness to allow the BOS to function in a fair manner. I’m sure they both are counting on the voters’ short term memory when it’s time for their re-election. The whole “incident” at Lavenders is just another recent example of very poor judgment by Mr. O’Brien, Mr. Drobinski and the town manager.
Sudburytoo May 31, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Thanks Bryan for that information. Mr. O'Brien and Mr. Drobinski I am also asking you to answer the question of why tradition is broken this year? I would ask at a board of selectmen meeting but Mr. Drobinski put an end to public input at the meetings a while ago.
JON999 May 31, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Bob Haarde is a class act and a tireless champion of many important Town causes. He should have his turn as Chairman. The other selectman should seriously reconsider their ill-advised decision.
Enuff May 31, 2012 at 05:39 PM
The irony in all this is the fact that just after the two selectmen unfairly stripped the chair away from Bob Haarde, not too much has gone right for them. My mother always said what goes around comes around. Stay the course Bob. Sudbury needs people like you.
RT Paine May 31, 2012 at 05:49 PM
People, O'Brien and Dobrinski do not want Mr. Haarde to control the BOS agena as Chairman, pure and simple, because they have too much to hide. That is the only reason to break the tradition, because if they followed the tradition they would suffer the consequences of the new chairperson shining the light on things that have been done in the recent and distant past. If they didn't have anything to hide they would have respected and followed the tradition. The only "case," as O'Brien called it, that Haarde didn't make was the case that he would keep everything under the rug out of public view. That is a tradition more important to Drobinski and O'Brien than the tradition about who becomes Chairperson.
SkimThreePercent May 31, 2012 at 05:55 PM
They want him out. Odds are against him running for reelection. No room in Sudbury for a guy like him according to the other two.
Todj Gozdeck June 02, 2012 at 02:21 PM
This is typical Sudbury dirty politics and continues to set a very poor example for our entire community. We need adults to start acting like adults. Larry's comments are misleading, inaccurate and irresponsible for someone who is supposed to be a leader in our community. First, this was an open public meeting about the reorganization of the Board of Selectmen which preside over the Town of Sudbury. His comment that he "is not at liberty to speak about this" really means he has no explanation and he is further embarrassed about a string of public actions and facts about him which have recently been revealed. Second, Larry tries to offer that a case was not made for Haarde to be Chairman when the only case made two years ago for John to be chairman was 'it's John's turn" and the only case made last year for Larry to be chairman was "it's Larry's turn." Sudbury needs more adults in the room. Sudbury is lacking transparent, responsible adult leadership which is lacking accountability to the citizens who they are supposed to be representing.
Rob June 06, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Great Job Bob! At least we can be proud of one of our elected officials in Sudbury.
Patricia Guthy June 06, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Has the term "TERM LIMITS" crossed anyone's mind ? We need it !! If it is good enough for the Presidency, isn't it all right for selectmen ? Enough is enough of these shenanigans! When will the citizenry of Sudbury stand up for what is sensible and right, rather than what the lemmings of the in-crowd deem should be done ?..... What we have seen happening gives us clear indication that integrity is lacking and when integrity is missing, the underpinnings of government have been severely damaged. Think about this.....certainly seems to me that this is the case.

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