LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Typical Behavior Witnessed at Beacon Hill

Resident Bob Stein gives his interpretation of what Board of Selectmen Chairman Larry O'Brien, and others, said to State Legislation last week in regards to expanding the Board to 5 members.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Sudbury Patch has reached out to Both Larry O'Brien and State Rep. Tom Conroy for comment. Conroy has not responded. O'Brien said in an email he would be "glad to speak with you so that you can report accurately rather than using second hand information," but has yet to comment beyond that.)

The people of Sudbury should know that Larry O'Brien, Chairman of our Board of Selectmen, testified on Beacon Hill and told the Massachusetts Congress that the votes of the people of Sudbury should be ignored. 

Larry testified that the Sudbury Town Meeting Vote should be ignored and Myron Fox, our Town Moderator, failed to allow proper debate. Larry O'Brien told the State Legislature to step out and allow Larry to appoint 9 of his friends to study the expansion of the Board of Selectmen indefinitely. 

After all we have learned about Larry in recent months, I suppose we should not be surprised at this behavior.  But we have transgressed from unacceptable behavior to surreal behavior when an elected Sudbury Selectman testifies to dismiss the votes of the people of Sudbury whom he represents. 

Larry's surrogates, Susan Offner and Art Gutch, testified alongside Larry. Susan Offner continued her quickly dismissed rant about a "small faction of people rising up in Sudbury who want to ruin the schools." This tired and overused political tactic, used for years by the insiders, is no longer effective. 

How stupid Susan Offner must think people are, even people on Beacon Hill who do not live in Sudbury, to believe families with young children and many years of public education ahead of them could be characterized as "anti-school" and the Offners, who have no school-age children, but rely on taxpayer- paid pension benefits are the only people in town who support education.

Art Gutch was truly entertaining with his testimony.  Art backed up Larry by saying the people of Sudbury came to Town Meeting "because they were invited by their friends but didn't know what they're voting on." 

Art Gutch characterized the voters of Sudbury as members of a "flash mob" who assembled at Town Meeting spontaneously without knowing what they were voting on.  Personally, I think the people of Sudbury are the smartest, most educated, classiest and well-intentioned group of people I have ever been associated with.  They all knew and understood what they were voting on. 

Everyone I have ever met in Sudbury is very focused on education excellence. As ridiculous as the testimony from Art Gutch and Susan Offner was, the testimony from Larry O'Brien, Chairman of our Board of Selectmen, was the best case anyone on Beacon Hill could have made for why Sudbury needs more representation on our Board of Selectmen.

Robert Stein
Thompson Drive
Member of Finance Committee but not speaking on behalf of Finance Committee

sudburycitizentoo December 05, 2012 at 01:07 AM
There are two Kirstens. More double teaming!
Michael Troiano December 05, 2012 at 05:10 AM
I have no idea what conspiracy you've manufactured in your head, Kirsten. But if you'd like to accuse us or me of something, let's hear it. If not, please spare us the vaguely ominous insinuations, and try to focus on the question at hand.
South Pole Elf December 05, 2012 at 11:36 AM
@ Kirsten VD- You were removed from One Sudbury due to your aggressive remarks- and for dominating the site. When anyone disagreed with one of your MANY statements, you went on the attack.
Kirsten Vandijk December 05, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Mr. Troiano, South pole Elf, et al-- Would you be so kind as to make public all of my comments on Lavendergate that are being categorized as aggressive? Members of Lavendergate commented that my comments were very polite and never onerous yet for some reason the crowd here wish to think otherwise. You cannot. My comments and questions made some members think of alternative approaches as well as shone light on perspective. As for the unethical goings on, the proof of those also can be found in the comment threads of Lavendergate. But since Mr. Troiano as administrator has the power to delete comments like the one that he deleted and then closed my out of the group from, then he has probably deleted the comments that I have hard copies of, as well as every member of the BOS, the Town Manager, and Town Council.
siobhan hullinger December 05, 2012 at 12:47 PM
If you have hard copies then post them. When you "defined" someone on a facebook page, all the comments go as well. Personally, I found a progression in your tone which I don't much care about but you most certainly did not stay on theme - the 3-5. You also created confusion, used the page as a personal muse and made it difficult for the large group to remain focused. I thought, originally, you were a seeker of information but given your commentary lately, I believe that you either have an alterior motive rooted in destruction of a good thing bringing people together or you are being manipulated unknowingly. Either way, it is unbecoming and not in the spirit of uniting townspeople.
Michael Troiano December 05, 2012 at 12:50 PM
That would take some effort, Kirsten. You actually made 64 comments in your 7 days on the site. It was not unusual for you to comment, then comment on your comment. On several occasions you commented, commented on your comment, then commented on the comment to your comment. Our group was never about debating the need for change. It was about effecting change, and it still is. Your constant distraction from that mission made you a nuisance to the people using the group for it's intended purpose, and that's why you are the only person I've ever removed from it. To make me the bad guy, though, you've again accused me of an unspecified ethical breach in this public forum. And now - without saying what that is - of some sinister coverup. I'll say it again... if you have an accusation to make, and proof of that accusation, make it. If not, please stop this delusional slander.
Kirsten Vandijk December 05, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Mr. Troiano and Siobhan, It would be in the best interest of the Town of Sudbury if you ceased in your efforts to kill the messenger. You are making a very bad situation worse and in doing so ultimately you are turning the move from 3-5 into a circus. Ethics and Morals Standards are part of the oath of office taken by a Selectman. Period. What I or you say compares little to the actions of a certain town leader. Period. Les Adieux
siobhan hullinger December 05, 2012 at 01:04 PM
YOU made the statements, Kirsten. I find it particularly immoral and unethical to elude to an unethical breach by someone else and then not back it up with the facts. You have a blog - use it to provide proof. Otherwise you are creating the exact same circle you created in the group. Like I said earlier, you seem h+++bent on creating an illusion that the page is more than uniting townspeople which in and of itself is unbecoming. Why don't you try to focus on easing the divisiveness?
South Pole Elf December 05, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Kirsten Van dijk- How dare you accuse Michael Troiano of anything unethical? Who do you think you are exactly? Michael developed a fb page where people could come together- get information and make informed decisions. He has never been anything but open and honest with every member. He has put his time, energy and money into an effort to make Sudbury a better place for all of us! His goal is only to make Sudbury government more open and transparent- For you to suggest otherwise is quite frankly digusting!
Rob F December 05, 2012 at 01:55 PM
It has been said here that the Chairman of the Board of Selectmen did not speak on behalf of the BOS at the hearing. While that is technically true, it is *only* technically true. When a member of the BOS speaks, it is not realistic to expect him to be able to express one opinion as a member and another as a private citizen. Perhaps in an ideal world, *Mr.* O'Brien could speak against the measure while supporting it as *Chairman* O'Brien. However, this is not an ideal world; it is a world where human nature makes it impossible to separate roles like this. For example, would anyone really expect Mr. Obama to be able express an opinion and not be held accountable for it as President Obama, or Mr. Boehner to express an opinion and not be held accountable for it as Speaker Boehner? Similarly, O'Brien's opposition to the measure carries the weight of his Chairmanship whether he is speaking as Mr. or Chairman. Therefore it was his duty to speak either in favor of the measure or not at all.
Sudbury Citizen December 05, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Kirsten Vandijk does NOT tell the truth. Se promised to leave the Patch but yet she has commented over 20 times. I wonder if she runs her business with the same honesty. All Sudbury residents should purchase their flowers from Frugal Flower on Post Rd. heading to Marlboro. The flowers are nicer, fresher, and cheaper than My Passion Flower. The only Passion Kirsten Vandijk has is keeping Larry O'Brien and friends in power. Retire now Kirsten and move to Bristol RI. PLEASE.
kyle mccarthy December 05, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Kirsten do you WANT people to stop coming to your shop? Or are you trying to market yourself now as the "crazy flower lady". Seriously, what is your problem? Let it go and move on. It is evident that very few people, if any, support your unsupported allegations. The beauty though is that the folks with whom you are arguing here are intelligent and can multi-task i.e. fight with you and still keep the momentum of 3-5.
SkimThreePercent December 05, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Patch - Please consider banning this nut-job from your site as every other group or committee has seen fit to do.
Sudbury Citizen December 05, 2012 at 02:44 PM
I say we all boycott her shop : My Passion Flower and do your business at Frugal Flower. Fresher, cheaper, and they support Sudbury. Kirsten and her shop are just the opposite.
M December 05, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Kirsten, In my opinion, your tone changed after the Town Meeting. I think it simply has to do with the fact that you never got to give your presentation at the meeting and took it personally.. Unfortunately, by the time it was your turn to speak, the point had been made many times over, and many people just wanted to vote and go home. I had to get a babysitter to make the meeting so I wanted to leave too. But since that meeting you turned your energy from 3-5 towards getting back at the One Sudbury group and especially Michael T for this embarrassment at the meeting. I'm sorry you got hurt. I was tired of all the delays and simply wanted to go home to my kids. Can you please let it go now?
Karoles December 05, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Here is a problem. There is a poster Kirsten Van Dijk. The so called Lavender people or now morphed in to One Sudbury are bullying her into submission by calling her crazy, a nusiance etc. However, if you so called one sudbury people are true to that phrase, then why are you still bullying people here? I think you all have good intentions, but democracy is for the people, by the people and not for a facebook group no matter how hard you try to stop others from disagreeing, by this type of behavior, it has given me pause and wonder if the Kirsten Van D's might have a grain of truth in what they are saying. You know the old saying about 'doth protest too much'? I note Mr.Stein asks certain people to identify themselves and calls them cowards, but his own cronies are not all identified. Hmmmm. Sounds like someone is trying to stop debate. Troublesome indeed.
sudburycitizentoo December 05, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Get thee to the Town Hall! The ---- is going to hit the fan!
sudburycitizentoo December 05, 2012 at 11:55 PM
South Pole Elf--go back to the South Pole and CHILL!
sudburycitizentoo December 05, 2012 at 11:55 PM
All advertising is good advertising SC.
sudburycitizentoo December 05, 2012 at 11:56 PM
I'm hungry for nuts.
sudburycitizentoo December 05, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Robert G. Stein--go play with yourself in your big red barn.
Crazy K December 06, 2012 at 12:47 AM
WHAT?!?! Are you serious???
mandy f December 06, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Can we get back to basics? There's obviously much history here amongst individuals, personal issues which the rest of us don't really care about. As an observer, I can understand Mike T Siobhan H and Bob S and where they stand and why they asked for the change in BOS. I'm unclear why others seem afraid of the selectman increase and oppose it. Can someone please clarify unemotionally?
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ December 06, 2012 at 04:19 AM
shots fired
kyle mccarthy December 06, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Mandy f, Short of the fear of losing control, there is NO logical reason for the folks opposing this move to oppose it. Many times folks have ask for a reason and the only responses have been process and/or study-two things which are not required at this point. The process was completely within the by-laws of the town and more importantly are consistent with other actions taken in the past. Increasing the number of BOS is the only thing that is being ask-nobody has suggested a change in BOS responsibilities. As far as study, that is also no longer necessary since the other towns who folks consistently point to because of better MCAS scores or more balanced budgets, have 5 BOS and seem to run better than we do. To reiterate, there is NO logical reason that has been presented by those opposing this move.
Karoles December 06, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Mr. Stein, Anonymity is not synonymous with cowardice. There are several commenters who choose to stay quiet. Thrice Rusty, Concerd Citizen, PMTW, and these people do not receive your nastiness. Again, sound to me like an agenda of frustration that you believe you have an all knowing perspective, but that fact remains, you do not have a clue how to run anything but your mouth. How about sitting on that Finance Committee and doing SOMETHING, ANYTHING that is helpful. I have seen nothing so far. Leadership can be costly, how about you give that a try? Any ideas? Any? Give us something to help us believe you are serious. As far as the other commenters, say what you like, ya have the right.
Robert Fucci (Editor) December 06, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Try that comment again, Bob, but with a more civil term, please, of the body part you mentioned. I know this thread is heated but everyone can get their point across in a civil way.
SkimThreePercent December 06, 2012 at 07:43 PM
It looks to me as though there may be a spam-bot chiming in here. A spam-bot is a non-human participant who has the ability to respond to posts using key-words that it searches for and then automatically replying in ways that appear to be from a real person. If true, the tension exhibited here is magnified to an even greater level than before. These bots are the reason that often times you will be asked to verify that you are human by reading and typing into a box the image text of a word. If this is the case some but not all of the recent escalation was made worse by the bot. The possibility that a human posed as the bot just to get people going here. Check it out.
sudburycitizentoo February 06, 2013 at 12:48 PM
siobhan hullinger 1:01 pm on Monday, November 12, 2012 Just because someone sits on a committee, either appointed or elected, doesn't negate their voice as a taxpayer or resident. I would prefer if more of our "officials" engaged. I would also like to see more post under their given names instead of their chosen moniker such as yourself.
siobhan hullinger February 06, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Is there some reason you are copying my posts and then posting them under your name sudburycitizentoo?


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something