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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Yearning for the Sudbury I Fell in Love With

Resident Bob Stein says the Kablacks' influence over town government needs to change for the good of Sudbury.

I could not disagree more strongly with Mark Kablack's letter last week.  First, I do not know of a "birther movement" in Sudbury.  I don't even know what that is.  I reject, on many levels, this practice by Mark Kablack and the Offners to classify, generalize, stereotype and chastise people who speak truth to power as "birthers" or "teabaggers" or "those people who should leave Sudbury."  Name calling is the first sign of a weak defense. 

I have always felt very welcome in Sudbury.  I love this town and have spent much time and effort working to make it an even better place to raise our children.  I have never been afraid to ask difficult questions, speak openly and honestly and I am not going to stop now.  I am not a part of any organization locally or nationally.  I do not belong to any political party.  I have no financial interest and no conflicts of interest with the town of Sudbury.  I have no relatives or good friends who work for the town.  My business is completely separate from anything the town of Sudbury could impact.  I am a volunteer.  I have volunteered countless hours and never asked for anything in return. 

I believe Sudbury should be a town where people can feel free to speak their mind and speak truth to power without being chastised in the local newspaper as a "birther, "a teabagger" or "someone who should leave."  The sentiment of Mark Kablack and the Offners is not consistent with the Sudbury my family and I fell in love with.  There is only one thing that I really have a problem with in Sudbury and that is people who are serving with a hidden agenda.  I know for a fact there are many conflicts of interest in Sudbury and volunteers and town employees who may not be driven by the best interests of Sudbury but by their own hidden agenda. 

To address Mark Kablack's assertions point by point:  Mark Kablack seems to be able to get on the Selectmen's agenda whenever he wants while regular citizens are put on an indefinite waiting list by Chairman O'Brien.  The residents of Northwoods did decide to close their pool, which Kablack argued in favor of many times publicly, citing the pool as a "financial burden" after the Northwoods monthly condo fees increased due to $620,000 in legal fees they have been charged since Mark Kablack became their attorney.  If they did not owe $620,000 in legal fees they may be able to afford their pool.  The ZBA did hire the pro-40B attorney, but Town Planner Jody Kablack is responsible for staffing and advising the ZBA and is known to recommend and speak highly of Paul Haverty.   There are a number of attorneys who actually prevent 40B's from destroying a neighborhood and crowding the town's school system and I believe the neighborhood association hired one of these attorneys.  Jody, as far as we know, did not recommend one of these attorneys to the ZBA.  

The pro-40B flyer Jody Kablack created and distributed during town business hours using the office, computer, email system and network which Sudbury taxpayers pay for, described 40B very positively and invited voters to come to a thinly veiled "Informational Forum" where citizens who showed up to speak against 40B were not allowed to speak and all the "Forum Speakers" coincidentally spoke in favor of 40B.  By the way, the majority of voters in Sudbury voted to repeal 40B.  The Housing Production Plan that should have been created and pursued many years ago.  

Jody Kablack has been the town planner for 25 years.  To get sideswiped by a predatory 40B developer on an important piece of land such as Johnson Farm demonstrates much worse than filing a plan one day late, it quite simply demonstrates bad planning. Jody Kablack, our town Planner, may officially recuse herself when her husband is presenting to an official committee but we know the close friendships and the blurring of the personal/professional line which has occurred over the decades by those who run this town and a simple recusal here and there does not make it a fair playing field for the people who live in Sudbury who have to live with the decisions made in this town.  The influence of the Kablacks in Sudbury's town government runs broad and deep.  The fact that the Kablacks both benefit financially from the Town of Sudbury and then resort to name-calling and label true volunteers as "birthers" because they have the courage to ask difficult questions is unbecoming.  Bob SteinThompson DriveVolunteer member of Finance Committee but not speaking on behalf of that committee

sudburycitizentoo November 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM
When will you give up? You are picking at a scab that will never heal. Run for Selectman so the people can speak, again.
Christine Hogan November 21, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Wonderful letter, Bob. Thank you for addressing the issues with facts. It will be interesting to see how Sudbury chooses to move forward in March.
SkimThreePercent November 21, 2012 at 01:09 PM
"Birthers" are those who question whether or not the current President was born in the United States. For Kablack to label Stein as a "birther" shows what a small, petty, vindictive and false person that he is. Folks are now on to Kablack for the reasons that Stein points out and more.
JJoseph November 21, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Thank you once again Bob Stein for having the courage to stand up against the entrenched Sudbury insiders. It is very apparent to most Sudbury citizens all the conflicts of interest in town. Unfortunately, the current regime really doesn't care if there are conflicts, in fact they seem to enjoy flaunting the power the hold. Things need to change in Sudbury in a significant way. Elections are coming up and hopefully the Sudbury citizens will be more aware of what is happening in town. Sudbury can do much better!
joanne November 21, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Once again Bob- a fantastic letter!
Sudbury Newbie November 21, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Can some leave a detailed comment as to how we can remove these people from town government. I'd be happy to contribute or help...and I've heard form many many people that they are ready to help change things.
JJoseph November 21, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Hi Newbie, Unfortunately, our Town Charter does not allow for recalls (go figure). Also, the way the Selectmen have structured contracts with the Town Manager, Town Counsel etc...we are virtually stuck with what we have. The only way out of this mess is to vote all the "insider" incumbents out one at a time. Some progress has been made but it is very slow and very frustrating.
pmotw November 21, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Great letter Mr. Stein. Don't ever give up. Your efforts are appreciated by many. Unfortunately, the most disturbing part of this whole Kablack involvement with Northwoods is how the elderly residents are taken advantage of. Doesn't it break your heart to see or even think about these elderly people crying over this? Neither Kablacks are friends of the elderly in this town. They have been instrumental in taking away their life savings in one way or another. They are predators and need to be stopped.
Michael Troiano November 24, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Support the change we already passed at Town Meeting, to move from 3-5 Selectmen on the BOS. Join us on Facebook, and get informed: http://onesudbury.org
Karoles November 26, 2012 at 06:02 AM
Mr.Stein, you don't love Sudbury. You have notdone anything good for this town. You make up all kinds of things that are not true and your friends nod their heads. You and your one sudbury aka laverndergate friends are so full of bull. If you believe in a good sudbury then why do you make fun of people who don't agree with you. Why do you act like you know everything and nobody else knows anything? I voted for people who are now elected, you and your one sudbury group went to town meeting and demanded a vote and refused to put it to a ballot. In my 30 plus years in town I have never seen a more frightening event. If you are all about love for the town, you would be more respectful, you are not. You shouldn't even be on the finance committee, how you got on that is beyond me. You do not represent the Sudbury I know and live in.
Ralph Furley November 26, 2012 at 06:34 AM
Karoles, I am not sure which Sudbury you know and live in, but that Sudbury for me is one whose elected officials show little transparency to the people who elected them. It's also a town whose school committee disrespects the parents they were elected to represent and whose high school finds three teachers' salaries worth of money in a postage meter. Bob Stein may go over the top sometimes, but please show me examples of the untruths that you claim he speaks. Also, I'm not sure how the One Sudbury group "went to town meeting and demanded a vote and refused to put it to a ballot." An article was proposed, two amendments were proposed against it and both were voted down and the original article was voted on and passed. What "demands" did the One Sudbury group make? Also, I am sorry you view the democratic process as a "frightening event".
sudburycitizentoo February 06, 2013 at 12:37 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 12:40 PM
Is there some reason you are copying my posts and then posting them under your name sudburycitizentoo?

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