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