The coverage on candidate Debra Boronski-Burack in last week's Reminder gave us a preview of her leadership capability. Referring to Jack Villamaino's open seat, Debra said "…It was an unfortunate incident involving one person and it's something we have to start moving past …".
At a time we are clearly looking for effective, independent and confident leadership, the voter's may not necessarily want to "start moving past" anything yet until more questions are answered on the non-criminal aspect of this mess. If only we, the voters could interview all four candidates for these two important positions on ELCAT. All four candidates should also have an interest in reviewing key decisions made by Jim Driscoll, Paul Federici and Jack Villamaino.
For example, there has always been a strong perception that "friends" were hired. What about the series of $10,000 salary increases for most department heads? Were the required educational and professional certifications achieved before these salary increases? Are there any "special deals" for department heads? Why do so many department heads have "company cars"?
What about the unnecessary cost of "gerrymandering" East Longmeadow's voting precincts when the population did not exceed 16,000? Why didn't Driscoll, Federici and Villamaino inform us on Aug. 23, 2011, there was a major change in voting precincts? Who voted to hire Courtney Llewellyn? Was there an internal job posting for her ELCAT position?
According to MGL Ch. 41, Sec. 23B "…The selectmen of any town may make an investigation into the conduct and operation of any town department. Upon completion of such investigation a report shall be submitted to the town clerk and such report shall be printed in the annual town report…".
Which of the four candidates will have the leadership and tenacity to appoint a Blue Ribbon Panel (via MGL Ch.41, Sec. 23B) to assist the new board with the review of the items above?
On 12/18/12, the voters in East Longmeadow will pick two candidates in a special election. This is not a popularity contest, the voters should elect two individuals who are conflict of interest free, with analytical skills and confident leadership to "double-check things" down at town hall. Please research the four candidates and fairly assess their leadership capability in pursuing the issues mentioned above.
Peter J. Cokotis