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Transparency in government, respect for voters and for the citizens who work for the town, respect for the town bylaws and rules and obeying the laws of the state. All things you would expect from the Board of Selectmen and yet all things they seem to ignore.

While I could spend many pages of paper going into details, let me give just a few examples. All these have been fact-checked and verified.

The most obvious example is the BOS’s reaction to the rejection of a raise for the Town Administrator by the Town Meeting, not ONCE but TWICE. Not only did they make the raise happen, in a “different manner,” but they were quoted as saying they did not care what the Town Meeting said. The argument they gave about a lawsuit is BOGUS, since the the Town Administrator’s contract made the salary “subject to town meeting appropriation.” Later on a different matter, the Town Administrator was quoted as saying “I do not care what the Town Meeting says we are going to do it anyway.” So much for respecting voters..

Since the NEW regime has taken power, over 17 employees, many were town residents, have left their jobs with the town. A hostile work atmosphere driven by a desire of the BOS to have “their people” in place has led to these departures. Despite attempts to disgrace these employees and to dub them as lazy and inefficient, almost all of them have gotten better jobs and more money.

The most recent example is the disgrace of what is happening on Patterson Road near the town wells. The BOS’s desire for income, without adding taxes, has and is driving some bad behavior. The Planning Board began the siting process with a POOR review of the Solar Farm plan and then gave an approval, basically without conditions. After intervention by the state wildlife group, Solar City came back for a new permit. The Planning Board did a better job of reviewing and even put some minimal conditions on the plan BUT they did not do enough to protect the town’s future. This, protection, they said, was being done by the “lease agreement/contract” that the BOS were writing with Solar City. Since the contract was not written at the time, none of them actually knew what it would say. A group of concerned citizens then filed suit to halt the process UNTIL new protections could be put in place, this suit is active in the court system today, still un-settled. Ignoring the pending suit, the BOS had the Building Inspector issue permits and the area is now stripped of all trees. Note the fact that as of March 20, the contract with the vendor still has not been returned signed to the town.

Overall, they have done and are doing a poor job.

While I do not agree with Rico on all his positions, I know him to have the personality and the energy to throw open the blinds, open the windows and let some fresh air and light into the process of running Shirley. I know that he will listen to the public and ensure they will get a fair hearing, unlike today’s way of doing town business. While we may not get everything we want, a fair hearing, an open discussion and a legal, open vote by the BOS is a start.

Please start the re-invention of our Board of Selectmen by voting for Rico for selectman.

John Oelfke


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