Regionalization - What's holding it up?

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by Vigs on Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:30 pm

Have the officials go out and work close with the public and see what is being done. Everything look great on paper but put it in place is another story. "NO MORE WORDS WE NEED ACTION"

If they say they are out their with the public well the eagles, legion or even the elks is not in public works..... Get out and see whats happening, at least Jolene is working the town for channel 7 and showing you what is out there so I think finger pointing should go in action dont you think.
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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:20 pm

Jolene's involvement with Channel 7 is known because it is visible. Many people do things in the community behind the scenes. I assure you that the selectmen discuss issues with many people and are aware of what people are saying on the street.

As for their being involved with things, it is the function of the board to interact with the various departments through the Town Manager. If they interact with the departments without the knowledge of the board, it is improper. Do we really want certain selectmen hanging around certain departments ??

I agree that they need to start getting things done, but they spend too much time discussing items that are not within their area of responsibility. Just today I cautioned one selectman to be careful how he addressed one issue because the board doesn't have jurisdiction over the matter.
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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by xmashen on Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:36 pm

Kevin, i think you are the best person to ask about this. There had been an old vote about creating 2 extra selectmen's positions that was voted down at the time. I personally feel that 7 is a much better number than 5, especially considering the current personalities sitting. What do you think? is there a chance to increase the current number to a much more diversified 7?

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by xmashen on Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:36 pm

Kevin, i think you are the best person to ask about this. There had been an old vote about creating 2 extra selectmen's positions that was voted down at the time. I personally feel that 7 is a much better number than 5, especially considering the current personalities sitting. What do you think? is there a chance to increase the current number to a much more diversified 7?

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:01 pm

Do I answer once or twice??

There was a proposal in to change the charter to include seven selectmen. I was not present for the hearings/discussion on the topic, but here are some thoughts I heard at the time.

There are a number of concerns over the expansion of the board.

One concern is that such a move is a step in the direction of having a town council form of government in which all decisions are made by the board. The citizens are essentially removed from the process except for electinmg the council members. We could file a petition to hold a special election to overrule the council on any issue, but in cities where councils exist, this process is rarely used, permitting the council to rum amok at will.

Another concern is the availability of willing and appropriate candidates. In previous years we have had numerous times when selectmen have run unopposed. Finding seven good people who are willing to dedicate their time to put up with the nonsense involved in town politics may be a factor.

The cost of having two additional board members is negligible. They consist of the stipend, training costs, and perhaps additional costs to provide them with materials and copies.

My thought is that our town government would work well if the people were given better choices on the ballot. There are very few people who seriously run for the position. Most have a reason for running (sometimes called "an axe to grind"). Even when there are five or six candidates, the re are always some who run because they thought it would be fun to run. Some run to spread out the vote so that their favorite candidate will get back in. Still others run against all recomendations in an effort to feed their ego. If we wnt to seven board members, it is likely that one or more of these candidates might just get in. We have seen some of them on boards and committees trying to make their mark on the world. If you thought the hijinks of some board members are undesireable, I would invite you to consider the other candidates who have run and how they would have handled themselves.

So, it really isn't the number, it is the character of those who are elected that affects the composition of the board. I expect that the people will make some good decisions in the next few elections to bring order and decorum to our political system.


Note: I did not write the above with any particular person or people in mind, though some did come to mind as I identified the character traits.
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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by xmashen on Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:12 pm

thanks, kevin (and one answer is sufficient... i accidentally double posted). But back to my question... the personalities of 5 people can be far more influential than 7. I sit on a board of 5 and honestly, it's so easy to tilt the vote depending on who is friends with whom at the moment. That would be far more difficult to do with two additional inputs. I also understand how difficult it would be to get anyone to run for anything in rumford (except for JSN, maybe, who, it seems will run for dog catcher if the position came up... oh, and nothing against dog catchers!). But I do think the mathematics of 7 on a board greatly favor a more representative government. It also reduces the influence that " character" has, for better or for worse.


Last edited by xmashen on Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:14 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : sp)

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:29 pm

Okay, well presuming that we had a 7 member board in the 2007 election, the victorious candidates could have been Frank, Brad, and Ron Theriault. In this last election it could have been Rob, Mark, and Greg Buccina. How does that change the character of the board? You still have the same people, but now they have to attempt to get along with more fellow selectmen. The battles would be greater and more frequent, and the majority might still be where it is today.
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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by xmashen on Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:47 pm

it's harder to let a clique run a board with 7 members. let's forget the personalities presently involved (if we can).

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by xmashen on Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:51 pm

I just think, given the past history , the board is obviously too small. Also, it's not diverse... i. e. no women (again, this is not a nod to JSN!)

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:53 pm

xmashen wrote:it's harder to let a clique run a board with 7 members. let's forget the personalities presently involved (if we can).

It may be more difficult to get rid of a clique if nobody wants to run.
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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by dr on Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:54 pm

JSN LOVES being Jane Citizen.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:54 pm

xmashen wrote:I just think, given the past history , the board is obviously too small. Also, it's not diverse... i. e. no women (again, this is not a nod to JSN!)

Jolene wes only the second woman on the board. We cannot elect people who don't run.
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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by xmashen on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:03 pm

i know! i was just making a comment. but i still think 7 is far better than 5. do you not agree (disregarding the possible personalities)?

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by xmashen on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:05 pm

and , dr, with all due respect, there are a few too many " john citizens"

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:10 pm

You cannot disregard the possible personalities. The ones we have are not the worst we could have. Personalities and alliances are always a factor.
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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by xmashen on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:17 pm

but kevin, my point is a mathematical one. with alliances, it's more difficult to control when there are 7 members. that's a fact.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:18 pm

You might be surprised.
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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by xmashen on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:19 pm

4 to 3 is a lot more challenging than 3 to 2

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by xmashen on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:21 pm

i am sorry, but i would be surprised if a larger board were more bullyish. I can speak from experience. there are problems with larger boards, but usually it isn't a problem of pals running the show.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:22 pm

What is the difference between a group of selectmen who share common visions and value systems, and tend to vote the same way on many items, and a group of selectmen who are conspiring to run the town using their majority on the board?
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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by xmashen on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:24 pm

ok, i give up. I started this post by simply asking you whether it would be possible to increase the board. that's all. you win.... whatever.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:25 pm

Why give up so easily? Please answer my last question.
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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by xmashen on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:31 pm

that's a difficult question to answer. and it's based on assumptions that may or may not be correct. right now, on a gross analysis, it seems like it's a 3 to 2 thing. i think increasing the number could make it a bit more open. Of course, if you have 5 idiots and 2 reasonable people, then you are worse off than when you started. However, i think the chances are better with more people.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by xmashen on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:33 pm

oh, i realize i didn't actually answer your question. it was a bit too cosmic in scope.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by FireDawg314 on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:37 pm

Kevin, some of us are truly interested in the betterment of the town(s) especially the regionalization issue and dont really care to hear you drag side issues out in order to try to show that you know more than everyone else.
A simple answer to xmashen's question would be "yes" it is possible, and like you said, in order for it to work you would need to have qualified and truly devoted people. the size of the board has no determination on how things are run, you still need a majority vote and people willing to work together. The more people you have the more it takes to get a group of them to become a clique or "bullyish". Regardless of how many people you have though, 3,5,7,15, there is always the possibility of creating that clique, it's just harder to do the more people you have.
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