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July 14, 2008


Somerville n00b

"...culture of Somerville's outdated strong-mayor form of government selects for that in its chief executives."

You make it sound very similar to what happened to our executive at the national level...

Somerville n00b

I'm new here, but when you say 'from the 70s to the 90s' things were great etc. I don't know, but from what I hear, Somerville used to be a dump and nobody wanted to live here. How come, if local politics was so much better then?


the Status quo has rigged the system so that change can only take place under secrecy. Open discussions are sabatoged into chaos by the powers that be when they don't get their way.

Bill Shelton's never liked the mayor! Another Bias report

Bill Shelton has never liked the mayor. Another bias report from Bill. I am curious who Bill Shelton wants to be mayor. Last I heard it was Lafuente.

Somerville Journal has seen better days

I have mixed feelings about Bill's comments here - but I wholeheartedly agree that the Journal isn't what it used to be. They seem more distracted by blacked out parts of ethics reports than the big picture. For example, when they requested the cell phone records of employees and were told they had to pay a lot to receive versions that had numbers blacked out, they didn't say much. This was part of an overall effort of Gatehouse Media (local papers) to request the same information from lots of cities, and Somerville's response was by far the worst. The Journal didn't appeal this response or push it at all. Compare that to how they treated Capuano or Kelly Gay. And, worst of all, they seems to forget their own photo-op of all the cell phones in a pile that everyone had to turn in when Curtatone took office. Apparently the Journal has a short memory.

Deputy Chiefs???????

"Somerville -
The mayor is calling the Board of Aldermen together next week for a meeting to discuss creating two new Deputy Chief positions in the police department."

There is absolutely no need for this Police Department to create two positions of "Deputy Chiefs", that are appointed by the Mayor and will not have civil service protection, for any reason whatsoever. They were so inefective and such dead weight that these positions haven't been filled for almost fifty years!

I wonder how the Captains of this department now feel after making a devils deal with the Mayor not to oppose taking the Chief's position out of civil service for a few token favors. Now the captains of this force will have to answer to three bosses, one from Florida and now two other out of staters. Unless of course two of the captains were promised these positions for their loyalty to the Mayor.

This city needs more cops on the streets not ones dressed in gold buttons and badges riding a couple of desks.

What exactly will do that a captain can't? Does the new Chief want a buffer zone from his brass at a cost of about a quarter million dollars a year?

Somerville Journal has seen better days

Bill's right that the Somerville Journal has lost its edge. The editor doesn't seem to want to give this mayor as hard a time as the last one. Take as an example the cell phone records. The Journal, which is a Gatehouse paper, went along with all its peer papers in other towns and requested cell phone records of top officials. Most cities handed them over for a small fee. Somerville wanted over $1000 so they could black out the phone numbers. That's bad enough, but doesn't the Journal even remember that everyone's cell phones were taken away by the mayor when he came into office? The Journal printed a big picture of them at the time as part of a PR campaign. Somehow the cell phones appear to have been given back when things quieted down?

Truth Fan


If you just look at the first part of the title, “Secrecy, Autocracy, and Lack of Accountability,” it’s a good description of the Curtatone Administration AND the Bush Administration. And I would add, “deception.” There’s a strong parallel with the subtitle too. Bush has gotten way with so much because Congress and the press rolled over. The Supreme Court elected him in the first place and has supported many of his excesses, although this is changing with regard to detainees.

I think that Bill was comparing the activist press, Board of Aldermen, and community groups of that period with those of today. Somerville did have a reputation for being a “dump’, although what exactly was dump-like was always vague. I personally wish that we still had that reputation so that housing prices were affordable and some very good people who I knew were still here.



To the person who can’t think of the name to post under:

Yeah, that Bill Shelton is a real hater. Take this comment about the mayor for instance: "In person he is warm and cordial. He does want what is best for the city."

You've made the same simple minded comment after each article in this series, but you haven’t challenged anything that Bill has written as not true. He criticizes the mayor’s performance. He says positive things about the mayor personally, and sometimes, about his performance as well. I guess that if you can’t disprove the message, you have to attack the messenger. Speaking of which…

Nose that knows,

Isn’t it time for you to make another baseless and mean-spirited attack?

treffor jefferies

If this at all true then we can expect a lot of "front group" like comments trying to confuse and spread misinformation here...

Secret folks like to control the press too.

treffor jefferies

"His will to power is probably no greater than that of his predecessors, but he has been more effective in its pursuit because of two broad changes in Somerville's political environment. The first is that the three watchdogs that historically held these tendencies in check have all been housebroken."

Usually these are puppets on a string, without this puppet, some other one moves right in to takes it place.

Lets look at what is on the end of these strings to see what forces are really behind this.

mommy make him stop

Let's see. Bill has managed to insult the Mayor and his people, the Board of Aldermen, specific community groups and both local newspapers. I thought the animal references relative to these people were paticularly snarky - referring to people as being "housebroken", "gnawing on bones" and "getting pat on the head and scratched behind the ears" by the mayor and Dorothy Kelly Gay's administration being whipped by a "rented mule" by the press. What a way to be constructive!!! Have you left anyone out?

If anyone lived here in the 70's and can say with a straight face that things were better they must have been in a psychedelic fog. There was much less access to government by the majority of citizens who were not connected. There was far more graft and corruption. In fact, many people watched the BOA meetings as an alternative to Saturday Night Live where they were sure to get open brawling, ribald comments and unchecked bufoonery.

I would pose the same question as a previous poster. Who, Bill, do you think should by Mayor?

Tales info

Lets put our mayor up on pedastal right next to the greatest leader of the free world, George W. Bush.

I hear even San Fransico is going to name a place after him. Can we name the ikea here after our mayor?

BTW, When is that Christmas tree shop going to lower our property taxes? I need the money to pay for my childs asthma medication.

Bill Shelton

Truth Fan,

If you don’t mind my saying so, I think that your gratuitous comment was just a little mean spirited itself. I really don’t think that the Nose is mean spirited. I think that he’s loyal, and one of the people whom he’s loyal to is the mayor. When we believe that someone who we care about has been harshly criticized, our natural response is to defend them. That’s just human, even virtuous.

And the Nose cares a lot about this city. As long as people aren’t attacking each other, I think that intense debate can produce good results.


If you’re reading this, I want you to know that I’ve begun making the repairs that you requested. But tragically, I’ve had to evict a family of low-income cockroaches. Could you help me find a good home for them?


If accurately describing another's behavior is an insult, then consider what I have written to be a series of insults. Now what specifically in what I've written is false?

I did not say that Somerville is better (or worse) than in the 70s and 80s. Such a statement would be oversimplification, if not meaningless. In that era, relationships that wove community were much stronger, housing was more affordable to more people, and the crime rate was significantly lower than today (yes, despite, or because of, the Winter Hill gang).

Today, we have more trees, houses are better maintained, and more kids, from more backgrounds, get a better eduction.

I guess that we'll have to disagree about your unsupported assertion that, "There was much less access to government by the majority of citizens who were not connected," unless you want to clearly define "access," and "connected," and explain your means of measuring both.

The title of this series is the reverse of a claim made by the current mayor in support of his appointment of a committee to recommend changes to the City Charter. I offer examples from his administration that contradict this claim. My intent is not to attack the mayor or his administration. It is to support the point of this series, which I reiterate in every installment: the strong mayor form of government, doesn't work for this city anymore.

Therefore, my answer to your question about who I think should be mayor is "Nobody." Instead, we should go to a council/manager form of government, as the majority of Massachusetts' 351 cities and towns have done.

Somerville n00b

I was thinking that it could be fun if comments that are judged to be inappropriate by the moderators of this site were posted in a special, separate, thread called something like "Troll Hole". :)


Who is the lamebrain that wants a council/manager form of government (i.e. Cambridge) in Somerville? Why the hell would we want everyone's input into decisions? You're asking for gridlock and the same thing we've gotten with this do-nothing democrat congress that we're stuck with. Gas was have the cost before the democrats grabbed congress. These fools don't want to drill, no more nuclear plans, no shale - what do they want???

Let me ask one question; are we better off than we were when Joe got in? Yes or No?

Government - like business - needs someone to belly up the bar and make decisions. I give Joe and President Bush credit for having the balls to make choices - whether you like their decisions or not - and stay-the-course. Look at Iraq. If we had listened to the democrats a year ago we would have allowed them to pull defeat from the jaws of the victory we are now savoring.

mommy make him stop


You say thay you are accurately describing people's behavior when you use all of your canine terms. That is opinion not fact. Why is it not fathomable to you that the Aldermen aren't just lackeys for the Mayor but that they may just agree with him. You seem to feel that it is virtuous to disagree with the Mayor and you are the one that oversimplifies by suggesting that agreeing with the mayor signifies that the aldermen have been coopted or are
somehow in bed with him.

Clearly, the people of Somerville have voted to keep this mayor in office. Are they "housebroken" or "gnawing on a bone" or "scratching behind their ear". You need to give people more credit and stop being such an elitist and judgemental curmudgeon. If things are so bad, Bill, put your name on the ballot and let's see how many good citizens of Somerville are willing to "pat you on the head"


“Occasionally, those pats take the form of jobs for relatives.”


This is one way I know that Bill is struggling not to personalize this. I’m not so nice, so let’s go through the roster of aldermen and their relatives who get paid by the city.

Walter Pero—Daughter
Sean O’Donovan—half of his family
Bill Roche—too many to count
Dennis Sullivan—trying to get a job for his future father in law whose legal problems make it hard to find one
Bruce Desmond—trying hard, but efforts undermined because someone turned in his wife for illegally operating a childcare center
Tom Taylor—his wife, but to be fair, she’s an outstanding teacher, much more competent than her husband
Bob Trane—brother Paul is making out like a bandit
Jack Connolly—let’s be kind to him in light of his current suffering

Let’s apply probability theory to these results. The chance that they are the random result of merit-based hiring is one in many billions.

This happens everywhere, but in the pearl of the Mystic, it’s the rule, not the exception.

William Hurst

Truth Fan,
Get over it, Gore lost. Ask Gore why he lost his home state of Tennessee. If he won Tennessee he would have been our President.

Bill Shelton

I’m a curmudgeon, Mommy?

OK, I'll acknowledge that. But "elitist" couldn't be further from the truth.

If you think that I don't "give people more credit" as voters, then I have failed to effectively communicate the point of this column. Somerville voters are smart, but first, they can only choose from who is on the ballot.

Would you deny that incumbent aldermen are now rarely challenged, while there were few, and often no, uncontested races 25 years ago? Would you deny that they consider far, far fewer policy issues in a given year, with far less debate? How would you explain this?

Diogenes’ reference to probability theory is legitimate here as well. The decreased incidence of substance and intensity of debate cannot be explained as merely random. Yet taxes are higher, while the fiscal condition of the city as presented in its financial statements is worse. Please offer your own explanation for this change.

Then, even voters as smart as Somerville citizens can only choose based on what information is available to them. Would you deny that press coverage of local politics is much less substantive, critical, and comprehensive than it once was? Would you deny that no activist community groups today are continually challenging city policies and the process by which they are created? Would this give voters more or less information when they have the rare choice of voting out an incumbent? And would this information void make candidates more or less willing to challenge an incumbent?

So in the absence of a vigilant press and community groups, what would be an incumbent’s greatest concern about whether he or she will be challenged? If it is not his or her ability to effectively deliver constituent services, please explain what it would be. Do you believe that any strong mayor, not just Joe Curtatone, might be influenced in prioritizing where to deliver constituent services by an alderman's willingness to cooperate?

Your comments take for granted Somerville’s existing political institutions and relationship/favor-based political culture. Within such a culture, political praise or criticism inevitably is personalized and turns into attack or defense of individuals—individual aldermen are “lackeys” or they aren’t. If these institutions and culture are the only reality that we acknowledge, then I can’t criticize them without being perceived as attacking their leaders. Or without being asked silly questions about my willingness to run for office, or my preference of candidates.

But I am not attacking individuals. If exactly the same individuals who comprise the Board of Aldermen were, instead, a City Council with authority to govern, they would be much more active in forming policy and challenging its implementation. If this same mayor were obligated to work with an at-least-coequal branch off government, his administration would be more “open, accountable, and participatory.”

Our mayor and aldermen are good people who are behaving as they must to maintain their positions in our political institutions and political culture, which are long overdue for transformation. Once effective, these institutions and culture have been overtaken by demographic, economic, and cultural changes to which they are not equal.

Bill Shelton


Please consider me reproved.

Nose that knows,

Please accept my apology for my mean-spirited comment about you.


Please add to your list Alderman Maryann Heuston's live-in boy friend. Ms. Heuston also chairs the Finance Committee.

NOTE from JN: this does not appear to be the real Wild Bill

Somerville n00b

What does it mean "good people"? I believe that good people are such because there is a system of balances and checks that makes it easy to be good (with rare exceptions). Without such checks and balances, good people usually go bad with time, as they get more and more compromised and they have more and more to hide.

Somerville n00b

Are there any lawsuits about this? If some people applied for these jobs and they were turned down and they feel that they were more qualified than the person who got the job, then they should sue the city.

"Walter Pero—Daughter
Sean O’Donovan—half of his family
Bill Roche—too many to count
Dennis Sullivan—trying to get a job for his future father in law whose legal problems make it hard to find one
Bruce Desmond—trying hard, but efforts undermined because someone turned in his wife for illegally operating a childcare center
Tom Taylor—his wife, but to be fair, she’s an outstanding teacher, much more competent than her husband
Bob Trane—brother Paul is making out like a bandit
Jack Connolly—let’s be kind to him in light of his current suffering"

Bill Shelton


You ask what I mean when I say that our mayor and aldermen are good people. I believe that they are compassionate toward others and that they have a sense of justice. I believe that they want what is best for Somerville. I believe that if they err, it is not willful or out of malice. I believe that the primary reason why they have entered politics is to serve the people.

I take your point that a person's best instincts are reinforced when the institutions that they populate encourage those instincts and discourage others.

Truth Fan,

Because of your apology to the Nose, I'm guessing that the most recent previous post with my name on it was sent by you.

That's OK, I frequently do this myself. I've been thinking about a person or concept, and then use that name or word when I’m talking to or about someone or something else. It seems to be getting worse with age, so maybe we're in the same generation.

It's just that when I see a post that is both to and from me, I don't know whether I'm coming or going.


Somerville n00b

"I believe that they are compassionate toward others"

Bill, do you honestly believe they are compassionate about others in general, or only about their close friends and relatives? Also, if such compassionate attitude towards your friends and relatives leads to nepotism, then we have a problem.


"I don't know whether I'm coming or going.


Bill, that is the first honest thing you've ever written. I agree with it too.


Moonbats, quit the whining and complaining. If the mayor was doing a poor job then we'd vote him out. He's doing a good job and I like that we don't have all these secondguessers (a BOA with too much power) screwing things up. The buck has to stop somewhere and it stops with Joe. He's in charge of the city as President Bush is in charge of the country. It is good to have strong leaders.

Be happy because if the moonbats get their way then we'll be governed by very stupid people. Just how stupid is the average American moonbat today?

* The average moonbat is stupid enough to believe that taxes at the corporate level won’t be passed down to the consumer level in higher retail prices

* Despite 9/11, the average moonbat is stupid enough to think international terrorists will leave us alone if we leave them alone to plot and plan in peace

* The average moonbat is stupid enough to look at America’s complete ideological, racial, religious and economic divisions and think that a freshman nobody whose done nothing can somehow unite the nation under socialism

* The average moonbat never heard of the Democratic Socialists of America, they don’t know that they are running today’s DNC, or that they have already seated at least (1) self-proclaimed socialist in the U.S. Senate, and at least (63) documented socialists in the U.S. House of Representatives.

* The average moonbat is stupid enough to believe 20 years in an anti-American racist church was an oversight that has nothing to do with the life-long beliefs of the church members

* The average moonbat is stupid enough to think that a man who didn’t notice his pastor was an anti-American racist for 20 years, will catch all the nuances of running the greatest nation on earth for the next four years

* The average moonbat is stupid enough to believe that the best funded campaign in U.S. history is funded by America’s poorest moonbats in small denominations

* The average moonbat is stupid enough to think that the candidate receiving the most corporate/lobbyist campaign funds is the anti-lobbyist candidate

* The average moonbat is stupid enough to think socialism is good, so long as it’s democratic

If Lenin, Marx or Stalin had placed a gun to the head of every American moonbat and forced them to accept socialism (communism in its infancy), 99% of Americans would rather take the bullet. But once convinced that every election is an opportunity to shove their way to the public feeding trough, no gun is needed. They will gleefully vote for it, democratically.

That’s Democratic Socialism Stupid

For all you moonbats, who don’t have the time or good sense to study the facts before walking into a voting booth, let me lay it on the line in very specific terms.

The Democratic Socialists of America are happy to publicly tell you what you need to know about Barack Obama, today’s DNC and what is at stake in this and every other modern election cycle.

What is Democratic Socialism?

“Democratic Socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically - to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few.”- “Democracy and socialism go hand in hand.”

Aren’t you a party that’s in competition with the Democratic Party for votes and support?

“No, we are not a separate party. Like our friends and allies in the feminist, labor, civil rights, religious, and community organizing movements, many of us have been active in the Democratic Party. We work with those movements to strengthen the party’s left wing, represented by the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”

Who is the Congressional Progressive Caucus?

Recognize any of these names?

Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT)
Hon. John Conyers (MI-14)
Hon. Elijah Cummings (MD-7)
Hon. Danny Davis (IL-7)
Hon. Keith Ellison (MN-5)
Hon. Chaka Fattah (PA-2)
Hon. Barney Frank (MA-4)
Hon. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL-2)
Hon. Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX-18)
Hon. Dennis Kucinich (OH-10)
Hon. Jim McDermott (WA-7)
Hon. Jerrold Nadler (NY-8)
Hon. Charles Rangel (NY-15)
Hon. Bobby Rush (IL-1)
Hon. Linda Sanchez (CA-47)
Hon. Maxine Waters (CA-35)
Hon. Henry Waxman (CA-30)
Hon. Robert Wexler (FL-19)

Did you know that you were voting for a congressional representative of the Democratic Socialists of America when you elected these members of congress?

This is only 18 of the 64 DSA representatives currently serving in the U.S. Congress. They are all recognizable leaders in today’s Democrat Party. You know their faces. They sit on top congressional committees and form American policy. Did you know they were socialists before reading this column? There are at least 48 more currently serving in congress.

The DSA Congressional Progressive Caucus names as its leadership, Nancy Pelosi - Speaker of the House, Steny Hoyer - Office of the Majority Leader, Jim Clyburn - Office of the Majority Whip, and Rahm Emanuel - Democratic Caucus Chair.

Somerville n00b

"The average moonbat is stupid enough to think socialism is good, so long as it’s democratic"

Apparently, the average CEO thinks the same when it's their company that is going under. Then they demand that the taxpayers bail them out.
Over the next 8 years, Obama will put back some fairness into the system.

Bill Shelton

Yes n00b, I believe that our city's leaders are compassionate by nature. Now I agree with your point about checks and balances, and that's what I'm trying to talk about in this series.

We all have what Lincoln called "our better angels," and we have the reverse as well. Some institutional arrangements encourage the better ones, and some, the worse.


You make me chortle. I'm glad that there is at least one thing I've written that you take as truth.

And with a post the length of your lat one, you might think about submitting an article. You'd probably have to clean up the language, though.

Fool on the Hill

Actually, Bill, S.N wouldn't be able to publish this rant posted by Imux, because he took it from a copyrighted source, changed "voter" to "moonbat," and pasted it in over his name.

NOTE from JN: Fool is right - and Imux is a jerk for doing it.


What? Imux plagiarized something? Wow, as far as I can tell, that's ALL he does when he writes something beyond one silly liners.


What? I'm not a paid writer you clowns. I'm posting on a blog. Of course I am going to use all the information at my disposal. Now... I noticed no one is disputing the points made in the post.

Somerville n00b

Plagiarism is a crime, Imux. Not that they needed to be taken seriously, but your plagiarized "points" have been widely disputed on numerous blogs.
It's going be a lot of fun to see the massive Republican capitulation this coming November. Be ready.

To Mommy

To mommy,

Do you not understand metaphor, or do you lack a sense of humor? Truth tellers have used animals to humorously but “accurately describe people’s behavior” forever.

Aesop’s tortoise and hare accurately describes the consequences of discipline versus laziness. Buridan’s donkey accurately describes the consequences of indecision. And Uncle Remus’s Br’er Rabbit and Tar Baby accurately describe your conversation with Bill.

You write, “You say that you are accurately describing people's behavior when you use all of your canine terms. That is opinion not fact.”

No, the domesticated watchdog metaphor accurately describes Somerville’s current political reality—fact because all the facts that support the metaphor were presented in the column.


n00b, you are as dumb as a bag of rocks. Am I a paid journalist? No. Do I financially benefit in any way by posting someting someone else wrote that I agree with? Don't be such a stupid twat.

No one in their right mind is going to vote for a freshman senator whose done nothing to lead the greatest nation on earth. You morons should have stuck with Hillary. You can ignore the polls too. With all the PC crap today, no one is going to tell a pollster they're not going to vote for the "magic negro". And before all you freaks start hperventalating about the use of "magic negro" - look it up. Obama refers to himself as that.



I tried to post a least a partial rebuttal (the points in that post were so off the mark in so many ways that a point-by-point would have taken hours and, unlike you, I have a life). However, I got caught in the spam filter and gave up.

JN- is there anything in particular that grabs posts and flags them as spam that we can avoid? It's a little frustrating to type out a response and then realize it won't see the light of day for reasons unknown...


Somerville n00b

Imux, don't get your blood pressure up at the thought that a black man much younger and more skilled than you will become President this Nov. It must be tough for red necks, no question about it! Luckily, Republican picked a Dole-again candidate. You'll be lucky if they guy does not bite the dust before Nov.


"look it up. Obama refers to himself as that."

Imux, what, you think no one's going to look it up? An LA Times editorial about Obama used the phrase, and then Rush Limbaugh picked it up, set it to music, etc.

But I can see how you could confuse Limbaugh with Obama. You can't even keep your own personal history straight between your business in Ward 7 with a large number of employees (what, you own Foodmaster?) which allows you to spend a substantial portion of time in West Palm (that's a harbinger of bad taste, there) and Santa Barbara, and now you've fabricated your little dog "Rocky" as well.

I'd bet that truck I saw over the weekend is yours too, the one with New Hampshire plates and the Bob Trane sticker. Get a life, preferably one that's not rattling around your imagination.

Fool on the Hill


Your defense that you haven't been paid your plagiarism shows that you know as little about intellectual property law as you do about politics.

Joe B

Why are there no comments on the MEMBERS of that Commission? In particularly, David Luberoff, at Harvard's Rappaport Institute, is most notable - in Somerville - as the ONLY vocal critic AGAINST a Green Line extension, claiming that the entire big dig was obviated by better gas mileage in the 1970's. Of course, that's when gas was $2.50 or so and before anyone woke up. Yet it seems mighty odd that our Mayor would climb aboard that particularly jitney to reconstruct our government. Other members of similar note are Mary Jeka, of Tufts, who, as VP for University Relations, presumably has something to do with why Somerville gets $75,000 as Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PiLoT) while Harvard pays Watertown $3,000,000 and a total of $7,500,000. Tufts ain't Harvard, but 1% is an outrageous insult and makes the Mayor look stupid for accepting it. And Gerry McCue, the executive from the Chelsea Public Schools who are so good they have the second lowest graduation rate in the state and make Somerville look like Newton!

I am sure we have much to learn from these wise and insightful administrators, but whatever it is seems quite at odds with whatever good government is left in the city.


Craig/n00b, there is nothing to debate about Barry Hussien Osama, He is a nobody, freshman senator from Illinois. He hasn't accomplished a thing as senator and I doubt he even knows where the crapper is in the senate building. He hasn't been there enough.

Him president? Not in my lifetime!

He is already flip-flopping all over the place. Iraq. FISA. Once the American people see him for what he is - a do-nothing - then he'll be gone.

Truth Fan

Now that you mention it, Joe, the mayor’s “Charter Committee” picks are bizarre,if its purpose is to recommend a charter that best meets the needs of Somerville people. Howard Horton as chairman--well I guess that’s understandable since he’s been on the mayor’s campaign committee and a big contributor since the mayor first ran. And Greg Nadeau, he’s another disciple who’s been proclaiming the Curtatone gospel since JC’s first coming.

What possible expertise does Mary Jeka have about a city that she doesn’t live in and doesn’t know? Her time could be better spent explaining how Somerville might actually have a relationship with Tufts. Her job title implies that she is responsible for this, and it looks to me like this relationship doesn’t exist.

The committee has more lawyers on it than flies on poop, but I don’t see anyone with an inkling about what Somerville working people are experiencing.


Truth Fan: I generally agree with JoeB, but Mary Jeka does live in Somerville and has for a long time.
Bill Shelton: Thanks for provoking us! Is there any move afoot to push the appointed commission aside and have a resident initiative going? The idea of a long and thoughtful community process with representatives elected by the community(gasp! there's a novel idea!)is long overdue.
Diogenes: Thanks for the list. Maybe someone could post an on-going "Dancing with Nepotism" list? How many SOD relatives work for the city? How many Stan Koty relations? Who were all those FWRussell folks out waving signs for what's his name that got tossed out in Ward Six (speaking of people who don't live in Somerville) when he ran for Alderman at Large? The beat could go on and on... Speaking of the relations of our poor man's Boss Tweed, I'm still smarting from having my tax dollars spent on that union busting operation that spills trash all over my street! UPS ran up a $200,000 detail bill when the teamsters went after them a few years ago and we didn't pick up any of their bill. I seem to remember a whole bunch of Somerville pols standing up with labor on that one - what ever happened to those folks? And, speaking of local pols, thank you, Rebekah Gewirtz, evidently you're the only BOA member who has a vocabulary that includes the word "NO."
Imax: Having you show up regularly means that we can all cut back on our Sierra Club donations - giving you rant space is sort of like being kind to an endangered species. The Globe has Jeff Jacoby, The NYT has Bill Kristol and David Brooks and we have you. It's irritating, but quaint and helps those of us seniors with low blood pressure problems. Thanks.

Bill Shelton

Well, at this time in my life, I'd rather report the news than make it. But if no else does it, I'll start the process to collect signatures for a Charter Change initiative.

Thanks for the humor. It's very much needed in discussions of Somerville politics. I chuckled at you comment about Ms. Gewirtz being the only alderman with "no" in her vocabulary.


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