Saturday, March 24, 2012

Three vie for single open seat on board of selectmen

Three candidates for board of selectmen in the Town of Sandwich have successfully filed their nomination papers. They are:

Jim Pierce, incumbent
18 Foster Road (PO Box 244), East Sandwich, MA 02537

Tim Cooney
4 Quiet Street, East Sandwich, MA 02537

Sean Rausch.
4 Clipper Circle, Sandwich, MA 02563

Candidates can use this post to articulate their positions and my readers can post their questions and comments. Unlike my normal ban on only profane and libelous remarks, I will hold posters to this thread to a higher standard of civility; however, I still welcome anonymous posts. If you want to be anonymous, please do select a screen name by selecting Name/URL in the "Comment as:" drop down menu and type in a G-rated moniker. It makes it much easier to keep things straight. And remember that you can comment on a someone else's comment by clicking Reply right under their post.


  1. Randy, thank you for this forum to express our positions. I am open to specific questions as well. You can ask me here, or email them to me directly at
    In response Gregory, I am in total agreement with you. I am absolutely against the meals tax. It will discourage many people from dining out and will hurt local business as well as those that depend on tips as a major portion of their income.

    1. Mr. Rausch, I thank you for running. I would very much like to know what it is that you bring to the table in terms of experience, your philosphy on schools, and what personal goals that you have to continue to move the District forward.

  2. In case anyone would like to attend, I'll be having my campaign kickoff event on Thursday, April 5th. From 6-9 pm at the sandwich taverna. I look forward to seeing you!

  3. I'm curious if there will be a debate between the candidates and if so, when, where and will the public be allowed to ask questions?

    1. Jane, the Sandwich Enterprise and the League of Women Voters are co-sponsoring a candidate forum to be held on April 23 at 7 PM in the Town Hall. I assume the format will be as in previous years, with questions from a moderator, and then from the audience.

    2. Carl Johansen would state to Jane , Sam the eagles responce is right on. The only fault I have found over the past several years with this format is those conducting the forum, determine what questions the candidates get asked, after you fill out a question form. This may be a way of putting all similar questions into one, and that is fine. The problem the last two years for me was when they picked my questions and read it, they did not have a clue as to the question was about. They made an attempt to address it, but were unable to understand it as to its intent or importance to the debate.

      One thing for sure, is they do not allow enough time to have the candidates properly address all the questions being asked. Very little interaction between the audience and those running for office.
      You may write up a good question and it may not be asked, under the time limits imposed.

    3. Mr. Johansen, you make reasonably sound arguments. It is not a good thing for Sandwich, in my opinion, to even have a debate in the format that it is in. For one thing, the sponsors seem to be of a particular political leaning. Look back at some of the "got you questions".

      One thing you hit on that I think should be corrected is the issue about time. I think they the sponsors should have separate debates for Selectman, SC, Moderator. Can you imagine how many more questions we could get in an hour as opposed to the smaller amount of time they now have.

      This debate would be of much more service if we were allowed to vet the new SC candidates and the new candidate for Moderator.

    4. Carl Johansen would state to AND I that without question the present format, if it remains as it has been in the past, does not equate to providing any reasonable opinions to any candidate. The lack of time along with, in some cases questions are being reviewed by some, who do not even understand what may be occuring here in Sandwich. By the time each candidate has made a brief statement, they get to pick chosen questions and answer, the time is basically over for any other questions from those that took the time to be present for the debate. A time limit of less then 2 hours for each office , does not get answers, only more questions. Each elected debate in my opinion should be held seperate and on different nights to be really affective in at least getting some dialog , between the audience and those running for the elected position. It also should be geared more to questions from those who came to the debate, rather then, selected ones from those someone culls out of a stack of written by who knows who.

    5. @ Sam the Eagle - thanks for the infomation on the debate. Interesting that the debate isn't noted on the Town of Sandwich calendar of events.

      As long as we're talking about the calendar, the Selectmen's Corner should be listed on the calendar to give citizes notice of where and when they can have the chance to talk face to face with the Selectmen.

    6. Ms. Logan, I think you will find that most, if not all Selectmen will answer any of your questions if you call them. Most have their telephone numbers listed.

  4. I suggest Sherry Marshall once she gets in.

  5. Yes Mr. Johansen, as I too indicated, separate debates is the way to go. Instead of co-sponsorships, perhaps the newspaper and the League of Women voters and another organization could each sponsor a debate for one of SC, BOS, Moderator. Maybe another organization could sponsor the library as it weighs in as a substantial issue in terms of a new building and additional employees that will be necessitated.

  6. I have a question for the three candidates for Selectman. If you ever become the Chairman of the BOS, or even if not, what would be your rules concerning free speech at Public Forum?

    This morning, while watching a Selectman meeting on cable, I heard the chairman say that time to end the forum was approaching. I believe the length of the forum was set at 15 minutes. It seems to me that either all those who want to speak should be able to speak or no one should be able to speak. It is unfair that citizens such as Johansen, Augustine etc, get to excercise the forum whenever they want, yet some are shut out because of time limits.

    If elected would you support the board letting everyone speak, letting the "new" speakers go first, limiting the time to three minutes instead of five to give more people the opportunity to speak. Most of those who go on for five minutes have prepared printed material. They bring their timers, its so foolish and so childish. They could just go up and ask that their printed material be made part of the record and then give a brief summary of what it in it. That would make their point and allow others to speak. Open forum rules should be the same for all boards that have them. They should provide a system of who speaks first, who has to sign in etc. There also should be a section of the promulgation of the rules of open forum that suggests that people can write in before the meeting about what they want to talk about, and, if they do, the Selectman should be able to speak.

    Also, the Selecmen should tell everyone that speaks what the disposition of their comment will be. Johansen seems to have questions. They could say "we will read your material and/or consider what you have said and would be willing to address the issues with you" or "Bud Dunham will get back to you with an answer".

    Open Forum should be cleaned up. Those who frequently speak should speak last. Clocks and timers should not be allowed. If you speak more than five times a year, you should register as a Town Lobbyist.

    1. Good question. I come to each selectmen's meeting prepared to:
      - Address items on the agenda
      - Listen to those addressing other issue
      Public forum speakers either (A) address issues on the agenda, or, (B) they raise issues not formally up for consideration that evening.
      - If the issue is on the agenda, I will take into consideration what the speaker has to say during the debate when we get to that item on the agenda.
      - If the issue is not on the agenda, either it should be dealt with by the Town Manager or the appropriate Department Head off line or included in a future agenda.
      Regarding time allocated to public forum, I am a strong proponent of chairman's discretion. The discussion should continue as long as "new" input is being received. When the input becomes repetitive, it's time to move on to conducting the business on the agenda.

    2. For the most I agree, you come prepared Jim to the meetings. Unfortunately, I must disagree with you in regards to public forum. I don't know many meetings I have watched and at one point or another some more than others ALL selectman have become repetitive on subjects and we have to sit and listen. I feel anyone that attends the meetings has a right to speak regardless on how repetitive it becomes. Every taxpayer has a right to voice their concerns and/or beliefs! Remember YOU all are not GOD! If its time to move on to conducting business maybe the selectman should meet more often. Going to between 10 - 11:30 on an every week basis is NOT in the best interest of the town! I would like to see that changed!
      On another note, I believe selectman should take a stance and make a vote on what they believe and not send it back to the voters to make an amendment on the floor at town meeting! I must admit Jim I was disappointed that you wouldn't take a stand and recommend and recommend that! I do hope that someone does make a motion on the floor at Town Meeting in support of raising the amount to the schools and its actually doubled that what was discussed at your table!

    3. At the Selectmen's meeting on March 23 I made a motion to set Local Contribution to the School Budget at $23.45M. That increase would have been "double what was discussed" last week. I argued for that. I was unsuccessful. The motion was defeated 4-1. A few minutes later I voted in favor of a motion that would have set the number at $23.35M. That was defeated 3-2. Shortly after that I voted for a motion setting $23.25M which passed 3-2. In government by open Town Meeting, the voters are as close to God as we'll get. This year Town Meeting may be the only way to get the schools what they need. All that is needed is for voters to get up off their overstuffed sofas and exercise their power. I hope they will.

    4. Honestly, if the Selectmen had to shut up when a point had already been made, then commentary by at least one of them would be cut by 90%. It seems to me, especially since hardly anyone ever comes to speak at public forum, that when there are people who want to speak -- particularly when they are fresh faces, not regular gadflies -- those folks should each be allowed their up-to-five minutes. Public forum might take longer than 15 minutes some nights. Civic engagement... what a nice problem to have!

  7. Carl Johansen would state to poster 9:00 am, since you brought my name into your question to the three candidates for Selectmen, I thought I would provide you with some further insite in area you do not seem have a complete understanding off.

    First of Public Forum was established to provide the Sandwich citizen a platform to ask questions and make comments.

    The time of five minutes was also established as a maxium allowable time a citizen can speak before the BOS or the SSC. Some exceptions to that rule can be taken by the Chairman if he or she so chooses.

    In the vast majority of times that I come before BOS, I am the only one to address the board. If I use my allowable 5 minutes at the first public forum I can return for the second one ,or wait until the following week to finish.

    Every citizen has the same ability to the same , should they choose to do so.

    Under the present guidlines 6 Sandwich residents can come before public forum to speak. How many times have you used your freedom of speach in this manner???

    Now some expections do occurr especially when a charged issues comes up, especially during the budget process and plowing of roads come to mind.

    It is during these times that the Chair of what ever board knows that the public uprising on an issue results in more citizens comming up, they should call for a public hearing and address all of the questions and comments at that time.

    This is not a public forum type of individual free speach, but rather a collective body of concerned citizens and it should be addressed in that manner.

    You take exception to those of us that take the time to prepare what we are speaking about and that, provided us with an allowable 5 minutes of speaking under the present guidlines When I speak I know precisly where I am in Minutes I am allowed to speak. This brings us to the next exception you have in regards to a time clock.

    Unless you have been, stopped after only two or three minutes into your prepared comments , you would have a better understanding of the time clock. In the vast majority of cases , as of late the chair of BOS has interrupted speakers long before the allocated time had expired. The main reason only ,because he did not want to hear what was being stated by the person at public forum.

    One thing for sure is that public forum does need to be addressed and a uniform guidline be formulated that serves the citizens of Sandwich and the public at large.

    Now should you feel up to it, you can check out the Town Charter Committee where I offered my proposals based on a life time speaking at Public Forums, that would address all of the above issues, even some, that you have raised.

    Perhaps if you find the time you could also do the same,

    Now smile

  8. Mr. Johansen, I am sorry for not including you in the question. I did not realize you were running for Selectman. Thanks for answering the question. You seem like such a nice man, but I am voting for one of the other three. I have yet to decide.

  9. Public Forum last Thursday was a disgrace in my view. It was a return to the way the Board of Selectman operated between 2002 and 2007. It was embarrassing to watch our Selectman try to shut down citizens who came to talk. Of course not surprising this happened because they were coming to talk about the schools. I was at least relieved to see that all the people were allowed to speak. I hope the next Chairman returns to the more civil ways the Board of Selectman have tried to treat people in the past few years.

    1. I completely agree. I would also like to know who died and made the current Chairman "King of Sandwich." His attitude is insulting, and people have had enough.

    2. I too agree! It has become more obvious that the current chair thinks he is the MAYOR of Sandwich. Its really sad to see that he has his own personal agenda instead of being there for the Town as a whole. Meetings after meetings he has become overbearing and disrespectful not only to one of the other board members but also to those in public forum. If he or any chair for that matter knows that he/she has only alloted a certain amount of time for public forum and you have a large audience with hands raised to speak they should limit the minutes more so everyone has a right to speak right then instead of calling those up by name in the order he wants to hear from! That I felt was an insult again to those that took the time to attend! While I don't attend the meetings I do watch all meetings from home so I feel like I have am apart.

    3. Inspector Clouseau .... not.April 16, 2012 at 10:12 AM

      Don't we have any rules about people making anonymous self-serving posts and then agreeing with themselves twice ?

      The speakers at last week's forum added nothing to the discussion. It was the same people saying the same thing. There were no new faces of outraged parents.

    4. Inspector, is it inconceivable that three people could share an opinion - even (gasp) a negative one about the current regime? Sure, there's sock puppetry on this blog and others, but for the record... and no, there's no way to verify, I'm just saying it because it's true... I am Anonymous of 12:03, but not the one before or after.

  10. Sam and Inspector you are very rude.


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