Who is the better candidate, incumbent Michael Kennedy or real estate dealer Lawrence Mandell?

Michael Kennedy defeated Raymond Korny in the race for the seat vacated by former member of the select board, Earl Johnson. During the last three years, residents of Holland had an opportunity to get to know Michael Kennedy. Selectman Kennedy showed the community that he is a man with integrity, common sense, and, most important, free of any personal agenda.
I admit, I had my reservations about Mr. Kennedy, but what I saw over the last three years proved my reservations to be unfounded. Even three years ago, I noticed Mr. Kennedy’s fiscal responsibility when he, as a member of the Tantasqua Regional Highschool committee, opposed a wage increase for their teachers. (I wrote about it in the piece, Tantasqua Teachers receive wage increase.)
Larry-Mandell-sign I do not really know Mr. Mandell other than the few Planning Board (PB) meetings I attended while he served on that Board.
Today, someone emailed me a copy of a campaign flyer Mr. Mandell circulates through town. His flyer made me pause... The flyer summarizes five “specific matters which I [Mr. Mandell] plan to stridently advocate for.” (Mandell uses big words, I had to look up “strident;” it means, loud, harsh, grating, or shrill; discordant; the first example which came up on the web was; “the cheap clock ticked stridently.”)

In the first paragraph, Mandell voices his interest in, “open meetings with the participation of all interested residents,” in developing an updated master plan for our town. Under the second paragraph, Mandell promises to, “Implement Managerial Best Practices:” and claims, “implement state of the art managerial practices will lead to greater efficiency and better service to residents. ”As clerk of the Planning Board, Mr. Mandell could have shown over the last four years with actions what he is all about. I don’t see any of it! The most basic service he as the clerk of the PB could provide, is to post PB meeting minutes on the town’s official website. There are no minutes posted, NONE! To see for yourself, click here! (screen shot taken today, June 15, 2013).

The third paragraph outlines the intention to “Implement Hiring Best Practices:” Mandell describes the policy he and other members of the “Government Study Committee” developed and which he intents to implement to, “insulate the process from individual political and personal agendas.” It is never a good idea if a committee developing policies consists of the same members as the board which applies said policies. It is imperative for any democratic society that the mechanisms of checks and balances work; this is only the case if as many different individuals as possible participate in town government. To elect Mandell would concentrate power even more than it already is.
Mr. Mandell is already a member of the Holland School Committee, Tantasqua School Committee, Green Community Planning Committee, Government Studies Committee, and the Planning Board. He obviously has already a full plate and is very busy, to busy to provide the most basic services to the community (posting PB meeting minutes,) and now he would like to take on even more and be one of the three selectmen too.
If his wish will be granted by the majority of voters, we will have two members of the Board of Selectmen serving also on the Planning Board! The Building Inspector for instance has the last word in certain applications submitted to the PB, it is his final decision to either issue a building permit or not. The building Inspector decides whether an applicant needs to get first a permit from the Planning Board. If Mandell serves on the Board of Selectman, Lynn Arnold and Lawrence Mandell together form a quorum and have the power to either re-appoint the Building Inspector or not.

But lets analyze Mandell’s next strident avocation promised on his flyer, “Enhanced Communication and Coordination Between Elected and Appointed Town Officials:” Mandell suggests to have all town officials meet once a year to “outline issues and challenges that each department is currently dealing with.” And, “[t]his meeting would be open to town residents where community input would be solicited as well.” The fact that Mandell needed to mention that the meeting would be “open to town residents” made me pause again...
(BTW, Don’t we have already such a meeting? The annual town meeting? The meeting during which the moderator and other town officials cry “out of order” if anything is said which is controversial?)

Here Mandell’s last (political) promise, verbatim: “Integrate Board and Committee Reviews when Appropriate: As issues arise that need to be reviewed by more than one board, procedures should be established so that the issue could be presented at a single integrated meeting involving all interested parties. Eliminating the situation where a resident must present their issue separately to various boards and committees would result in a much friendlier interface with town officials.”
It struck me as odd that this kind of review “would result in a much friendlier interface” when I read this paragraph. I think that more professionalism and independent minds are needed at the town hall; applications should be processed fair and equal, regardless who submitted them, and not as popularity contests. If board members would understand their obligations based on applicable regulations, laws and bylaws, and would apply them based on the facts and not based on popularity of the applicant, individuals who dare to question town officials would not feel that they are on the way to a colonoscopy each time they go to a board meeting to apply for a permit.

Lawrence Mandell’s campaign flyer is lacking sound sense and argument. Mandell’s attempt to replace Kennedy is a step in the wrong direction. Kennedy has proven that he deserves the trust of the community. To have less and less individuals involved instead of more is not conducive to a healthy town government. Mandell, in his campaign flyer, reveals that he is the president of the Sturbridge Rotary Club; let's do the right thing and prevent the town hall from turning into another Rotary Club.

June 15, 2013, Peter Frei

Posted on 15 Jun 2013, 14:48 - Category: Town Politics
11 Comments - Edit - Delete

Trail Ride on Saturday, June 8th. 2013.

The Holland Trails Committee & Brimfield Trail Committee will be leading a Trail Ride on Saturday, June 8th (rain or shine). Meet at the kayak/canoe launch by the bridge on Pond Bridge Road in Holland.
9:30 safety & check & minor adjustments by a mechanic from Bicycle Concepts.
Ride: 10:00 - 12:00. About 10 miles (options for a shorter ride) mostly on trails, though a small part will be on little-traveled public roads.
Conditions: a few rough or sandy spots, but generally good. Helmets required. This is the 3rd ride we have sponsored. Come out and see what's been accomplished!
Richard Haller, Chairman Holland Trails Committee, hallerr@cox.net 413 245-7745

Posted on 30 May 2013, 21:23 - Category: The Town Common
Leave a comment - Edit - Delete

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Holland Trails Committee is sponsoring a workday from 8:30 to 12:00 on Saturday, May 11th. Meet at the trailhead parking lot for Lake Siog Pass (20 Pond Bridge Road). Volunteers will spread gravel to complete the final surfacing of the trail. Meet at the trailhead parking lot for Lake Siog Pass (20 Pond Bridge Road). Spring is here, so let’s get the trail ready for the first ride of the year!
Richard Haller, Chairman Holland Trails Committee, 74 Sturbridge Road, Holland, MA 01521, hallerr@cox.net 413 245-7745

Posted on 25 Apr 2013, 23:32 - Category: The Town Common
Leave a comment - Edit - Delete

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Holland Trails Committee is sponsoring a workday from 8:30 to 12:00 on Saturday, April 13th. Meet at the trailhead parking lot for Lake Siog Pass (20 Pond Bridge Road). Volunteers will spread gravel to complete the final surfacing of the trail. Signs will also be installed to welcome and guide the public.
Meet at the trailhead parking lot for Lake Siog Pass (20 Pond Bridge Road). Pizza will be provided. Completed-section-of-Lake-Siog
The section of Lake Siog Pass shown in the picture was completed last fall.
For additional information, contact Richard Haller at 413 245-7745.

Posted on 2 Apr 2013, 23:28 - Category: The Town Common
Leave a comment - Edit - Delete

Winter Storm Saturn.

Here some pictures submitted by readers of the Holland Blog:
School-Bus-on-UnionThis is what our buses are driving on???
Vicky D.

Click on any picture to download large image! Do you want to see your picture here? Just email it to me...

Posted on 8 Mar 2013, 15:38 - Category: The Town Common
Leave a comment - Edit - Delete

Speak out Holland! (no.31)

speak-out-speak-up speak-out-speak-up
We have not done this for a long time... everybody is invited to go of topic here. Do you have any questions or suggestions? Comment about anything that is amusing you or about anything that is bothering you, but do it in a civilized manner! I will delete obvious lies and offensive comments. To read previous comments under this category, click on “Speak Out Holland” on the left of this blog under the heading “Categories.”

Peter Frei

Posted on 6 Feb 2013, 21:15 - Category: Speak Out Holland
14 Comments - Edit - Delete

Top Nail should be called TOP FAIL

Want the Worst Nail Experience EVER? Then go to Top Nails in Sturbridge next to Teddy G's and Winebuyers outlet. As a walk in I don't mind a little wait. I was told a half an hour..... and waited just about a half an hour. While waiting another walk in came in behind me and she too was told a half hour. We were both set up for pedicures at the same time..... but while her pedicure was started I sat for 43 minutes with my feet in water that was too cold ( I asked for warmer but she still didn't get it right) and no massage running. It was known that the woman who came in after me cut me..... when the manicurist started her feet instead of mine she looked right at me and said someone would be “right with me.” NOT FOR 43 MINUTES was someone right with me. I would have dried my feet and walked out at about the 20 minute mark but they left me with no towels. The “cutter” got soaked, trimmed, filed, massaged painted and was COMPLETED before anyone came to even start my pedicure which by right should have been ahead of hers. When someone did come I asked for a pedi “on the house” they said no. I explained that they took someone ahead of me, which is poor service. They LIED and said she had an appointment.... yet I watched her walk in 8 minutes AFTER me. I heard her ask if they had time for a pedicure, JUST AS I HAD DONE MINUTES BEFORE HER! The woman running the floor had even come over to me during my 43 minute cold water wait to “thank me for my patience” at which time I also told her it was poor practice and lousy service. I think for my patience along with being cut in line costing me almost an hour of my time while the cutter was already out the door I should have been offered a complimentary pedicure or at least the full service option at the basic service price. REAL SHITTY SERVICE! Top Nail is TOP FAIL!!! I went down the street to the nail salon by BT smokehouse. They took me immediately, the water was warm, the massager was on, they had the same color polish, they can paint better flowers on your nail, AND.... AND, it was even LESS EXPENSIVE! GUEST WRITER

Posted on 9 Jan 2016, 20:00 - Category: THINGS NOT TO DO
Leave a comment - Edit - Delete

Explore Holland Trails.

The Holland Trails Committee will be leading a Trail Ride on Saturday, October 6th (rain or shine). Meet at the kayak/canoe launch by the bridge on Pond Bridge Road in Holland at 9:30 for a safety check & minor adjustments by a mechanic from Bicycle Concepts. The ride is 10:00 - 12:00 and about 10 miles (options for a shorter ride), mostly on trails, though a small part will be on little-traveled public roads. Conditions: a few rough or sandy spots, but generally good. Helmets required.
For info: 413 245-7745

Posted on 22 Sep 2012, 23:55 - Category: The Town Common
1 Comment - Edit - Delete

425,000 Page Views!

Time to celebrate.....
The Holland Blog went online for the first time at 13:30 hours on Saturday February 14, 2009. Today, at 21.51 hours, the Holland Blog was viewed 425,000 times (page views or hits). Back on January 30, 2011, I reported 400,000 hits. Shortly after that, I realized that the counter I included in the PERL script was counting in discriminatorily, the counter counted also hits from spammers and web-crawlers. I then disabled the counter. The 425,000 is the number from Google Analytics and shows actual hits from individual computers.
As always, I would like to share an interesting YouTube video with the readers of the Holland Blog to celebrate this special occasion. The video is about an encounter between a well-to-do kid and a few of NYPD's finest:

If you run LINUX, the video is at: http://youtu.be/3lKwkn6JT74

Posted on 10 Aug 2012, 09:45 - Category: The Town Common
8 Comments - Edit - Delete

FBI Looking into Officer Scott E Haley's Role in Illegal Raid of the Bunn Residence back in 2003

David Bunn's struggle to get justice continues; according to David Bunn, the FBI is finally looking into the, according to David Bunn, perjured testimony by agent / sergant Scott E Haley and former Chief of Police of Holland, Kevin Gleason, read more»

Posted on 27 Jul 2012, 08:01 - Category: The Town Common
5 Comments - Edit - Delete

Police Chief and Selectboard no longer recognize volunteer Patrol of Reservoir.

Good afternoon,
I hope this note finds you well.
I have news, which although we may not like, does communicate the town’s position with respect the Volunteer Boat Patrol (formerly Harbormaster).
To the point, the town does not recognize, nor support, a volunteer patrol of the reservoir. The Police Chief will not allow the appointment of a citizen appointee, as has been done in the past. The Board of Selectmen concurs with the Chief, as follows.
The Police Department has designated a reserve officer whose duty it will be to patrol the reservoir, providing law enforcement and public awareness information. Therefore, there is no longer the need for a volunteer patrol, especially with the liabilities exposed in today’s litigious society.
This is a departure from the past and our expectations. I ask for your patience as we move forward with this new role within the Police Department. If so moved, you may express your concerns in one of a few ways. You may contact me via phone or e-mail, the Board of Selectmen, the Chief of Police, or the Lake Oversight Committee.
Please continue to be the caring and vigilant neighbors that you are. For those of you who have volunteered, thank you for your service and your willingness to serve. Certainly, the reservoir has been safer because of you.
Jim (President of the Hamilton Reservoir Association)

Posted on 14 Jul 2012, 13:55 - Category: The Town Common
5 Comments - Edit - Delete

Pages: ... [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] ...