Monday, April 18, 2005

Election 2005 - Moderator's Race

Diane Agostino is mounting her fifth campaign for Town Moderator, her fourth against incumbent Brian M. Walsh. In reference to her four prior losses during the League of Women Voters debate, Ms. Agostino blamed the losses on the difficulty of going against a “political faction”. She also used the terms “closed camp” and “sororities” to describe what she apparently believes is some kind of syndicate controlling the votes of the 2500-4500 citizens who have voted against her in four prior runs.

Is Ms. Agostino correct? Do we have our own little Tammany Hall here in Milton? Is Brian Walsh “Boss Tweed”, manipulating a machine that has become so efficient that his margin of victory last year exceeded 1100 votes? Or have the voters of Milton merely rejected Ms. Agostino’s message. Have they simply decided Brian Walsh is better qualified for the job?

Let’s look at what the Agostino campaign is saying about the candidacy in the first couple of weeks of the contest. The message is similar to that of past campaigns, so we should be able to make an informed judgment about the question posed.

The Milton Times edition of April 14th contained a Candidates Guide to the 2005 election. Each candidate provided information about themselves and their views. No editorial control was exercised by the newspaper. Here is Ms. Agostino’s opening paragraph.

“Are you surprised that once again, Milton’s expenses exceed our income? Our politicians did not advise us that our annual overrides would only provide enough money to extend services from one year to the next”.

Where to begin!

How about expenses exceeding income? The Warrant Committee has presented a balanced budget for Town Meeting’s consideration, as it always does. By definition, a balanced budget brings expenditures into line with income. As for annual overrides, Ms. Agostino should know the difference between a capital override, such as we had last year for school construction, and an operating override to help fund our annual operating budget. The last such operating override was four years ago. And anyone who knows anything about Milton’s fiscal situation has stated that periodic overrides will be necessary just to maintain our current level of service, unless we find other sources of revenue.

The second paragraph of the statement begins:

“As an independent Moderator, I will appoint an independent Warrant Committee capable of developing a comprehensive financial plan to secure Milton’s financial future”.

Gee, how about a chicken in every pot!

Now I don’t know what is meant by “independent” here, nor what this quality of “independence” has to do with financial planning, but I do know that it is not the Warrant Committee’s responsibility to secure the financial future of Milton. As a four year member of the Warrant Committee, Ms. Agostino should know that. I also know that if securing a community’s financial future was as simple as allowing Ms. Agostino to appoint a committee, she would be far too busy elsewhere to be helping us.

But in the final analysis, the thrust of Ms. Agostino’s campaign is a negative appeal to voters fears and frustrations. She attacks the appointees to the Warrant Committee as incompetents. She offers the same judgment against the members of the School Building Committee. She maligns the Selectmen with whom she served, continuing to fight debates she lost year’s ago. She accuses her opponent of being “owned” by the League of Women Voters and the IBEW Local 103.

I think it is safe to say that the answer to our question about Ms. Agostino’s four losses for Town Moderator is not to be found in the existence of some political cartel with mysterious powers to control Milton voters. It resides with claims made which are contrary to fact, with empty promises, with the seemingly vindictive need to fight old battles, and with a temperament ill-suited to the role of Town Moderator.

For five years Ms. Agostino has been contemptuous of highly talented, experienced and hard working volunteers who serve the Town of Milton. Her characterization of their skills can be seen for the politically motivated attack that it is by reviewing the credentials of some of these appointees at:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The truth sometimes takes time to reach daylight.
Look at the Big Dig or better yet the landfill deal. Quarry Hills Associates (QHA) refusal to pay $44,000 in taxes and a measley $52,000 or less annually for golf fees is clear proof the truth will prevale.
Agostino stood alone to advise Milton residents the QHA deal was just another benefit to a small group of political connected individuals.
The education of Milton children has been reduced by the a substantially limited income stream from a non-qualified business partner, QHA.
Milton children can't afford these politics for another day.
Neither can Milton residents, but are they too busy this Tuesday working to pay the tax bill or will they take the time to vote for someone - Diane - who stands for the truth no matter what the personal attacks. Clearly attackes such as those displayed on this personal political site?
A Milton Resident

4:21 PM  

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