Monday, April 19, 2010

Campaign Politics

From the day Robert Sweeney announced his intention to run against Kathy Fagan for Selectman, there was a suspicion among many that Mr. Sweeney was motivated primarily by the future of the Governor Stoughton land that abuts his neighborhood. Now he appears to be attempting to win the election by completely misstating Ms. Fagan’s position on that very issue.

Over two years ago the Board of Selectman appointed a committee to study and recommend potential land uses for the Town Poor Farm, consistent with the will of Governor Stoughton. Robert Sweeney was co-Chair of that committee. Their report was issued in December with the single recommendation that an endowment fund of $5 million be established, with three alternatives for raising such a fund. One of those alternatives involved developing the property for affordable housing.

During the last few weeks the Sweeney campaign has been telling voters that Kathy Fagan supports high-density affordable housing on the Governor Stoughton land. This claim is completely false. Understandably it hasn’t been made publically in literature, or in debates. In politics there is often an underground campaign waged simultaneously with the public one. Unfortunately, in Milton it’s been raised to an art form over the years. Using the ancient network of the rumor mill, you can communicate what you wouldn’t want to answer to publically over the back yard fence, at sporting events, while dropping the kids off to school or wherever you meet fellow residents. If you’re lucky, the campaign is not discovered until it’s too late for the truth to overtake it.

Kathy Fagan opposes high-density affordable housing on the Governor Stoughton land. In fact, she opposes high-density housing anywhere in the town because she believes the costs associated with providing town services, especially school costs, would outweigh the benefits. If you’d like to see it in Kathy’s own words, click on the link to her website on the left.

Now, let’s focus our attention on the broad portfolio of issues we have every right to expect our Selectmen to deal with. We’ve begun to make real progress on some fronts during a frightful economic period. A single issue candidate motivated by an issue with a personal interest on the Board of Selectman would be a step back.

If you think your friends might be victims of the underground campaign, forward them a link to this blog or to Kathy’s website. While you’re visiting Kathy’s website, take a look at the debate segments posted there. I think they speak for themselves about who is best equipped to deal with the many issues we face.

You can see the complete League of Women's Voters debate for all positions here:


Blogger jlc said...

Phil, you are absolutely right about the "high road/low road" nature of Milton politics. If you can't win on the high road, take the low road.

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am rather troubled by Sweeney's statement to Milton's minority community that "they are welcome so long as they do what the rest of us do, work hard, contribute, etc"?

Is his home in Indian Cliffs just a big house, or a plantation?

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

His statement was very alarming and shows he is not well equipped for the position. I have not followed the town farm issue as closely as I probably should have, but I did see a comment made at the public hearing for it where someone said affordable housing will "dilute and damage the town." Maybe I don't have the context of that statement, but to me I hear that as a social and racial affront to say your kind is not welcome. Kind of ironic that the abutters to the farm don't want affordable housing and yet the abutters to the temple would prefer that over the other options. Affordable housing units are not project housing for the unemployed welfare poor. This will not be a "Good Times" skyrise in Milton. Town services will likely increase with affordable housing, but there are also positive impacts to be considered for having affordable housing developments. I can't argue for affordable housing on the farm site because I have not followed the issue closely enough but I will argue against ignorance and misperceptions of affordable housing.
John Fichtman
91 Cheever St

7:22 AM  

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