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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Dear Shocked

If you think you were shocked, just wait.  that 3.7 milion you refer
to is what provincetown pays to educate our kids.  the state also
kicks in for a total of almost 7 million.  hope you were sitting down.
11:21 pm est 

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Building Department- The Folks in the Basement of Town Hall

I am an all too frequent user of their services. In fact, my nickname
for our beloved village has become "Permitstown".

The workers in the department did not make the rules. All of us
abutters at each other's throat made the rules. The new building guy
is filling two jobs, arguably three. Like every other human he
deserves vacation. The rest of the staff work very hard, much more
than one would expect of civil servants.

The permit coordinator and the clerks could not be more helpful and
courteous, especially when (if) you consider what they earn and their
workload. I am in there ALL the time and I'm not related to anyone
nor sleeping with any of them either (LOL).

Yes, sometimes one has to wait at the window (or it is closed due to
under staffing) and sometimes the decisions rendered are not to my
liking. But if one were to compare their service to other large
troubled organizations such as the Grand Union, Outer Cape Health &
most bars and restaurants in Town, I'd venture a bet that 9 out of 10
people would rather deal with the folks downstairs.

The fees for permits are outrageous and probably unlawful. I studied
public (& private) sector finance as an undergraduate. User fees for
public services should be reasonably related to the cost of providing
same. That is, the department should be self-sufficient and not a
profit center. The permit fees went up 3 to 4 fold and then 3  staff
positions were cut.

I was & am hopeful the the new assistant town manger could help out
down there given his back ground.

Thanks,
Bitching in a Positive Tone Feels Good (for a change)
9:11 pm est 

Here's The Wisdom of It All

     A Key department and one that is central to all the building and
construction in town is the one department in town hall that the
Selectmen proudly cut a full-time position. With the "wise" decision
to move Susie Futz from Community Development, where she was a
full-time clerical assitant, to the Clerk's office, Community
Development has been short one full time clerical position since
October.

    So of course no one will be coming to the window when
contractors show up. That person is now reclassifying old town
documents that seem more important than handling permits, setting up
meetings with the Building Commissioner or helping with Zoning,
Planning or Historic District applications and meetings.

     And the problems will become worse. You want to come in front of
a board? You can expect to wait and wait. There's no one to help with
the many phone calls, paper work, questions and organization required
to get this important and timely work done.

     Consider that this is the department that handles all the
Regulatory Boards and attends all the meetings. But this is the one
department that the Selectmen are so sure can be reduced without any
consequences. Well, my dear contractor, you have already experienced
the consequences. And there is more to come.

     And this is the department charging excessive fees and bringing
into the town coffers significant revenues. The town takes the fees
and revenues and gives back less and less. Now you will wait. Now
your phone calls will not returned. Now you dates for presenting your
case at regulatory meetings will be delayed.

     But don't worry. Our old town documents are being sorted,
classified and reboxed in the Clerk's office while you wait
downstairs at the department window. And wait and wait.

      Swamp Maple
9:07 pm est 

Shocked!!!

In the Banner, 3.7 million for the school system, PHS and VMES? ya,
that's well worth the money.
9:03 pm est 

Great stories

Does anyone think the writers from the Banner are reading any of
this? There are some great investigative stories in here.
 
Mismanagment in the building office that was just restructured,
potential illegal fees, high tax burdens, pier corp issues, assesment
issues. If I were a writer, I would.
9:01 pm est 

School Straw Poll Results:

Because my appeal for more responses was not published in the Banner
and responses have topped out at 57 I have closed the straw poll and
put together a brief analysis of the results which I have forwarded
to School Committee Chair Nelson and others. While the low response
rate doesn't allow statistically significant results I have attempted
to summarize the views expressed by those who did respond. Caveat;
this is only one person's interpretation of a very informal survey.
Full package of information posted at:

http://www.gregcraig.us/provincetown_issues.htm

Sincerely,

Greg Craig

PS:

Mr. Bowl, I am sorry that you interpret my attempt to introduce
fairly carefully researched overview data into the online
conversation here as arrogant and from afar. I have a major portion
of my net worth tied up in property in Provincetown, where I spend
about half the year. Since I am not a registered voter I don't get to
express thoughts via voting or town meeting so this is my attempt to
express one person's point of view.

I would note that the people on here who use numbers and logic to
make their points tend to use their names while those who rely on ad
hominem attacks that try to destroy the messenger rather than argue
the points at hand tend to hide beyond a cloak of anonymity. Can
that, and numerous comments on here that public expression of views
are punished, be read as paranoid? You decide.

I will though be more careful in the future with the tone of my posts
and am sorry I caused you such offense.

Tossed from a 4Runner that spends a good part of the year parked in
the west end :)
8:57 pm est 

The Fault is in Mexico!

I'm the first contractor who wrote today. In no way am I
placing any blame on the long time staff of the Building Department
for the problems that exist.

I am placing ALL the blame on management. Since that is where ALL
the responsibility (or lack thereof) is. Or should I say in Mexico?

4:47 pm est 

Some Comments on the High School:

I've been lucky enough to have my kids enjoy the fine,full experience
of all that the Provincetown Elementary School had to offer-small
classes,field trips, attentive teachers who became friends.

At the same time, we wintered with the kids going to elementary schools in
Florida. My kids were gifted and so we chose to place them in a
"magnet" school in another neighborhood, where they thrived. This
wasn't offered in Provincetown, but we felt with the other big pluses
of VMES (and their kind attitude toward us and our migratory habits)
we could keep our summer/winter work schedule.

As Middle and High School beaconed, both kids applied for and were
accepted to a "magnet" High School. Although 1/2 hour out of town and
our local High School, the benefits have far outweighed the
convenience-challenging curriculum,a multitude of sports and
clubs,all the bells and whistles that a modern high school has to
offer. Nauset is such a school.

Provincetown is shrinking and the small self-sufficient world that
might have sufficed for a kid to grow up, go to school and live a
life here is pretty much gone.

The kids must be prepared for a larger world and the challenges they'll f
ace away from our beloved town. Going to a school a half-hour away that offers
so much more isn't much of a sacrifice.

They need AP courses, better sports, clubs  and a view to a bigger world, as
well as some new friends in addition to their classmates that I know some are
pretty tired of after so many years together.
4:44 pm est 

To: I'm a Contrator,

I too am frustrated with the service at the building department .
It is not the fault of the clerical staff that has always been most
accomodating to permit applicants.

First of all, a full time position was eliminated and was moved to the
town clerks office. Secondly, the new building commissioner is on a two
week vacation.

If there is to be any blame on the management and service in this department, go to
the top and not to the staff. I can't believe that the top manager has
taken this particular time off; when so many permits need to be dealt with during this
time of year, in preparation for the coming season. My goodness, he just got the job a couple of months ago without the proper qualifications.

Please do not blame the hard working ladies in the basement. They have been
long term hard working town employees.

A building permit applicant
1:03 pm est 

The Permit Fees May Not Be Legal

      To the complaints from Sleepy Hollow, the high permit fees for
construction may not be legal. It appears that when Doug Taylor, the
former Building Commissioner, raised the fees for permits, he did not
follow the mandated state and town required process. If you check the
posted fees, which are listed on the Twon Hall Web Site---see
Regulatory Management--you will realize that the fees listed are
those established in 2003. This was the last time the fees for
building permits were properly raised and posted.

      I do believe that contractors, electricians, plumbers and
residents are due rebates for the high illegal fees that they paid in
2006---and are still paying today. To the extent that these increased
fees were not properly raised and posted, they are illegal and not
binding.

      The rebates now being discussed for the sewer payers who
illegally were charged for the town building betterment fees applies
to contractors and trades people. You should also apply for your
rebates since you should have only been assessed the lower fees
listed for 2003.

     Check this out. Again, it's Regulatory Management on the Town
Web Site and see Building Department Fees.

      Sleeping Beauty
12:46 pm est 

Memo To Provincetown High School:

Teach contractions
12:41 pm est 

To: Think About It

You are right on with your comments.

We wonder why the town is in the financial situation it is.  Some of
it comes from trying to hold on to things because we think they are
like they use to be.  But, things change and we have to change or get
left behind.

The school system is a prime example.  But, things have changed, the
demographics are not what they use to be, we have fewer children in
town.  While that may be unfortunate I don't see it changing.  How
many families would seriously consider moving to Provincetown?  A
lack of well paying jobs and very expensive housing are going to
deter most families.  It's just not reasonable to expect we are going
to attract more households with children.  And the class sizes will
continue to decrease.

We've tried to hold on with a full K-12 education system, but it's
time for change and let go.  Our School Cte is doing a great
disservice to the town by trying to hold on to something that is no
longer feasible.
12:39 pm est 

Sleepy Hollow

The problem with the school is that it is too expensive to run and
only produce a VERY small amount of graduates each year. Yes, the
education can be better for somne but as you pointed out, some of
these kids go on to be doctors, lawyers, etc but so do other schools.
And P-town high also graduates those that don't go on to higher
levels just like other schools.

Should Nauset regionalize with P-town? Do you mean ship all the kids
from Brewster, Orleans, Wellfleet, some of Truro and Eastham down
here to this small school? You're kidding right?

To the issue of the dwindling numbers, yes the cost of homes in
P-town or anywhere on the lower cape are very high, usually too high
for young families to buy. This and the fact that existing families
are moving out of P-town due to the fact that they can get a high
price for their homes and live elswhere up cape/off cape for cheaper
also doesn't help. And then, lets face it, gay couples don't bear
children. They can adopt or have children artficially but is that
enough to keep enrollment up? No.

The fees at town hall are so high due to the fact that previious TM
raised them to raise revenues, essentially to cover for his
shortfalls elsewhere, again the smoke and mirrors. Currently, there
has been some question as to whether or not the fee increases in the
building dept  are legal in that they didn't have a fee increase
hearing before the selectmen. That will be cleared up soon I'm sure.

P-town high needs to be converted to a specialized school, one for a
special segement of the community. Perhaps a school for the
handicapped where the state would kick in big $$ or and art school
which would be funded heavily by grants and outside sources. It
wouldn't be P-town High but at least the building would go toward
learning and it would be off the taxpyers backs.
12:34 pm est 

In Response to Dave--

I apologize for giving you the impression that I said "let the rich
property owners pay the shortfalls of the town".
Please forgive me as that was not my intent.  I know that many of our
YEAR ROUND home owners are NOT wealthy and indeed, are just getting
by.  My remark was made in a tone of cynicism due to the ingorance or
apathetic mind set by many of the persons who invested here as a way
to make a quick buck, by either renting their homes out with an
astronomical fee OR flipping their home after a year or two of
closing.

I meant no disrespect to our fellow towns people who like me, are
just trying to make a living and live within my means.  My feelings
were meant to express frustration to what has already happend, but
that is the past.  WE-- as a concerned community-- can oversee change
in our town government by paying attention to the spending. No more
new projests until we clean up the mess that is before us!

I urge all townspeople once again, to read the Warrent for 09 VERY
CAREFULLY to send a message to town hall that we ARE paying
attention, also to the school board!
Thank you, and sorry to anyopne else who took my comment out of context.

Jack McMahon
12:24 pm est 

Your Probably Not a Townie Anyway

People like you put this town to shame.........your
probably not a townie anyway
11:54 am est 

Do You Really Want to see Town Meeting Rock?

  Suggest selling off the town's art collection to fix town hall. There is an
amazing amount of money on those walls.
11:51 am est 

I'm a Contractor

Yesterday I needed to submit an application to the building department,
and had my check made out for the ridiculously high fee I knew I was going
to have to pay.

I got there mid day, a time when the department should be fully staffed.
Right? Not a single person in the whole department! The window is
closed. The light is turned off. No sign on the window giving any
indication of whats going on. I go up stairs, no one in the Clerks
office knows whats going on. No one in the Town Managers office knows
whats going on. Someone does tell me though that its been closed for
at least an hour already!

I try to call later in the day and all I get is voicemail. This
Department is responsible for an incredible amount of the daily tasks
that go on in this Town and this is how its being run? Who the hell
is in charge of this pony show?

This Department has had a lot of problems for many years, but I have
never seen it as bad as it is now. I demand accountability! I demand responsibility!
I demand proper service! I would like to sign my name but I know what would
happen if I did. The same type of payback that I have witnessed other
contractors receives who have spoken out.

This department is getting this town into some serious trouble and the powers
that be had better wake up before its too late. You think that sexual harassment lawsuit
is big? You aint seen nothing yet!

P.S. Town hall renovation? Try more like $25,000,000
11:49 am est 

School? Families Moving to Town?

I always love hearing someone attempt to justify the school with the
thought 'what family would move here knowing they would have to bus
their kids for 20 minutes out of town?'

Give me a break.  when was the last time a family considered moving
here, looked at the school system we have and then made the choice to
be here based on our current school system?  my guess would probably
be in the late 70's.  any other family that has moved here did not
chose to do so based on the school.  there were other factors
involved.

And good luck getting the school committee to open their books for
you to look at.  that budget will be kept close to their chest until
right before town meeting so there can be as little scrutiny as
possible.  they are even typically one of the last boards to present
to the BOS or FinComm.

One last thought.  if the high school were to be closed and we were
to save just $1,000,000 per year.  within twelve years hence we would
have enough money to pave all our streets, repair town hall and
install wind turbines.  within twenty years we could do all that plus
pay off the majority of our debt.  all of this without raising taxes
and giving our youth a better education.

think about it...
11:41 am est 

I Would Like to Speak to a Few Issues That Have Been Raised.

I will start by saying I thought most of Provincetown was like Rip
Van Winkle - you know, that story about the guy who slept for many,
many years. Finally there are people that are waking up to the
reality of what really goes on in a small town environment.

Let me speak to a few issues.

- Regionalization of the schools
Back in the 1970's the idea of regionalizing was put forth because of
the decline in school enrollment.  Here we are some 30+ years later
still discussing the same issues.  Sometimes there's a lot to be said
about the students that get the undivided attention  that our
students receive coming from a smaller school system.  Has anyone
looked at the statistics of those that have furthered their
education?  Some of them are now doctors, lawyers, teachers
themselves, etc.

If the school is so expensive to run then as one previous writer
wrote:  Why not have Nauset regionalize with us?

Is school enrollment dwindling because the families have had to
relocate due to the driving prices in the real estate market, second
home buyers and the cost of living?  Trying to sustain a year-round
living is difficult unless you are in some type of trade, (and even
that's not easy to do), which brings me to my next issue at hand.

I am in the trade business and associate with other trades people.  I
am appauled, as are others, at the high cost in permit fees that
Provincetown charges.  I am thankful that I only have a few years to
go to retire.  I feel for the young contractors and trades workers
that still have their whole life ahead of them.  Not to mention the
homeowner that has to absorb the cost as well as being hit again by a
new assessment in their taxes. Has anyone really looked into and
investigated this?

I will be speaking to the sewer system at a later date and how that
was back in the 70's.

Until later......

Wide Awake in Sleepy Hollow
12:56 am est 

Town Hall

I'm waiting to see what the astronomical cost is going to be to "fix"
town hall. Asbestos around the pipes, exposed wires, unsafe balcony,
deteriorated "skin" of thebuilding, holes in the roof(can anyone say
water damage/black mold?).

This is the number the town will crumble on. Paving the roads was high
but the idea could wait. the road won't get any worse and if it does, patch it.
The town hall will get worse and then how do you patch a patch on a patch?

My estimate, 7 million, just a guess.
12:51 am est 

DPW What They go Through????

Please let's not go there...you are a sap and obviously work for them !!!!!!
12:48 am est 

Offended By Your Arrogance

      Greg Craig gives us numbers and gives us his analysis. But I
feel he also gives a derogatory picture of those of us who Blog. You
assume we are paranoid. You assume we are alienated. You assume we
are rather uneducated.

     Well, Monsieur Craig, you belittle our minds. But be careful.
Don't ever underestimate your audience.

     We are involved. We care about this town, now as well as in the
summer months. And many of us live here all year -round and Blog from
along the streets of Provincetown and cottages that front the sea. 
We have a closer view of this town than those who write from quite a
distance away and throw out figures like rose petals from a passing
Lexus.

      Red Bowl
12:47 am est 

Embarrassed? YES!

The Selectmen do look like the 5 stooges on PTV. That would be
including Curley Joe and Shemp. Can we start a look-a-like contest?
Would that be too cruel or too much fun?

Why is there even a discussion about joining Nauset? Are we afraid
that our kids will go to school with all their cousins who now live
in Truro, Wellfleet and Eastham?

Kind of sounds like the people on Nelson Ave. who don't want
affordable housing because their kids might move into the
neighborhood.

Still Hanging On
12:45 am est 

Agreeing with Jack

    Yes, yes, to Enough is Enough. Michael is writing fabulous
letters to the editors. Thank you for those letters. And another yes,
it's time to rein in the horses. But those who are our cowboys seem
to enjoy riding high in the saddle and exploring the vast land they
oversee. They look at the far horizon and miss the disaster here at
their feet.

     Stop any, and I do mean any, new project. That involves Town
Hall. We do not have the money. We do not have additional resources.
Yes, I know Michelle Couture, you believe the town must go forward
and find the money for this huge project. But what new project, what
new affordable town-funded housing, what Seashore Point Give-away,
did you not support? You are even now supporting the town's funding
of the $450,000 to $500,000 betterment fee for SeaShore Point. I find
your allegiances questionable.

     Enough is Enough. No Overrides. This is just poor thinking and
doing the same old thing over and over again. Keep this up and this
town will end up in two years in Receivership. Then the cuts will
come down like a guillotine. Make the cuts now when it could be more
rational.

      Veronica
12:43 am est 

It's an Idea that the Voters Would Probably Accept

Raise tax rates and give year round residents a residential
exemption similar to what Boston does to encourage people to live in
the city.   Year rounders would get a refund which would most likely
be put back into the economy and non-residents would just have to
increase their rental rates to cover the increase.

It's an idea that the voters would probably accept considering the
electorate is primarily year round residents.
12:40 am est 

RE: Bravo

i can't tell you how offended i am by the comment "let the rich
property owners pay for it".  i understand your frustration with the
situation which we are now in, but PLEASE, not everyone who owns
property here is "rich".  there is still a very large number of
property owners here who were raised here and are living in their
family homes.  they are not rich.  by chance they now own a very
expensive property on which they are forced to pay very high taxes. 
these same people are choosing between filling their oil tanks and
paying for prescriptions.

I am very concerned for these people.  they are members of my
community.  they are my neighbors.  they are my friends.

it's also been my experience that these people will not complain
about any increase in taxes.  the working poor never do or they are
not listened to.  it happens to be the "very rich" who you speak of
that will bitch the most if you try to raise their taxes.

as a proud member of this community, it is these people i will try
and protect, defend and speak up for.

dave
12:37 am est 

I'll be Moving to Vermont This Year

Send the students to Nauset and use the high school
building as the town hall.

Rip down the town hall and sell the land.

Off topic - I have no pity for the multi-millionaire restaurant
owners who refuse to pay a living wage to local residents.

I've lived here for 27 years but I'll be moving to Vermont this year.



Salty1954
12:35 am est 

It's Time to Tighten Our Belts

Hi,
  I think a thorough look at the PTown School budget needs to be
done. We need to start with the number of staff and the number of
students.

What are the class sizes? How many periods per day to the
teachers teach ? How many students are they responsible for? Do they
teach more than one subject? What about the number of administrators?
Secretaries?Custodians? Food Services? Sports, Band, music, arts,
etc? Health insurance costs? Special Education costs, Daily
Substitutes, supplies, heat, electricity...

Once the whole budget is looked at and we have a clear understanding of
what we are paying for, only then can we make a sound decision on what is best for the
students.

If Nauset can offer the students of Provincetown a better education for less money
then it seems to me a no-brainer. Times are tough ladies and gentleman and the luxury of a school in your home town might not be possible in the present economy.

It's time to tighten our belts and make fiscally responsible decisions.

PJDP
12:33 am est 

There will be NO Overide

If the provincetown schools are kept open, they will be stripped to
the bone over the years as they get less and less money.

Our schools are the WORST RATED and we are spending $50,000.00 per
year per student, Harvard is less expensive.

In 12 years we are spending $ 600,000.00 on each kid to give them a
second or third rate education.  We could instead buy every child a
small house (of course they would not be able to afford the high
taxes). If the schools were better this would not be an issue.

The real issue here is the fact that there needs to be discussion
about a regional scool in nauset.

In the Banner 85% were in favor of a regional school out of 600 people.
12:22 am est 

Question to the Finance Committee Members

     A few Bloggers have been asking how much the town would save if
it cut out the 3% raises that have been included throughout all the
departments of this town. Can we get a answer from any of the members
of Fin Com what that amount would be? Have you done any analysis on
this issue?

     Also, how much would the town save if it eliminated the 5%
raises that it seems many departments have included retroactive to
July 2007? Could someone calculate what the savings of this cut would
amount to?

     Also, as another Blogger asked, what would be the savings be if
the town  established a 35 hour week for all town employees? Can we
get an assessment of this savings?

     If we added all these three budget-reducing possibilities or
propositions, how much would the town of Provincetown save?

       It seems that doing all three could help the town taxpayers
eliminate most, if not all, 2 1/2 Overrides. We would appreciate your
help in getting information of these possible savings.

      Swamp Maple
12:20 am est 

Bravo-- Michael Rogovsky!

....for your letter to the Banner this
week!  When is enough enough?  INDEED!  The town can not be serious
in implementing an idea of having excisting  homes hooked-up pay for
this shortage in funds, thank you very much Deaconess...  Call it
what you will, a matter of semantics, it is a tax!

Now we find that there have been overchared fees assessed to
establishments/homes in order to subsidize town owned buildings
cennected to the municipal sewer. 

Selectman Knight brought up the idea of future sewar credits instead of cash (what cash???) refunds.  At least no check has to be written out of the funding from the DPW
budget.  BUT WAIT... Selectman Couture expressed concern about a
rebate system.  I am not holding my breath in hope to hear her
solution.  Do I smell another tax increase around the corner? (let the rich property
owners pay for it).

As far as letting P-TV leasing the second floor of the Freeman
building, I say go for it!  I am all in favor of getting P-TV OUT of
Whalers Wharf, and keeping any of the town's money out of the pocket
of Paul DeReuter. 

Renting the street level is only a band-aid fix to this real-estate.  Look at the
problems facing us with Firehouse#2.

Bathrooms only, at this time was voted on- right?  Not if you listen
to one Selectman.  And the thought of renovating Town Hall is enough
to make your toes curl (maybe turn it over to a private developer
with town's money for affordable...blah blah blah)

It's time to rein-in the horses cowpokes and time 'em up in the barn!
Do we NEED a new squad-car?  Does anyone know the trade in value for
an SUV police/grocery getter?

Jack McMahon
12:15 am est 

I Love the Comment Demanding Repect for Town Employees..
 
DPW workers in general... please...  go by Tedeshsi @ 9:00 am.. see
how hard are there working. Oh yea a thank you should be in order for
plowing in my car. There either lazy or involved with lawsuit..
11:55 pm est 

See a Pattern Here?

 Am I the only one who wonders why neither the King nor the
Queen of the sewer is hooked up? Guertin owns 290-a Commercial;
Turner lives with her 80 year old mother on Ships Way Road.

Both have access to the sewer. Neither is connected. It would appear that they
both know what a rip-off the sewer is. Wait they probably wanted
others to be able to have the gallons. That must be it!!!

We overpaid for a poorly designed pier; Guertin was in charge. The
cost of repaving Commercial St. has sky rocketed; Guertin is in
charge. We have the highest sewer costs in the State; Guertin is in
charge. We have to pay for the Manor to be hooked but were promised
that we would be getting an $800,000 grant. Oops, MAYBE we'll get
$359,000.

Guess what: once again, Guertin is in charge. See a pattern
here?

Opposed to KickBacks
11:50 pm est 

It's Time to Become Informed by Doing Your Homework

The posts regarding the school situation in Provincetown is
proving to be quite interesting and the reality everyone must face is
the ever-increasing costs involved in educating the children of
Provincetown in relationship to the declining enrollment. 

All children deserve an education, but at what cost?  The residents of
Provincetown really could use Paul Trainor right now.  He would be
scouring the school budget with the finest-tooth comb possible.  And
I think what he would find would be quite enlightening. 

It seems like it's time for the Town Manager to review the management of the
school department and its budget; not necessarily the salaries of the
teachers but rather many of the other line items in the budget. 

Provincetown teachers are not the highest paid in the state but, like
all teachers, they are required to be Highly Qualified to be employed
as a teacher in a school system.  On the other hand, some of the
superintendent's personnel are paid MORE than many of the teachers in the school
system. 

And some of these personnel do not even have a college degree; but if they
were to be employed in their current position in any other school system in the
state they would be required to have a Master's degree. 

Time to look at the management of the money being spent to educate the children of
Provincetown because it doesn't seem like it's being spent wisely and
the ones suffering are the children; teachers and programs are being
cut while office personnel are paid higher salaries. 

The superintendent may have frozen "her" salary (as one post mentioned)
but she hasn't frozen the salary of her support personnel.  It's that
time of the year when budget hearings are being held and it's time to
become informed by doing your homework and asking questions... not
just rubberstamping whatever the superintendent and school committee
presents.
11:46 pm est 

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Shouldn't the Will of the People be Followed?

The only way to find out the true will of the people of
Provincetown regarding the idea of regionalization with Nauset is to
put the matter on the ballot and let people vote.  How could anyone
possibly object to this?  Whatever side you may be on shouldn't the
will of the people be followed?

-If the majority want regionalization, then so be it.
-If the majority want to maintain our schools as they are, then so be it.

The only reason I can see to keep this off the ballot is the fear
that the majority of the people do not agree with one's personal
feelings on the issue.

Time to Vote!
4:05 pm est 

T0: Peter

Peter a paragraph is a sign marking SEPARATING of parts. You failed
to note my paragraphs therefore misunderstood the content.


Let us move on shall we?

PT Taxpayer
3:50 pm est 

PHS Grad

Orleans is not in financial ruin Provincetown is.
2:19 pm est 

Dear PHS GRAD,

Parents already CHOOSE to send their children to Nauset and I can't
wait to send my child there next year. And I will not be moving from
Provincetown.
"Let's all consider what our town is going to look like
without a school". Well PHS GRAD, the students are in school all day
and we do not see them. As small as that number of students is, they
will come back from Nauset to town, only better eduacated and
well-rounded.

Your comment that "perhaps it's time to ask Nauset to regionlize with
us" is a typical narrow-minded response from those who want to keep a
school here no matter what the cost, no matter how poor the system is.
2:18 pm est 

Cuts Have To Be Made

    Sorry but the answer cannot be to increase the tax rates! From
some of you, that's all I hear. You don't want a town with services
gutted. Keep increasing taxes and you will find a town "gutted" of
its long-term residents. You will see many, on fixed incomes, who
have lived here for years forced to sell due to continued increases
in taxes, fees, land bank, CPC, sewer, and betterment. That will be
the true tragedy.

      Eliminate the 3% raises for town employees and administrators.
Do that now. Then also eliminate the 5% raises that seem to have
snucked into the budget for retractive pay raises from July 2007. We
defeated the override, remember?

      Then reduce the hours for services at town hall. Like other
town halls throughout the Cape, have people work only 35 hours a
week. Substract an hour each for day for lunch--and close town hall
from 12 to 1p.m. Or stagger the lunch hours in the various
departments with everyone required to take a non-work and non-pay
lunch hour.

      Then reorganize town hall, including DPW. As people retire,
consider rethinking how we handle services so that we have a smaller
full-time year-round staff, with seasonal part-time individuals added
for the summer months. We could cut down on insurance, health, and
salaries. With the 800 of us who really live here year-round and live
here in the winter--and some of you bloggers are not even in that
category--and those who leave for the winter are not part of this
number either--what services do we really need in January, February,
March and April. A realistic assessment, a true in-depth analysis
with constructive proposals would be key.

     I'd look for such thinking over the simplistic and rather
elitist mantra of Raise Taxes, Raise Taxes, Raise Taxes. I think I
hear some of you whispering: "Let them eat cake!"

     The Raven
2:14 pm est 

To Provincetown Taxpayer;

Go back to your post. I read it absolutely correctly. You omitted an
important distinction:

you said
"54 people have responded to
Greg Craigs survey. Hardly enough to draw any conclusion about
whether or not the majority of Provincetown residents want to
maintain the status quo concerning our school system."

I agree that a survey of 54 self selected people has no significance.
In your post about my commentary, why did you leave out the fact that
the sentence you re-printed was referring to Mr. Craig's survey and
NOT Ms. Avellar's victory?

You immediately followed with this:
"On the other hand, Selectman Avellar received over 800 votes when
RE-ELECTED. Her victory was decisive and reflected Provincetown voter
sentiment unequivocally"

Thank you for complimenting my intelligence, and I stand behind my
READING COMPREHENSION, it was SPOT ON!
12:10 pm est 

If You had a Money Manager

If you had someone who worked on YOUR personal finances that did the
job that the BOS has done ,would you not have them disemboweled in
Lopes Sq?

So why not do the civil thing and just get rid of the sad lot!!!

Bring back drowning chairs
12:01 pm est 

Greg Craig writes:

To PT Taxpayer; in agreement mostly with what you say but this blog
and sentiments expressed here obviously reflect, as does the
rejection of all spending measures at the election, a group of people
who feel put upon and powerless in the existing system and have found
this a way to vent that frustration.

There is a common theme ofparanoia that expressing one's true opinions
in public can lead toretaliation. I am not someone in that position and my
economic futuredoesn't depend on Provincetown so I can't judge whether these
fears are based on real or imagined problems.

 Over, 70% of taxpayers in Provincetown cant vote like you, Greg. 
Prop 2.5 would not have failed if the silent majority had the ability
to vote. Muncipal inflation is a reality and would have been
reflected at the polls by the educated and more affluent voter who
doesnt have feelings of alienation.

But instead less than 400 people voted. Many of them economically
marginalized and suspicious of politics and town officials. The
underdog voting block, which is the majority vote in Provincetown, is
resulting in cuts in services and not maintaining the towns
infrastructure.

Thats bad enough but when they displace their fears and lash out at
town officials I have no sympathy for them.

Provincetown Taxpayer
11:57 am est 

"In the Name of the Students"

I have to say, after putting last weeks Banner down for a
few days, this morning I once again look to it's cover story and
shudder with disbelief of the arrogance in which both Jessica Waugh
and Terese Nelson speak of not even entertaining the idea of
regionalisation. 

This reminds me of back in the 70's, going to a
Cenralized school in the northern Catskill's.  Our high school
teachers, once awarded a tenure contract would sit back and assign us
reading out the text book as they read the daily paper at their
desks...  this once again has the same flavor "in the name of the
students" you are not going to take our jobs away!

Jack McMahon
11:44 am est 

Change is in the Wind Ladies and Gentlemen!

And it's TIME for it!!!

Too many years of Keith Bergman nearly ruined this town.
Please, let's all consider what our town is going to look like
without a school. Plan on seeing this community become a strictly
seasonal one.

Families will not CHOOSE P-town if it means busing
their children out of town every day. We have an exceptional school
system here, K-12. Perhaps it's time to ask Nauset to regionlize with
us?

PHS GRAD
11:08 am est 

What Provincetown Taxpayer Said Was:

Hardly enough to draw any conclusion about
whether or not the majority of Provincetown residents want to
maintain the status quo concerning our school system.

What Peter Bez said:

I think it is mistaken for you to think her overwhelming victory was
a vote against regionalization.

Now Peter, you are one of the more intelligent bloggers here. But,
perhaps you need to take a remedial reading comprehension class!

Provincetown Taxpayer
10:51 am est 

Ditto on DPW Kudos and I do Occasionally Email and Thank

The sewer system alone was an amazing accomplishment
and one simply has to drive through a Cape town full of mounded
septic systems to know it was the right move at the right time for
Provincetown and, despite all the griping, and literal bumps in the
roads, well executed.

Taxpayer for Choice
1:06 am est 

Embarassed

Is anyone else embarassed by the way our board of selectmen treat
each other and the people who appear before them?  don't they watch
themselves on PTV?  do they even realize that other towns on the cape
also watch our meetings?

I watch other town meetings occasionally.  they are respectful,
well-prepared, and courteous to each other.  i have never heard them
raise their voices, roll their eyes or use phrases such as "this
sucks!'.

It's like watching a professional news program versus bad reality TV.

They should be ashamed of themselves.  i'm embarassed for them and
sadly, for us.
12:54 am est 

Hey P-Town Taxpayer


How come it says God on your tee-shirt?
12:47 am est 

Lets Face It

Hey taxpayer , those 800 votes you speak of was only a reflection of
the best of the worst choices facing us in the last election.
That hardly reflects confidence .  The rally cry was 'hey whaddya do
,she at least is familiar with the process', hardly an endorsement.

Reality Bites
12:44 am est 

It used to embarrass me to watch Lucy & Ethel on TV

When I was 8 years old. By the time I turned 10 I got the joke and
even learned to feign laughter at the 3 Stooges. Now 50 y.o., 25 year
round resident, and a political junkie, I can't even stand to turn on
Ch 17 for 1 minute.

Regretabbly,
Please count me among the leaving

PS (parting shot)
Why did Keith get us to take over the highway while trying to
regionalise the schools?
12:39 am est 

DO YOU PEOPLE EVEN KNOW WHAT D.P.W GOES THROUGH TO MAKE

.........MY GAWD....OPEN YOUR EYES........IF IT
WERENT FOR THE D.P.W  THIS TOWN WOULD BE IN SHAMBLES...........DOES
ANYONE CALL THAT OFFICE AND SAY THANK YOU  ..........NO.......ITS SAD
THAT TOWNS PEOPLE TALK BAD ABOUT OUR D.P.W...WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU
PEOPLE THEY DO THEIR BEST..AND I I AM  DAMN PROUD OF THEM  ALL OF
THEM, AND I GIVE ALL OF THEM PRAISE........THANK YOU GUYS AND
GIRLS..........YOUR THE BEST...TIME FOR THIS TOWN TO BE MORE
RESPECTFUL AND START SAYING THANK YOU.....AND MAYBE FIND SOME RESPECT
FOR ALL OF THE TOWN EMPLOYEES.........
11:54 pm est 

Dear Provincetown Taxpayer,

Obviously, by the tone of your last rant, you did not like what some
people said about your Couture.
Perhaps only a handful of people responded to
Greg Craigs survey. But to say its "hardly enough to draw any
conclusion about whether or not the majority of Provincetown
residents want to maintain the status quo concerning our school
system" is silly. This forum has people talking and we will not be
bullyed any longer by people like you.

And what about your bragging that "Avellar received over 800 votes
when RE-ELECTED. Her victory was decisive and reflected Provincetown
voter sentiment unequivocally..." Yes, Provincetown did make a big
mistake but now we are better educated. Why put someone in office,
someone who has been in office for decades, someone who has been part
of the problem not the solution.

So Ptown Taxpayer, you can believe that there is only a "handful" of
people who are unhappy and writing about it here. That handful most
be very busy since there are nearly 9,000 hits!
11:50 pm est 

Cliff:

Thank you for your response, good stuff. Here are my thoughts in reply:

Energy; I 100% completely agree. I had dismissed the idea of major
capital investment to reduce energy costs due to seeming reluctance
to fund anything new and other pressing budget needs. However, as you
point out there are numerous ways to get drastic savings over time
with creative energy alternatives. One example, there is, I think
(having just looked into this) plenty of space in the town hall
"yard" to sink a couple of deep geothermal wells that could then feed
a new geothermal power plant for that building. Very expensive
upfront but could cut energy costs/use by half. Additionally, as has
been bandied about, wind power seems a very feasible alternative.
Wave, tidal power also something to consider. Grants, state support
and even perhaps a really progressive company as in California where
the company pays the upfront costs and sells the energy at a reduced
rate to the user until capital cost+profit is paid off are all worth
considering. Additionally, here in little Te!
  lluride, CO which is my fulltime home the town government has
switched to small electric vehicles for things like parking
monitoring folks and other town officials whose jobs don't require a
full scale gas powered vehicle. A lot of locals have also bought same
vehicles for their in town transport needs. In addition, though not
as applicable in Provincetown, the town bus system here runs all
bio-diesel. Restaurant grease from town is literally turned into the
energy to run the buses.

Health Care Costs: we are on the same page. One has to admit though
that a major change in insurance programs or employees shouldering a
bigger part of costs is in the end equivalent to a pay cut. But, as
you point out, it's happening in private industry. This is a problem
statewide and perhaps a statewide solution is called for.

Ambulance: points well taken, a friend of mine fell off his bike on
Bradford on the 4th of July and broke his clavicle and finger. Total
transport cost to Hyannis = $16,000. He was in a position to pay this
bill. In a case closer to your example a summer worker at a local
establishment cut himself severely at work, he had a friend drive him
to Hyannis and was told when he arrived he was very very lucky
because he had cut an artery and should have been in an ambulance.
Not sure if the new mandatory health insurance covers transport or
not. It isn't just foreign workers it's any summer/transient worker.
Don't know the solution to this one and it's beyond my area of
knowledge. I wonder if a transport insurance pool could be created
that all employers would subscribe to that could cover these costs
for their workers when needed.

In summary, I agree with you, fixed costs are only fixed if there is
no alternative but it's going to take some upfront investment in most
of the above to get savings in the budget over time.

To PT Taxpayer; in agreement mostly with what you say but this blog
and sentiments expressed here obviously reflect, as does the
rejection of all spending measures at the election, a group of people
who feel put upon and powerless in the existing system and have found
this a way to vent that frustration. There is a common theme of
paranoia that expressing one's true opinions in public can lead to
retaliation. I am not someone in that position and my economic future
doesn't depend on Provincetown so I can't judge whether these fears
are based on real or imagined problems. It does seem to me that the
town meeting (and this is a guess as I don't get to go to it) isn't
serving the idealized goal of letting everyone express their opinion.
I guess in the end the ballot box will tell whether the folks on here
are just a small segment of "malcontents" or a more significant force
in town politics. One more point; the loss of community in general
leads to fewer informal systems/forums!
   where opinions can be expressed. As more and more people are from
somewhere else and participation in traditional group settings (Lions
Club, Rotary, etc. etc.) declines there are less and less shared
values or forums where opinions can be debated in a "safe space." I
guess SHOUTOUT is one mechanism to replace that loss.

Greg Craig
11:45 pm est 

To Provincetown Taxpayer:

I voted for Maryjo Avellar in her election bid. I voted for her
because over the years I have found her to be a reasonable,
intelligent woman who is able to listen to both sides of an issue and
look for the the truth. Over the years I have found myself on
different sides of some of the major issues that Provincetown has
faced. My vote had NOTHING to do with my thinking that she wants to
maintain the Staus Quo regarding the Provincetown School System. I
think it is mistaken for you to think her overwhelming victory was a
vote against regionalization. I think it was especially important for
her to run in the last election as the BOS was very new and needed
someone with some experience and institutional memory to help guide
the ship. I encouraged her to run. On election day when I saw her
carrying her sign I encouraged her to seek the Chairmanship.

Personally, I think regionalization is where this Town will end up.
It was the same way with the Cape End manor. There was a time when
the mere mention of selling the Cape End Manor marked you as a
heretic and unsympathetic to the senior citizens of Provincetown.
From watching Selectman's Meetings and reading quotes in the papers,
it appears to me that Ms. Avellar is more than willing to begin the
conversation that the Town needs to have regarding the future of the
Provincetown School System. I applaud her for this. This is a very
different attitude than the attitude being currently espoused by the
Chairman of the School Committee and the Superintendent. Something is
wrong when the Town can't even begin a discussion about a Major issue.

Peter Bez
11:37 pm est 

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Couture is Judgemental
 
She is constantly saying she needs
more info.. and has an ego bigger than this town could ever handle.
6:15 pm est 

This Blog Hardly Reflects True Provincetown Sentiment

Only a handful of people i.e., 54 people have responded to
Greg Craigs survey. Hardly enough to draw any conclusion about
whether or not the majority of Provincetown residents want to
maintain the status quo concerning our school system.

On the other hand, Selectman Avellar received over 800 votes when
RE-ELECTED. Her victory was decisive and reflected Provincetown voter
sentiment unequivocally. But, one would never know it reading the
postings about her here.

This blog hardly reflects true Provincetown sentiment about any of
our elected officials, police, DPW or anything else for that matter
as there are not enough people represented here.  All that are
criticized at this site should consider that only a handful of
malcontents are posting their diatribes.  They represent a handful
not the silent majority.

For a few this venue is synonymous with a venting machine. Others use
it constructivelyto advance ideas that might help the town like Greg Craig or
enlighten readers like Cheryl Andrews with her historical perspective.

Provincetown Taxpayer
6:11 pm est 

Are You Kidding Us?

      Michelle Couture energizing us? Michelle Couture leading us?
You are kidding, right? Open your eyes, Taxpayer. Open your ears.
This woman rants. She speaks when she has nothing constructive to
add. She goes on and on about how fair and balanced she is. Silence
would serve her and us well.

     And when Mary-Jo has to recuse herself, then Couture is at her
worse. Instead of seeing this role as one where all participants and
all selectmen are given an equal opportunity to talk and discuss key
issues, Momentary Chair Couture seizes the day and hogs the floor.
She is so consistently unprofessional and self-serving.

      You Must Be Kidding
3:25 pm est 

Dear Mr Craig

I love reading your blogs.  it's a pleasure to hear information based
on facts and not emotions.  i agree with your analysis of the 10%
cuts concept.  if you were to have trouble paying your own monthly
bills, you all would agree that cutting 10% in every area of your
household budget will not fix your problem.

I think we can all agree that there is a small amount of savings in a
more effiecent goverment, but the savings will be minimal in contrast
to the entire budget and services will be compromised.  some of those
services though will be barely missed.  and let's not forget, once
you have given someone something, it is hard to take it away from
them.  it's called 'entitlement'.

As far as the fixed costs you mention:

Energy.  being the progressive town that provincetown prides itself
to be, why are we not more actively pursueing alterative energy
sources for our town owned buildings?  gov duvall just announced
incentives and grants available for solar panels.  all town buildings
should be outfitted ASAP.  a study should be done on the costs,
grants available and the amount should be included in a warrant
override acticle.  i can't think of anyone who would vote against an
increase in their taxes to take the town 'off the grid'.  and as a
side note to energy..why do parking cops drive around in four door
sedans?  give me a break.

Health Care.  why is provincetown paying 80% of the insurance premium
for all it's current (and many former) town employees?  these
contracts have to be renegotiated immediately.  if the employees had
to pay their fair share of health insurance, they would choose a much
less comprehensive plan.  the town would save by paying into a less
expensive plan and paying a fairer share of the total costs.  no
where in the private or public sector do employers pay 80%.  this is
imperative and must be done immediatley.  by the way, the insurance
for the town is now 1/5 of the town's budget.  at what point will it
become 1/4, 1/3 and then 1/2?

Cape Ambulance.  two things are going on here.  first is the
deplorable fact that there are no emergency services betwen here and
hyannis.  outer cape health has dropped the ball on this one and it
is the tax payers that have to make up the difference.  if someone
cuts their finger and says they want to go to hyannis, the ambulance,
by law, must take them whether they can afford it or not.  if outer
cape health were to create a small emergency service center somewhere
here on the outer cape, all the towns could benefit from the smaller
transportation costs.  the officials from all the outer cape towns
should force this issue on outer cape health.

the other factor here is, again, insurance.  though seasonal workers
may have to have insurance, their insurance does not typically cover
the cost of transport.  sure they will be billed for the service, but
chances are they will be leaving the country and their debt.  tax
payers have to make up the debt.  once again the tax payer is
subsidizing certain businesses using foreign workers.  the employers
should be responsible for their workers. if you bring a foreign
worker over here, you should be responsible for their debt left to
the community.

I may be off on these figures, but cape ambulance's budget has gone
from $180,000 to $320,000 and now nearing $500,000.  and that's the
amount we pay.

fixed costs are only 'fixed' when there are absolutley no alternatives.

look forward to hearing from you mr craig.

cliff
2:24 pm est 

Seems a Bit Sad

There must be better way to entice Senior's to lead a more
active lifestyle than ping pong. Seems a bit sad...
1:09 pm est 

MESSAGE to TOWN MANAGER and BOS

Take your broom and sweep away all of this dirt!  Corruption, lies,
sexual harassment, fund mis-management, non-productivity....these are
all grounds for termination.  We have a new town manager now.  Ms.
Lynn I implore you, GET RID of Bergman's leftovers.  Hold open
interviews-we need new ideas!  Hire people with vision that will get
results.

Concerned Citizen
1:07 pm est 

Why 10% Across the Board Cuts Won't Work:

I do not think that across the board budget cuts will work. Here's why:

1) Energy, health care and facilities maintenance/operations costs
cannot be cut this way as they are variables either outside the
town's control or fixed costs that can't yield much savings. For
instance, are you going to tell DPW to plow 10% less to save on fuel
costs?
2) Much of the massive increase in costs is due to additional factors
outside the town's direct control (e.g. cape ambulance, tech school
and other costs, drops in real state aid)
3) Therefore while it sounds good 10% actually means much higher cuts
once the factors above are taken out of the equation.
4) As importantly it doesn't solve the fundamental problem, municipal
inflation will continue to run much higher than revenues can be
raised due to Prop 2 1/2.

Conclusion; simplistic 10% across the board cuts will actually mean a
much higher cut in departmental budgets for items that can be cut vs
those that can't and if one plays this out to its logical conclusion
over multiple years eventually nothing will be left in town budget
except facilities, energy and health care costs.

Further conclusion; taxes have to go up folks, there is no way around
it unless you want to completely gut town services. While I agree
there are probably efficiencies to be found I doubt there is enough
to overcome the math above.

Observation: town services vs. taxes are two sides of the same coin.
One presumably pays taxes to fund services that are more efficiently
delivered, or only deliverable, by government (trash collection,
public safety, parks, recreation, etc). You can eliminate some of
those services but that cuts into the social goods delivered by
government which is a net loss to the town and its residents
(example, trash collection). While this saves (or avoids) taxes,
presumably a value to taxpayers, it simply takes away on the other
hand services so the net social yield is zero.

Social goods delivered by government are spread over all residents
while taxes fall specifically on real estate owners and a vocal
groups of voting real estate owners don't seem in a mood to pay more
taxes.

While many here are looking for scapegoats and nefarious plots to
take advantage of the poor public I continue to believe that the
fundamental problem afflicting Provincetown - and all MA towns - is
municipal inflation driven by energy and health care costs and the
mismatch between that and the limits imposed by Prop 2 1/2 combined
will falling real state aid and now falling real estate prices.

As a reminder our property tax rate is low compared to most other
towns in MA and exactly in line with other Cape towns. However our
median income is low so therefore as a percentage of median income of
full time residents taxes may look high. While I agree that town
government needs to be as efficient as possible I can't see how, over
several years, we can use simplistic cost cutting to find our way out
of this mess, higher taxes (i.e. overrides) will eventually be needed.

I for one know that I won't want to remain an owner in a town that
guts itself to meet the needs of those who scream about their
(relatively low) taxes while sitting on still hefty property values,
even after the drop from the '04 peak.

Open to alternatives supported by concrete data.

Greg Craig

PS: school survey update, only 54 responses to date, only one parent
with kid(s) in school. i will keep it open for one more week and have
written a letter to editor in Banner appealing for more input.
please, tell others to respond, passing along either link below
should work:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=k1UsPA_2fnsqfuEWflI57ozQ_3d_3d

or

http://tinyurl.com/ypk2s7
1:04 pm est 

Regarding Selectman Couture

You believe she will lead the charge to address the damage done by
the previous town manager?

Who wrote this...what planet are you from?

Michelle gave the previous town manager the best annual performance
scores of any of the selectmen.

One year , the Banner even quoted her saying she was giving him extra
points to balance the low scores given by Peake and Andrews.

She was attached at his hip and in his office every day.

Send her off to Elderly Ping Pong in May. But please don't make me
listen to three more years of nonsense.

ugh.

Looking for a new Selectman
12:55 pm est 

Town Hall

According to todays Banner Update , Town Hall needs major and
expensive work. Town Hall needs to be maintained.

If we could close the High School(which only makes sense) then we
could move the Community Center,Police Dept and DPW to the High
School.

We could then sell the existing Community Center,DPW,and Police
Station to raise money for structural work needed on Town Hall .
12:50 pm est 

Dear Provincetown Taxpayer,

I have not said anything about selectwoman Couture but after reading
your blog I must. More than a "handful" of people do have a problem
with her and if you feel "energized" listening to her rants you
should also watch the elderly playing ping pong for the same effect.

"She has the capacity to lead the town through its economic
challenges and address the damage done by our former town manager."
That comment really makes me laugh. She gave the town manager higher
points during his appraisal than any other selectman. Sure, blame it
on the former town manager, that's easy. I hope she does run and you
and your "kitchen table" cronies will be the only few voting.
12:46 pm est 

Selectman Couture

To Provincetown Taxpayer:

There are more than a "Handful" of citizens who have a problem with
her.At kitchen tables across Provincetown,there are many of us who
are awaiting the day she is no longer a member of the BOS. And I
could only laugh when you said she was the one who was going to lead
the town through its economic challenges and address the damage done by
our former town manager.

She was his BIGGEST CHAMPION!!! One year she actually admitted to artificially
inflating her rating of him to offset what she knew were going to be
poor rating by her fellow Selectman.

Is that what you would call sound  leadership and judgement?

I think NOT!
12:43 pm est 

Route Six Info
  
I have been wondering  how many people are just learning for the
ist time ,about the town of provincetown taking over route six in
provincetown. was a study done to aticipate the maintance cost,
plowing, road surface work, drainage, tree planting, traffic light
repairs, erosion etc.?  exactly what sections, route 6a, conwell st,
race point road, provincetown rotary, snail road ,all of which the
state now plows and maintains.? 

What plans have been made to fund
this and maintain this area.?  during snow emergeancies i  believe
bradford and commercial st ,will have priority over route six.  what
is the story????

This citizen wants to know
12:33 pm est 

Linking Budgets with Actual Services and Real Numbers

      Departments present their budgets and there are often more
ideal than real--even in this tight fiscal times. Why aren't
departments required to submit numbers of actual towns people served
and actual work and projects done in each department?

     Here's what I mean. In looking at the Council on Aging, what are
the actual numbers of elderly served? And for what services? And for
what events? If the numbers are reduced and the services reduced,
then a realistic cut in the budget would be proposed. If the numbers
are increased, then that department would be considered providing
excellent work and judged accordingly.

      Or for the Recreation Department. How many children are in each
program? What are the actual numbers and how long are the programs?
And what is really going on in the dead of winter? How many elderly
are actually showing up for what was stated by Tracy Roderick as
Elderly Ping Pong at 9 in the morning? Really, there are elderly
rushing to the Recreation Center at 9 in the morning to play ping
pong? Let me get out of their way!

      This seems like fantasy thinking but is accepted by the BOS as
true for the Rec Center. Real numbers please.

      Then examing Community Development get a list of all building
permits, inspections, on-site visits, electrical permits, etc. Real
numbers and then judge objectively how much work is being done in
that department. Then decide how much staff is needed.

     It seems the BOS is making decisions on departments without
adequate and accurate numbers. Presently, how do they separate
fantasy numbers, fantasy programs from real ones? Knowing one person
who knows another person who used a service should not be the
standard of judgment. Are the elderly really playing Ping Pong at the
Rec Center at 9 a.m.?

     A Little Reality, Less Fantasy
10:31 am est 

Enough Said About Selectman Couture.

We understand a handful of you have a problem with her.  But, many of
us dont including me. Many feel energized listening to her during selectmens statements.

Many of us are comforted by her compassion. Many of us are hopeful because
she has the capacity to lead the town through its economic challenges
and address the damage done by our former town manager.

At kitchen tables across Provincetown, many see Selectman Couture as
part of the solution and a resounding victory awaits her in the
spring if she runs again.


Provincetown Taxpayer
10:26 am est 

Unfair Practise

I think its interesting that if someone in here speaks out
against the police and even goes to particular police officers and
incedents, the names and references are blocked but if you bring up
Turners or Guertins names from the DPW or selectmens names, thats ok.
 
This mentality is the very fear that needs to be removed from the
discussion of issues. Name names or the problems continue. I think
its very unfair to protect one group and not all. This is what I
thought this forum was about, exposing problems in the town!

Webmaster Comment:All comments in this forum must meet the standards as presented
in Shout Out! proviso concerning derogatory or defaming presentments.

10:20 am est 

The Lame Duck

The lame duck is a jumping frog.
The frog jumps from issues to bugets without
any concern to what the big fish have to pay to
the  big whale. Lame Duck has no real estate taxes in the big pond.
So why does the frog continue to champion little-big ponds unless she
might need one.

Rattlesnake
10:07 am est 

Time Limits for the Couture Would Be A Relief

    Goodness. I know the Selectmen have time limts for public
statements and sometimes for presenters. But couldn't we have time
limits for Selectwoman Couture? She goes on and as if she were
involved in reality TV. She is so take with the sound of her voice
and her unfounded belief that she is so fair and so balanced. Hogwash!

     If you don't anything to say; if you don't have anything to add
to a conversation or a presentation, why not silence? But no, Couture
goes on and on ad infinitum. She gives me a headache.

     What does she bring to the table? What insights, ideas,
strategic thinking or in-depth analysis can this sad woman bring to
any of us? I think she is beyond belief and frankly beyond help. Our
town needs someone who can take the reins and lead. Not this
pseudo-leader--and I'm being kind in even saying this.
12:18 am est 

To Every Blogger!

    A very BIG thank you for your time, your ideas, your input and
your involvement. You are the town and I know how much it takes to
make this town work. It takes everyone of you and I am so grateful
for your input. It doesn't come from position, nor does it come from
assuredness of one's perspective. You reaffirm what Provincetown,
from its old days to its present days, represents. It's feisty,
old-line, dedicated and caring.

     You touch my heart and I appreciate everyone who has blogged on.
You have inspired me and I am so appreciative of what you are all
doing to make Provincetown the incredible town it can be.

     A Tear In My Eye
12:13 am est 

11:16 pm est 

Should be an Interesting Evening!

Just want to remind everyone that the BOS will meet Tuesday
night at 6 to discuss the DPW budget which includes WasteWater.  it
is the only item on their agenda (besides the beautification
committee). 

Should be an interesting evening.  come on down and
listen to Guertin and Turner justify their budgets.  Looking forward
to hear Couture tell them what a great job they're doing (even though
the plowing today left a lot to be desired) and maybe she'll even
support raises for the entire department.

Should be great theater, and it's free!
11:11 pm est 

Back to the Issues

    Can someone on the Board of Selectmen or the Finance Committee
answer the inquiries posed by Dune Shack and Still Watching PTV on
the possible savings on the FY 2009 budget if the reductions of
raises were considered?

     Both asked key questions about the FY 2009 and I, for one, would
like to know what the reduction in the budget would be without 3% for
raises, without retroctive raises to July 2007 for town employees,
and with Mary-Jo's 10% across the board reduction.

      Seems like good thinking to me. Pen, paper and a caculating
mind or two could help us all.

     The Raven
11:05 pm est 

Monday, January 28, 2008

Thank You for the Comments on the Survey!

I decided NOT to put Alcohol on the list because it is NOT an ILLEGAL drug.

Believe me, I know it is a problem, but my concern is the ILLEGAL
drug use and how it is NOT being addressed by ANYONE in town!

Meth and heroin are defiantely the problem. I agree with the earlier
post that Pot, X etc are not the problem...they will always be around
and it's users don't seem to be violent, ever.

Meth is an evil ridden drug,  it's users could kill, rape or steal
from anyone. We have already seen this take place.

LET'S ADMIT WE HAVE A CRISIS AND FIX IT!

Crime has been on the rise. For God's sake someone broke into Joe's
coffee for a few bucks!

We have a problem, now let's raise the issue with the Town and the Police!

Or, will it take one of their loved ones to get hooked on Meth or get
abused by a METH user before they decide to do something about it.



Thank you though for the feedback, the comments have been very very
supportivve and definately need addressing.


Concerned Citizen
3:43 pm est 

Why do We Have to Accept Any of This
The police in this town are as crooked as the "acting"
chief
.Actually officer Peters and Hines are helpful and honest, but
it seems Enos can be easily persuaded with sexual favors. The officer
Joudry was just plain rude.. see ya..  Be very careful with any
matters involving the police.. even traffic. They will set you up and
laugh when you get arrested.. Why do we have to accept any of this
2:02 pm est 

Survey 101:

CC -- you have completely invalidated your
already biased drug/crime survey by reporting results from a
statistically insignificant sample size while your survey is in
progress.

I understand your excitement at discovering SurveyMonkey
for the first tome but in the future you might wish to consult a
basic statistics web site - or the tutorials at survey monkey - to
learn how valid surveys work.

Yours, and your reporting of it, is obviously designed to elicit the
response you want not the opinions of a representative cross-section
of Provincetown.

Could we get back to working on real problems?

Taxpayer for Choice
12:46 pm est 

If I Wanted to Find Drugs in This Town, it Would Take About 5 min.

There are only two possible reasons that the many people and
businesses in town are allowed by the police to continue to sell huge
quantities of drugs for decades.

1. The police are completely inept, and not capable of doing their   
           job, in which case they should all be fired.

2. The police are on the take.

The drug use / dealing is so obvious and in your face that these are
the only two possibilities. This is only made totally clear when
citizens drop a dime on drug dealers, and the police do nothing about
it. This only speaks of corruption, and payoff's.
12:38 pm est 

To: Concerned Citizen

The only crime is your spelling. There is a drug problem though, I
can't seem to get any decent pot around here. The only drug problem I
see is crystal meth and the damage seems limited to the users.
Everything else is recreational in nature with no impact on anyone
else.

When is the last time someone on ecstasy or pot broke into a
house and stole the plumbing/wiring-or smashed someone's head on the
curb?

Crime stats show alchohol to be far more impact than anything
else - dui, assaults, disorderly conduct, etc. Those damn clubowners
are luring in tourists with booze and ruining our town! Let's make
ptown a dry town if you want to solve the statistically significant
problem.

Brutal Truth
10:56 am est 

Crime/Drug Survey Update: (16 responces, would like many more)

Thanks for the post and link.
Here are a few comments to a couple of the questions I would like to share:

(Q) If you think Provincetown has a illegal Drug problem, what
drug(s) do you think is most abused here in Provincetown? (top
answers)

(A) Meth      %61.5

(B) Herioin   %46.2

(Q) Do you think the Provincetown Police do enough to fight illegal Drugs?

(A) YES             %31.3
(B) NO              %50
(C) I Don't Know    %18.8

Comments on this question :
1. I reported a dealer and his place of business to Meyer and was
told by the Narcotics enforcement officer they were too understaffed
to deal with it. I guess we have a drug and enforcement problem.

2. They NEED to make having a detective a priority regardless of
personnel shortage... it is in my opinion a TOP PRIORITY for their
crime issues.

KEEP THE SURVEY GOING! This is quite interesting and needed! I will
continue the survey untill we get at least 100 responses.

Here is the link again:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=nr7wEPFRT2u4mR30I35v6Q_3d_3d

Concerned Citizen

10:51 am est 

Thanks Cheryl, Thanks for Answers

      Thanks for helping to clarify the exact role of the voters when
they do vote and when they do defeat Overrides. Sometimes we ask
questions and no one readily answers.

     I'm glad you did clarify the power of citizens and the power of
the average, it's-just-me citizen to change the direction of town
spending. When we said NO, it was a far-reaching NO that still needs
to be acted on and listend to.

      The Raven

11:40 pm est 

I'm Starting to See the Light

    I'm glad someone is watching PTV. If we do take out the 3 percent
added into the budget for raises, that would be a signficant savings.
Then substract any monies that were paid to any town employee that
should not have been paid--because we defeated the Override,
remember?--or is tucked into the budget somewhere--from July 2007 to
the beginning of FY 2009 budget. Now, how much would that savings add
up to?

     Then level fund the police. Now, how much have we saved?

      Afterwards, take Mary-Jo's sugggestion to cut every department
by 10% and where do we stand?

      I think we are at level funding with no overrides.

      Seems someone is trying to figure this out. How about our
elected others trying to do as much. This is no time for the scared,
the shivering, the what-can-I-really-do publid officials. Actand act
now. the town itself is at stake.

      Dune Shack

11:36 pm est 

Crime Problem?

I'm confused.  besides our recent arson problem, is there a rash of
house breakins?  purse snatches?  car thefts?  roaming armed gangs? 
shoplifters that i'm not aware of?

Last thing I heard was of someone stealing cable.  should I be
locking my doors and setting my alarms?  maybe I should move to the
city where it's safer...

Stealing our tax dollars is where my interest lies.

Otherwise, I feel very safe and cared for by my community.  I'm proud
of the fact that in our little hamlet we can leave our keys in our
cars and leave our doors unlocked.  I for one trust my neighbors
unlike anywhere else I have ever lived.

Maybe ACTING CHIEF tobias is the one setting up this little scare so
he can justify his upcoming budget by scaring us into feeling unsafe. 
sounds like a Bush/Cheney tactic.

11:32 pm est 

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Budget and The Selectmen

      If you watch the January 22 BOS meeting focused on the FY2009
budget, you will see some interesting facts. It's on line with PTV and
you can see it on this BLOG on "For The Record". At least I did.

      First, Town Manager included in the FY 2009 budget, an increase
of 3% for all administrators and for all town employees. She says
that they haven't begun to negotiate the town emplyees contract but she
was assuming 3% increase in raises. The previous contract was a
two-year contract with 5% increases per year.

      Let's hold salaries at level funding for everyone and see what
the collective savings would be. If the town manager added this
amount into the budget, she would know what the exact amount of this
3% across the board raise would total

      Second, Mary Jo begins with an important position on the
budget. She says that for a $26 million budget, we should be able to
cut 10% across the board. I totally agree. Each department should cut
10% and then see how much the town would save.

      Third, and this is strange. From the beginning both Mary Jo and
Michelle Couture state they will definitely be cutting the clerical
position in Community Development. WHY? This seems to be the ONLY
existing full-time position cutin town hall. Isn't this odd?

      You take the person who was in this position, Susie Futz, and
on someone's whim or wish, make her full-time Assitant Town Clerk.
The Assitant Town Clerk's position is not legal since we never voted
for this position at town meeting.

What we had was a part-time Assitant Town Clerk and that is what we
should have now. The other half-time position went to Tourism. Now Tourism
has lost that half-time position and now the full-time clerical position is taken
away from Community Development. This makes no sense.
Get a grant to sort old town documents or wait until the fiscal
problems lessen. This is not the time to create a new position in the
Clerk's office.

Consider how much work gets done in Community Development
department and how much revenues come into town. And this is the one
and only department you eliminate a position? The fees we pay are
high--ask any contractor or architect-- the permits many, the
regulatory boards involved with this department multiple and yet the
Selectmen cut this position? Something's wrong here.

     Why not leave the position of Building Inspector unfunded for
one year and have the Building Commissioner handle this? I think our
priorities are wrong-headed. Just the punitive fees in 2007 for one
building project brought in around $43,000--an amount that would more
than cover the clerical position.

     Fourth, Michelle Couture announces, at the beginning of the
budget discussion, that "Our taxes are not outrageous." To Mary Jo
who says she is against raising taxes, Michelle Couture counters
adamantly that our taxes are not that high.

      Selectwoman Couture: I have a question: "How would you know?
Have you ever received even one tax bill?"

      Still Watching PTV
10:06 pm est 

People Can Only Answer Once

Webmaster...one thing on the Drug/Crime survey.

People can only answer once. The IP address is recorded.

I will filter the responces and delete any that are duplicates. I
want this to be true and accurate.

Please post this with survey if possible.

Thanks,

Concerned Citizen

Webmaster Comment: Dear Concerned Citizen we welcome your participation in utilizing the website. However, all activities required to  complete the survey are wholly your responsibility. We have no way of determining how many times an individual responds to your link. Thank you for your enthusiastic involvement. Keep up the good work!
9:57 pm est 

Provincetown Drug/Crime Problem?

Please post this survey.


http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=nr7wEPFRT2u4mR30I35v6Q_3d_3d

OR


<a
href="http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=nr7wEPFRT2u4mR30I35v6Q_3d_3d">Click Here to take
survey</a>

Thanks Webmaster!

Concerned Citizen
9:44 pm est 

Clean House!

If you speak against the town or it's officials...get blacklisted!


VOTE THEM OUT ASAP!

Time for change!
Keep the blog going!

P.S. How about a poll asking about the drug/crime problem here in town?
Oh wait, we don't have one here right?


Regards
9:33 pm est 

Regarding Union/Management Contracts and Other Town Spending

One thing I know about being a selectman.....

is that we (i use that word in the past tense) do not have the
authority to spend one nickel of the town's money without a vote of
Town Meeting, and....if ,in a given year, the amount we wished to
spend was over the levy limit, we had to go to the ballot for that
"override" amount.

This truth applies to ALL spending, whether its union contracts or otherwise.

The way it works is this: a  contract is negotiated by the town with
the union. Generally, the person who acts on behalf of the Town (in
some years it was  labor counsel, in other years it was the Town
Manager), is given direction by the BofS in executive session. The
contract is negotiated and brought back to BofS for vote in Exec
Session. Once it gets majority vote from the BofS , the amount of
money needed to fund that contract is placed onto the warrant.

So, if the funding request  passes at the Town Meeting , but not at
the ballot as happened last November, the BofS do not have the
authority to give out those dollars.

Frankly, if they did, why would we have a budget line by line at town
meeting at all?

We would have just one item, for 25M, vote yes, and let the BofS and
School spend it any way they wish.

But it does not work that way. And why 2 selectmen, including one who
has spent almost 6 years on the Board, were quoted in the Banner
saying otherwise, is beyond me.

All payroll agreements, of any kind, are subject to an authorizing
town meeting vote, and in last November's case, a ballot vote.

Otherwise, why did we have  ....a Ballot question?

Contract negotiations are very tricky. They must be conducted
according to a very strict set of rules. If they aren't, one side can
file an "UnFair Labor Practice" complaint.    But my understanding of
these types of negotiations, are that certain steps, cause the
process to be allowed to start all over at again.

And failure at the ballot box, is most certainly one.

Its disappointing that there has been so much confusion and vagueness
by the press and by town hall on this issue.

The Town Manager was quoted after the election as saying the Police
Negotiations were back to square one. The AFSCME town hall contract
was never explained to the public.

We have yet to be told why.


I hope this helps with some of the questions I hear over and over
again, about employment contracts.

Cheryl Andrews

Webmaster Comment: Thank you so much for your comments and contributions to this website. We all greatly appreciate your efforts to keep us informed.

9:28 pm est 

I am Happy People are Talking About the School.

 It should be closed and we should send our children to Nauset or the tech
school. We have to rally to get people to town meeting. Those who
want the school open at any cost show up at town meeting, for the
school budget and that alone and then leave.

They do not care about the town, only about keeping the school open. The
close minded principal and Super are only protecting themselves and the teachers
and are not interested in the education of the students.

9:10 pm est 

Respect is Earned, and It can Also be Lost

The reason that the police raises were denied at Town
Meeting, is that a majority of residents of this town are NOT happy
with the behavior of the Police Department.

In general they do their job, just like everyone else does, exept they get
double raises.

Why then are there so many people unhappy with the behavior of
our community police department? Well first off they are NOT our
community police force. They do not live in Provincetown, they only
work here, then they go home to Truro and Easham.

I know that it is expensive here, but most of our police force have lived
on the cape for years, and when prices were low in Provincetown they made
a choice not to live here. By not living here they can behave in a way that is
NOT "To Serve and To Protect"  and at the end of the day they can go
home and leave behind the animosity they have created. This is also
the reason why we have a LAW that the CHIEF of police  must live in
town.

I understand that it is a tough job, but so is every other job.
Respect is earned, and it can also be lost. There were 2 birthday
parties, and a fund-raiser that were broken up by the police where the
person having the party or the D.J. were arrested. This did not happen
in a vacuum.

These were 3 badly handled situations by the police that were witnessed by
over 100 people who live in this town. Who the police were PROTECTING, or
SERVING by arresting these people I don't know. What I do know is that the
noise levels were lower than the noise levels outside all of our nightclubs every
night that they are open.

I think that maybe part of the problem could be solved by having
some affordable housing set aside for Provincetown police, so that
they can live here. And also build dormitory housing for our summer
officers over the firehouse.

It will be a long road for the police of this town to regain the
respect that they (through their own actions) LOST. I hope they
choose to try to get it back.
4:15 pm est 

To: "Clarification"

Yes it is true. Even, with the legal issues revolving around her performance on the job.

The Selectmen are out of  touch with reality. They have approved a pay raise in the midst of a sex harassment law suit. You would have thought they would have at least waited until the suit was settled. Not that we should be giving anyone raises at this time

4:03 pm est 

Clarification

Is it true the selectman Parmikian and Couture praised the recreation
director while she was presenting her budget to the board that
included raises for her and her staff?
3:54 pm est 

Now is the Time!

I agree with enough is enough. Get her out now!
3:41 pm est 

Some Insight

If the poll being conducted on the Banners website is any indication,
85% of those that took the poll think P-town SHOULD merge with
Nauset. If that's any indication, it may pass at town meeting.
2:58 pm est 

What do You Have to Fear?

In my opinion it has to be a ballot voted on by all the
residents of Provincetown.  People must be allowed to vote without
fear of repercussions and I don't see that happening at a town
meeting.

To the Board of Selectmen and School Committee:

I fail to understand why you are not working to put this on the
ballot.  What do you have to fear?  That you might hear what
residents actually think on the subject?  Isn't that really what it's
all about - the will of the people? 

If you are sure of your position, let a ballot vote on the subject happen. 
If voters vote not to regionalize then you have the verification of the direction
you seem to be advocating.

2:54 pm est 

Here is what I know:

A resolution on town meeting floor on the high school closure issue
would  be non-binding.  But, my experience tells me that it would  be
viewed as an important  "policy"  comment from the town.

The "ban of raised septic systems" article in 1994 was non-binding.
But we got a sewer out of it. The very close "dissolve the Pier Corp" vote a few
years ago was non-binding, but led to the complete replacement of the
membership of the PPPC allowing for a new direction and fresh start.

A non-binding resolution calling for closure of the High School &
regionalization with Nauset would be the most painful Town Meeting
this Town has ever had .

I would expect someone would call for a "secret" ballot on the floor.
Thats a motion from the floor that directs the moderator to allow
everyone to vote by paper ballot.

The last time I saw this happen, what I learned was that the public vote, to
go to a secret ballot , does not pass  unless there is a majority in favor of  the article
itself.

Its painful. Be prepared. But that is certainly one possible approach
to getting the School Committee's attention on this critical issue.

Town Meeting Member
1:16 pm est 

BALLOT QUESTION

It's simple enough to get a ballot question before the voters. You go
to the town clerk and get a form and collect the requisite amount of
signatures. I could be wrong, but I don't think it would be Binding.
For it to be binding it would need to be a petitioned article at Town
meeting. They are very easy to get on the annual warrant. You go to
the Town Clerk, get the form, compose your article, and collect TEN
signatures for REGISTERED voters and your article is on the warrant.
Getting it PASSED at Town Meeting is another story. Opponents to the
article would mobilize their forces and try to pack the house with
people who will vote NO.

If someone is serious about getting an article passed regarding
regionalization, they will have to do some work and mobilize their
forces and try to pack Town meeting with people they know will vote
yes. Trust me, it won't be easy. The people who have the attitude"we
must hold onto the High School at ANY cost" are VERY organized and
will be relentless in their efforts to make sure that the article is
defeated. Then their is the problem of Town Meeting being a place
where everyone in the room can see how you vote. People who may be
for regionalization may be reluctant to vote for it in front of their
neighbors

All that being said, a non-binding ballot question is not without its
merits. It would give the Board of Selectman, the Finance Committe,
and the School Committee a sense of where the citizens of
Provincetown want to go and would be easier to pass because of the
privacy of the voting booth.Remember, the Prop 2 1/2 overrides PASSED
at Town meeting and were defeated at the Ballot box.

SpeaksTheTruth

12:31 pm est 

How About a Ballot Question? :

I am concerned about the lack of fiscal responsibility from
our elected leaders and our school officials. In times of severe
revenue shortages with the brunt of the funding be put on local
taxpayers we need to know when enough is enough.

If Provincetown can save money and give the students a better
education by moving to Nauset then that seems the right thing to do.

We could use Provincetown High School as a dormitory for all of the
people who need cheap summer housing to work in Provincetown.

How about a ballot question: Should Provincetown School System
regionalize to save millions of dollars and to provide the students
with a better education?

My vote is a resounding: YES

PJDP
10:56 am est 

Sounds Good!

It sounds like a good idea to me! Think about it, money is tight,
some people are actually out of work and haven't seen a raise this
past year and yet the town continues to ask for more money for people
that are getting raises for simply staying on the job, excelling at
their job or not. Just stay on the job and you will get a raise. Man,
I'd like that line of work!
10:52 am est 

Taking Out a Pencil

     What if....all the raises for non-union employees and
administrators proposed in this year's budget were rejected. How much
would the town be able to save? Shouldn't the Selectmen look into
this? Shouldn't the Finance Committee be thinking about such a saving?

     What if...all town employee union members received the same
salary in FY 2009 as they did in FY2008?  How much would the town
save?

      What if the police only received one set of raises---or no
raises--in FY2009. How much would that save?

      I'd like to see the cost saving just on these three categories.
And why not? We are not saying cut positions or get less than you
made last year. We would be saying literally level funding for
everyone.

       Can someone provide the cost savings for such a proposal?
Inquiring minds would like to know!

      Red Pencil
12:19 am est 

Couture Must Go

      This woman is problematic. She is arrogant and no great
intellect. Has she ever seen a raise or a money-spending project or
an affordable housing that she did not wholeheartedly support? This
is la la la land.

     Her unrealistic assessments of this town's budget
and its future is enough to begin a recall. Why wait until May? Let's
take out papers now. PLEASE!

      Enough is enough.
12:16 am est 

We Voted Against the Police Raises

      The defeat of one of the Overrides was a defeat of the raises
for the police. The vote negated the contract. The police had to
begin all over again. WE are not bound by that contract. It was null
and void with our vote.

    So the police should not try to make up for what we voted
against. Put in for raises for this year and don't try to add on a
double raise. We should only agree to this year's raises and not last
year's raises and this year's raises. Listen to the voters.

     As to the town employees, since we voted against another
override, we have never received offical word as to whether the
defeat of the other Override negated the contractual agreement. I
assume it might have but no one has come forward with the answer.

      Enough of raises in this fiscally tough time. It is our vote
that counts and not the agreements created with town manager and even
the selectmen. Our defeat of the overrides defeated the contractual
agreement. That's where we start from.

      Hilda
12:13 am est 

Rebuttal to "I Don't Think So"

If you would like to read the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
information on schooling, here it is

http://www.gatesfoundation.org/nr/downloads/ed/edwhitepaper.pdf

the idea of their smaller schools is creating schools that have
around 400 students. 

You can read the information if you want, but what they are referring to
is inner-city, high density population areas.  that is not what is happening here. 
We do not have a small school.  What we have is very expensive tutoring. 

After reading the information from their foundation, I am confident that the Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation would support our regionalizing with another
school to better prepare our youth for college and their future
endeavors.

I do suggest everyone read the information from the foundation. 
interesting reading.

cliff
11:18 pm est 

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I DON'T THINK SO!

The Bill Gates Foundation has awarded millions of dollars
to downsize schools.There are a few in Provincetown who want to buck
the trend of smaller schools and send the kids 20 or 25 miles
away.They say the kids will get a better education.I DON'T THINK SO.

Fact:

At Nauset if a child is not doing well, they refuse to test them.
They will wait till the next year or hope the student will drop out.
Let's talk about "no child left behind" law.Some students at Nauset
are so far behind that the administrators can't see them. Out of
sight ,out of mind.

In Provincetown a student can't hide.

Eastham, Orleans, Wellfleet, and Brewster parents should wake up.Come
on up,were your child can be somebody, not another face in the crowd.

Marlow P. Gnazzy
Class of 1966   PHS
10:30 pm est 

Here Are Some Numbers for Comparison

For Truro to send kids to P-town high, it costs the town $20,000 per
kid and to send kids to Nauset middle school, it costs Truro $17,000
per student and under $12,000 per stuident to Nauset High School.

The bus costs to the town are just about the same too. So why does Nelson
continue to think the school is going to survive? Fiscally, she is
out of her mind. She's letting feelings get in the way and thats
wrong.
10:26 pm est 

Union Contracts

That's the problem with these union contracts, police and otherwise.
The TM "negotiates" the contracts with the unions and THEN they go to
town meeting for approval.

The commitment was already made and if it fails at ATM then the contracts
must be honored and cuts need to be made elsewhere. For me, that's a lousy
way to do business.

Town services will be cut because the voters didn't give the approval to
the cops contract, a contract that the TM "negotiated" with the HOPE
it would pass.

I say "negotiate" each time because they really don't
negotiate. The TM just asks what they want and then give it to them.
The TM might cut out the crazy requests but then the unions use those
cuts to strengthen the main issue, salaries. "If you cut those
things, you GOTTA give us this!" Poor way to do it I think.
10:19 pm est 

The Force is With Us!

Regarding police salary

We are not obligated to honor any contracts signed by the police
union and our town manager.  first we have to raise and appropriate
the funds needed.  if we fail to do that, then the cotract is null
and void, which is what happened in the fall.

I'm not saying the raises are right or wrong, but the funds for a
contract stilll have to be approved by the voters.

And if you want to force the hand of the school committee, make a
motion on the floor of town meeting to reduce their budget to the
amount it would cost to regionalize and then see what the school
committee does.  they may think they have all the power to say what
the education of our children is, but we STILL have to approve thier
budget or their hands are tied.  believe me, their biggest fear is
having their budget rejected.

cliff
10:04 pm est 

For Selectman!

"Tax Payer for Choice" for Selectman!
9:04 pm est 

We Have to Honor That Commitment no Matter What!

Regarding police salaries. It is my understanding that the
police salary level is set in a now-signed multi-year contract with
the union. Also, part of the salary bump is makeup for the past. So,
we have to honor that commitment no matter what and savings have to
come from somewhere else.

Taxpayer for Choice
6:03 pm est 

Put it on the Ballot and Let the Voters Decide

I'm curious as to how long our Selectmen and our School Committee
will ignore the people of Provincetown in regardings to upgrading our
children's education and saving money for the town by sending our
students to Nauset.

At the very least, I agree with a previous writer.  Put it on the
ballot and let the voters decide.  If the School Committee and the School
Superintendent are so sure of themselves they should have nothing to
fear by letting the voters speak out on the subject.

Does anyone know the procedure to get a question on the ballot? 
Perhaps the citizens of Provincetown need to take steps to see that
this question is on the ballot, it doesn't appear that our Selectmen
or School Cte want to see this question on the ballot.

I don't know what Mr. Craig's online survey results will show, but
the Banner vote states 85% of those voting are in favor of
regionalization.  Will that be ignored as well?  The only way to get
a completely unbiased true vote on the issue is to put it on the
ballot.
5:57 pm est 

Straw Poll Update/Help Needed


So far thre have been 28 responses on the straw poll regarding
schools. This is nowhere near enough to draw any conclusions from the
data. Please help widen the input. Here's what you can do to help
using this link:

Straw Poll on Provincetown Schools:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=k1UsPA_2fnsqfuEWflI57ozQ_3d_3d

1) If you haven't taken the straw poll please do so now, it takes
about 5 minutes. Click on the link above to access it.
2) Copy the link to your email and circulate to your friends and
contacts and ask them to take the poll.
2) If you are a student and on Facebook it would be great if you
could post the above link in the Provincetown High School Network on
Facebook so students can express their opinions.

My gut feel is that 100 responses are needed for the straw poll to be
meaningful so please, help gather that data today. I won't release
data unless there is a reasonable sample size and distribtuion
amongst types of folks responding. Right now the respondents are
heavily skewed towards people with no kids, come on parents get your
input in! As noted before the comments submitted to date are very
thoughtful, thank you to those who have responded so far.

As a reminder, this is an experiment and not meant to be a deep,
scientific effort. However it is designed to get more depth on
people's opinions than a meaningless, one question, yes or no
newspaper poll.

Thanks for your help,

Greg Craig
12:29 pm est 

2 ON THE TOP OF MY LIST!



FOR RECALL:

Ms.Couture for the attitude"It's Michele's way or the Highway.

Ms Terese Nelson for refusing to exploring the Concept of
regionalization thereby disregarding her fiduciary responsibility to
the citizens of Provincetown and possibly disregarding an increase in
the educational opportunities for the children of Provincetown.

SpeaksTheTruth
12:26 pm est 

Why are We Saying No?

We have an opportunity to join with a better school than
ours and why are we saying no?

The children of this town will get a better education.

The children  will learn that there is a larger world out there, and
they will not be as introverted, interacting with more than the 100
kids they have known their entire lives.

The children will be able to play more sports, and have more options
at after-school activities.

The town of Provincetown will save $4,000,000.00 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is something wrong when there is not even a discussion allowed
to take place. I believe the correct way to handle this would be to
have a public meeting to be followed by a ballot vote to determine the
will of the people.
11:40 am est 

Re: Sexual Harassment Case

Thanks Cliff-When I read my own Employment Practice Liability policy
I see defense costs are included in the coverage. Of course this may
not be available to municipalities. Something for the Town Manager to
check into though.

-Curious
8:47 am est 

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Runaway Train

      I want to apologize to Michael Rogovsky who wrote a poignant
and timely and right-on letter to the editor in the Banner two weeks
ago. Forgive me for not responding before this but I do want to say
that you're perceptions are so important. You have grasped the
problems of the town in just a few paragraphs. You have also
identified the once support for affordable housing that has now
become, as you say, "a runaway train." Yes, I agree, it is time to
"call a halt to this massive over-building and the jeopardizing of our
resources."

     You have nailed so many of our problems and have put words to
the problems. As you write: " Now there is wholesale over-building
going on in Provincetown in the name of affordable housing and the
result for we residents is not a town but a rabbit warren of
buildings jammed together in continued congestion." We are ruining
the town under the guise of helping our town people. But are we?

     Again, as you so well put it: "Now Provincetown is a developer's
dream: build, build and then build some more--all in the name of
affordable-community housing."

      And it is no accident that we have one Selectwoman whose middle
name is affordable housing. Yes, Michelle Affordable-Housing Couture.
And why? Because it gives her power and she does not have to pay for
the cost.   She has used affordable housing to boost her sad
power-base in town and act as if she is the "savior" of the down and
out.

       And it is not accident that key people for the town's largest
developer Ted Malone hold key positions on boards in town and also on
the Board of Selectmen. It is not that Pam Parmagian is not a decent
person. It is that her work and source of her income and position are
rooted in the largest money-making developer in town. How to resolve
that conflict? Not easily, my friends. Not easily at
all. And look at housing boards and what do you see? Again, people
working for Ted Malone hold key positions.

       But, Michael, thank you for your fine letter and for pointing
out how large our problems are when it comes to affordable housing. I
agree with you when you add: "I call a halt to this overbuilding of
Provincetown. I call a halt to development within danger points of a
water shortage when we are hit with drought; I call a halt to this
drain on our resources which we even now conserve by not using garden
sprinklers....; I call a halt to the mindset that has made developers
kings and we their minions---all in the name of community housing."

     Thank you for your perceptions, insights and courage to write
this and name the devil in our midst. Under the guise of "goodness"
we are perpetuating destruction to our environment, "rabbit warrens"
where there should be more open space, and money in the pockets and
bank accounts of developers.

       Again, thank you for your words and for seeing what too many
have blinded themselves against. The TRUTH--  a "mindset that has
made developers kings and we their minions." It's time we took
control of our own town's destiny and time we grew in stature and
decided to truly stand tall and stand against the forces destroying
our town.

      With Gratitude
10:45 pm est 

re:Sexual Harassment Case

The town does have an insurance policy in place to cover the cost of
a settlement (if there is a cap on this, i;m unaware of it), but the
town is still liable for the legal cost in defending itself.

Please remember that the defendant hasn't won this case yet and she
may not.  Either way i think the recreation director should have her
employment terminated at the end of this case. 

If we lose, she needs to be fired immediatley.  if we win, she still needs to be fired for
the exposure she has cost the town.

If she is actually qualified to do the job of recreation director,
any education she may have had would have included ethics and their
consequences.  special training from the town isn't really necessary,
it should have been included in her education.  As an adult, she
should have just known better.

cliff
10:26 pm est 

Hello all,

I would like to thank those of you who have asked me to run again
this year for selectman. It was such an honor to have received the
votes I did. I THANK YOU ALL! As for running again this year, never
say never. It is on my mind and to hear so many of your voices asking
for change it really is amazing.

There are many issues that this town will be facing for the next few
years. I believe in our town manager and I believe Sharon Lynn wants
to do the best job for this town she can possible do. I ask you all
to give her a chance to show you, she means business. The selectmen
have a very hard job. I only hope they find away to work together to
solve the problems this town faces. They all know you're watching
them, so keep up the pressure.

I have not ruled out a run for selectman again this year. It would be
an honor to serve you. I love this town and am happy to do all I can .

Thank you,

Cathy Reno Brouillet
8:52 pm est 

Cornerning the Sexual Harassment Case

Doesn't the town have Employers Liability Insurance in place? If not they should.
Perhaps someome from Town Hall can answer this question.

Curious
2:42 pm est 


If this very heavily taxed town is to become a "pay per
through town", let us take it to the total "pay per through"

If you send kids to school, pay for each kid
If you want police service, pay for it
If you want Firemen, Pay for it
If you want trash pick up, pay for it
If you want buricrats, pay for them,
and if you really like them, give them a raise
If you want passible roads, pay for them.

If we do this however, we should eliminate the propery tax, and use 
OUR MONEY to fund the services we want.

Of course, this will never happen, too many people would be layed off,
and they all have reletives who vote.

We pay a lot of taxes.

We want our trash picked up!!!!!!!!!
2:39 pm est 

Against Pay Raises At This Time!

     I know of no well-run organization that, facing tough problems
and declining revenues, gives all its employees and administrators
pay raises. This is the first thing you stop doing. And yet this is
exactly what the Selectmen are doing in the FY2009 budget. This is
NOT the time for PAY RAISES.

      This is not a question of appreciating what people do. In this
budget, people are fortunate to still have their positions. Don't
give pay raises when you don't have the money. This is sound fiscal
decision-making. Shouldn't we follow this and expect this from the
selectmen?

      Michelle Couture wants everybody to get raises, everybody to
get more and more money. And where will this extra come from?
Overrides and more overrrides. We already know that she will not be
paying even one red cent for these overrides--if they are ever
passed.

Couture is no taxpayer and, as mentioned in some blogger's
note, Couture's sweet renter's deal, leaves this selectwoman
protected from any tax increases that the rest of us have to suffer.

     I also think that the police budget is proposing to add two pay
raises in the FY2009 budget. Since the Override for their pay raises
was DEFEATED, they  should not come back and DOUBLE their raises.

     Also, didn't we also DEFEAT the pay raises for town employees
and their many contracts? I think the defeat negates the raises for
town employees or requires new negotiations with the unions. It is
not a given that the pay raises are theirs for the taking.

     Something "funny" or odd is happening here. CUT, CUT, CUT. This
is not easy times. This is not good times. This is recession-driven
times. So act accordingly Selectmen. This is 2008--the golden days of
the Millenium. We spent the Peace Dividend--remember that--and we
have spent more and more of our future's good days.

      If you don't do the dramatic cuts this year, you will find the
town in even more serious financial situation for FY2010.

     And, let me whisper in your ears, "The Overrides will NOT pass.
We are bone-tired of the levies, high fees, and high taxes. We will
say "No" again."

     The Raven

12:01 pm est 

Love to See some Fresh Faces!

We can make a change, but we do need to step up to the
plate.  There are two selectmen positions and one school committee
position up in the May elections.

I myself would love to see some fresh faces running for those
positions.  People with new ideas, people willing to think outside
the box and look at innovative ideas.  People without preconceived
agendas.

I don't doubt it is a lot of work to be in these elected positions. 
I also realize that anyone with new ideas and without a preconceived
agenda will face many roadblocks from those who are unwilling to
accept change, at least for a year until we can get more fresh faces
into these positions in the next election.  But, we have to step up
to the plate to make change happen and we have to do it now.

If you feel you are qualified to be a Selectmen or to be on the
School Committee, file papers to run.  Or if you can't make the time
committment required to be in these positions, encourage someone you
know who is qualified to run for office.

I think it was Thomas Jefferson who said, "Most people get the
government they deserve".  If we don't step to the plate and run for
office how can we ever get the government we deserve?

I believe strongly in a quality and cost effective education.  I'm
looking at the possibility of running for the School Committee and
would go into the position with no preconceived notions, all options
are on the table.  I strongly encourage others to consider being part
of the change.  Run for office!

Together let's make it happen.
11:54 am est 

Thoughts on Recent School Postings


re: Rough anaysis.

the savings would be far greater.  the cost per student for the
elementary school is dramatically less than high school students. 
your analysis suggests that the cost per 1st grader would remain at
$24,000.  the savings for the school department would probably be
closer to 1.5 million.

re: Transportation.

we're already transporting kids to nauset.  we need to know how much
it is costing us now to trasport the current children going to
nauset.  seems to me that it's actually cheaper to send a busfull of
kids than sending just a handful.  it's the same bus...just full.

re: 5 year plan

the school committee had a 5 year plan 5 years ago.  enough already. 
they're new 'acadamy model' has done nothing to attract students. 
the fact of the matter is, we live at the end of a pennisula.  we can
only attract students from one direction and in that direction is a
better school.  why would any parent choose to put their kid on a bus
for 30 minutes for a feeble school?

re: Cape Cod Tech

dr. andrews made a suggestion a number of days ago here that there is
a 200 child waiting list for the cape cod tech.  why is this not
being considered?   here is a void that needs filling and we have an
empty campus.  the reason it's not being discussed is the total
arrogance on the school committee to keep the school status quo.  the
idea of a technical school here in provincetown has been brought up
many times in the past and it goes nowhere.

Terese Nelson and her cronies, though they may feel well-intentioned,
are causing a great deal of educational damage to our children.  and
then we always here how a community will suffer if a school system is
closed.  guess what, we're suffering now.

TIMES UP...fix the school or close it.

cliff
11:48 am est 

TRASH TALK 101

Websters definitions of  trash include:

anything worthless, useless, Foolish or  pointless ideas or talk, to
criticize, dismiss, or condemn as worthless

Recent events have certainly brought trash to the forefront and Id
like to express some opinions on how these are all related..

BUDGET CUTTING  The first thing to go when cutting a budget is that
which is useless- so far the selectmen and town manager have shown
little resolve to actually identify what is useless and remove it 
ie- throw out the trash! Instead, we are hearing a lot of  trash
being discussed for removing a line item that actually is very useful
(curbside refuse pickup). Why is it that the first thing to go is
always something the taxpayers need and expect from their tax
dollars?  Id like to know what is being done to renegotiate any fees,
contracts, interest charges and other items in the budget to reflect
the necessity of the times. When Joe average trys to make ends meet
he doesnt start by eliminating useful things from his budget- he
starts by looking at items that can be streamlined- for example-
consolidate items that overlap, reduce staff that are redundant,
refinance to a lower rate anything that can yield savings, make
smarter purchasing decisions and put off anything that can!
   wait. I would like to hear this kind of talk coming from town hall.

TRASH COLLECTION  As for the idea of going to fee for service on
trash I can only think  caveat emptor  given that we have already
heard much about the perception that the town is not tidy enough in
the tourist season can you imagine what will happen when trash is not
picked up on a regular basis because it isnt tagged properly- what a
stink in JULY! Which brings up another point- perhaps someone else
knows the answer- does the DPW reduce its staff in the dead of winter
when there is very little trash to pick up??

Fee for service sets a dangerous precedent- There are many areas of
the budget that could start to be scrutinized for such a scheme and
some of them are very near and dear to the old guard of Ptown- but as
less and less property owners actually utilize certain things (like
one of the most expensive school systems in the state) the old ways
will have to be reconsidered.

Part of what we consider trash is newspapers- which brings us to..
Dare I say it?.. the BANNER- I am getting tired of picking up the
Banner and reading pages of articles which are nothing more than the
newsletter from Town Hall- how about some decent fact checking for a
change and perhaps then  presenting a balanced view of the issue-
Here are some recent items that relate to the definition of trash

- In an article discussing trash pickup the fact was presented that
we are the only town on the cape not charging per bag for curbside
pick up.  This is COMPLETELY FALSE and an hour on the phone or the
web with various towns on the cape would have revealed this.

- A recent story discussing this very blog  demonstrated the
dismissive attitude of town leadership towards these opinions simply
because they are made in anonymity- I refer to the last part of the
definition of trash above- doesnt that amount to trash talk??

- A follow up item features almost a half page of a response from the
finance committee to negative comments made on this site heres a few
thoughts on why THAT didnt belong in the paper as it was presented:

1.The Banner should have published the opposing viewpoint right next
to the letter from the finance committee- let the readers see both
sides of the issue- something called balanced reporting of news and
not hearsay


2.The finance committee really had no place making such a response-
Yes it is incredibly difficult to get people to volunteer their time
to serve the town and yes we ALL owe a HUGE debt of gratitude to
those that do it and yes some of the negative barbs seen on this web
site are a complete disgrace-BUT that doesnt dilute the fact that
when you do make the decision to serve on a committee you are putting
your self out there and you need to rise above the slings and try to
distill any value in them- to dismiss them and to reply to them at
face value  is just trash

-Many recent articles discuss the wonderful things we will be doing
to repair town hall, build affordable housing, build new roads,
restore firehouses, etc, - the cost of these improvements and methods
presented in the banner are just that- presented- doesnt anyone
question the ridiculous price tags before putting the story out
there- apparently its up to the letters to the editor to present a
balanced view  and since not all of these are published well  once
again- thats just trash



So can we just stop focusing on the trash and try to come up with
solutions that are realistic and acceptable to the town?
11:42 am est 

She Disgusts Herself!

Is it as Waugh is quoted , "I don't want any child, no
matter what the grade, to be a money issue. I find that
professionally and personally digusting."
or is it

as Waugh is quoted, "We are going to demonstrate how regionalization
is extremely, extremely costly to the town. It will cost you more to
leave the town" she said.

She disgusts herself.

Slippery fish (with only one side to my mouth)
11:33 am est 

Last Entry Continued

The next remarkable suggestion comes from the town manager who wants
to mix the impressionable younger children with the high school. As I
have stated before, you cannot mix big fish with with little fish. 

Also how much will it cost to adapt an environment created for high
school students to children who are physically smaller.
Combining cafeterias with is too laughable to even comment upon. Is
the best Selectman Parmakain can come up with?

These are the people we voted into office. I AM SO ASHAMED!

Slippery fish (waiting under the thin ice on which they walk)
10:22 am est 

Some "Sweet Spot"?

From everything that I have read in the Banner, it seems
like the selectmen, the school super Waugh, the worn out too little
too late school committee chair Nelson are going to attempt to come
out with figures  to support the non-regionalization of the P-Town
Schools. 

Nelsons "recently" formed committee to examine what can be
done to attract students to P-Town in a 5 year plan shows how feebly
the school committee works.

All P-Town is assured of is 5 years of a 3.5 million dollar, 17.5 million dollar
minimum wait, while those in charge try to figure out how to attract others to
attend the funeral of a dead horse. 

The demographics were there for a long time that enrollment would decline in
the schools. Yet these people sat and did NOTHING.  Some "sweet spot" as Nelson
so ignorantly called it.

Why now can Nelson trim the 133,000 initally requested to 75,000 with
assurances that more could be trimmed?  One the straw that broke the
camel's back has landed; the damage has been done.  I bet if she had
it to do all over again, she would have trimmed a little off the 3.5
million to avoid what she caused.
10:16 am est 

Jessica Waugh "Thanks, but no Thanks"

I always thought that part of teaching and learning was about
talking, discussion, agreement/disagreement, dialogue, analysis, etc.

What are we teaching our students about how to communicate?

By flat out dismissing any discussion, Jessica Waugh and Terese
Nelson have guaranteed one thing for the students.  By refusing to
look at the financial impacts of the school budget and the runaway
municipal expenses of the rest of the town, it's an almost certain
guarantee that the student's they are looking out for will NEVER be
able to afford to live in this town upon graduation.

How many of our students have chosen, are choosing or are able to
stay in Provincetown or return after college?

Our students and younger generation do not deserve to inherit the
financial debt the school and the runaway costs the rest of the
municipality are racking up on the Town Credit Card.
10:03 am est 

Dont go Crazy With Affordable Housing If we Regionalize!

That $984,000 is quite a large amount, especially for an
education that is equal or superior to what they are receiving now.

If we regionalized I'd like to see some of that cost savings put in to the
elementary schools if it could be spent wisely.  I'd like to see that they receive
absolutely the best education possible.  Not that I trust the School Committee to make
that decision. . .

The writer of the analysis didn't mention that if the high school were
sold, that property would also be added to the town's tax base.  Or
some of the property could be re-developed to give lower cost housing
for summer police officers/summer workers meeting an apparent need in
town.  But, don't go crazy with the affordable housing like we have in
the past.

Education Supporter

9:16 am est 

Here's a VERY Rough Financial Analysis of the Impact of Regionalization

I don't have all the facts so I can only estimate.  Assume there are
14 students in every grade, the Banner article said there are 14 in
this year's senior class and 198 in the entire system.  Grades 7-12
are estimated to have 84 students. 

Ptown's cost per student is $23,388 and Nauset is $12,100 for a difference of $11,288.  84
students times the difference of $11,288 gives a cost savings of $948,192.

The School Committee/School Superintendent reasons against it
included that we would have to pay to transport our students to
Eastham and we might have to pay back a $3.3 million state grant
recived to renovate the high school.

-I'm pretty sure it's not going to cost $948,192 a year to transport
84 students to Nauset.

-If we have to pay back the $3.3 million state grant, my guess it the
high school building/land is worth at least that much.
8:28 am est 

School Straw Poll Notes:

- to the person who pointed out that question #4 had a glitch thank
you, it's fixed. you can go back into your survey and make changes (I
think) if that problem impeded your answer

- someone emailed me and suggested I submit results when done to BOS
and School Committee, will do

- again, pass on the link for the survey so as many people as
possible take it and a wide variety of opinions can be gathered. you
can cut and paste the link to an email and send along

thanks,

Greg Craig

12:36 am est 

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Worried Too Like Worried Enough

      Thank you, though sadly, for the details about the Isiah Thomas
Sexual Harassment Case. The amount of monies awarded to the claimant
Sanders is just amazing. We are talking about a quilty verdict with
an astounding financial consequence. $11.6 million against Thomas.
then $6 million against Madison Garden because they are the
organization Thomas worked for. And then $3 million against the
Chairman because he dsicounted the allegations of a hostile work
environment.

      OVer $20 million because they fired her when she complained
about the Sexual Harassment and swearing and name calling and
propositions.

      This is a scary case and it is a recent ruling as you say. Just
plain makes me shutter. What if....this happens here?  What if...the
town might have to pay for a steep verdict? What if...other
administrators are penalized for adding to a hostile environment?

      This is nothing to sneeze at. All this because Thomas made
unwanted advances and verbally insulting this woman.

      If the state's case against the town and against the recreation
administrator is more serious than Thomas' case, then I can see a 2
1/2 Override. Now how will that be worded?

      Dune Shack
9:15 pm est 

BOS Meeting Agendas

the BOS is holding some of thier budget meetings this week and next. 
the meeting agendas have been rescheduled a number of times and
apparently at whim.  if you go to the town's website to see the
agenda all you get is 'budget hearings'.  who's budget, when and what
order are they to appear?  why is this information not posted
anywhere?

and then we have to hear the BOS bitch at us for not participating in
the process prior to the town meeting.  at least at the town meeting
there is a scheduled, published agenda.

getting very tired of being talked down to...

cliff

9:10 pm est 

An Online Survey "Straw Poll."

In order to get a little more depth to the community's
feelings on schools I put together an online survey "straw poll." Not
sure if this will work well but thought it worth the try. Please
click on the link below and pass it along to friends, fellow
stakeholders and community members. Please fill this out only once
and your response is completely anonymous (for techies, incoming IP
address IS NOT recorded).

Provincetown Schools Straw Poll:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=k1UsPA_2fnsqfuEWflI57ozQ_3d_3d

Will close out the survey in a week or two when responses stop coming
in and report back on results. If there are any survey experts out
there who want to help with analysis please contact me.

Greg Craig
greg@gregcraig.us
6:46 pm est 

Information/knowledge is Power!

What a great venue for bringing areas of local government
into the light of day, whether it be questionable spending,
accountability, and most importantly the chance to avoid further
fiscal blunder.  (what a concept!)

I only hope these blogs, as well as the warrant is read by many of
my fellow town-folk before the start of town meeting.  Nothing is
more frustrating when one addresses the Moderator with irrelevant
misinformation regarding the article at hand. 

Isnt there a site on the towns web page that explains in laypersons
terms the exact meaning of the articles in the warrant?  This could be a
wonderful tool to read BEFORE entering town hall on that Monday night. 

Information/knowledge is power.  With that, we as citizens can stand
up to the BoS- FinnComm and challenge the spending without
intimidation, to show conviction.

Thank you to everyone who has shown the passion to voice your
concerns/solutions here on this site.  Together we can reclaim a
better future for our town, by reading the valid ideas and situations
that face us will help make informed choices, both fiscally and
socially. 

What a shake-up at town hallimagine... its townspeople
arriving with a good foundation of knowledge as to what is really
going on, and we act in an appropriate manner, demanding
accountability on spending and departmental leadership. 

Lets demonstrate ourselves as no longer accepting the status-quo, and we
are ready for change.

Jack McMahon
6:36 pm est 

Somebody Want to Run?

Also in Banner a note that there is a seat open on the school
committee in next election. Somebody with a non-closed mind want to
run? Platform "While local schools have and continue to serve us well
the taxpayers deserve a detailed and comprehensive examination of all
the options for providing a quality education to Provincetown's
children."

Given Harvard and Yale's new tuition policies of charging 10% of
annual income for tuition for families with less than $200k in
income, at $23,000 per student a Provincetown education is now more
expensive than Harvard or Yale.

Maybe one of the students should run! Would they get extra credit?

Taxpayer (and non-resident) for Choice
5:54 pm est 

Does She Think Shes the "Senior" Selectman

Is it just me or has Michele Coture been much more
outspoken since the last election. She's the only one from the old
board with Peake gone, Andrews gone by term limits, Olsen gone (for
reasons unmentionable here to keep civil) and Nicholau for personal
reasons. Does she think shes the "senior" selectman or something? And
nothing she comments on goes anywhere.
5:45 pm est 

Send the School Committee a Message!

The question of the week on the Banner's website is whether or not we
should regionalize our school system with the Nauset School System.
Click this link and vote:

http://www.provincetownbanner.com/articles/
5:34 pm est 

Banner Article Regarding the Provincetown Schools:

Quote from School Committee Chair Ms. Nelson:
My key phrase for where we are right now is we are in a sweet spot. 
Any conversation about regionalization is not part of our strategic
plan. (end quote)

Our per student costs are nearly double that of Nauset ($23,388 vs
$12,100). That's a sweet spot to be in?  Are you really serious?  All
options should be on the table.

Quote from School Superintendent Jessica Waugh:
I don't want any child, no matter what grade, to be a money issue.  I
find that professionally and personally disgusting. (end quote)

OK, I realize you are doing everything you can to save your job, but
seriously.  The people of Provincetown care very much about our
students.  While money is always a factor in decisions do you really
believe so many of us would be suggesting we send our students to
Nauset if it wasn't the excellent school system it is?  I find your
comment insulting to the residents of Provincetown.

The facts are that the School Committee is operating with a closed
mind and has already made their decision - they won't even consider
regionalization with Nauset, even if our students might get a better
education, might have more extracurricular activities to be involved
in.  And lastly even if it might save the town of Provincetown money.

I'd like to see an independent analysis of the financial impact of
sending our middle and high school students to Nauset.  Independent,
not by the school system, not by the school committee.  Their minds
are already made up and I would expect any analysis coming from them
will clearly be tainted by their bias.

4:27 pm est 

RE: You own the Road

While Keith should share in that
mess, he worked for the selectman. He didn't make that decision on
his own. The selectman are responsible for over spending. Let's
remove  M & M (Mary Jo and Michelle) from representing us because
clearly they do not.
2:26 pm est 

One Just has to Read The Banner to be "In the Know"

 The following was printed in the article by Pru Sowers , "At that time, Roles asked
Lynn to remove the 14-point letter of termination from Roles file.
Lynn, who had took over as town manager only a few weeks earlier, did
not grant the request."
2:22 pm est 

With Keith it was Always Smoke and Mirrors

Excerpted from:
"Payback time"

http://www.provincetownbanner.com/article/news_article/_/53588/News/1/24/2008

"PROVINCETOWN  The sewer operating fund has been overcharged $158,268
because connection fees for municipal buildings that the town general
fund should have paid were charged instead to the sewer fund....

Couture agreed that it looked like a substantial amount of money may
have been overpaid by individual sewer users. She remembered that the
original policy decision on betterment fees was that everybody pays.

With Keith it was always smoke and mirrors. Keith always made
everything sound reasonable, like any magician does. Clearly we
should have questioned things much closer, she said.

DPW director David Guertin was on vacation this week and unavailable
for comment. However, Dana Faris, the DPW project manager who works
with Guertin on annual public works budgets, said even though the DPW
was in charge of the sewer construction project, Bergman handled the
balance sheet for the wastewater enterprise fund.

Weve only come to understand the financial side of wastewater this
year. Before that there was a veil over it and that was Keith. There
were bogus numbers that could not be defended from sound accounting
principles, Faris said. It could be argued it was a way of balancing
the books and keeping us out of an override.

Bergman, who has moved on to become the town manager of Littleton,
could not be reached for comment."

Hmmm....suggest reading the whole article before forming an opinion.

My opinion: while Bergman was off cavorting with Al Gore and getting
all excited about 100 year off rise in sea level the poop level in
his town accounting was overflowing. Also, even more evidence in
favor of wastewater fund's (aka sewer system's) positive economics if
this gets corrected by general fund paying back what is owed.

Poop Facts (and a sewer customer)
2:18 pm est 

Watch the Taxes go up on That Deal

Although I don't know the exact figures on what the state
pays now for smow removal and grass cutting to the private
contractors but it has to be cheaper than the state doing it.

The contractors are paid only when needed. Now, town employees will have
to be hired and more equipment bought, maintained and insured to do
the extra work and the new help will be employed full time.

That means health insurance, overtime, etc. Although the contractors might
get paid a decent wage, they are only there part time, only when
needed. Watch the taxes go up on that deal.

again.....thanks Keith!
2:11 pm est 

THANKS FROM THE COLONEL ON THE ROUTE SIX FACTS

WE NEED TO ADD THE COST OF THE PROVINCETOWN INN ROTARY AND MAINTANCE OF THE
BRICK BRAC THAT PROTECTS EROSION OF THE ROAD.  THE STATE IN LAST
THREE YEARS HAS SPENT VAST AMOUNTS OF MONEY ON THIS AREA.

IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH THE STATE PAID OUT
FOR PLOWING BY PRIVATE CONTRACORS ON THIS AREA.  ALSO THIS TRNSFER
INCLUDES OUT TO THE TRANSFER STATION AND DOWN CONWELL ST TO ACE
HARDWARE STOVE.  BIG QUESTION WHAT WILL IT COST US??????? 

             THE COLONEL
11:14 am est 

Up in Arms About This Terrible Idea!

I want to add my two cents to the comments made about
garbage pick-up and what an awful idea that is.

When raccoons and skunks or any other critters tear open these bags, are the garbage
collectors going to pick uo the mess. Since we paid to have garbage
picked up, I assume they will. Every body in Provincetown should be
up in arms about this terrible idea.

                            Mad as Hell
11:10 am est 

Water & Sewer Board Meeting at 3:15 Today!

Notice to the Citizens, betterment & sewer users,
Have you seen the Banner? Please attend the Water & Sewer Board
meeting at 3:15 today 1/24/08 at the Grace Gouveia building. We need
to Shout Out!

A concerned citizen
11:05 am est 

So You've Decided to Find Ms. Truella Guilty?

Doesn't she at least desrve the presumption of innocence first?

What "paper" would you have "pulled" from her personnel file? Sounds like you are
a bit too "in the know"!

10:51 am est 

You Own the Road!

To the colonel,

you are correct in that you will be owning the road. You have to
maintain the pavement, plow it, clear the trees, paint the lines,
clean the catch basins, and still maintain the access for the park!
All this because P-town wanted to use the median and side property
along the pavement for wastewater leaching. Oh ya, and the lights,
the curbing at the intersections, grass mowing, ...... Thanks Keith!!!
10:47 am est 

To Unknown,

When I asked for input from students, I truly meant it. To date,
there has been only one brave voice. I have no union with the school
department and I also support looking at other options. Basic math-
$3.5 millon divided by 200+ students = a great education any where
but here. I still would like more input from the students how they
feel.

The history teacher
10:44 am est 

The Lack of Common Sense at Town Hall is appalling

I am quite angry over the proposal that we buy bags for our
garbage. We already have to take our yard trash to the dump
ourselves.

I don't care what other Cape towns are doing about this.
Are they also paying an outrageous sewer and water fee? Was this
suggested by the same people who wanted to hire consultants to decide
what to do about paving Commercial Street.

We can do that for free. Does it need to be paved? Yes. How do you go
about paving it? You get bids from several companies, you select on and
they will know how to do the actual paving.

The lack of common sense at Town Hall is appalling and this garbage fee is just the latest example.

9:59 am est 

This is Old News

The State turned over Route 6 to the Town quite a while
ago. This is old news. You can find details on the town web site
under the DPW page. I don't know for sure but think this was tied to
creation of the sewer system.

Taxpayer for Choice
9:45 am est 

Dear No Web ID--- on Sexual Harassment,

     The point is not that the town is to blame per se nor that town
counsel is to blame but town counsel will certainly cost all of us to
cover the expenses of defending the town against the Sexual
Harassment Case against Tracy Roderick.

     The town is only to blame in that it could hve resolved this
case many months earlier and all it had to do was remove one piece of
paper from a personnel file. But no, the town was going to fight this
and now, fight this they must. And what cost will we all pay? That's
the tragic part of this case.

     I agree on who is to blame. If you have power and if you are in
an administrative position, then you cannot use your power against
anyone who works for you and for the town. You cannot gain sexual
favors due to your position.This is a definate No, NO.

     Shame on the Director of the Recreation Department
     Shame on You Tracy Roderick or Tracy Trewhella because you have
put all of us at risk. We will be funding this legal case for years
and it is your inappropriate behavior that leads to this present
big-time problem.

     Irritated My Dear
12:45 am est 

Dear History Teacher.!

Take a look at the history of what people are writing about the school.
At least one student has wrote several times about the poor education
he/she is getting.

And why would you like students to write in? To once again pull at people's
heart strings. Are you perhaps more worried about your job than
providing our children with a better education at Nauset, a school
which has won several awards and has so much more to offer.
12:39 am est 

What gives????

I JUST READ IN THE TOWN OF PROVINCETOWNS WEBSITE THAT THE
STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS IS TURNING OVER THE OWNERSHIP OF ROUTE SIX TO
THE TOWN OF PROVINCETOWN.

WHat is this all about.?? Are we now going to have to maintain the road and the traffic lights??? \
 
Are we going to maintain the main entrance to the national park????free of
charge???

Do we now have a bargainivg chip with the park????  is
there still talk of building a parking lot there????  what gives????
 
THE COLONEL
11:53 pm est 

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thanks for the Laughs and Puns Slippery Fish

      It's great to read your comments and your "asides." You are
very funny and very punny. I also like where you happen to be--in the
princiPAL's office, swimming below through the Chico Jesse, smelling
lavender and lace and so many more.

      Thanks for the many laughs. It's great.

      The Raven

5:22 pm est 

Wake up School Committee, Time to Pull Your Head Out of the Sand

All I can say is I agree 100% with the writer of this
ShoutOut below.  Regionalization is on the radar of the voters of
Provincetown.  For Ms. Nelson, Chair of the School Committee to
ignore the option is idiotic.  Wake up School Committee, time to pull
your head out of the sand.


His Shout Out:
I quote Terese Nelson, Chair of the School committee:

"We appreciate the fact Nauset is concerned about us. We appreciate
the fact Nauset is willing to take us in. But Regionalization is NOT
on our radar."

Well Ms. Nelson, regionalization IS on the radar of the voters of Provincetown
5:19 pm est 

My Queston is, How do We Get Rid of Her?

Nelson is never going to move toward regionalization.  Her
sense is mixed with emotional issues and she can no longer make
necessary decisions. 

My queston is how do we get rid of her and get
a progressive management sysyem in the old biddies' place?

Slippery Fish ( sniffing lavender and old lace)
5:01 pm est 

Call for Students!

I would like some feedback from the students.
How do you feel? Please respond.

The history teacher
3:24 pm est 

School Committee is CLUELESS:

I quote Terese Nelson, Chair of the School committee:

"We appreciate the fact Nauset is concerned about us. We appreciate
the fact Nauset is willing to take us in. But Regionalization is NOT
on our radar."

Well Ms. Nelson, regionalization IS on the radar of the voters of
Provincetown, and in case it has slipped your mind, you have a
fiduciary responsibility to the citizens of Provincetown. How short
sighted it is to cut off a conversation with the Nauset Regional
Schools before it has even begun. What are you afraid of?

The citizens of Provincetown deserve a thorough discussion of the concept
of regionalization so we can determine what it would look like, what
effect it would have on the cost of educating our children, and what
effect would it have on the quality of the education our students
receive.

Trust me when I say the citizenry of Provincetown will NOT let this
issue drop even though you may want it to go away. There is great
power in the ballot box and, in case you haven't noticed, the
citizens of Provincetown have woken up to this fact.

SpeaksTheTruth
3:21 pm est 

Comments on Sexual harassment Claims in General and Comments to WORRIED ENOUGH :

What's interesting in this SHOUTOUT  blog during the last 24 hours,
is that some writers seem to want to shift the blame for all of this
bad behavior from the folks who did it.............to

a. the Town Counsel and the Town in General.

The thought being? that if employees engage in bad behavior its because

the town didn't "train" them properly

or the Town Manager wasn't trained properly???

I don't think so.

In this day and age, January 2008, how many people that are over 35
yrs of age, need to be told that you don't proposition a
sub-ordinate, get told NO, do it again, and then fire the person.
Answer: NONE

In this day and age, how many Town Managers need to be trained to
pick up a phone at the first sign of trouble , and call the town
attorney? Answer: NONE

These are just hypothetical scenarios , of course.

We all know this stuff. Let the blame fall where it should. On the
individuals that did the stupid stuff.

Blaming it on Town Counsel is laughable and misses the mark.

As for big verdicts? Thats what we have insurance for. And thank god for that.

But isn't it all embarrassing and disappointing for those of us who
expect alot more from our Town employees.


Signed,

Keep It In Your Pants when you're at Work
3:16 pm est 

Education and Dollars

I'm finding this whole school thing very tragic.

we are spending a small fortune to give our children a mediocre
eduational experience.  yet, for less money we have the opportunity
to give them a better, well-rounded education.  these are our
children.  they deserve the very best opportunities for an academic
future.

I personally would pay even more to send them to a school where they
are challenged and prepared for thier future.

We shouldn't be closing the school to save money.  we should close
the high school to serve our children in the best way that we can.

We are responsible for the education of our youth, so why are we
settling for a second rate education.  our children deserve better.

cliff
3:07 pm est 

On the Issue of Trash

Since town government seems to be hell bent
on raising taxes.. Why not charge for yard waste pick up. It would be
a new form of income for the town...Yard waste is an ongoing ordeal
here, I know that personally I would pay a price to have my yard wast
picked up ...just a thought..
3:03 pm est 

What Will the Sexual Harassment case Against the Recreation Department Director Cost the Town?

      Yes, Amazed and Billable Time. This case could be quite costly
and the town will have to come up with a sum of money. To the Blogger
who brought up the paast Sexual Harassment case involving the police
department a few years ago, it did cost the town $50,000 and that was
then since they settled and didn't go to court.

     Just consider the Isiah Thomas verdict involved with his recent
case this fall that involved Sexual Harassment allegations. The case
was brought by  Anucha Browne Sanders who was a marketing executive
for the New York Knicks basketball team which is owned by Madison
Square Garden. She often worked alongside Thomas when he was
president of the basketball operations and after Isiah became coach
in 2006.

      What was Isiah accused of doing? Here it is: Browne Sanderes
accused Thomas of subjecting her to hostile conduct and remarks that
included swearing and calling her a b*****and "ho." He also
repeatedly professed his love for her and solicited sex from her
"off-site."

     When Anucha Browne Sanders complained to management they failed
to act. When the company 'Investigated" the complaints, they said the
conduct didn't happen. Instead, it fired Anucha Browne Sanders,
citing performance reasons. Browne filed suit under federal and state
law, citing a sexually hostile work environment and relatiation for
her complaint.

      Why is the Isiah Thomas case important? The allegations may
seem, to some, innocuous and hardly worth a major court case. But
what was the verdict? Hold on to your hat! $11.6 million Sexual
Harassment verdict against Isiah Thomas. They also found Madison
Square Garden liable on the hostile work environment claim for $6
million. And this is not all. They also found Chairman James Dolan
liable for Aiding and Abetting the hostile work environment for $3
million.

     And this does not include the claims for damages which later she
received in the millions.

     Sexual Harassment cases are serious and can have major financial
consequences. Allowing a Hostile Work Environment to occur and doing
nothing to change it is also viewed by the courts as serious.

     Here a state agency, the Massachusetts Commission Against
Discrimination, has already filed a claim against the town of
Provincetown in a Sexual Harassment case. Firing someone for not
agreeing to Sexual Advances and Sexual Propositions is a serious
claim and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination takes
action to defend employees when this happens.

      Isiah Thomas' actions bear a similarity to Provincetown's
present case in many ways. It even involves another town
administrator involved in "Aiding and Abetting the hostile work
environment."

     We can only hope that this case doesn't end in any way like the
Isiah Thomas case. We can only hope that the Town of Provincetown is
not held to be guilty of allowing a hostile work environment to
fester and that two town administrators--one presently in her
position and one formerly in an administrative position--do not
plunge this town into a huge, tax-burdened verdict.

      Worried Enough

11:24 am est 

My Thoughts on Finances:

Provincetown School System:

My personal opinion is that middle school and high school students
should go to Nauset where they will receive a much more diverse
education.  However, what are the facts here?  We don't have all the
facts here and I wish the town would take the following steps:

1. Put a question on the ballot - Do you want the town of
Provincetown to consider sending our middle school and high school
students to Nauset?
   Let's hear from the residents, do you want this to be considered? 
If it's on the ballot as opposed to a town meeting people can freely
give their opinion.  If the vote is yes, then move to step two.

2. Do a financial analysis of the situation.
   What does it currently cost to have middle and high school
students educated in Provincetown?  What would be the cost of having
our students educated at Nauset?  We can then then make an educated
opinion based on the facts we are given.

3. Put another question on the ballot - Do you wish to send our
middle and high school students to Nauset?
   Once the financial analysis is completed and residents have all
the information in front of them to make an informed decision they
can truly decide if this is the route they wish to take.


The Freeman Building:

I'm at a loss what to do here and it seems the town is stuck between
a rock and a hard place.  The building was left to the town for a
town library.  We are already in violation here because it is no
longer being used as a library.  Does that mean the building can not
be sold?  So we have a building we are not using for what it was
intended.  I would suggest we look into the possibility of selling
the building.  We need to know if it's possible.  If it's a privately
owned building that will bring in extra real estate taxes to the town
at a very minimum.

Charging for Trash Pickup:

The town's residents have clearly stated they do not want any
additional taxes.  Call it whatever you want, this is an additional
tax, unless you intend to lower our property tax bills.  Certain
selectmen have indicated they are looking for additional revenue for
the town, so I sense they aren't looking to lower our taxes, but
instead this would be an increase. 

       Call it what it is!
11:05 am est 

It's Time to Change Many Bad Habits

Between 20 & 15 years ago there was a sexual harrashment
case involving two police officers. I believe it was settled out of
court for a sum of $50,000.00. Why wasn't a standard set then?

In my opinion, I think it is time to change counsel. Esq. Giorgio's
attendance at the past town meeting was rather ineffective and at
times annoying.

After two bad hair cuts I change hairdressers. It's time to change counsel.

It's time to change many bad habits.

The history teacher
9:12 am est 

To: Where is Spell Check?

Webmaster Comment
:

I am very sorry the Comment Window does not include Spell Check.

Suggestion: You could write your comment in a word processor window (which includes Spell Check) and than do a "cut" or "copy" + "paste" into the "Shout Out! Comment window. 

8:40 am est 

The Sexual Harassment Case

      The links some blogger sent involved the Sexual Harassment
Training that occurred for two days in Provincetown. The first day
was training for management and the second day was training for
staff. Since the town had not had any Sexual Harassment Training in
the last five years, why do you think the town manager instituted
this training? Because of the Sexual Harrassment case brought against
the town by the Massachsetts Commission Against Discrimination filed
against the Recreation Director. As a town tries to defend itself, it
is asked about its Sexual Harassment Training and Protocols and
Handbooks. Where was ours? Oh, we didn't have any. Yikes..Poor
defense.

      Yes, oddly, Kopelman & Paige did the training. Why didn't the
town ask the state and the Massachusetts Commssion Against
Discrimination to do the training? The town surely didn't want to
hear from any other employees that perhaps some others may have also
used their administrative power over other town employees to gain or
get sexual favors. Yes, you are right, that did cost in legal fees
and Provincetown did have to pay.

     But the cost of the legal fees to presently defend the suit,
which Kopelman & Paige are now doing, is in addition to the fees the
law firm charged for the two-day training.

      We will not get out of this Sexual Harassment mess without
paying for an expense settlement or for a costly trial case--and then
an expensive verdict.

      And this occurring in the Recreation Department. Really! With
the Recreation Director still holding the position of Director.

      Amazed
2:11 am est 

To: Taxpayer for Choice

Dear Taxpayer for Choice,

In reference to your comment, "You will find that the assessor's change in valuation for the town
manager's condo unit almost exactly matches the percentage change in
estimated value over the same time periods by Zillow.com. Ergo, no scandal,....."

My rebuttal is as follows, your logic is rather myopic. If the decrease experienced by the Town Manager's property was indeed a result of the general decrease in property values, how do you explain why this did not apply to the general population of properties, let alone Heather Bruce's property?

Additionally, why is this systemic reduction not apparent in all properties, with the exception of particlar exigencies?

I never mentioned that there was a scandal; however, as these are words of your choice, I think
perhaps you have a sense that there is something afoot!

       Just the facts



12:42 am est 

My Fellow Citizens......

Here are a few things that i feel need clearing up.

First... to the comment about the freeman building. That was left to
the town in a trust to be used as a library. So the town would have
legal loop holes to jump through to see "IF they could do something
about selling it .. but i doubt it, they do however have control over
the 2 upper floors.

Second... referring to comments about 90 shank painter... they are
NOT condos to be sold in a lottery.. they are RENTEL units...

third.. If we were not miss managed ,miss led, out and out lied to
for the past 17 years by town management we would not be in the mess
we're in now.....and just who does the town manager work for... the
SELECTMEN...and who do the SELECTMEN work for... THE PEOPLE....It is
within our power to change government

forth... If this truly were a government of the people for the people
and by the people..WE have the right to get rid of them all...we have
a voice.. But GOD forbid if we ever spoke out at town meeting ..the
gavel wielding town moderator would strike and we were silenced...

fifth..not everyone attends b.o.s meetings but do watch it on TV...
just look at the way a well respected man George Bryant was treated
by the chair.. curse words flew like a drunken sailor on leave, 
which a very public apology should be given... that is how we are
treated by the very people some of us elected...

sixth.. if you want to know why are we in this mess.. We were sold a
bill of goods... and if you ever voted at town meeting to raise and
appropriate funds just have a look in the mirror... if you voted yes,
then take your share of the blame...

lastly my fellow citizens when it comes time to vote for 2 new
selectmen soon... it's obvious that the ones we have now can't do the
job ..so get rid of them..and vote for someone who really cares and
wants change and will stand up for the people of Provincetown...and
PLEASE don't make it a popularity contest like it has been...and just
because someone was born here or has lived here for 20 years does not
make them a good candidate for office... just look at the b.o.s
now..So if you want change join a board go to a meeting and speak
your mind, don't just let these people make decisions that effect
your lives. If you continue to remain silent then shame on you.

A citizen For Change
12:13 am est 

She Should Have Been Fired!

I agree with the comments made about selectman Couture. She
does not pay property taxes and wants to spend, spend spend. Also,
when assigning points for the former town manager's approval rating,
Ms. Couture admitted to The Banner that she gave him higher points
because she knew some of her fellow selectmen would give him less
points. She should have been fired.

Mary Jo Avellar is another one that I wish would just go away. She has
been involved in town politics for decades and is part of the town's problems
not its solutions. She recently, when asked about paving the town's streets
said " we just have to bite the bullet and do it." Now she says she
hears the citizens of Provincetown are frustrated. Hello? She is out
of touch, talks out both sides of her mouth...worse than Mitt Romney!
12:03 am est 

Re Community Center Case

A bit of info on the community center case can be found at:

http://www.provincetownbanner.com/article/banner_daily_update_article/_/51754/Banner_Daily_Update/10/25/2007

Extensive coverage appeared in both the Banner and the Cape Cod
Times. The Banner's articles aren't available electronically.

Cape Cod Times Archive Article (you need to register):

http://nl.newsbank.com/cgi-bin/ngate/CT?ext_docid=11C095EE6D381878&ext_hed=Assistant

Please, let's not rehash the details here, there was/is plenty of
press on this one. Got to the library if you want salacious details.

Congrats to town mgr on instituting long overdue training on this
issue that should have been standard policy years ago. Part of the
legal bill undoubtedly includes this training and is an investment in
not having to face this issue again, one hopes.
11:57 pm est 

TO: JUST THE FACTS

You will find that the assessor's change in valuation for the town
manager's condo unit almost exactly matches the percentage change in
estimated value over the same time periods by Zillow.com. Ergo, no
scandal, and I feel pretty sorry for the town manager who, like many,
has taken a large hit to her home equity over the past year.

So, in addition to putting up with some of the crap that appears here, she
is down in value on her home investment. You can find details
confirming this at:

http://www.zillow.com/Charts.htm?chartDuration=5years&zpid=56789133

Taxpayer for Choice
11:54 pm est 

OK, I'm done! Good dog, Sit

OK, so as not to miss the opportunity to beat dead horse
(how's that for a pun), the pet shelter federal requirement is
neither ridiculous nor a do-gooder thang. Extensive after-action
review by FEMA of the results of Katrina resulted in this requirement
that is mandated by congress. The logic is human shelters don't take
pets, people won't leave without their pets, ergo a pet shelter
system is needed. Also, roaming dogs and other animals after Katrina
posed a hazard to rescuers and diverted resources from human
assistance. FEMA and Congress in cooperation with human societies,
red cross and others created the structure and requirements for pet
shelters.

That said, not saying we should keep community center just for this
or that we would be able to get out in a severe hurricane.
Nevertheless pet shelter system is required for localities to be
eligible for disaster planning assistance so it does have direct
impact on emergency preparedness. Of course a pet shelter comes after
other emergency planning, something sorely needed, and which I know
Brian Carlson at the Town is taking a lead on after years of neglect
by town. More info on sheltering your pets in a disaster can be found
at:

http://www.fema.gov/plan/prepare/animals.shtm

and/or

http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/0,1082,0_604_,00.html

More info on helping out with Provincetown emergency preparedness and
being prepared for you and yours can be found at:

http://www.provincetowngov.org/emergency%20plan/emergencypage.html

A responsible pet owner should have a "GO KIT" ready with current
vaccination records, cage/kennel, food, medications, contact info,
etc. Also recommended is an id chip in case your pet is separated
from you anytime.

OK, I'm done! Good dog, sit.

Greg Craig
11:49 pm est 

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

From: Just the Facts


In my opinion, letters of inquiry should be sent to the Enforcement Division, State Ethics Commission and to the Board of Building Regulations and Standards siting the specific aspects of the Commissioners activities which bring into question the  possibility of a conflict of interest pursuant to Massachusetts General Law:

  MGL 143: 3Z and 268A:23 

  Just the Facts

6:10 pm est 

WOW ! This blog is getting so interesting.

Seems to me that after town meeting, the board of selectmen should
instruct the new town manager to clean house.  she needs direction
and that comes from the BOS.  it's time to see what the new town
manager is capable of.  This town needs a good shake up.

I fully support Ms Lynne and would have greater respect for her if
she were to clean up the staffing mess she inhereted.

cliff

ps.  If the library has been moved and seashore point has to vacate
by the end of june, why are we keeping the freeman street building? 
It serves no purpose for the town to be in the business of commercial
rental space.  unless there is specific need for town government to
keep that building, then it should be sold.  we should not be in the
5:48 pm est 

Where is Spell Check?

Clarence, do you have a way of putting spell check on this
site? I know it would help me. And I know others could use it too.
5:41 pm est 

In Answer to a Question on the Sexual Harassment Case

     Yes, the case filed by the Massachusetts Commission Against
Discrimination is filed against the town due to the allegations made
against the Recreation Director who was known as Tracy Driggs
Rroderick and now is known as Trewhella. The case also involves, as
part of the allegations of sexual harassment,the former Building
Commisioner who is Doug Taylor.

    In this sense, the case of Sexual Harassment involves two
individuals who were in key administrative positions in Provincetown,
placing the town in legal jeopardy.

      Again, the legal costs to defend this case--and it could go to
trial--the town lawyers have asked for a Trial by Jury--could be
substantial.

      Billable Time
5:38 pm est 

Sex Scandle at the Community Center

As for the peolpe involved in the sex scandle at the
community center,I dont know about the black box, but those are the
people we are talking about here.
5:31 pm est 

To: Just the Facts

So "Just the Facts" what is your conclusion as to what to
do about Mr. Braun?
5:25 pm est 

Greg Craig wrote :

Tiny side points on emergency shelters; federal law now requires
the establishment of a pet emergency care shelter for disaster planning
and a "pet plan." In Katrina many many people stayed because of their
pets and no where to put them with disasterous consequences.

Hi, Im from the government and Im here to help.

I for one really dont care if the Feds are making us set up a pet
care center. In the event of an emergency there is no way in hell I
would bring my pet there. Can you imagine our 400 licensed pets in
town, or even 100 pets all mixed together in that one building? What
a horror show that would be.

Its just another colossal waste of money, hair brained, ridicules, unworkable,
lame idea, dreamed up by some do gooder who thinks they know better than
we do how to take care of ourselves.

And if there is a disaster who here really thinks that ANY of us are
going to be able to get out anyway?
5:22 pm est 

To a Concerned Citizen

Your own post supports the reason to sell the Community Center.

And I quote,"Since it is currently housing excercise programs,
after school and summer vacation programs, (which we need) expand on
that!"

BINGO, all the community center activities can take place at our
underutilized schools. I come from a small town that had an active
recreation program, which ALL took place after school and during the
summer and also took place AT the school. Why do we need this extra
building?

4:46 pm est 

DON'T SELL THE COMMUNITY CENTER!

Don't sell the community center!  It seems to me as implied in the
name, the Community Center is to be used by what we "the community"
deem fit for it.  Since it is currently housing excercise programs,
after school and summer vacation programs, (which we need) expand on
that! 

Increase and diversify these programs to benefit everyone. 
Hire a new Director who is motivated to initiate these changes, has
the intelligence to streamline a bloated budget, and get the
community results.

I believe its a case of more bang for your buck! 
This enormous potential is being wasted. 

Its personally disturbing to me that this amount of corruption is ignored. 
Now sexual harressmant?

If the Community Center was a viable resource for all of
our citizens to use and enjoy, it would not be necessary to sell it.

A Concerned Citizen
4:19 pm est 

What a Mess!

Does anyone in town know whats going on at the community
center?  Allegations of misconduct, mismanagement, and sexual
harassment? 

If the recreation board is volunteer and the Director is
appointed, then who is in charge of oversight?  I think we as a town
need to investigate this matter.  A lawsuit against the town could end up
costing taxpayers a lot of money.
 
Can I suggest an honest discussion of: who is running the community center, what good is
he/she doing, would it be better off as something else(dog shelter,
commercial property, etc.)

4:14 pm est 

Who Knows?

Does anyone know if the current director is also known as
Tracy Roderick or formerly known as. Also the building inspector that
is alluded to in the case, would that be the deceptive Doug Taylor?
4:08 pm est 

The Community Center Should be Sold.

Most people aren't even aware the town has one. Most of the recreational activity
happens at the school or Motta Field. The current director is not
qualified, and in the middle of a sexual harassment MCAD
investigation.

The director has also spent considerable amount of
money painting the inside of the building that know one uses.
4:04 pm est 

To Cliff & Fish:

Points well taken. You are correct that we should insure the existing
revenues are being used as efficiently as possible before being
willing to support increased revenues.

I do contest one point, but do not have data to back up what is a gut feel
 right now, about town expenses being out of line with demographics. We run
up against a very tough problem.

While expenses may be out of line with a town of 3,000 or so fulltime residents
they likely aren't out of line with a much larger second homeowner community as well as a community that supports a massive massive increase in summer residents/visitors as
well as a legacy cost of schools, elder care and long-term subsidy of
the fishing fleet until fish stocks restore themselves.

I suspect in the end it will all come down to whether the full-timers (aka voters)
are willing to continue to pay for this dynamic. If not, I don't know
where we go, perhaps we'll be forced into a differential property tax
rate or rebate to locals. How about a 20% discount on property taxes for those who go to town
meeting (joke joke joke)?

Tiny side points on emergency shelters; federal law now requires the
establishment of a pet emergency care shelter for disaster planning
and a "pet plan." In Katrina many many people stayed because of their
pets and no where to put them with disasterous consequences.

Second point, I believe, and someone correct me if I'm wrong, the high
school is the only building capable of serving as human disaster
shelter or in case of pandemic alternative care center (high ground,
sufficients structural intergrity, infrastructure, bathrooms,
showers, etc.). Something to keep in mind.

Yours in healthy debate and elephant watching.

Greg Craig
3:31 pm est 

What Are Our Legal Costs?

    Why do the numbers for Kopelman & Paige seem improbable? The
Actual Expense in 2005 was $200,388 but for FY 2006 and FY 2007 we
see $175,000. How much did the town spend for Kopelman & Paige to
handle the transfer of land and the entire project for the old Manor
and now SeaPoint Shore? How much has it cost to handle the issues on
Shankpainter Road and the million dollar give-away? It seems that
Kopelman & Paige are brought in to more and more issues and tough
cases, especially with officials inexperienced with past practices.
Yet can it be that the legal bills remain the same?

      And how much has the town already paid to Kopelman & Paige to
defend the Sexual Harrassment case filed by the Massachusetts
Commission Against Discrimination against the town of Provincetown
and the present Recreation Director? Since the case was filed in
September or October of 2007, Kopelman & Paige have been on the case!
And being on the case for lawyers is billable time and more billable
time.

      Kopelman & Paige's legal response to the Sexual Harassment case
is over 180 pages! The document itself,  the town employees and town
officials interviews, the amassing of documents, and the establishing
the defense--all required to create this document--is quite costly.
Plus, I've never known a lawyer who couldn't find three other lawyers
or more to conference with, and all of them charging their own
billable time. And this is just Kopelman & Paige's initial response
to the Sexual Harassment case against the town of Provincetown. The
case is ongoing and just beginning!

      Billable Time
12:12 pm est 

Good morning Mr. Craig...

I think what you are seeing on the board is the huge frustration of
taxpayers, taxpayers who are looking desperatly for places to, simply
put, save money. I feel that if an audit were done of all town
finances, the tone here would be quite different.

People's feelings about inequities in taxes, property valuations,
favoritism in affordable housing, illegal liscensing fees, wasteful
expendatures by the pier corp, an exorbatant school budget, the lack
of certification of people in top positions of responsibility, etal.,
are part of a herd of elephants that are living in town hall and are
no longer being ignored. The fact is people have seen them for a long
time.

I could be wrong but I think that people would be less inclined to
vote against a tax increase if there was assurance that their hard
earned money was not being wasted.

Unless someone has a better idea
an independent audit with suggestions for savings is one of the first
steps toward that end.

Slippery fish (Dumbo watcher)
11:39 am est 

License to Steal!

For two years, 2005 & 2006,the Town of Provincetown knowingly,
illegaly charged non-residents a higher mooring fee than it's
residents.  On 12/19/06, the Dept. of Environmental Protection ruled
in my favor, stating that the Town of Provincetown had in fact been
in violation of CH 91 S 10A. 

I ask that the town refund the illegal fees collected to all the non-resident
mooring holders.  I was the only non-resident to receive $175.00 for the year
2006, but nothing for 2005.  Is this the way Provincetown does it's business?  Steal
money, get caught and keep the money they stole. 

For all the people who were charged illegal fees by the Building Dept., Good Luck, in
trying to recover your money that the town stole from you.

David J. Ditacchio
11:34 am est 

Russell Braun and Massachusetts General Law

The following is a copy of Massachusetts General that applies to Building Commissioner Russell Braun's position. It speaks to the areas in which there may exist a conflict of interest, the remedy required by law would negate the very reason for having hired him in the first case, as he would have to recuse himself in every instance, as he would be regulating potential competitors. 

·        MGL 143: 3Z. Part time inspector of buildings, building commissioner, local inspector, or alternate inspector; other employment

Section 3Z Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, in any city, town or district which accepts the provisions of this section, any part time inspector of buildings, building commissioner, local inspector or alternate inspector may practice for hire or engage in the business for which he is certified, licensed or registered under the building code, while serving as such inspector; provided, however, that within the area over which he has jurisdiction as inspector or alternate inspector, he shall not exercise any of his powers and duties as such inspector, including those of enforcement officer of the state building code for the construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, demolition or removal work done by himself, his employer, employee or one employed with him.

The inspection of such work shall be performed by the inspector of buildings or building commissioner of another city, town or district or by a special assistant inspector of buildings or assistant building commissioner who is appointed solely for the purpose of performing such inspections by the mayor of a city, the board of selectmen of a town or the governing board of a district.

This section shall take effect in a city, town or district upon its acceptance in a city, by the vote of the city council subject to the provisions of the charter of such city; in a town, by a vote of town meeting; in a municipality having a town council form of government, by a vote of the town council, subject to the provisions of the charter of such municipality; and in a district, by the vote of the cities and towns of the district.

·         MGL 268A:23. Supplemental provisions; standards of conduct

(b) No current officer or employee of a state, county or municipal agency shall knowingly, or with reason to know:

(2) use or attempt to use his official position to secure for himself or others unwarranted privileges or exemptions which are of substantial value and which are not properly available to similarly situated individuals;

(3) act in a manner which would cause a reasonable person, having knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to conclude that any person can improperly  influence or unduly enjoy his favor in the performance of his official duties, or that he is likely to act or fail to act as a result of kinship, rank, position or undue influence of any party or person. It shall be unreasonable to so conclude if such officer or employee has disclosed in writing to his appointing authority or, if no appointing authority exists, discloses in a manner which is public in nature, the facts which would otherwise lead to such a conclusion.



   Just the Facts
11:29 am est 

Folks Lets Just Get Someone in that Job that Doesnt Stink!

At one time in the distant past I was on a Town Board and
all of us were repeatedly warned that even if there was only an
appearance of conflict of interest in something we were doing that we
shouldnt do it or change the way we do it.

We were told that an appearance of conflict was something that if viewed
by a member of the general public was seen as a possible conflict, than it WAS a
conflict. And in that case we needed to make dame sure to correct the
issue. Maybe they have changed the rules since my time. Or maybe
those rules dont apply to very smart people, or to nice guys, or to
employees to take cut rate pay.

Even though Mr. Braun doesnt list any projects in Provincetown, its
pretty clear to me that he is soliciting business in Town. The phone
number is a Town number, the P.O. Box is a Town address. He mentions
Provincetown several times on that web site. Hes looking to do
business here, and he will be in direct competition with the very
people he imposes State rules and his own opinions on. That sure
sounds like a conflict to me.

And let me tell you many very much less serious issues of Board
members have been viewed as conflicts. Such things as being an
abutter to an abutter to an abutter!, and sitting on a case without
disclosure got one Board member removed from a Board about five years
ago.

So maybe a scandal hasnt happened here, but this whole situation is
differently setting us up for a lawsuit. And just one simple lawsuit,
even if the complainant doesnt win anything in court could easily eat
up any and all cost savings of hiring this guy. This whole thing just
stinks! And if it smells this bad just a few months into his tenure,
how bad will it stink in a few years? Lets learn from experience and
stop trouble before it begins!

Folks lets just get someone in that job that doesnt stink!

I wish I could sign my name, but if I did I'd never get another
permit in this Town again. Thats fear. Isnt that nice?

9:16 am est 

Back to garbage

Even though the town says it is LEGAL if there is an OPT OUT part of
any new trash services, currently WE PAY FOR CURB PICK UP and if we are
NOT TOO TAKE OUR TRASH TO THE TRANSFERE STATION during THE PEAK SEASON when WE ARE ALL GOING 20 HOURS A DAY, THE TOWN IS SAVING MONEY BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE TO
HIRE AS MANY PEOPLE TO PICK UP TRASH.  

I know I have asked 40 people, they all but ONE said they would bring their own trash,
rather than have it picked up at ANY COST.NO NEW TAXES, NO NEW FEES, it really doesn't matter what you call this, YOU ARE RAISING OUR FEES.

I ASK EVERYONE THAT IF THIS DOES PASS, AT THE NEXT TOWN ELECTION, ANY
SELECTMEN THAT VOTES FOR THIS BE VOTED OUT.   WHEN ARE THESE
FEES/TAXES GOING TO STOP?

With the loss of Massage licences revenue in town, NOW WE ARE SHORT
ANOTHER 10 grand.   Guess what?   OTHER FEES ARE GOING UP BECAUSE THE
TOWN WAS SHORT SIGHTED AND DIDN"T SEE THIS COMING EITHER.   When are
we going to HOLD these elected officials to a higher standard?   THEY
GET AWAY WITH SO MUCH.

Oh yes, now we are going to pay HOW MUCH MORE FOR CAPE MANOR TO
CONNECT TO THE SEWER?   COME ON BOYS AND GIRLS.  If you were running
a TRUE BUSINESS, AND ALL THIS HAPPENED, YOUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS WOULD
FIRE YOU ALL!
9:09 am est 

To: Mr Craig

With all due respect and kudos to all the work and insight that you
have contributed to this blog and the town in general, please let's
not forget that there is first and foremost waste in this town which
has accumulated for many years under various well intentioned BOS and
Town Managers.  Money was easy.  We purchased, we spent and we grew. 
The money is no longer able to keep up with the cost of running
government.

Your analogy of selling a car and still having to get to work is
excellent if the town had no fat on the bones.  The fact of the
matter is, the town has two cars and it's time to sell one of them.

The town's budget is out of line with it's demographic.  The DPW, the
schools, almost every town department has to be realigned before we
should ever consider over rides.

Again, with due respect, taking into consideration fixed rising
costs, let's clean the house first then we can talk overrides.

I for one will never vote for any overrides unless specific monies
were to be destined for a stabilzation fund (s) which cannot be
pilfered by the selectmen.

cliff
9:02 am est 

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ignoring The Elephant in the Room

Folks:

There seems to be an extreme amount of energy here devoted to rooting
out imagined scandals and finding misdeeds where none likely exist or
even if they do they have little or no impact on the town's financial
situation. In addition there are frequent suggestions to sell of town
assets or fire town employees to solve financial problems. NONE IF IT
MATTERS ONE WHIT!

Overall operating costs are rising due to municipal inflation due to
health/energy and other costs and town revenue without overrides are
limited to 2.5% increase annually on existing real estate. This is a
formula for financial evisceration of our town and towns across the
state, as soon as the next two years.

What are we going to do? Sell off town assets one by one until we've
sold everything? Sell capital assets to pay expenses? That doesn't
work even in the medium term. If your home budget comes up short do
you sell the car to pay your heating bill? No, you still need the
damn car to get to work, etc. Sure let's layoff ten employees to meet
this year's gap but what about next year, are we going to first fire
the trash guys, then next year all of DPW followed by all the cops in
2010 then the rest of town staff in years that follow?

I don't have answers but hope to have some more thoughts soon. But,
it is critical that everyone, selectmen included realize that this
structural deficit problem is long term and  (barring a massive drop
in energy or healthcare costs) we better all be ready to pony up more
$$$ or we are going to left with an empty town hall in just a few
short years, I guess then we could always sell that off too.

Please, use your energy to come up with ways to solve the big,
over-arching problem, not pick at real or imagined nits. How about
figuring a way to boost the topline through improved tourist numbers
and resulting revenues or increased parkings fees or similar?

Focus on the big picture.

Sincerely,

Greg Craig

PS: Kudos to Dr. Andrews for your very helpful answers to some of the
questions posed on here and for braving this forum.
10:35 pm est 

Fees, Lynn and Braun

As to the fees, if Taylor simply decided to impose these fees and
they weren't proposed and approved at a public hearing held by the
selectmen, then yes, these fees are not legal and any monies
collected since their inception should be returned. An easy way to
find the info would be to look for the public hearing by the
selectmen just prior to their inception. I doubt Lynn would know
about the discrepancies due to the fact that she came here after the
fees were in place. How much digging did she think she had to do?

As far as Lynns home, didn't she buy that from Peake just before she
came to town and just after Peake left for the statehouse? How sweet
is that deal?

Brauns website doesn't list any development projects in Ptown, just
Truro and that's already built. The TM would have to request that he
does no work in Ptown to avoid a conflict or just leave it as it is
and let him work at his own risk. Every decision he makes is
controlled one way or another by laws, either by state law, building
code or zoning. If he makes decisions based on his preference to who
is competition or not, then that goes to court.
9:20 pm est 

To Rat in the Basement,

You dirty lazy rodents are so right.

Citizens look, there is a web with a Provincetown address & phone.
Mr. Braun, what a web. It looks so professional.

  I am impressed.Does that mean when I hire you that I can get my designs,
premits and reduced fees all in the same  package?

What do the Pollyanna's on the first floor think about it? Do they even
know what's going on. Since most of them do not read this site, they
probably have not seen your spetacular site.

Fabulous! One stop shopping. Thank you for stream-lining  the
building- permit quagmire.  Less fuss no muss.


The Bats in the belfry of Town Hall



9:15 pm est 

Open Meeting Law

With regards to a sitting Selectman participating in this or another  blog.
I gave up alot to be a selectman but not Freedom of Speech. The Open
Meeting Law has been legally interpreted to mean  that 3 or more
selectmen (a quorum) can not use
a phone or email to have a serial conversation in order to debate
public policy amongst themselves.

And thats the key. If one of them writes to the blog , and addresses
the world at large......Thats like writing to the editor of the
banner . if 3 of them used to Blog to write to each other and have a
conversation amongst the 3 of them , they would be getting in very
hot water.

These are important distinctions that our Town Counsel teaches us
about, and i have to say....very well. Whenever i went to the
selectmen's Convention in Boston, i was always amazed at how well
trained we were compared to many other towns, for example my old town
of Barnstable, who don't use Kopelman&Page, and did get in hot water
2 years ago.

Cheryl Andrews
9:11 pm est 

What is Going on Here!

The data provided by "Just the Facts" is very disturbing. how can there be such a large difference between 493 Commercial Street and 353C Commercial Street.

Between 493 Commercial Unit#13 and 353C there is a total difference of  -12.86% and +61% respectively for a total differential of 73.82% (2005-2007). This differential is too great; there has to be something wrong or not explained!

This Unit#13 is owned be Sharon Lynn the Town Manager, I think we as tax payers, especially Ms. Heather Bruce is owed an explination.

Where is the Assessor in all of this?

I am currently reviewing my own tax bill in light of the above information, and advise others to do the same. PACC should study this; it is fraught with apparent inequities.

I would advise all PACC Bloger to research the Assessor's database and analyze surrounding properties in their neighbor hood for consistency.

This truely does not pass the smell test.

Me thinks there is something wrong in Denmark!

   Concerned Citizen
8:17 pm est 

Selling the Community Center.

What was i thinking?  we can't sell the community center.  i'm
certain Ms Couture would insist on borrowing even more money (or
wasting CPC funds) and converting the building to more
affordable/community housing, or even worse, give the land to a
developer.

How silly of me...

cliff
7:45 pm est 

Russell Braun-Conflict of Interest

There is most diffenetly a conflict of interest with Russel
Braun being our building commisioner! He is actively seeking
development/design work in Provincetown!
follow the link, http://www.artrandevelopment.com/html/contact_us.html

A Rat in the Basement
6:49 pm est 

Rate Your Selectmen

I don't know about anyone else, but I can't wait for this feature to
appear on this website. I promise to be civil AND truthful with no
"personal" attacks.(well I'll try..lol) Mr. Webmaster, when might we
expect this opportunity?
6:31 pm est 

Cliff,

In response to your comment:

to retain that building by the town exclusively as an emergency pet
shelter is ludicrous.

I did not say we should keep the community center to be used
exclusively as a pet emergency shelter but wanted to bring to speaks
the truth attention ANOTHER possible use of the buliding that is in
the works.

Cliff, there are no perfect solutions to many of the Town's problems
including where we could have a much needed pet emergency shelter.

Thanks
6:08 pm est 

Dear Ms Nagle,

The community center should be sold.  the recreation department
should find projects within the relam of other town owned buildings.

the community center is in need of work, as is most town owned
properties.  where is that money going to come from?  it is prime
real estate on bradford street and should easily add at least a
million dollars back to the general fund.

if there are 400 or so regestered dogs, we can assume there are more
unregistered dogs.  if an emergency were declared, and the community
center were to be opened as a pet shelter, do you really think that
the building could handle even half that number of animals and
handlers?  what if that emergency were to happen during the summer
when we can't even begin to estimate the number of animals living
here.

to retain that building by the town exclusively as an emergency pet
shelter is ludicrous.  in an emergency, i wouldn't stay there, let
alone allow my dog to stay there.

a better solution would be to find an inn owner here in town who owns
a structure that would be able to withstand an emergency, offer them
the generator in exchange for turning their inn into an animal
shelter if an emergency were to be declared.  many inn owners would
jump at the chance to have a free generator.

sell the community center.  it is a blighted building and we do not
have the resources to repair it.  rent space from the schoold
department, god knows they need the money.

cliff
4:28 pm est 

From: Just The Facts

After a perusal of the Assessors Property Tax Database, I found that indeed there were properties on the  waterfront that actually were decreased in value between 2005 and 2007.

In fact, I Found 4 properties that are paying less today 2007 in taxes then they did in 2005!

The properties I reviewed are:

Property Taxes

For

493 Commercial Street


                     
’05                               ’06                   ’07                % decrease

Unit#1           $317,600                     $293,900         $294,700         -7.22%

Unit#2           $497,400                     $461,600         $456,700         -8.18%

Unit#3           $556,000                     $515,500         $510,000         -8.27%

Unit#13         $915,800                     $884,100         $798,400         -12.82%

What is most disturbing is that unit #13 is that of the Town Manager. Maybe there is nothing to this, but, under the current circumstances of ever increasing property taxes an explanations is due as to how this came about. What does the Town Assessor have to say?

Why was the 2005 assessed values removed from the published database? We should request that they be published in order to get a true perspective of the rate of change.

In light of the Town Manager receiving a 12.82% decrease over the same period that Heather Bruce's property at 353C taxes increased by 61% answers are required.

All of he properties discussed are waterfront properties!

    Just the facts
4:15 pm est 

Dear Barn Door

How do I begin the process of requesting, no, demanding return of the overcharge portion of my permit fees?

What must we do to challenge these fees, if they are not legal?

I don't understand, the present Town Manager is saddled with these bogus fees, you would think she would be the first to want them corrected.

However, on the other hand, if her predecessor found it convenient to use these fees to supplement the General Fund, under the current fiscal conditions, perhaps she does too!

This is all the more reason to call for the Secretary of State office to take a look at the  Town's adherence to state law. Audit, Audit and Audit please. What do we have to lose?

     where to from here?
3:22 pm est 

Thank you Speaks the Truth,

An excellent start indeed! You have some good ideas.

I would like to comment on one of your postings:

Sell the Community center. For the most part, department of
recreation programs take place after school and during the summer
when they can very well take place at the school.

A grant has been submitted for a generator to create a pet emergency
shelter in Provincetown, which would be located at the Community
Center. A pet emergency shelter has the support of town officials and
the public.  A pet emergency shelter cannot be at the school because
of state laws. There are over 400 dogs registered in Provincetown let
alone our feline residents and other animals such as caged birds.

With this additional information, speaks the truth, I hope you will
reconsider selling the community center outright.

Thank you,

Candace Nagle
Chair
Animal Welfare Committee
2:57 pm est 

Dear Provincetown Taxpayer

There is no law precluding the Selectmen from participating in this web site. The law partains to three or more selectmen having unpublished meetings.

In the instance of this blog, they would be responding individually; as is their right. Witness the Chairmans responses to date.

    Lets not cut them too much slack
2:42 pm est 

Problem with the Department of Community Development

     The first problem rests with the fees. I do believe some blogger
was correct when it was implied there is a problem with the high
fees. Because fees are and cannot be used a levies, the cost must be
in synche with the work to carry out the application. It is illegal
to use fees as an additional tax by over-charging tax payers.

     But the second problem is perhaps the most egregious and affects
the most people in town. If you had a shower put in, if you had a
hot-water heater but in, if you pulled a building permit, then you
paid fees that are not legal.  The fees you should have paid are the
ones posted on the web site under Regulatory Management. Go to the
title Building  Department and you will see that the fees posted are
the one legally adopted on May 7, 2003. These are the fees you should
have paid--not those verbally told or even written by the Building
Commisioner.

     For an Electrical Permit, residential, it should have been $60
plus $25 each additional unit. for Gas Fitting, residential, it
should be $30 plus $6.oo for each fixture.
Demolition Permit $25 for accessory structure, $150 for principal
structure. If any one paid more than this for these services--and
these are only some of the fees--then you deserve to receive rebates
for each permit, for each toilet, boiler, stove put in.

     All the fees from Comunity Development through 20007 are illegal
and half of those in 2006, when the fees were illegally increased,
need to be rescinded and given back to residents and business owners.
And those fees presently being quoted and the monies presently taken,
are themselves illegal. We all need to pay the fees legally posted,
voted on, and published in May 7, 2003.

     The problem goes back to the former Building Commissioner Doug
Taylor. He did not follow the official procedures required to
increase the higher fees assessed. So all of these "upped" fees need
to be returned to contractors, designers, property owners and
business owners. If they seemed outlandish and unlawful, guess what?
They were and are.

     Get your money back. You deserve it.

     Barn Door
2:31 pm est 

Thank you Peter Bez

     You were always such an asset when you were on Zoning. Thanks
for even helping them out as an advisor on Zoning.

     I appreciate your providing the facts, Zoning Regs, and  the
process involved with the Gambrel roof.

     Again, thanks for taking the time to help us all better
understand the situation at the Tides.

     Mudhead

2:25 pm est 

Selectment May be Prevented by Law to Participate on Blog!

As much as some of the selectmen might want to participate
in the PACC blog, it could be a violation of the public meeting laws
surrounding elected officials.

Although you might disagree with some of Selectman Coutures policy
making decisions, or a comment that might not have been more
carefully crafted like the glass half full comment, she deserves to
be treated with respect and dignity on this site. Lets rise about the
politics of personal destruction.

Provincetown Taxpayer
2:22 pm est 

I Guess You Missed the Point of my Post Ms. Nagle.

I agree with you on the pier issues., My point was sometimes the "squeaky
wheel gets ignored instead of the grease". How to save the town
money? HMMM?

1.Close the High School and send the students to Nauset where they'll
have MORE educational opportunities

2. Sell the Community center. For the most part, department of
recreation programs take place after school and during the summer
when they can very well take place at the school.

3. Privatize Trash pickup, other communities in Massachusetts have
done this at considerable savings.

4. Investigate why the Town spends 90,000 dollars to staff restrooms
on a seasonal basis, that number sounds awfully high to me.

5. Rent out the Freeman street building at market rate. Exactly how
much is Seashore Point paying to occupy that building?And what is the
rest of the building being used for?

6. Take BACK the Pier from PPPC.

7. Vote to revoke BOTH the land bank surtax AND the CPA surtax.
Provincetown has plenty of open land, It's called the national
seashore.

And after the misguided DONATION to the DEVELOPERS at Sandy
Hill Lane, I no longer trust the CPC. I think they were blinded in
the name of creating Affordable Housing.
That's a START

SpeaksTheTruth
2:15 pm est 

Speaks the Truth or Should it be Speaks With Anger

I think we would like to see less anger from you and start posting
some economic solutions to Provincetowns economic woes. I have posted
endless ideas to make money or save money on the pier. My last
posting sang praises to the Pier Corp. for having a sound policy in
place by renting out to rec boaters. That is good for Provincetowns
economy. If you want to attack me speaks in spineless anonymity, have
the courage to sign your name!

Three great changes have been made on the pier. I have been the
impetus. Tell us about your successes and current intiatives?

Please show us your five-point plan for Provincetown. Or even your
one point plan! Start posting some solutions and stop ranting please!

Candace Nagle

1:31 pm est 

Dear Cliff,

     You are so right. The Override of $500,000 for Firehouse No. 
was for public restrooms--- period! Not for these Selectmen-directed,
Building Commissioner-directed new architects to propose, design, and
then design again, the second floor. All we wanted were public
restrooms. That's it.

     It's simply a form of madness to go beyond the voter's request,
again and again, especailly at this time when we face hard,
recession-driven times.

     Give it up, Selectmen.

     20/20 Vision
1:27 pm est 

To: Reality Does Not Bear Out Spoken Statements!

Regarding Heather Bruce and her property at 353C Commercial Street, a quick check of the Assessor Records shows that the taxes for the subject property were:

     2005- $   653,000
     2006- $1,020,800
     2007- $1,060,900

This translates into an increase of 62.646% between '05 and '07.

You and the BOS may not be interested in the how and why of such an increase, however, I am!

Futhermore, there was mentioned in the mypacc editorial that some beachfront properties during this same period were reduced. I want to know which properties and what the rational was for reducing them.

       Just the Facts
1:19 pm est 

TO MS. NAGLE

Enough about the pier, we get it already......I think most people
here that I've talked with don't even bother to read your posts
anymore.......Don't you have anything else to offer?

SpeaksTheTruth
1:02 pm est 

Can Someone Assure Us That There Was a PROCESS

In a previous entry/reprint, the writer does have
confidence in our new Building Commissioner.  Sounds like this writer
has some close inside knowlege of the dept.  But even with the
re-read, I am still left with questions.

Is there anyone that can shed light on how a Building Commissioner is chosen?

1) Is the job posted with a salary range?
2) Are applicants interviewed?
3)Does the posting state minimum degrees, experience and professional
credentials?
4)Did a posting state that some requirements maybe waived?
5) Is the pool of applicants really that sparse?

One would understand that interim commmissioners must always be hired
until the full time without a formal posting or interview process. 
What about permanent positions such as Building Commissioner?

Can someone assure us that there was a PROCESS and that Braun was not
just moved into the position because he was here already?

Perhaps some clarity will help our confidence in the choices and the process.

Thank you.
12:58 pm est 

MacMillan Pier Float Owners Petition

The Pier Corp. rents berths out to large recreational boats
on MacMillan Pier. In fact, it is the only growth on the pier. Rates
have been raised for next year to reflect market demand.

Each year, the Pier Corp. places the following ad in the Provincetown Banner:

MacMillan Pier has several slips available for applicantsIn the event
commercial fishers do not fill the facility, the other users and/or
recreational vessels may receive berths. Rex McKinsey-Provincetown
Harbormaster.

This is a sound and market driven business policy. Recreational
boaters bring money to town. They go out to eat, go to shows and
clubs, buy groceries, coffee and art etc. Empty berths do not.

Float Owners on MacMillan Pier want the same policy as the Pier Corp.
Nothing more. Nothing less. Float Owners are going before the Board
of Selectmen Jan 28 and are looking for the support of the public.

The petition reads:

We, the undersigned Taxpayers of Provincetown MA, believe Float
Owners of MacMillan Pier should be allowed to rent to recreational
boats in the event they cannot find commercial boats to fill their
berths. We, the undersigned Taxpayers of Provincetown MA, believe
empty berths on MacMillan Pier serve no one. We, the undersigned
Taxpayers of Provincetown MA are asking the Board of Selectmen to
recommend to the Provincetown Public Pier Corporation this fair and
market driven tenant policy on MacMillan Pier for the good of
Provincetowns economic health.

Name/Address


The Provincetown business community and Provincetown taxpayers have
been very supportive of the petition, as almost 100 signatures have
been collected in just a couple of days. Reaching out to PACC readers
is important too. Please lend your support by either emailing the BOS
or emailing me at pilgrim1620@comcast.net


Candace Nagle
Float Owner
MacMillan Pier
12:51 pm est 

From: Can Anyone Explain This

I for one am not satisfied with how the operations are now going in the Community Development department under the leadership of the new Building Commissioner.

There seems to  be far less interaction between applicants and the town staff. I also notice far less participation on the part of the Commissioner with Committees and the BOS. The operation is less organized.

Further to the point, it is my understanding that Mr. Russell Braun was not recommended for the position by the previous acting Commissioner, Mr. Mat. Mulvey, because of the potential conflict of interest as Mr.  Braun is a working developer in Truro and could be in conflict with oversight of developers he competes with in other towns. Would he not have to recuse himself when confronted  with such a situation?

To the point regarding publishing resumes of all Town Department Managers and key personnel, I still think this should be done as a matter of common sense and law.

     Can anyone explain this
12:02 pm est 

To "Can anyone explain this?"


I tried before and hopefully this will help;

When it comes to the building department, for years, Bergaman kept
that department down and demanded so much of the people in the
department that they didn't much care about productivity.

Now, we see a clear headed, intelligent individual in the position of
commissioner and he WILL make it a better place. The reason he was
hired without full credentials is because the town, with all of its
financial woes, wasn't about to pay the wages a fully certified
person would require.

The cost of living down here is high so the wages must be comparable
but the towns are unwilling to pay. Therefore, they hired this guy
and others most likely with the caveat that in a prescribed period of
time, he will have to attain the credentials needed.

If they don't meet the standards, the TM will be forced to let them
go. If this isn't in place in the contract/agreements, it should have
been.

The new commish is a nice guy and VERY smart from what I have seen.
But agreed, he still needs to be certified.
11:38 am est 

To; Raven, Life is Not an Equal Playing Field

Ive been hearing for years about Ms. Coutures deal that she
has for rent, and about what her life position was when she arrived
here. That being a taker not a worker. Im not trying to be unkind,
just trying to say it like it is, if I believed in political
correctness maybe I could find a kinder term.

And for al this time she has been a selectWOMEN I have watched her
practice the same kind of lifestyle with our money. Some, (maybe even
herself) may view her as a Robin Hood. But what she really is doing
is practicing very typical liberal Democratic behavior.

Take the money from those of us who chose to work hard to get ahead in life,
and deserve the rewards of this hard work, and hand it out to those
who either chose not to work hard for themselves, or who are just not
capable of doing as well as others.

Life is NOT an equal playing field to be refereed by the likes of
her. But thats where liberal voting gets us.


Republican for change
11:35 am est 

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Dear Speaks The Truth

     Yes, I think it does matter that Selectwoman Couture is not a
property owner. It is much easier for her to increase taxes, advocate
for Overrides, and spend, spend, spend. Couture is not going to be
paying these taxes. Easy enough for her to throw the burden on the
rest of us who DO PAY TAXES.

     She advocates for Low Cost Housing, at our expense, yet she
herself seems to get a low cost housing deal from the person who owns
her property. Not only for her apartment upstairs, but, yes, also a
low cost deal for her business downstairs and the rent she pays. Asks
her what she pays!

     Easy enough for her when we are left with the cost.

     The Raven
10:24 pm est 

Any Takers?

I agree that the selectmen and other town officials need to
start to respect our wishes and responed to questions posed here.
They need to join the 21st century and get on the net with us. But at
the same when they do , we need to remain cvil and kind, and not
attack them as a mob.Any takers?
10:13 pm est 

Cheryl...

.......and just what is the minimum cost per student? and
what do we spend? The math will not work. Our costs are higher.
However, that is not the bigger problem.

(as you like to say) The problem is a 3.5 million dollar "budget" with a
request for more money.  This school budget is going down and you know it.
There are 12 students in the graduating class. That number is absurd. We need
to join with Nausett to give more diversity and more opportunities to
the P-Town youth. Regionalization is the word for the future of P-Town schools.

Slippery Fish (blowing a gill)
8:02 pm est 

To: Speaks the Truth

I respectfully concede that you are correct and I do admit my error.

Thank you for the correction.

Sincerely

 It's very lonely out here
7:57 pm est 

Other Selectmen Have Responded

As much as I've disagreed with Ms Avellar in the past, she has posted
here, and watching recent selectman meetings, she seems to me to be
the only selectman who really understands,and I'll use her words, the
"anger of the citizenry".......unlike the selectWOMAN who sits to her
direct left, who appears to not have a clue!!!......could it be
because she doesn't own any property and doesn't pay any property
taxes???

SpeaksTheTruth
7:52 pm est 

Still Waiting; It's Very Lonely Out Here

We still have not herd from any Selectmen; except former Selectmen Dr. Andrews.

People are posting very good questions, which require answers.

Where are the Selectmen? Maybe responsible department heads can provide answers. Hello........  
.........Anybody home?

                                  It's very lonely out here !
7:24 pm est 

Can Anyone Explain This?

What are the rules regarding holding the position of Tax Assessor? I would think that the position requires experience and demonstrated knowledge. How is it that our Tax assessor is only recently certified? Wasn't he responsible for the assessment of the Bruce property?

Can anyone explain this? Why do we give people these positions of responsibility, without their having the proper initial credentials? Why is there so much on the job training?

  Doug Taylor- Building Commissioner
  Russel Braun- Building Commissioner
  Current Tax Assessor- Tax Assessor
Who  else is officiating without proper credentials?

I am not saying that anything is amiss, but it does beg the question. We should request that all of the major Town Government officials resumes be made public. In fact i think by law they are a matter of public record.  

PACC should make the request for Provinctown publicizing the resumes of all management level officials!
7:06 pm est 

To: Reality Does Not Bear out Spoken Statements!

To clarifiy what Ms. Bruce said, the assessment was over a two year period. What are the facts over that period of time? Not one year?

          Just the facts
4:19 pm est 

Slippery Fish

I did answer your question to the best of my ability.
I'll try again.

Yes, the town has State reimbursible loans for those buildings. . I
don't know the remaining term of those notes . A FinComm member could
provide that information more accurately.

I am not an expert on this issue, i tried to say that before. My
understanding is that it is the USE of the building that the loan
money is used on , that is the important factor that the State cares
about . Which is why the annex was sold to an educational institution.

But i wrote that already.
We borrowed money, and the State of MA  pays a portion of the loan
off(reimburses us) as long as we meet the requirements.

You seem to be looking for more specific info than i can provide,
because.......i don't have it.

I can only tell you that every choice a BofS or School Comm looks at,
will have pros and cons. Once the general public points us in a
direction, our job is to make it happen. From my perspective, the
loan issue is not whats important.

Deciding, once and for all if we
wish to have a High School here, and if so, what form it should
take....is the issue. I always thought having a 3rd campus of  Cape
Cod Tech would be a great fit for us. Esp when i read in the CCTimes
that there was a waiting list of 200 kids . But, I guess that idea
went nowhere too...


By the way, the State requires us to pay a minimum amount of $$ per
student, no matter what. So, whoever suggested just voting NO on the
school budget , you are heading in the wrong direction. Consider
getting to know some of your Finance Committee members. I think they
can help you with some of your questions.

Cheryl
4:02 pm est 

Reality Does Not Bear out Spoken Statements!

Just because someone says something at a public meeting, does NOT
make it true. The current valuation of Ms. Bruce's property is
1,060,900. Her previous valuation was 1,020,800. A difference of
40,100. A difference of about 4%...NOT 61%.
3:52 pm est 

Very Confused!

Why would waterfront properties go down in value? Which ones?

   would like to know
3:13 pm est 

SpeaksTheTruth-re: Assessment not Out of Line

Dear Speaks The Truth,

I respectfully make the observation that, the issue is not how Ms. Bruce came about owning her property,it is about the assessing process.

I also viewed that particular BOS meeting and am not satisfied with the silence of the Selectmen. Your presupposition as to why the taxes were increased is not an answer to the question raised by the editorial.

In fact the editorial stated that some waterfront properties went down in value, I would be interested in knowing which properties, and why? I think there's is more to this than just the single issue of Ms. Bruce.

Don't you?  

 
3:02 pm est 

Assessment NOT Out of Line:

I watched the Selectman's meeting where Ms. Bruce got up and stated
that she"UNFORTUNATELY" had inherited a piece of waterfront property.
I nearly fell off the couch laughing. I bet many people in town would
like to be so UNFORTUNATE!. A quick look at the assessor's data-base
on the Town website shows that her property is assessed at 1,060,900.
This is prime waterfront property and I would guess there may even be
a  buyer out there for the land alone at that price. Perhaps her
assessment rose to bring it inline with what waterfront property is
worth.

SpeaksTheTruth
2:36 pm est 

This Couldn't be Further From the Truth!

O.K. so lets all read Section 2560 of the Provincetown Zoning Bylaws, http://provincetowngov.org/bl_regs/zoning/2007ZoningAGApproved070529.pdf.

This is the section that deals with how high certain types of roofs are allowed to be. Several typs are mention specificly, including Mansard but not Gambrel. So Gambrel falls under the catagory of all others.

That catagory is very clearly limited to 23 feet! Well anyone who looks at that house can see that it is well over 23 feet! Matt Mulvey gave them a permit to build that house like it is with a Gambrel roof over 23 feet high and when he and Sharon were confronted with this information by more than one person that I know personaly, they covered there asses by claiming that a Gambrel roof is a "type of Mansard".

This couldnt be further from the truth! They are two distinct typs of roofs. Lets all just read the dictionary. And thus that house is illegal! I cant belive that the peole who were fighting the construction of this house never brought this up at the Zoneing meetings they went to.

A rat in the basement
2:32 pm est 

A Gambrel Roof is a Gambrel Roof

I was acting as the "consultant" to the ZBA when the abutters to Bay
Harbour had a case before the ZBA to overturn a decision of the
building commissioner. While inspecting the plans it became apparent
to me that the building in question, did have dormers with GAMBREL
roofs. According to the Provincetown Zoning By-Laws roof height
maximums are as follows:
Hip and Gable roofs: 33 feet
Mansard roofs: 28 feet
All other roof types: 23 feet

It has historically been the opinion of the ZBA that a Gambrel roof
falls into the category,"all other roof types". And it makes sense to
put it there. A Gambrel roof brings more building Mass higher up on
the building. Seasons Guesthouse at 160 Bradford street is a classic
Gambrel roof. The original building of Carpe Diem Guest house on
Johnson Street is a classic Mansard roof.

During the public hearing it also became apparent to me that the
building at Bay Harbour was in fact a Gambrel roof and in fact OVER
the height restrictions of the Provincetown Zoning By-Laws.I felt it
was my duty to apprise the Board of this fact and did so. Mr Mulvey
objected stating that a Gambrel roof is in the mansard "family" of
roofs. I had never heard of such a thing.

After the meeting, I consulted with an architect who confirmed my suspicion
that a Gambrel roof and a Mansard roof are two different animals.Only being a
consultant to the ZBA and not an appointed member I felt I did all
that I could to point out what I thought was an apparent Zoning
violation.At the time the ZBA seemed to accept Mr. Mulvey's
explanation and the matter was dropped.

If there are people who feel they are aggrieved by the building
commissioner's decision to allow a Gambrel roof to be built in
violation of the By-law's height restriction, their only recourse at
this time(and for that matter, the time in which they can appeal his
decision may very well have expired by state law) would be to send
the building commissioner a letter requesting "zoning enforcement"
for the property at Bay harbour.

The building commissioner then MUST respond to them within a time
frame set by state law as to whether he agrees with them and will enforce the by-law in question, or whether he doesn't agree with them and thinks the building is in compliance.
 
If they don't agree with the decision of the building commissioner,
they can then, once again within a time frame set by state law, bring
forward a case before the ZBA requesting the ZBA to overturn the
decision of the building commissioner.

IS everyone asleep yet??

Yes, Zoning can be a bit complicated! My question is why the building
commissioner at that time chose to overlook what I believed was a GLARING
violation of the Provincetown Zoning By-Laws.

I have no evidence to prove it, but at the meeting it truly did feel as if the
matter was trying to be swept under the rug. If memory serves me right, also
present were Town Counsel and the Town Manager. For what reason? I haven't a clue.
Something didn'tpass the "smell" test to me. I hope I've been able to shed some light here.

Peter Bez

Former ZBA member and consultant
2:23 pm est 

Ripped Off!

$38,000 for plans for that little building?! That is
outrageous! A plan for tha building should cost about $5,000. Maybe
$10,000 if someone wants to get real fancy and ovecharge. BOS you got
ripped off!

Webmaster Comment: re- Firehouse #2

2:13 pm est 

I Want to Hear From the Selectmen!

The current editorial states that Ms. Heather Bruce assessed taxes were increased by 61% over a two year period, is that legal?

What are the Selectmen saying about this. Are they saying anything? We can't just let this be swept under the rug; if this is true and illegal!

Who was the town Assessor? It's my understanding, the the current Town Assessor only recently received his certification.

Is this a potential legal problem?

I want to hear from the Selectmen.........anybody out there?......Hello!

             It's very lonely out here !
2:08 pm est 

Firehouse #2

What is most outrageous about what the selectmen (mainly Couture and
Parmakian) are doing is their obvious disregard for what we voted
for.  nowhere in our vote did we even suggest any uses for the second
floor.  the vote that was taken, and passed, was that $500,000 was to
be used to rehabilitate and create public restrooms out of the old
firehouse. 

If they want to create any additional uses for the second
floor, then we need to vote on it.  this is a town owned building and
our tax dollars are going into the construction and rehabilitation of
that building. 

Selectmen, please don't think that we, the voters,
have given you a blank check to do with as YOU think is appropriate. 
we voted for a comfort station....period.  if you want to spend any
extra money, bring it before the town meeting again and let us decide.

cliff

1:56 pm est 

To: "Can anyone Explain This"- Archived Blog on Jan. 18, 2008

The above  inquiry was in reference to the Provincetown's excessive  Permit Fees.

If you review the facts, the previous Building Commissioner Mr. Douglas Taylor never completed the legal process of gaining approval for his increased Permit Fees.

The law requires the publishing of an announcement stating the intent to hold public meetings to seek approval for any proposed fee increases. A second publishing of the conclusions of the meeting is also required.

A meeting was convened, there were no participants, no vote was held and no announcement of the meeting votes were ever published; as required by law.

Mr. Taylor, unilaterally increased Permit Fees with the consent of then Town Manager Keith Bergman.

Therefore, the current Permit Fees that are currently being enforce have no basis in law, and are illegal.

Here is another case where the town has placed itself in jeopardy. It follows, that if indeed the fees were illegal, the town is obliged to not only change the Permit rates back to the last legally approved values, but, in addition, is exposed to claims by previous Permit Fee payers demanding refunds with interest.

Worst still, we could be faced with another potential classaction suit.

I would appreciate any information regarding this issue. Is there a basis for my concern?

Concerned citizen
1:41 pm est 

Can Michelle Couture Really Add?

When it comes to Firehouse No.2 what is she thinking? The
townpeople did vote for an override for the Firehouse and even agreed
to $500,000. Then, David Guertin had said that his analysis showed
that to create a bathroom and shore it up would cost around $300,000.
Thinking the voters would NOT agree to an override, the selectmen did
not ask for $300,000 but for $500,000--$200,000 over the estimate.

Now we have all kinds of designs--all to spend more and more
money. As the new architect Robert Evans said "installing bathrooms,
shoring up the building and winterizing it would cost approximately
$300,000." Good and you would think we would end it at that. But, oh
no, HERE WE GO AGAIN!

Option 1, with a bedroom apartment on the second floor would
cost $388,88. And then there is Option 2 at $472,000 to add a dormer
loft to sleep eight. Michelle Couture is the only one to rush forward
and move to spend the money now---$472,000 to create the second floor.

What is the problem with this? Cost of the new architects has
already been $19,000 and the BOS agreed to another $19,000 leading to
$38,000 cost--and it probably won't stop there!

That means that the project would already be over the Override
by $10,000. But, excuse me, MS. Couture, do you know that borrowing
money cost money? Have you figured out how much the borrowing cost of
$500,000 will cost? And shouldn't that amount be considered in the
vote on what to do with Firehouse NO. 2?

Check your own records and see that the borrowing cost is
$137,500. So it means that your vote to go forward would be a vote to
spend $147,500 on Firehouse NO. 2 more than the Override that was
voted on. So would you ask for another Override of $147,500 to cover
what YOU want, but NOT what we voted on?

In this time of fiscal difficulty and financial shortfalls, I
find this OUTRAGEOUS!
11:20 am est 

Cheryl...

I have noticed that you have been on the board since I posted my
question to you, "Do we or do we not have a loan, and if we do, does
it or does it not effect a regionalization prospect?"

I have not received and answer from you to date. Would you please
answer this question.

Slippery Fish (getting old waiting...not good for a fish)
10:58 am est 

A Gambrel Roof is a Gambrel Roof!

Clarence, love that new editorial.

You listed some scandals of the recent past. But you missed a really
big one. That is the new development at Bay Harbor. Big time cover-up
going on there. the house already built is ILLEGAL according to our
Zoning Bylaws.

A gambrel roof is a gambrel roof no matter what Matt Mulvey says to
cover his own ass. He made a mistake. Yes his highness whose ground
that he walks on should be worshipped, made a mistake and covered it
up with the help of our beloved new Town Manager.

Anyone out there with more info on this? I know I have more and will
be giving you more details in time. I wish I could sign my name, but
if I did that I'm afraid that the people in power would use that
power to hurt me to protect themselves.

A rat in the basement

Webmaster Comment: We look forward to additional substantiating information. What about the Historic District Committee; Zoning Committee; Tax Assessor Office and Community Development Office, can they provide input to further elucidate your claim? What are the infringement specifics?
10:44 am est 

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My Dear Selectwoman,

    The state of Massachusetts does, in fact, conduct audits. The
State does look into a town's or a municipality's books when there is
cause to believe that alleged mismanagement of funds or questionable
disappearance of funds or inflated expenses without proper
documentation occurs. Alleged misappropriation of town funds does
trigger state audits.

     Should this happen here? Ah, that is the quetion.

     The Raven
7:25 pm est 

Meetings, Meeting, and then, Oh yes, More Meetings


     I have often heard one selectmen in particular complain that
town people had the chance to give their input and make their
concerns known and then seem to  surprise the selectmen when they
vote against BOS pet projects or amendments.

    But take a look at the following:

    Tuesday, January 22, 2007 6p.m. in the Judge Welsh Room:
     Review of the FY 2009 Budge Request  BOS Meeting
     Wednesday Janaury 23, 2008 60p.m. in Judge Welsh Room:
     Review of the FY 2009 Budget Request  BOS Meeting
     Thursday January 24, 2009 6p.m. in Judge Welsh Room:
     Review of FY 2009 Budget Request     BOS Meeting
     Tuesday, January 29, 2008 6p.m. in Judge Welsh Room:
     Review of FY 2009 Budget Request      BOS Meeting

    And then there's also these Meetings:

    Wednesday, January 23, 2008 4:30p.m. in J. Welsh Room:
    Town Hall Renovations: McGinley Kalsow & Associ.
    Progress Report                        BOS Meeting
    Tuesday January 22, 2008 5p.m. in J. Welsh R
     Executive Session--request Michele Couture (Do we know
     Why?)                                 BOS Meeting
    Tuesday, Janauary 29, 2008 Public Hearing
    Provincetown School committee 4p.m. Veteran's Memorial
    Proposed Budget--copies at the Public Library

    Then Monday February 11, 2008 BOS Meeting 6p.m. J. Welsh
     Commercial Steet Paving and Determining the percentages
     of the local tx levey to be borne in Fiscal Year 2008

     This does not include the forthcoming BOS meetings with Finance Committee.

     Yes, we are part of the town but for most of us we have a life
in town--it is not the town that is our life. Attending all these
meetings---yes, with request for input--would not be possible nor
desirable for most of us.

    So thank you for this Blog where we can give our input, hear what
others feel, get a collective sense of the issues and problenms of
this town without sitting in at all these meetings and listening, too
often to some Selectmen talk on and on, loving to hear themselves
speak, and then hours and hours go by. BOS meetings are now lasting
almost five hours.

     Give me Shout Out!

     Mudhead
5:54 pm est 

Mary Jo ,

Thanks for the participation.  The tone 'MUST STOP IMMEDIATELY'
sounds  like your yelling at us.  We are no longer humble minions.
This behavior exemplifies what everyone has said about our representatives.
We are all frustrated but your behavior should rise above the rabble .

Sitting in my time out corner,

SHADOW

5:47 pm est 

Requests for Audits?
 
Are you sure?
In my past life I worked as a CPA in the private sector.  I went
through an audit every year.  The purpose of an audit in the private
sector is to determine if the financial statements fairly represent
the financial position of the entity being audited.  Most audit
statements will contain a statement stating that the accuracy of the
financial statements are the responsibility of the management of the
entity. 

When I went through the annual audit the auditors would
perform tests to determine if the revenues stated made sense, they
would perform tests to determine if the expenses were correctly
stated.  They might do this by looking at a number of checks written
and request the staff to provide the proper backup for these checks
such as an invoice.

As Mary-Jo mentioned the town has an audit performed every year.  We
already have an audit by an idependent accounting firm.  I think (I'm
sure you will correct me if I'm wrong) that when citizens request an
audit of the town's finances what they really want to know is if
there is fraud, if there wasteful spending, has all the income been
been accounted for, are the expenses legitimate, etc.  An audit may,
but is not intended to uncover these things.

Again as Mary-Jo mentioned the town currently has someone in from the
state that is looking at the town's financial practices.  I'm not
completely aware of what this process is, but it seems like it's a
step in the right direction.  I would expect that our selectmen will
explain what the process was and what the results were when
completed.  At that time the taxpayers may decide that the process
was what they wanted or they may decide they want additional
inspections performed.

One of my roles in my prior life was to prepare financial statements
for my Board of Directors that in very clear terms spelled out the
finances of the entity.  The readers were not people with an
accounting background so the finances needed to be understandable to
the general public and not include a bunch of accounting terms that
no one understood.  That seems to be lacking in Provincetown, we have
all these different budgets and different funds and they can be
pretty confusing.  Even with my accounting background I'm in the dark
a good portion of the time.  The town could do a much better job of
explaining the various funds, what revenue goes into those funds,
what expenses are paid from those funds, what controls exist to
insure those funds are spent correctly and wisely.

But, we already have an annual audit performed.  It doesn't make
sense to have the same process performed again.

DRH
1:58 pm est 

Shadow

My email is

cla_dmd@wn.net

you may contact me any time.



Cheryl Andrews
1:50 pm est 

Thank You for Your Honesty
Thank You

Cheryl Andrews for shedding light on what appears to be some
duplicity on the part of our dear departed bow tie.

To those detractors who are blaming the past select person for NOT
DOING ANYTHING i can only imagine the frustration of knowing what he
did and having NO recourse.  I think it was admirable to be so forth
coming.

I do have some confusion re some of the wording you used at the end
of the posting.  I also understand that you may not want to put that
information on this board.  If this is so i would be more than happy
to contact you privately .

Again thank you for your honesty,

SHADOW
11:50 am est 

The State Does Not Conduct Audits!
Misinformation regarding a state run audit needs to be put
to rest and put to rest immediately. The state does not conduct
audits. What the Division of Local Services will do and what they
arrived in Town Hall this week to undertake iis a review of the
town's financial practices.

I repeat: This is not an audit.

By statute, cities and towns in the Commonwealth are required by
law to conduct annual audits which are financed by the taxpayers. And
since the late 1970's, following the reconstruction of the town's
financial records, that is exactly what Provincetown has done.

I hope this clarifies the situation. It is my hope at least that
following the state review, the town will receive suggestions which
may not help improve the financial situation but which may provide
information to send us down that road.

Mary-Jo Avellar
11:32 am est 

"What We're Seeing is a Class Colonization,"

"The New American Gentry
Wealthy folks are colonizing rural areas,
bringing cash, culture -- and controversy
By CONOR DOUGHERTY
Wall Street Journal
January 19, 2008

McCall, Idaho: The word "gentrification" conjures up images of
once-poor urban neighborhoods invaded by cappuccino bars and
million-dollar condos. Now, broad swaths of rural America -- from New
England to the Rocky Mountain West -- are being gussied up, too.

Affluent retirees and other high-income types have descended on these
remote areas, creating new demand for amenities like interior-design
stores, spas and organic markets. For many communities, it's the
biggest change since the interstate highway system came barreling
through in the 1960s and 1970s.

With the Internet allowing people to work from almost anywhere, the
distinction between first and second homes has become blurred. Many
people are buying retirement property while they're still employed.
Millions of soon-to-retire baby boomers, say demographers, will
propel this trend for years to come.

"What we're seeing is a class colonization," says Peter Nelson, an
associate professor of geography at Middlebury College and an expert
on rural migration. "It really represents a shift in the nature of
the economy from a resource-extraction economy to an aesthetic-based
economy."

Such change can create social tensions, as longtime residents are
either driven away because they can no longer afford housing or are
forced to adapt to new careers....."

extracted from:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120069319738001353.html?mod=hps_us_pageone
1:30 am est 

And You Did Nothing!

As a result of Bergman putting in language that the selectmen didn't
authorize in their own warrant, which then allowed all hell to break
loose, what did you and the other selectmen do about Bergman?

Quick answer; NOTHING! Which is only one small reason Ptown is the
way it is but mostly from lack of leadership from the selectmen.
12:32 am est 

Cheryl:

Be careful? of what?

I am sure you can tell by the tenor of this Board that there are few
that do not feel that P-Town Schools as they currently exist must
make changes.

The economic crisis faced by the town can no longer support so much
money for so few .  The isolated setting does not insure adequate
socailization and educational opportunities for our town's youth
which could be best served by combining and regionalizing the system.

The balance of heritage and tradition must adapt to the changing
times. This is not a choice anymore. Emotions have to be kept out of
it so that level-headedness will ultimately prevail.

I had also heard about this loan that Shadow mentioned. I do not
really understand your response. Do we or do we not have a loan, and,
if we do, does it effect a regionalization prospect?

I would like to personally thamk you for joining us here. We are all
on the same side.

Slippery Fish (reporting from Town Hall)
12:27 am est 

Friday, January 18, 2008

Hopefully, Here are Some Answers to the Questions Raised

Keep in mind, I don't have a dog in this fight.

When it comes to the building department, for years, Bergaman kept
that department down and demanded so much of the people in the
department that they didn't much care about productivity.

Now, we see a clear headed, intelligent individual in the position of
commissioner and he WILL make it a better place. The reason he was
hired without full credentials is because the town, with all of its
financial woes, wasn't about to pay the wages a fully certified
person would require.

The cost of living down here is high so the wages must be comparable
but the towns are unwilling to pay. Therefore, they hired this guy most likely
with the caveat that in a prescribed period of time, he will have to attain the credentials
needed.

If he doesn't meet the standards, the TM will be forced to
let him go. If this isn't in place in the contract/agreement, it
should have been.

The new commish is a nice guy and VERY smart from what I have seen. But agreed,
he still needs to be certified.

Why are the fees so high? Because Bergman abused his office and the
building department and decided to impose fees simply because he
could most likely to offset the sinking financial ship he was captain
of.

P-town has some odf the highest fees around and thats just not
fair. With higher fees, I believe state law requires a town to
provide more service. I doubt that happened.

In terms of the audit, take it to town meeting and add an article
that requests the town, by citisen vote, to perform an audit. I don't
know if that's even legal but if you want to get the selectmens
attention, that's how you get it done. If the selectmen are opposed
to that, something is VERY amiss in Ptown.
6:40 pm est 

Dear Shadow

There was borrowing for the capital improvements a number of years
ago..I seem to think in the 5-7M range ....Susan Fleming was still
superintendant when it went to town meeting floor. It is a true
statement that buildings are not eligible for funding unless they are
being used for educational purposes..........which is why when the
Annex RFP was crafted, only educational institutions could
respond.......and the Center for Coastal Studies deal was inked.

I also recall that as a negotiating strategy, to get the school to
agree to sell the annex, and also to play ball with the selectmen on
some Motta Field land needed for the manor, i think those loans are
longer than 10 years now.

There was a Memorandum of Understanding between the School Committee
and BofS  that would have those details.I think it was signed about 3 (?) years
ago and it was ratified at a subsequent town meeting.

My view?  The long term needs of the school dept are complex, and the
borrowing you are referring to is the least of our worries in terms
of having a thoughtful conversation on this subject.

The selectmen  attempted to be part of that conversation once. Keith
inserted some language into the draft Town Meeting warrant without
any of us authorizing him to , and the next thing you know, all hell
broke loose. Please be careful.

People feel very passionately about this and we are all neighbors.

Cheryl
6:31 pm est 

Attention Cheryl Andrews!

Do you know about a ten year loan that the H.S took out a couple of
years ago that will come due immediatly if the school closes?????

Still In The Dark

SHADOW
3:27 pm est 

Dear Provincetown Taxpayer

What we need is a state audit, not an audit by someone hired by
the town. We need a true, thorough audit where the state comes in,
goes through the town's books, and comes up with its professional
results.

Bring in Joe Denucci, the state auditor, and bring in his
"crew" and you will get answers you have not been receiving.

They surely wouldn't have let the $814,000 potential grant for the
SeaPoint Shore be counted as income when it was not ever granted!

They would not have given a positive financial statement for the
Water WAste Enterprise Fund as was done.

It's time to go to the Emperor!

      An East End Taxpayer
12:46 pm est 

Isn't History Repeating Itself Again?

So the new Building Commissioner does not YET have the
qualifications to fill the position as posted or required?

Isn't history repeating itself again?  It seems that was the
situation with Doug Taylor as well.

Is this the new standard we are accepting from our Board of Selectmen
and Town Manager?

Would we consider hiring a Police Chief without the necessary
credentials?  I would hope not.

Why do we not take the position of Building Commissioner seriously
when filling the position?  Does anyone realize the responsibility
and qualification that this position requires?
11:43 am est 

Questions About Borrowing

As Dune Shack writes, there are certain high fees for borrowing
the $5,650,000 for Phase II of the Great Sewer Project. But can any
of our financial blog wizards asnwer these questions:

  Is the $1,190,906 for the interest in line with a town's borrowing?
  Also is the $423,750 for the Origination Fee acceptable? And then is the
  $84,750 for the Administrative Fee what we should expect for this town's
  borrowing?

Thank you Dune Shack for the figures. But now I have questions
that I certainly cannot answer.

Can someone?

      Mudhead
11:39 am est 

A Better System of Checks and Balances Needs to be Implemented

An audit is not going to indentify the possible wasteful
spending habits of departments. the pier corp is audited every year.
but, tens of thousands of dollars are wasted each year and their
audits don't red flag questionable capital expenditures.

There has to be something in addition to audits to prevent runaway spending that
hurts taxpayers. A better system of checks and balances needs to
be implemented for all budgets.

Provincetown Taxpayer
11:30 am est 

Dear Would Like to Know,

Good question you asked.
The harbormaster took out all the electricity reading meters for
reasons no one understands.
11:14 am est 

I Would Like to Know.......

.....when I go down the pier for a ride
during day and i see spot lights on the back of the boats are they
plugged into pier using the electric and making electric bill so hi
who pays for that and they arent on for just a minute ive gone by
couple hours later and these big spot lights on and boat motors or
generators arent going so i ask who pays electric bill when plugged
into town pier
10:49 am est 

So Glad!

I'm glad I dont pay taxes in this town.
10:09 am est 

So, Let Me Get This Straight

Those connected to, or waiting to connect to, the sewer have to pick up the
shortfall for a grant that may or may not come through.

If you have ever used the restrooms at town hall or by the pier, then you should pay too. If you have used the restroom in your church, then you should pay too.

If you have used the restroom in any of the restaurants that are
hooked up, then you should pay too. Who is paying for the hook-up and
relandscaping at the Grace Govia building? MMMM, just those of us who
are hooked up.

If you have done business at the G.G. building, then you should pay too.
If you have a loved one in Seashore Point, then you should pay too. And
why did the G.G. building get new landscaping? I certainly didn't when I was
hooked up.

In fact, the Robt. B. Our Co. charged me to dump "top soil" in my yard that came
from their landfill in Harwich. Top soil full of rusty metal and
broken glass, thanks Robt. Our! The sewer is a necessity, not a luxury, with a cost that must be consumed by all.

I think a class action lawsuit is in order here.

The Ogre
10:04 am est 

To Squeeezed Enough.....

I pay over $1200 for private service
for garbage removal... Sure I can take it to the transfer station for
free... That's real easy when you're disabled. I was told my taxes
are reduced by $75 because I receive NO town services.  Based on the
town's own calculations, you should pay no more that let's say 1/3 of
my tax savings, that's $25, or maybe my tax break should be at least
the $400 of which you speak. Better yet IF YOU PAY TAXES AND LIVE IN
TOWN, THE TOWN SHOULD PICK UP YOUR DAMN GARBAGE.

Sick of inequity
9:54 am est 

Can Anyone Explain This?

So why did we hire a man as building commissioner who  
doesn't have the experience or the qualifications to do the job?

It seems he is planing big changes. Fair enough, that department
could use some shaping up. So he comes out with a new permit
application with a cover letter that sounds like it was written by a
twelve year old. Pick one up it's a joke. Then he announces that they
will no longer be open on Fridays.

So we pay probably the highest permit fees on Cape and we get less service from an over complicated, overpriced, understaffed department.

This has been slowly happening to this department for a few years now
and it doesn't seem to get much attention from the general public. I
guess out of sight, out of mind is at work here. But let me tell you
the trickle down theory woks here too.

The next time you need to replace a toilet or a door and you have to pay more
for the permit than for that toilet or door and it takes a month of jumping through
hoops to get the permit than you can thank the department head and TM
for there revenue enhancement program.
1:23 am est 

Audit, Audit, Audit

Three cheers for Dune Shake, The Raven and Still Waiting.

Let's take the steps now to get an audit. What do we really have to do? We
need to demand an audit or let's bring in the state. They surely will
look deeply in the dark corners. You are all on track.
11:30 pm est 

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hello all,

Just a quick update,

I would like you all to know there is now an individual survey on the
town website, thank you "taxpayer for change." If you would like to
add you name great, if not that's fine too. We need to move on and
discuss how we do that, So we look forward in hearing your views.

Please go to the website today and fill out this survey. Our
committee will be meeting next week and would be glad to see and hear
anyone's views. January 24th 10AM in townhall, all are welcome to
attend.

I thank you,

Cathy Reno Brouillet
Co-Chair /NPFH committee
10:58 pm est 

I am Still Trying to Figure Out this whole Senerio

The BOS and Town manager will hire a consutant in a heartbeat.

Yet,when it comes to an audit, where is it? Why the delay? Perhaps they are

afraid of the results. You are not all responsible for the issues
that are in the frontline, but you are responsible to clean up the mess.

Step up to the plateor go home. As a taxpayer, I support the consulting fee for an auditor.

Still waiting
10:16 pm est 

Maybe We're Dealing with the $30,000,000 Issue

It seem the DPW is proud of its $30,000,000 projects and
budgets. so they say on their town web site. And maybe, just mabye,
therein lies one major problem of this town. One department dealing
with $30 million in projects and budgets and not the necessary
oversight.

Maybe further analysis of the yearly contractor services
should be a first step. In 2007, $596,111, for 2008 $687,348, for
2009 $792,000, for 2010 $824,000 and for 2011 $857,000. We know that
Metcalf & Eddy get $48,400.92 a month although we may not know
exactly what they are getting these monies for each month. What's
happening here?

Then we have the $1,190,906 interest to be paid on the
$5,650,000 we borrowed for one of sewer phases. And we have $423,750
for the Origination Fee and then $84,750 for the administrative fee.
From 2008 through 2027, we are burdened with paying these.

And now we have the shortfall of the Fedearl Grant, leaving an
extra $400,000 or $500,000 to be shouldered by the town sewer
connectors. (Sorry, you should have a better term but alas)

We need to know more about what work is being done, what
actions are being billed, in each little box. Somehow I'm still
looking. Can anyone else help me here? Much can be hidden in the $30
million bonanza.

      Dune Shack
10:07 pm est 

Charge a Fee for Picking up the Garbage.

Translation:
raise the rent on all of the people who live here year round.

See, this is how it works:  We pay top dollar rent as it is part of
which, of course, goes to paying the grossly inflated taxes the
property owners are already charged and now it will just go up even
more.

Lets see, 2 bags of garbage per week at 4 dollars per bag means
my already absurd rent goes up another $416.00 per year.

 Nice.  It certainly proves that trickle-down economics is alive and well.

Signed,

Squeezed Enough

9:18 pm est 

What are They Waiting For?

Why isn't an Audit being performed? Don't the Selectmen want to
know what is actually in our so-called department budgets? And if a
true audit had been done on the DPW, we would have known how
vulnerable we really were.

The Numbers Game must stop. We need real numbers and the only
way to gain such fiscal knoweldge is to have a true, objective,
hands-off audit of ALL our expenses and ALL of our revenues.

Step Up to the Plate Selectmen. Be leaders not followers.

       The Raven
8:57 pm est 

A Handshake Across the Towns!

I'm thrilled that Nauset voted to contact Provincetown school
system and begin to discuss the possibility of consolidation. This is
wonderful news. They see the fiscal need on their part and we have a
fiscal need with our system.

This is not Keith Bergman's secret negotiation of the past. This
is up-front contact, discussion and the extending hand to
Provincetown. We have the chance to grasp new possibilities. It is
not gloom and doom but possible synergies and possible new
connections when two systems merge or work together.

Let's hope the Provincetown School Committee and the
Provincetown Selectmen see this as a welcoming move by Nauset that
may well benefit Provicetown is so many ways.

      Let the dialoge begin!

       Red Pencil
8:44 pm est 

No Matter What We Eat

Some of us will have to switch to hamburger,

others will eat crow, and some will be left with egg on their face.

No matter what we eat, Where's the AUDIT?

Despairingly Waiting
7:19 pm est 

The School Committee?

Send our kids to Nauset for a quality education and make
the Provincetown education system more cost effective. 12 graduating
seniors?  C'mon, it just isn't common sense to keep the high school
open.

What is really the financial impact of doing this?  How do we make
this happen?  I think there is a very small, but very vocal minority
who believe the high school must remain open at all costs.  If this
question were on the ballot I strongly believe voters would decide
our kids can get the best and most cost effective education at
Nauset.  It's a winning solution for both school systems.

The school committee?  They are in that very vocal minority who
believe the middle school and high school must remain open at all
costs.  They are not listening to reason.  And their special
committee it seems was put together to reach a pre-determined result.
7:14 pm est 

OK FROM THE TOP

Does the High School have an outstanding loan with the state that is
payable over  ten years.  If so, do they also  have to start paying
that loan back immediately if the H.S is closed?
This has been bandied about as the main reason the H.S had to  remain open.
Re the editorial in the Banner....private smyvite the pier corp gets
money from the town but has little or no accountability.  Sounds a
wee bit omnipotent.
How many people does it take to deal with the head of the DPW ...none
i guess because no one does.

  The people in charge need consultants to figure out how to hire
someone who is competent for a job.  Isn't that their job?
Nobody has the time to look at a resumme, check references and have a
face to face with a panel of say, people with backgrounds in that
area?

I was watching the Beverly Hillbillies the other morning. Ellie Mae
and Jethro were out hunting possum for super .I hear granny makes a
fine stew.  Then up from the ground came a bubblin crude .  Lets go
swimming in the cement pond while we wait.

Kudos to the webmaster ,you give good editorial

SHADOW
7:07 pm est 

Sometimes We Can Buy Steak and Sometimes, We Make Due With Hamburger

The Banner - Cover Page "Selectmen delve into pay-per thro
trash fee"

The Banner - Page 7 "Water use & trash tallies drop"

Let's see, we are generating less trash (good job) so let's charge
you with a new program (your punishment for doing a good job).

DOES ANYBODY think these two articles, by the same reporter - seven
pages apart - are somehow related?

Why in the world would we develop yet another bureaucracy to monitor
who coordinates this "pay-per thro" program - selling bags,
monitoring who is doing it right and who is doing it wrong?  What
about the increase cost of monitoring the trash drop offs?  Has
anyone ever tried to bring trash to the Transfer Station?  The
Manager over there disrespects taxpayers who he forgets pay his
salary.(This comment was not meant for the majority of some very nice
employees there who are always cordial and accomodating).

In the real world, when sales in a store decline or work load
decreases on an assembly line, one goes back to Business 101 and you
adjust your work force. - it's a fact of life for survival.

Has anyone thought of perhaps combining all of the districts into one
pickup day per week during at least the winter months?  I really
don't see a lot of trash barrels out in the dead of winter - plus the
report is in confirming less trash (see the Banner article)

Have anyone thought of perhaps municipal trash pickups every other
week?  How about doing an every other week pickup and simply allow
taxpayers to drop off their own trash during the "off week" - with no
charges?

Has everyone forgotten that we already have a successful recyling
program in place?  Are we going to bring our recycles to the Transfer
Station?  I must have missed this aspect being addressed if we go
with a pay by use plan.

There are some obvious answers to some of the fiscal problems in our
little town.  We just have to get out of the mindset that to solve
problems you just increase revenues.  We will get nowhere until this
thinking - starting with our Board of Selectmen - changes.  In our
personal lives, we all have to make these changes as our incomes
change.  Sometimes we can buy steak and sometimes, we make due with
hamburger.  It's just that simple.

Signed,
Old Enough to Know Better
4:35 pm est 

Speaks the Truth

Thank you for the great article and
thank you Nausett . Excellent opportunity. I will vote YES.

Slippery Fish
4:27 pm est 

I Don't Say This Lightly.........

.......for I feel a great many of our
town's employees are very hard workers who contribute greatly to our
town.  But, I think it's time for some major shakeups in town and we
need to start with DPW.  Ever since he was found guilty ethics
violations by the state of Massachusetts I've lost trust in the
current director.  Add to that the number of past employees who
complained about what was going on in the department.  Previously I
chalked up their comments to disgruntled employees, but now I'm not
so sure.

This is not a slam against the hard working men and women of the DPW.
  I've had the pleasure of meeting many of them as I go about my
daily business and have found them to be outstanding.  But, I believe
it's time to clean house at the DPW and it needs to start with the
Director and possibly the Deputy Director.  There are just too much
questionable things going on there, the budget is a large part of the
town's expenses and it appears to be out of control.

-When issues arise about the sewer project, which department is in
charge of that?
-When there is obvious overstaffing in the public restrooms during
the season, which department is in charge of that?
-When the BOS are told the public restrooms are being closed early
(before Women's Week) because their budget won't cover it, which
department is in charge of that?
-When an outrageous quote is delivered to the BOS to extend trash
pickup to those condos previously excluded, which department did it
come from?
4:23 pm est 

To 20/20 Vision,

I can't even describe how I feel. I'm still in a state of shock.
At this moment all that I can contribute is, "the glass is half full",
IT IS EMPTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!''''''''''''''''''

Why don't we just hand town government a credit card with unlimted funds.
Oops, it's already been done. Imagine, entering funds into a ledger
that are not there? I guess it's like "the check is in the mail, and
it's good.

Rattlesnake
3:22 pm est 

For :JUST SAY YES! 3:18 pm est 

On Dec 23 2007,, I Posted the Following on PACC to Lower Costs on MacMillan Pier

As an example, research offsetting the pier's $50,000 in annual
electric bills by having a windmill at the end of the pier.

On Dec 26 Harbormaster McKinsey posted the following on PACC:

Ms. Nagle asserts that she has solutions for the pier.  Windmill?
Been there, got an article about it in the paper- caused firestorm in public.

FAST FORWARD:

The Provincetown Banner Jan. 17 2007 page 3:

The board (Pier Corp.) approved a motion to investigate possible
grant funding for wind turbines to cut their $40,000 per year
electric bill.

The town manager and BOS should encourage money saving/money making
ideas from taxpayers and forbid employees of appointed board members
and appointed board members to belittle them or use tactics of
intimidation because they dont want the status quo challenged or
their egos prevent any input from outsiders.

  There have been some great ideas posted on this website both for
the pier and on land.  Now is the time to harness these ideas as
articles on the warrant for the next town meeting this spring that
will truly empower Provincetowns taxpayers. In addition,I agree it is
an excellent idea to have people attend different board meetings and
report back to the PACC site.

I have advanced an idea about taking a different direction vis a vis
the economic development of MacMillan Pier in a Letter to the Editor
in this weeks Banner. I welcome any respectful input.

Candace Nagle
3:15 pm est 

What a Mess!

I am amazed by the fact that there was no contingency planning associated with the manor grant short fall!

How could any responsible body of intelligent people (BOS), not provide worst-case provisioning for a source of needed capital, which was always questionable as to its availability?

To leave it up to the Director of DPW to successfully solicit the required funds, without recourse, is ludicrous!

I'm shocked that the burden will fall on so few people (those connected and or scheduled to be connected).

Where are we going with this? Should we not be reviewing the contract with Seashore Point to  determine the veracity of the document? It seems to me, we gave away the kitchen sink and paid them to take it.

Those Selectmen who presided over the original agreement should be looked at with a jaundice eye. Why are we always placing the town in losing propositions?

We need and audit to establish once and for all the town's outstanding liabilities.  

If you look closely you will see that DPW represents the greatest source of blood letting of all town departments. There are no controls and the department Director, Mr. David Guertin is out of control.

Our Town Manager seems to lack any capacity to either give guidance or leadership. She is a nice person; but, has not displayed any independent ability to control and or conceive of an alternate plan of action.

She is still in the process of hiring personnel and funding consultant studies, with no regard for the reality of the situation. I see no capacity to provide innovative realistic proposals toward an achievable solution.

Furthermore, I predict that individual signatories to the agreements with the town affixing a limit to what their projected payments liabilities would be for the sewer system hook-up ,will bring a class action law suit against the town, and will win! 

What a mess!

2:57 pm est 

The Glass Half Full

The Banner headline reads: "Manor Grant Falls Short" and we
read the disappointing and upsetting news that the grant to cover the
sewer connection for the new Manor--SeaPoint Shore--will be short
$300,000 or mayabe short $400,000 and that it is not SeaPoint Shore
that will be paying for this, but the town people connected to the
sewer.

For so many, this is absolutely devastating news. Yet Michelle
Couture's remark is to see this situation as "the glass half full."
As far as this selectmen is concerned, she sees that "even a reduced
USDA grant woudl still provide extra money to the town that it
doesn't have to raise from sewer users." Really? Did she expect that
the town sewer users were really going to pay the entire $814,000 and
now they should be pleased they only have to pay $400,000 or even
maybe $500,000, depending on what the USDA does?

No, Ms. Couture, this is not a happy day and the glass is not
half full. It is a sad day and the glass is more than half empty.

       20/20 Vision
12:05 pm est 

Cheryl,

I found your information very helpful. It's great to hear from
you and give some direction to the budget process. I will defeinitely
get the Town Manager's budget and attend those meetings.

      In the East End
12:00 pm est 

Webmaster Comment: New Editorial
Webmaster Comment:

Please Read New Editorial!
河流宽阔, 山脉高, 皇帝遥远

, 山脉高, 皇帝遥远

Héliú Yáo Yuǎn, Shān Mài Gāo hé Huángdì YáoYuǎn

The River is Wide; Mountain Range High; & the Emperor is Far Away!

4:37 am est 

My Dear Ms.Andrews,
Thank you so much for adding information and date to this Blog.
Thanks for your information and comments. there is no doubt it's hard
to know what's true and hat's not so true,but I appreciate your
helping in trying to make sense of all of this.

   With much appreciation,

    Deck Hand
12:14 am est 

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dear MudHead,

I would like to see cuts in each departments's Expense accounts.
Some have only $6,000 while others, like those of the Waste Water
Enterprise have over $200,000 in their expense accounts. So what's in
there? It would be good to know what is in each Expense account and
then require a 5% cut across the board in these accounts. But I do
believe we first have to know what expenses lie in the Expense
Accounts for each deaprtment.

That's my suggestion. For starters, of course.

     Paper Clip
9:29 pm est 

Figuring Out How to be Effective


Many of you have written asking how to do various things.
A recent question asked how to get hold of the Town's 2007 Annual
Report. The Book will go to the printer and be ready for release at
the Town Meeting in April. If you are hoping to get one sooner, check
with Doug Johnstone , Town Clerk to find when the copy will be
available.

As for the town budget..our charter requires the Town Manager to
provide her budget to the Selectmen by Dec 31. According to the town
web site, the selectmen will begin to discuss, review and evaluate
her budget on Jan 22 at 6pm.   If you are truly interested in how the
budget gets crafted, you should go to these budget meetings.
Typically we have 3-5 of them . When the selectmen are done, they
send THEIR budget to the FinComm. In my 9 years experience, the big
debates occurred at the selectmen's meetings. If you  wish to be part
of the process, don't wait till Town Meeting. Its pretty much too
late. Go now.
There is really no other way of really understanding how the money is
spent. You can always make a motion on town meeting floor, but you
must go to the budget meetings in January ...to really know what you
are talking about.

Get a copy of the Town Manager's recommended budget and follow along.
The exception is the school budget. The selectmen do not review that
budget . It goes directly to the FinComm.

On a different note..........the Banner got it wrong today , when the
reporter  stated that the sewer warrant article did not pass at
Special Town Meeting last Nov. It sure did. Where it failed was at
the ballot box... in my view, because it was bundled with about
another $130,000 of add'l spending . This was horribly unfortunate.
The sewer override article deserved to be voted on .........all by
itself....and APPROVED.

I am not on the sewer but i know when something is fair. The town
buildings, and frankly, the manor  costs (even tho i had nothing to
do with that since Dad lived there and I recused myself ) should be
paid for by all of us, not just the sewer users.

The selectmen MUST put a Prop 2 1/2 sewer override on the ballot next
spring....by itself. And i will be glad to work with all of you that
are sewer rate payers , to see that it gets passed at the ballot. Do
not let the selectmen bundle this with any other spending.

OK, thats it for tonight.

Cheryl

Webmaster Comment: Dr. Cheryl Andrews is former Chairman of the BOS
9:25 pm est 

Did We or did WE Not

Get a loan from the state to keep the school open a couple of years
ago?   A loan that has to be paid over a ten year period OR if the
school is closed, the loan comes due immediately.

At this rate Provincetown should declare bankruptcy and change its
name to Mayberry.

SHADOW

getting catgut and staples for the amputat
9:17 pm est 

When the Chickens Come Home to Roost

    Holy Cow! Take a look at the Banner. Do you believe what Guertin
is NOW telling us and the Selectmen are NOW informing us of? They
"recently were informed" that the USDA "notified Guertin that while
the town would receive the grant, it would be between $300,000 and
$400,000 far below the $800,000 expected." Why did David  Guertin 
"expect" to receive the $800,000 plus grant? Why did the Selectmen
"expect" that Guertin would "expect" to receive the $800,000 plus
grant? And why did the Town manager "expect" that Guertin and the
Selectmen would "expect" to receive the $800,000 plus grant?

     And now who will have to pay the $400,000 or $500,000? OH, just
the 719 Provincetown property owners that rfea already hooked up or
have agreed to hook up to the sewer? The sewer user will have to fund
the shortfall. Are you kidding? Is this an April Fool's joke that came too early?

How much should and can the sewer-connected property owners pay? This
is an abomination!

     And who was the brilliant architect of this deal? Our former
Town Manager Keith Bergman and we have to include DPW Director David
Guertin in GIVING to the the FOR-PROFIT  New England Deaconness
Association--using the illusion that they have anything to do with
the wonderful Deaconness Hospital---please know they don't--and
offering as part of this mega-deal to assume the full responsibility
for paying for the connection fee of the sewer. Why? We have given
them the land; we have given them the use for two years of the
Freeman Library space; and we have given them over $800,000 to
connect SeaPoint Shore to the sewer at OUR expense.

      Who is really running this town? Such mismanagement. such
madness. Who'se rearranging the chairs on the Titanic. What will it
take for those in power to grasp the reality? The iceberg faces us.
We cannot avoid the coming collision.

      Shocked, When I Shouldn't Be Shocked
9:14 pm est 

Dear "Where the Date is"

Since you didn't leave a blog ID--some internate I can call
you--thanks ever so much for your willingness to go through the
town's date. WE are fortunate to have you as part of this Blog and I
look forward to trying to answer your questions and getting your
analysis. We for certain know we need good analysis--or just basic
analysis. Seems that's something we stopped doing years ago.

     With much appreciation,

     The Raven
8:28 pm est 

Just Found the Town Annual Report for 2006.

That was helpful. 

Anyone know when 2007 comes out?
4:59 pm est 

Thanks for the link to town finances

I am going to go through them very carefully. I used to do credit analysis of
municipalities for a living and I will happily share my findings.

Just one question. While I found more detailed information about town
expenses, I didn't see a detailed breakdown of revenue. 
Specifically, the second biggest revenue line-item is listed as
"Local - unallocated."  Can anyone tell me what that is?

I also couldn't find anything that looks like a balance sheet of the
town listing it's assets and liabilities.  I'm curious about
monetizable town assets and also about the debt profile. The Standard
& Poor's report was pretty inadequate.

Any help much appreciated. I am happy to do the research, I just need
to know where the data is.
4:54 pm est 

Dear Cliff,

Then Cliff, we should take your suggestion and vote on a
budget and direct that money to go to Nauset to educate our children.
1:16 pm est 

Suggestions From "Taxpayer for Choice"

One potential avenue for school budget vote would be to
demand that the school budget include a multi-stakeholder committee
(parents, students, admins, taxpayers, etc) to organize and complete
a realistic study of what the impact/process would be for
regionalizing Provincetown high school with other area schools as
well as a survey of students, parents, other stakeholders and formal
discussion with other districts about this idea. Refuse to approve
the budget unless it includes this item and accept that it will
increase the budget somewhat and be willing to pay the override
needed.

I am not a parent or voter so this is just a suggestion of a
possible approach and somehow would need to make sure the process
isn't just a token effort with a predetermined outcome. There is an
upcoming school budget meeting, go, ask hard questions.

Regarding decline in service usage, unfortunately a lot of the costs
of providing these services are fixed and not variable, less water
use does nothing to reduce the staff or anything else needed to
deliver that service. Less poop does nothing to decrease need for
staff to handle the fixed infrastructure. Also there is the risk of
losing institutional knowledge that is always needed for keeping
these complex, critical systems running.

Taxpayer for Choice
1:02 pm est 

Belt-Tightening Measures

With severe revenue shortfalls, I'd like to know what measures
my fellow bloggers would propose. What would you suggest to balance
the budget? I'd like to see an array of measures and then have us
evaluate and discuss certain choices.

What would you suggest? I'll start with one: a 4% reduction
across the board for all departments. This would be a start for the
2009 budget.

     Mudhead
10:50 am est 

Question About the Process?

It is being suggested that we just vote 'no' on the schools budget. 
then what happens?  by law we must pay for the education of the
children of our community.  by voting no, do we force the school
department to come back with another budget request and have a
special town meeting a few weeks after the annual town meeting?

Even if we vote no to the schools budget, we still have to vote on a
budget which will raise and direct the money to send the children to
another school district.

Tt can't be as simple as just voting no.

cliff
10:45 am est 

Data Links a Plus

Thanks so much for the many links providing statistics on the town
government and the school and the department of education. This is
just terrific.

I appreciated the info on the Banner article "Use of Municipal
Services Continues to Drop."  Municipal Water Usage droppped almost
10% in 2007 and this has been a four-year continued decline. As to
garbage collection in 2007, also a similar four-year decline. In
2006, 4,225 tons and this year, 4,129 tons. And compared to 2004,
it's a 9.7% decline.

Too often we assume there is an increase in services but this
data reflects a changing reality. Fewer people are here and fewer are
coming and staying.

How do we adjust for this? Isn't this significant in re-thinking
a reduction in employees hours? Re-org, re-invent, re-do. Who's
considering these issues in town hall? Which selectmen are rolling up
their sleeves and coming up with new plans to make us more fiscally
sound?

     Swamp Maple
10:37 am est 

Paul Trainor x 2 or x 3 or x 4

Yes, Paul Trainor was a great asset and so involved with the
operation of the town. But why not be inspired by his legacy and
continue to do what Paul did?

With PACC, we could have one person attend the School Committee budget
meetings and report back through Shout Out. We could also have others attend
the Selectmen Meeting and the report back on Shout Out. And we could also have
someone attend the Finance Committee meetings and provide synopsis of the
meetings, highlighting key issues or potential problems, through Shout Out.

It's hard for one person to do all of this but easier if we have
an active, involved group of "concerned citizens." It doesn't take
more than five or six people willing to share and inform others.

Let's be inspired by what Paul Trainor did and continue his
work. We'll all be better for the effort.

     The Raven

Webmaster Comment: PACC highly recommends this proposal. It is in keeping with the spirit and mission of our organization.

In support of this proposal it is suggested that volunteers write-in expressing their interest and choice of meetings which they are willing to attend.

Volunteers can either respond on ShoutOut! or on the website's Contact Us page, which is private and you can provide a means of contact.We will coordinate the effort.
  

We greatly appreciate the enthusiasm of our readers and members. This level of involvement in Town government is what PACC, mypacc and Shout Out! is all about.

Again, thanks

Webmaster
10:23 am est 

Good Point, SpeaksThe Truth,
Urging ANY voter who is
concerned about how their tax dollars are being spent to join in and
voting "NO"  on the school budget.

How can closing the highschool be put on the ballet?
9:28 am est 

Links to State of MA Dept of Education Data

I have added links to State of MA Dept of Education data on
Provincetown Schools. This stuff is dense and I don't understand a
lot of it but if you want to see all types of state data on schools
it's there.

http://www.gregcraig.us/provincetown_issues.htm

Enjoy.

G. Craig
1:55 am est 

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What Does the School Committee Have to Hide?

In the warrant for the Annual Town Meeting, Voters are given the
opportunity to go over the Municipal Operating Budget with a fine
toothed comb. We get a breakdown department by department in great
detail. It takes pages to print the budget. We see what each
department is spending and on what, including the salaries of the
various positions. This is a GOOD thing.

But when we get to the School Budget the voters are presented
with one line and one number.Yes, a voter can get more information by
attending the many public hearings regarding the school budget. But
let's get real, who has the time for that? So this is "transparency"
in government?(It seems to be a buzzword these days) I think not!
 
Presented with only one number for the school budget in the Warrant,
how can a voter make an informed decision on whether or not to vote
yea or nay?

I miss Mr. Trainor who used to do all the voters a service and attend the
school budget public hearings and then get up at Town Meeting and speak
out about things he felt were wrong.

Every year I vote a resounding NO on the school budget because
I am not presented with enough information. I wish more voters would
do the same and make the School Committee present Town meeting with a
detailed breakdown of exactly how our tax dollars are being used.

Perhaps we should have a ballot question or a warrant article
to force the School committee to treat Town Meeting with the respect
it deserves and give us a detailed budget in the warrant.

Until they do, I would urge ANY voter who is concerned about how their Tax
Dollars are being spent to join me and vote "NO"  on the school
budget. Maybe that will get their attention.

SpeaksTheTruth
7:17 pm est 

And Yes We do Pay Truro

I personaly know of two kids from Provincetown who go to
Truro elementery school. Their mother prefers that school over ours.
And yes we do pay Truro for that. Also, she is a homeowner, so she
pays her share. BTW, the school is on Rt. 6 across from the ice cream
stand.
7:09 pm est 

Most Town Financial Data Can be Found at:

http://www.provincetowngov.org/fiscal.html


Also look at Town Boards/Finance Committee for more information as
well once they have the minutes updated. Town staff seems willing to
answer question as well by email or phone.

G. Craig
7:05 pm est 

A Writer Writes:

The municipal pier project was sabotaged in its inception. Had we had
a wave atenuator?

In the fall of 2006, Pier Corp chair said to the Banner that a wave
attenuator was a top priority? Tens of thousands of dollars in damage
later, the pier still doesnt have a wave attenuator. Why?  Buried in
a sub-committee like the signage on the pier?

  What gives? Remember, the courtesy float was destroyed just last spring?


What protection will the new 100 foot courtesy float have from being
destroyed like the last one?  Are there any precautions underway? The
cycle of replacement/repairs and damage will not be broken down there
until one or two wave attenuators are in place!

We should all get down on our knees and thank Chuck Lagasse for
buying Fishermans Wharf vs. the Pier Corp. As he has a proven track
record of successful redevelopment.

  Anyone been to downtown Newburyport? It is amazing how his group
has transformed what was once a blighted downtown area into the towns
moneymaking crown jewel.


A Provincetown Taxpayer
7:01 pm est 

Rattlesnake...

Looks like I jumped to a firey conclusion.
Seems like that is what Truro pays us.

Sorry,

Slippery Fish (tail between my gills)
6:57 pm est 

Hi bloggers,

I'd like to learn more about the fiscal problems facing the town. 
Can you tell me

1. Where can I download a copy of the latest town budget?

2. Where can I download a copy of the latest financial report?

Much obliged.
3:50 pm est 

TWELVE!

12 students will be graduating this year from Provincetown
High School. TWELVE!
3:46 pm est 

Clarification Please!

Could someone clarify if there are elementary students who
reside in Provincetown but go to elementary school in Truro?
3:44 pm est 

Good Afternoon Bloggers.

I've enjoyed  your discussions so far. And will do my best to provide any
background info on issues if people ask .

For example, I saw a question on the Sun, Dec 30, 2007 post that
asked about town moorings. The author is correct. The moorings are
owned privately. But...you can't drop a Mooring unless you have a
MOORING PERMIT which is issued  by  the Harbormasters office.
Presently,  the town is contracting with PPPC for Harbormaster
services.

As for me, I don't have a mooring space . Sure wish i did. I am and
have been  on the list for years just like everyone else. Perhaps,
the author saw my boat sitting on David Murphy's mooring.
David had surgery last year and was unable to use his mooring.

Harbor regulations allow a mooring owner to let someone else temporarily use
their mooring as long as a. no money is passed and b. the
harbormaster ok's the use.

Thats what i did.

Cheryl Andrews
cla_dmd@wn.net
2:42 pm est 

Re: Truro payment,
Are you sure this wasn't misread?

Perhaps this is payment by Truro to Ptown for students attending
Ptown schools.

1:34 pm est 

Dear Slippery Fish,

I agree with you a 100%. You can't mix Little Fish with
Big Fish in the same tank.

I am also curious about the tuition funds paid to Truro.
Truro has an elementary school, I believe K-7 (?). After that, Truro students have a choice
to attend P'town High, Nauset Regional, Cape Tech etc. At that point,
Truro taxpayers pays tuition from the school buget to the attending
school.

So, what is this $600K + expense from Provincetown to Truro for?
Could this mean that some Provincetowners are sending their Little
Fish to Truro Elementary?

BTW; where did you get the info on that expense?
Thanks for being so slippery. Keep on flipping.

Rattlesnake
12:30 pm est 

Cape Cod Times 10/07/07:

"At Veterans Memorial Elementary School in Provincetown, 75 percent
of fifth-graders scored needs improvement in math or failed."
12:25 pm est 

Dear Scott,

Just FYI big fish and little fish should not be combined in the same
pond. Little fish have a reputation to mimic what the big fish are
doing. This is not always a good thing and is almost impossible to
undo.

Slippery Fish

9:30 am est 

Dear Student,

I was very impressed with your last entry. Perhaps this board is one
of those twists I was talking about.

I find your statement into why students find it necessary to call
each other derrogatory names insightful. I have zero tolerance for
that type of behavior. I am sure you also realize that what teens do
in a group is not necessarily how they really feel.

It is refreshing to see that you are are familar with groups such as
the GSA which help raise awareness and bring about changes in
behavior through understanding and acceptance of others. How do you
think  such a group could be brought into the schools?

Slippery Fish
9:28 am est 

Edumacatedly:

Hear you loud and clear, thanks for the answers.

Inquiring Mind
9:24 am est 

Since You Asked the Answers Are:

Fire House #2: Public restrooms needed in this area. Building
footprint small, so provide unisex (single stall) ADA compliant
bathrooms on ground level, with changing stations etc, and then
tradional mens & ladies room on 2nd. This requires a simple variance
from the state architectural review board, routinely granted for
Historical and or Municipal projects. Neither affordable housing nor
commercial office uses are economically viable for second floor.

Schools: We have been so afraid of the "R" word, as in
regionalization, since the day I washed ashore some 25 short years
ago. The renovations of the schools in the past 10 years were just a
travesty. (Yes I believe in education)

Library: Speaking of travesty, how about renovating a building from
the inside out? I admire the Librarian, she has vision and galls, and
the Trustees who got it through Town meting, but was this really the
best use of our funds?
(I have a library card and I'm grateful.)

Pier(s): Every time I look at the heap "Provincia" tied up at the
private wharf I feel like someone just gave me and the whole Town the
finger. Let's hope that the sale goes  through and the angry old
family will enjoy the rest of their lives in peace. The municipal
pier project was sabotaged in its inception. Had we had a wave
atennuater?

Thanks for letting me rant, othewise I love living here!
9:22 am est 

Monday, January 14, 2008

Dear Readers,

Thank you Slippery Fish, for all of your support.

I would like to inform you that there is no high school in Truro, which eliminates one
of your kind suggestions. And when it comes to putting a twist on
things, it only gets people to push me away and put me on the dart
board, so that is also not an option.

And dear Inquiring Mind, your advice and your opinion would be much appreciated if
they were in your mind and not on your keyboard. I'm not going to do anything bad,
don't brood on it. I have a good communication with my parents unlike
Columbine.

And about your opinion on my words, I'm not looking for
your approval, I'm not looking for anyones. I know who I am, what I
want to say and what I want to be. Think what you want but I'm not in
a deadly state of mind.

Another thing, on that question you asked, about the bullying. No one that I
know of is out of the closet, but "fag" is a fovorite insult. In the school, if you
are not like someone, you are called "weird" or "fag" or something else.

This school, even in a town like P-Town, does not have a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance)
which is too bad. The teens don't know how to deal with diffrences, which causes
them to have fears of them.

Peace/out

With love,

Edumacatedly Dead Student
10:57 pm est 

Why not Combine the Elementary School and the High School into One of the Buildings?

I'm not qualified to offer an opinion as to the quality of
education Provincetown high school students receive, but I do know
the continued operation of two separate school buildings given the
economic climate of the town and the actual number of students in
enrolled both facilities just doesn't seem to justify the expense.

Though perhaps not an original idea, here's one I've not seen posted
on here, namely, why not combine the elementary school and the high
school into one of the buildings?  Then renovate the vacated facility
into affordable rental apartments, thereby substantially slashing the
school budget and providing much needed rental housing and additional
income to the town.  Such a solution may also be one where jobs could
be saved, as opposed to closing the high school altogether and
bussing its students elsewhere.

If there is any chance one facility could house both schools (even if
it would involve staggered scheduling and the like), isn't it an
option worth exploring?

Scott Hayes
sh02657@mac.com
10:41 pm est 

Fire House No.2

If you don't fix the second floor, you will not have a first floor.
Something tells me it's like the Charoltte...too little. too late

Slippery Fish (falling thru the floor)
10:36 pm est 

Thank You for Such an Unselfish Gift to the Town Mr. Braun

Previous post "Also, how much is the architect costing us?
It was to be a few
designs on a napkin. Russell Braun was asked to do this and said he
wouldn't."

Thank you for such an unselfish gift to the town Mr. Braun, I'm sure
that will go a long way toward the citizens excepting you as one of
us.

I would think that small projects like this one at the fire house
should be in the Building Commissioners job desription. And clerk of
the works should fall on the DPW Director.

Come on BOS, make these people work for their (our) money.
10:33 pm est 

Provincetown Should Consider a Non-smoking Policy for its Town Employees to Save Money!

Some quick googling on the subject:

New CDC figures assert that smokers cost the economy nearly $94
billion yearly in lost productivity. An additional $89 billion is
estimated spent on public and private healthcare combined.

According to eHealthinsurance, the monthly premium for a policy from
Regence Blue Shield with a $1500 deductible for a 44 year old male
nonsmoker is $198.00. The same
policy for a smoker is $229.00. He will pay nearly $372.00 per year.

Lower Your Costs

  Businesses pay an average of $2,189 in workers compensation costs for
smokers, compared with $176 for nonsmokers.1
  Smoking costs employers an estimated $3,383 per smoker per year, comprised
of $1,623 in direct medical expenditures and $1,768 in lost productivity.

max
9:39 pm est 

Town Employees Health Insurance

Many companies throughout the United States now enforce an employee
non-smoking policy which saves in health care costs.

What would be the cost savings if the policy were implemented for our
town employees?

max

9:34 pm est 

Fire House NO. 2 Once Again, Keep it Simple. Keep it Reasonable!

At tonight's Selectmen meeting, Firehouse No. 2 comes up again
for discussion. I don't know how many times we have to discuss the
Firehouse. There was an overrride vote for $500,000 becausethe voters
wanted two things: 1- Keep the Firehouse, Don't sell it. 2- Create a
Public comfort station in that space. So why don't we do this and
only this? Why options to create new space on the second floor, some
even including an $85,000 elevator ?

The times are tough. Spend the least you can and no more.

The earlier estimates for the cost was around $320,000 or less.
Don't spend more than that. Also, you have to add in the cost of
borrowing $500,000 for ten years. Yes, this is part of the cost of
building the restroom. But who is factoring this amount into the
cost? For ten years, the interest is $137,500.

Also, how much is the architect costing us? It was to be a few
designs on a napkin. Russell Braun was asked to do this and said he
wouldn't. So in comes Robert Evans A & E Architects. After all the
public meetings the architect has attended, including tonight's, and
his presentation of the three options, how much has this cost us?
Does anyone know?

Keep it simple. Keep it reasonable. Fix the first floor only.
1:11 pm est 

What Monies We Did Find?

The school system, and that long thing that leads to water where
boats go in and out and a machine that turns water into wine,I mean
harder water, have we saved a buck and a half or what?

Does anyone have a number for how much money we could save by sending
these 200 or so young people to other schools.  I can't fathom that
it wouldn't be more cost effective?

                   On the same topic

I'm foggy about an issue that was talked about a couple of years ago
that the  school couldn't be  closed because of some loan situation
the town had with the state??

Also , can someone  clear up this number, the developer who received
$732,000 from the state to develop affordable housing. What happens
to that money if its determined that it was not allocated properly? 
Did the town contribute ?

Hey to my comrade who has been getting his rattle refilled

SHADOW

1:04 pm est 

You Need to Read This Document:

To date there have been only 8 downloads of my explanation
of municipal inflation impacts. No, my feelings aren't hurt, but if
you want to understand what local governments/schools/etc are facing
across the state you need to read this document:

http://www.gregcraig.us/MythBustersTwo-MuniInflation.pdf

Enjoy.

G. Craig

11:23 am est 

Article in Cape Cod Times.....

........about Nauset Schools budget
shortfall. Mentions Provincetown problems and even mentions idea of
combining districts:

http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080109/NEWS/801090326

Taxpayer for Choice
11:18 am est 

Dear Student,

I am very sorry you feel the school system has nothing to offer you.
I notice that some students go to Truro? Yes, that is a question. Is
that an option for you?

I don't want you to feel that I'm giving you a pep talk, but
sometimes you have to make your own challenges. Take whatever you
have to do and do a twist on it.

I do hope that the taxpayers of P-Town have a chance to make things
better for you.

Slippery Fish (from the guidance office)
11:15 am est 

Edumacatedly:

I personally find your posts in the top ten most important items that
have appeared on here and it proves the power of this type of forum
to bring out information from unexpected places. Keep 'em coming. One
word of advice don't use words dead or hate in your posts, at all.
Given recent events on Nantucket (suicides) and adult sensitivity
post-Columbine, Colorado to on-line student anger/angst probably best
to leave those types of words out.

A couple of questions for you; I have heard several times that if a
student in ptown schools is gay or lesbian and their fellow students
find our they are abused/bullied physically, verbally and mercilessly
because students are so sensitive to being taunted elsewhere about
being from a "queer town." Is this true or just bad gossip? Is there
any formal explicit instruction and/or enforcement from teachers or
administrators in this area or other "safe school" type stuff.

Inquiring Mind
11:10 am est 

Webmaster Comment:

Sorry for the delay is posting comments. Webmaster wss otherwise occupied with personal matters.

Again,

Sorry
11:07 am est 

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Thanks Mortarboard
I guess you are giving us a warning. Watch out what can happen
when there is fiscal mismanagement. This does not mean anyone is
stealing or taking money on the side. But it does mean shifting
numbers, taking from "Peter to pay Paul" and then Tah-Rah! The piper
has to be paid and there is no money in the bank, in grey department
boxes or in any reserve.

    Salem, you imply, is a warning, an on-going tragic situation due
to fiscal mismanagement in a time when there are no general funds,
either in a city, town or the state, to help get teachers and
students out of this awful mess.

And it has just happened. This is not historical reporting but a
school disaster in real time.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention--I hadn't realized
this-- and also linking the Salem problem with the town's future
potential problems. Something a Principal (thank you Slippery Fish) a
superintendent and town officials should study and grasp the
consequence.

     The Raven
6:56 pm est 

Dear Slippery Fish,

Thank you for your comments.
Provincetown High School has nothing for me. The classes I find
interesting are too easy. My friends in other school systems have had
harder classes and a year of language (Last year we only had half a
year of French and half a year of Spanish). The classes are not
challenging and I find them tedious, like "busy work". We go to the
computer lab every now and then even when we are promiced
more,leaving most of are projects to be finished at home.

And on another note, the PrinciPAL is anything but. He is a bias. He
is sexist against girls and has told two girls that he didn't think
they should be on student council because they were girls. It's a
downright shame and almost one hundred percent of the students think
he should be fired.

Edumacatedly Dead Student
6:52 pm est 

Taxpayer for Choice,

Thanks so much for that point!
I'll look into it and get back to you.

Thanks again,

Cathy Reno

3:27 pm est 

Cathy:

Thank you for the link but, as expressed in an earlier post, that
survey does not seem to be for individual feedback. It rather seems
to be what the committee fills out about the community. Could
another, more individually oriented, survey be used/designed for
feedback?

Taxpayer for Choice

2:27 pm est 

Mr. Craig,

Can you or anyone else explain the $695,000
tition paid to Truro yearly?

Slippery Fish (looking more like blow fish with explosive eyes)

2:24 pm est 

Just to clarify:

Whomever wrote here a while ago talked about the "No Place For Hate "
Committees survey. This person clamed that the survey was a farce. I
would like to just set the record, that it's not!  You can go and view
for yourself, but I've cut and pasted below. It's a survey form that
was given to us from the Anti-Defamation League, ADL.

I would be glad to answer any other questions.

Cathy Reno

http://www.provincetowngov.org/

Front page, here's the full listing:

No Place for Hate Committee Survey: The No Place for Hate Committee
is working on obtaining certification that Provincetown as a No Place
for Hate Community by participating in a program developed by the
Anti-Defamation League. Help the Committee by completing the
Community Assessment Survey. Completed surveys can be returned to:
Town of Provincetown, c/o Sgt. Carrie Lopes, 260 Commercial Street,
Provincetown, MA 02657. See No Place for Hate Committee description.
For more information please contact Sgt. Carrie Lopes, Provincetown
Police Department at 508-487-1212.
1:45 pm est 

New Articles on MA Local Government Revenue Situation

I have posted links to new articles on MA local government
revenue situation at: http://www.gregcraig.us/provincetown_issues.htm

Also include is a link to a host of fascinating discussions at
Cyburbia, a planner's web site, about resort towns, many of the
issues discussed here on SHOUTOUT are reflected there and are common
to other resort towns. See how others have tackled them.

Enjoy.

G. Craig

PS: someone emailed me to ask if they could be individually tracked
by clicking the link above, NO, you can't, period.

1:19 pm est 

Hello Nancy,

I did say that there were many problems with last year. Just because
I respect the department doesn't mean everyone in it. You have to
earn respect! And if you want my respect then help me to make this
change and stop your whining...

There is no perfect anything including you and me!
So come on, lets get to the problem and make a change.

Pollyanna,
Cathy Reno
1:14 pm est 

Dear Cathy Reno,

What committee and what survey?
Please clarify.

Thank you.
1:12 pm est 

Respect Does Not Require Being Polyanna

    Respecting the police department surely doesn't mean accepting
all they do uncritically. The brutality that occurred this summer
was, in part, generated by the police officers on the case. No Place
For Hate should start with Shankpainter Road and the police
department. Ask the people arrested and manhandled when arrested.

    There needs to be a fundamental change inside the police
department. Having legitimate power over the town does not mean and
cannot mean brutality. It also shouldn't mean arrogance.

     Nancy Drew--Not Polyanna
10:44 am est 

Back to the Banner

   Sorry Russell (Braun) your department did not "recently lose two
positions to municipal budget cutting." The department lost--and
should not have lost--a staff assitant who became the Assitant Town
Clerk, leaving the building department short one position. This was
NOT due to budget cutting but a strange rearrangement of positions.

  The administration created a new position in the Clerk'd office that
the town voters have not voted on. This makes this administrative
decision quite questionable. How legal is this?

  The second "cut" is that you are now the Building Commissioner and
also acting as the Building Inspector, a position you previously and
only recently held.

    So the department has suffered ONE cut. And after you qualify for
Building Commissioner and are truly certified, then you can expect
that the town will probably fill the position of Building Inspector.

    Setting The Record Straight
10:41 am est 

This is a "NO PLACE FOR HATE" Town!

OK where do I begin to tell the story of how great this town can be?
Oh wait I got into song for a second!

To be open and serious now here's what's real.....
FIRST - This is not a FARCE!!!

SECOND - I sit on this committee as co chair and take the past summer
VERY seriously! I said yes to serving on this board because I would
like to see some changes. I am a person that feels if you want to
complain as strongly as you do "I NEEDED TO VENT" then you should be
part of the change.

I believe that officers on this department love this town. I believe
that this police department like any company has gone through
changes. That said, I am here to make sure there are some things done
differently and say that I've done my part. Every officer that serves
on this police department deserves our respect. If I have a problem
with one that is doing a bad job then I hope to make that person see
their ways and help to change their point of view. That said I
respect the department and always will. I will not just sit back and
not say this past summer something went terrible wrong. Please if you
want to help in bringing this town to a place of love and not hate
help! Get involved in making this a town for everyone. A town where
everyone can live, Portuguese, gay, straight, old,
young,bohemian,anyone. We should all be able to say hello as we pass
on the street, be respectful, be loving to each other. I for one live
my life this way and will never stop.

THE SURVEY IS THERE FOR ANYONE THAT WANTS TO PARTICIPATE AND HELP
BRING CHANGE TO THIS TOWN! If you wish to remain small and just
complain then there you have it. Instead, I hope you'll be the person
that complains, but then steps up to the plate and says this town
matters I'll do my part.

We are looking to see people fill out these surveys and then have a
community forum to work through our differences and learn from them
and then move on. You can fill out the survey and not sign your name
if you wish. If you have any question don't hesitate to ask me.

PLEASE BE A PART!
In Pride,
Cathy Reno Brouillet

10:08 am est 

Dear Student,

I am very interested in any specific information that you feel is
missing in your education.  Technology? Languages?
Other things you feel would helpful to you?

Slippery Fish (waiting in the principal's office)

ps. always remenber the princiPAL is your PAL
10:00 am est 

Mr. Choice:

Since there are no funds for the school steps to be repaired and no
monies for the Fire Chief to have health insurance, I would say there
is no $10,000 to look for candidates for police chief; a police
chief, which I remind you, we already have.

I am sure your donation will be greatly appreciated.

Slippery Fish (P-Town Fund Raiser)

9:58 am est 

Thanks Mudhead for Coming Back

Where is Shadow?
Rattlesnake is back.

Let's get our heads out of all that sand, shake,rattle &roll and see
where the Shadow casts the light. Your contributions are so critical
to PACC.

Rattlelsnake
9:53 am est 

Thanks for Bringing Me Back
  
    I haven't thought about e e cummings in so many years. Slippery
Fish that was so sweet of you. Yes, of course, an e e cummings
response.

    Reminds me of my favorite phrase of his: "when the world is
mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful."

    And maybe the strength of this community rests in grasping e e
cummings when he poignantly said: "Love is the voice under all
silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so
strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun, more
last than star."

     Ah, mud-luscious, just so wonderful.

     Thanks for your kindness and insight

     Mudhead
12:18 am est 

To "From the Heart", Slippery Fish et al:

Words that flow without
punctuation alot said
it makes scent to me
Haiku & Kudos

Rattlesnake

12:14 am est 

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Fish-

If the town needs it I'd be happy to write the check
for this purpose. Money well spent.

Yours, Mr. Choice.
9:13 pm est 

"A Sad Day in Salem Schools"

One Headline in today's boston Globe "A Sad Day in Salem Schools" What happened?
29 teachers lost their jobs on Friday and 71 others, custodians, clerical staff, and
paraprofessionals, will also lose theirs. It's right in the middle of the school year but, like a Nor'easter, it hit and took many casualties.

Why did this happen to the Salem school system? The school
business administrator, who previously had been working in the city's
finance deaprtment, did not have the necessary certification for the
$90,000 position. 

Still the City Council gave hime a three-year contract. (Sound familiar?)
The School Bus. Admin. in May 2007 said that the school budget would run
a surplus of $140,000. These were figures that people were happy to hear.

The truth, however, was that the school budget was $4.7 million in the hole.
It seems to be a case of the school business administrator only giving the district the
good news and shielding them from the bad news.

How he did this was to use funds earned in 2007 to pay for
services and bills from the previous year, 2006, leaving huge bills
of 2007 unpaid.

But now, Salem is having its auditing firm look at the school district's books--
something they should have probably done earlier. Now, they are commissioning
an audit and only at the end of the month will Salem know how deep, how far
down in the hole they are.

There's much for us to learn. A few ABCs.

A- people hired should have their certification
BEFORE we hire them, including all positions in town.Let's take a closer look
at resumes for all positions and past experience.

B- Hearing what you want to hear can doom a town. And when the bad
news is faced, the consequences are horrendous. The layoffs were
immediate in Salem and 100 out of 750 school employees are gone. More
may have to be cut.

And C- Audits need to be thorough, continual and in-depth. Audits
reveal truer numbers than those department heads can scribble on
pieces of paper.

Administrative heads can, as this school business administrator did, play with
the numbers and present rosy scenarios when the actual numbers would have
shocked the City Council,  the Mayor and the Superintendent. Now they are all
shocked but in a devastating way.

Let's learn a few ABCs from this.

      Mortarboard
9:11 pm est 

The School Needs to be Closed ASAP!

I'm a student at your beloved PHS and I must say, a lot of
what is being said here is very misleading.

This school is the physical form of a multitude of things that I hate.
Most of the people that give good reviews for this school are either teachers, or
people who were there when there was good funding.

A bit of advice to the teachers out there, stop protecting your jobs, and
please start telling the truth, and to the past students, things change, really
fast.
 
I don't think half of the parents would last a week in the shoes of there children.
The school claims to be a safe school, well if the students aren't being bullied
physically, they are either being bullied mentally, or off doing drugs and such
somewhere else.

It's time this school gets a reality check. And the Principle is as
bias as the shool in which he works. The school needs to be closed
ASAP.

-Love

Edumicatedly Dead Student.
8:51 pm est 

Taxpayer for Choice

I am so happy you have chosen to make a gift of $10,000 to find new
police chief candidates.  Since the amount is so miniscule, please
make your check out to the Town of Provincetown.

You can drop it off at Town Hall on Monday, or I will be happy to pick it up and deliver
it for you.

Slippery Fish (LOL}
6:47 pm est 

From the Heart,

I agree with a lot of what you said. To the critics of your grammar,
perhaps they never heard of ee cummings.

Slippery Fish (from the  p.o.n.d.)
6:42 pm est 

I Agree With Un-reprehensibly Yours!

Living out of town, I get the Banner later. I've just
read the Banner viewpoint and I agree with Un-reprehensibly Yours. I,
too, was taken aback by the negative take of the Finance Committee.
Many people who contribute to Shout Out, it seems to me, are
concerned, caring and trying to grapple with tough problems.

Do you really think they  are "Distasteful, Reprehensible and Cowardly"?
If you were younger, your mothers would have washed your mouth
out with soap!

    Shame on You
4:49 pm est 

OH MY GOD "From the Heart"!

Have you ever heard of
PUNCTUATION? It was so hard to read the thoughts you expressed.
Probably because it was  one gigantic
run-on sentence!

We have an elementary school K-6 and a High School 7-12. The kids
aren't mixed. We have the best of Both Worlds with our
Superintendent, Jessica Waugh. She TAUGHT at PHS for 20+ years. She
was and still is the Curriculum Coordinator.

She is massively talented and such a HUGE asset to our district! She even FROZE her
salary! Do you know of any other Supt.'s that will do that? She CARES
about the kids of this system and settles for nothing less than
excellence!

Don't be so judgmental until you have ALL the facts.

> From the MIND

4:44 pm est 

Dear From the Heart,

That is one long running sentence with so many gramatical errors to
even attempt to count.  Please tell me you did not graduate from
Provincetown High School.  If you did, Ms Waugh has her hands full
trying to convince voters of her upcoming budget.

cliff
4:39 pm est 

May the Best Person Win

If the ACting Chief is the right person to lead the
Provincetown Police Department permanently then why so much angst
about a selection process that reviews alternatives? The consulting
cost for this process is miniscule - $10,000 or so. That's far below
what private industry would pay for a recruiter for a similar
position and responsibilities.

The Police Chief oversees a $3.5 million dollar budget, his force has
the most direct impacts [positive or negative] on visitor
experiences, their actions are the largest single source of potential
legal liability to the town if something isn't done right, he's also
the emergency manager in a disaster and is supposed to prepare for
them as well AND most importantly he and his staff have the
government's authorization to use deadly force and other coercive
means against the town's citizens and visitors if needed.

To put it bluntly the Chief's staff can kill you if you put them in the
position of having to do so. They can deprive you of freedom, they
can PC you right out of your own home as well. Don't you want to at
least look and see what the outside world has to offer?

The near insurrection by the Police Department and Union on this is
appalling. Imagine if the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff went to
the President and said, "wait a minute, you don't get to even
consider anyone else for this job." He'd be tried for treason. Is
everyone over on Shankpainter jockying for Sargeant once Mr. Tobias
gets the Chief job permanently?

If the Acting Chief is the right person - and maybe/probably he is -
then let him go through the process. Anything else is unfair to the
town and public safety. I personally want the best person in there
for the money whether from here or not and ten grand is a tiny amount
to pay for finding candidates and managing the interview process for
this critical position. May the best person win.

Taxpayer for Choice
4:36 pm est 

From the Heart!

the town love to spend money on crazy things the town peir
isnt working and isnt run correctly our roads are terrible trash pick
up is not for everyone but everyone payes taxes we keep spending
money on low income housing and now going for more and we didnt fill
the ones we have now we spend money on firms to look for police chief
look what kind of chief we got last time we had to send his kid to
special school housing allowance and alot more money for him then the
chief before him now we have a great new chief in our force now that
nows the town and the force we have here now why spend money to
research someone that doesnt know the town or the people or the the
police dept. and the force I BELEIVE WARREN TOBIAS SHOULD STAY AND
LET HIM RUN HIS FORCE WE NEED TO STOP FORCING OUT TOWNS PEOPLE that
dont have the money to stay here if we keep raising taxes and more
fees for trash now its crazy i was born here and would love to stay
here im 3rd generation and the cost is getting crazy taxes fees even to go
out to eat is crazy when does it stop its great for people that arent from here
they have the money buy a place then charge crazy rents so they can have a place for the
summer thos epeople can get a cheaper parking sticker then a
commercial business i own a business and house in town but my sticker
costs more then a person that lives here for only the summer how is
that fair mary jo is great in the town hall she knows the town and
how much change please help stop this The school supt. is terrible
she doesnt have the knowledge its crazy to put little kids in with
bigger kids the develope differentlly and makes it harder it is hard
on my kid he sees things and want to do what he sees and hes younger
and doesnt know its not right to do at times but wants to be like the
older kids and thinks hes being cool i love provincetown and we all
should love this town and get back to whats right thanks for this
page as someone else said in paper its hard expressing yourself to the town hall because they will use there power against you if you go against them thats not the people we need
running our town
2:20 pm est 

Things to ponder.......

......In times when the town is looking
for ways to save money and stretch an already thin budget.
Why do we still have trash collection everyday in winter , wouldn't
a 3 day pick up work out better?  On my street alone there are only 7
occupied houses in winter.

Who pays for the cost of using the street lights?  They stay on all
day, which does not seem energy efficient or cheap.

I heard of another resort town that was also battling with the budget
and taxes and there solution was to have 3 tax categories.

1)  If you occupied your home for 3 months or less you were in the
highest tax bracket

2)  6 months occupation a year put you into the next one down

3) Year round peole paid the lowest taxes

What this did was twofold it increased the taxes coming in and also
made people who did not use their home that much sell it to people
who ended up being year round residents.  mmmmmmm

Keep warm,

Enlightened
2:10 pm est 

Mr Fish:

Hey, I'm only one guy here, my vast research staff is on vacation.
Stay tuned for future thoughts/data on town expenses. You have to
acknowledge that before even getting to the question of government
efficiency local governments across the state are facing horrific
systemic problems stemming from inflation, lower state and federal
aid, Prop 2 1/2 caps, and an end to new development. Like almost
every sector of the economy government got addicated to rising
housing prices and development.

I bet that even firing all the department heads wouldn't get one
anywhere close to addressing the impact of municipal inflation in
2009 alone. Freezing or cutting pay, etc. sounds like a good idea too
but that ain't gonna do it either and only accelerates the process of
eviscerating local government.

Stay tuned. Right now this one man research dept needs to get away
from this damned computer.

Greg
2:03 pm est 

Oh, Really!

    As to The Banner Viewpoint: Message to Taxpayers from the Finance
Committee, I take offense to "the distasteful, reprehensible and
cowardly anonymous personal attacks" referenced here. Cowardly
because people are in the 21st century conversation of Blogs? Look
around and see anonymity is key to the web world.

      "Reprehensible"--oh really? Because we speak our peace and say
what's on our minds? And because many have said NO to future
overrides? Is that what you name "reprehensible"? You are truly
out-of-line with these comments.

     Maybe the Finance Committee should listen in--yes, really
listen. It seems you are stuck in past ways of governing and expect
us to agree with overrides. Many of us have said No before and many
of us may say No again.

     Do you really think we don't know what we voted for? Do you
actually think town voters are ignorant of issues? They are tired of
being taxed. It doesn't matter that Provincetown has not generally
done overrides. This is bad habit we don't need. "Just say 'NO'" as
Nancy Regan often said.

    Here's my answer: reduce services, reduce the administrative
structure, freeze salaries, and freeze positions. Then look at
creative financial ways to handle the present situation. Yes, it is
not easy but that is part of our present difficulty. If you can't be
creative, then we are left with reductions.

    I don't think you really heard us.

    Un-reprehensibly Yours
10:48 am est 

What Isn't There

I did go to the Finance Committee minutes, as referenced on
someone's response. But there are no posted minutes for the last
seven or so meetings. That's not too helpful.

I'd like to read the Finance Committee's minutes but....

    Still Looking
10:20 am est 

Mr Craig,

I have listened to the audios and examined your statistics. Am I to
conclude that you see no other way but to raise taxes to meet the
coming fiscal crisis in P-Town?

Your own research presented seems to indicate that as taxes rise,
property values decrease.

What I feel is necessary is to first examine where there is waste in
town spending.  Some of the deficit indicates there is reasonable
doubt that waste is not a factor. 

To me, that should be number one before any further increases in
property tax should be levied. An overhaul is needed to bring P-Town
into the 21st century.  And where should that begin?

The people on this board, though coming from a myriad of directions,
have shown a consistency of concerns. I don't have the answers to the
entangled mess of P-Town finances but hope that the "powers that be"
take this crisis seriously and not hide behind bandaids when surgery
is necessary.

Dr. Fish (from the operating room)
10:17 am est 

NEW! MythBusters Part Two - Municipal Cost Inflation: The Unseen Enemy

An amateur  review of the corrosive costs of state and local
government cost  inflation recently running above 6%. Also insights
into likely budget stress on a macro level. No inside knowledge at
all of town budgeting.

Available at: http://www.gregcraig.us/provincetown_issues.htm
8:43 am est 

Chiming in...

Hello!  I just wanted to address some of the PHS issues that have
been floating about.

Finances aside, I've read a few negative blogs about the Provincetown
School system, including the statements that kids who graduate from
PHS (even in the top of their class) aren't prepared for college
socially or academically and that they have even dropped out of
college.... this is perhaps true (although I'd imagine this could
happen at ANY school).

I graduated 10 years ago, top in my class (of 22 students)from
Provincetown High School.  I went to college, graduated with honors
(Stonehill College) and am now working in town.  In Provincetown I
was involved in a plethora of volunteering activities which helped
the town.  I played sports and was involved in musicals.  I went to
college and was a Resident Assistant, chorus member, intramural
sports player and volunteered there as well.

I moved back here (because I love the Provincetown community) and
continue to volunteer, continue to sing and continue to be involved
with the school system.

What I can say is this:  Being raised in Provincetown and ATTENDING
AND GRADUATING from Provincetown High School had everything to do
with my contributions then and now to the community.

So, I just wanted to make sure at least one of the many "success
stories" of PHS made it here so that everyone will know, PHS is not
(not then and not now) as detrimental as some may be making it sound.

*smiles*
Denise Parks
8:39 am est 

Go in peace Ms. Nagle

My "litany" as you say was sent to this site before Ms.
Nagle's apology was posted. Glad to hear that she is retiring from
the battlefield. Go in peace Ms. Nagle. Good night and God speed.

East End Eddy

8:35 am est 

What If 2 1/2 is Out of the Picture
   
Is this the reality check that is needed? Are any departments, in
projecting the 2009 budget, working on the assumption or the reality
that there will be NO overrides in April? What if they tried this?
What if this propability was necessarily part of the equation. What
then?

Wouldn't this be a good place for each department to start? And
I mean each and every department, including DPW.

Given inflation, given higher annual costs, yet given no
override, what would each department's budget look like? This is what
should be presented to the town manager and what she should be asking
for--no demanding.

     Reality Over Fantasy

11:49 pm est 

Does Anyone Know What Cuts Have Been Proposed?

I would love to know what cuts have been proposed in any town
department. Does anyone have this information??

Seems I'm only hearing about increases and budgets keeping up with inflation.
That is far removed from cutting the budget. I"d be happy to hear of some
inventive cuts somewhere.

Any ideas anyone? Has anyone heard?

    Waiting To Hear
11:40 pm est 

East Side Eddy, Enough Already!

Why do you continue with your uncivil remarks. Ms. Nagle has retired from the battlefield in good order and yet you keep up your litany why?!

I begin to doubt your sincerity. You seem more interested in continuing a non productive dialog.

Why? 
11:34 pm est 

Seems the Blog Has Become Its Own Story

     Interesting interview Webmaster on WMOR. It was well-balanced,
informative and good to know how PACC began.

Yes, democracy is messy,
interesting, frustrating and exciting. Good work and keep it up
Webmaster.

    Lester
11:29 pm est 

Candace;

Please, get off the ice machine already! I said "DONT MAKE ME GET THE
HOSE!" I meant it. You've used your 15 minutes and everyone else's on
this site too!

Take a cold shower and go lay down in a dark and quiet
room. It'll all be Ok in a day or so. There are some wonderful
over-the-counter medications that will assist you in your time of
need.

Mood stabilization drugs are very effective for over coming
seasonal effective disorder! If you spent half as much of your free
time finding a tenant for your vacated float space instead of
attacking the Pier Corp., you'd be a much happier and probably
wealthier person! For all our sakes dear, please relax!

Next topic... P L E A S E !!!!!!

East End Eddy

11:11 pm est 

Dear Ms. Nagle;

The information you seek has already been posted. Please read the
earlier insertions to the blog. Perhaps a modicum of civility will
get you further along in your endeavors than your current attempts?

The Ice Machine is a necessity for our commercial fishing fleet. It
really doesn't matter whether you personally feel it was not a
worthwhile pier expense. Still, with an average annual income of over
$10,000, it will pay for itself and prove to be a worthwhile piece of
REQUIRED equipment.

For the record Ms. Nagle; and as you know, the purchase of the Ice
Machine predates my tenure on the PPPC Board. Wasn't that you running
against me for that very seat?


Kerry L. Adams, Treasurer
Provincetown Public Pier Corporation

11:08 pm est 

Thank You!

Dear Ms. Magle,

Thank you for your most gracious declination and wrap-up. I for one appreciate your response and elegant conclusion of the issues surrounding the Pier.

I belive your efforts were motivated by a sense of what you thought were issues of conscience.

 Again,

Thank you
11:05 pm est 

Friday, January 11, 2008

Reference Materials

For Mr. Fish and others here is a page with links to the Peter
Francese materials in several formats as well as a link to the entire
economic summit featuring his original presentation as well as other
materials.

http://www.gregcraig.us/provincetown_issues.htm

Peter Francese is appearing at a meeting at Cape Cod Community
College soon, more info at:

http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080111/NEWS/801110325

As I write this The Point is playing on WCAI,
HEADLINE; municipal governments across the state are coming up
millions short as they start to assemble their budget plans for next
year. Provincetown is not alone.

Enjoy.

G. Craig
10:50 pm est 

Provincetown Could Pay Their Fair Share and the Students Would Benefit

Does it make sense to keep the small number of students in
Provincetown and limit what is available to them in terms of courses?
 
What about having them go to Nauset High, where they could get the
full range of service. Provincetown could pay their fair share and
the students would benefit.

Have we looked at the younger elementary
students joining with Truro? I'm new to all of this, but we need to
ensure that all of our students are getting the best possible
education.

   A Concerned Provincetownian
10:47 pm est 

Mr. McKinsey, thank you.......

.... for all the responses you've taken
the time to post here on ShoutOUT and all the additional data now
available online from the new pier web site and the town's website.

I want to personally step back and make sure I - and all of us - focus
on other priority issues the town faces and not lose the forest for
trees.

Our online conversation has at times strayed from the
productive debate it should be and I look forward to returning to a
more productive approach on this issues in the future for both of us.

Candace Nagle
10:42 pm est 

Dear Mr. Craig;

Cancel,Craig. My laptop did it.

Slippery
10:38 pm est 

Rex McKinsey Pier Manager Writes


...We have allowed boats, floats and other
gear to be placed on the pier without charge for our tenants when
their need was greatest......

Respectfully Mr. McKinsey, although true you have made sure I paid a
high price for having my two floats on the pier for emergency
maintenance and have used every opportunity to slander me with your
anonymous blogs
vis a vis my floats on MacMillan Pier in an attempt
to intimidate me from using the pacc venue to voice my concerns about
the management of the pier. Shame on you,
Mr. McKinsey.

Since I now have your attention, did the $110,000 used to purchase
the ice machine come from a grant? Is this in addition to over $100k
in maintenance and repairs? And what was the net sales last year of
the ice machine that you keep sidestepping too? Or do I need to
continue to ask Kerry i've never met a bloated budget I didn't like
Adams?

Candace Nagle
2:45 pm est 

We Need to Stop Throwing Our Money Away to a Failing School System

I have 30 years experience educating students both on and
off Cape Cod, including Provincetown. I feel that it is important
that we provide our children with the best education possible.

I have been working for the past six years in many schools on Cape Cod,
reaching out to students who are at risk of dropping out of school
but if given an alternative education will become valuable employees.
Its my feeling that the education that our children receive at
Provincetown High School is doing a disservice to our young people.
 
Students need to be in an environment which fosters creativity, a way
of dealing with a diverse workforce and educators who understand the
challenges of meeting the needs of children with different learning
styles.

I understand that there are a few good teachers in the
Provincetown School system, but even educators need to be with
colleagues who foster different ideas and change within a school
system.

Ten years ago, when Provincetown started its Academy, I thought there
was a clear vision on how the creative arts and the use of our coastal resources
could transform our high school into a school of arts and sciences.

To my surprise ten years later the academy is still floundering. We need to stop
throwing our money away to a failing school system and as responsible adults give our
students a fighting chance in a regional educational system.

Parent4Closure
2:37 pm est 

Craig

Can you summarize what is at the site. My computer won't play it.

Thanks,

Slippery fish (in the cold)
2:26 pm est 

Sauce for the Goose is Sauce for the Gander

Dear Mr. East End Eddy:

It does appear that you are more content with egging on Ms Nagle than moving on to new topics.

I notice anytime you reappear you direct the conversation back to Ms. Nagle and the Pier Corp.
Perhaps a change of topic (as there are many more topics worth discussing) would be better advised.

It is recommended that you take your own advise and spear your fellow readers with this single minded diatribe.

Remember, What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander  
2:18 pm est 

Dear Ms. Nagle;

Now hear this: YOUR 15 MINUTES ARE UP! Please take your snake oil and
poison pen and go quiely! Don't make me get the hose!

East End Eddy
2:01 pm est 

Perhaps the Closing of Provinctown High School Should be a Ballet Question

Thank you G Craig for that informative NPR interview by Mindy Todd. It supports the fact that we need to close our school.

Perhaps the closing of Provincetown High School should be a ballet question.

ProvincetownParent
9:47 am est 

To High School Drop Out

The arguments that you present to keep the Provincetown schools as
there are are worn out. Unfortunately Provincetown is not a village
as your metaphor indicates.

Also no one on this board to my knowledge has said the taxpayers are
not responsible for the education of the P-Town youth.  The 3.5+ millions
to educate the 208 students with a declining enrollment expected and
staff numbers approaching one to one with students, is the stark reality
of the current situation. 

P-Town taxpayers have long paid for school system, and if there were
budget surpluses all over the place would probably look the other way
for a while longer.  As everyone knows that is NO LONGER the case.
Simply put NO CAN DO.

There are a lot of emotional ties by the community to the school.
That cannot be overlooked. However, nobody is razing the building
with a bulldozer either, just saying it's time to let go of the past
a bit.

Slippery Fish (from the classrooom of life}
9:36 am est 

The Pier Corp is not the Status Quo

Greetings,
The Pier Corp Chair recently forwarded the following e-mail public
record request regarding information relating to the ice plant on
MacMillan Pier for a response.  As stated in an earlier posting, we
set up a section of our website to post public records.  This allows
anyone to test for themselves the veracity of research being
presented on this blogsite. For the documents discussed here go to
http://www.provincetown-ma.gov/pier_corp/PPPC.htm   The text of the
original e-mail request follows.


From: Candace Nagle
To: len clingham
Cc: Sharon Lynn; mavellar@; mcouture@; pparmakian@; Lynne Davies;
austin knight
Sent: Wed, 2 Jan 2008 8:30 am
Subject: request information from Pier Corp. Chair Clingham
Dear Mr. Clingham,

Please provide me with the year, make and model of the $110,000 ice
machine, which was purchased by the Pier Corp.

In the Provincetown Banner, Pier Manager McKinsey stated ice sales
were just under $16,000
which were significantly below assumptions (made) from someone elses
business plan which
had been hoping for $43,775. Mr. McKinsey further states well expect
a return of $20,000-$25,000 on an $110,000 investment.

I am interested in determining the net operating costs to operate the
ice machine. After reviewing
the Pier Corp.s financial statements, the cost of electricity and
water were not factored in when disclosing the return to the public.
Commercial fisherman need and should have an ice machine on the pier.
But this lack of disclosure is of concern to me as a Provincetown
taxpayer. As well as the purchase price of the ice machine when
Provincetown is struggling to pay its bills.

In the past before the Provincetown Public Pier Corporation, Town
Meeting would have to have approved this type of capital expenditure
or any capital expenditures on what water ways projects would best
serve the Town: MGL CHS10A, states in part, That any mooring fee
collected shall be deposited into and used in accordance with the
purposes of the Municipal Waterways Improvement and Maintenance Fund,
pursuant to section 5G of Chapter 40.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Candace Nagle


In consideration of the statements made above, I will briefly explain
the materials posted on our site.  In the past, I may have answered
questions like these directly.  When I have done that, it has been to
my detriment- so here we are at public postings and full disclosure-
again.  The documents show that the whole process was public,
extensive and well researched with all key players involved.  Though
the whole process of creating the Pier Corp, the issue of protecting
and supporting the fishing fleet was understood.  This is a
traditional use and key economic driver in town.

Conversations between the Town and Fishers had been ongoing since the
1990s.  The first page of the posted materials is the initial attempt
by the fishers to get an ice plant in 2001.  While we generally refer
to the ice machine on the pier, the plant is made of icemakers,
storage units and a delivery system.  Having ice accessible and
inexpensive is so critical to the fishing business that it was a key
component of the three-way negotiations between the Town, Pro-Fish
and lastly the Pier Corporation.  Pro-Fish provided a Fleet Services
Plan in support of their research and that is found on the site as
well.

Pier Corp Directors pursued their own due diligence beyond the Fleet
Services Plan.  I have provided some of my reports and board
communications from March 2003 on.  Please note that this posting is
only 49 of several hundred pages in the files.  The 2004 negotiations
documents are at pages 11- 20, the Board of Selectmen sign off on a
financing plan on pages 27-28 at a public meeting, additional due
diligence with an appraisal and contract adjustments at pages 31-32
and finally a completed and installed deal on the last pages as we
adjusted for deficiencies by the vendor.

Of this request, the numberless postings and other statements made
about Pier Corp and myself recently, I must take exception to some of
the more egregious statements.

*To say that Pier Corp is secretive is not true.  Our financial
documents can be found in my office, the Selectmens files, the Town
Managers files and the Town Clerks archives.  Any cursory review of
our meeting minutes (available online) shows those meetings and
alludes to the financials and agenda packets- easily traceable.  They
have been there all along. We have annual joint meetings with BoS, an
annual meeting to gather comments on operations, our meetings are
posted in compliance with public meeting law and we have worked with
various interest groups, sometimes to protect and sometimes to
appease them while developing our projects.

*The Pier Corp is not the Status Quo.  Indeed, it took years of
meetings, hearings, compromise and votes to create Pier Corp.   The
jist of that purpose was to change the status quo so that the pier
did not suffer from lack of maintenance or from shifts in the
political wind and that it got a concerted focused effort at creating
economic development and money for the Town of Provincetown.  Some
may remember that the Municipal Parking Lot was proposed to provide
the income needed to maintain the pier, but that money went directly
to the general fund and the pier generally got ignored.

*We have been recently portrayed as incompetent idiots or worst-
maliciously deceitful.  Once we got the contracts in place and the
political battles subsided, we felt a need to ensure our customers,
the tenants on the pier, got our best effort for their fees.  We have
tried to handle every request for help- we have towed in tenant boats
in distress. We have provided additional parking passes when needed
for extra crew or guests.  We have allowed boats, floats and other
gear to be placed on the pier without charge for our tenants when
their need was greatest.

At times, my staff and I have taken some risk to ourselves in storms
to help our tenants, their equipment and the public.  We have fought
fires and boarded sinking boats- sometimes we win, others not.  But
now, when expedient to a political argument those actions are called
to question?  The thing I now question is if we will be able to
follow a path of service in the future or will we join the rest in
the land of No!

Rex McKinsey- PHM
9:30 am est 

To INFINITY

woof, woof, woof! etc. and to INFINITY

East End Eddy
9:10 am est 

I Read the Following Post With Confusion.

I recommend a seldom used revenue source for the town.
Install periodic "speed traps" on Bradford Street.  Currently, the
speed limits of 20mph and 30mph are rarely observed.  I live in the
East End and hear or often see the 'whizzers' go by.

First of all Speed Traps are illegal. And to use that as a source of
revenue is a disgusting form of Government abuse, which I do believe
happens all the time.

Second, do you drive? I think that if you are an average driver than
you would already know that the Provincetown Police force has already
been stopping people for Speeding on Bradford Street in the east end
for years.

As a matter of fact from what I have observed there is one
officer who has made it his pet project to stop Speeding at any cost
in this area, because you never know when a little old lady walking
her cat to The Patrician will step out in front of you.

Its kind of funny though, how I see these radar cars on duty in this
area most often in the early morning hours, and mainly in the off
season. Which means the people they catch most often Speeding are the
local working people on there way to work, on a road that they know
better than anyone else because of the frequency of use, yet I have
never seen one of those summer time buses being driven by foreign
teenagers at breakneck speeds to meet the deadlines being pulled over.

Speed limits are supposed to be set at a rate of speed at which the
average driver on an average day will drive. I drive that road 4 or 5
times a day and rarely do I see others or myself doing 20 or 25
M.P.H. In fact on the MANY occasions that I have driven behind a
Police Officer, NEVER once have they kept to the speed limit.
They, just like everyone else, will drive about 30 M.P.H.

If I am unlucky enough to be driving in front of a Police car, I am then subjected to
the universal Policeman practice of intimidation by bumper, whereas
they will get as close to my rear bumper as they can in order to push
me into going faster, or pulling off to side to allow them to pass.  
Meaning that if the cops are catching people speeding at 30 MPH. on a
consistent rate in a 20 MPH zone, than 20 MPH is actually too low.

I find it funny how we have a posted limit of 20 M.P.H. on Bradford
St., but no posted limit on Commercial St, which means I can drive 30
M.P.H. when it is safe to do so.

Do you know what the real ramifications of getting a speeding ticket
are? All of us who pay insurance do, and to have someone make such a
suggestion as yours scares me. It scares me to think that someone in
Government will use your support to continue doing exactly what they
are doing. Hurting the most those who can least afford to be hurt!

9:07 am est 

Very Important Information Regarding Per Pupil Cost!

For those with questions on per pupil costs of current
school systems on the Cape versus consolidated schools systems please
please listen to this interview and/or review the numbers from Peter
Frances posted on this site. Also, for those who express doubts about
the need for housing solutions please also listen. Mr. Frances lays
out the data in very clear terms:

Sorry to repeat but this is such an important interview:

Copying and pasting, or retyping, the following link will get you to
the audio program archive:

http://streams.wgbh.org/online/play.php?xml=cape2/thepoint/point_121707.xml&template=cainan

You can find The Point's web page at: http://www.wgbh.org/cainan/

G. Craig

Webmaster Comment: Readers can also find additional information on the this subject by Mr. Francese, on our "Eyes on the World" and "For the Record" web site pages
8:55 am est 

Hmmmmm

Do you think that the Selectmen and the Town Manager really
grasp the depth of problems we are facing? Why do I think they are in
la la land, believing voters will approve overrides and let them
spend as they have been spending?

Somehow I believe they are missing
the real picture, the larger, hard-to-look-at view that requires
dramatic changes.

I think they have "administrative" cataracts that prevent them
from seeing what is directly in front of them.

     Swamp Maple
12:03 am est 

Odd, Indeed

    I find it rather strange that some keep repeating the sense that
this Blog is nasty or negative.

This Blog represents who we are as a town and how we see this place.
To point out problems, to questions some people and their professional
capabilities in their administrative positions or to wonder why we are misspending town
monies doesn't equate to meaness or to nastiness. It is to focus on
the key issues and be upfront on key problems.

     Righting major difficulties doesn't happen with happy faces. This isn't about smiling
and being joyful hearts. That is Polyanna time and we need to be in real time.

     I applaud all who write and are up-front in their concerns.

     You are not nasty. You are concerned citizens and I thank you
for Shouting Out.

      The Raven
11:59 pm est 

Dear Shadow;


A few questions:

How many childred have you put through the Provincetown Public School system?

Do you feel that it is unfair that you are paying taxes in P-town for
a school system that you have no children enrolled in?

Who paid for your public school education?

This blogger is quite certain that your parents didn't foot the bill
for your education all bythemselves. They were likely part of a
community of taxpayers that all contributed! Right?

Remember the line: it takes a village...  ?

High school dropout
11:54 pm est 

Dear Jen, re: Schools

I think everyone already knows the writing is on the wall for the
high school.  by the way, it is important to separate the school
debate between the high school and the elementary school. 

The hgh school remains open because of the emotional issues surrouding it. 
it has little to do with finances.  yes, we'll all bitch about the
cost, but what sustains it is emotions and our open form of
government. 

If a vote for closing the high school and shifting the
kids to a better educational opportunity at nauset was taken in a
voting booth as opposed to the floor of town hall, i really feel the
high school would be closed.

The best thing that could happen to our high school is if the state
came in and forced the regionalization of the school.  then we could
all sleep at night knowing the big bad wolf lives in boston and the
decision was not ours.

As for all the employees in the system that might lose thier jobs. 
first off, the ratio of employees to number of students is absurd. 
There are almost as many employees as there are students at this
point. 

Yes, it would hurt this community to lose those jobs, but,
the town (our taxes) are subsidizing an educational industry. 

At what point do we call it what it is, and this is going to sound
terribly polically incorrect and insensitive,  welfare.  and i'm
pretty sure that comment is going to spur some comments. 

At least we're not talking about the damn pier.

cliff
11:52 pm est 

My Sleeves are Rolled up Ms. Nagle.....

. ......and I'm proud to say
that I serve on 3 town boards. I am honored to do so and feel that it
is my way to give something back to the community that has done so
much for me.

I have always felt blessed to live in Provincetown and I
will continue to do what I can for this town, regardless of your mean
spirited attacks! My conscience is clear.

Kerry L. Adams
11:45 pm est 

Beware of the Cloudy Ice

After what I heard went on in that ice machine a while
back, I for one will NEVER buy ice from that machine.  EEEWWWWW!!!

Beware of the cloudy ice.
11:39 pm est 

I Agree With the Comments Made by SpeaksThe Truth:

"Just say NO to the proposed increase of 133,000 dollars in
the draft budget of the School Committee."

The school has promised for years to be "something" that would
attract students to come here yet enrollment is down and at least five
students from the 8th grade are looking elsewhere to begin 9th grade.

Nauset is a top rated school and with school choice they can even go to top schools like
Sturgis in Hyannis. Our children need a more diverse education with
more students to generate more ideas and learning.

Provicetown High School does not prepare them for college. Even students graduating
first in their class were unprepared both academically and socially
and dropped out of college. The school needs to close. We are
throwing our money away on a second rate educational experience.

ProvicetownParent
11:31 pm est 

My Eyes Are Going

Is the school budget $3.65MIL?  My head is reeling from the numbers i
saw in this weeks Banner.

How many kids go to that school...200 give or take
Are we insane!

We need to regionalize with other surrounding towns OR pay tuition
and send them to another district.

Readn,riten,and ritmatick...phooey

SHADOW
11:21 pm est 

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Candace:


Here are very some very high level observations on the Pier.
According to the Harbormaster's office the staffing levels are as
follows for the past year: 1 harbormaster, 2 full time assistants, 1
admin and 2 summer workers. So I count FTE's (full time equivalents)
of about 4 1/3. Take that and divide into the Pier Corps gross
revenue and you get gross revenue of about $127,000 per FTE. Any
service business in the country would be pleased with that number,
and I bet few in Provincetown come close. So, on a broadbrush basis
staffing numbers seem totally reasonable and become even more so if
Pier revenues rise over the years.

In addition to gross revenue this staff is also in charge of
enforcing the harbor law which is not recognized in any revenue or
elsewhere. What is the social benefit to us all of protecting our
harbor from oil spills, personal watercraft everywhere, boats lodged
illegally on town beaches, keeping the Pier in good shape, etc? I'd
say it's huge but isn't caputured on paper at all.

In addition to that what the critics here, and even supporters have
failed to mention is that the entire Pier Corp structure from day one
has as part of its mission supporting the commercial fishing fleet
through well below market rates for dockage, ice, etc. It is clear
from reading Pier documents from day one that town residents felt it
important to support the commercial fishing in Provincetown and does
so through various reduced rates at the Pier. None of the critics of
the Pier Corp have acknowledged this.

Regarding the damn ice machine, where many seem to confuse a capital
investment with an expense, on a business case basis, a $100k
investment yielding a net income, after expenses, from $8-15k a year
is a damn good payback and on top of that the ice allows the
commercial fishing folks to get a higher return on their catch, again
not captured anywhere in the financial statements.

Also not captured is the value of pier personnel in an emergency. Are
you aware that two employees received commendations last fall for
performing a daring rescue at the breakwater. Are any of you aware
that in a disaster the ice machine that causes so much consternation
will become invaluable as an emergency resource?

Several enabling acts of state legislation, tens of thousands of
hours of negotiation, audited financials, a firm financial footing,
support of the commercial fleet, audited oversight by a five person
board; the Pier looks to me to be a good deal and the Harbormaster
should have got a 20% bonus for hazard pay for putting up with the
flack expressed here. More importantly, what tooks years to put in
place many of you would tear down overnight with no valid
alternative. What gives? In general the deep sense of jealousy
towards anyone with a secure job and benefits that manifests itself
as name-calling attacks is embarassing.

If there is unrevealed pertinent data about the pier why not use
established channels to bring it public? That is, submit it to the
Pier Corp, their auditors and let them react. If that doesn't work
then go to BOS. Anything else would simply be self-aggrandizement by
the"whistle-blower." Folks, there is a reason these oversight structures
exist, use them.

Don't agree? Don't call me names, rebut me with numbers.

Finally, to me, with a little diligence, the Pier Corp couldn't be
more transparent.

Recommended reading for all:

http://www.provincetowngov.org/pier_corp/071210PPPCBoSPacket.pdf
http://www.provincetowngov.org/atownbd/tbpp.html
10:59 pm est 

Install Periodic "Speed Traps" on Bradford Street

I recommend a seldom used revenue source for the town. 
Install periodic "speed traps" on Bradford Street.  Currently, the
speed limits of 20mph and 30mph are rarely observed.  I live in the
East End and hear or often see the 'whizzers' go by.

signed, cicely.stetson@gmail.com
10:50 pm est 

Good Day to All the Good PACC Readers!

 "Fast" East End Eddy
"Orwell" here again. Sorry I've been away for a couple of days.
Thought by now a new subject would have replaced the hackneyed pier
discussions. Is there nothing else in town to discuss?

I wonder if Candace Nagle understands the importance of the fact that MacMillan
Wharf is costing the taxpayers of P-town NOTHING? It's self
sufficient! That is a far cry for what used to be. Does anyone
remember what happened to the previous pier? It was left to decay and
eventually fell apart. The town really didn't bother to maintain it,
now how unusual is that? Has anyone looked at the Town Hall lately?
That is a shining example of the town's ability to care for its own
property!

It would appear that the Pier Corp is in charge and very capable.
Perhaps they would consider applying their talents to other "taxing"
town projects!

Can we please move on to something more meaty? I'm flushing faster
than my plumbing can accept the refuse! This taxpayers toilet is full!

Candace, the next time you feel the need to "sit down" and crap all
over the Pier Corp., please keep in mind that we've already heard
your arguments and they reek of anger, self  serving hypocrisy and
lunacy!

Would someone please pull the handle on Ms Nagle's toilet?

East End Eddy
10:48 pm est 

Here's mine: "WOOF!"

Okay, does someone want to make a new board somewhere?
After initial excitement and interest in reading this board, it is
clearly being manipulated by C. Nagle.

I asked before, and I will ask again, PLEASE MS. NAGLE: LAY OFF THE
BOARD FOR A WHILE.

Really, we get it, we have read your comments. Let someone else have
a say. About anything besides the pier,PLEASE!
All readers who have heard enough about the Peir Corp; please respond
with a "woof".

Here's mine: "WOOF!"

SINCERELY, Frontloader
10:42 pm est 

Mr Craig,

I for one do not mind paying my taxes at all. I realize that 4.96% is
the going rate here.

What I am focusing my attention on is spending.  I just cannot
justify what I see.

We have a school system which P-Town has desperately tried to hold on
to for years.  There are not enough numbers to sustain this system
and continue to give P-Town youth a well-rounded education both
intellectually and socially. I would love to see some of your
statistics here. 

I feel that there is a real hidden cost per child.
I am concerned about spending for consultants at every term.  The
$60,000 consultant fee to beautify Commercial Street resulting in the
slogan "embrace the chaos" just amazes me.

Trash removal is a real bone of contention for me.  I pay over $1200
a year to have my trash removed because the town will not give
services where I live in town yet others get their trash hauled away
gratis by tax payers like me.

I hear people saying that they don't want to pay for trash removal. Again the
free ride is over.  Charges must be levied to offset Town costs.

Paying to seek out a police chief instead of giving Tobias the help
and support to raise from collegue in the ranks to the boss.  I know
how difficult this is to do by experience.

10:36 pm est 

I'm Curious About the Question of the School System

Does anyone know how much the town would "save" if we did dissolve
Provincetown schools and bus the kids to Nauset or other Cape
schools? 

Could parents (and kids for that matter) write in and let
us know what they think about that?  Could we take some of the
savings and create unparalleled after-school programs and activities
that could help the children out who do better in less dense, more
intimate educational settings? 

Could we use some of that money for tutors (jobs for the ones that would
be losing jobs?) so Provincetown's children would have an even better education
and a step up? 

I'm just wondering how we can make the school situation the
best for everyone.  I personally don't like the idea of Provincetown
not having schools, of the kids being bussed, and I don't like the
idea of people losing jobs. 

What I want to know is what is the best answer for the children, and for
the town? Is the status quo working, and what does the future look like up there on that hill?

Jen Rumpza
10:32 pm est 

How Do We Get Out of This Bureaucratic Mess

Many of you have been asking including town officials, how
do we get out of this bureaucratic mess that no other Cape Cod and
Islands town felt they needed to set up? How do we eliminate this
added layer of bureaucracy that our small town does need and is too
expensive?

Chapter 13 of the Acts of 2000
An Act Relative to the Provincetown Pier Corporation

e) The corporation may be dissolved only in accordance with the
following procedure. Either the town manager or the board of
selectmen shall make a finding that the corporation is no longer
needed to provide for the sound and market-based management,
operation and maintenance of MacMillan Pier, and that the purpose of
the corporation as set forth in section 1 of this act has been
fulfilled, or that the corporation has failed to fulfill such
purposes. If such a finding is made, the board of selectmen shall
hold a public hearing on whether the corporation should be dissolved.
Notice of the public hearing shall be published no later than two
weeks prior to the hearing date in two newspapers having general
circulation in the town. After the public hearing, the board of
selectmen shall make a recommendation to the town meeting as to
whether the corporation shall be dissolved. Thereafter, the town
meeting may by majority vote dissolve the corporation. Following a
vote of dissoluti!
  on by the town meeting as described herein, the corporation shall
transact only such business as is necessary to conclude its affairs.
Following dissolution of the corporation, the town shall assume all
legal obligations, and liabilities, assets, debts, leases, contracts
and all real and other property of the corporation

10:26 pm est 

Asking Again
   
  Is the town employees' contract negated because the override for
the increases was denied? Since the police contract is invalidated,
does this also hold for the town employees? Can someone answer this
questions?

    thanks for clarifying this for me.

    Asking Again

10:21 pm est 

Shadow, You Inspire Me
 
     "Suggestions that we need to leaave things as they are is the
definition of insanity, doing the same and expecting a different
outcome."

      And so it seems to go here. When faced with fiscal nightmare,
some go back to the smae old way of thinking and managing. What real
change will selectmen do? What new ways of organizing departments
will each administrative head initiate?

     It seems the approach is to "look over" the existing budgets and
find that there is no way to cut further. Then report that back to
the Town Manager and Selectmen.
    Someone has to begin to do things differently. the old way will
no longer do.

     To stay with the accepted way of doing business is, as you
critically say, insanity. Will the sane ones please come forward, on
boards, in town hall, and the selectmen.

      Swamp Maple

10:18 pm est 

FIRE ENGINE

For those who think all should  sign their names, I have
two words.  FIRE ENGINE  We were ALL intimidated by that sight.  It's
funny, Truro does great things with second and surplous machinery. 
Here, it must be NEW!
10:14 pm est 

Dear Ms. C. Nagle;


Thanks for showing the PACC readers that this is not a personal issue
for you! Why can't you just admit that you were wrong?

Over it (and her)
10:10 pm est 

What do You Say Greg?

In all seriousness folks, I would like greg craig to take a
look at the pier corp financial statements. He deserves all of our
respect for the work he has done. his reports have gotten the
attention of town officials in town hall.

i think the pier corp. budget is bloated and expenses which have gone
from 108K to almost 600k in just a few years is unacceptable.
treasurer kerry is content with the status quo. let's let the numbers
decide and we will find our way.

What do you say greg?

candace

8:24 am est 

Good morning Mrs. Clark,

I adore my detractors and always look forward to healthy dialogue as
we all love the pier. Kerry why don't you and I grab some coffee on
the pier sometime and bring your pacc friends too. Maybe we can go
check out the ice machine together and get the year, make and model.
then we can have some follow-up coffee together and i'll let you know
what it is really costing Provincetown to make ice.

What do you say handsome?

candace

8:21 am est 

GOOD MORNING CLIFF,

I'LL CONSIDER UNHOOKING MY FLOAT AND FLOATING AWAY. BUT FIRST, I'M
STILL THINKING ABOUT THAT ICE MACHINE. REX SAID HE BOUGHT IT WITH
PIER USERS MONEY. THE LOFTY PRICE TAG WAS $110,000. CLIFF, DID YOU
KNOW THAT TREASURER KERRY IS NOT ALLOWED TO MAKE CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
ON THE PIER OVER 50K WITHOUT BOS APPROVAL? I THINK I WOULD LIKE TO
HEAR WHAT KERRY HAS TO SAY ABOUT THAT FIRST. THEN MAYBE THE BOS WOULD
LIKE ME TO TAKE HIM WITH ME!!!

KERRY IS IT TRUE? I HAVE A SELECTMAN ON THE PHONE WHO IS WAITNG FOR
YOUR ANSWER!

CANDACE

8:06 am est 

GOOD MORNING A. VOTER,

THE BOS WILL TELL YOU AFTER THEY LOOK AT THE PIER CORP FINANCIAL
STATEMENTS. LET'S ALL WATCH TOGETHER.

A. VOTER DO YOU KNOW IF KERRY I'VE NEVER SEEN A PAY RAISE I DIDN'T
LIKE IS GOING TO HAVE A LINE ITEM EXPENSE FOR RAISING THE CHICO JESS?
I HEARD IT IS GOING TO COST TAXPAYERS MORE THAN WHAT THEY ARE GOING
TO MAKE NEXT YEAR.
WHAT'S THAT IMPRESSIVE NUMBER? OH, YES. IT'S $7,700.00.
KERRY WILL YOU BE MY FINANCIAL PLANNER?

SWEET ON YOU

8:00 am est 

Mr Kerry A question,

 If you give raises out of pier funds
as you call them, doesn't  that mean less money to the town?
Is my math logic correct here,good guy, Mr Craig?

Slippery Fish (gills no longer pointed)

7:56 am est 

Chapter 13 of the Acts of 2000

AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE PROVINCETOWN PIER CORPORATION.

Be it enacted by the [MA] Senate and House of Representatives in
General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. The general court finds that:

(a) There exists within the town of Provincetown an underutilized
marine and marine-related facility named MacMillan Pier that is owned
by the town of Provincetown and, due to age and other factors, has
become obsolete, decadent, substandard and blighted. Such pier
constitutes a serious and growing menace, injurious and inimical to
the safety, health, morals and welfare of the residents of the town.
MacMillan Pier constitutes an economic liability, substantially
impairs or arrests the sound growth of the town and retards its
economic well-being. The pier both decreases the value of private
investments and threatens the sources of public revenue.
Redevelopment of such property in accordance with the Provincetown
Harbor Plan will eliminate substandard conditions and prevent their
recurrence and is necessary to retain existing industries, businesses
and residents and to attract new industries, businesses and
residents, and to promote the sound economic growth of the town.

(b) The menace of such obsolete, decadent, substandard or blighted
property is beyond remedy and control solely by the regulatory
process in the exercise of police power or direct management by the
town of Provincetown, and cannot be dealt with effectively by the
operations of private enterprise, without the aid provided herein.
The lease of MacMillan Pier by the town of Provincetown to a public
corporation to be called the Provincetown Public Pier Corporation for
the purpose of bringing sound and market-based management practices
to MacMillan Pier operations, eliminating decadent, substandard, or
blighted open conditions therein, preventing recurrence of such
conditions in the area, and permitting the removal or addition of
structures and improvements of sites for marine and marine-related
uses.

(c) A public corporation is necessary to ensure that the public
purposes that need to be accommodated at MacMillan Pier, and any
other properties that might be acquired by the corporation, are
preserved. These public purposes, which are described in the
Provincetown Harbor Plan, include, commercial fishing, transportation
and other marine and marine-related uses.

(d) The exercise of powers by the corporation and any assistance
which may be given by the town, or any other public body in
connection therewith, are public uses and purposes for which public
money may be expended.

Therefore, it is the purpose of the corporation created by this act
to aid private enterprises, the town of Provincetown, and other
public agencies in the speedy and orderly redevelopment of certain
marine and marine-related property within the town to stimulate
economic development.

from: http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/seslaw00/sl000013.htm

7:53 am est 

THE PIER NEEDS YOUR ATTENTION!

KERRY WHAT TAXPAYERS WANT IS FOR YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS TO
START MAKING MONEY ON THE PIER AND IF YOU CAN'T, GIVE IT UP BOY! WE
KNOW YOU LIKE BEING ON BOARDS RATHER THAN GOING HOME AT NIGHT BUT
PLEASE IF YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE UP A SEAT, MAKE AN IMPACT. WE ARE ALL
WAITING FOR YOU TO 'ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES' THE BOS IS NOT GOING TO BE
IMPRESSED AND YOU MIGHT NOT LOOK TOO GOOD COME SPRING WHEN THEY START
LOOKING AT WHAT YOU HAVEN'T ACCOMPLISHED ON THE PIER OUTSIDE OF THOSE
PAYRAISES AND APPROVING BLOATED BUDGETS WITH LITTLE TO SHOW.

WALK AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD AND ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES THE PIER NEEDS
YOUR ATTENTION! YOU NEED PACC INTERVENTION!

LANDLUBBER
12:24 am est 

Getting short Changed Working for the Town

Mr. Kerry will you give me a 10% raise every year if I work
for you? I only get 5% as a town employee and that's not very often.
I promise to work hard and bring you coffee in the morning too! Or be
your boyfriend.

Getting short changed working for the Town

12:17 am est 

Thank You Mr. Adams!

Very well said sir!! You have my vote for Selectman! I for one
appreciate what you and the rest of your board are doing on the pier!
Thank you for the transparency.

I have a good feeling when I'm on the pier for my morning coffee because
I feel like I know what's really going on now! You are all doing a wonderful job
and I think Macmillan Pier is lucky to have you!

For the record, I knew Mr. and Mrs. Macmillan, they were friends of my
family's. I believe this is what the Admiral would have liked to have
seen.

Ms. Nagle, I think you have good intentions, but you might try a
little kindness to get what you seek. You seem to be one of the only
participants in the pier-bashing and I am offended by it.

The people that serve on the Pier board and other town boards do so out of love
and caring for this community. Please give them the respect and
consideration that they deserve.

Mrs. J. Clark

12:13 am est 

Seems Ms. Nagle Has Received an Earfull!

Candace, I think the lights are on but there's defineately nobody at
home! Are you trying to trick us into believing that the Pier board is costing the
taxpayers money?

Please justify their dissolution to me one more time
because I am having a difficult time understanding what it is they
have failed to do! Did they squander taxpayer dollars? If so, please 
tell us how they did that if the town is only giving them $139,000
and they give back $92,000?

My math is a little rusty but that seems
like a far cry from the figures you were expounding upon only
recently here. Are you feeling the pinch from higher costs on the
pier? Are you running out of places to put the blame?

Candace, every time the wind blows and a wave slams into the pier, a tiny bit of
damage is done, piece by piece... shall we blame the Pier board for
that as well?

A. Voter

12:07 am est 

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Dear Candace Nagle,

Please give it a rest now. We've all patiently waded though your hate
filled commentary. News flash Ms. Nagle: The Pier Corp is not costing
me (Average Joe Taxpayer) it's costing YOU, Angry Pier User! Why
don't you take your show on the road? I'm sure you'd be a hit
anywhere but here!

Over it

8:30 pm est 

In Case You Weren't Paying Attention,

The raise that was given to Harbormaster McKinsey was done so by UNANIMOUS
vote of the PPPC. Why? Because he deserved it. I am only one of the five member
board. Authorization for raises comes from the Personnel
Sub-committee. Their decision is discusse by the full board, weighed,
and decided. The taxpayers are NOT paying Mr. McKinsey's salary! Once
again, the pier users are.

Kerry L. Adams

8:27 pm est 

Help Me Understand Something Please...

Is Ms. C. Nagle
attempting to ask taxpayers to pay for that which she is supposed to
be paying for on the pier? Now I'm REALLY confused! What is all the
fuss about ice sales for? Taxpayers don't pay for the ice, do they? I
thought that was the fishermen!  What started at $200,000 to $300,000
that Nagle would save the taxpayers has dropped to $39,000.

Now Mr. Adams says taxpayers pay none of the costs that Nagle is alluding to?
Why are we directing so much time and space here for Nagle's pier
rants? She obviously is upset about something and this reader
believes it's HER costs on the pier, not ours! Candace, I admire your
tenacity, but maybe you could direct your poison pen somewhere else?

Town Center Gal

8:23 pm est 

What Gives Webmaster(s)??

This website was better when it was updated more often. The
gaps in comment periods are too long. What gives webmaster(s)??

8:17 pm est 

Afloat

please c nagle, do us all a favor.   put yourself on your float and
then untie it.  the tides always clean the shores.

cliff

8:13 pm est 

Hey XOXO,

Guess you're not a town employee then ha? Sure, you want top quality,
professional work but no pay raises folks! Cut your hours back and
take less money by God! Hell, I know, let's staff the town positions
with all the critics on this blog! I think Candace Nagle should be
the Harbor Master! It'll be fun to watch the pier self destruct
before our eyes with her riding it into the waves. The pier seems to
be the one thing in this town that is being run correctly and NOT
costing the taxpayers!

Get real people, town employees will do the jobs they are being paid
to do. How do you expect them to take pride in that if you cut them
and freeze their wages whenever there is a fiscal crunch? Everyone
has to make a living, town employees too!

Perhaps we should take a hard look at HUGE budget sucking projects
like the sewer? That loud flushing sound is your tax dollars HARD at
work!

Distressed

8:10 pm est 

I'm Going to Scream!

Just say NO to the proposed increase of 133,000 dollars in
the draft budget of the School Committee. Are they nuts, enrollment
is DOWN and will continue to fall. I guess they weren't listening to
the voters when the prop 2 1/2 overrides went down at the polls. And
to the Finance committee and their letter in the Banner,How dare you
be so condescending to the voters of Provincetown. 

If I hear one more person say that the overrides failed because the voters didn't
understand the consequences, I'm going to scream. This voter knew
EXACTLY what he was doing when he voted against every override.

SpeaksTheTruth

8:06 pm est 

Hey Town Center Gal

Good input. I'm sure when the BOS and finance committee start number
crunching and look for ways to fill the huge gap coming in this
spring's budget, they will think about
your insightful posting on pacc. Readers look forward to more of your
acumen. Please don't be bashful!


Town Center Idiot

8:02 pm est 

A. Taxpayer Writes:

At least the Pier Corp can lay their fingers on ALL pier expenses.

That is a really good reason to keep them A. But, I think they came
into being to stimulate the economic development of the pier A. Let's
not forget they are going to make a whopping $7k next year!!!!! I say
mission accomplished!!!! Wouldn't you too, A.??? How do they do it on
just revenues of $600K. Does anyone have a copy of their business
plan they can post on pacc for all of us to learn from including the
BOS and finance committee?


Go PPPC Go!!! Keep up those impressive numbers!!!

Knucklehead

8:00 pm est 

Cliff writes:


 as far as truro residents sitting on the pier corp board, so what. 
even though the pier is town property, it is utilized by many outside
of our community.

That's a really good idea, Cliff. Let's let the Truro residents run
Provincetown's government too!!! Please run for selectmen. You would
have a very strong platform with a compelling message.

Do you have a brother named cliff too? I think I know you.

Your fan dimwit

7:56 pm est 

XOXO writes

You just can't keep increasing salaries and give raises...

As the budgets become tight, we have to restrain spending.
We need a freeze and we need a freeze on salaries.

Will someone tell Kerry Adams the TREASURER of the Pier Corp. that
for goodness sake! Why is he so out of touch with what is happening
to Provincetown? Why does he always give out double digit pay raises?
Town employees work just as hard. It is not fair to them that they
aren't getting 10% raises EVERY year that the Pier Corp. doles out.
Someone please rein KERRY ADAMS in and set him straight!
Please, please don't take the vacant seat coming up on the fiance
committee Kerry! Please! Provincetown is in enough
financial trouble!

Provincetown Voter

7:53 pm est 

Dear Taxpayer In Waiting

I think I outlined why I wish to see the pier corp dissolved. Also, I
do not wish to reiterate Ms. Nagle's postings, but feel she has the
best handle on what's going on. Dissolve means just that. Turn it
back to the town from whence it came.
respectfully worm in the piling

7:50 pm est 

Ms. Candace, excuse me, I mean Ms. Nagle;

Are you speaking to the Taxpayers or the Pier users? You keep
indicating the taxpayers want this information, and I believe I have
given it. However, what you seem to be demanding reductions for are
Pier users who pay these costs, not Taxpayers! Taxpayers are not
underwriting the pier, its users are. Isn't that the way this is
supposed to be run?


Kerry L. Adams, Treasurer
Provincetown Public Pier Corp.

7:47 pm est 

Confused

Ms. Nagle's Pier Corp purported savings, $39,000. 2008 Town
budget $18,558,000. Total savings = 0.2%. If this were my personal
budget that would be skipping two cups of coffee at Joe's once a
month. Hardly seems worth all the fuss even if true. Let's eliminate
trash collection and go back to throwing it in the bay, that would be
a real savings.

Confused in the West End

7:41 pm est 

Thank you respectful opposition of Pier Critics

My respectful rebuttal:

Taxpayers should be concerned waiting 4-5 years to see what happens
vis a vis the Pier Corp. Such a wait and see strategy when a state of
fiscal emergency could possibly be declared in Provincetown is in my
opinion imprudent. There is going to be a huge gap that needs to be
filled somehow come this spring. The pier looking nice simply is not
going to fly to maintain the status quo.

  The research I have done indicates that the status quo on the pier
must change.

Here is another example of the Pier Corp. being out of touch: the ice
sale projections on the pier:

                                                              ICE SALES

FY05: 17,273
FY06: 15,095
FY07: 14,268

FY08:  20,000 (budget)


The declining ice sales each year reflect the decline in the
commercial fishing tenants.

  The 2008 revenue projection by the Pier Corp is incongruous with
the year-to year decline in revenues. .

The Pier Corp. seems to be an entity out of touch:  from 10% per year
salary raises to huge staffing increases to burgeoning budgets to
unrealistic ice sale projections to troubling capital expenditures.
It is time to overhaul and streamline MacMillan Pier and make those
accountable for fiscal mismanagement of the pier.

Ice machine maintenance and repairs totaled $100,658 in those years
including $2,000 budgeted for FY08.

This figures do not include the cost of electricity, water and labor
and the funds used to purchase the ice machine which cost $110,000!
There is conflicting info about the source of funds to purchase the
ice machine. Whether or not it was purchased with a grant. I have
asked for additional information from the Pier Corp. Chair. But, have
not received a response to date.

I believe it is costing more to make ice and maintain the ice machine
than the Pier Corp. is receiving is net sales. It might have been
cheaper having ice delievered by Queen Cab from Penny's!

   The ice machine is being promoted as a 'revenue producer' and
'profit center' by Pier Corp. management, which is misleading to the
public. In fact, it's misleading.

In the past before the Provincetown Public Pier Corporation, Town
Meeting would have to have approved this type of capital expenditure
or any capital expenditures on what waterways projects would best
serve the Town.  Such taxpayer empowerment should return. Checks and
balances on MacMillan need to return.

I would welcome respectful rebuttal to my conclusions with hard data.

Greg Craig thank you so much for your helpful information on shedding
light on Provincetown property taxes. You are a gift to Provincetown.
Any chance you can take a look at the financial statements of the
Pier Corp. that are now available on the Towns website (under
MacMillan) and render an opinion? Please?

Candace Nagle

7:36 pm est 

Mr. Fish:

First, I'll not demean you further if you refrain from doing the same to me.

> From Zillow.com, a rough estimate of overall change in real estate values:

CHANGES IN PROVINCE TOWN REAL ESTATE VALUES

1 YEAR CHANGE = -5.3%
5 YEAR CHANGE = +44%
10 YEAR CHANGE +212%

Note: this is overall for the whole town, yes individual properties
have dropped or risen by more or less than this average.

Yes, property values have dropped since the peak of 2005 but not
enough to impact any of my arguments. Yes, it takes a couple of years
for that to ripple through into valuations since I think the assessor
is on a two year revaluation cycle. Property taxes will likely drop
slightly, as will overall revenue, when the new valuations come out.

The follwing are the tax rates for Provincetown, the current rate is
almost half of what it used to be, ergo, as a percentage of home
value property owners are paying far less than they did in 2000.
Conversely, the value of their properties has appreciated far more
than their tax bill. Our tax rate is far lower than most communities
that are not resorts and are exactly in line with other Cape
communities.

Y2000=8.55
Y2001=7.42
Y2002=6.30
Y2003=5.57
Y2004=5.45
Y2005=5.56
Y2006=5.05
Y2007=4.96
from: http://www.mass.gov/Ador/docs/dls/mdmstuf/PropertyTax/bill0007.xls

Statistics are as valid in a small town as in a large one. If the
statistics are wrong then let our fellow readers know why. My
conclusions in that report stand and are confirmed by the following
text;

> From "City and Town", A Publication of the Department of Revenues
> Division of Local Services, Volume 20, No. 8 October/November 2007

With a fiscal 2007 average single-family assessed value of $1.74
million, Chilmark was the highest in the state, yet its $3,250
average tax bill ranked 180th, 18 percent below the state-wide
average. This exemplifies the situation regarding Cape and Island
communities, which tend to have higher assessed values but lower tax
bills due to the large number of seasonal properties whose owners
have a lower demand for municipal services. Eight of  the top 20
communities when ranked by average assessed value were Cape or Island
communities, however only two, West Tisbury (75th) and Provincetown 
(95th), ranked in the top 100 single-family tax bills. Indeed, all of
the Cape and Islands communities but Sandwich (104) and Yarmouth
(121) ranked in the top 100 in average assessed value.

The data indicates that after factoring in the Government Implicit
Price Deflator, revenue from single-family property tax has increased
less than is commonly perceived, has not kept up with inflation in
the past three fiscal years and thus has failed to keep up with the
cost of providing services to a majority of the commonwealths cities
and towns. This data helps to explain the financial stress seen in
local governments across the state.

Both the town and the state have excellent data available though it
takes some digging.

One place to start: http://www.provincetowngov.org/fiscal.html

If we can't make decisions based on reason and fact how can we make
them? Anything else is a mob mentality "off with their heads." Name
calling is not a substitute for reason.

Respectfully,

Greg "pompous ass" Craig

7:31 pm est 

If the Boards Worked

If the boards that have all of these openings (47) worked then why
are we in such rough shape fiscally.
If the current form of government ours being Select Persons work then
why are we in trouble fiscally.

The system doesn't seem to work.  This is not belly aching, this is
what everyone is so disgruntled about.

Suggestions that we need to leave things as they are is the
definition of insanity, doing the same thing and expecting a
different outcome.

Can we afford aesthetics over balancing the check book on the pier?
Can we afford to look the other way when free enterprise takes money
from state ,federal, and Provincetown in the name of do gooding.
Services need to be uniform for all taxpayers.

(TO)Common sense is a euphemism for think the same way i do.

The revolution will not be televised
SHADOW

7:20 pm est 

Dear "Just a Worm in the Piling"

What would your solution to the Pier Corp. be? Where do you suppose
the costs to run the pier will get buried if the Pier Corp. is gone?
At least the Pier Corp can lay their fingers on ALL pier expenses.

It's easy to say "dissolve the Pier Corp.", but remember, you have to
have a strong argument against what is in place now if you intend to
replace it. I await your explaination of a better alternative.

A. Taxpayer in waiting

4:34 pm est 

Facts Are Stubborn, Arent They?

Mr. Kerry please tell taxpayers the truth.  Taxpayers deserve it! How
many years is it going to take for the Pier Corp. to pay its own way?
Next year, you project a net income of $7,778.88!
Please stop exaggerating MacMillan Pier as a revenue center when all
taxpayers see is RED.
Taxpayers dont want to underwrite the Pier Corp. anymore nor be told
half - truths! How many more years till you break even? Circa 2010? I
would expect the numbers you have put on the blog to come from the
Enron folks not town officials such as yourself.  Taxpayers look
forward
to your comments on these numbers I have posted several times on this
site but have yet received a response.

1. $23, 844.00 indirect savings if Pier Corp. were dissolved:
The indirect total administrative support to the Pier Corp from the
Town is $23,844 according to the Pier percent allocation of town
resources in its 2008 budget.
Alix Heilala facilitated the above information.

2. $12,000 additional liability insurance required since Pier Corp.
is a semi-autonomous organization

3. $4,050.00  D & O liability insurance savings if Pier Corp. dissolved

Just these three expenses amounting to $39,894 is what the Town could
save if the Pier Corp. did not exist.

The cost savings on MacMillan Pier are endless with restructuring and
streamlining starting with showing the Pier Corp. the exit door.
Facts are stubborn, arent they?


Thank You

Candace Nagle

4:30 pm est 

Question About the Two Contracts

The denial of the override for the police means that their
contract is invalidated and they have to start over? And does the
same apply to town employees and their contracts? Why 5% increase for
each year? Maybe Keith had some reason not to sign such a contract.
You just can't keep increasing salaries and give raises in this
fashion.

As the budgets become tight, we have to restrain spending.
We need a freeze and we need a freeze on salaries. This should be the
first thing we do. Also, why were new positions created in town hall?
Some I don't think are even legal since we did not vote on  these new
positions at town meeting e.g. Assistant Town Clerk. 
                                           
Also, many people who work for the town received
promotions and pay raises right before town meeting. Was the
assumption that the tax payers will go along with all of this? 
Instead, there should have been an audit and an in-depth analysis of
the town's organization and management. This did not happen and the consequences are problematic.

Thanks XOXO

4:23 pm est 

Kudos to PPPC Treasurer Kerry Adams!

Kudos to PPPC Treasurer Kerry Adamsfor putting the Pier
issue to rest. I for one am sick of reading C. Nagle's constant
belly-aching about the pier board! If she wasn't a pier business
owner, I might actually have put credence into more of what she had
to say. Her tirades and mean-spirited attacks seem only to prove that
the issue for her was a personal one. Mr. Adams remained professional
throughout.

I would have liked to see the pier make a bit of money, but I
understand that the pier board hasn't been running the pier for that
long. I imagine that like any other business venture, it will take
time to show a real profit.  However, that being said, I am not
feeling it in my wallet as a taxpayer and the pier does look pretty
nice now, doesn't it? Relax Ms. Nagle, work out your differences and
get down to the business at hand. Taxpayers are looking for real
savings and hopefully we can achieve them without the blood-letting?

Town Center GAL

4:10 pm est 

Thoughts on the Pier Corp

So, there's a handful of people who want to dissolve the pier corp
thinking that all the money generated from the pier should be put
back into the general fund.  then what, the management of the peir
goes directly to the town.  i'm sure david guertin and sandy turner
at the dpw would do a great job of maintaning the jewel of our
waterfront.  every expenditure for the peir would go before town
voters and as the town is in need of more funding to supply basic
services, the piers' funding will get shortchanged and in thity years
the pier will once again look like crap.  maybe if the town hall were
run by a separate corporation, as a separate business, it wouldn't
have been allowed to disintegrate before our very eyes.

i don't own a boat or directly use the pier, but i do walk out there
often with my dog.  the pier is beautiful.  it is well maintained and
for many of our visitors it is the first experience they have when
they come for a visit.  i'm proud of the pier and what they have
accomplished out there in such a short time.

i don't want any profit from the pier going back into the town to be
squandered on other projects.  let them put any profits back into the
pier.

i do agree that being a town entity that their books should be open
to scrutiny, but then it becomes our selectmen's job to riegn in any
over spending.

and as far as truro residents sitting on the pier corp board, so
what.  even though the pier is town property, it is utilized by many
outside of our community.  if someone owns a home on beach point
(truro) and uses the pier, why shouldn't they be able to be on the
board?  it is unlike any other town board, which by charter, only
residents can serve on.

as far as i can see, with minor critisism, rex is doing a great job.

cliff

4:03 pm est 

Mr. Craig

  Statistics can read anyway you want them to be read. Same goes for
application.  No one will argue with your prowess with numbers, but I
certainly will disagree in a Provincetown application.  Property
values have decreased... Taxes have risen based on already outdated
figures.

Try looking in the 2007 Real Estate  pages in the Banner; no not the
great fiscal sources that you quote but more in keeping with the
microcosm of reality here and now, not the great macrocosm of numbers
thet seem to lull you into your false sense of reality.

Provincetown is a small town, with few full time residents.
Apply your statistics to that.

I may be a sloppy fish, but you, sir, are a pompous ass.
3:55 pm est 

Mr. Fish:

In your anonymity you demonstrate your ignorance and laziness and
that you are uninterested in facts. It seems you are not only
slippery but sloppy as well.

Had you bothered to read the document I posted the link to you would
have seen that each conclusion stated in my summary is backed by
facts and each fact source is documented. The time periods used were
1986-2005 and 2000-2006, which is what data was available for. All
data is from state or local sources and is documented. The inflation
calculations were done using the inflation calculator at www.bls.gov.
The average home valuation increases come from State of MA data and
is confirmed by CyberHomes and Zillow. In the future I hope you could
take the time to read before spewing and use sourced facts to rebut,
it would vastly improve the quality of dialog here.

Greg Craig

11:04 am est 

TIME TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT

I am responding to Ms. Nagle and others comments on the operations of
the Provincetown Public Pier Corp, (PPPC).

In order to help set the record straight, this narrative relates to
the cost to the TAX-PAYERS for the operations of MacMillan Pier.
Please let me restate that:  The cost of operations of the Pier to
the taxpayers of Provincetown, NOT the PIER USERS, but the TAXPAYING
CITIZENS of Provincetown.

As set forth in the AGREEMENT FOR MACMILLAN PIER MARINE MANAGEMENT
SERVICES between the PPPC and the Town there is a management contract
for the following services: administration and regulation of the
moorings/mooring field, enforcement of harbor regulations and public
safety on the Pier and in the harbor.  The towns contractual monetary
obligation to the PPPC for 2007 was $137,000. This money is
appropriated by the Town from the Waterways Fund and paid to the
PPPC. For that, the PPPC collects mooring fees, which amount to
roughly $92,000.  That money is then processed back to the town to be
returned to the Waterways Fund. What remains of the original $137,000
is now reduced to $45,000. For that $45,000 we administer the
moorings, handling the renewals and issuing of new mooring permits.
The issuance of a new mooring typically requires a trip to the
applicants mooring location by a Harbormaster to geographically plot
the position and enter it into the mooring database GPS.

We have two vessels, a Harbormaster patrol boat for enforcement of
harbor regulations and general public safety as well as a Pump-Out
Boat which is used to pump out the waste holding tanks of
recreational vessels in our harbor. The Pump-Out service is free to
all recreational vessel users. 75% of the cost of this service
(roughly $10,000) is paid for with Clean Vessel Act funds. That money
is paid directly to the town reducing the $45,000 town contract
payment total to $35,000. The remaining 25% is paid for by the PPPC
and is around $3,000 for fiscal year 2006-2007.

General costs of doing business such as: employee salaries,
insurance, electricity, maintenance, infrastructure, equipment,
tools, machinery, etc. are paid for by the fee generated income from
the users / tenants of MacMillan Pier, such as: the float space
owners, fishermen, trap-shed users, etc.

ALL monies received by the PPPC go into the Towns General Fund. We do
not have our own checkbooks and therefore, cannot write our own
checks. Monies required by the PPPC must first go through the Town
Accountant. Our books are professionally audited annually. Our audits
are presented to the Board of Selectmen for review as was just
finished for fiscal year 2006-2007. Our Budgets have never been
withheld and are a matter of public information.

We hold sacred the trust that the Board of Selectmen and the good
citizens of Provincetown have placed in us. We endeavor to do the
very best job that we are capable of. The Pier has never looked
better. We have added infrastructure with grant monies that cost the
town nothing! In an effort to boost the economic viability of the
Pier, we built 3 new trap-sheds and added a Pavilion that will
generate revenue streams.

Finally, the PPPC posted a profit of just over $35,000 for fiscal
year 2006-2007 and that money is in the General Fund. Therefore, by
subtracting the profit of $35,000 from the remaining $35,000 of town
contract monies, the total cost to the Town to operate Macmillan Pier
for fiscal year 2006-2007 is $0!  Besides the obvious transparency of
PPPC operations, the town has received a great deal of services and
benefits that it would likely not have seen had the PPPC not been in
existence.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide this information.


Kerry L. Adams, Treasurer
Provincetown Public Pier Corp.
10:59 am est 

My respectful rebuttal to opposition of Pier Critics:

Taxpayers should be concerned waiting 4-5 years to see what happens
vis a vis the Pier Corp.  Such a wait and see strategy when a state
of fiscal emergency could possibly be declared in Provincetown is in
my opinion imprudent.

  The research I have done indicates that the status quo on the pier
must change.

Here is another example of the Pier Corp. being out of touch: the ice
sale projections on the pier:

                                                              ICE SALES

10:47 am est 

RE: HARBOR MASTER REX MCKINZIE

The recent attempted character assassination of Harbor Master Rex
McKinzie reeks of a desperate and transparent effort to defend a
temper tantrum with mean spirited emotion.
Professional disputes hashed out in a public forum are one thing, but
the personal mud slinging was a hit below the belt. Mud slinging
speaks for itself  while Harbor Master McKenzie remains the
professional and gentleman that he is.

Barbara (BJ) Dyche

10:44 am est 

I Wish to See the Pier Corp Dissolved

I for one do not wish to spend good money after bad and
wait till 2010 and see if the pier corp is "raking in the dough".
Their track record to date, if Ms Nagle's facts are even close to
true, show an amazing increase of monies spent,due to overloaded
raises, increases of manpower, and Fulton's Folly purchases.   Two
Board members from Truro plus a non experienced Harbor master, do not
win a vote of confidence to continue this exorbatant spending. I wish
to see the pier corp dissolved and a return of the pier to town
management.

Just a worm in the piling.

10:41 am est 

I Totally Agree With Mr Page

Mr Craig, just where are you getting these statistics? 50%
inflation? 200% property value increase?  Call any realtor in town on
that one. "Most" is from remodels and new development?  Call any
taxpayer in town to see if they are in the minority of the "least"?
Please give out data like that being CEO to your stockholders and see
what comes back.

I totally agree with Mr Page. It is where the money goes and if it is
being well spent.  It seems like higher taxes only go hand in hand
with higher spending.

Slippery Fish (reporting from Neptune's corporate office)
10:30 am est 

Anyone Else as Confused as I Am??

Ms. Nagle's numbers on the Pier Corp. management have 
changed so many times since she started that now I feel I need a 
scorecard just to keep up. So what is it Candace, $200,000 - $300,000 
in savings to Tax-payers or $47,000, That's an awfully large 
difference! But now you admit that they had a profit and actually
$6,000 may be the right amount? And one other thing, why all the 
nastiness about the whole subject? Sour grapes maybe?Is anyone else 
as confused as I am??
 
A. Taxpayer
10:25 am est 

I Have Problems With How That Money is Spent!

I for one have no problem paying the amount I do in property
tax. I have problems with how that money is spent!

Peter A.T. Page

7:04 am est 

Believe in Yourself Believe in This Town:

I'm so proud of this town and all of us that call Provincetown home.
I've lived on the Cape almost all of my life. Moving here in 1972,
and graduating from Barnstable High School. Going to college in Rhode
Island and returning here to live my life.

I've been coming to Provincetown since I was 18 regularly. Moved to
Provincetown in 1998 and wouldn't live anywhere else. I love this town and I
vowed to get involved and show my commitment.

Running for Selectman last year really warmed my heart in listening to many
people about this town. I now serve on three boards and am very committed
to helping make this town a better place for us all!

Here's my plea GET OUT and become involved in this wonderful amazing
town! Don't just complain do something with your voice and your
energy.  There are 46 seats available right now on town boards. Below
is a direct link to town website were you can look and see what you
can do to make change here. I beg you, make a difference, take a
stand.

http://www.provincetowngov.org/tbopen.html

I love you PROVINCETOWN and I'm grateful an honored to live here!

Cathy Reno Brouillet

12:46 am est 

Run for Office or Volunteer to Serve!

"Perhaps a citizens panel to check and balance our town
leaders can be formed"

- there is already one in place, it's called the Board of Selectmen,
run for office, it's democracy. if that doesn't appeal to you
volunteer to serve on the Finance Committee

Common Sense

11:26 pm est 

Wake-up Selectmen!

The Board of Selectmen are volunteers and we are
appreciative of having people who want to serve our town, but in my
opinion they must realize that is what they have chosen to do.  They
are there to serve the citizens of our town as this was their sole
reason for volunteering their service.

#1 Concerning our Main Street, what has been done about the
information offered to us by Barbara Rushmore on this subject?  As
she said, a man she knows in that business on Nantucket told her that
he could pave Commercial St. for the same amount quoted to our
Selectmen to consult about it.  Consult,consult,consult!  Where a
little reseach by our Selectmen would do the job.

#2 Whether it is 5K or 50K they are willing to spend more of our
money for a search team for a Permenant Police Chief when there is a
man who has given thirty years to this town and Police Department as
a Patrolman, Detective,Sergeant,Staff Sergeant, and the year as
Acting Police Chief and doing a better job than some of the Permenant
Chiefs and is very able to do the job as our Permenant Chief.

#3 Our taxes are shameful and still the Selectmen want to spend our
money.  Here we go again...building condos on Shankpainter Rd. and we
don't even know who will fill them or who can afford them.  A little
research, here again by our Selectmen is required.

Wake-up Selectmen!  Listen to your townspeople.  Research instead of
paying our money to hire consultants.

11:14 pm est 

Department Heads Who Have Lazily Allowed Their Budgets to Burgeon are Responsible

Town employee wages, hours and working conditions are
negotiated in collective bargaining between employee unions and the
Town.  The municipal employees, after many, many months of stalled
negotiations with the former Town Manager, finally got a two-year
contract with raises of five percent for each of those years.

The police, who were without a contract for about two years, quickly
reached an agreement with the new Town Manager for a three-year
contract with five percent increases in each of those years.  Since
those raises were not budgeted, they had to go before the voters at
Town Meeting, where they were approved.  But because of the override,
necessitating a ballot at the polls, the voters turned down
everything.  The police raises remain unfunded. They will have to be
budgeted or we will have to have another override ballot to see if
the voters will relent.

Speaking of town employees, there will be the usual effort to
eliminate positions as Provincetown's budget cruch worsens, which it
will.  Property values are falling, which will reduce the tax money
available for this goverment to waste.  State aid will be constricted
this year.  And the voters are demanding serious and meaningful
reductions in their tax bills.

We shouldn't shoot ourselves in the foot by laying off innocent
employees and contributing to our weak year-round economy.  That
doesn't do anybody any good.  Besides, that is always the dumb first
response weak leaders propose in these circumstances.

Department heads who have lazily allowed their budgets to burgeon are
responsible for initiating these requests.  We are to blame for
accepting them in Town Meeting.  We can't lop off our heads, but we
can separate them from theirs.  We can save a lot of money that way,
starting with the DPW.

XOXO

11:07 pm est 

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

LESSONS LEARNED ABOUT PROPERY TAX BILLS AND REVENUE

Other than Ms. Nagle's pier related data I've notice a
dearth of real numbers in the conversation and concerns expressed
here. I've also seen lots of allegations that the town has gone tax
crazy.

For my own information I spent some time looking through state
and local data on taxes and created a document summarizing my
findings. Please keep in mind that though I have professional
experience as CFO of two companies and treasurer of several
non-profits this is only an amateur analysis. If anyone cares to
rebut my conclusions please provide hard data and source it.

You can find the results at:

http://gregcraig.us/MythBusters-PartOne.pdf

Here are some of my conclusions on town taxes are revenues:

LESSONS LEARNED ABOUT PROPERY TAX BILLS AND REVENUE

-While taxpayers have seen an increase in their tax bills 50% or more
of that increase is due solely to inflation.

-At the same time the value of their property has risen nearly 200%

-Taxes bills are not rising at anywhere near the rate that property
values have meaning that the Town of Provincetown is raising and
spending a far lower percent of the total valuation of town property
value than it used to.

-Most of the increase in town property tax revenue is from new growth
and remodels, not existing properties.

-Provincetown like other seaside resorts communities on the Cape and
Islands benefits from the high proportion of second homeowners who
pay the same taxes yet demand far less municipal services than a full
time residents would.

- our tax rate is in line with other cape communities and far below
that of on-shore communities with similar property values

-State aid to Provincetown has fallen dramatically in nominal terms
and even more in real terms when adjusted for inflation.

-We are not overtaxed, if anything we are refusing to pay what is
needed to properly run government, keep up with inflation and rising
health care and other costs and should be paying more.

Keep an eye out for Part Two coming sometime down the road covering
municipal expenses.

For those who questioned who I am and what I'm about, I am second
homeowner who has two properties in the west end. I first visited
ptown in 1987 and purchased property in 2003. I spend a lot of time
there summers and fall each year. My motivation is to see real facts
and figures used to determine how to address Provincetown's future
not inuendo and slander.

Enjoy.

Greg Craig
10:40 pm est 

It is to Soon to Tear it All Up!

As with any business the "profits" from the pier should be
plowed back into the Pier to improve it and its financial situation.
Anything else is short-sighted.

The total compensation seems in-line with the task at hand. Why
not give the pier corp four or five more years and see what happens?
If it's raking in the dough in 2010 then take another look.

This new structure has only been in place a few years. It is to soon to
tear it all up when we have so many more important things to worry about.

In addition I suspect if you look at total compensation cost increases
much of that is due to massive increases in health care costs and inflation.

Respectfully in Opposition to Pier Critics.

10:24 pm est 

Show Me the Money...You Had Me at Ka-ching


Thanks to:Ready to take action, Just waiting, Nancy, West Ender ,May
,and Candace for your vote of confidence.

I do think each of you has a specific area of immediate concern .  I
think most of us knows which is a personal priority .

May, you talked about affordable housing ,West Ender about automatic
pay raises, Candace the pier.

Each of us has an interest in areas that need overhauling.
Perhaps it is time to cull the findings into a post which is sent to
the Selectman and Town Manager .

This is a group effort and our numbers have power.  This is a fact
finding endeavor.
Numbers that are quantifiable cannot be refuted.
Each of us has some part of the whole picture.
The objective is to reallocate and streamline the town budget.
The objective is to uncover possible duplicitousness and rewrite the
status quo .
The objective is to return monies BACK to the town
Perhaps a citizens panel to check and balance our town leaders can be formed.

SHADOW
10:16 pm est 

I Welcome All Respectful Opposition/Input to My Positions

Any profit on MacMillan Pier should go back to the Town to
help pay its bills. The Pier Corp. promotes MacMillan Pier as a
'revenue center.' But, the Town does not get any 'profits' on the
pier.

In addition, it is a losing proposition for taxpayers. We gave the
Pier Corp. $139,000 in 2007 for 'management fees' and they gave the
town back $92,000 in 2007 for 'leasing' the pier. Taxpayers are out
$47,000!

We have no say on McMillan Pier's budget including salary raises. Two
of the five board members are NOT Provincetown taxpayers as they live
in Truro. They cant possibly share our concerns as taxpayers. There
are no resident restrictions to be on the Pier Corp. unlike all Town
boards.

In 2007, the pier eked out $35,684. That money should go back to the
Town. Then taxpayers would only be out $6,000. I would like to see
the Board of Selectmen ask the Pier Corp. to give the $35,684 in
'profit' back to the Town.

  Voters at Town meeting like all other department capital
expenditures should decide any capital expenditures on the pier.

The harbormaster's staffing cost can be a lot less than it is now,
$257,325 in 2007 vs. $108,000 in 2004.

David Dattachio came to this blog site to let us know during his
tenure he oversaw a lean, effective and dedicated harbor staff, which
if implemented today, would cost taxpayers a lot less!

Shadow seems to have the boards respect for fairness and objectivity.
I would like to hear Shadows comment on my posting. I welcome all
respectful opposition/input to my positions.

Candace Nagle
2:05 pm est 

Conscript Someone Like Shadow

There is an election in the spring for the two selectmen
terms that are expiring. We need bold and decisive leadership as we
are in a fiscal crisis. I would like to know the re-election
platforms of these two selectmen because if it is just raising our
taxes or charging to haul away our trash to deal with our fiscal
problems then we need to conscript someone like Shadow to come out of
the Shadows and run for office!

Provincetown Voter
8:36 am est 

Going Back to Past Issues,

How can we separate the developer of affordable housing or the
rental units, as projected for Shankpainter, from the lottery management?

Even at one of the last Selectmen meeting, they failed to demand that
the developer of this property not be the one who controls both the lottery
for the rental units and the selector of commercial enterprises inside this
development.

Some of us would feel a lot better about the choices
from the  hat or the bowl or the box---if the developer and his crew
were not able to fanagle the bagel.

We wouldn't have to worry if the
names and the numbers involved in the lottery were handled by a
separate, fair, non-profit entity.

Strange to make money even on running the lottery ($4,000 per draw). 
Sandy Hill cost $48,000 for drawing 12 names.

Amazing how much money you can make on helping the poor!

    May
7:51 am est 

Just Wondering

     Are automatic pay increases part of the town employees'
contracts? Are they part of the police contracts? And what is the
percentage?

    In such a tight crunch, can these increases be frozen for a year
or two? Seems like a burden during such a tough time. I don't raise
this liking the idea but it might be necessary if we look to cut the
budget.

    Can someone help me with this? I'd love your opinion.

    West Ender
7:38 am est 

Soup's On!
   
I hope some bloggers can help give some ways to resolve one or
two of the issues that Shadow wonderfully put together the other day.
 
Even if we took one at a time. WE can bring greater accountability to
this town and if we don't, we will face bankruptcy. I know that
sounds harsh but we are at a critical fiscal edge. Cuts, cuts, cuts.
 
But where? And what do you think?

    Nancy

7:34 am est 

Yeh!

    Now I can really enjoy my morning sips of coffee. Yeh, you're
back on. So Let's go. Hello to everyone. It's been soooooo long.

    Much Happier

7:31 am est 

What a Bummer!

    Where are you! I'm looking to hear from my many friends and
almost only silence. Maybe the Blog spirits can return and bring new
voices with them.

    Just Waiting
7:28 am est 

Monday, January 7, 2008

I Need My Morning Blog Fix!

What a disappointement to find that the site was not working. I
need my morning cup of coffee and the reading of the recent comments.

Phew! Glad you're back in business.

How did I get so used to you?

     Happy you're Back
5:22 pm est 

System Problem?

This site does not seem to  be working properly.

I don't know if you will receive this message. I have made several
comments  but none have shown on the shout out site.

I hope you fix the problem.

Webmaster Comment: We apologize for this matter. Hopefully, the problem has been solved.

Please forward the missing comments and we will post them.

Again, please accept our apology
5:02 pm est 

Webmaster Comment:

We apologize for any inconvenience resulting from our web site  being inaccessible this morning.

Apparently the Host Server computer was taken down by our host provider around midnight on Monday. Finally, when the system was restored, we still had trouble accessing the Comment section of Shout Out!

It now appears that the system is working again. We are looking into the cause of the problem.

Thank you for your patience.
4:02 pm est 

The Sound When Doves Fly (Shadow)

   What a great line. The Shadow knows.

   These are important points you make and we can address them and
help resolve what has been the many un-resolved problems of this
town. Maybe we just stuck our heads in the primal sands; maybe we
were tired of fighting old battles; maybe we just got lazy.

    Thanks for nudging us out of complacency.

    Ready to Take Action
3:34 pm est 

Enough, please re-read my posts:

Please go back and re-read my post. You completely misinterpreted my
points regarding tracking comment sources back to the poster's
computer's internet address - or I wasn't clear enough. I was NOT
indicating that an outside person (like me) could do this.

I was pointing out that whether they choose to use the data or not PACC has
the ability and data to do so and could be ordered by a court to to
produce it in the case of a slander suit. I was not threatening
anyone veiled or otherwise. I was pointing out that the same laws
that govern the physical public square also cover the on-line
version.

I do not represent anyone other than myself as a tax-paying
participant in the Provincetown community. My opinions are my own.

In turn, I may have misread the webmasters new content policy as
being more heavy-handed than was meant, oops, sorry!

Greg Craig
3:25 pm est 

What's Going On?

Why have i been having trouble posting my comments?

What is the reason for the delay? What's going on?
1:28 pm est 

Who is Greg Craig?

What  do the detractors of this blog propose to address the
issues raised here?

It is not enought to stiffle the voice of the people without
offering something of value in return.

Who is Greg Craig? What is his interest?

What are his  proposals relative to the problems that have been discussed.

  would-like-know
1:23 pm est 

Webmaster Comment:

We apologize for any inconvenience resulting from our web site  being inaccessible this morning.

Apparently the Host Server computer was taken down by our host provider around midnight on Monday. Finally, when the system was restored, we still had trouble accessing the Comment section of Shout Out!

It now appears that the system is working again. We are looking into the cause of the problem.

Thank you for your patience.
1:05 pm est 

This What it Sounds Like When Doves Fly

This blog has been an incredible way to gather information and pool
from all the participants .  I have learned so much about the town
and its government ,its functional and  ineffective policies.

As i have said previously, when one set of rules ,policies, and
opportunities apply to all equally, then a sense of community thrives.

I read the ways in which monies can be rearranged to cover many of
the gaps that Provincetown is faced with.

Perhaps this is the very forum that can produce and bring forward the
issues of major concern and in need of reorganization .
There seems a common thread amongst the postings:

(1) affordable housing ,how lotteries are managed , who and how gets
access to these units, and people with too much involvement that skew
the process

(2) the autonomous way the pier corp operates ,allocates monies , a
uniform qualification process for positions, too many positions

(3) the communication with the town manager and selectman

(4) what your tax money buys

(5) open access to operating budgets with net profits that are quantifiable

(6) lack of overseeing between developers and town management

(7) unbiased audits of all town spending

(8) distribution of federal and state funding for special projects

(9) sewer project and DPW accountability

These are my observations, good ,bad ,but not indifferent

SHADOW
12:28 pm est 

We Will Not Go Away, We Will Confront You at the Ballot Box

I agree, this blog serves a great public function. Any negativity
expressed is only a reflection of the reality of what's out there in
the town.

The comments and information provide a valuable resource for us to use
to solve our many problems.

Lets study the data and come together to develop solutions.

We must not hide from the issues. They must be confronted head-on.
For too long we have been led like sheep to the slaughter.

Ask,demand and act! That's what is necessary; we have no choice.

We are faced with the potential of Bankruptcy, within two years. As
things stand now we will go into receivership by the end of next year
because the town will be tapped-out relative to new financial
resources. You cannot get blood from a turnip.

It is important that we not let the forces of the status quo frighten
us into silence.

It is odd that the very people that complained about the  openness of
Shout Out! demanded censoring and, yet, when it suited their purpose
did an abrupt about face, and complained that the site was being
censored.

Mr Greg Craig described himself as having experience in these
matters and stated that there was a method to backtrack the e-mail trail
to locate the sender and additionally stated that use of corporate or government 
computers could be traced.

What was the essence of such a comment? We should be outraged by such
a veiled threat. Who do you think he represents in this matter, not
you or I.

Additionally, he advises the town official not to respond to the
issues raised in Shout Out!; is this not the reason Shout Out! came
into being?

Shout Out! exists as a means by which citizens can address non
responsive officialdom. Our learned expert would have the
town-officials continue to do more of the same (ignore us).

I say, they do that at their peril. The people are speaking in good
faith and expect, no!, demand to be heard!

We will not go away, we will confront you at the ballot box.

The maintenance of democracy demands no less!

          enough is enough
12:19 pm est 

Glad You're Back On!

    Where did you go? I thought some of those computer-savvy guys had
caused this little site some problems.

     I did find that I had to create a new Favorite or for some a new
Bookmark. So I started over and put today's site in My Favorite and
now it works fine. The old one just kept announcing: Coming Soon. But
you have arrived!

    Welcome Back
   

10:21 am est 

What happened!

I was concerned that someone tried to sabotage the site.

Why was I not able to gain access?

Glad to see your back on.

Relieved

10:15 am est 

I Agree with the Blog

I'm learning a lot about town issues and how many people feel.
I'm understanding different viewpoints and that is worthwhile.

However, I don't come to the Blog to read jokes, long diatribes about
national politics and lengthy unfocused postings. I love poetry but
I'm not looking to read Kunitz or even T.S. Eliot here or haiku.

Though I love short stories and novels, I don't expect the postings
to be novellas, even if they are as good as Raymond Carver.

The Fine Arts Work Center is the place for that--not here. Time
is crucial and important and it shouldn't be wasted on reading the
comics or short-stories here.

I miss Calvin & Hobbs but I still don't want to read the beloved
little guy on these pages. That would be a misuse of the Blog.

     Iambic Pentameter
11:11 pm est 

Sunday, January 6, 2008

re: Kiss This


Kudos to the webmaster for attempting to keep this blog focused on
town government, good and bad.  if i want to read poetry blogs, i'll
go to a poetry blog site (i'm sure at least one exsists).  let's
remember the intention of the site.

And Kiss This, if you don't like it...this is america...start your
own damn blog.

cliff

ps, anyone want to discuss the government business subsidy called hb2
visas?  or how bout the dpw's failure to find any money in their
bloated budget to return to the general fund during the recent fiscal
crisis?  or maybe even the recent harassment by park rangers at
herring cove beach?
10:28 pm est 

Dear Poop Facts

    Thanks so much for the link to the materials realted to the
Wastewater project undate by Mark Abrahams. This is what I love about
this Blog. Ask a question and someone gives a fabulous reference or a
hyperlink.

    I will read it and appreciate the Poop Facts.

    Bluefish
9:41 pm est 

Ah Slippery Fish

    You understand the power of truth. Perhaps those who question
what you or others mean by truth should read a little Heidegger, a
little Husserl, a little good old- fashion Plato. Ah Truth! Ah how we
hide from deeper explorations!

     Hannah
9:39 pm est 

Dear Mrs. Cottage Street

Webmaster Comment: Dear Mrs. Cottage Street, the writing is superb, funny and laudatory of Shout Out!

However, in keeping with the previously stated policy, it is requested that the article be shorten to conform to a blog format. We are not in the business of publishing short stories or poems no matter how excellent they are.

Thank you for your interest

9:31 pm est 

I Guess We Can Kiss This One Goodbye and Any Pretense of even-handedness
 
To quote:

"Shout Out! Does Not Censor Commentary

We have never censored any message on this Blog. It is our policy to
publish all material that is presented within the guide lines of our
policy of polite conversation (no profanity or unsubstantiated
derogatory comment).

To-date we have only struck one profane word (shit) from a comment.
We suggest that you send your comments again.

Thank you for the inquiry.

Web Master"

Let the censorship begin!
9:15 pm est 

Regarding "Webmasters Notice"

-- Indeed so there it does end and down comes the heavy hand of
censorship which just a fews days ago was promised to never appear.
Only if you are willing to trash the government "machinations" will you
be allowed to post. Only if you don't question the blogmasters about their
intent will your words reach this hallowed audience. Now they and they alone
will decide what we read.

Haven't we just come full circle to exactly what
they accused their town government of so vehemently-censorship and
supression of ideas. Why is this blog a "valuable space?" It costs
nothing to post or read? Why wasn't the valuable space protected when
posts were full of slanderous accusations and misinformation.

Since pir webmasters are formulating new policies on the fly, any
chance of seeing that privacy policy so people posting here know
exactly how "anonymous" things are and how you are using web logs and
other user identificaton and tracking tools?

This was just getting fun, perhaps another blog is needed elsewhere
that allows expression from all now that this one is toast. Or maybe
this one needs to be segmented into sections, perhaps one could be
"Why I Hate The Harbormaster", another could be "Why I Hate the
Pier", and if there's anything left to cover other sections could be
added.

Greg Craig
9:08 pm est 

To the webmaster:

 "For those who are interested the domain
www.mypacc.com is registered anonymously and is registered through a
service in Canada. One wonders why the hosts of this forum felt the
need to do so."

One only "wonders" if the hosts of this forum INTENDED the outcome.
By accepting unsigned blogs, it seems evident, doesn't it? Am I
missing something? Perhaps the webmaster could excercise some
restraint and withhold intentionally demeaning and hate-filled blogs
that pollute this site?

Owen Slade
6:49 pm est 

Slippery Fish:

 Who's truth? There lies the rub!
6:46 pm est 

Who Says You Can't Mix Politics With Work?


Webmaster Notice: This is a Blog, which pertains to the operations, issues and machinations of Provincetown government. It is not a platform for the general expository of generalized philosophy or non relevant facts. It represents valuable space and should not be treated trivially. Issues should be discussed with as much brevity as is reasonable out of respect for others.

In the future Comments which abridge this proscription will not be published. 

 
 Lesson In Political Science:

  DEMOCRATIC You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. You feel
guilty for being successful. Barbara Streisand sings for you.

REPUBLICANISM You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. So?

SOCIALIST You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it
to your neighbor. You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage
his cow.

COMMUNIST You have two cows. The government seizes both and provides
you with milk. You wait in line for hours to get it. It is expensive
and sour.

CAPITALISM, AMERICAN STYLE You have two cows. You sell one, buy a
bull, and build a herd of cows.

BUREAUCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE You have two cows. Under the new farm
program the government pays you to shoot one, milk the other, and
then pours the milk down the drain.

AMERICAN CORPORATION You have two cows. You sell one, lease it back
to yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one. You force the two cows to
produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when one cow drops
dead. You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have
downsized and are reducing expenses. Your stock goes up.

FRENCH CORPORATION You have two cows. You go on strike because you
want three cows. You go to lunch and drink wine. Life is good.

JAPANESE CORPORATION You have two cows. You redesign them so they
are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times
the milk. They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains. Most
are at the top of their class at cow school.

GERMAN CORPORATION You have two cows. You engineer them so they are
all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a
hundred miles an hour. Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of
vacation per year.

ITALIAN CORPORATION You have two cows but you don't know where they
are. While ambling around, you see a beautiful woman. You break for
lunch. Life is good.

RUSSIAN CORPORATION You have two cows. You have some vodka. You count
them and learn you have five cows. You have some more vodka. You
count them again and learn you have 42 cows. The Mafia shows up and
takes over however many cows you really have.

TALIBAN CORPORATION You have all the cows in Afghanistan, which are
two. You don't milk them because you cannot touch any creature's
private parts. You get a $40 million grant from the US government to
find alternatives to milk production but use the money to buy weapons.

IRAQI CORPORATION You have two cows. They go into hiding. They send
radio tapes of their mooing.

POLISH CORPORATION You have two bulls. Employees are regularly maimed
and killed attempting to milk them.

BELGIAN CORPORATION You have one cow. The cow is schizophrenic.
Sometimes the cow thinks he's French, other times he's Flemish. The
Flemish cow won't share with the French cow. The French cow wants
control of the Flemish cow's milk.The cow asks permission to be cut
in half. The cow dies happy.

FLORIDA CORPORATION You have a black cow and a brown cow. Everyone
votes for the best looking one. Some of the people who actually like
the brown one best accidentally vote for the black one. Some people
vote for both. Some people vote for neither. Some people can't figure
out how to vote at all. Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state
tell you which one you think is the best-looking cow.

CALIFORNIA CORPORATION You have millions of cows. They  make real
California cheese. Only five speak English. Most are illegals. Arnold
likes the ones with the big udders.
6:41 pm est 

Speak Truth to Power!

The truth is NOT slander.

Slippery fish
6:01 pm est 

Point of Clarification on Phase Two:

the hook-up fees for the shank painter development will be paid by
the developer.  the laudramat also paid a very large betterment fee.

also want to comment on the sandy hill affordable housing leftovers. 
i know of a few people who were in the initial lottery or were
thinking of applying for it and chose to withdraw after inspecting
the project itself. 

they had serious issues with the location, the
density and the quality of the construction at the site (and of
previous projects by the developers). 

the need for middle income affordable housing exists.  but remember,
these middle income people also have choices.  they just chose not to
live in high density housing in the woods.  create better housing and local
mid income people will apply.

also just want to remind people as they bitch about the shank painter
project that it will be all affordable rentals.  not everyone wants
to own property, some are happy to just have the peace of mind of an
affordable rent that will not be condoed (sp).

cliff
5:57 pm est 

Thank you, Greg Craig

 This site will be more credible if
the people heed your call to civility and stop the nettling. 

Questions are good.  Facts are good.  Attacks, well, they're just
plain illegal.

Jen Rumpza
5:51 pm est 

Re: Sewer Questions

If you would like to know the exact numbers and other data related to
the sewer system you can find them in this report to the town:

http://www.provincetowngov.org/works/sewer/2007/BOS%20WW%20Financial%20Rpt%202007-0716.pdf

Summary; the sewer works financially when everyone who is supposed to
hookup does so. it works even better financially when optional people
hook up and spread fixed costs over a larger user base thus lowering
drastically the per gallon charge to users.

Personal thoughts: it is in everyone's best interests to see a
cleaner ocean abutting our town. Further, it greatly enhances
property value to not have one's poop sitting under one's feet and
more than worth the hookup and betterment costs.
 
The federal and state governments are cracking down on nitrogen
emmissions into federal bodies of water and a prime source in a place like
provincetown is septic and pit systems, someday I bet even Title V
systems will be suspect.

It was a move of incredible foresight to build a sewer and to grow it.
Had we not done so and been forced to do it in the future it would costs
many times what our current cost is.

Look at Eastham that is facing a huge bill if they want to put in
a public water system versus the much real lower costs had they done
it years ago.

- your truly from Poop Facts
5:48 pm est 

My Dear Eddy

    We obviously have different views of what offends and what
doesn't. I find this site exciting and interesting and good to hear
from so many people. Instead of just sitting at town meetings with
scotch tape across one's lips and not accepting the full
responsibility of citizenship, I find this web site important.
    You see the world or the town one way, and I see the town in another way.

    A Proud Townie

5:41 pm est 

To "Confused about the Sewer Fund and Betterment"

    I'm not Shadow or the Professor, and I don't have the exact
answer to your questions, but I think perhaps the second phase of the
sewer came to involve connecting the old Manor, now Seashore Point,
and the Shankpainter Road affordable housing and the laundramat.

    Maybe we could have stayed with and completed the first phase as
the last phase. But maybe someone promised the new owners of the
Manor that the town would hook up its building to the sewer and pay
for it. Maybe that was part of the initial deal--and it was quite a
deal--and so the second phase had to happen to cover past promises.

    Also, buying the old Cumberland Fram land for $1 million and
giving this land to a developer--another odd financial deal--probably
made the second phase necessary to give the developer a free hook up,
like that of the Seashore Point people.

    Maybe the laundramat was thrown in, like a free gift to big
spenders, to "justify" the second phase and the icnredible costs of
this project. But is anyone using the laundramat? I never hear anyone
talking about using it.

      I'm just trying to help with the answer to the question you
posed earlier. Someone out there has an answer or can say if I might
be right. This is my sense.

     Bluefish
5:15 pm est 

Thank you Mr. Craig!

A dose of reality for all? Well said
sir, well said! And there... it died.
5:10 pm est 

Libel and Slander:

OK, last post for the moment:

Libel and Slander:

"Two torts that involve the communication of false information about
a person, a group, or an entity such as a corporation. Libel is any
Defamation that can be seen, such as a writing, printing, effigy,
movie, or statue. Slander is any defamation that is spoken and heard.

Collectively known as defamation, libel and slander are civil wrongs
that harm a reputation; decrease respect, regard, or confidence; or
induce disparaging, hostile, or disagreeable opinions or feelings
against an individual or entity. The injury to one's good name or
reputation is affected through written or spoken words or visual
images. The laws governing these torts are identical.

To recover in a libel or slander suit, the plaintiff must show
evidence of four elements: that the defendant conveyed a defamatory
message; that the material was published, meaning that it was
conveyed to someone other than the plaintiff; that the plaintiff
could be identified as the person referred to in the defamatory
material; and that the plaintiff suffered some injury to his or her
reputation as a result of the communication.

To prove that the material was defamatory, the plaintiff must show
that at least one other person who saw or heard it understood it as
having defamatory meaning. It is necessary to show not that all who
heard or read the statement understood it to be defamatory, but only
that one person other than the plaintiff did so. Therefore, even if
the defendant contends that the communication was a joke, if one
person other than the plaintiff took it seriously, the communication
is considered defamatory."

More on this topic can be found at:
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Libel+and+slander

Greg Craig
5:07 pm est 

WWW.MYPACC.Com is Registered Anonymously

For those who are interested the domain www.mypacc.com is
registered anonymously and is registered through a service in Canada.
One wonders why the hosts of this forum felt the need to do so. If
you wish to see the details click the following link:

https://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/jump_pages/whois_underlying_data.asp?se=%2B&ci=4854&domain=mypacc.com&isc=&prog_id=godaddy
5:02 pm est 

Dear Proud Townie -

If you are truly a "Townie", you'd find many of the attacks on this
site offensive! I was born and raised here as were my parents and
theirs before them. I can't believe what I am reading here.

Eddy
4:52 pm est 

If You Think You are Posting Anonymously You are Not.

 If one examines the underlying html code for this web page you will see
that each message posted here has a unique identifier. The web server
that hosts the site will have a log containing the exact internet
protocol (IP) address the unique message was posted from. Your
computer has a unique IP address. When you post that address is
recorded in a server log and can easily be tied to your posting.

So, if you post first with your name and then without your name from
the same computer it is extremely simple to identify who you are,
trivial in fact. If you post from a corporate (or government)
computer system it is very easy to identify where you posted from if
not the exact computer. Similarly if you slander or libel someone
here and they retain a lawyer it is incredibly simple to backtrack
who you are during the discovery process. This is how the recording
industry is suing individual users for stealing music.

I hope our web benefactors here at "Concerned Citizens" will publish
a privacy policy specifying exactly what data is retained, how, for
how long and how they examine it. I also hope that they have a good
lawyer on retainer because if I were the Harbormaster or others I'd
be contacting my attorney to sue several people on here for libel and
slander and the first place I'd go to court for a discovery order
against is this web site.

To summarize; there is no such thing as anonymity on the Internet, it
is an illusion and easily pierced.

Just another reason to stand up for what you believe and attach your
name to it though of course, that is one's own decision.

In over 25 years of earning a living in the field of
computer-mediated communications it is my observation that
free-for-all forums like this with no limitations on postings, no
mechanism to guarantee people are unique and not posting under
multiple id's and where people can use anyone's name on a post tend
to develop into shouting matches where the crazies come to dominate.

I would suggest town officials, and that means all of you-identified
or not, should abstain from responding on here no matter how stupid,
paranoid or heinous the accusations. There are well defined channels
for feedback to government and well defined reasons for them. I
suspect the town attorney would advise the same. Perhaps the town
itself could get ahead of this game and have it's own "Ask the Town"
blog with normal blog tools for regulating postings, identified
management, etc. that would give the unidentified a chance to ask
questions. One can see that responded to these poor homebound,
computer sadists simply gets them excited and stimulated to post even
more crap.

Finally, is all this vitriol and character-assasination spewed
towards the Harbormaster just another form of blatant homophobia?
Sure sounds like it to me. Critiques of the pier are a legitimate
question but personally attacking specific officials is juvenile and
embarassing to see amongst adults. Didn't your parents raise you
better than that?

Greg Craig
4:31 pm est 

Sorry East End Eddy

    You are only you. Don't confuse critical perspectives and asking
pointed questions with nastiness. I haven'et read many nasty comments
at all. Yes, many questions are being asked about behavior by public
offcials--and that is the role of an inquiring public--that does not
equate with negativity, nastiness or defamation. Many people see
problems and they are raising them. Seems more like the proper
response in a democracy and the actions of involved townies.

    To the many people who are part of this site, thanks for the time
you put in and the questions you raise. And for those who have
information and insight, how wonderful to have you participate. A
toast to all of you.

   A Proud Townie
4:19 pm est 

For those Who Slept Through World History 101.. Here is a Condensed Version.

Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic
hunters/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the
summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the
winter.

The two most important events in all of history were:
1. The invention of beer, and
2. The invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to
the beer, and the beer to the man.

These facts formed the foundation of modern civilization and together
were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct
subgroups:
1. Liberals
2. Conservatives.

Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the
beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can
were invented yet, so while our early humans were sitting around
waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the
brewery. That's how villages were formed.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to B B Q at
night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what
is known as the Conservative movement.

Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live
off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly BBQ's and doing
the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of
the Liberal movement.

Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest
became known as girlie-men.

Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of
cats, the invention of group therapy and group hugs, the evolution of
the Hollywood actor, and the concept of Democratic voting to decide
how to divide all the meat and beer that conservatives provided.

Over the years, Conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest,
most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are
symbolized by the mule.

Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer
white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like
their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard
liberal fare. Another interesting evolutionary side note: most of
liberal women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most
social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in
Hollywood and group therapists are liberals. Liberals invented the
designated hitter rule because it wasn't fair to make the pitcher
also bat.

Conservatives drink domestic beer. They eat red meat and still
provide for their women. Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo
cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors,
police officers, corporate executives, athletes, Marines, and
generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own
companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers
and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans
are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals
remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America. They
crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of
trying to get more for nothing.

Here ends today's lesson in world history...
It should be noted that a liberal may have a momentary urge to
angrily respond to the above

A conservative will simply laugh and be so convinced of the absolute
truth of this history that it will be passed on immediately to other
true believers, and to more liberals...just to piss them off.
4:03 pm est 

There are Really Only a Half Dozen People Here!

How nasty we have all become here people! Single out one
person and make him sound like a criminal BEFORE you have all your
facts! Typical winter politics in P-town? I doubt it. Sounds like
Shadow and Nagle are "in bed together" doesn't it?


I thought this site would be a good and intelligent way to put our
collective heads together and help solve some of the town's problems.

It would be most prudent of the webmaster to remind the bloggers that
libel, slander and accusations with no basis in fact are not to be
tolerated here.

So far, it's just a few nasty, hate spewing people
that find it easy to slur a fellow citizen and taxpayer while hiding
in anonymity. Perhaps my name is Candace Nagle, Shadow, Slippery
Fish, Mudhead, M. Snow, Rattlesnake, C. Snow, Baby Rattle, M.A.,
Slippery Eel, and East End Eddy! Of course, I've been fooling you all
along! There are really only a half dozen people here!

By the way, I had to introduce Mr. Bergman to Mr. Dialtone, he said
he wouldn't come back to this nasty place even if his salary was
tripled!

The REAL East End Eddy
2:52 pm est 

I am With Heather on One Point::

I will always sign my name by principle.  If I have something to say
that I can't stand behind with pride and conviction, then I shouldn't say it. 
There must be something behind all these diatribes that makes people
feel scared to sign their names.  And that something is probably either guilt,
shame or fear.  (Or the knowledge that they're being really out of hand).
 
Well, the truth is, there are consequences to our actions and that
includes speaking.  The most obvious thing that I see here is a lot
of talk and not a lot of action.  If you don't like the laws
regarding affordable housing, run for office, make policy to change
them, vote Republican, but lighten up on those of us who've been
blessed to live and work here somewhat securely.

And lighten up on those who've used those laws to help others out and to make
a profit. There is certainly no crime in making a profit in this town.

We all have to live with our choices; we should all have to live
behind our words.

BTW, there is an issue that I would LOVE to bring up anonymously, but
I honestly will not bring it to the public until I am ready to stand
behind my convictions, and their consequences.  That's what I've
learned.  Those are my feelings about it.  And I applaud all those
who've been brave enough to sign their names.

Jen Rumpza
2:12 pm est 

Confused about Sewer Enterprise Fund and Betterment Fund

     My dear Professor, Shadow and Slippery Fish, can you help make
sense of these funds? Can monies in the Betterment Fund be shifted as
needed into the Sewer Enterprise Fund? Or are these seperate?

     Also, did the town need the second phase of the sewer? Wouldn't we be
better off if we had stopped where we where? And why do we have the
highest or one of the highest sewer rates in the state?

    Thanks
1:31 pm est 

Nice Detective Work Shadow

Sounds like Real Estate magnate
Mckinsy is laughing all the way to the bank while stepping on the
backs of taxpayers. Who does he think he is? Is there some kind of
regulatory board that can investigate all of his affordable housing
holdings?

Shadow can you look into that for us?  Are there any other
Provincetown department heads that have affordable housing? He has
exploited the spirit of what affordable housing is all about to help
people in Provincetown like Jen.

What is going on here with our money? We try to help people like
Mckinsy out. But really how come he needed subsidized housing at age
40?

Was he partying from ages 20-40 with the Figurehead house people
too while we all sacrificed to own homes in Provincetown? Then used
more connections to get a cushy job on the wharf?

Hey everybody, I see him. smoking cigs outside his office on the
platform counting his money and grinning! Better hide behind one of
the fender piles!
1:24 pm est 

Yes, Rattlesnake is a Name,

But you can address me as Mr. or Ms..
You are apparently new to this site. Read the archives.

Mrs. Rattlesnake

1:18 pm est 

Will the Real Rex McKinsy Please Stand Up!

After going through the Barnstable Registry of Deeds i stumbled upon
three McKinseys, all involved with the condo's on Hensche Lane.
Is it  (1) Rex McKinsey
        (2) Rex William McKinsey II
    OR  (3) William Rex McKinsey the II
Grantor? Trustee ?

SHADOW doing due diligence
9:45 am est 

To O -V-E-R,

  Yes, you are correct. I remember Big "D's" first endevor up the way
on Cowell St.. I recall a couple who received the priveledge of
affordable housing and guess what? Five years later, it was sold! I
do not know if there was a profit, nor how the property was
re-cycled, but it seems to be a given. Devote 5 years here and then
going, going,gone. So much for building a community.
9:41 am est 

Eddy Here My Dear Citizens of Our Beloved Little Town.

It's nearly 5:00 am as I write this and I've run out of garbage to flush,
save what I read here! Must say, this little blog is getting awfully
nasty!  Are the folks being named herein the only recipients of an
affordable unit in P-town? Surely we don't need to name names... do
we? Especially under the cloak of pseudonyms or no name at all.

I worked with a person who won an affordable one bedroom for around
$100,000. She lives alone. She converted the basement and rented it
out! Fair?

One other thing, I can't figure out is why the Pier is being targeted
so often here particularly by Ms. Nagle who surely has nothing to
gain from her nasty attacks, or does she?

She is after all a taxpayer like the rest of us and has nothing to do with
the Pier right? I've read the facts; I've even done the math. The town has
a contract with the Pier to take care of the mooring field and harbor. The Pier folks
collect the mooring fees (I know cause I have one) and then give all
the mooring money back to the town.

They also pay the town rent that increases annually which covers the debt
service. My question is, how much does it really cost the TAXPAYERS, not the users
of the Pier, but the Taxpayers of Provincetown to run the Pier?

By the way good people, I still have Keith Bergman on hold and he
called me collect!!! He's waiting for your answer!

East End Eddy
9:39 am est 

Rattlesnake?

Is Rattlesnake a name?
9:32 am est 

These "Moderate" Deals Were the Sweet Spot

Ok Rex so your co-worker at Flyer's got a free ride. At
least she cashed in AND left Town with $200,000., in her purse.

See why we are pissed off? These "moderate" deals were the sweet spot.
Anne, Monica, who else?

..I did not take steroids, they injected me.

9:28 am est 

To Better Luck Next Time

I forgot to leave my name.

Rattlesnake
11:38 pm est 

To Better Luck Next Time.

In reference to your response on 1/4/08 , #3., "affordable 
units  may never rent out their units for profit". Does that mean
they can rent to cover expenses? I think this has been done and with
a profit to boot.

#4: "affordable owers must never have another residence-
Provincetown is the only place they can live".
Are there periodic reviews to confirm the following:

    1. Registered voter- voting in person V.S. absentee ballot?
    2. Employed in town or general area?
    3. Can we knock on their door and find them home?(with vacation time 
       taken  into consideration).
#4. It is rather funny how I know soooo-many  Non related, yet intimated
players in this SCAM.

#5. So let's get to the point: I have a meager yearly income, but my
partner lives in mid- town Manhattan. I am  a house Frau, I have very
little income,   I am eligable for the lottery.

And as a good citizen, I'll mail in my absentee ballot. We'll get the
results in the Banner, we'll be cruising in the Bahamas.

Honey, I'll get affordable housing - all we need is a two by four.


11:31 pm est 

Affordable Housing, 58k per Year With Health Benefits?

I've heard of a leg up but do we really have to carry Mckinsy
throughout ptown in a sedan chair with taxpayers as the pallbearers?
give it up to someone who is eligble for affordable housing!

Oh, aren't you getting another 10% raise this year? i think i'll work on
the pier too!
11:18 pm est 

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Are You Paying Attention?

The deed restrictions for the 4 moderate units at Hensche Lane are
indeed over, but certainly not the 7 affordables until 2041!

What you don't understand here is that the big D found that during
the process he found a large quantity of people who did not qualify
for the affordable and certainly could not afford market.  Big D
decided to omit 4 fair market and created moderate. So the profit the
moderate owners will find is whatever is left after the developer has
been paid back the difference of what the unit was appraised at the
closing!

Poor Construction Manager for actually having to pay market rate for
her condo.....so she can buy market rate for her house! I thought the
way to make money in this town was to flip houses- you're supposed to
take the money and leave now.
8:03 pm est 

Looking for Some Answers on the Possible Savings

How Much Would we Save?
    If we did the following three cuts:
    A) Reduce core staff in all departments to the realistically
needed numbers necessary to handle winter work
    B)  Hire part-time people to handle the summer overload
    C)  Reduce the hours of all town employees from 40 hours to 35 or
even 30 hours

     Can someone give me some estimate of the savings? This would
lessen significantly Health Insurance that now is a staggering
$2,304,191 and also the Pension that is $985,150.
With the reduction in personnel and the reduction in hours for all
town workers, wouldn't this be a significant saving?

       This also means a freeze on hiring and a freeze on pay raises.

       I still wonder why some people were hired right before the
November Special meeting and why quite a few were given pay raises.
Wasn't this fiscally foolish and unrealistic?

       Looking for some answers on the possible savings.

       Mudhead

7:52 pm est 

The Deed Restriction on Keeping the Units Affordable Was Only For 5 Years

Most Affordable Housing Units Are Legit But Hensche Lane
is an exception. The deed restriction on keeping the units affordable
was only for 5 years and it is already over.

Proof? One affordable unit has already been sold at a hansome profit.
And another "lucky" lottery winner, Monica, who is Ted's construction
manager has hers on the MLS market so she can buy over at the new CHR
project on Race Pont Road and do it all over again.

Rex will probably be next if we don't stop beating him up so badly.
And oh ya, AJ (Housing Authority and CHR) owns one too! All the deed
restrictions are O-V-E-R!!
5:17 pm est 

Yes, I Consider Myself Very Lucky

Some are calling Ted Malone the big D- developer as a slam.
  Some have intimated that I got lucky by a rigged process.  Neither
is true.  I remember that process, starting in 1999, when I attended
the first time home buyers seminar.  The seminar and process was
overwhelming.  The people at Housing Assistance Corp (HAC) helped me
though the paperwork.  With my job at Flyers and winter unemployment,
my income barely qualified, but I finally got an approval letter from
the bank and qualified for the lottery.

The whole process was an emotional rollercoaster for close to two
years.  From despair of the onerous process to elation that I
actually qualified to shock when I learned the guy I just started
dating also qualified for the only 1-person affordable unit in the
upcoming lottery for Hensche Lane.  At the time, I worked at Flyers
and moved twice a year like so many in town.  I had started
volunteering for town boards- first shellfish, then harbor.  I had
just met AJ that winter.  He tended bar at the Commons and
volunteered for the LHP.  Ill spare you the details of our dates.

The lottery was held in town hall the next spring.  There were two
other applicants with us for one unit.  We were assigned numbers and
those numbers were pulled from a big bowl by an official from HAC. 
The winning numbers were recorded in order because 2 two-bedroom
units had no qualified applicants.  Ted went back to Planning Board
to accommodate the existing demand so only one person lost out.  I
have attended other CHR lotteries since.  They are always by number-
not names and never drawn by an employee- but generally, a public
official.  I can tell you the worst part of a lottery is not getting
a unit- that is painful.  Yes, I consider myself very lucky.

Over the next year, I again spent the summer on my boat and the
boatyard for the winter. That next winter I turned 40 at Evinrude
technician school in Florida.  It was AJ and my first vacation
together, certainly not long enough to consider signing a 40-year
mortgage together- that is, IF we could have qualified for a two
bedroom. BTW- we are still not ready for that, even IF we could
qualify for market rate together.  We moved us and the animals
several times waiting for the units to be built.  I finally closed on
my condo July of 2001.

Closing day included several mortgages and contracts that govern
affordable housing.  When I am ready to move out, I will notify the
Town of Provincetown that the unit is available for another
affordable lottery and the Town governs a process that should take
about 90 days to turn over.  That is how it happens.  It happened
years before I started working on the pier in 2003.  It happened
years before AJ started working for Ted in 05.  The reason either of
us started volunteering and got better (year round) jobs is because
we got these houses, not the other way around.  At least for us and
other CHR owners and renters, the system works as designed.

So I would call Ted the big D- Developer because he makes affordable
housing work.  Other developers try to avoid or segregate affordable
in their constructions.  They complain about not making enough and
try to short the process.  For those of you that profess to want
solutions to housing in Provincetown, CHR is the successful template
to follow.

Rex McKinsey, Hensche Lane, Provincetown.
5:11 pm est 

If You Want to Help the Community, Then do it!

Provincetown has existed as a tourist destination for 100+
years, with all services provided by locals and seasonal employees. 

In a time when unemployment is at it's highest and people
(U.S.citizens) are looking for work and loosing their homes, isn't it
a little strange that this community is crying out for the right to
import workers, and that they can't possibly exist otherwise?? 

Perhaps employers should begin looking at the wages they offer and
bring them into line with the high cost of summer rentals, some of
which are owned by the same employers!  Get real!  If you want to
help the community, then do it!
4:59 pm est 

Last I Checked You Were Suppose to Work For the American Dream

I am one of the few who voted against the affordable
housing property tax, and boy did I get some nasty looks and an
earful after that town meeting.

When I see people like the former tenants of the figure head house
boo hooing about not being able to afford to live here and then see
those same people drinking in bars everyday spending their money
on over priced cocktails, I wonder where their priorities lie.

I've lived here for 30 years and scrimped and saved to buy my little
piece of paradise only to be taxed so others could do the same. Last I checked
you were suppose to work for the American Dream, not have it handed to you.
And as for the open space Landbank tax, aren't we surrounded by open space?
Do we really need a "Green Way" for skunks, racoons, foxes and coyote to find
their way into town. And then we take the taxes meant for open space
and use it for housing anyway. Say What!!

The Ogre
4:50 pm est 

Thank You

Thank You,Unlucky

Your post was very helpful

Hope your luck changes in 2008

Your pal,

SHADOW
4:42 pm est 

Maybe Sharon Lynn Could Assist

Dear Raven,

Have you ever been to a lottery and witnessed the process??
Perhaps you should before you continue your paranoid diatribe!
Perhaps you were one of the "unlucky" ones full of gripe as you stroll in
late to the meeting completely missing the introduction of the
process?

As someone else here mentioned earlier, ask the source!
Educate yourself by going right to the source, better than this angry
site where the misinformed feed off of each other never hearing the
facts. Not everyone is involved in this blog as you might think.
Better yet, maybe Sharon Lynn could assist as she was the person who
last pulled names out of a jar (not a white hat)

Just wondering.
4:39 pm est 

On a More Positive Note

Have you checked out this web
site?   www.celebrateprovincetown.com

The tourism office, VSB, Chamber, PBG and some volunteers in town put
it together to let everyone (locals, visitors, prospective  visitors)
know what's open during the winter.  Nice to see what happens when we
work together to make things happen.

4:07 pm est 

Afraid to Speak Out. Afraid That There Will be Repercussions for Their View Point

I'm not much of a computer person, but I like this. I, personally have known too many people here in town,especially those that have businesses that are afraid to speak out. Afraid that there will be repercussions for their view point. Permits won't come easy, their establishment could be hassled.

I even wonder myself whether speaking out against Chapter 91 for the last several years explains the unexplainable 61% rise in my house tax assesment in just the last two years. I don't know, and frankly I don't want to live my life based on fear. But for those that wonder why some people wish to remain anonomous... There is a very real reason... Whether real or perceived.

I will alway sign my name on principle, and because I don't have much too lose...just a fishing shack on the beach, built by my great grandfather, passed down to my mother and inherited by myself and two brothers that we struggle to keep...

I love this town. I am part of its heritage, and I will fight fearlessly for the things I believe in. I'm sorry to hear that there has been some ugliness in terms of opinions on this website. But I think its value far outweighs the occasional ranting of a few people.

I, for one have been extremely frustated with this town for its lack of responsibility regarding Chapter 91 licencing along the waterfront. I believe wholeheartedly that we have been unfairly singled out, and have been denied true amnesty.

I won't get into it here, at least not now, but the experience has tainted my belief in this town government and the honesty of our own town council. But ,I've never really been all that involved in politics before. It's been a learning experience, and a draining one at that. Politics is a nasty business, one which I wish I could remove myself from entirely. But you can't - not if you care! And I think the "blog" is a good thing, and I commend those that have put in their time and energy to create it!

Heather Bruce
4:01 pm est 

Right on About Ditacchio!

    Julie, yes, you are so right. David Ditacchio did a great job as
a summer cop and also as our Harbormaster. He was vigilant and
understood what needed to be done on the pier.

Like Matt Mulvey, our interim Building Commisioner, Ditacchio enforced
the laws and the rules equally. Everyone was held to the same rules, to the same
enforcement. In Provincetown, that can cause some people to be upset.
But, for me, I like fairness and equal enforcement. No favoritism.
What a breath of fresh air.

    Also, when Ditacchio was a summer policement, he trained the
other summer cops. He was a model of what should be done and he was
on the street--he walked, he patroled, he was always there.

    With Ditacchio, there were no "sippy cups" and I heard few
complaints. Yes, bring Ditacchio back. He'd be a great teacher and
trainer for these inexperienced "interns."

     Un-Sippy Cup Me
1:13 pm est 

Let's be Patient and Give Her a Little More Time

I have personally found Sharon Lynn to be intelligent,
talented, well-spoken, thoughtful, and sincere in her work ethic. She
remembers your name after only meeting her once. She attends board
meetings (something Keith Bergman wouldn't be caught dead doing).

Remember, Sharon has only been with us for a short time and is still
learning where all the skeletons are buried. And folks, rest assured,
there's plenty of em! Let's be patient and give her a little more
time.

When do all the attacks end and healing begin? How do we fix our
town's problems with attacks against the very people that are trying
to do just that - heal our wounds?

Wash-a-Shore
1:08 pm est 

Good to Hear From David Ditacchio

    David did a great job when he was a summer cop. He never stood
still and hung around a corner and never,to quote Richard Olsen at
one Selectmen meeting speaking about this summer's cops, "just stood
there with the sippy cups!"

    I'd rather one Ditacchio and one dancing cop then 8
in-experienced summer sippy cups!

    Also, in the summer, we need part-time police who know the town
and town people and don't arrest people for wagging their finger at
them. Sadly, this did happen! We need true community policing. When
this is done well, a town gains so much. In the past years, we had
some terrific summer cops.

    Bring them back.

    Julie
12:40 pm est 

Hurrah for Whitey!


    Yes, Not So Lucky, I like your reference to Whitey Bulger and his
"winning" the million dollars in what the state would say was a fair
and unbiased lottery.

    How can so many affirm that the lottery for housing is fair
because they saw names being picked out of a hat? How did the names
get in the hat and who put in these names? Who has certified and
objectiviely observed the actual placing of names--to be separated
from those who applied--and who is certifying the fairness? When the
developer of the projects is the same entity that selects and
arranges for the lottery, how fair can such a lottery really be.

    And that so many who work or worked for the Big Developer have
their name "picked" as well as those who are or were partners of
those who work or wokred for the Big Developer are also "picked" it
is not surprising that town people are skeptical.

    Like Whitey, how "lucky" can some people get? Seems like luck and
predictability go hand in hand.

     For fairness, separate the developer from the organizer of the
lottery. Have a hands-off policy instead of a hands-on policy.

     The Raven
12:29 pm est 

We are Hiding Behind "Worm Infested Piles"...

"So, anonymous Town Center Guy et al. hiding behind worm
infested fender piles on the pier"

gee, ms. nagle sure doesn't sound too angry , does she? Could she
really not understand that when she puts such bile and anger into her
comments that she is the very reason people feel the need to keep
their comments private?

It's not enough to say people are "hiding",
we are hiding behind "worm infested piles"... nope, not angry at all.

I have gotten her evil eye many times, I do not want her pointed
angry looks any more.

BTW, I knew she couldn't go another day without seeing her words on this site.
10:42 am est 

About Sharon Lynn

I have had the same experience with her. You play phone tag with her.
She doesn't get back to you. She walked by my place of business and
said she would stop on her way back. No show. So much for fixing
things.

I look at it this way.  She doesn't pay attention to unsigned entries
here. Well,  I read what she said in the Banner and I don't give any
value to what she says either.

Been there. Done that.
10:32 am est 

Let's Keep This Cvil and Not a Gossip Column

I am a proud property owner in town and welcome the
oppurtunity to express my opinions on this site. I am well aware that
blogs are what they are but the personal attacks read here should
stop, otherwise you will be dismissed as having an agenda that has
nothing to do with the betterment of our town.

On the issues I have these opinions...
The affordable housing lottery is as fair and unbiased with
absolutely no room for any favortism for any qualified candidate,
period. As disapponting as it may be for someone not drawn from the
hat, that's how it works.

The pier inquiries generated by Ms. Nagle should be applauded. The
data should be available and transparent and I am sure that is Ms.
Nagle's only agenda.

Let's keep this civil and not a gossip column, for gossip let's
resurrect the fun Septic Flow page in Provincetown Magazine when it
goes back into circulation this spring!

E. Michael Richards
emichaelrichards@msn.com
10:23 am est 

PROVINCETOWN'S REPUTATION

 THE PRIOVINCETOWNS POLICE BREAKUP OF THE FAMOUS PARTY OF 2007 HAS 
BECOME ONE OF THE MAJOR ISSUES OF 2007.  WELL LETS LOOK AT P-TOWN, WHERE ELSE CAN YOU EACH AND EVERY NIGHT STAND IN THE STREET AND BLOCK TRAFFIC  REQUIRING THE POLICE TO AVOID PROBLEMS AND RE DIRECT THE TRAFFIC AROUND  THE GATHERING SO
THESE CROWDS CAN SOCIALIZE????

WHERE ELSE CAN MEN GATHER ON THE BEACH IN THE AM AND SOCIALIZE.  A CASUAL WALK ON THE BEACH AT 1AM  IS TRULY A WALK ON THE DARK SIDE OF PROVINCETOWN. PS DONT GO UNDER A WHARF. 

WHERE ELSE CAN MEN COME TO THIS TOWN AND ACT AND DRESS IN A WAY THEY
WOULD NOT DARE IN THEIR HOME TOWNS WHERE THEIR FAMILIES LIVE. I HAVE
NEVER SEEN  WOMAN WALKING DOWN TOWN IN A BATHING SUIT HAVE YOU????
 
WHERE ELSE ARE STUDENTS BASHED FOR BEING FROM THEIR HOME TOWN???? 
SADLY PTOWN HAS AQUIRED A REPUTATION OF BEING A PARTY TOWN,  AND ANY
ATTEMPTS TO SQUASH THIS  REPUTATION BY OUR POLICE, TOWN GOVERNMENT.
ELECTED OFFICIALS, CITIZENS ETC IS MET WITH STRONG RESISTANCE.

     I AM ONE OF THE LONG TIME RESIDENTS OF PROVINCETOWN. MY FAMILY
CAME HERE IN 1901. MYSELF AND OTHERS LIKE ME THAT WITNESSED STARTING
IN THE  1930S THE COMING OF THE ARTISTS, THEN BEATNIKS, THEN HIPPIES,
GAY MEN AND WOMAN, AND THEN THE PURCHASING OF HOMES BY NON RESIDENTS.
THIS IS WHAT I AND OTHERS LIKE ME SAY. PROVINCETOWN IS AGAIN
EXPERIENCING A CHANGE. WE AS A COMMUNITTY, IN ORDER TO SURVIVE NEED
TO RE ESTABLISH OURSELVES AS A TOWN THAT PEOPLE CAN BE PROUD TO LIVE
IN.  THAT TOURISTS BOTH STRAIGHT AND GAY  CAN VISIT HERE AND ENJOY
ALL THAT PROVINCETOWN HAS TO OFFER.

      THE PROVINCETOWN COMMUNITTY NEEDS TO GET TOGETHER AND MAKE IT
KNOWN THAT PROVINCETOWN IS NOT A PARTY TOWN WHERE YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU
WANT AND NOT BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR IT.

    THE COLONEL
10:18 am est 

Wait a Second... Phones Ringing!

Hello again Bloggers! Sorry to say that your faithful
Eddy has been busy - plumbing's been on the fritz for a couple of
days! I'm back and ready to tackle the heady issues of Provincetown
politics again!

     Seems that Ms. Nagle is getting the answers that she deserves
from Harbor Master McKinsey. Perhaps now she'll relax for a while? 
Candace, you applied for the Pier board job and didn't get it.
Apparently, you're just too conflicted!

     One of the newer, thought provoking comments here today takes
issue with Sharon Lynn, our new Town Manager and her position of
liking to fix things? Consider this fact: our Town Manager is still
new to the job. So far, I have been very impressed with her
abilities. Shouldnt we give her the time that she deserves to get...
...wait a second... phones ringing... well, well,... its Keith
Bergman everybody! ... Says hed like his old job back!... What should
I tell him?? ... ... ...???

East End Eddy
11:03 pm est 

Friday, January 4, 2008

Secrecy is an Anathema in a Democracy.

Up until a couple of days ago, the Pier Corp. was a secret organization,
which refused to release financial documents to the public.

Because of this site and sharing my frustration with town officials,
the Pier Corp. is now releasing their financial data on the Towns website. 

This initiative took over three months. From asking nicely,
getting rebuffed and stonewalled by the Pier Corp. at every turn to
aggressively asking for accountability repeatedly on this site.

I have used the PACC Shout Out! as just one venue of many and have
taken a hurl of insults from those who have hidden anonymously behind
fender piles like Town Center Guy, Lobster Bites and West End Eddy as
well as from Mr. McKinsey and Mr. Adams. 

To invalidate my contribution of helping to make public important financial
information that every taxpayer should be able to easily access does
a disservice to all.

Perhaps because I had the courage to stand up and challenge the status quo
on the pier, however difficult, I was able to affect a small change but important
one in Town government. 

It was not just a coincidence the Pier Corp. started releasing financial documents
to the public a couple of days ago.

We all know as taxpayers it is very hard to change the status quo here in
Provincetown.Miss Congeniality simply doesnt work all the time and certainly
doesnt work with the Pier Corp.

I will continue to challenge the status quo on the pier with
numbers, questioning capital expenditures, the overstaffing, the
bloated budget, some management decisions, opposing the lack of
checks and balances on the pier because there is no triumvirate
government. I will continue to sign my name and continue to have my
supporters and detractors.

So for all of you who think I have a personal agenda, I do.
Restructuring the harbormasters office and the Pier Corp. One cannot
effect change operating in anonymity. As town officials have said,
they dont give credence to emails when they dont know whether the
writer has a personal agenda. Right or wrong that is their belief.

Both Mr. McKinsey and I have been subjected to anonymous pot shots
but both have had anonymous support. I can take it and hope he can
too. Thats politics. Thats democracy whether it is in our little
corner of the world, nationally or internationally.

So, anonymous Town Center Guy et al. hiding behind worm infested
fender piles on the pier, I will continue to participate in our
democracy whenever I want not when you want me to and how you want me
to.

Candace Nagle
10:57 pm est 

There are MANY Deed Restrictions on Affordable Condos

One, it must always remain affordable, so no on