Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Select Board Chair Follows Through on Threat

During the months of May and June and prior to the new High School Building decision on June 8 there was intense debate about the merits of the project, particularly with regard to "renovation" vs. "new".  On June 6, I wrote a LongmeadowBuzz article entitled "Now is the Time!" in which I published a series of letters between the MSBA and the Longmeadow School Building Committee in which the MSBA urged the SBC to reconsider the renovation option since some of the premises of the original estimates were faulty.  Even though these letters were written in November 2009, they were not made public until obtained by Phil Fregeau in early June 2010 through the Freedom of Information Act.

Given that I had created and maintained the SBC website (located at www.Longmeadow.org/sbc) I knew that these documents had not been made public and the SBC meeting minutes published during this period did not divulge the contents of the letters including the MSBA's large concern about the original renovation options that were considered.  In my posting, I criticized the SBC co-chairs (Mr. Barkett and Ms. Swanson) and asked for openness and transparency in town government... this episode clearly demonstrated that we had neither. 

During last night's Select Board meeting, SelectBoard chair, Rob Aseltine made good on a prior threat (made through a series of strongly worded emails) to consider other town website alternatives as a response to this posting on the LongmeadowBuzz blog.  In other words, eventually remove me as the town webmaster.

Below is a short video (courtesy of LCTV) of the Select Board discussion that occurred.

Select Board/ Town Website Click to view video


alan said...

The video isn't showing up, and I can't find it on the LCTV web site either. In any case, this is unsurprising. When the webmaster of a supposedly neutral forum uses his administrative authority to ban his most vocal political opponent from the site, it's no longer a neutral forum. I was no fan of Mr. Duquette's bare-knuckle debating tactics either, but when site administration bleeds into social engineering, the forum has failed.

Jim Moran, LongmeadowBiz said...

Regarding your technical difficulties... I've checked and found that the video plays with multiple browsers including IE, Firefox and Chrome. I did find that the video did not work on my Apple IPAD/ Safari.. primarily because Apple does not support Flash on their mobile devices. LCTV usually posts the video of SB/SC meetings on website 2-3 days after the event.

Jim Moran, LongmeadowBiz said...


Before Mr. Duquette was banned, he was warned numerous times about his "bare-knuckle debating tactics" which were more representative of the mostly anonymous "no holds barred" debate (if you can it a debate) that occurr everyday on MassLive.

LongmeadowBuzz is a moderated forum with contributing participants being respected members of our community including both town residents as well as school, business and government officials. This forum will only allow approved contributors to initiate new subjects (without moderation) and each contributor will be asked to post under their real name. Most of us understand what is acceptable content for posting on this type of forum and abuses will not be tolerated.

Anonymous comments to new subjects are allowed but all such comments will be moderated meaning that no anonymous comments will be posted without first being reviewed. This guideline is not directed at censorship but will be an attempt to filter out the irrelevant and obnoxious comments that do not provide any useful purpose.

If you review the Buzz postings over the past 2-1/2 years you will see that there are many authors with varying opinions on many subjects.

I refuse to allow the LongmeadowBuzz blog to become just another MassLive type forum. I characterize some of the content as posted by Mr. Duquette a form of cyber bullying and there is no place for it on the LongmeadowBuzz blog.

alan said...

Okay, the video is up now. Maybe it was a Mydeo.com glitch before.

As for the censorship discussion, I read your rationale for booting Mr. Duquette before and certainly understood it. I just don't agree with it.