By Cindy Parola
(posted with consent of the author)
Board of Selectmen members on stage directing well-placed friends in the audience on how to make a motion, paparazzi-like photographers from both sides snapping away as though Lindsey Lohan was falling off the rehab wagon yet again, a correspondent from a ‘newspaper’ staging a deliberate (planned on the media outlet’s online chat site) scene to induce chaos, and a teller picking a fight with a town meeting voter – hallmarks of what Town Meeting in Wareham has come to represent.
A polarized town (certainly nothing new – the perceived ‘haves’ versus the perceived ‘have nots’ has been the calling card of a number of defunct newspapers and one current – such an easy mantra to chant) coupled with a carefully cultivated (from certain members of the top elected board) aura of chaos deliberately induced to ensure a perceived failure of the town meeting format have created a clear lack of respect for residents and voters in Wareham.
Make no mistake – I blame both ‘sides’ – equally pandering to the lowest common denominator in their antics (online and in person) making me wonder if the point is to impress 10-year old boys. What’s next? Snorting milk through your nose?
I have always felt that Wareham is its own worst enemy– we are quick to insult ourselves before others even get a chance to. We have catchy names for ourselves like “The Armpit of the Cape”, “Brockton by the Beach” and “Brockton with Trees.” I guess we just enjoy being our own downers.
The last few years have really cemented our self-fulfilling prophecy, and this town meeting has put the stamp of approval on it.
Many have suggestions: respect towards our citizens; meetings to encourage thoughtful discussion and dialogue; greater attendance at meetings by citizens to encourage new volunteers for our boards and committees. None of this has or will succeed if neither side truly has an interest in admitting they are not 100% right. So far, those I have met and know from both sides are firmly entrenched in their “we are right, and you are wrong” corner; the town is poorer for this stalemate.
As voters we are exhorted by all sides to attend town meeting- let our voice be heard: evocative of the famous Norman Rockwell picture- only to be met with derision, scorn, contempt and chaos for both the people and the process. Hell, you can vote NO on an article 5 meetings in a row and our leaders are still going to bring it back – why listen to the townspeople? Thanks, but no thanks.
This letter will no doubt prompt many Wareham-is-a-lovely-community rebuttal letters; to which I wholeheartedly agree. It’s the people that need fixing.
What’s the answer? I surely don’t have it, but I do ask: Can Wareham be saved - from itself?
And within an hour bobo issued a response longer than the letter to the editor claiming he is going to sue her and the Wareham week. I love when bobo threatens to sue. I wouldn't worry I don't think his wife will up his allowance for a lawsuit
I don't get it.
Where did Cindy's letter name a specific "newspaper" or a specific correspondent from any "newspaper"?
A question of: " If the shoe fits wear it"?
Odd, the letter writer never named the correspondent or the paper, so why was Bobo offended?
The question may be: would Cindy Parola describe the WTF rag as a "newspaper" or anyone contribituing to it as a "correspondent"?
Gee whiz, a letter writer says a nameless paper did something naughty and Bobo's ears perk up. Interesting. Very interesting.
Just take a look at their chat of inducing a frenzy while taking pics with their own cameras. One posted about handing cameras to everyone at the door. Take a look at how they planned to inundate the moderator with emails/mail/phone calls. Did they? I believe one even suggested not bothering as she would not do anything about it anyways.