Paul working for you.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Bait and Switch

Bait and Switch

"What Violates The Consumer Protection Law?

What type of business actions violate Chapter 93A? The law does not list them in any definitive fashion but states that "unfair or deceptive practices" are illegal. Well then, what is "unfair" or "deceptive?" Like most legal questions, this one is answered by that age-old adage "it depends." A court's analysis of what is unfair or deceptive will not be limited to merely contract, negligence or breach of warranty claims...."

Some Examples

Although each case is judged on its own merits, some examples of unfair or deceptive practices that might fall under Chapter 93A would be when:
  • A business charges a consumer higher rates than the marked, published or advertised price.
  • The refund/return policy is not clearly posted where it can be readily noticed and understood.
  • A business does not meet its warranty agreement.
  • A business fails to tell you relevant information regarding your product or service or misleads you in any way.
  • A business uses "Bait and Switch" advertising - a technique by which the seller advertises an item for sale at a particularly good price or terms but does not really want to sell that item. The seller discourages the purchase of the advertised item and instead tries to convince the buyer to purchase a different item for a higher price or on less favorable terms.
These are some classic examples. Many other scenarios may also implicate Chapter 93A.

Hmm. Misleads you in any way. Interesting.

So what are the consequences if the funding can't be obtained to build the elementary school? What exactly happens? Does anyone know? Why don't we know?

One of the consequences if the funding magically appears to build the elementary school, is that the town will be "broke". Templeton will not be able to fund any capital project for any department or enterprise for a very, very long time.

The residents in Templeton were sold a bill of goods, based on very faulty, misleading and deceptive information. Residents were told that "Free cash" would be certified; residents were told we would have our bond rating restored by the time we needed to borrow money; residents were told "The Audits are coming! The Audits are coming!" Not so much. Didn't happen. 

So off to the MFOB to borrow money for the elementary school project. Now that's not looking too promising to say the least. Templeton has too much debt to qualify for State Guaranteed Bonds. Our local aid doesn't cover the amount of money Templeton has already borrowed and needs to borrow to build the school.

Residents in Templeton voted on a state of the art elementary school with a $47 million dollar price tag. It's as if residents were promised a shiny new Ferrari with all the bells and whistles, but when it came time to leave the dealership, a small problem arose. 

"BTW, you have to be able to pay for that new Ferrari! After running Templeton's financial numbers, Templeton only qualifies to purchase a used Subaru with about 200,000 miles on it." Let's hope the used Subaru has a non-interference motor and the head gasket was recently replaced.

Why did the selectmen push this project forward (not part of capital plan) for a vote, if there was so much uncertainty regarding Templeton's finances? With no bond rating? With audits incomplete? With no way to generate Free Cash, because the audits are  incomplete?

Does Templeton need a new school? Yes it does, but Templeton has to be able to pay for it as well. At what COST does Templeton need a new school? Should the town go bankrupt to build a new school?

 Thank you Bob M for the heads up about the MFOB minutes!



  1. It does appear that the Town has 12 days to complete the audits and if they aren't complete I doubt Mary Jane (DOR) will sign off.

    I agree entirely that it was irresponsible for the BOS/Town Admin to push this project when Templeton finances are in a state of chaos.

    Another note, who gets held accountable? Like whats been said here, people were told things, things that have shown to be false/misleading at best and they voted based on that info.

    When I voted I wasn't aware the $1.83 was to combine with previous funding that is about to be paid. I was under the understanding the audits would be done before we went to the MFOB. I was under the understanding that we would have our bond rating re-established.

    At no point was I told what the issue would be if the town voted yes and everything we were told was inaccurate.
    We now have no audits, no bond rating, no money and a contract for $47 million dollars that we cannot complete.

    What happens when the MFOB says NO? I sure hope the BOS has a plan, or they should all be booted, run out on rail for setting the town up.

    It's like the BOS was shown that school, budget and...................squirrel!!!!!

    1. There should not have been such a big surprise when the bottom fell out of the pot. The Advisory Committee did a power point, show and tell at a Selectmen's meeting explaining the way things were heading. Mrs. Farrell spoke often about the fact that there were requirements to get a Bond Rating, but she was ignored, time after time. The denial of the fiscal problems the Town has had, for the past eighteen to twenty years, has raised it's ugly head to bite the people who could have worked to improve matters, but failed. I am hoping that the end of the road has come so we can't kick the can any further. I have felt for a good long time that there was a real lack of respect for the people who pay the bills, from the members of the School Committee. The idea that they want what they want, when they want it, may not grow wings any longer. Sadly the schools will only be as good as the Town that supports them, and our Town is in serious trouble. If we do not bite the bullet and straighten out our finances, nothing else will be done. I am not about to get into a pissing contest about the school people vs the Town's people. The reality is we are in this together, and we need to fix our situation together. Bev.

    2. I think the saddest thing about this situation is that the people in our Town have been lied to constantly, by people in powerful positions in our Town government, and by people hired by them. So who do you trust ? I do believe that one of these people made sure the investigation the people of this Town voted for, never saw the light of day. You never know, it may all come out in the wash anyway. Bev.

  2. So is it true Holly and staff got away with giving these contracts to their favorite person with just a talking too, As a town official they knew the law before giving all this money to 1 company, Is nothing really going to be done to them??