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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Policies. Procedures. Pins.

Policies.  Procedures. Pins.

There's been some talk locally about following policies and procedures. Some of this discussion has focused on the Templeton elected leaders- the "Superior Board", if you will.

The crux of the matter comes down to this - if there are policies and procedures in place and they aren't being followed, will even more policies and procedures help correct Templeton's financial situation?(lack of a bond rating; $5 Million BAN issued needs to be paid by December 1, 2017; the need to issue $20 million in bonds to pay for the school - THAT situation)

There are a number of significant findings in the Financial Management Letter 

Improved policies and procedures should help to address those significant findings.  

Problem: Templeton can have the most awesome policies and procedures in place, but if these policies and procedures are not followed nothing will change.

When I began teaching (many years ago), a former colleague of mine had some good advice: "Don't make a "rule", if you aren't going to enforce it." Students figure that out in a hurry!

Same rule applies in government!

Here is the latest example of not following the "rules":

The request:
From: townadministrator []
Sent: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 2:45 PM
To: Julie Farrell
Cc: 'Kelli Pontbriand'
Subject: Treasurer/Collector

Good Day:

Although the By-Law amendment providing for AC members to sit on ad hoc screening committees has not yet come back formally approved by the AG’s Office,  I am confident enough that there will not be any problem with it that I would like to invite you to participate as a member of the Team to interview candidates for the position of Treasurer/Collector.

These are tentatively set for the afternoon of 06/21 or 06/22.  

Please let me know at your first convenience that I might loop you in on the process.

Many Thanks

Carter Terenzini
Interim Town Administrator
Town of Templeton
160 Patriots Road
East Templeton, MA 01438
(978) 894-2753

My response:

Julie Farrell
Jun 13 (2 days ago)

to townadministra., Kelli, MA, Selectman, Diane, Cameron, Doug, Julie
Good evening:

Sorry for the delay in my response to your request to serve on the ad hoc screening committee to secure a treasurer collector.

I believe the proper procedure to have a member of the Advisory Committee serve on an ad hoc committee would be to go through the chairman of the Advisory Committee. Then this discussion could take place at an Advisory Committee meeting.

I thought this message had been sent to the Advisory Committee but looking back at the email thread, I realize that is incorrect.

It would be inappropriate for me to serve on any ad hoc committee as an Advisory Committee member without the knowledge, consent and vote of the Advisory Committee.


Julie Farrell 

Can't make this stuff up!

It will all be better if we just put a pin on it.

Have a great day.

Julie Farrell


  1. Sort of like the former selectman JEFF BENNETT sitting on the Insurance Advisory Committee.
    Should he have known or was he just stepping over MGL when he wanted to?
    Should he have checked the procedures? After i meeting he was removed and things were straightened out. Hard to see the trees in the forest?
    The more we look the more we will see in Templeton.

  2. Monday night at the BOS meeting was another fine example. 8 employees requested rollover. It was mentioned by Diane that 2 of the member didn't qualify under the present policy nor the labor contract. Then about 5-10 minutes of......"we'll send letters saying never again". When I mentioned it would be a hole lot easier to follow the Policies and Procedures I was met with Diane and Carters JUSTIFICATION. Diane started talking about a hypothetical 30 yr employee and Carter went through the list of 6 people nobody had a problem with. I found it completely disheartening as it shows we dont understand our problems!

    We have rules, policies, procedures and our Administration seems to think these are merely suggestions. In the above instance we asked for approval of the change. Carter is willing to violate present active rules because he feels they WOULD change, really.
    Just like earlier in the year. It's my understanding we made a potentially $16,000 (fines) gamble when filing the BAN to gain 10 days. Must be nice gambling with others money.

    It's also my understanding of MGL 268a Section 21e relating to appointments of BOS members by BOS members to committees might be a problem. I forwarded my concerns to Diane as we are about to make appointments again.

    Finally , again Monday the BOS voted to establish a EDIC. This has been an issue since prior to NOV. 2016 creating this would require a Town meeting vote. However, reading the requirements it states that a TOWN must gain certification of the DHCD prior to the establishment of a EDIC. I fine nothing that changes that ruling and have forwarded that to Selectman Fortes.

    There are alot of rules, regulations and for someone who is appointed or elected it a little overwhelming without knowledgeable, accountable guidance which I believe is the TA's potentially greatest asset for our town. Unfortunately at present it isn't working well from my stand point and needs serious adjustment.

    It is NOT " in the past" as was mentioned after the new elections. It is still going on.

    I believe the votes were unanimous in favor of both of the above questions put before the board on Monnday.

    Thank you Mrs Farrel for following the present rules and not stepping into or participating in violating present policy.

    My Opinion as always.

  3. little Davey I was voted on the IAC by a vote of the Advisory Committee which was following the Towns by-laws. When I was voted on the IAC, that made the BOS office "nervous so effort was made to see if they could keep me off. MGL and the Town by-law seemed to conflict even though the by-law had been approved by the attorney general of the state. I do not know if anyone ever checked to see if the Town by law was incorrect or not. I never did and because of that, the AC agreed or surmised that there would no longer be a member of the committee on the IAC, got it. little Davey pretty quiet on Templeton light & water. bought off by the powers at be by way of Light buying things for highway. wait til we see what was bought by snow & ice.

    1. The kind of behavior that our present and past TAs' use, to make up their own rules, as they go along, are what will get the Town in trouble in the end. Found money, found from where, I still do not know ? Assuming anything, instead of depending on facts will bite the taxpayers in the end. The BOS are supposed to be professional people, but no one expects them to understand and know everything. I think we have a right to expect that this man we have hired, to be the Town Administrator, should know enough to follow policy and procedures. The idea that the rules can be bent and altered to meet his needs is a bad thing to teach the people who have a large part in running our Town. Why do the members of our BOS think there are rules ?? I would think anyone with a ounce of common sense would understand, that they are there for a reason. Is that asking too much ?

  4. Bev,

    Exactly! Nobody should expect the Selectman/woman or other appointed officials to know every regulation out there.
    I'm sure many people in town have input that would greatly help the town. We do have many successful accomplished people living in Templeton. I believe one of the problems is the lack of willingness shown by those in the Administration to accept assistance or critique. Life experience has taught me that when this is going on it's usually because the critiqued individual feels overwhelmed and stubborn pride gets them defensive. It's understandable, but unacceptable. As a public servant you must be willing to learn, be wrong, listen to citizens. You were elected spokespeople, not gods and the people understand and respect facts.

    I myself signed up hoping I could spend some free time and help out. People may not appreciate my methods, Oh well, I'm not looking to make friends, passify anyone or offend anyone. I'm looking for facts, methods, means to get this town on it's feet. Would I rather be doing something else, sure, but I choose to participate because I found myself more and more disgusted.

    Common sense isn't Common! We should probably change it to the updated "Uncommon sense"

  5. Afternoon Everyone,

    You are in violation of MGL Chapter 30 Section 19.

    In which a public body (Advisory Committee) is in deliberation of a matter (policy and procedures) relevant to their positions involving a quorum of members (Jeff Bennet, Julie Farrell, Beverly Bartolomeo, and Robert May)

    The following conversations have been screenshot and submitted to the Attorney General's Office.

    As always,
    Your Selectmen Cameron Fortes

    P.S. Anyone else find this ironic?

    1. I speak as a private person ! I still have that right. When I walk in to the Town Hall and sit behind the desk, then I am an Advisory Committee Member. Bev.

    2. Beverly,

      Please do not incriminate yourself any further.

      Your Selectman,
      Cameron Fortes

    3. According to the open meeting laws, it doesn't matter where you physically sitting, as it also includes electronic communiqué verbal or written. If i was a stickler for following the laws and proper procedure I honestly wouldn't be writing this much discussion on here.

    4. Mr Fortes,

      Please read what you quote. MGL 30 Section 19.

      MGL Chapter 30 Section 19: Failure to file sufficient bonds; removal of principal

      Section 19. If a new bond is not filed, as required by the preceding section, the governor with the advice and consent of the council, shall remove the principal from such office or trust or terminate his authority to exercise such occupation or agency.

      Would you like to try again?

      It's not Chapter 30a Section 19 either.

      Just maybe you should also look up Irony!

    5. Bob,

      My apologies. I thank you for bringing forth the attention of the MGL you actually violated which would be Chapter 30A Sections 20,21,22.

      I hope the AG will find as much humor in the subject as I have.

      Have a good day,
      Cameron Fortes

    6. Mr Fortes,

      Maybe you should also read from the AG regulations:

      940 CMR 29.05 (5) regarding how to file a complaint. It seems you are upset? I understand. But please dont keep digging using personal attacks to defend poor performance. This is a Public forum in case you were unaware. Not sure detailing my observations of your boards meeting in which I attended as private citizen and have no vote constitutes anything. Maybe I'm wrong, if so I accept it how about you?

  6. Sort of like the former selectman JEFF BENNETT.

    Should he have known or was he just stepping over MGL when he wanted to?
    Should he have checked the procedures?
    The more we look the more we will see in Templeton.
    Yes Cam very ironic.

    Big Don needs to contact Me at to stay here.
    Please follow the simple rules and let me know your identity so as to protect the public who use this blog please.
    As always "Thanks" for your cooperation.

  7. I took a screen shot too.

    It's for my own use. I see you are learning from your hero, the Donald. You come here as a Selectman of the Town in your Elected capacity to scold Taxpayers you represent.Really? You convict them "MGL you actually violated" the pronounce it on a public website. Defamation can be serious and public figures aren't immune or exempt. It's just a different threshold.

    Did my questions about Monday nights meeting bother you? Do we need to be Certified by DHCD?

    Hopefully you go and read the POLOCIES AND PROCEDURES for the Board of Selectman. The behavior witnessed here today by Selectman Fortes is immature and in direct opposition to the BOS Policies. I would say charging and convicting townspeople who where appointed to committees of misdeeds based on your lack of legal skills definitely will be brought to the attention of the TA and your Chairman.

  8. This Letter was just sent in regards to this behavior.

    Mr. Terenzini - Town Administrator
    Mr John Caplis- Board of Selectman Chair

    I'm writing in regards to behavior that I find beneath the Office of Selectman in our Town of Templeton. Make no mistake, Selectman Fortes made it known from the day he was elected and in his posts he is talking as Selectman Fortes. In my opinion I also believe it violates the text of the Board of Selectman Policies and Procedures as well as the intent.
    It is also my contention from the information as supplied on the webpage that Selectman Fortes did not follow proper procedure 904 CMR 29.05 (3) in filing with the AG as he states on the Public Forum.

    Whether or not a violation exists is not under the purview of Selectman Fortes. Neither is it his place to pronounce Judgement "MGL you actually violated" and since Selectman Fortes chose to on a public forum I am requesting you sanction him in whatever public method you see fit. He chose to pronounce his Judgement on a public forum without the authority or knowledge to do so. I find it egregious

    These accusations have a serious of lack foundation in any possible form. Based on Mr. Fortes contention members of any committee, board, commission are responsible for violating an open meeting law without talking about anything with each other. These violation require "deliberation"! Deliberation by its very nature requires discussion. No discussion toke place. Comments were posted hours apart about no specific issue at all other than general lack of Policies and Procedures.

    If the AG finds a violation did exist that is his purview and I will by all means abide by whatever that decision happens to be, but to be scolded by a Selectman acting like a petulant child is not something I tolerate.

    Robert May

  9. toke?
    petulant child
    your hero, the Donald.
    Smoke is the word?
    Big Don /Donnie
    I will tolerate this to a point and here's why.
    This blog has a history of mud slinging and false "postings' that have been proven.
    The blog started in over 5-6 years ago and as my Uncle Pauly's death was approaching he asked me to continue it for the town to be informed of the doings in mostly government.
    It has changed in that it adds in much more as the stories will prove.
    The reason if you didn't get the privileged view of the many years past is the people who wanted to cause trouble for others would post comments and use identities of others.
    When Pauly was close to the end he asked me to keep the mud out and only allow those who will ID and if people who won't ID remove comments.
    We have much less comments but they are fair and not mud shots as they would hear it from us administrators who will no longer tolerate it.
    I don't care what you say and will never remove a comment from or use the contents or ID if you do ID your posts.
    To: Bob MJune 15, 2017 at 5:17 PM

    Big Donnie,

    You have a right to free speech. Not a right to this blog! Difference? I have no idea who you are, none.
    He has nothing to do with this blog but comment like others are allowed to.
    Your ID stays with the two administrators.
    Blog on those not hidden forms.
    Thank you.

  10. David,

    Toke is typo for took.
    Donald is his hero........
    I admit Petulant child was a little over the top. But the "incriminate" statement to Bev ticked me off especially being signed Selectman Fortes!

    I do see alot of mud coming from your direction often enough too.........fair is fair!

  11. I only shoot back in defense.
    If you look back you will see the point when i stopped taking the JEFFY shit and started to give it back.
    So when i take aim and give it back it was deserved.
    JEFFY would be the last one i would trust or stick up for.
    With very good reason

  12. Is it frowned upon to host a charity event with 4 kegs and binge drinking as a public official? #PowerMovesOnly #Charity #TempletonStrong

    Let's all calm down and have a beer at Cameron event he is having !!

    1. Charity event? Serving alcohol? Binge drinking? Public Official hosting?.........Permits? Servers? Security? ID's, liability?

  13. It will be hot and cold beer has a way of cooling thing off.

  14. Sorry Don i'll get the donation out ASAP.