But, did anyone notice that we’d even held one?
Against all of my hopes to the contrary, Billerica maintained its predictably low turnout at the polls during a fabulously bright, warm and calm Spring day. Of the 25,029 registered voters in town, 10.7% or 2,503 individuals actually showed up at the polls to vote.
A 10.7% voting turnout sounds bad, but it’s actually much worse. If one looks at the number of eligible voters, including those who simply can’t be bothered to just register; Billerica actually had a superlative turnout of 8.4%. Excelsior! This makes Billerica the penultimate political town of the entire Merrimack Valley; perhaps, we are the leading political town of the entire Commonwealth. Nah!
At any rate, I would like to congratulate all of those who won their elections and for the sake of the town, I wish you all well and great success in your jobs. I would also like to congratulate Michael Moore on his close second place finish in the race for town moderator, losing by just a handful of votes to incumbent Gil Moreira.
The race for town moderator was the one race where the town could not lose. Gil has been a top notch performer in this position and has brought about a pleasant, more professional atmosphere to town meeting. He is also an advocate of improving transparency by implementing an electronic voting system that capture who votes and how they vote for all to see in real time; as well as establishing and maintaining a record of all the dead wood who can’t be bothered to show up and represent their constituencies.
Michael Moore has assisted Gil with many technical innovations in the past and has always been supportive of both town meeting and the moderator. This was the one race that I felt comfortable about because we were going to get a high quality person. No matter who won this race, Billerica would be the ultimate winner and the close vote reflected that.
What I did find rather shocking was the narrow margin of victory (99 votes) garnered by incumbent selectmen, Andrew Deslaurier over former Planning Board member, Ed McLaughlin. This is a candidate who was so arrogant, lazy and unconcerned about bolstering his own chances for election that his campaign consisted of pulling papers and declaring in an article carried by the Billerica Minuteman that he was going to let his marginal, at best, performance on the Planning Board speak for his candidacy. And still, he almost beat an incumbent! What a town.
Billerica is a town that allegedly prides itself in it political astuteness and feels it is uniquely qualified to speak for the Middlesex Valley on political issues. Unique is the key word and Ed McLaughlin’s narrow miss under the not so arduous or ambitious circumstances he set for himself speaks volumes as to just how unique this town is.
It also speaks volumes as to why the town is decaying while every town around it is prospering, expanding and giving their residents more bang for their taxpayer buck. It seems the folks in Billerica will be happiest when the pavement wears off of the roads, horse and buggy carriage return as state of the art individual and commercial transport, and the air as you exit one of our finest restaurants is filled with the glorious smell of horse droppings.
So, I offer my congratulations to incumbent and now 2nd term selectman, Andrew Deslaurier, and his “hard fought” victory. With someone of McLaughlin’s level of personal ambition and work ethic out of the election picture, at least, we know now the town will not get any worse than it is destined to become under current leadership.
The planning board has a new face, but otherwise remains status quo. We’ll see how the telecommunications lawsuit goes in land court and hope that they manage to stumble along without creating the need for any others for the next year or so. Hopefully, the relationship between the Board of Selectmen/Town Manager alliance and the Planning Board will improve to at least a cooperative level of decorum and cooperation, but considering that the change in composition of that group has only minutely changed on the margin, I’m not letting my hopes carry the day.
The School Committee(s) are unchanged; so, look for more wasteful spending and corruption investigations to continue there and every effort made by the Committee to dodge audits or any other reasonable executive tool for accountability and transparency for the taxpayers to observe – not that we taxpayers are paying all that much attention anyway with our 8.4% – 10.7% participation in meeting our civic obligations.
I suppose I’ll end this post here because…well…I frankly have nothing good to say; so, I’ll follow my parents rule that when one has nothing good to say, stop talking.