As so many people suffer from starvation
There is no hope of relief through cooperation
As so many families struggle across the nation
In poverty infested jobs they’re forced to work in

[Chorus:]
You bleed and sweat every week but what you earn’s not yours to keep
Land of the free? What a lie
You bleed and sweat every wekk but what you earn’s not yours to keep
We won’t be free until we die

Evil politicians spend hours debating
And fill the newspapers with lies that they’re creating
Will peace or freedom come? I’ll probably die waiting
So many of us lose hope our future is fading

You put your money in their hands they say we’re free in this land
Free to give them what is ours as an innocent man sits behind bars
Serving a crime he did not commit cause some cop was full of shit
You can hope and you can try but you won’t be free until you die

I don’t want to limp for them to walk…
Never would have known of me before…
I don’t want to be held in your debt…
I’ll pay it off in blood, let I be wed…

Think this says it all

I haven’t written here for a while. Just too easy to get frustrated with politics some times and started back working, and just kind of forgotten.

 

I have always had a weird love/hate relationship with the town of Billerica. I love a lot of people that live here and see great potential. I’ve also seen the corruption, the lack of services, taxes rise and Billerica’s reputation, which, to be honest has never been too good in the city for at least the last 20 years from what I can gather is only getting worse.

 

The bike path fiasco was abysmal. It was the first time since I had run for town meeting that something positive was actually being brought up.  Something that would not only help benefit both our economy and the types of people coming in, but also benefit every single member in this community, mentally and physically. It still blows my mind that two of the selectman fought so hard against it. Meanwhile, the town center, for 14 million is being pushed forward like nobodies business. It didn’t seem bad like redoing sidewalks, repaving, maybe putting sidewalk on 3a for a mile or two on either side, spruce it up, make it handicapped accessible but 14 million redo the entire traffic flow, do an overpass, put wires underground? What are they thinking? Maybe if the section near glad valley, boston road and lexington had a light and they put a blinking light at 129 and rangeway, or at least make it a four way. Or work on the sewers.

 

I dunno, I know it can’t change overnight, but theres actually alot of good people that seem to be getting organized more and just want whats best for this town for a change. Not getting hopes up too high, but definitely more optimistic then I’ve been in a long time.

 

I haven’t written in a while.  I think the amount of stuff that has been going on had me a little over frustrated.  The MBTA’s debt needs to be addressed though. They have been talking about the need to cut services and raise rates. What has not been mentioned is the reason why they are in the red. No one seems to mention the fact that about 5 billion dollars of the Big Dig debt was transferred over to them. Never mind the fact that we are on the bottom of the list for most federal funds for this state, causing our already over congested roads to continue to detioriate.

The fact that they are planning on cutting both the Lowell commuter rail service nights and weekends and the 350 bus from Burlington is going to be an economic hardship for many. The MBTA officials seem not to realize that not everyone that rides public transportation has a car. Their solution to Greater Lowell is to DRIVE to a subway station and ride from there. If you live in Lowell with no car, getting to Alewife is no easy task.  They are also debating cutting out 101 bus lines throughout the metro boston area.

All I’ve heard for the last two years from politicians has been how good the casinos will be for the area. I fail to see that as studies show that for every dollar a community brings in from gambling, they pay out three in community services related to problems stemming from gambling. Nothing from any politician in this area defending the need for our citizens to use public transportation only how good casinos will be. Its been over a decade or more in the making and we will now lay in our own stew. Funny how the government will promote one vice like gambling but something like cigarettes, a selective tax, as studies have proven that 1 in 5 smokers basically aren’t gonna quit and we’re down to about 20% of the population. Unfortunately the answer is always follow the money. Same with whats going on with the demise of the the redemption centers. Guess who gets the money if they’re not redeemed?

I have used the 350 for over the past decade.  I did not drive out of personal choice for a long time and while I am not currently dependent on public transportation I understand the value of it.  Same with the Yankee Doodle Bike Path. In this day and age, why are we not supporting alternative transportation methods? Its better for the environment, better for our health and better for the economy. Its things like this that make me really think about moving out of state. Though it just goes to prove to the old adage, and North Dakota, one of the few states in the red can attest to this ” If you want something done right, keep the government out of it.”

It goes back to the whole purpose of the great debates the founding fathers had over the purpose of government and the scope of power. At this point, if you wanted to repave a road that a town owns, you’d be fined and most likely arrested even though you could probably do a better job and cheaper. Benedetti. I learned about this guy and his machine from “Whats America Worth” a tv special. Basically his machine will repair a road in day, recycling the asphalt in the machine itself. He was in such demand that he started to have his machines available for purchase. They are around a million dollars, but the amount of money they could save in time and labor not to mention keeping our roads in good condition in a timely fashion would be worth it. Imagine what this state could be like and this country if people in the government just did and honest days pay for an honest days work. It really isn’t that hard

Transparency in government is something long sought for but seldom found. The Lowell Sun leads the number of requests in this area through the Freedom of Information Act, and even then, they don’t always get the full set of papers. Lately though, both Chelmsford and Lowell have made strides in the right direction.

Chelmsford has changed the way that their town meeting votes. Its now electronic which is more accurate and leads to a voting record of the members. This is an incredible and efficient way to make what can be a somewhat time consuming task. If we did that in Billerica, the amount of time could be up to twenty minutes saved easy. As much as I respect Gil, there have been some close calls and a couple counts were taken to be found for the other side. He is a great moderator and this would help take the pressure of him in that sense as well as save us from having to count actual people.

We have some very talented technical people involved in Town Meeting. The presentations we have seen over the last few years have been impressive. I’m sure we could make something like that happen here. The best part of it all was that it only cost 10,000. I should truly hope that we can find it in our budget to fund that.

In Lowell, after information about the school’s union contracts were leaked, they agreed to have their contract negotiations more public. They reasoned that others did and the whole state of Texas does so why not them. With the way the contracts are set up around here and the fact they’re only released to town meeting a week before the vote and basically threaten you with Union retaliation, it would be refreshing to see the talks in progress. After all, they may be union, but they still work for the town, and as taxpayers we are the ones who ultimately sign their checks so to say. I think it makes total sense for transparency in issues like this. After all, like they always say, if you have nothing to hide, what are you afraid of?

Oh and in comparison, Billerica just got 2 scanners, paid for I believe by a federal grant, they are the scanners that are currently being held up as to their consitutionality in court. The scanners have the capability of scanning up to 5000 cars in an 8 hour shift. The main concern with this is that if every police station had this, then you could be tracked from city to city, violating your right to privacy. The only notice I saw was a small basically one paragraph blurb in the paper.

Between the Sherrif’s Department and the Police Department, we have I don’t know how many deputies in and out of town with the house of corrections and the 76 or so cops. The Sherrif’s Department has the million dollar “Bear” command center. We live in Billerica, and aside from producing a lot of juvenile delinquents and alcoholics, we don’t really have that much crime.

All I can say is, at least this year coming up will be interesting with Town Meeting. Every single one has to run again. I still would love to see who in there works or is related to someone who works in town. Its very convenient how the new school construction contracts we passed this fall went to Chris Duggan, Bernie Duggans son. It was considered not a conflict of interest since Bernie himself won’t be working on the project. Selectman Correnti received funds for his campaign from Linda Calabrese, American Federation of Teachers as well as quite a few unions. No other selectmen received funds from any union. I know it isn’t illegal, but it does seem a conflict of interest as he’s a main voter on things that concern all those. I don’t know why, but in the back of my head, it seems the only way to fix things is a Rico Act. Maybe just wishful thinking.

I’ve been trying to do research and figure out ways to get a bike path through Billerica. It has been talked about for years and a design proposal was recently shut down at this past Town Meeting by a measly 3 votes. It was the one thing that I had no problem on them spending money on. It has so many positive attributes that you would be foolish not to want it.

I recently learned that North Andover got their design from North Eastern, whose students did it as a class project. How many colleges are around here that we could propose to? We could even name benches or do something else to honor them as well as allow them to  see their work come to life in the real world. To be honest, I had only learned about the idea of a bike path in Billerica at this town meeting. The idea that its been in limbo for 10 years is disgusting. Its time to do it one way or another, even if it’s just the citizens themselves that do it.

I need to get in touch with Marc Lomabardo and set up another meeting with the Town manager and Accountant. They were actually very polite and professional when I met with them a few weeks ago, which, no offense to them, compared to what I’ve seen at some town meetings was somewhat shocking but also reassuring. It made me see them more as people, which is exactly what I needed to do. It gave me hope that maybe with the combined efforts of concerned citizens we could actually get things done. If I can get the bike path, then hopefully turning Ditson into a community education center, from preschool to nursing homes and get the lakes and ponds cleaned.

This used to be a resort town back in the 50′s. There’s still a lot of beauty in this town as well as history. We are now basically known, as Jamn94 said back in the 90′s, “If we wanna see some ugly people go down to Billerica.” We are known for our drunks, our bickering politicians, our “wiggas”, our town has become a joke. When I tell people I’m from Billerica, they talk about the jail or seeing it on the way to Lowell.

I love the antisect lyrics” There is no us and them, there’s only you and me”. If we can get past that, then we can learn to just work together and get things done. There was an old saying in war “Divide and Conquer.” The problem is that we’ve turned that on ourselves and when that happens, we all lose.

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