Red Sox and Use of City Hall to Blame for Debate Snafu

Debate organizers say playoffs and permissions got in the way of debate planning.

To clarify the facts of the proposed debate between Mayoral Candidates. Mike Kirby (editor of The Sun Chronicle) and myself have been communicating for sometime about the Mayoral debate being sponsored by the and the United Regional Chamber of Commerce. Historically, the Sun Chronicle and the Chamber of Commerce have co-sponsored a Mayoral debate for many, many years.

When the original discussions started about a date for the debate, the concern was if the Red Sox made it to the playoffs and we scheduled the debate for a night that they scheduled one of the playoff games, we would not have many people attend or watch the debate.

When the Red Sox did not make the playoffs, I started the process of reserving the City Council Chamber for the debate. I stopped by the City Council office to check availability and (City Council Administrator)Linda Alger was in a meeting so I left a note on her desk asking to schedule the Council Chambers, she promptly emailed me to let me know what dates were available and that I had to speak to (Attleboro City Council President) Frank Cook before I could reserve the room.

I did not know that to use the City Council Chamber I needed the President of the City Council, Frank Cook’s permission(As stated in the rules governing the use of the Chambers).

I met with Councilor Cook last night before the City Council meeting, he agreed to the use of the Council Chambers for the debate and we went together and checked the calendar. Wednesday, Oct. 12 was the next available time the Council Chamber was available and I told him I would contact both candidates to make sure that they were available on the October 12. He asked me to send a written request to him via Linda Alger, I said as soon as I got confirmation from both candidates I would send him the requested email.

I have a phone call into Mr. Churchill and I went to the Mayor's office this morning to ask if he would be available. The Mayor was not in his office and Vicki Nason said she would give him the message when he came in.

Jack Lank

President, United Regional Chamber of Commerce

Joseph Solis October 05, 2011 at 05:44 PM
Mr. Lank, I appreciate your update on this matter but your response failed to mention the fact that you ran the 10/12 date by Mr. Churchill last Friday (as you told me on the phone an hour ago.) I find this most unfair. I learned about the date after being notified that Mr. Churchill posted it on his FaceBook page this past Monday. Something's wrong with this picture.
Bob October 05, 2011 at 06:30 PM
Now, Mr. Lank desires to sponsor the Mayor's debate? And the public is to believe that this will be an evenhanded debate? Oh Please! This whole thing reeks of back door deals and dirty politics. Mayor Dumas should run from this set-up and look for a real sponsor who doesn't have a hidden agenda. If I were the Sun Chronicle, not only would I NOT co-sponsor with Jack Lank and the Chamber, I would do an investigation into the handling of this. Maybe the Patch can investigate this too. Heck, I think Jack’s BOSSES at the Chamber of Commerce should look into this. BAD, BAD Business! Maybe it's time for the Sun Chronicle and Attleboro PATCH to do a debate alone. I for one, doubt that they would have a hidden agenda.
be-honest October 05, 2011 at 06:54 PM
Bob or should I call you Barry - please identify yourself. Maybe we should call you fact checker, reason, you pick which one you want use today. Did you write your comments while collecting a public salary - we can check to see if it is you or did you put in for vacation time today and all the other times you blog
Reason October 05, 2011 at 06:55 PM
Who cares who was told first or when? If there is some conspiracy about the date on the 12th how would this benefit one or the other candidate? Get over it and be thankful this debate planning issue is nearly resolved.
Bob October 05, 2011 at 06:57 PM
Cherie, go right ahead! And continue to get your call list up to take the facts down.... Ms Independence, keep thinking I am someone else!
Reason October 05, 2011 at 07:13 PM
Just to keep things fair here's the finance report for Mayor Dumas. http://www.efs.cpf.state.ma.us/DisplayReport.aspx?reportId=140850&schedule=DisplayScheduleA
Bob October 05, 2011 at 07:28 PM
Glad you added that because Cherie Felos thinks you and I are the same person. My point for putting up Ron Churchill's finance report was not to expose individuals even though it is public record. The point I was making is that anyone can donate to any candidate they choose but not everyone can moderate and sponsor a debate. When you support a candidate, donate money to his/her campaign and clearly give the other candidate a "heads-up" a week in advance, you should not be the sponsor or moderator of that debate. I put the finance report up to support that argument.
Ken Tenglin October 05, 2011 at 07:59 PM
You people sound like school children. The teacher only gave me a week to do the assignment when he got an extra weekend. Get over it and get on with it. We the people want to know where these candidates stand. I'm sure a day or two shouldn't change their positions much.
Rick DiGiacomo October 05, 2011 at 08:09 PM
Thank you Ken.
Sandy Miller October 05, 2011 at 08:13 PM
Hold the phone Ken... I am reading through this too and agree it's unfortunate but your math is off. More than a day or two. Also, the moderator appears to have donated to one of the candidates. I am sure you wouldn't participate in that. From what I hear around town Churchill is not even writing his own letters to the editor so you don't think he is gonna be handed the questions to the debate by Mr. Lank prior?
Reason October 05, 2011 at 08:17 PM
Bob, The debate over there only being one commenter on Patch with a epic case of split personality disorder will have to wait. I've looked and have not found any information on the format and moderator for this debate. I'm assuming Jack wouldn't be the moderator (campaign contributions to Churchill rule that out). Sponsoring though I have no issue with. Both campaigns are guilty of game playing with the planning of debates at the expense of voters.
Reason October 05, 2011 at 08:21 PM
Sponsor not moderator. I see no information on either the format of moderation of this debate.
Rick DiGiacomo October 05, 2011 at 08:22 PM
Sandy, I think I speak for Ken when I say that the comments section just looks like a bunch of children bickering over silliness. I don't think it's an endorsement or criticism of one candidate or another.
JeanPea October 05, 2011 at 08:50 PM
For cripes sake. just debate already. Lets not debate over the debate... I want to hear what the candidates have to say. Big Babies.. . Both sides need to man up and just do this. Posturing just makes people mad, and eventually they become disinterested. Its that the goal?
John L October 05, 2011 at 10:08 PM
Wasn't the mayor just complaining about a lack of a debate the other day? Well here it is. I have no clue who I am voting for and would like to see this happen. Enough of Churchill's letters and the mayors campaign whining about them. Let's get ready to rumble....
Dale Davenport October 06, 2011 at 12:09 AM
Stephanie October 06, 2011 at 01:32 PM
So, now we're blaming the Red Sox and not knowing the City Council reservation rules for the reasons why this debate hadn't been scheduled? Just get it done already.
Jane Urbanski October 06, 2011 at 03:43 PM
Everyone should be a little uncomfortable with Chamber President Jack Lank’s involvement in the debate. Mr. Lank has frequently stated that he will “move the Chamber office out of Attleboro if Mayor Dumas is re-elected”. Perhaps Mr. Lank should consider moving himself out of Attleboro if Mayor Dumas is elected. Where does freedom of speech end and abuse of power begin? Jay
Reason October 06, 2011 at 04:16 PM
Originally posted on 2:55pm on Wednesday, October 5, 2011, flagged and removed. (keep it up I'll keep reposting the comment) Who cares who was told first or when? If there is some conspiracy about the date on the 12th how would this benefit one or the other candidate? Get over it and be thankful this debate planning issue is nearly resolved.
FREE THINKERS NOT WELCOME HERE October 06, 2011 at 09:23 PM
Dale Davenport October 07, 2011 at 12:51 AM
Does anyone smell a Cheri Pie baking?
Mark Ambrose October 12, 2011 at 02:12 AM
Welcome to Hooterville!!!


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