Candidates Debate Becomes a Meet And Greet

Several candidates are unwilling to attend the event at Seekonk High School

Seekonk Board of Selectmen candidate Gary Sagar issued a press release on Wednesday stating the candidates event planned for Thursday night at  would no longer be a debate, and instead would be a meet and greet.

"The format, which has been changed from a debate to an informal 'Meet & Greet,' had to be changed due to a limited amount of candidates willing to appear to participate," Sagar wrote.

He wrote that in addition to himself, the expected attendees are Selectmen candidate Robert Blanchard (who is campaigning with Sagar), School Committee candidates Mitch Vieira and Brian Freitas and Planning Board candidate Neal Abelson.

Selectmen candidate Nelson Almeida wrote in the comments section of Attleboro-Seekonk Patch on Wednesday that he would not attend the event because Sagar and Blanchard are hosting it.

"I find it to be unfair for candidates to come up with a public debate and expect other candidates to be OK with it," Almeida wrote. "If it was a normal debate/forum, I'd go with no problem at all." 

Fellow candidate David Viera said on Wednesday that he was not boycotting because of who the hosts are, but he felt uncomfortable about attending because he was unable to get an answer on what the format would be after making a couple requests.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a question and answer session about the senior center ballot measure with members of the Senior Center Building Committee. 

Emcee of Seekonk March 29, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Meet and greet sounds better. Last night's BOS meeting dashed my hopes of a clean new start with five participating members all agreeing on what's best for Seekonk. It appears a dark cloud will prevail.
deb of see-attleboro March 29, 2012 at 05:10 PM
UH, oh...Should I be sorry I missed it or thank God that I was spared?
Nelson Almeida March 29, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Last nights selectmen meeting ended pretty bad. I stayed positive and spoke. I thanked the candidates for the respect for eachother and the continuos support from our residents
Paul Mac Pherson March 29, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Let's not loose sight of the fact that with all that has and is going on the voters of Seekonk HAVE to get out and vote. Vote your choice but above all VOTE on Monday April 2, 2012. To all of the candidates running "Good Luck."
Emcee of Seekonk March 29, 2012 at 05:57 PM
@deb... Well, it was mostly business as usual until the distraught John W. decided to make a farewell address which went on way too long. But that wasn't the game changer. When David Saad challenged the legality of Gary Sagar's candidacy (for the good of the people ... NOT), I just heard the thunder in the distance.
Nelson Almeida March 29, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Thank you MR. Mac Pherson. Monday night will be from 7am to 8pm. Please show interest and come out to vote
deb of see-attleboro March 29, 2012 at 06:22 PM
There was a snip-it in the SC about Mr Whelan's farewell address. On what grounds is Mr Sagar's candidacy being challenged? Is it his birth certificate?:)
Emcee of Seekonk March 29, 2012 at 07:46 PM
@deb... "Is it his birth certificate?:)" No. But in my opinion, something just as silly. He needed to gather 50 signatures to get his name on the ballot. He gathered 190 (I think). Lo and behold, about a week ago, someone (Town Clerk ?) thought 20 of the 190 names looked as if they were written by the same hand. Someone else in authority (?) decides that the 20 bad apples spoil the bunch. Hence, Gary is disqualified. To quote him, "This stinks !!" Judging by who stands to profit by his disqualification, I tend to agree wholeheartedly with him. At any rate, I will vote on Monday and I will vote for Gary... two times if I can get away with it.
nucky thomson March 29, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Alan March 29, 2012 at 08:55 PM
I was blown away by Mr. Whelan's farewell speech. Wow. Just wow. Haven't seen that much raw emotion in ages. I wonder how it came across on television. Sitting in that room when he spoke was electrifying. My sympathies were with him completely. When you're down on your luck, it hurts. I pray he has the strength to perservere.
Jack March 30, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Hang in there John. Thanks for you years of service. I'm familiar with false accusations by estranged wives


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