False Cry for Public Safety

City Councilor Peter Blais says he is concerned about public safety with his opposition to the Attleboro Farmers Market. His public record shows that is not the case.

On Tuesday night, the City Council held a meeting .

The main stumbling block seemed to be the hue and cry of "public safety." The discussion about public safety, at times, reached a level of hysteria by City Councilor Peter Blais. He screamed, tossed his pen and kept hitting the back of his chair so hard that I thought it might break, and I feared for his safety. Mr. Blais was rude, accusatory and insulting to "those people" and "them," referring to the residents that cared enough to attend the meeting.

Mr. Blais needs to be reminded who "those people" are. They are the residents of Attleboro and Mr. Blais works for them. Remember? Mr. Blais is a guest in the "house" that belongs to the people of this city.

Mr Blais used his "concern for public safety" as the excuse for his outrageous behavior. I would like to challenge this ridiculous contention. City Councilor Jonathan Weydt and City Councilor Jay DiLisio both did their due diligence and met with the highest ranking public safety official in the City – Police Chief Kyle Haegney. Both councilors reported that Chief Heaney had told them that the farmers market situation did not rise to the level of needing a police detail. Who is Mr. Blais to question our police chief on matters of public safety?

Mr. Blais is a public figure and his stances on public safety are well documented. Mr. Blair led the charge AGAINST the ordinance that would require Attleboro to hire paramedics only. Mr. Blais led the charge AGAINST a wetland ordinance that was instated to protect our drinking water. How's that for a record for a city councilor that shouts "public safety" whenever he doesn't like something?

Mr. Blais does not want the farmers market held at 74 North main street. That is clear. It is also clear to me that "public safety" is not the reason. Hopefully, you will never need to call 911, but if you do, just remember that if Mr. Blais had had his way, you might not have a paramedic to answer your call. 

Chrys Swenson April 12, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Mr. Blais should remember that we the people of Attleboro are his boss. We put him there. If I sat in a business meeting at my job and behaved in exactly the same manner I would be terminated. Grow up Mr. Blais, my 4, 7, and 12 year old children wouldn't act that way in public. Perhaps you need a time out and a nap.
Buck Farack April 12, 2012 at 04:05 PM
EVP April 12, 2012 at 04:11 PM
City Council " Fools" somehow think they are better and smarter than rest of us just because they garnered a few votes! Typical "Liberal Class Warfare" Vote them all out. No incumbents on the city council.
Bill Bowles April 12, 2012 at 04:52 PM
As someone who served as an Attleboro City Councilor for 14 years, it is an embarrassment to see this type of behavior by someone elected to serve. Not only is Councilor Blais way off base, but it is the City Council President job to rule such behavior out of order. Not only diPresident Cook not do so, but he supported Blais actions. That is the problem that seems to repeat itself. The council needs to do a better job policing itself.
Adam Chamberlain April 12, 2012 at 04:53 PM
I would like to add that Blais is also Pro Tax. He suggested taxing the farmers market patrons to cover the cost of the police detail. More than once he suggested they farmers market put out buckets and let the patrons make donations to cover the cost of the police detail. "Put a quarter in the bucket!" was his phrase of choice. A call to tax people for wanting to buy some locally grown produce. You can call it a donation bucket, but its really a SAFETY TAX BUCKET! It was odd to me as well that Blais brought up the fact that police only have jurisdiction over sidewalks and roads, and not city parking lots. He mentioned this because he did not want to relinquish that power to the chief of police. That would mean if the police detail was required, their only assistance would be to assist people crossing the street. I do not need assistance crossing the street. My parents taught me when I was young to look both ways. I do not need to tip Officer Friendly a dollar to escort me across the street safely.
Roxanne Houghton April 12, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Adam The Chief of Police has authority over every inch of this city - including parking lots, when it comes to matters of public safety. Remarks to the contrary were "red herrings". You hit the nail on the head - this was about money - not public safety
Steven Scott April 12, 2012 at 05:55 PM
I couldn't believe my eyes when I read this quote from Blais. "You've given our authority away to the police chief, and we're giving in as a group. What authority does he think he has ?
Lb4Lb April 12, 2012 at 06:37 PM
The big question is why councilor Blais, Cook,Denlea and the Attleboro Public Library do not want the Attleboro Farmers Market in the city parking lot? There has to be something behind the curtain for an such an benefit to the city at large to be met with opposition for the above. Time will tell.
paul April 12, 2012 at 07:03 PM
It's not just Washington D.C. or Beacon Hill that's too big, all government is. Small town government like Rehoboth & Seekonk are always fighting like children. The city of Attleboro is just the latest to see gridlock over nothing. People get on power trips, and they don't want change. Public Safety, who needs it anyways? We all have mandatory insurance.
Wayne Lacroix April 12, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Mr. Cook and Mr. Blais are what's left of the "the good o'l boys". They have gotten to powerful, that they think they own the city. Mr. Blais thinks he knows more about policing and public safety than the police and fire chiefs. Mr. Cook stumbles his way through meetings (constantly being corrected by other councilors) It's amazing they've lasted so long. An utter disgrace and embarrassment to the city. I'll put a quarter in the bucket Mr. Blais, and a large donation to any opponent you may have. It's time for these clowns to go.
Wayne Lacroix April 12, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Lb4Lb-- Mr. Blais and Mr. Cook are puppets to the mayor and are firmly lined in his pockets like lint balls. The mayor wants the market in his back yard (city hall lot) so he can get some political points. Mr. Denlea wants the market there so he can say how he saved the market by moving it to his ward.
Mary Smith April 12, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Mr Blais needs to remember who he elected him, and why. I am dumb struck by his comments in regards to losing control of the police. Last I looked Mr Blais was not a policeman...I would think he would hold some level of respect for our Police Chief,and leave it to him to decide if the market or any other event needs patrols. I don't understand Mr Blais....Thanks mr Weydt for working to keep the market in Attleboro. I think Mr Blais needs to go. It is unfortunate that he has two years left!
Sjb April 12, 2012 at 11:42 PM
I think Mr. Blais was put of line. Not once did he look at the best interest of the local market or the citizens. When will it be a financial gane for the public and not him and his family that are working for the city that were swept in under the radar and at high cost. Just look at the water department
Just sayin' April 13, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Thank you to Mr. DiLisio and Weydt.
GiGi Grace April 13, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Thanks Councilors DiLisio, Conti, Weydt, Kirby, Thibideau, Cooper for being the voice of reason. And to the other few councilors who did vote for the community in this matter.
Joe Pintapyramidadodecahedron April 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Interesting...apparently the special committee never spoke to the Chief about the need for a detail for the market, he is now on record saying he doesn't think it warrants one, but he will monitor the situation. Why would such a simple and obvious question not be asked of THE public safety authority and expert in the city? If I had to guess the AFM, patrons and citizens of Attleboro will see repeated attempts all summer to force the market to relocate or close, there are forces at work here that won't stop until they get there way, hint number 1...who does the Police Chief report to......?
EVP April 13, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Give me a break! While Chief Heagney said "he doesn't believe the market will need a cop to direct traffic and help pedestrians cross North Main Street", where the market sets up in a city-owned parking lot next to the Attleboro Public Library, he plans to monitor traffic on the first day of the event before making a final decision. Ya, Right, I'll bet you a box of donuts he'll decide to pay his union dues with a decision that the Market needs a cop to direct traffic! Stay tuned!
Joe Lazzerini April 13, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Well said, Roxanne!
paul April 14, 2012 at 01:53 PM
I had the misfortune of having to go to the Comcast office downtown a few months ago, (not a good location). I'm in good shape and still had to run both ways just to avoid being run down. That area could use a cop every hour of the waking day and plenty are on duty all the time, it should not cost extra for public safety.
Jerry Chase April 23, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Frank Cook routinely "picks and chooses" which Rules he will obey and which Rules he will ignore, whether the 25-page Municipal Council Rules of Procedure or Mass. Gen. Laws which happen to have applicability on occasion. Bill Bowles is correct: the council president is REQUIRED by the aforesaid local Rules to enforce all the Rules, all the time. Unfortunately, the Rules were originally written when councilors, sixty to eighty years ago, had a deep sense of personal honor. Frank has none. If tthe Council fails to follow, and if necessary, enforce, any given Rule, then the City has anarchy within the "leadership". This repeated pattern is a disgrace. Yet, complicating matters is that there is NO authority or law enforcement entity within the Commonwealth that is interesting, able, and willing to pursue this law-breaking . . EXCEPT if it possibly involves the Open Meeting Law. And even then, the authority with jurisdiction will NOT completely address the wrongs perpetrated. Thus, there is all the more motivation to break the Rules; and even if caught, it's a "slap on the wrist". The citizen-voters fail to receive justice AGAIN. I can provide the details and evidence of at least two infractions of this variety by Frank Cook . . . who is mostly concerned with two things: protecting the mayor and the "glory" of being city council president. What about "truth, justice, and the American way"? Flushed down the drain, hoping no one notices.
Jerry Chase April 23, 2012 at 08:29 PM
No; there's a third in the group of "good ol' boys": that likeable puppy dog, Brian Kirby. Then, there's the new adjunct acolytes, led by Jay DiLisio. If anyone really wants to know how many mayoral supporters there are on the Attleboro Council, read the six (6) names that voted to send the "request" to Beacon Hill for an exemption from state law to borrow for ARA debt(s).
Dolly April 24, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Don't forget Sara Reynolds.
Dolly April 24, 2012 at 01:45 AM
During the April 3rd meeting Mr. Cook neglected to get even one 2/3 vote on the "Motion To Move the Question" in violation of the Rules of Procedure. Interesting that he corrected that during the April 10th meeting. Unfortunately there is no authority to penalize him except to give him a no confidence vote next election.
Martha Iannazzi Conti April 24, 2012 at 04:55 AM
Glad to hear that someone else recognized this injustice.
GiGi Grace April 27, 2012 at 12:30 AM
I had a good laugh reading Tuesday’s Sun Cronicle, Attleboro Notebook page B5, subtitled Praise for the rec chief. Certainly Mr. Walsh has done a good job in his position as Director. Councilor Peter Blais’ comments were startling when he disclosed that he carried a .38 caliber hand gun to work on Pine Street for protection every day. He has said more recently that he is retired so I wonder where he keeps that gun now. With this disclosure by Mr. Blais, I can’t help wondering what his definition is of “public safety”. Imagine that he wants the Attleboro Farmers Market to locate in an area he doesn’t go to unarmed!
Jerry Chase July 03, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Most correct, Dolly! Frank couldn't pass a MCAS test on Council Rules and State Law that applies to local Councils. And, as you said, there little, if any, willingness on the part of many councilors to point out his errors of omission AND commission. Yet the most grievous of all is the few occasions in which Frank knows he's wrong, and he proceeds to rule against the Rules anyway! He has no conscience.
Jerry Chase July 04, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Thus, the Council president's judgment(s) and decisions are commonly willful violations of Council Rules and/or Commonwealth law, of which ignorance is not the least excuse. Take the Orion Realty re-zoning in late 2009: state law specifies that the vote requirement is " . . . . . of the full council". Frank ruled that it was the percentage of the councilors actually present and voting. Yet there is no citation, complaint, nor the least critique. The sworn obligation is to uphold the law----not ignore it. Opinion is one thing----the law is another. If the Council does not uphold the law, then a locally elected governmental body is promoting lawlessness. This is no trifling matter. Do we want anarchy?


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