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Sagar, Blanchard Top Campaign Spending

The two-man team running for Seekonk Board of Selectmen seats has spent more than $3,000.

Most of the money being spent in this year's Seekonk Board of Selectmen election campaign is coming from three candidates, and two of them are running as a team. The combined campaign of Gary Sagar and Robert Blanchard has spent $3,226 as of Monday, according to the finance report submitted to the Town Clerk's Office. The next-biggest spender is political newcomer Nelson Almeida with $1,379.

Former Selectman and Fire Chief David Viera has spent $741. Dave Parker, the lone incumbent in the race, has spent $379. 

The five men are running for two three-year seats on the board. Election Day is Monday. Voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at .

Sagar contributed $1,100 to the team campaign and Blanchard chipped in another $1,000. Robert Read, a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, added $15. The rest of the money came from people who purchased tickets at a fundraiser that took place at the .

The team's spending included $929 on signs, $635 on advertising with Reporter Today, $611 on advertising with Senior Digest, $420 on fliers, $300 for a donation to the Save a Pet Society and $330 to hold the fundraiser.

The duo has $468 remaining in its account.

Almeida has funded his campaign, spending money on signs ($1,329) and business cards ($48). Viera received a $50 check from Cable Access Board member Beverly Hart and put up $691 to pay for a $100 meet and greet at the  and $641 worth of signs. Parker's self-funded campaign has spent money to advertise with Reporter Today ($295) and on fliers ($84).

There has not been much spending in the School Committee race, in which three men are running for two three-year seats. Brian Freitas has spent $367 of his own money on signs ($319) and business cards ($47). Incumbent Mitch Vieira has spent no money. Write-in candidate Jeffrey Starr Mararian did not submit a report.

The next report must be submitted 30 days after Election Day.

deb of see-attleboro April 01, 2012 at 12:54 AM
If the building committee was restricted, I am sure another stakeholder could have taken the role of unofficial point man or woman to field questions on a blog. Taking into account all the public buildings in this town, if we do not have enough space for boards and committees to meet, maybe it is time to dissolve some of these boards and committees. Seems to me this is a pretty good sign government in our little town has become a bit too big and cumbersome.
Dave Abbott April 01, 2012 at 01:48 AM
So some of you are going to go on spouting absolute lies about the pool, the high school sign, the collaborative, in some twisted attempt to promote your views about the proposed senior center. Well sorry to spoil your agenda, but the pool is a great resource for our town and is cost effective (do a search on Patch because I am done pointing the reality out over and over again). The sign was old and in need of replacement and yes climbing a boulder to adjust the sign is not the safest setup out there. The sign went to vote and was not passed but for some they still feel the need to complain. I agree that a more reasonable price and setup is in order and I made that position clear. But to say it does not need to be replaced? Drive by that sign and tell me how proud you are to be from Seekonk with a sign like that. The collaborate does wonders for our most needy children. Whether you support the senior center or not- trying to divide people or create dysfunction is sad. Leadership is about making a decision and getting things done. This includes planning for the future of our town. A community center should be a part of that. The reality is you do not pay a lot of property taxes compared to everyone around you. The annual cost of this center to the average household is about one nice meal out a year. If you think that is too much to bear then don't vote for it, but stop the blame game.
Carol Bragg April 01, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Dave: No lies spouted about the Collaborative. The maintenance issue has been at Pleasant Street has been a problem for years. The Collaborative would be the first to acknowledge this. They feel, and probably rightly so, that they shouldn't have to maintain the part of the building that the town uses. The schools and town have batted this back and forth for years, with Human Services/COA caught in the middle. It's not the Collaborative's fault that the town and schools haven't successfully resolved the issues. There should have been a memorandum of understanding years ago. We inquired of TA and also of School Department and it seems it was an informal agreement. What was to be a temporary arrangement seems to have become permanent. Why should the Collaborative have to pick up costs for a town department? It doesn't make sense.
Sandra Corsetti April 01, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Ginger, Deb and Carol: You are right about a law requiring buildings to be handicapped accessible and safe! The law is Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted by Congress and signed into law July 26, 1990 by President George H.W. Bush. You know, the old days when Congress got something done! The Pleasant Street location is not in compliance in any way shape or form with Title III of the Act--Public Accommodations (and Commercial Facilities). The building is in direct violation of Federal Law. The Law has requirements for new buildings being built as well as old structures that need to be handicapped accessible. The only buildings exempt appear to be private clubs, some religious buildings and those deemed historic properties. I do not know what the BOS of Selectmen have been doing there, but they are way off base and should have made sure that they secured a safe place for seniors and veterans years ago. Read the Law. Can the Town get monies from the Bristol County or the State of Massachusetts for this building? Or perhaps a group there could contact the Federal Government on this issue and have pressure placed on the State to fund some of this. I know some people think the Federal Government is just in too many places and has too many regulations, but this Republican President made sure people were protected on this issue. But I digress. If the senior center does not pass something is urgently needed to secure a new building for these
Dave Abbott April 01, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Carol when did this happen because in the three years of my term not once was this topic on a meeting agenda or discussed. That would include the tri-board meetings, which would be the perfect time to sort out who handles what. If this was such an issue, like the peeling paint, I am trying to figure out why it has not been on the radar.
Sandra Corsetti April 01, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Deb: I live in Pittsford, New York, County of Monroe. We are 20 miles NW of Palmyra along the Erie Canal. Town tax is assessed at 32.25 per $1,000, most dollars supporting schools. Suburb rates differ but services are same. Pittsford town has 2 high, 2 middle schools, each with 4 lane pools, 4 elementary schools with gyms, All have athletic fields as does the town, including playgrounds. We have our own school buses. We have bike and walking trails, festivals, Memorial Day and little league parades, etc. The County runs the library system with main branch in the City Rochester and a branch in each suburb, all open 6-7 days a week. Our town built a new library and court house in the village 5 years ago. Our 1850 City Hall houses only offices such as Town Supervisor, Assessor, Tax Collector, etc. Our senior citizen center is just outside the village in a one floor office building. Town Supervisor moved seniors from old school building to new location 15 years ago. We have two fire stations, many volunteers, EMS and ambulances. The Town contracts with the County for police services as do most of the suburbs here except for very large suburbs and the City of Rochester who have their own police departments. Town provides sewer system in much of town, lawn/tree debris removal from front of house, leaf pick up, incredible snow removal, etc. We get free mulch in spring! Housing prices are good! Milk is 2.00 a gallon. No yearly tax on autos! Just one sales tax when you buy it!
Ginger Denneny April 01, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Perhaps I am wrong, but it is my opinion that when a commitee is formed to work on any project..it is not about hiring an architect and putting forth a positive spin on a project. I expect a committee to look at all sides of a proposal and present the pros and cons. To give accurate fugures for and against. That's why a lot of people probably sit back. They think the committee is made up of people looking at EVERTHING. That is not the reality. It's a committee to build a building. As for the pool at the highschool. In RI and MA. particlarly...we need to teach our children to swim and I think the pool is an asset. I spent many a night working bingo's in smoke filled rooms to keep that pool open as it was...only to have it upgraded a few years later. We should keep the pool...but open it up to the public for a fee. There are so many ways this town could make money that they ignore. As for maintenance of buildings...the "it's not my job" attitude disgusts me. I was told that if the public works department has extra patch products..they can't fill holes at our school parking lots with the excess. They have to disgard it. I am sick of the way things work. I am sick of the waste. I am sick of the stupidity. Until we can manage the town in a way that we would manage our famiilies....responsibly...I will oppose any expenditures that will put us in debt, which includes the senior center. Forgive spelling and grammar errors. Very little patience left.
Carol Bragg April 01, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Dave: I don't know whether it ever got officially onto a School Committee agenda. The Director of Human Services had conversations with Superintendent, School Committee chair and Town Administrator. I had meetings with the Town Administrator. I went to a Selectmen's meeting to tell the Selectmen I thought they had both a legal and moral obligation to their employees and to the public the department serves. I wrote letters and memos to Selectmen, Building Inspector, Health Department, Fire Department about overcrowding, air quality, peeling paint, wiring, etc. I personally called to have the DPW bulIdoze the edge of the parking lot so the lot wouldn't be a skating rink. I proposed to the DPW a plan for access to the parking lot to avoid head-on collisions between in-coming buses and exiting seniors. I requested that handicapped spaces be clearly marked and painted. I suggested that the woodworking projects just outside the rear door used by seniors be removed because they blocked access for public safety personnel and also posed a danger for senior citizens trying to navigate their way into the building. It's been nothing but frustration and left staff and the people they serve feeling hopeless. The Collaborative does a terrific and valuable job. It's just that Human Services doesn't belong on the second floor of the same building. Town Meeting recognized that back in 1999 when they voted to establish the first COA Building Committee. We owe staff and seniors better.
Sandra Corsetti April 01, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Ginger: You are right. The "it's not my job" attitude is deplorable and has turned much of country to ruin. I am perhaps very fortunate to live in a place where our town highway department still collects Christmas trees and leaves from the front of our homes and grind them into free mulch for the community. The highway department also allows our Girl Scout troupes to receive truckloads of cookies at cookie sale time and we cookie moms organize thousand and thousand of boxes to be distributed. The pool in Seekonk is an absolute asset! I learned to swim there in 1968 and on through high school. Mr. Mayer was a tremendous coach! It fostered my desire to make sure that my three children learned to swim and all of them have been on swim teams here in Pittsford, NY. I got a great education in Seekonk, paid for by tax payers at that time. I went to college, married and followed my husband for education and work to this part of New York. But Seekonk was where I spent half of my lifetime, and I hope and pray to see things improve for the people who still live there....
Ginger Denneny April 01, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Sandra....love Ellis Mayer. Great coach...great man. Asset to Seekonk. My daughter was also on his swim team....much later. I was in DR in 1968....and wished we had the pool seekonk had. And here we are drifting away..but a nice memory. I have been lucky to be in Seekonk for many years. My cousins gave me a connection to seekonk before I ever moved here and I have had lots of good memories of this town. But I have also seen a lot of things I wish I hadn't. I am not jaded...just cautious. I have seen groups of people try to muscle things through this town...and I don't like it. The powers at be spent years trying to build a fire station on what was a totally illegal spot. They lost...but not for trying. Even to go as far as trying to change the wording of the zoning by laws. That was defeated by a very small margin....despite attempts to postpone that vote until the very end of a meeting when most people had left. Seekonk politics at it's worst. Whatever the outcome of the senior center...and I do hope it is voted down at this time....I will be glad I live in this town and will continue to try to do what I can to support it and make it a better town ....within the parameters of our financial capabilities.
Chris April 01, 2012 at 09:40 AM
Ginger the pool is open to the public during the summer months (not sure about during school year). During the summer months, they offer programs for children to learn how to swim at all different levels. This program has been going on for years, I know some of them who learned years ago are now seniors at the high school. The pool also offers family swim in the afternoon for a small fee. The program they offer at the school to teach the little ones is a lot better and less expensive then the Y and I would rather support the high school, knowning in the future my child will be there then supporting the YMCA with their crazy prices.
Chris April 01, 2012 at 10:06 AM
I'm for having a senior center, because I know if I live long enough in 20 years or so I'll be a senior myself. Just like I'm for the schools to have the equipment, teachers etc that they may need to benefit my children because they are our future generation. However, with these economic times, it's been tough. It has expecially been tough for us these past couple of years. Everytime I get the trash bill, I cringe, because I see that little extra fee that needs to be paid & how many more years is left to pay on it? ugh! I also curse everytime I have buy those stupid blue bags that cost me big bucks. Since when do bags cost $11 for 10 for that price I can buy 50 white bags. Where does the sale of those blue bags go to? Going back to the senior center: Why can't we try to use a building within the town like a store front & purchase it ourselves or rent it? Since Pleasant Street is rented out to the seniors. Looking at the plans for the building it's huge, why does it need to be THAT big? I know many seniors and they don't use the facility now and it's not because of the condition of the building, they just don't have a use for it. They don't participate in any activities that is offered (that doesn't mean others don't, but not every senior does either). I'm against the politics of this town, I don't agree when people vote at a town meeting and it's against the article that later on at night after everyone's left & gets brought forward & voted again. Respect our wishes.
paul April 01, 2012 at 11:16 AM
I hear you Chris and Deb as well. I to know many seniors having lived in Seekonk forever. Many I have talked to are against it saying all they do is play cards. We already have church halls, the library, YMCA, Rehoboth & East Prov. senior centers, health clubs, etc. and they all are free or have discounts for seniors. If we build it they will come but it is not a must or a slam dunk. The blue bags are for the controller at the dump to make sure Seekonk trash is only from Seekonk with no commercial junk mixed in. The Senior Center is the new North School.
deb of see-attleboro April 01, 2012 at 11:23 AM
I don't consider any of my comments "lies". If you perceive them to be, perhaps we have a different definition of the word. The pool expansion/renovation came with promises of being a community pool. Again, maybe we have different definitions as to what that means. I could be mistaken, but there was no significant change of policy and/or accessibility since the renovation. At least not as it relates to the community. Now as for the sign. I don't know if it needs to be replaced. If it is still there, IMO it should removed sooner rather than later. Is it being kept there to send some kind of subliminal message to the community or is the removal tied up in some sort of bureaucratic red tape?
deb of see-attleboro April 01, 2012 at 11:38 AM
It sounds like comparing Seekonk, MA to Pittsford, NY is like comparing apples and oranges. My relatives absolutely LOVED it out there. But then again, they have insisted every place they have lived since is the best place on earth. If we could all be so positive and optimistic!
Ginger Denneny April 01, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Chris...thanks for that information. I thought that swim program ended when Ellis left. He was a fantastic coach. He did teach my daughter to swim before she was in school and she stayed in the program and was on the swim team for her four years in HS with him. Love that the pool is open to the public..and I agree...that is where people should go to swim. I will have to look into the pool hours of operation. By any chance...are you familiar with any operating hours of the basket ball courts. Off topic, but I have a son in law who visits from NYC and he breaths basketball. Always looking for a pick up game. Any number to call to put that together would be appreciated.
Ginger Denneny April 01, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Newspapers sit in at BOS meetings and report on them. Many occasions the TV's in that room "weren't working" during many zoning meetings that I can attest to. The meeting room with the televisions can not be being used 7 days a week. There must be free times. I am not sure just how secretive the committee meetings had to be for the senior center, but any secrecy is wrong. I agree that town employees should maintain a neutral position on any subject, but providing factual information is not voicing an opinion. And if they couldn't get the information to the town...perhaps they should invite the paper (patch) to their meetings to report (hopefully without bias) what went on. As I've said...I am not very knowledgable about the computer world...if I were I would find a way to have this senior center discussion under it's own headline rather than Sagar's campaign headline. But doesn't Seekonk have a home page where the minutes of the committee's meeting could be published. Or where people could express their opinions on the subject for the committee to consider before a lot of money is spent on something perhaps many may not think we can afford right now. I don't know if I am expressing myself correctly here...but in this connected world we live in...more discussions like these should have taken place. As for the sign on arcade and ledge...never liked the looks of that. Landscape around the rock and call it a day. Send memo's home with kids. Word will get out.
Dave Abbott April 01, 2012 at 01:21 PM
As a Patch blogger, I will add a blog for it...just not sure it will get approved in time. Carol I will look into the issue tomorrow, my last day and see what is happening, but again this is the first time I was made aware of it and it has never been an agenda item on my watch.
Carol Bragg April 01, 2012 at 01:39 PM
1. There is a link on the town website: http://seekonk-ma.gov/pages/SeekonkMA_Bcomm/Senior/index Licenses for pages on the town website are restricted. Additional ones must be purchased, and people authorized and trained to maintain them. 2. All meetings are public and have been posted, with members of the public welcome for input and to ask questions. Those who have expressed interest to the chairman Dave Bowden receive e-mail notices of all meetings. There has been no secrecy. 3. The press has been invited to meetings and has been otherwise contacted for coverage. Seekonk Patch under Abby Crocker used to cover more than just the Selectmen's meetings. 4. Some of the meetings have not been televised because they've been held in the lunch room, with the BOS meeting room and Planning Board room occupied by other meetings. 5. The committee has to meet when its members are available. Three work full-time and are not available for daytime meetings. Like others, they spend weekends with their families. We keep saying what THEY should have done. We are Monday-morning quarterbacking a hard-working committee. Is there anything different WE might have done? To have a discussion under it's own headline, you simply e-mail Jonathan Friedman, the editor. He has had a standing invitation on the Patch home page to contact him.
deb of see-attleboro April 01, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Sandra: Just checked out the Pittsford website. We don't have one so don't bother looking!! (NOW I'm lying. It's such an embarrassment I'd rather you didn't look. It is a step above the sign at the corner of ledge and arcade:) VERY impressive. Beautiful Veteran's Monument. And a YOUTH COURT? How cool is that! And that survey! I didn't check the details. But it certainly looked professional and thorough. Here in ye ol' Seekonk, we use Survey Monkey.
Dave Abbott April 01, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Blog approved...should be up in a few minutes.
Jonathan Friedman (Editor) April 01, 2012 at 02:29 PM
The blog is up. I will also have a piece up about some of the facts later today.
Emcee of Seekonk April 01, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Paul... be realistic. How long do you think the taxpayers Rehoboth or E. Providence are going to put up with 50 or so Seekonk seniors barging in and taking over their facilities for a little spaghetti feed, or a knitting afternoon, or art classes, or cooking, or playing cards, or all the rest of the stuff they do. As for the YMCA, a membership costs almost $500 a year, and that includeds the senior discount. There is nothing out there that is free, and remember seniors are on a fixed income. The trash bags are to help defray the cost of pickup... extra charges are for capping the landfill.
Ginger Denneny April 01, 2012 at 09:31 PM
emcee...a little negative on the regional sharing of senior centers. I've been to the rehoboth one and it is not overly utilized. I think they would be excited with any seniors using it to justify and/or help defray the cost of their own building. The more people using it...the better deals can be negotiated for day events, trips and excursions. I understand the Y membership is expensive. I don't believe every senior feels a need to go to a senior center to socialize. For the ones who do...we pay a portion of their membership to either the Rehoboth or East Providence center. And an accurate record should be kept of that participation so we can see how cost effective building a senior center would be when the times comes that the economy is in a better place....when people have jobs to go to. And David..I got a message to the patch to run a separate piece on the Center, to avoid comments under this campaign ad. Don't know if they will. I don't think your having a blog and everyone else having to e mail you to post their position is a fair way to do it. You are a SUPPORTER and we have no way of knowing if you hold back on posting an opposition that doesn't sit well with you. Or if you just choose to flood the blog with letters in support. Not saying you would...but there would always be doubt. We need a headline...just like this ad campaign..and we can write in...at our whim. That is the only fair and open way. We don't have many days left!
Carol Bragg April 01, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Paul: Thanks for your comment in the FOR or AGAINST blog! I'm not sure why people want to send folks who are in their 80s and 90s to other towns, some of whom are infirm, no longer drive and have to count on rides. One of the frequent participants at COA programs is Dr. John Erhardt, a former beloved history teacher at Seekonk High School. He's struggling with alzheimer's but very much enjoys the programs. I'm not sure why, given what he's contributed to Seekonk, people want to ship him out to another community.
Dave Abbott April 01, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Ginger, I have no control on who posts in the blog. I put the blog up so we have a separate area to discuss it. The only thing I asked for an e-mail on was materials about the proposal. By that I mean flyer's or other informational material that can be added as an attachment. People should have all the facts regardless of an opinion. Again anyone can and should post a meaningful dialog.
Ginger Denneny April 01, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Sorry dave...I thought you were asking for comments to be sent to you for the blog. As I have said....computer lingo is not in my repetoir...don't totally understand how it works. But you understood my point considering my perspective. Thanks.
Carol Bragg April 01, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Dave: The brochure that was sent out is on the Town's website under Boards and Committees. Perhaps you can upload to your blog?
nucky thomson April 02, 2012 at 06:49 PM
so what are you protecting, huh
Carol Bragg April 02, 2012 at 09:15 PM
I'm protecting the cats so they won't be confused with muffins and eaten.

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