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Letter: Weston Election Season Off to an 'Ugly' Start

This letter to the editor was submitted by Isabella Jancourtz.

Election season in Weston has started early in a really ugly way. Outgoing moderator Wendy Spector just sent out a poison pen group e-mail urging Weston voters to believe her misrepresentations about Bill Sandalls and promoting Tom Crane as our next moderator. She is asking voters to add their names to Tom's yet to be launched campaign website (conveniently providing an interim link to her own) as a supporter, before either gentleman has even announced that he is a candidate.

Wendy says about Bill, "I believe his real motivation is to reduce Weston's support of our schools and natural resources."  In fact, as she well knows because she attended many meetings of the Weston Town Meeting Advisory Committee where the budget process was discussed at length, Bill is for intelligent, responsible management of all our resources and responsibilities.  He believes in smart, not ostentatious, spending on our schools. 

Bill would never, however, use his position as moderator to influence the outcome of any vote, as happened when Wendy allowed a 30 million dollar debt authorization for the Field School, requiring a 2/3 vote of town meeting, to be decided on a voice vote, rather than a standing count.  She couldn't bang the gavel fast enough, even though it was far from clear that there was a 2/3 vote in favor. It was also observed by many voters present that the voices of the children at the November 2011 town meeting were actually part of that voice vote.

Bill's three children went through the Weston school system, and when his son Ben was tragically killed by a car at age 11, Bill and his late wife Anne founded a program in his name which continues to benefit Weston students. He believes in giving back and he has given back, serving both on the finance and the school committees.

Wendy, who showed up in January 2012 at the Hynes Convention Center for the Massachusetts Municipal Association Trade Show, as an exhibitor at table #709 to promote her business venture myGrapevine, used her position as Weston's moderator to promote her family enterprise there, online and elsewhere. She has been the other type of public servant, the type who serves herself first.  Instead of studying Robert's Rules of Order and our town bylaws so she could run town meeting competently, she was studying the Massachusetts municipal landscape for personal business opportunities.

Wendy declares further in her e-mail "I don't think he has the temperament to be Moderator."  This comes from the woman who turned town meeting into a gong show and threatened to call the constable on a group of Weston voters who dared to groan out loud at a particularly long and boring presentation. 

Ironically, town clerk Deb Davenport actually had to call the constable on moderator Spector. It was early in the morning of the May 2012 election and she had violated the election laws by planting her signs within 150 feet of the Town Hall polling place. I was there in the town center with Bill Sandalls and others when officer Mike Joyal stopped by in a Weston Police cruiser "looking for Wendy."

But just as her tenure, a comedy of errors seriously incompatible with the democratic process, is drawing to a close, moderator Spector takes it to a new and even lower level, smearing Bill Sandalls with no apparent regard for the truth in an effort to orchestrate the election of Tom Crane as her successor.

I would like to believe that Tom had no part in this toxic e-mail blast which Wendy sent out on his behalf.  If he did, he should publicly apologize to Bill.  If he did not, he should repudiate it.

The voters of Weston deserve an issues-based election, not the odious sort of garbage slinging campaign that Ms. Spector has initiated.

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