Jul 29, 2014

‘Premature?’ No! At This Late Hour, It Is time For Community Action!

In an op-ed, Voices on Wastewater discusses the need for community action.

‘Premature?’ No! At This Late Hour, It Is time For Community Action!

The Cape-wide citizens group, Voices On Wastewater (VOW), recently
received the following response from the Clerk of the County Assembly
of Delegates relative to our request for expedited county assembly
action regarding recommendations of the special commission on county
governance. It is self-explanatory.

Dear Ms. Nickerson:

On behalf and as directed by the Speaker of the Assembly of Delegates
his reply to your email and letter dated March 21, 2012 is as

Until there is a detailed proposal coming from the Commission, it is
unlikely the Assembly will take any action. I encouraged the County
Commissioners on 3/28 to endorse the concepts in the Special
Commission's recommendations but they instead chose to hold a series
of public forums to gather input from citizens and only then will they
vote to support anything. I personally think that is a mistake- A
proposal should be drafted, endorsed by the Commissioners, and only
then, when we know and can debate the details should it go out for
public review and potential changes. I also got their commitment that
any Cape-wide Wastewater district with taxing authority would be
submitted to the voters.

Any Delegate can bring this matter up at any Assembly meeting with
sufficient public notice, but in my view it would be a mistake to
deliberate on a moving target.

Give the Executive Director of the CCC time to flush this out and it
may come to the A of D in the form of an ordinance, or a DCPC.

Ron Bergstrom

Janice O'Connell, Clerk
Assembly of Delegates
Cape Cod Regional Government

As exhibited by the below-noted article, there is a major problem
which exists right now. There are numerous public questions that have
arisen about the entire process and content of the Special Commission
and its recommendations. It is in the public interest to have such
serious questions answered and concerns addressed in short order.

Barnstable County Special Commission on County Governance was NOT Legitimate!

Unfortunately, ‘the politics of indifference’are taking hold. We could
all be in dire straits unless swift and decisive action is taken.
Because it is an election year, the only thing that will make a
difference at this late hour is if each and every concerned person
reading this article (and their friends & colleagues) will contact
their individual delegate to the county assembly (by email or phone)
and request that prompt public hearings be held by an Ad Hoc Committee
about the special commission recommendations. You may mention that too
many serious questions have arisen about the process and content of
the special commission and its recommendations. It is in the public
interest for the county legislature to hold such hearings. It would be
a breach of the public trust and an injustice not to do so.


Barnstable County Commissioner Sheila Lyons has become the lead county
official on wastewater management issues and policy, including a
proposed Cape-wide sewer authority with full rate-setting and taxation
powers. Based upon observation and analysis of her written editorials,
public statements, and at official meetings in recent weeks, it has
become painfully apparent that County Commissioner Lyons has adopted
the position of official 'point person' for herself concerning
wastewater issues on Cape Cod (including the proposed Cape Cod
Regional Wastewater Authority). Along with Andrew Gottlieb (Cape Cod
Water Protection Collaborative) and Paul Niedzwiecki (Cape Cod
Commission), Ms. Lyons is now the chief spokesperson responsible for
trying to "water down" the issue, spread disinformation, and in short,
confuse the general public about the real issue at hand. In summary,
County Commissioner Sheila Lyons has now been completely trained in
the Andrew Gottlieb and Paul Niedzwiecki course of artful dodging and
wastewater authority propaganda employment. This scenario simply needs
to be kept in mind as this whole process unfolds during the weeks and
months ahead.

County Commissioner Lyons has stated a number of times, both verbally
and in writing that it is ‘premature’ for citizens to express their
concerns about the severe negative and disruptive economic impact that
her proposed burdensome sewer tax and authority will have upon their
families and lives. In recent months, she appears to have tried to
convolute the issue with foggy information and employment of a myriad
of terminology such as wastewater authority, entity and/or district.
It all adds up to the same loss of local control by the municipalities
of Cape Cod over wastewater planning, policy and fiscal management for
each of their towns. The fact of the matter is that Sheila Lyons knows
full well that along with her county government agents, Paul
Niedzswiecki and Andrew Gottlieb, her intent and goal is the
imposition of a Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) style
regional sewer authority with full rate-setting and taxation powers.
Though County Commissioner Lyons will attempt to claim that this is
not the case, such a claim is contradicted by the facts. To clearly
illustrate the truth of the issue, one only needs to be aware of the
presentation sponsored by Sheila Lyons and other county officials at
the next meeting of the Cape Cod Selectmen and Councilors Associations
(CCSCA) on Friday, April 13, 2012 in Bourne, MA. The presentation is
being made available to various local elected officials and municipal
government administrators in an effort to garner political support
behind their less-than-transparent plans. The presentation is
entitled, "More About Wastewater and the MWRA: A focus on legal issues
and updates, the economic cost and financing of wastewater projects
and the who, when, where, and how the MWRA was established."

'More About Wastewater and the MWRA: A focus on legal issues and
updates, the economic cost and financing of waste water projects and
the who, when, where, and how the MWRA was established'

In the Wednesday, April 4th edition of the Cape Cod Times, there
appears the following article:

Cape planners unveil wastewater cleanup simulator

Within the content of said article, one will notice the following
excerpts: 'Niedzwiecki was quick to say that, although he and Gottlieb
have been asked by county commissioners to explore a regional
wastewater district, this didn't mean the Cape's wastewater problems
would be solved by a taxing authority similar to the Massachusetts
Water Resources Authority in the Boston.'

"I don't think an MWRA-type authority on the Cape is advisable,"
Niedzwiecki said. "I don't think it would be effective."

Now, reread the information provided from the notice from the
following presentation to be given by Mr. Niedzwiecki and Mr. Gottlieb
on April 13th:

'More About Wastewater  and the MWRA: A focus on legal issues and
updates, the economic cost and financing of waste water projects and
the who, when, where, and how the MWRA was established'

Again, more questions have now arisen and need to be answered. If one
is not considering an MWRA-style Cape Cod Regional Sewer Authority,
then why would one go to such great lengths in teaching about it and
pitching a proposal for it to local political and government leaders
of Cape Cod?

The Ad-Hoc Committee seriously needs to be formed by the County
Assembly of Delegates to scrutinize, debate and analyze the Special
Commission recommendations, including the one for the Cape Cod
Regional Wastewater Authority, or entity, or district (or whatever
Lyons, Niedzwiecki & Gottlieb are calling it these days). Furthermore,
the taxpayers, residents and voters of Cape Cod need only look
Barnstable County Commissioner Sheila Lyons, and her underlings, in
the eye and simply ask: Are you serious? How naive do you really think
that we are? It is too premature to express concerns about your
oppressive sewer tax plan for everyone on Cape Cod? Well, don't bet on
it lady!

Even at this "premature stage" as Ms. Lyons calls it, it is strongly
suggested that Cape Cod voters begin to actively seek out local
political candidates for positions such as selectmen, or water
commissioner for the April & May election cycle, as well as regional
and state-level political candidates during the months between now and
the November election. Seek out candidates who refuse to be a party to
this bill of goods that County Commissioner Sheila Lyons and her sewer
tax minions are attempting to sell to the residents of Cape Cod. Do
not allow politicians of her ilk to hoist such a dramatic and
burdensome entity as the Cape Cod Regional Wastewater Authority onto
our already strained and aching financial backs. Now is the time to
express deep concern about the Cape-wide sewer authority issue, and
April-May, asn well as November will be the time for Cape Cod voters
to do something about it. Too early? Premature? No, not at all!

Sandy Nickerson, Co-Spokesperson
Charles Miller, Co-Spokesperson

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