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Citizens for Limited Taxation

Here Comes the Mob Friday, August 22, 2003
Rob Haneisen Metrowest Daily News
I write this Wednesday afternoon, unfortunately a day and a half before Thursday night's Board of Selectmen meeting.  While much of the talk heading into that meeting was focused on Town Manager George King's review and some far-out allegations about strip poker and push up contests I believe the person with the most to gain or lose in this mess is Chairman Charlie Sisitsky.

As chairman, Sisitsky holds the gavel and will either control the meeting or let disorder reign.  In the meetings I have attended I have always seen Charlie as one to use the gavel with reserve but when he brings it down, his face piping red, he means business.

Sisitsky going into this meeting had a decision to make:  what will he allow in the public commentary and what will he gavel down as irrelevant, out of context, out of order and lacking in good taste.

"The important thing is that everyone is civil to each other during the discussion," he said before the meeting.

Sisitsky showed his hand early though by saying the ethics complaint - filed by an estranged spouse and disputed by King and the Potter sisters Allison and Karen - is not part of King's review.

The vice chairman of the board, Ginger Esty, has also showed her hand.  She thinks it should be a free-for-all.

"It would be logical to have to deal with it," Esty said.

Esty also wants to hear from Seth Levenson, the man who filed the complaint and who may have been at the meeting.

"I'll be interested to hear what he has to say," Esty said.

In a coincidence that is becoming more difficult to believe, Esty has maintained that her delay in participating in King's review was about some water and sewer abatement numbers she's waiting on.  What some sources say is that Esty was waiting for the ethics complaint bomb to drop so she could find a way to move the complaint into her review, likely a very disagreeable review.  In order for this to be true, Esty would have had to have first hand knowledge of the review being filed and prepared.

To follow this theory logically, one could suspect that Esty had something to do with the Ethics Complaint being drafted and filed, perhaps even aided in the matter.  This theory is easy to believe given Esty's dislike for King and one could easily see her rationalizing the matter by saying she is the one selectman who wants everything "out in the sunshine."

Sometimes the sun shines on matters more suited for darkened back rooms.

But I still think the person with the most to lose or gain from Thursday's meeting is Sisitsky.  If he keeps order there are those that will say he favors King, but those are likely the same people who favor Ginger.  So there is nothing lost or gained there.  But if he doesn't keep the matter at hand to matters in front of the board - not hushed whispers and giggles - Sisitsky risks losing face himself.

While many in town are talking about the allegations it's been difficult to gauge exactly how much damage the allegations have had.  Many, even those who haven't exactly been cozy with King, have been reluctant to discuss the allegations publicly, I believe out of fear of being associated with them.

I taped a show with almost-a-selectman Cesar Monzon this week and he didn't want to touch the matter with a ten-foot-pole.  The move shows class but I also thinks it shows exactly how small of a splash the ethics complaint has made in town.  It seems to be a matter that everyone will look at but not keep their gaze upon for any great time.

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