AN INSIDE LOOK - Commentary and opinions on local politics and life in general in Southeastern Massachusetts! Featuring the writings of Bill Gouveia, newspaper columnist for the Sun Chronicle and local cable TV talk show host. Feel free to read, comment and enjoy!
Monday, August 25, 2014
And The BILLY Goes to...
This column originally appeared in The Sun Chronicle on Monday, August 25, 2014
AN INSIDE LOOK
By Bill Gouveia
is that season again.Tonight the Emmy
Awards will be handed out to those who achieved special status in the area of
television.Then soon the Oscar Awards
will be bestowed upon those who have reached high points with regard to the
motion picture industry.
of which led me to wonder why there are no such special awards for local
politics.Surely those who participate
in this noble profession (or hobby as the case may be) deserve some special
recognition for what they do, be it positive or negative.
I didn’t have time to form an academy or create an organization worthy of
choosing the winners or even the categories themselves, I decided to take the
weighty responsibility upon my own shoulders.So with congratulations (or apologies) to all the lucky recipients, I now
present to you the winners of the First Annual Bill Gouveia Local Political
Best Performance in a Rerun, the “Billy”
(yes, that’s what they are called) goes to:Retiring Mansfield School Superintendent Brenda Hodges.While no doubt saving herself hours of time
it would have taken to write her own graduation address, Hodges generated
tremendous publicity and got her name in all the papers by simply rerunning
someone else’s workIt does leave us all
wondering just what her next role will be, however.
the Most Consistent Performance category,
the “Billy” is awarded to:The
Plainville Board of Selectmen and Town Administrator.They have handled the whole racino situation
with calm, class, and dignity.They
continue to do what they believe is best for their constituents while working
in a less-than-favorable production climate.
to the Best Self-Serving Performance category,the “Billy” is unanimously given
to:Mansfield Selectman Olivier
Kozlowski.The way he took a simple
employment sign at a Lowe’s store and turned it into a political statement
designed to draw attention to himself clearly outdid all his would-be
challengers.He was also named as a
unanimous winner of the same award in the corresponding foreign awards ceremony.
Most Heralded Newcomer is the
category, and here the “Billy” goes to:North Attleboro Selectman Patrick Reynolds.Elected to the board before he even graduated
from high school, this young political leader is smooth, polished, and
smart.Now he just needs to prove he can
be effective and truly make a difference.Will future nominations be headed his way?We’ll see.
the Quickest To React To Critics category,
the “Billy” has been taken by:the
Attleboro City Council.Any decision
they make seems likely to be changed at the next meeting if more than three
people show up to protest it.If you
like flexibility in your politicians, you’ll be pleased to know this collection
approaches contortionist status.
category of Longest Continuing Failure
To Perform also produced a clear winner, with the “Billy” going to:The North Attleboro Board of Selectmen.Despite several votes by their constituents
to place the question of government reform before the citizens in a binding
manner, they continue to delay and make excuses.If these folks had been part of our founding
fathers, we would all still be sipping English tea in the afternoons and
Inspiring Performance category resulted in the “Billy” being handed off
to:The citizens of the Town of
Wrentham.Those good folks recognized
the need and importance of having their own Home Rule Charter and voted to send
a home-rule petition to the legislature to do just that.They deserve kudos for being unafraid of
change and willing to take control of their own destiny.
they voted on the Worst Performance By
An Ensemble Cast, the judges decided the “Billy” would be awarded to:The Town Meeting Voters in Rehoboth.While admirably trying to properly fund their
school system, many of them decided to simply make a
power-grab and force officials into an override vote they knew would probably
end in defeat.They seemed not to care
what this would do to the community as a whole, particularly the town side of
that will do it for this first annual award process.To all those not chosen, I say –
congratulations.You look relieved.
Bill Gouveia is a local columnist and
longtime local official.He can be
emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter at