(Copy Received by SnydersSandwich.com): "Dear Sandwich Board of Selectmen, I have refrained from making public comment on the RFP process however after watching your most recent meeting on Thursday August 7 th, I am compelled to say the following. I watched your most recent selectmen's meeting and of course was particularly interested in how you would handle the RFP interviews on Tuesday August 12th both from a procedural and substantive point of view. There was considerable discourse regarding "who" would be allowed to speak during the interview(s). Clearly the message was the public is invited but they would have no opportunity to speak until at least the follow up meeting you are having on August 14th. The concern appeared to be the process could drag out indefinitely.While I understand there is a deliberate attempt to control the interviews from the standpoint of time management I am truly concerned that there is an over emphasis on the potential duration of the interview process. That was the message that emanated from your discussion the other night. What also concerns me and I hope I am wrong is there appears to be an attempt to control the direction of the process substantively. That is a very slippery slope! I believe that the right thing to do in spite of what some would like to have happen is to allow both respondents TRT and Clark Consulting, the ability to let their attorneys, engineers, consultants, advisors et al answer questions if and when needed. That in my mind is wholly consistent with procurement law. There has been sufficient time for the review of responsive documents specifically, months of review and questions. We are at a point now where our Town Manager has assembled a team to review the documents and to interview both respondents in person on August 12 th which will be followed by a public meeting on August 14 th for the public or “legislative body” in Town to exercise their right to speak on these matters. The Board of Selectmen will have the opportunity to listen to the findings of fact by the “interview team” and “public comment” and it is at this point there can be or should not be any deliberate attempt or excuse to delay voting on which respondent will be awarded the opportunity to Partner with the Town for development of their vision of South Sandwich Village Center. I must say that while we are standing at the threshold of an incredible socio-economic opportunity for our great Town of Sandwich we are at the same time teetering on the precipice of complete failure which could inevitably result in a total collapse of town government as we presently know and understand it. My observations of the current sentiment in Town is that a very substantial block of voters will not tolerate what is perceived as mismanagement affecting their socio-economic wellbeing. You can choose a path that will be identified as making history for the greater good of our community or alternatively you can choose a path that is regressive, the latter being unacceptable to me and I'm quite sure many others!"-- John G. Kennan, Jr.
"Sadly, it looks like Massachusetts is taking a pass on the Secure Communities Act. The program was established in 2008, and has quickly expanded to now include over 40% of the nation’s law enforcement agencies in some 42 states. Under the program, fingerprints from arrested individuals are verified with the Department of Homeland Security to determine whether the arrestees are legally present in the county. If they are illegally present in the United States, an evaluation process begins and includes deportation proceedings. All of this is based upon the evaluated risk to the local community and the nation’s security.
The three goals of the Act are to: 1) Identify those in state and local custody (including Sheriff’s jails) charged with or convicted of a serious criminal offense who are subject to removal and those aliens who have prior convictions for serious criminal offenses and are subject to removal who are currently at large in our communities; 2) Prioritize law enforcement action to ensure apprehension and removal of aliens convicted of serious criminal offenses; and, 3) Transform criminal alien enforcement processes and systems to achieve lasting results. Of course, the overall goal is to reduce crime. The City of Boston is reportedly one of the test communities for the Secure Communities program. According to published reports, since the pilot program began in Boston, over 100 illegal criminal aliens have been arrested and deported. While some may believe this is a left versus right ideological battle, such a simplistic perception would not be correct. It comes down to one’s fundamental belief of law and order and the importance of border integrity. To his credit, and my pleasant surprise, President Obama has been a strong supporter of the program at the Federal level.
The Secure Communities program is an outstanding example of how our nation’s immigration enforcement can and should work by combining the efforts and talents of local, state and Federal law enforcement authorities. The basic premise that makes the program so successful is that it is the street level police /correctional officer who is best suited to identify the people they arrest or incarcerate. Due to the national security issues and our mobile society, it only makes sense for the Federal government to process all of this information. Secure Communities joins the local with the national law enforcement agencies.
The bottom line is that there is absolutely no reason why when someone is arrested for a crime, their immigration status should not be verified. It would be outrageous, that in the name of political correctness, we would not do so. Some vocal opponents of the Secure Communities Act allege that it will lead to racial profiling. This is nothing more than a smoke screen as the Act states that all people arrested and booked by law enforcement would be subject to the fingerprint comparison. No particular race or ethnic background is targeted. The Act is neutral on its face.
Some reading this may wonder what happens now when someone is arrested in a jurisdiction not participating in the Secure Communities Act. The answer all too often is that the subject is booked at the local police department and then bailed out with a pending court date. As you might suspect, far too often the illegal immigrant does not appear at the scheduled court date, often times fleeing the jurisdiction or assuming a new identity. One of the great aspects of Secure Communities is that it relies on biometric finger print technology for identification purposes. No matter where you go or what name you assume, your fingerprints go along with you.
This issue hits home and is about more than the national debate on illegal immigration. We read practically every day about the increasing crime, illegal drug and gang activity right here on Cape Cod. It is time for Massachusetts to formally endorse the Secure Communities Act and provide another tool to law enforcement."-- James Cummings, Sheriff, Jeff Perry, Special Sheriff, Barnstable County
"The obsession from political opponents of Jim Cummings and Jeff Perry would be funny, if the distractions would ever stop! Between these two fine men, they have won 7 election, lost 1. Even with Perry's Congressional loss, he handily won Barnstable County and even won Plymouth County, losing only Quincy in Weymouth. . -- Tim Connolly , Falmouth
.Although I expect the attacks to continue, perhaps the newspapers could focus on what really matters and stop their juvenile Hackish, one-sided tabloid pseudo-reporting.
Mark, Political Football is a game Gov. Patrick plays well. Governor Deval Patrick restored funding in a 300+million budget for 13 of 14 Sheriff’s departments in MA. Barnstable County was “overlooked”. I am sure it is only a coincidence that this Dept. is run by a Republican, has a Republican State Rep, Republican District Attorney. and just hired a former Republican Congressional candidate. It does not matter that the voters elected these people, Deval Patrick and Terese Murray control the budget. The Barnstable County Sheriff department has a couple hundred employees, only controls a few hundred inmates, is responsible for 911 and fire dispatch emergency response, sex offenders, TRIAD, Community Emergency Response Training, victims services and other meaningless things. The Governor had over $750,000 (matching funds)for Tim Cahill his treasure, 58 million for Evergreen solar (just closed its doors), and $150,000+ to promote his driver to the Parole Board who allowed the parole of a man serving THREE LIFE sentences who then murdered a police officer. But bye golly he draws the line at hiring Jeff Perry. Is any reporter asking our new Congressman Keating new State Senator Wolf or the President of the Senate Murray what are they doing about the Sheriff’s budget? Please act like mature adults, restore the funding and leave the football for this Sunday!"-- Tim Connolly
"I have looked behind the “Green Curtain” (Wizard of OZ) enough to know there are often ulterior motives and self interest but; The Sheriff is required by law to fill the position of Special Sheriff, General Laws of Massachusetts Chapter 37 and is not a “Hack” position made up for a friend. The Sheriff has been talking with Perry about taking this position since he was a state rep. well before his run for Congress so this is not a consolation prize either. For budgetary reasons the job has been filled by an unpaid retired volunteer for a couple of years and the duties have been parceled out and handled by others. By all accounts it appears the Sheriff has done a remarkable job considering the problem many towns, counties and state agencies have-less money. The Sheriff has managed to tread the budgetary waters adequately because he has surrounded himself with highly qualified, dedicated, overachievers willing to do more with less. Things were difficult but manageable until last November. Perry lost his race (available) and Dave Vieira won his (not available). State Rep. Dave Vieira held a couple of those critical positions at the Sheriff’s dept. Vieira was required by law to give up his salary and position which have been divided up to several others. These are significant reasons why the Sheriff could no longer tread water and had to find a very strong and capable leader to help manage the department. Jeff Perry not only fits that mold, he is the perfect second in command to lead this group. We can have the debate about changing the State law and eliminating the Special Sheriff position or even having the Commonwealth take over the County responsibilities completely like the Parole Board, Turnpike authority, Lottery, MWRA etc. Until then I prefer local control where I can vote for or against a County Sheriff. These actions may not be popular but I commend the Sheriff for having the guts to do what is in the best interest of the County, knowing many would disapprove. He could have taken the typical and easy way out by appointing a “Blue Ribbon Search Committee”, let someone else make the decision and avoided all criticism. I also commend Jeff Perry for stepping up to this responsibility rather than quietly returning to his law practice where he could make much more money, avoid all the negative press and media “crap storm” In the middle of this feeding frenzy, because I know and respect both men there is one more thing I chose to consider; Both Men call Cape Cod home, they live and work here. So do their children, grandchildren their families and friends. Both are passionately involved with the people, the community and causes here. Is it possible that both may believe in their hearts that they are doing what is right for the Cape? Sometimes, behind that “Green Curtain” is not an evil wizard but a decent man trying to do the right thing."-- Tim Connolly
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