Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?
These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.
Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...
...seems to be working so far
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
"Mom! He hit me! Did not! Did, too! Did not!...
The following article is re-printed from an email sent to me by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
December 05. 2007 12:00AM
Exchange ends in alleged slap
Town official files complaint
By Craig S. Semon TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
STURBRIDGE— A heated verbal exchange between two public officials at Monday night’s selectmen’s meeting ended with an alleged assault.
Planning Board Chairman Thomas R. Creamer filed a criminal complaint of assault and battery against Conservation Commission member Edward T. Goodwin about 6 last night at the police station.
“I have considered carefully the ramifications of going forward with a criminal complaint, as well as the ramifications of failing to do so,” Mr. Creamer said in an e-mail sent to the town administrator and all the selectmen. “In my view, the consequences of allowing this type of behavior to go unanswered … would merely strengthen the message that individuals may be subject to physical attack when their viewpoint is counter to that held by others in attendance or, for that matter, the B.O.S. (Board of Selectmen).”
The altercation between Mr. Creamer and Edward T. Goodwin took place three hours and 16 minutes into the selectmen’s meeting.
The argument that led up to the alleged assault is captured on the videotape of the meeting that was televised live on community access cable TV. Although the action took place off camera, one can clearly hear the heated dialogue between the two members on the recording.
During a recess, Mr. Creamer was talking to Selectman Edward P. Goodwin, son of Edward T. Goodwin (whom Mr. Creamer is accusing of battery) about the much-discussed wastewater treatment plant.
Edward T. Goodwin interjected from across the room, “… spent 500 on sewage in the last five years, Bozo.”
“Excuse me?” Mr. Creamer responded.
“Five hundred on sewage in the last five years,” Mr. Goodwin repeated.
“I’m talking about the last part,” Mr. Creamer said.
“Bozo,” Mr. Goodwin responded.
In addition to “Bozo,” Mr. Goodwin called Mr. Creamer a “dysfunctional fireman.” For 17 years, Mr. Creamer was the special operations coordinator for the Worcester Fire Department, retiring four years ago.
During the verbal exchange, Mr. Creamer asked, “You want to go outside and continue this discussion?” Soon afterward, Harold J. White, chairman of the board, ordered Mr. Creamer to sit down.
According to Mr. Creamer, he went over and sat behind Edward T. Goodwin and said to him, “Ed, anytime you want to talk about this, I’m more than happy to do that,” and then Mr. Goodwin slapped him twice in the face.
“He struck me twice up in the forehead with his hand, which actually knocked my hat and dislodged my glasses,” Mr. Creamer said yesterday.
Once again, which is on the recording, Mr. White ordered Mr. Creamer to sit down, and Mr. Creamer responded, “The guy (Mr. Goodwin) just assaulted me.”
Selectman William A. Emrich interjected, “Why are you going over there? Jesus!” and Mr. White once again ordered, “Mr. Creamer, sit down!”
“He just assaulted me,” Mr. Creamer exclaimed.
“I didn’t ask for you to comment,” Mr. White said. “I asked you to sit down!”
Lawyer Kirstie Pecci, daughter of Edward T. Goodwin and sister of Edward P. Goodwin, spoke on behalf of her father yesterday. She was not at the meeting when the alleged altercation happened.
“If anything, Mr. Creamer attacked Mr. Goodwin,” Ms. Pecci said. “The first touching was Mr. Creamer grabbed his arm. Mr. Goodwin was seated when Mr. Creamer came up from behind, grabbed his left arm and said, ‘Do you want to take this outside?’ That’s the only touching that happened. This is frivolous, and Mr. Creamer is trying to use intimidation to achieve his political goal.”
Ms. Pecci insisted that her father never hit Mr. Creamer.