Maybe I’ll Run

What do you think? Could a stuttering, wonkish, pro-gay-marriage, pro-confrontation, anti-Jay Dennis, anti-CSX, acerbicly progressive guy of mediocre looks be the next mayor of our fair city? Come on, you know you’d want to read about that campaign. Gow and I would have some epic debates. Consider this my exploratory post. Draft me, baby.

18 thoughts on “Maybe I’ll Run

  1. You’d get my vote! You seem to have a pretty realistic take on Lakeland and our issues, and on occasion have changed my mind.
    If anyone doubts the power of this blog (or blogging in general), I think Chuck had a lot to do with Justin Troller getting elected.
    On a side note, I’m a long-time reader of this blog and was a little sceptical about Chuck “diluting” his blog, with other writers, but now enjoy the mix. Keep up the great work everyone!

  2. You’d get my vote! You seem to have a pretty realistic take on Lakeland and our issues, and on occasion have changed my mind.
    If anyone doubts the power of this blog (or blogging in general), I think Chuck had a lot to do with Justin Troller getting elected.
    On a side note, I’m a long-time reader of this blog and was a little sceptical about Chuck “diluting” his blog, with other writers, but now enjoy the mix. Keep up the great work everyone!

  3. Go for it Billy! It would quite a treat to see real issues really debated for a change.

    Can we start with bringing some “truth in advertising” to the City Commission’s role in Lakeland Electric as a “cash cow” at the expense of non-resident customers? Or would you prefer to start with City’s strange “roll over and play dead” tactics for dealing with CSX? I’ll bet that list could go on for pages! Bring it on!

  4. Go for it Billy! It would quite a treat to see real issues really debated for a change.

    Can we start with bringing some “truth in advertising” to the City Commission’s role in Lakeland Electric as a “cash cow” at the expense of non-resident customers? Or would you prefer to start with City’s strange “roll over and play dead” tactics for dealing with CSX? I’ll bet that list could go on for pages! Bring it on!

  5. Here is an article you should read to see what type of employement CSX is speaking of bringing to your area. CSX is not the company they advertise to be,their Core Values are just words on paper.
    This is an official letter sent to the CEO Michael Ward regarding harassment and intimidation, or hiding injuries of employees to prevent from getting a bad safety rating from the FRA, most of the time an injury while working for CSX is an end to your career, thats how it is.
    FRA drops hammer on CSXT
    WASHINGTON — CSX Transportation has received the lecture and warning it invited — from the Federal Railroad Administration, which told CSXT CEO Michael Ward to clean up the carrier’s bad acting with regard to intimidation and harassment of injured employees, and to do it pronto or face serious consequences.

    Ward has been in denial that his officers and supervisors have created a system-wide chilling culture of harassment and intimation intended to discourage injured CSXT employees from reporting on-duty injuries or from receiving proper medical treatment — and then retaliating against employees who reported injuries.

    UTU general chairpersons, state legislative directors and the UTU National Legislative Office for years have been compiling evidence of such improper treatment of injured employees by CSXT, and sharing that evidence with FRA officials.

    Between 2006 and early 2008, the FRA conducted more than 70 separate investigations that led the agency to conclude CSXT is a bad actor on a wide scale, and is guilty as UTU officials repeatedly charged.

    On Jan. 16, the FRA had enough of CSXT’s hollow promises to reform.

    In a three-page letter addressed to Ward, which reads much like an indictment, the FRA said “the evidence shows CSXT’s response has been inadequate. In order to truly prevent any more instances of intimidation, CSXT must put forth a sustained good-faith effort to change its culture.”

    The letter carried a clear threat — that the carrier must demonstrate dramatically changed behavior or face issuance by the FRA of a formal compliance order.

    A compliance order — a legally binding document — would make the FRA a CSXT nanny, requiring Ward to draft, for FRA approval, a remedial action plan whose every element would be subject to FRA oversight. Also, a compliance order would make daily actions of CSXT’s officers and supervisors subject to FRA oversight.

    A UTU spokesperson told Bloomberg News on Jan. 27 that “CSXT has repeatedly refused, in meetings with UTU officers, to admit this is a long-standing and persistent problem. It is high-time for CSXT to stop playing ostrich, with its head in the sand in regard to employee harassment and intimidation.”

    UTU International President Mike Futhey praised UTU general chairpersons and local officers on CSXT for their painstaking collection of evidence. “At our regional meetings last year, I promised our members on CSXT that we would not retreat until the problem is solved — either through voluntary CSXT actions or by a regulatory hammer,” Futhey said.

    CSXT was last placed under an FRA compliance order — a rare action by the agency — on April 20, 2000, after the railroad’s efforts to improve track maintenance and safety fell far short of FRA regulatory standards. In 2008, New York State’s U.S. senators criticized CSXT safety lapses. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) cited “a rash of serious accidents with CSX at the helm,” and then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) cited “a troubling number of derailments in upstate New York.”

    In the Jan. 16 letter, the FRA told Ward that the agency’s “comprehensive audit” of CSXT’s accident/incident recordkeeping and reporting “revealed a number of regulatory violations, including the failure to report employee injuries.” As for harassment and intimidation, the FRA said CSXT “was not acting in compliance” with existing federal regulations and its own promises to reform.

    Said the FRA in its Jan. 16 letter:

    “CSXT officers informed injured employees that reportable injuries would be a mark on their personal records and may have an adverse impact on their careers.

    “In addition, CSXT officers transported injured employees to CSXT offices following medical treatment for ‘fact-finding interviews’ in an apparent attempt to deter the reporting of future injuries.

    “Furthermore, CSXT officers informed employees that if their injury was reportable to FRA, CSXT would likely require the employee to submit to an alcohol and/or drug test, but if not reported, no such test would be necessary.

    “CSXT officers also instructed injured employees to select ‘sick’ or ‘suspended’ designations where such employees requested to be ‘marked-off’ from performing services, improperly recording the employees’ lost days.

    “[A 2008 FRA investigation] revealed a division-wide practice in which CSXT field officers were requesting to enter and/or entering the treatment rooms of injured employees; [and] following treatment, CSXT managers often transported injured employees to a CSXT office to conduct fact-finding interviews which included three or more carrier officers in the room with the injured employee.

    “[The FRA investigation] shed light on continuing widespread harassment and intimidation at CSXT.

    “It is clear that CSXT has failed to adequately address its culture of harassment and intimidation [and] the problems previously addressed have not yet been corrected,” said the FRA.

    The FRA ordered CSXT to advise the FRA, in writing, by Jan. 30, detailed steps the carrier intends to pursue to correct its violations; that CSXT must “put forth a sustained good-faith effort to change” what the FRA called a “chilling” culture.

    Click http://www.utu.org/worksite/PDFs/harassment_letter_011609.pdf to read the Jan. 16 FRA letter to CSXT.

    January 27, 2009

  6. Here is an article you should read to see what type of employement CSX is speaking of bringing to your area. CSX is not the company they advertise to be,their Core Values are just words on paper.
    This is an official letter sent to the CEO Michael Ward regarding harassment and intimidation, or hiding injuries of employees to prevent from getting a bad safety rating from the FRA, most of the time an injury while working for CSX is an end to your career, thats how it is.
    FRA drops hammer on CSXT
    WASHINGTON — CSX Transportation has received the lecture and warning it invited — from the Federal Railroad Administration, which told CSXT CEO Michael Ward to clean up the carrier’s bad acting with regard to intimidation and harassment of injured employees, and to do it pronto or face serious consequences.

    Ward has been in denial that his officers and supervisors have created a system-wide chilling culture of harassment and intimation intended to discourage injured CSXT employees from reporting on-duty injuries or from receiving proper medical treatment — and then retaliating against employees who reported injuries.

    UTU general chairpersons, state legislative directors and the UTU National Legislative Office for years have been compiling evidence of such improper treatment of injured employees by CSXT, and sharing that evidence with FRA officials.

    Between 2006 and early 2008, the FRA conducted more than 70 separate investigations that led the agency to conclude CSXT is a bad actor on a wide scale, and is guilty as UTU officials repeatedly charged.

    On Jan. 16, the FRA had enough of CSXT’s hollow promises to reform.

    In a three-page letter addressed to Ward, which reads much like an indictment, the FRA said “the evidence shows CSXT’s response has been inadequate. In order to truly prevent any more instances of intimidation, CSXT must put forth a sustained good-faith effort to change its culture.”

    The letter carried a clear threat — that the carrier must demonstrate dramatically changed behavior or face issuance by the FRA of a formal compliance order.

    A compliance order — a legally binding document — would make the FRA a CSXT nanny, requiring Ward to draft, for FRA approval, a remedial action plan whose every element would be subject to FRA oversight. Also, a compliance order would make daily actions of CSXT’s officers and supervisors subject to FRA oversight.

    A UTU spokesperson told Bloomberg News on Jan. 27 that “CSXT has repeatedly refused, in meetings with UTU officers, to admit this is a long-standing and persistent problem. It is high-time for CSXT to stop playing ostrich, with its head in the sand in regard to employee harassment and intimidation.”

    UTU International President Mike Futhey praised UTU general chairpersons and local officers on CSXT for their painstaking collection of evidence. “At our regional meetings last year, I promised our members on CSXT that we would not retreat until the problem is solved — either through voluntary CSXT actions or by a regulatory hammer,” Futhey said.

    CSXT was last placed under an FRA compliance order — a rare action by the agency — on April 20, 2000, after the railroad’s efforts to improve track maintenance and safety fell far short of FRA regulatory standards. In 2008, New York State’s U.S. senators criticized CSXT safety lapses. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) cited “a rash of serious accidents with CSX at the helm,” and then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) cited “a troubling number of derailments in upstate New York.”

    In the Jan. 16 letter, the FRA told Ward that the agency’s “comprehensive audit” of CSXT’s accident/incident recordkeeping and reporting “revealed a number of regulatory violations, including the failure to report employee injuries.” As for harassment and intimidation, the FRA said CSXT “was not acting in compliance” with existing federal regulations and its own promises to reform.

    Said the FRA in its Jan. 16 letter:

    “CSXT officers informed injured employees that reportable injuries would be a mark on their personal records and may have an adverse impact on their careers.

    “In addition, CSXT officers transported injured employees to CSXT offices following medical treatment for ‘fact-finding interviews’ in an apparent attempt to deter the reporting of future injuries.

    “Furthermore, CSXT officers informed employees that if their injury was reportable to FRA, CSXT would likely require the employee to submit to an alcohol and/or drug test, but if not reported, no such test would be necessary.

    “CSXT officers also instructed injured employees to select ‘sick’ or ‘suspended’ designations where such employees requested to be ‘marked-off’ from performing services, improperly recording the employees’ lost days.

    “[A 2008 FRA investigation] revealed a division-wide practice in which CSXT field officers were requesting to enter and/or entering the treatment rooms of injured employees; [and] following treatment, CSXT managers often transported injured employees to a CSXT office to conduct fact-finding interviews which included three or more carrier officers in the room with the injured employee.

    “[The FRA investigation] shed light on continuing widespread harassment and intimidation at CSXT.

    “It is clear that CSXT has failed to adequately address its culture of harassment and intimidation [and] the problems previously addressed have not yet been corrected,” said the FRA.

    The FRA ordered CSXT to advise the FRA, in writing, by Jan. 30, detailed steps the carrier intends to pursue to correct its violations; that CSXT must “put forth a sustained good-faith effort to change” what the FRA called a “chilling” culture.

    Click http://www.utu.org/worksite/PDFs/harassment_letter_011609.pdf to read the Jan. 16 FRA letter to CSXT.

    January 27, 2009

  7. Here is what Lakeland would have to look forward to is this deal goes thru… pay attention to the part about “the state of the economy” just before this issue came out CSX spends $60 million on 2 commercials during the Superbowl….

    CSX fights bridge-painting bill
    NASHVILLE – A national railroad company is calling a proposed Nashville law “bad public policy” because it would force it to spend nearly $5 million during a recession to repaint a bridge, according to the Tennessean.
    But Metro Councilman Jim Gotto isn’t backing off his efforts to force CSX Corp. to repaint a rusting downtown railroad bridge over the Cumberland River.

    Gotto is closer to passing a new law to fine railroad companies up to $50 a day for not maintaining their property within Davidson County. The bill has passed two of its required three votes; the final one could take place next month.

    CSX said it spends $1.7 billion a year on safety and infrastructure repairs on 21,000 miles of track and cannot afford to pay for beautification projects.

    The state of the economy and its effect on businesses makes this a bad time “to pass a local ordinance governing railroad aesthetics,” CSX said in a document given to the Metro Council last week.

    Gotto suggested that the company could have painted the bridge “when they were making all this money in a bullish market,” but chose not to.

    Under federal law CSX is required only to maintain railroad infrastructure for safety. Local governments cannot pass any laws regarding railroad safety. There is nothing that deals with aesthetics or prevents local governments from passing such laws, though they could be challenged in court.

    (This item appeared Feb. 9, 2009, in the Tennessean.)

    February 9, 2009

  8. Here is what Lakeland would have to look forward to is this deal goes thru… pay attention to the part about “the state of the economy” just before this issue came out CSX spends $60 million on 2 commercials during the Superbowl….

    CSX fights bridge-painting bill
    NASHVILLE – A national railroad company is calling a proposed Nashville law “bad public policy” because it would force it to spend nearly $5 million during a recession to repaint a bridge, according to the Tennessean.
    But Metro Councilman Jim Gotto isn’t backing off his efforts to force CSX Corp. to repaint a rusting downtown railroad bridge over the Cumberland River.

    Gotto is closer to passing a new law to fine railroad companies up to $50 a day for not maintaining their property within Davidson County. The bill has passed two of its required three votes; the final one could take place next month.

    CSX said it spends $1.7 billion a year on safety and infrastructure repairs on 21,000 miles of track and cannot afford to pay for beautification projects.

    The state of the economy and its effect on businesses makes this a bad time “to pass a local ordinance governing railroad aesthetics,” CSX said in a document given to the Metro Council last week.

    Gotto suggested that the company could have painted the bridge “when they were making all this money in a bullish market,” but chose not to.

    Under federal law CSX is required only to maintain railroad infrastructure for safety. Local governments cannot pass any laws regarding railroad safety. There is nothing that deals with aesthetics or prevents local governments from passing such laws, though they could be challenged in court.

    (This item appeared Feb. 9, 2009, in the Tennessean.)

    February 9, 2009

  9. Lawmakers urge CSX to fix rail delays
    FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – Citing a surge in late and canceled commuter trains this year, 11 state legislators along the Worcester-to-Boston rail line are calling on freight operator CSX Corp. to help fix the delays, the MetroWest Daily News reports.
    The lawmakers hail from Worcester to Newton and most MetroWest communities in between with stops on the Framingham/Worcester line.

    In a letter to CSX, the legislators said while the company that runs the commuter trains is responsible for some delays, CSX also has contributed to the problem by being less responsive to problems on the tracks.

    “It’s been a disaster,” said state Rep. Tom Sannicandro, D-Ashland, who also represents Framingham and co-signed the letter. “Trains are a half-hour late, 45 minutes late or canceled.”

    The MBTA contracts Mass. Bay Commuter Railroad Co. to run commuter trains. CSX owns the tracks and runs freight trains along the same routes.

    Legislators said state Rep. Alice Peisch, D-Wellesley, organized a meeting with Transportation Secretary James Aloisi and the general managers of both the MBTA and MBCR so lawmakers could express their concern about delays.

    “We get a continual stream of complaints concerning shoddy performance,” said state Rep. David Linsky, D-Natick.

    MBCR is admittedly responsible for some delays, lawmakers said in their letter. But both the commuter train operator and the transit authority indicated CSX also has been less cooperative in dealing with track problems.

    Among those headaches is a section of track that floods in Natick whenever there is significant precipitation, Peisch said. The MBTA and the commuter train operator want to take steps to resolve the problem by installing a pump station, but have yet to get approval from CSX, she said.

    Lawmakers asked CSX in their letter to allow the pump station to be installed as soon as possible.

    The legislators also said CSX lacks maintenance coverage to deal with malfunctions in a timely manner. Peisch said the MBTA has offered to bear the expense of added maintenance along the rail line.

    CSX spokesman Robert Sullivan said CSX reviews train performance three times a week with MBTA and MBCR and is committed to continued cooperation with the agencies on improvements. Peisch agreed communication between the agencies and CSX has greatly improved.

    CSX was responsible for 23.8 percent of delays in January and 17 percent in December, Sullivan said.

    Other lawmakers who signed the letter were Rep. Pam Richardson, D-Framingham, Rep. Danielle Gregoire, D-Marlborough, Rep. Carolyn Dykema, D-Holliston, Rep. Kay Kahn, D-Newton, Rep. Ruth Balser, D-Newton, Rep. Karen Polito, R-Shrewsbury, Rep. John Fresolo, D-Worcester, and Rep. Robert Spellane, D-Worcester.

    “It’s our intention to keep after the providers of the rail service to give the best service possible,” Linsky said. “People pay a lot of money both in fares and parking to ride the commuter rails and we need to be able to rely on the service.”

    (This item appeared Feb. 19, 2009, in the MetroWest Daily News.)

    February 19, 2009

  10. Lawmakers urge CSX to fix rail delays
    FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – Citing a surge in late and canceled commuter trains this year, 11 state legislators along the Worcester-to-Boston rail line are calling on freight operator CSX Corp. to help fix the delays, the MetroWest Daily News reports.
    The lawmakers hail from Worcester to Newton and most MetroWest communities in between with stops on the Framingham/Worcester line.

    In a letter to CSX, the legislators said while the company that runs the commuter trains is responsible for some delays, CSX also has contributed to the problem by being less responsive to problems on the tracks.

    “It’s been a disaster,” said state Rep. Tom Sannicandro, D-Ashland, who also represents Framingham and co-signed the letter. “Trains are a half-hour late, 45 minutes late or canceled.”

    The MBTA contracts Mass. Bay Commuter Railroad Co. to run commuter trains. CSX owns the tracks and runs freight trains along the same routes.

    Legislators said state Rep. Alice Peisch, D-Wellesley, organized a meeting with Transportation Secretary James Aloisi and the general managers of both the MBTA and MBCR so lawmakers could express their concern about delays.

    “We get a continual stream of complaints concerning shoddy performance,” said state Rep. David Linsky, D-Natick.

    MBCR is admittedly responsible for some delays, lawmakers said in their letter. But both the commuter train operator and the transit authority indicated CSX also has been less cooperative in dealing with track problems.

    Among those headaches is a section of track that floods in Natick whenever there is significant precipitation, Peisch said. The MBTA and the commuter train operator want to take steps to resolve the problem by installing a pump station, but have yet to get approval from CSX, she said.

    Lawmakers asked CSX in their letter to allow the pump station to be installed as soon as possible.

    The legislators also said CSX lacks maintenance coverage to deal with malfunctions in a timely manner. Peisch said the MBTA has offered to bear the expense of added maintenance along the rail line.

    CSX spokesman Robert Sullivan said CSX reviews train performance three times a week with MBTA and MBCR and is committed to continued cooperation with the agencies on improvements. Peisch agreed communication between the agencies and CSX has greatly improved.

    CSX was responsible for 23.8 percent of delays in January and 17 percent in December, Sullivan said.

    Other lawmakers who signed the letter were Rep. Pam Richardson, D-Framingham, Rep. Danielle Gregoire, D-Marlborough, Rep. Carolyn Dykema, D-Holliston, Rep. Kay Kahn, D-Newton, Rep. Ruth Balser, D-Newton, Rep. Karen Polito, R-Shrewsbury, Rep. John Fresolo, D-Worcester, and Rep. Robert Spellane, D-Worcester.

    “It’s our intention to keep after the providers of the rail service to give the best service possible,” Linsky said. “People pay a lot of money both in fares and parking to ride the commuter rails and we need to be able to rely on the service.”

    (This item appeared Feb. 19, 2009, in the MetroWest Daily News.)

    February 19, 2009

  11. Lakeland could do worse… and anybody with that campaign slogan gets my vote all the time. Especially since my political views on social issues are a lovely potpourri of Gloria Steinem and Karl Marx, with a splash of LBJ as a topnote. Maybe you can make that purple state appelation a nicer shade of iris?

  12. Lakeland could do worse… and anybody with that campaign slogan gets my vote all the time. Especially since my political views on social issues are a lovely potpourri of Gloria Steinem and Karl Marx, with a splash of LBJ as a topnote. Maybe you can make that purple state appelation a nicer shade of iris?

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