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Cleaning house in Tyngsboro Canarvon

Published date: 2021/06/18 16:22:50 GMT
  • Location: Canarvon, Western Australia, Australia

 



It’s no coincidence that Tyngsboro Police Chief Richard Howe seemed to walk with an added spring to his step after the town election results were posted Tuesday night.


With the landslide wins of novice Board of Selectmen candidates Katerina Kalabokis and Eric Eldridge, Howe should gain a measure of job security and the ability to perform his duties without the constant interference exhibited by the majority of the former board.


Kalabokis and Eldridge delivered a one-two punch that took out Selectmen Chairman David Robson, who finished a distant third in the race for two seats.


The two challengers’ decisive victories and the unusually large voter turnout — 18%, up 3% from last year — spoke to residents’ belief that the Board of Selectmen needed a thorough house cleaning.


 

With the exit of Robson and Steve Nocco, who didn’t run for another term, town government should take on a more professional and less obstructionist tone.


No one will give the two newcomers a heartier greeting than Selectman Ron Keohane, a Howe supporter who constantly found himself at odds with his other four colleagues.


That former formidable four has now been reduced to Selectmen Hillari Wennerstrom and Rick Reault, whose new minority status comes as a breath of political fresh air.


In seemingly every issue concerning Police Department discipline, that prior bloc of four selectmen voted to overturn or veto Chief Howe’s recommended actions against officers facing criminal charges and other acts of questionable behavior.


The former selectmen chairman’s father and the town’s animal-control officer, also named David Robson, posted or replied to a number of social media posts over last summer with racially charged commentary and photos. Chief Howe attempted to terminate him after an investigation, but those four selectmen in October instead reinstated the elder Robson.


 

One police officer, Daniel Whitman, is under federal indictment on gun violations and bank fraud. Whitman also was part of an internal investigation into the misuse of police union funds.


Lt. Shaun Wagner was also part of that probe into police union funds, while Sgt. Mark Bourque is charged with conspiracy to obtain illegal drugs.


Now, with more objective eyes on the board, steps that should have been taken earlier in these matters hopefully will occur.


We’re encouraged to see that Tyngsboro voters decided to take the high road by electing two bright, energetic newcomers to the Board of Selectmen.


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