Friday, January 2, 2009

The times they are a changing....

This year, 2009, will be a year that we will not forget. In terms of financial hardship we are all effected by the downturn in our economy and the Wall Street greed that threatens all of our futures. On a brighter note, the long awaited change in drug policy in this state has begun. Starting January 3rd of this year, possessing small amounts of marijuana is now a civil fine similar to a parking ticket. This measure alone will save the tax payer between $15-30 million a year. Fiscal responsibility can be achieved when the will of the voter casts their ballot in private. And while "millions" seems insignificant when we are billions in debt, more "millions" need to be trimmed from the State budget. In that vein as we have said in the past our elected officials need to step to the plate and show we the people that they are willing to do what we are forced to do and that is live within our means. The financial realities are slowly sinking in to each and every town and city in the Commonwealth and hard choices are going to have to be made. No one and nothing is sacred. In these historic times radical change must happen at the state level. We feel it is time to reduce the amount of money we pay to be represented at the State House. Given all the reasons of inefficiency, corruption and inaction, we feel it is time for the Governor to cut the salaries of all of our elected officials. No one and nothing should be sacred at the State House either. The Governor has the power to cut the salary, and the legislatures have the ability to alter their pay structure. While there is talk of laying off policemen, firemen, teachers and medical staff, no one is talking about cutting the overhead at the State House. If there were a fire at my home, would my state rep come and risk his/her life to rescue me? If someone were at my child's school with a gun, would my state rep risk his/her life to protect my children? Will my state rep teach my child about the Periodic Tables, or treat my elderly parent's illness? If we have to make a choice between paying our elected reps or laying off essential service providers, the choice is clear. Call, write, fax, email the people at the State House we have elected and let them know it is time to cut their salaries.

Governor's Office

Governor Deval Patrick
Office of the Governor
Room 360
Boston, MA 02133
p- 1-888-870-7770
http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=gov3utilities&sid=Agov3&U=Agov3_contact_us

Your State Legislators

www.mass.gov/legis/city_town.htm

Rep Pam Richardson, Rep.PamRichardson@hou.state.ma.us

Senator Karen Splika , Karen.E.Spilka@state.ma.us

61 Comments:

At January 7, 2009 at 1:39 PM , Blogger Edward said...

Sent off messages to all the contacts you list here about budget cuts and fiscal responsibility. But isn’t there more we can do? Heard on the news just the other day that there will be huge cuts in local aid, and Framingham specifically was mentioned. Can’t our State Reps and Senators, all of them, do anything to minimize the cuts we get? We get a large chunck of money, but that is because we are a large town, lots of residents, and lots of infrastructure. Tax revenues down in the Town, money from the State going down, they will have to be making budget cuts that in some way will be impacting all of us, even if we don’t have kids in school. Getting money reinstated after cuts is much tougher than preventing the initial cut. How can we mobilize to prevent whatever cuts we possibly can from the state? Can our Reps/Senators tell us the cuts that are being discussed?

 
At January 7, 2009 at 3:27 PM , Blogger Friend said...

has any one else noticed the awful plowing in these last storms? they do the main roads and forget about more than 1 pass on side streets. whats up with that? is this related to budget cuts and if so why aren’t they telling us this is going on? which begs the question, do they have to inform us of where the cuts will be, and do they have to inform us before they actually make them, and do we have any say at all in what gets cut and what doesn’t get cut?

 
At January 7, 2009 at 4:02 PM , Blogger Michael said...

When are the local cities and towns going to know how much is being cut? Anyone know if the union contracts for town employees are untouchable even in these tough economic times? Is there a SOP for what goes first in a situation like this? If not, then who does decide what gets cut?

 
At January 7, 2009 at 5:14 PM , Blogger Harry said...

Seems like this whole budget cut process is done willy nilly to me. They just send the town a note saying, sorry, we are going to send you $XXXX less then you were expecting. Sorry about that. Good luck figuring out how to survive. Think about it, if your income is cut by 25% unexpectedly, and you have not been saving for a rainy day, you are screwed. Something tells me Framingham has not been saving for a rainy day which means we’re screwed. Question is are they going to do it with nice, new screws or rusty old ones. Either way, it is going to hurt like hell so better start battening down the hatches.

 
At January 8, 2009 at 4:11 PM , Blogger Linda and George said...

I heard some stuff about the legislature getting a raise. Sent an email to Rep. Richardson to ask her, but I never got a response, no surprise there. Is that a done deal or can we make that not happen? Seems like they are just telling us to go climb a tree (I am being polite because my wife is sitting here with me!) I thought you got a raise for doing a good job. Exactly what have they done for any of the Framingham residents that would constitute a good job? Not saying they are necessarily bad, they just are useless.

 
At January 8, 2009 at 5:11 PM , Blogger Derek said...

Budget deficit, lottery revenue down, pike toll hike, aid to cities and towns being cut, bankruptcies, foreclosures, war brewing in the middle east, businesses closing after 50 yrs in business, banks shutting their doors, global warming, another snow storm coming. Tell me, why exactly do we bother getting up in the morning? Oh yeah, we can enjoy a little bag of weed without getting arrested now, that is a GOOD thing. Thanks Jim for being the leader in making that happen. It does make the news a little easier to watch when I am high. But seriously, why bother trying to do anything to improve things? Isn’t there just too much wrong for us to fix? Where the hell do we start.

 
At January 8, 2009 at 5:35 PM , Blogger 50 stud said...

Was the Pillsbury at the Board of Health meeting the Globe wrote about the same Pillsbury who has this blog? If so, 35 yrs and you are still around? You should have been dead or locked up in the nut house 25 yrs ago if you listen to those drug education people! Really man, there are a lot of us out there with a similar track record, but I have never heard anyone stand up in public and say that before. Kudos to you!

 
At January 9, 2009 at 8:22 AM , Blogger B. Murray said...

Saw on the news this morning that some state legislatures are not taking the raise because of current economic conditions, but did not see any of our local reps or senators among those not taking it. How to we “encourage” them to follow that example and turn down the raise? I say we just bombard them with emails and calls urging them to act responsibly. Use the information Pillsbury posted here to do that, and we should all get on this bandwagon.

 
At January 9, 2009 at 10:15 AM , Blogger concerned voter said...

Time for the state house people to put up or shut up. Are they one of us, do they represent us, or are they an elitist bunch of hypocrites? If our elected officials take this raise, which we are paying them, while we scrimp by just to put food on our tables or heat our homes, then they have no morals at all, which I guess is part of the prerequisite for being a politician, at least here in Massachusetts.

 
At January 9, 2009 at 1:12 PM , Blogger Anderson said...

Someone made a comment here about lousy plowing, and I just wanted to say I have the same problem on my street. Does anybody know if this is budget cut related, or just a lousy contractor that the Town needs to get rid of? Has anyone actually called the DPW to complain about this? Another storm coming this weekend, and I still have a mess from the storm this week.

 
At January 9, 2009 at 1:55 PM , Blogger Worried 01701 said...

I think the house 2 doors down from me may be a foreclosed property. Don’t see anyone there and the yard is a mess and the walk and driveway are never shovled. Don’t know the people who lived there, and seems none of the other neighbors really knew them either. Anyone have any idea about how I find out if it is a foreclosure property? If it is, what happens now? It makes my neighborhood look run down because it really is looking terrible. Does anyone have to take care of the property, fix the broken shutters or cut the grass? This is really an eyesore and brings down the value of my own property if I have to sell. Any insight on this much appreciated.

 
At January 9, 2009 at 2:42 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Anderson,

I too share your frustration. I live on Yorks Road and this past storm, our little road was not plowed or sanded. It was never like this in the past. I made a picture of the street, 30 minutes ago and sent it via e mail to Mr. Suso, Town Manager and asked if my road was not going to be plowed or sanded. A town sander just made two passes a few minutes ago. My suggestion, send a pucture of your street if you can to Mr. Suso or just call him.

 
At January 9, 2009 at 2:46 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

on the pay raise...

I've written to Pam and Karen this:
This note is to express my outrage over the news of your pay raises. I and many others wonder, how you could possibly justify getting any increase in salary, in light of what's happening here in Framingham and around the State. I am very interested in your reply to my question and would except nothing less than a qualified and coherent answer, as soon as possible.

Not that it would matter to either of you what this old man has to say, but I would ask you both to turn down the raise and voluntarily take a 25% in pay cut for the next two years.

I suggest we just do our duty and voice our outrage, to them all.

 
At January 9, 2009 at 2:48 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

And to the MWDN I submitted the following:

In light of what is happening in our Town, State and Country, “Legislators get a raise, but some say no thanks” 1/9/09, I’d ask if ALL our legislators would say no also. It seems un imaginable to me and others, that when there is talk of laying off essential service personal, big dig dept and toll increases, corruption, inaction, ethics violation or worse from the Speakers chair, 300 or more foreclosed properties and the worst unemployment since the 40’s, our elected reps would even consider any increase in their salary and worse, the Governor approving such an increase. In every survey I have read or seen, each one was overwhelming opposed to salary increase for the legislators. I would further propose that the legislators take a 25% cut in salary for the next two years, voluntarily. If there were a fire at my home, would my state rep come and risk his/her life to rescue me? If someone were at my child's school with a gun, would my state rep risk his/her life to protect my children? Will my state rep teach my child about the MCAS test, or help my elderly neighbors get to the clinic? If we have to make a choice between paying our elected reps or laying off essential service providers, the choice is clear. Call, write, fax, email the people at the State House we have elected and let them know it is time to cut their salaries, not increase them.

 
At January 9, 2009 at 2:50 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

And to Deval:

Mr Governor,

This note is to express my outrage over the news of your decision in granting pay raises for the legislators. I and many others wonder, how you could possibly justify appropriating any increase in salary, in light of what's happening here in Framingham and around the State. I was under the impression that you could have cut their salaries or at least, not increased their salaries, was I wrong about that also? I am aware of and voted for the initiative years ago, that took the pay raise question out of the hands of the legislators and know that it is tied into other factors, but an increase now, makes State Government look like they are out of touch with the population.

I am very interested in your (or staff) reply to my question and would except nothing less than a qualified and coherent answer, as soon as possible.

I would further propose you cutting their salaries by 25% for the next two years.

 
At January 9, 2009 at 3:02 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Worried,

If you have the street number go to:http://www.framinghamma.org/index.asp?nid=532 and that will tell you who owns it anyway.

If you google "Real Estate in Framingham" that gives you a bunch of realtors. Click one and hit the foreclosure section and type in the address.

Chances are it's a foreclosure that the bank is suppose to take care of, but as we know now, they haven't the man power or will to do so. If you can find out which bank holds the mortgage, you can call them and ask what they are doing about the property.

 
At January 9, 2009 at 3:13 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

50.. some one has to.. stand up. I've been doing this for decades now and will continue to fight
the propaganda, lies and misinformation surrounding our beloved plant, not only for our own personal use but the complete re introduction of hemp into our society.

This country can not run without us... and it's time they get over it.

Peace

 
At January 9, 2009 at 4:15 PM , Blogger Worried 01701 said...

Hey thanks Mr. Pillsbury. I figured you would know the answer, but for the life of me, I can not figure out how you know all this stuff! Good idea about taking a picture of the lousy plow job, my road is a mess also, I am going to do that myself. Hey, don't know you, but believe it or not I am older than you, ok to call you Jim?

 
At January 9, 2009 at 4:52 PM , Blogger Old soldier said...

I am a Viet Nam vet, living in Framingham, and just heard that you had donated a POW flag to a Firehouse in my neighborhood. Just wanted to say thanks for remembering those of us who never made it home. A buddy of mine is in that group and I made a promise to his mother with a hand on a bible more than 40 yrs ago that I would never let people forget that he was left behind. Those flags help me to do that. Now we fight another battle and I fear there will be boys left behind there also. Had to have my grandson show me how to find this blog, and how to put this message there. Hope it works. Thank you sir for remembering those boys.

 
At January 9, 2009 at 4:52 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

For sure Worried

Lets us know how you made out

Peace

 
At January 9, 2009 at 5:13 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Old Soldier Sir,

Thanks for the note... and it's funny, in a sad way, you brought that firehouse up, I gather you mean Water Street Fire House. I've donated those flags around Metro West for years and as I did several times to that Firehouse, but believe it or not, someone there forgets to raise the MIA Flag, when they raise old glory, days at a time. This has been going on for two years. I've personally stopped by the house and spoke with whom ever was in charge and asked why the flag was not up. I've even written the old Fire Chief and have heard nothing. I've not contacted the new Fire Chief yet, but will do so now. It's disrespectful to me and I didn't go ... and given that many of your brothers are fireman today.. it just pisses me off... and since I donate them.. it really bugs me.

I Thank you for your service to this country.

Peace

 
At January 11, 2009 at 12:06 PM , Blogger Derek said...

What now? How do you suggest we force the hand of our reps so they don't take this raise, and how do we make sure the donate the portion they don't take directly to the Town of Framingham? And how do we make sure we have a say in where the upcoming budget cuts are made?

 
At January 11, 2009 at 1:00 PM , Blogger alpha male said...

why are we complaining only about Framingham, how about the mess all over this country? We need to look beyond our own back yard to find the fix for this. So far Pillsbury, you are doing a good job of leading people to the right place to voice their dissatisfaction. Nice job. But how about raising this to the next level, what about the National level? What about Kerry and Kennedy and Barney Frank? Should we be on their cases also? THis whole country is screwed up. We need more people like you to tell us the truth and show us how to get our voices heard, but since at the moment you are the only one doing that, then you have a pretty big job ahead of you. Is upport you, and I hope lots more will as the message gets out there about this blog.

 
At January 11, 2009 at 3:54 PM , Blogger Friend said...

Still no public statement from any of our reps about their decision on this pay raise. Jim, what do you think that means?

 
At January 12, 2009 at 11:17 AM , Blogger Arnold said...

We are going round and round here and not making any progress. I keep checking back here to see if anyone has heard from Richardson or the Governor, but no one says. Has everyone sent emails off about this raise, and if so, has anyone got a response? Jim, how about you? I figure you are more likely to hear from them, at least Richardson, then the rest of us. Has she responded to you?

On the budget cuts, Jim, can you give us any insight on how to have a say on what gets cut in Framingham? Not that I am any expert on how to manage the cuts, but I would at least like to know how they make those decisions.

Third, we need a clearing house for information on what we can do, what we can not do, when there are hearings or things we can attend, who we can contact. Jim, you have been doing a great job keeping us in the loop on these things, but I think all of us can help. If anyone knows about any of these things, post them here so we can all know. For instance, anyone know the status on the Toll Hike?

One last thing, I think there are lots of people falling through the cracks, losing their jobs, which leads to losing their homes and going hungry and all the stuff that goes along with that. I know for a fact that a lot of my neighbors are reading this blog, even though they never write on it. We need to start helping each other out, watching out for our fellow Framingham residents, but I have no idea about how to make that happen. Jim, any ideas or suggestions or leadership from you on how to make this happen, or where we can go to get that sort of information if you know about another source, would be great. Richardson does not have anything like that on her web site that I can find. Times are tough, and we need to support each other to survive.

Keep up the good work Jim. This blog does make a difference, even though you m

 
At January 12, 2009 at 12:15 PM , Blogger Framingham resident said...

We need some answers. Has anyone heard from Richardson, Spilka, the governor, anyone about whether our reps/senators are taking that raise? If they are not taking it they would have been telling everyone what good guys they are, so I bet they are taking it. And where is the Toll Hike at? And how much funding from the state is Framingham losing? And who makes the decision on where those cuts in money from the state are going to be cut in the town’s budget? How come the papers and our reps are not giving us all this information? Don’t we have the right to know this stuff? Pillsbury, I have tried to find this stuff out but not very savvy or successful in doing that. Do you know anything about any of this stuff that we don’t know, and if you don’t know, do you have the knowledge, connections, or whatever it takes to get us some answers? That is not meant as a criticism, it is just that you do seem to be able to get answers the rest of us can’t get.

 
At January 12, 2009 at 3:31 PM , Blogger 6th Middlesex constituent said...

Wondering what’s happening on those hemp pellets? I have a pellet stove, and that is at least allowing me to keep my family from freezing while we eat cat food. Ok, only kidding, but just curious, I really do have a pellet stove and would be interested in giving those hemp pellets a try. Are they available anywhere yet or will it be next year before we see them? And what about growing hemp here in the U S of A like you mentioned. Is that a done deal or do we still have restrictions in place on doing that? Shouldn’t farmers be able to grow whatever they can make the most money with for a crop without the government telling them what to grow especially since the government messed up so much on that ridiculous ethanol subsidy.

 
At January 12, 2009 at 3:47 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Neighbors,

I've not hear anything from Pam, Karen or Deval. I will again today write them. Tomorrow, I will call all their offices. If I don't hear from Pam, I will start to picket her home, until she at least answers my request for information. Now that I'm un employed, I will have time to do this. My fiancee did get a auto response from Pam, but it said nothing about the subject of pay raises. Leaving it up to them to donate their pay raise to charity is largely ceremonial and while a nice gesture, they would not even think of such things unless public opinion forced them to do so.

The Toll increase seems to be on hold.. for now. Look for an announcement from the Mass Pike BOD in another few weeks or so. Let's hope they have come to their senses and charge users from the North and South of the city.

The budget cuts are coming but at this stage, it's anyone's guess when this will happen, but when they do come, if they aren't coupled with spending cuts at the State level, the outrage will continue to grow among us.

There is so much that goes on behind our backs, in secret, that a crew of investigative reporters and lawyers armed with subpoena's, couldn't get to the truth.

Good news... food pantry donations are up and money has been allotted to deal with the increase in need.

Bad news....Now that Sal DiMassi has been elected to speaker again with an overwhelming show of blind support, it's very hard to see from my point, of who will take what kind of hit in terms of dollars. The pot is smaller for everyone and hopefully our reps will not let Framingham suffer any more than any other town or city. One thing that is clear to me.. is that they (Beacon Hill) know we are all watching. We can't stop them, we can't fire them, but we can and should keep up the pressure to get answers to our questions. They tax us.. they should represent us.

Over the years I have written, as many of you have done, to the congressional and senatorial reps. It's my opinion that we have little influence on them at all, on any subject, unless we contribute to their campaign. Auto response letters have been their response to me. And last week, when congress went back to work, the first thing they did... was fight over rules changes. Representative Frank lead the charge and did nothing but to piss off the few republicans in the House. Nothing changes there at all...


Lastly... Deval and every State official is waiting for the new president to take office. Bail out money will be approved for shovel ready projects and infrastructure repairs, which should help a few get back on their feet. Wether or not all banks will get enough money to buy up bad debt, (foreclosures)is another story. We are ALL on hold until Mr. Obama is sworn in. Look for some big things to happen, to help us all.. .or some of us anyway, in the next month or two. Until then, I will work on getting our local reps to listen and respond.

 
At January 12, 2009 at 4:00 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

6th,

I too have a pellet stove, gone through 1.5 tons so far. I am in the process of doing more research on the pellets but have to travel to Cananda to do large scale up tests. Now that I'm un employed, I have to watch every penny, or start fighting with my cat over who gets his food. Around the world, hemp is being re discovered and it's my vision that the new administration will lift the ban on hemp and we will be growing hemp for fuel here in Mass by this spring. Pellets will be manufactured at the farmers location and they will sell them at a good profit and will still save us money when we buy them.

 
At January 12, 2009 at 4:48 PM , Blogger Doreen said...

Jim, I agree with everything you say in your recent response about them being unresponsive to our questions and the fact they don't feel they even have to pretend to answer our questions. But isn't there something we can do about that? I respect your right to picket Rep Richardson's home, but I don't think that is the right answer. She has young children and I just don't agree with putting them in that sort of situation. There has to be something better, an option that constituents across the state can use in response to the neglect of all our reps. I know a few reps have public ally come out saying they will not take the raise. Have you contacted them, asked them to encourage their fellow legislators to do the same? I am betting you already have done that, but just curious if they responded to you. People all say they are outraged and want to do something, but as you know, when it comes to actually doing it, they never step up to the plate, and that includes me I am afraid. Any suggestions on less controversial ways to get them to listen than picketing? For those of us who don't have the same backbone that you have, we need other options if you have them. But thanks for being willing to do all you do.

 
At January 12, 2009 at 5:20 PM , Blogger fed up in framingham said...

Why do we even bother? Things suck, they are going to get a lot worse, we can’t control anything they are doing, they will continue to sell us down the river, and they won’t even answer our emails or our calls. Instead of figuring out how to stop them, we need to be talking about what we can do to survive when things seem to get worse every day. There are 24 houses in my neighborhood, 2 of them in foreclosure, another just about there. What are we going to do about the deterioration of our property values because of these abandoned houses? And what about the people who lived in them? There were kids there, are they living in a car somewhere now? Forget the bullshit about fixing the lousy reps we have. Lets talk about how to help our neighbors. At least that is something we have some control over. Is the town doing anything about these abandoned homes? How are other towns handling this situation? Pillsbury, any ideas on this?

 
At January 12, 2009 at 6:11 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Toll increase update...
from the horses mouth

http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/3931

 
At January 12, 2009 at 6:28 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Fed up,

I am too, but I'm disappointed in myself if I do nothing.

The Governor has around 250 million, from what I've read, to buy up some foreclosed properties. I can only hope, Framingham will get a million or so.

The Town of Framingham is in the know on most forecloses and will be evaluating each for potential purchase.

The bailout is coming.. in some fashion. And after that happens, I would look to start a buyers club here in Framingham, made up of local people who are stake holders in their own neighborhoods.

I wish I had better news

 
At January 12, 2009 at 7:48 PM , Blogger Friend said...

Pillsbury can not do this alone, we all have to help. Helping neighbors, I think that is a great idea, home buyers club, another great idea. Calling the reps who turned down the raise, great idea. What can we do to help make this stuff happen Mr. Pillsbury? We need a leader, and you seem to have been elected by default. Are you up to the challenge?

 
At January 13, 2009 at 8:50 AM , Blogger Defeated in Fram. said...

Another day, another dollar. Seems that applies to the state reps and senators, but not to those of us who are unemployed. Worked 21 yrs at my job and got laid off last November. Never saw it coming. Now I will have to scrimp by on unemployment, out of which I will have to pay taxes which will pay the salary of my state legislatures. Does not seem fair. If my wife did not work, we would not be able to keep a roof over our heads and pay our bills. Unemployment is not enough to cover that long term. We are starting to feel the real pain of this now. This is not the man I want to be, letting my wife bear the burden of supporting our family. But what choice do I have? She smiles and goes out the door every morning and the best I can do is warm up her car. Man, how can this be right? She struggles all day for a boss who is an idiot and belittles her, but she can not afford to leave or we would be homeless. THose legislative raises are being paid on the sweat of woman like my wife who work at lower paying jobs than men, but are now supporting their entire families. Something has to be done about this. What can we do?

 
At January 13, 2009 at 11:18 AM , Blogger Doreen said...

Defeated, I am one of those women like your wife who is the sole support of the household now. If I lost my job for any reason, I don’t have the safety net of a spouse who is working, which my husband had when he lost his job and that terrifies me. I know it is not his fault, and I don’t blame him. I know he feels like you do, that he is not the man he wants to be because I support us both. But it is what it is, and you both have to deal with those issues. If I was not working, I think he would be looking much harder for a job than he seems to be now. I wish when I ask him what he did today he would say he sent out 5 resumes, even if he didn’t. At least I would feel like he is trying to take all the burden off my shoulder. I guess what I am saying is I am sure your wife is scared, worried, stressed, and maybe even angry sometimes. She does not have the security net that you had since she is the only one working now. She does not blame you so don’t try to make her feel bad by saying how guilty you feel. She can not carry the financial burden and be a cheerleader for you too. It is tough being the bread winner alone in these economic times. I just want my husband to recognize I am scared and I can’t talk to my best friend about it because my best friend is my husband and I don’t want to make him feel guilty. I don’t make the money he made, and his unemployment is much less than his paycheck was, and what happens when that unemployment runs out? How will we survive then? And what if the economy hits my employer and I lose my job too, then what will happen to us? It is tough times for everyone now, and you have to learn to share the burdens and the worries. Just don’t lose sight of the fact that she still needs you to be the strong one, and her protector, even if she is the one working. Don’t start leaning on her for everything. Some of us will not survive this mess, we have to face that fact. Marriages will fail in these stressful economic times. Just pray that yours and mine won’t be one of the failed ones, and work on the issues now of helping each other through the stress before it gets to a point where you can not be together anymore. Have to go get ready for work now. Hang in there and good luck. And Mr. Pillsbury, people like us are the ones suffering here. The government has to do something to help, or all will be lost.

 
At January 13, 2009 at 12:13 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Doreen and Defeated.

In Nov past the company I worked for was sold and moved, a few weeks later I got another job and was let go due to lack of business on New Years Eve. So... I'm in the same boat... I feel guilty that my finance is doing all the work, while I collect and hope something comes along. Thankfully, the kids are gone, we live in a small home and live very frugal organic lifestyles.

I just spoke with Kurt at Pam Richardson's office, 617 722 2582, Colby at Karen Spilka's office 617 722 1640 and with Arthur at the Governor's office, 1 888 870 7770. I calmly but firmly told all of them how un happy we all are with this pay raise the legislators are getting.

The Governors has filed a bill: expanded 9C to increase his power to cut budgets. The problem as I see it is, that the bill has to go through the legislators for approval which means, it could take months to get through. We don't have months. So many of us are worried sick over the future, like the next two weeks and can only sit back and watch and hope the State government will do what's write by the people.

Hang tuff people, you are strong, resilient and will persevere. Stick together and keep the communication lines open. Things may get worse before they get better. Hunker down, spend as little as possible, stay warm and keep you chins up.

I will continue to fight to be heard by our local reps, donate what I can to our food pantries and be ever vigilant of any solutions to our problems I can bring to light.

 
At January 13, 2009 at 1:24 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

FYI: Pam just called me (1:15 PM)at home and she explained to me that she does a great deal of work on behalf on the her constituents and feels justified in receiving her raise. She also pointed out that she did not have a part time job or another income like many of here colleagues at the State House and that Framingham needs a full time legislator.

I did politely rant over the perception of her getting a raise among those in the town who have had pay cuts and lay offs. She was not swayed and quickly dispatched my call to an end, so she should get back to filling her bills in time.

So.. there you have it... from the horses mouth. In touch or out of touch with the rest of us?

You decide

 
At January 13, 2009 at 1:51 PM , Blogger Edward said...

She is taking the raise? Unbeleivable. She expects that argument to convince us she deserves it? You have got to be kidding, but like I said, not surprised by her response. No way she works 40 hrs a week, that is crap. We need to figure out how to take care of ourselves because all the reps are going to do is take money out of our pockets, what little we have left, to go into thier own pockets! She does not have a second job because she works full time for us. The nerve, I work a full time job, and then a part time job in addition ot that in order to survive since my wife lost her job. What, she is better than me and can only work one job? Part of the reason I work 2 jobs is I pay so much in taxes, part of which goes into her pocket. She is taking food out of my kids mouths. Arrogant witch. Did she tell you what she is doing for us that deserves that money? Do we have any recourse at all Jim?

 
At January 13, 2009 at 2:17 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Edward,

Public opinion is overwhelmingly against the raise. If indeed the Governor gets the authorization he wants, then perhaps we will get some relief. Everyone I spoke with at the State House said there were lots of e mails and phone calls about this matter and while it's clear, our opinion does not count anymore, they all have to face us at some point and when they do, we will remind them of their own greed and self centered ways.

Bottom line: we have to wait it out and see what happens.

 
At January 13, 2009 at 4:07 PM , Blogger Jerry G. said...

Well, Jim got us the answer on the raise, and there really is not much we can do about it. Where do we go from here? Can we have a say in the cuts at the Town level? Isn’t it Richardson’s job to lobby for the town? Can we tie her getting that raise directly into what she is able to do to limit the cuts Framingham faces from the state? I know things are bleak, and going to getter bleaker still. I stopped worrying about feeding us, I figure we will be living on pasta, cheerios and coffee. But I am not sure how I am going to be able to pay the mortgage, heat the house, and pay the internet bill so I can use the computer to look for a job. Both my wife and I are out of work, my unemployment is about to run out, and hers will in the spring. I am 54, no one will even interview me at this age when there are so many young, skilled kids available who have many more years of work left in them. I am looking at the fact I may never be gainfully employed again. We could lose everything we worked the last 30 yrs for. I was smart, small house, never took a home equity loan or a 2nd mortgage, and it will be paid off in 5 yrs. But honestly, I don’t know how I am going to make that 5 yrs of mortgage payments. When I got laid off I figured I might be out 3-4 months tops. That was 11 months ago. I sent out 114 resume last week, 101 the week before. I have not heard back from any of those companies. I apply for everything, even the jobs paying $7 an hour, and I can’t even get one of those. No one realizes how bad it is until the months of no work start piling up. My wife worked for a big company, was there for 19 yrs, went to work 1 Friday 5 months ago and found out the company was closing their doors. Just could not make enough money to turn a profit. I was already out of work for 6 months at that point, and we knew finding anything for either of us was not going to be easy. But I never would have believed neither of us would find work. You can only cut so many corners. When you run out of corners and you still have to cut, then you are eating into the main frame. What happens when you use up all that and have nothing left to cut? I am asking that question for real. When they lock us out of the house, and our run down car won’t start, and we have no money left for food, where do we go? And where ever that is, we are sure going to have lots of company!

 
At January 13, 2009 at 5:00 PM , Blogger Linda and George said...

Thanks for all your work Jim keeping us informed. We do appreciate it. Just wish the news was better!

 
At January 13, 2009 at 5:27 PM , Blogger Frank S. said...

Pillsbury, what should we take on next? You must have some ideas. The toll issue is done, at least until we hear their decision. Richardson is taking the raise, so we can not do anything there. Decrim has passed. What do you suggest we turn our attentions to now? All you people writing today about being out of work, you have lots of company. Just remember, you are not alone. Sad commentary on our times, but I think anyone who is in their 50’s and out of work now may have seen their last decent paycheck. Retirement isn’t going to be exactly what you thought it was going to be. Many of us could spend our twilight years scrimping and saving just to survive. But if you are out of work and have time on your hands, you can work to make sure this never happens again, our leaders falling asleep on the job and the country falling apart like it has. People like Pillsbury let them know they are being watched, and that is the first step in cleaning up their acts! Hats off to Jim Pillsbury for keeping this blog alive for all of us who visit it every day.

 
At January 14, 2009 at 8:20 AM , Blogger Anderson said...

Hang tuff, well, you got the hanging part right I guess. You really do a service to the community with this blog. Thanks for all the hard work. Times are going to be tough for a while, so we will need places to get information and find options and there are not many of those available, certainly not on the current legislators web sites. Hope you can keep this going and do some good with it. Thanks Jim

 
At January 14, 2009 at 10:07 AM , Blogger Frustrated in Framingham said...

I get a kick out of some of these names people use on this blog, thought I would jump on the bandwagon and follow that example. But really, Framingham is not such a bad place to be at all. People care here, like Jim, and that is what will help us to get through the next few years. My grandparents talked about the depression, and how tough it was, but they also talked about neighbors helping neighbors, and community efforts to make things better. That is what I think we need to think about now. Instead of a night out at the movies for my kids, I let them rent a DVD and invite friends over, and I make popcorn and soda. Saves me lots of money, and next week, a neighbor will do that and pay for the popcorn and soda, and I will save even more. We have game night now. Instead of going out to dinner, we make home made pizza and play board games. It is actually a nice way to connect and talk since the TV is not on. We have more meatless meals, do more dessert baking ourselves, and don’t buy anything we don’t need. No winter vacation to a tropical island this February, but we do watch the travel channel a lot! But is that all bad? Not really. So don’t lose sight of the fact that this is not doomsday, it is just the end of the age of extravagance, and that can be a good thing I think. People like Jim are the ones who will lead us through this time and help set up programs for neighbors to help neighbors I think. Time will tell.

 
At January 14, 2009 at 11:55 AM , Blogger Eric said...

I like the idea of that buyers club, but worry about not having the expendable income to actually particpate. What about other ideas? Mr. Pillsbury you seen to be smart and innovative about how to get things done. Other than the buyers club, do you have other ideas on how to help each other out and survive this economic downturn? Even those of us still working are worried about money.

 
At January 14, 2009 at 1:03 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Neighbors,

Many of us are up against the wall.. sort of speak and while Linsky from Natick is talking about an even higher gas tax, I can't help but wonder what the hell they think. Wether it flies or not is up to them but I for one am not happy with the new proposal.

As many of you good souls have pointed out, we.. our neighbors, our friends and people we don't know yet are sinking deeper.

I've been thinking of any way I can help with old idea's that worked in the past. Thus... I'm wondering if I get a web site going for Framingham and surrounding towns for residents and businesses to list goods or services that could be bartered. On Craig's List, there are a few: one wants firewood in exchange for his labor. Cleaning services for computer help, etc. Many of us have things we don't need or want.. and many of us have needs around the house or business that could be taken care of through a barter system.

I'm wondering what you guys think about this idea.

 
At January 14, 2009 at 1:35 PM , Blogger Derek said...

The success of the bartering idea I think would depend on people knowing the site existed. I am all for it if you can get enough people to avail themselves of it.

 
At January 14, 2009 at 2:06 PM , Blogger concerned voter said...

Like the way you follow through Pillsbury. Impressed that you do what you say you are going to do. Think I had the wrong impression of you before. If this keeps up then you will have a new round of supporters come the next election. In the meantime, keeping this blog thing going would be much appreciated. I do find information here I am not finding anywhere else, and it is useful and helpful. I like the barter idea myself. Don’t know how often I would have the need or the resources to barter, but I would use it if I could. Know it is time consuming to keep up with all of this. Sure do appreciate your efforts in doing that.

 
At January 14, 2009 at 2:50 PM , Blogger Michael said...

I think to make it work it would take a lot of someone’s time. Not worth it if someone is not going to do the work to make it a well known site. But if you are saying you have the time and the know-how to make something like this work, I would say go for it.

 
At January 14, 2009 at 3:23 PM , Blogger Doreen said...

Bartering is a great idea I think if you can get enough people to use the site. I have done it on Craig’s list before with good results. I would use it.

 
At January 14, 2009 at 4:01 PM , Blogger B. Murray said...

Another great idea Jim. I agree with needing to get lots of people involved, but if you can figure out how to put that together and make it work, I think lots of people would use it.

 
At January 14, 2009 at 4:35 PM , Blogger Friend said...

If you have the time it would take to get something like this up and running, then I think it might work. I never thought about bartering for services, but now that you mention it, why not?

 
At January 14, 2009 at 5:09 PM , Blogger Harry said...

Not sure I would ever use it, but I think it is a good idea for people who might be more inclined than I to do something like that.

 
At January 15, 2009 at 8:36 AM , Blogger 6th Middlesex constituent said...

I am not sure it is something people would really use. I can’t think of anything I would barter with, or for, but hey, if you think you have the time to do this, then I would say give it a try and see what the response is. But I agree with what some other bloggers here have said about it not being something that would work unless lots and lots of people knew the service existed on line and used it instead of an existing service like Craigs list.

 
At January 15, 2009 at 10:45 AM , Blogger concerned voter said...

Bartering seems to be the way of the future, at least the immediate future since no one has any cash, so I say go with it. How about plain old recycling. Doesn't it save the town money if we do that instead of throwing things like old computers in the trash? Maybe what we are throwing out is recyclable or something we could barter.

 
At January 15, 2009 at 1:03 PM , Blogger Worried 01701 said...

Jim do you have any more information on the foreclosure issues? Seems an awful lot of homes falling into disrepair, and I figure that means the owners are about to lose them. All of our property values are going to plummet even more as these houses in our neighborhoods become eyesores and are abandoned. What can we do to keep these occupied at least?

 
At January 15, 2009 at 2:58 PM , Blogger 50 stud said...

Not sure I would ever use it, bartering, but I think it is a good idea for people who might be more inclined than I to do something like that. Foreclosures, I am pretty sure there is nothing you can do about them keeping those properties up. Who is going to pay for the upkeep? Banks and the town have no money, so if you want to clean it up, you might have to organize your neighbors yourself to do it. Lets hope no more of our neighbors lose their homes. If things keep up, we could be living in sections that feel like ghost towns.

 
At January 15, 2009 at 4:09 PM , Blogger Angry in Framingham said...

You people are all nuts. What makes you think Jim Pillsbury has all the answers? He reads the same papers the rest of us read and listens to the same news. He can’t give us answers because there are no simple answers. You make decisions as you go in this uncharted territory. So suck it up and do what you have to do to get through this. Hold your family close and safe, and hope that you can keep the wolves outside the door. I for one figure I ain’t going to worry about paying off the credit cards, use that money to feed my family and pay my mortgage and I may be able to ride this out. Jim I appreciate you doing what you are doing, but I sure don’t expect you, or anybody else out there, to be able to fix this mess, or even explain how it happened to me. But thanks for doing what you can to keep people informed.

 
At January 16, 2009 at 8:20 AM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Neighbors,

I have not all the answers, nor do I claim to. I do look for information that you may not have the time to find or where to find it and post it here, thats all.

 
At January 19, 2009 at 2:01 PM , Blogger Frank S. said...

Jim, I was not implying you were nuts, I just meant these people are nuts to think they can sit back and let you do all the work to find the answers. We all have to work together to dig out of this mess. You say you don't have all the answers, but you sure have more answers and more sensible ideas than anyone else I have seen in these parts.

 

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