EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 2, 2014

Your View: Letters to the Editor

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — DCF, Democrats exhaust our patience

To the editor:

In response to Rep Linda Campbell’s letter dated Feb. 23 (”Patience, analysis needed in DCF review”), I offer my humble opinion regarding the ongoing debacle involving the Department of Children and Family Services.

Rep. Campbell is calling for patience and analysis in the review of the current state of affairs within the DCF. A dutiful Democrat, she first points out the lack of funding to administer properly the responsibilities to our Massachusetts children and families.

The lack of qualified leadership and the mismanagement within the department are secondary!

Meanwhile, as Gov. Patrick catches some rays in Costa Rica, likely chatting with those folks about his “come one, come all” philosophy, how many more foster children will be abused or go missing?

Not to mention the fact he hightailed it out of town after refusing to accept the resignation tendered by the DCF Commissioner Olga Roche. You know, Patrick SHOULD consider running for POTUS; he is so Obama-like. Don’t lead, just deny responsibility, then go on vacation.

As for the need for more funding, how about tapping into the $9 million Patrick wants to spend to renovate the governor’s office suites? How many actual licensed social workers could that money hire?

Or, here’s a thought, Rep Campbell could get herself and the rest of the Democratic legislators in our Commonwealth to jump on the Shaunna O’Connell bandwagon to rein in the fraud and abuse in the EBT system. Bet there’s some loot there that could be put to good use saving innocent children from dying at the hands of unfit foster parents.

“Patience,” she says. The hardworking, legal taxpaying citizens of Massachusetts lost that virtue many moons ago.

“Analysis,” she says. Oh, yes, that’s the Democrat way. We already know what the problems are and we already know who is responsible, but we should spend more money on the salary of some political hack to go in and find out what’s going on in DCF.

Talk about lack of leadership and mismanagement within an administration.

Stick your neck out, Rep. Campbell, take a bold stance and call out your party to do what’s best for the people of Massachusetts, especially the children who are helpless — you know, the children Patrick and Sens. Warren and Markey always march out when they want to sell us a bill of goods.

To borrow a phrase overused by our current POTUS, because it’s the right thing to do.

Rita A. Gallo


In defense of Olga Roche

To the editor:

In the mid 1980s, as regional director of the Northeast Region, I recruited Olga Roche as the director for the Lawrence area. Her previous employer had high regard for her integrity. She performed in an exceptional manner despite many problems at that time.

I found her to be honest and direct. She was a problem solver. As years passed and after my retirement, she continued to be a leader and was promoted through the ranks.

I applaud Secretary of Health and Human Services John Polanowicz, as well as Gov. Deval Patrick, for keeping her. Never would she place a child or family in harm’s way. The vast majority of the staff are professionals who often perform well in complex human situations.

This is an agency that seeks to do everything possible to protect children. Every social worker worries about what can go wrong. Sadly sometimes human behavior is not possible to predict.

I have not spoken with Olga for a couple of years and do not know the specifics of this case, obviously. But I have confidence in her ability and that of the administration to learn from what has happened and to make the appropriate changes in policy and practice.

This is what we all want and expect.

Ed Raynard


Send a message on Citizens United case

To the editor:

Article 19 which will be voted on in the Salem election on March 11 is the result of a bipartisan, grassroots movement growing in communities across New Hampshire and the nation.

The January 2010 Citizens United decision, affirming prior Supreme Court rulings that corporations and unions have the same Constitutional rights to freedom of speech as individuals and that spending money in elections is a form of free speech, allowed unlimited donations by corporations and unions to Super PACs.

In New Hampshire, outside groups with their own agendas spent five times as much on our elections as the candidates themselves did in the 2012 cycle, effectively silencing the voices of those with less money. How is that democratic?

The only way for the people’s voice to be heard is through an amendment to the Constitution stating that money is not protected political speech and can be regulated and that the rights enumerated in the Constitution are for human beings only. That’s where Article 19 comes in.

Similar articles are being voted on in over 50 communities in our state alone, putting pressure on our state Legislature to call for a convention to write an amendment. Sixteen states have already done so, and many other states throughout the nation are concurrently working on it.

Once enough states are on board, Congress will likely act to pass an amendment as it has done four times in the past. Without pressure from us, members of Congress are unlikely to support the democratic interests of their constituents or go against the special interests that got them elected in the first place.

Forcing Congress to act, or possibly bypassing Congress altogether, would set a formidable, modern-day example of the sovereignty of the people. Please help restore our democracy and vote for Article 19.

Scott Abercrombie

Salem, N.H.