Candidate for one-year term on the Southbridge Town Council
John Pulawski, 57, is one of three candidate seeking a one-year seat on the Town Council this June. The self-described “underemployed consultant” spent two years as a member of the Quinsigamond College Board of Trustees in the 1980s, and represented the town of Truro on the Cape Cod Transit Authority in the mid-1990s. He wants to make “much greater use” of the town’s water resources to help reduce local water bills and help with a “less offensive smelling sewage treatment method.” Pulawski is calling for the vigorous pursuit of either a state-run or public college to establish a satellite campus that would focus on “an advanced degree program that actively isolates or removes the unhealthy chemical legacy that haunts our community.” Furthermore, Pulawski pledges to help “creatively encourage activities to somehow enchant our disenfranchised residents into discouraging illicit drug commerce instead of patronizing it.”
Pulawski has twice sought public office in Southbridge, failing to unseat Town Clerk Madaline Bonadies in 2009 and falling short in a field of six Town Council candidates in 2014. He believes a good councilor is one who recognizes, respects, and treats the thousands of residents and tax-paying households well.
The Citizen Chronicle: What prior experience do you have that makes you qualified to serve?
John Pulawski: Serving on a nuclear submarine for three years taught me how to work well with people toward a worthy common goal. This includes doing your very best to accomplish important tasks well, and getting out of the way when someone else is doing their tasks well. Currently we have members of the Council that are deliberately getting in the way of a town manager that is doing his work well, whereas I’d prefer avoiding micromanagement and focus on advocating creative solutions to tired old problems.
The Citizen Chronicle: What do you think makes a good Town Councilor?
John Pulawski: Recognizing that Southbridge is the home of over seven thousand tax-paying households, and that they deserve to be treated well and not be taken for granted.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your point of view on the future of the fire station?
John Pulawski: Burn it down and get a new one? Bahahaa. Bad inside joke. The nice thing about having such a well kept antique fire station is that it is not far from being museum-ready, possibly capable of attract visitors from Old Sturbridge Village, with antique firetrucks loaned to us, once a new fire station is funded and constructed.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your point of view on the status of the public school district?
John Pulawski: Would another vote of no confidence help? Obviously not. We should create incentives to encourage teachers to learn Spanish so our Spanish-speaking students can learn with greater ease when they attend school. That is worth trying.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your point of view on the status of the landfill?
John Pulawski: Landfill is a misnomer in our case. We have over seven billion pounds of rotting garbage, trash, and contaminated soil piled up surrounded by wetlands, and when our Board of Health was reminded that the landfill was not in compliance with the Site Assignment conditions, instead of policing the problem, they actually laughed and boldly stated that there are no landfill police making them follow the rules. What could go wrong? Perhaps we should modify our “Don’t worry be happy” attitude.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your point of view on the hotly debated riverside park proposal?
John Pulawski: Let us learn a great lesson from that absurd example of failing local government. Remember always that it passed in MacKinnon Chambers when almost full of voters, and it was declined soon after in MacKinnon Chambers with hardly a voter present.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your point of view on the reputation of the town and its leadership?
John Pulawski: Our reputation can only improve. The good news is that with every step in the proper direction we have the support and encouragement of our neighboring towns that are full of former Southbridge residents that in many ways love us more than we like ourselves! As far as our Leadership goes, let’s learn to laugh at our past foolishness, move on with fresh new faces, and if you do not participate by voting and letting your voice be heard, save the rest of us from your tardy two cents, because it is a drag upon progress.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your point of view on the future of Town Manager Ron San Angelo?
John Pulawski: No need to build a statue yet, but sometimes when I watch that man get treated in an inconsiderate disrespectful manner I marvel at his ability to remain calm and collected. I must admit I am pleased that the wisest action taken during the Clark Regime was increasing the number of Councilors required to remove a town manager.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is Southbridge’s greatest asset?
John Pulawski: We have an underappreciated water supply, a community college, a Main Street that could once again flourish with a niche theme and a renewed entrepreneurial spirit, and many competitively priced homes available. When our landfill issues and our schools are in order, our revival will be more beneficial than anticipated.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is Southbridge’s greatest problem?
John Pulawski: The malignant malaise that sometimes hangs over our community with more staying power than the fragrant landfill and sewer scented fog that occasionally mellows along of the Quinebaug. We need to free ourselves from our tradition of verbal mortification and learn to laugh at ourselves as we shake off our proverbial cobwebs and proceed wisely into the 21st century.
This week, The Citizen Chronicle will be publishing interviews with the current candidates for a seat on the Southbridge Town Council. This year there will be four seats on the general election ballot on June 12. There will be three three-year seats decided on by the voters, and one one-year seat to fill a vacancy made by the resignation of Wally MacKenzie.
Interviews with the current Town Council candidates will be published in transcript-form. The publication schedule is as follows:
- David Adams, candidate for three-year term — Wednesday, April 25
- Kristen Auclair, candidate for three-year term — Thursday, April 26
- Esteban Carrasco, Jr., candidate for one-year term — Tuesday, April 24
- Joseph Cotrona, candidate for three-year term — Thursday, May 10
- John Daniel, candidate for three-year term — Wednesday, April 25
- Jack Jovan, candidate for one-year term — Friday, April 27
- Scott Lazo, candidate for three-year term — Sunday, April 29
- Mike Marketti, candidate for three-year term — Thursday, April 26
- John Pulawski, candidate for one-year term — Friday, April 27
- David Smick, candidate for three-year term — Sunday, April 29