Can you define the word “Assume”?


[uh-soom] a verb, -sumed, -suming.
verb (used with object) 

to take for granted or without proof;

to suppose, postulate, posit

There is a popular example of false assumptions frequently demonstrated on blackboards and whiteboards with the use of strategically placed slashes or underlines breaking up the word as follows: ass u me

It appears that we have two members of the Board of Selectmen, who are attempting to distance themselves from their previous vote to support allocating UDAG funds for Spring 2011 weed treatment of Flannagan Pond.  They may have committed ass u; but it will not stick with me.

In the course of a four week period, our Citizen’s Petition initiative (the now famous Article 38) went from being praised by Selectman Maxant as a wonderful example of “democracy in action” on April 19th (I couldn’t have asked for a more appropriate date) to being a “wonderful example of artistic manipulation”. Why, because he “assumed”.  He and Selectman McCreary assumed something that was never discussed.

They assumed we were trading our petition for UDAG funding.  They assumed that we were trading a long term strategic plan for a short-term fix. Kind of like Esau’s trading his birthright. That was never discussed as the deal on April 19th. Now that they have discovered the error in their assumption, they seek to shift the blame by labeling us deceitful and manipulative.  ass u not me



About saveourpond

I am a lifelong resident of Ayer who lives on Flanagan's Pond.
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9 Responses to Can you define the word “Assume”?

  1. A sportsman says:

    In 2005 MassDEP requested the town produce a dam management plan which was never done. Did MassDEP assume the town would comply with their request? I assume the BOS is upset because FOFP is showing the leadership we expected from them!

  2. saveourpond says:

    Sport, I am pleased that we are making a positive impact by bringing Flannagan Pond to the front burner. Continued progress will require ongoing vigilance. Remember, it has taken us nine months to get this far. And obviously we have stirred up a hornets nest in some quarters of Town Hall. Presently I am pleased that we have a few people on the BOS who listen to reason; others wait to see which way the wind blows.


  3. A sportsman says:

    By the way, why are we treating Sandy Pond and Erskine Pond (Pine Meadow)? As the ConsCom says the weed problem is due to fertilizing lawns. So lets call on residents of Sandy Pond and the beavers on Erskine to stop using fertilizer and the problem is solved! However, in order to get the beavers to comply I think they will require a special meeting with the ConsCom. If/when that happens lets make sure it is televised.

  4. michele says:

    Thank you Chuck for keeping us all in the loop as this progresses. I have never been involved in political workings and was pleasantly surprised at how democracy seemed to work in obtaining the necessary funding and understanding from our Town officials. I now, am getting an all too clear picture of how the system actually works. I am still surprised, but not pleasantly.

    I’m not sure how the system “works” (I use that term loosely) however, if there is a legitimate process by which our elected officials could overturn the public vote, it should be made known and we should stand our ground together in what we believe to be right, just as we have all along.

    If there is no process to overturn a vote, then the squeaky wheels should go tend another cart.

    • saveourpond says:


      Public Officials do not have to overturn our Town Meeting vote to undermine our efforts; they can simply ignore us and hope we get frustrated and go away. We voted to provide funds for a specific purpose. They cannot use those funds for another purpose, but they can drag their feet and do nothing. For example, there has been an account for Beaver Control for $10,000 in place since 2007 and not one cent has been spent. During that same period, all my shoreline trees have been decimated by beavers. I know several neighbors who have experienced a similar fate. That is why we need to be vocal and be seen. It requires constant vigilance and that does not simply mean I go to meetings on behalf of FOFP. People must write to the Selectmen and voice their frustrations in an intelligent and civil manner. People must write to the editors of the Lowell Sun, Fitchburg Sentinel and Public Spirit. People should comment more on these blogs.


  5. Pingback: Maxant labels us “Opportunists” and “Deceitful” | Friends of Flannagan Pond

  6. A sportsman says:

    re: They cannot use those funds for another purpose, but they can drag their feet and do nothing.
    Exactly right and that IS what is going to happen here. Several years ago money was allocated to treat Flannagans Pond and the town dragged their feet long enough to pass the treatment deadline. It is my understanding that although the money allocation can’t be used for another purpose there is an end date that if the money isn’t spent it will revert to general funds. Thank God Pauline Conley is on the BOS as she has the knowledge to verify technical issues in funding and how the town can nullify the voter intent.

    • saveourpond says:

      Hey Sport, presently we have a majority of reasonable people on the BOS, at least in regards to our FOFP issue. That can easily change with the next election if we are not vigilant. Regarding this year, the Flannagan Pond RFP is being opened at Town Hall today (May 20, 2011). Keep an eye on the water levels; delays in removing the dam boards may be last remaining obstacle.


  7. A sportsman says:

    The water level is not currently at a high state. Although lowering the water level to keep sonar in place longer to enhance its effectiveness has been used in the past I suggest that it is not currently necessary in order to have a successful treatment. The rate of water flow through and out of the pond is very small. Since sonar breaks down very quickly this really shouldne’t be an issue.

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