Twenty Years Ago . . .

By William F. Zachmann, for the Duxbury Clipper

Twenty years ago, in 1991, the Duxbury Political Machine was in a bit of a quandary. Several years earlier it had successfully engineered the passage by the Massachusetts legislature and acceptance by the Town of Chapter 353 of the Acts of 1987: “An Act providing for a Town Manager in the Town of Duxbury”. The Machine had pushed hard for the change and, in 1988, tapped Tom Groux as Duxbury’s first Town Manager. [Read more...]

The Favor Bank

By William F. Zachmann, for the Duxbury Clipper

“The Favor Bank” is the title a chapter in Tom Wolfe’s 1987 best seller “The Bonfire of the Vanities”.  Sherman McCoy is a millionaire preppy WASP bond trader in New York City whose privileged “Master of the Universe” status is threatened by a hit-and-run accident in the South Bronx. As circumstances close in on him, McCoy hires Tommy Killian, a street-wise criminal lawyer intimately familiar with the system. [Read more...]

Letters in the Clipper – Introduction

Responses, by way of letters to the editor, to my latest columns in the Duxbury Clipper are proving to be, to me at least, as rewarding as they are interesting. They offer valuable feedback confirming that what I have been writing for the Clipper is having its intended effect(s). I will be addressing several of them in a series of blog posts here over the next week or two.

[Read more...]

Twenty Years Ago . . . (Part 1)

Published in the Duxbury Clipper on Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Twenty years ago, in 1991, the Duxbury Political Machine was in a bit of a quandary. Several years earlier it had successfully engineered the passage by the Massachusetts legislature and acceptance by the Town of Chapter 353 of the Acts of 1987: “An Act providing for a Town Manager in the Town of Duxbury”. The Machine had pushed hard for the change and, in 1988, tapped Tom Groux as Duxbury’s first Town Manager.

The promise that persuaded voters to accept a Town Manager form of government was that it would bring professional management, financial responsibility, and greater efficiency.  But unfortunately, three years later, Duxbury was in a bigger mess financially than it had been before a Town Manager was hired. [Read more...]

The Duxbury Political Machine

Published in the Duxbury Clipper on Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The ability of free citizens to govern themselves wisely has been debated for thousands of years. In Athens, the cradle of democracy, over 2500 years ago, the philosopher Plato advocated rule by an educated elite. His student, Aristotle, outright favored rule by an aristocratic elite. In the early days of the United States of America, Alexander Hamilton represented a similar view, opposing Thomas Jefferson’s push for a more open democracy. He would have approved of Duxbury’s Political Machine.

What? Duxbury’s Political Machine? What the heck is that? Who ever heard of such a thing? What is this, some sort of local weird conspiracy theory? [Read more...]

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