By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

In Middleborough, a curious candidate

All has been fairly quiet on the Middleborough casino front lately, but things may be about to heat up. It seems that former Brockton mayor Jack Yunits is a finalist for the $130,000-a-year town manager’s job. And it just so happens that he works as a consultant for the Liberty Square Group, the Boston-based public-relations and lobbying firm that has led the fight to build the world’s largest casino in Middleborough.

Oh, but not to worry, says search committee member Wayne Perkins, a former selectman and casino backer. Yunits may be taking money from a firm funded in part by the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe and the South African casino moguls who are behind all this, but his work with Liberty Square is “strictly” limited to lobbying for a power plant in Brockton.

But according to a Liberty Square senior vice president Amy Lambiaso, Yunits has also lobbied for a Verizon-backed group that seeks to weaken the control local officials have over cable companies in communities like, you know, Middleborough. So much for Perkins’ “research.”

And let’s not forget that town officials are legally obligated to say nothing but nice things about the casino proposal. I suppose that task becomes easier if they simply hire a town manager who’s already getting paid by the casino’s backers.

The Brockton Enterprise covers the story here; the Cape Cod Times here.

As always: You can’t make this stuff up.

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The nothing primary II


Gitlin responds


  1. Gladys Kravitz

    Hi Dan,I must disagree with you on one point – things haven’t been all that quiet in Middleboro. We recently all endured a local hearing by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This was obstensibly done to listen to the concerns of citizens and officials in the host and surrounding communities have about the project. We were even granted a few days to see barebones ‘cartoon’ sketch of the site plan on which to base our concerns. Four of the Five selectmen got up and sang the praises of the project, one even telling people to move if they didn’t like it. Another pointed out that casinos have money, Middleboro does not, and so the only wise choice is for the town to take whatever money the casino offers. (I couldn’t get the sugardaddy analogy out of my head the whole time.) And yes, there were even more notable moments of lackluster leadership spent in legal obligation to the Tribe. I’m with you – you can’t make this stuff up.

  2. Peter Porcupine

    DK – give Peter Kenney a few days; he will doubltless discover that the gentleman is the love child of Glenn Marshall and Amelia Bingham, or something equally astounding!

  3. Don, American

    Good grief! Will it NEVER end?

  4. Anonymous

    It seems like a potential problem of ethics and conflict of interest to have someone with an association with the casino developers appointed as TM. How can we honestly expect that such a candidate would represent the best interests of the Town of Middleborough? What is the Search Committee thinking?You know, I breathed a sigh of relief when Wayne Perkins recently stepped down from the BOS. Now it seems he continues to be just as problematic off the Board. Our town has been through hell over the past year. If the BOS moves to appoint this questionable candidate, I fear that a sense of normalcy will be beyond our reach for many years to come.

  5. Sue from Mansfield

    One of the other candidates for Town Manager, D’Agostino precipitated a recall in Mansfield and we’re well rid of him, but pity those poor town resident who hire him. This makes me wonder, doesn’t anyone in Middleboro do their homework on ANY issue?

  6. Anonymous

    Yunits as Town Manager? Makes me shake my head is disbelief. The BOS really is a one trick pony. I can see the new Middleborough PR slogan “Welcome to Casinoborough, the new Brockton” GREAT…………….

  7. Anonymous

    Unbelieveable. I am sure Mr Perkins didn’t think in his “wildest dreams” that Mr. Yunits was in some way connected to the casino developers. What’s next, Glenn Marshall for Fire Chief?

  8. continually astounded...

    We are continually astounded by the sheer transparent stupidity and incompetence of this BOS. Yunits??? D’Agostino???Did Scott Fear-Some call and request? Do they think everyone accepts their transparent choices?And Yunits will be impartial and defend the $$$ interests of the town? Yeah! Right!

  9. Anonymous

    If Yunits is hired, we’ve lost our town.

  10. Anonymous

    This only brings to light what we are going through in Casinoboro. First, a shady land deal,then down playing the Glenn Marshall (lying rapist),story, appointing (PRO)Brian G. to chair 2 different Impact Study Committees,hire asst. to the Town Planner Ruth G. so she can devote all her time to the casino plans, get pro banner waving Mimi Duphily (farmer/housewife/no clue) elected to a selectmen seat, now lets bring in someone on the payroll from the casino pr/lobbying group as the new Town Manager ! I say shame on the residents of Middleboro, who just don’t care enough to take the time to “get out and vote”

  11. Janice

    The Middleboro Gazette reported today that the Chairman of Selectmen Adam Bond was NOT aware of Mr. Yunits connection with the Liberty Group. He apparently doesn’t read much or is hoping no one will notice. anon 1034 had it right about the Middleboro voters — this is the level of incompetence you elected. Thanks alot! I didn’t vote for these clowns! Pay attention next time.

  12. Anonymous

    Hey Jack a $600,000 tax break for the Rox equals a job as president of the team.Congratulations. Stay out of Middleboro and the surrounding towns, you stink like Desal. plant on a hot summer day.

  13. Anonymous

    2 of the final 4 choices for Town Manager have more than enough questionable information available just from a google search to disqualify them. Is it corruption? Is it greed? Is it just stupidity? Can’t say for sure, but questions need to be raised. Wayne Perkins sold the town and we’re supposed to follow him over the cliff?

  14. sick and tired

    Thanks for helping to publicize this issue and raise questions, Dan! At least the brain dead Search Committee headed by Wayne Perkins was thwarted in their attempt to propose 2 REALLY BAD candidates. And maybe the editor of the local paper will wake up to what’s going on in front of her with backroom deals and do her own homework. Maybe, but doubtful!We’re tired of the good ol’ boys and backroom deals! Frankly damn sick and tired!This is corruption at its worst.

  15. middleboro voter

    I’m just a Middleboro voter who appreciates that you have commented about this issue. Town Manager is an important position in the town with a great deal of power and we can’t risk this level of controversy. Your issue might be the connection of Yunits with Liberty Square, but my issue is also with D’Agostino who also brings baggage. No one paid attention to Middleboro and the level of incompetence until the casino, but we’re paying attention now. Less than 50% of voters put Minnie Mae on the BOS, and watch for the re-broadcast this evening. What an amateur performance! This BOS is an embarrassment to any who watch.

  16. Anonymous

    Middleboro voter:I agree. I moved here from Brockton. Yunits was telling alot of fibbies about his 10 years as Mayor and his role. Aa far as Middleboro is concerned, why didn’t the BOS asked him if he could name a few stores in the downtown area,if he “LOVED” it so much.Re: The BOS- I hear it all the time from friends that have comcast and are able to watch our BOS meetings,embarassment is the word!KEEP VOTING!

  17. middleboro voter

    anon 958, Why didn’t the BOS ask ANY informed questions? It’s clear they’re lazy and incompetent. They haven’t done any homework and thought they could just ‘wing it.’ Well, WING IT clearly showed. Not only were the questions softball, but they hadn’t even considered the readily available information about the other candidates. It’s clear that Yunits is all FLUFF AND NO SUBSTANCE. He came across as superficial, a grand-stander, one of those good ol’ boys you go to a bar with for some laughs, but you don’t take home to Mom. He’s an opportunist who will be working at the casino doing PR if it ever opens. His eyes are elsewhere.

  18. troubled voter

    Dan, you are to be commended to addressing this issue. We watched the broadcast of Saturday’s bos meeting and can only echo the sentiments of others. This board is the biggest disappointment you could imagine. It was like amateur hour. They didn’t ask questions that indicated they had done any research into the public records of the candidates. And that Minny May? That poor lady was convinced by others that she should run. She’s in over her head, has no idea what’s going on and the only question she could ask was about the downtown. For those unfamiliar with the town, she and her husband own 2 buildings that are eyesores and she thinks downtown should be quaint.

  19. Middleboro Voter

    Middleboro BOS voted this evening to extend an offer to Hingham Town Administrator Charles Cristello to be Middleboro Town Manager.Yunits was not even in consideration after he acknowledged the only reason he applied was because of the casino.Thanks for your attention.

  20. Dan Kennedy

    Middleboro Voter: That’s great news. And congratulations to the selectmen for doing the right thing.

  21. Anonymous

    Dan:Actually it was your blog post that alerted many residents about Yunits’ problematic candidacy. The realization that the Search Committee and BOS had not done their homework set off a public scurry to Google all info about all the candidates. The results were intriguing and resulted in an online debate in which residents demanded accountibility and responsibility. Hingham’s TM, Charles Cristello, was the least tainted applicant and had a solid background. Thank you for alerting the voters of Middleboro before we got into bed for the next 20 years with someone who could have potentially further damaged an already beleagured town. Thought you’d like to know your blog helped make a difference.

  22. Anonymous

    Good luck with Cristello negotiaing for the Casino. He is not a big fan of full disclosure. Assume anything you hear is only half the story. If one of the bloggers is correct and your Selectmen can’t ask any informed questions, then Cristello will feel right at home.

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