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Gun Ban Draws Political Newcomer to Selectmen's Race

Steven Sadowski didn't even live in Westford at this time last year, but Article 30 has stirred him to throw his hat into the ring for one of the two spots on the Board of Selectmen this spring.

For the past few local elections, Westford has not seen any contested races for the Board of Selectmen. But this time, voters will see a candidate who didn’t even live in town at this time last year.

Since it was introduced several weeks ago, Article 30 on the Town Meeting warrant has sparked a strong reaction among gun rights advocates, and one of those advocates is Steven Sadowski, a newcomer to Westford and politics in general who felt the need to enter this year’s Selectmen’s race due to the issue.

In May 2012, Sadowski moved with his wife to Westford from Hanson, Massachusetts following a job she got with Welch’s in Concord.

The pair were looking around the area and looked at communities like Lexington and Concord, but were scared off by things like the plastic water bottle ban, hoping to find a town nearby with strong schools that had less of a micromanaging reputation.

Sadowski thought he had found it in Westford, and didn’t expect to be drawn into politics until the proposed warrant article served as a clarion call.

“I don’t know most people in town from a hole in the wall, but I’d like to think I’m meeting a lot of people and learning more about the town because of this,” he said. “Right now, I’d like to think if you’re looking for fresh ideas, you can’t get any fresher.”

He defines himself as a libertarian, and while Article 30 is his main issue, as a math teacher, Sadowski also hopes to work to maintain the strong reputation of Westford’s schools without raising taxes or fees.

“If the money we are spending per student is not getting to the student, the answer is not more money, the answer is getting that money that we spend, which is a lot, to the student,” he said.

Sadowski also indicated that despite his firm stance on Second Amendment issues, he hopes to work with Town Manager Jodi Ross, and other selectmen, even Article 30 architect Selectman Bob Jeffries, who is also up for reelection for one of the two expiring seats on the board.

“There’s certain things I will not bend on,” he said. “There are other areas that I can work on. I’m not a rigid person, libertarians try to take the best of both worlds and I’m not a rigid ideologue, but the Second Amendment is not one of those areas where I can bend.”  

More information on Sadowski’s campaign is available on his campaign’s Facebook page.

R Gagnon February 18, 2013 at 12:42 PM
While I think its great that Mr. Sadowski is willing to step up and run for BoS, I also think there should be some collaboration among potential candidates on this. All of the selectmen on the board enjoy strong support from from a small group of voters who bother to participate in local elections. While their support will remain as it has been all along, if too many people throw their hats into the race it will simply divide the balance of voters among other candidates. In that case, none of the new comers will get many votes and the old guard, misguided incumbents will maintain their seats. Even worse, they may take a page out of our dear leader's playbook and claim they have a mandate from the voters to continue down their tyranous path. People who want to run need to pick who ever they feel is the most likely to win and throw their support behind that person if any change is to come about. Thank-you Steve Sadowski for being willing to jump into the fray.
Cynthia February 19, 2013 at 12:43 AM
I was thrilled to hear someone, Steve Sadowski, was running on a platform which I support and I thank you for stepping up to the plate. I do agree with R Gagnon that everyone work together to get behind the person most likely to win. Steve, I read your Facebook page and you're off to a good start. Welcome to Westford !
Gerard February 19, 2013 at 04:09 PM
Usually when someone says “There’s certain things I will not bend on,”, that does not bode well for the ability to work toward a compromise and achieve consensus, which is an essential requirement for a BofS position.
R Gagnon February 19, 2013 at 05:16 PM
There are certain things that should never be compromised on. The 1st amendment is one. The 2nd amendment is another because it protects the 1st. If the BoS wanted to put your right to speak freely on an article to be voted on at ATM, every voting age man and woman would be enraged and calling for the BoS to step down. Yet, there is this willingness to compromise on the 2nd amendment rights. Selective indignation and irrational fear. A path to the tyranny and unrestricted power of the few and servitude of the masses. The other thing that should not be compromised on at a local level is the need to turn over the intire BoS at the end of each of their terms. They, each one of them, do net serve the people of Westford. They serve only themselves and their friends.
Dan February 19, 2013 at 05:55 PM
We are not happy with our BOS, Town Manager, School Committee, and Superintendant of Schools. Question is are we gonna clean house or just suck it up and moan some more?
Gerard February 19, 2013 at 06:46 PM
The 2nd amendment does not necessarily give individual private citizens the right to bear arms. Read it and you'll see the ambiguity. It has predominantly become an issue in the last 2 decades and the Roberts-controlled Supreme Court has only recently (in the last 5-7 years) reinforced this. So, to fall back on the 2nd amendment as an inalienable right is not cast in stone anywhere. There is much debate over what the original framers meant by it as well as whether or not it should be interpreted a Constitutional "originalist" or one who believes the Constitution is a living adaptable document. There are no absolutes in this
Gerard February 19, 2013 at 06:49 PM
Can you explain your comment? First, who are "we", and second, how about some concrete examples about what you are unhappy about instead of broad generalities across the board. I would find it easier to agree/disagree with you if I knew what you are referring to.
R Gagnon February 19, 2013 at 08:02 PM
If the 1st amendment is an absolute right, then so is the 2nd. The 1st cannot stand without the 2nd. Read the document. Its not that long. Its clearly written with no wiggle room for interpretation by enemies of freedom. The Constitution is not a living document that is open for interpretation. It says what is says and lays out the process that is to be followed in order to change it. The 2nd amendment clearly states that the right to bear arms will not be infringed. Those who call the Constitution a "living" document including our so-called constitutional scholar Obama, are the biggest threat to our nation's freedoms and security.
Raoul Duke February 20, 2013 at 12:30 AM
Gerard, could not disagree with you more. Not sure what you have been reading but the Federalist Papers give great insight into the Framers' thinking. Here is a sampling: Alexander Hamilton: "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed," adding later, "If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government." James Madison: "(The Constitution preserves) the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation ... (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." Thomas Jefferson: "What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms." George Mason, author of the Virginia Bill of Rights, which inspired our Constitution's Bill of Rights, said, "To disarm the people — that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
Gerard February 20, 2013 at 02:35 AM
I try to read both sides of the story, not just the one that seemingly supports my point of view. Your quotes do not necessarily support your argument. There is much historical debate about what they meant when they talked about arming the people. Did it refer to collective or individual rights? Did the amendment, as written, only refer to the well-preserved militia, or to private individuals as well. The text of the amendment underwent many changes while it was constructed. And you also need to consider whether what they thought is even applicable to our society today or does it need to be interpreted in the context of modern society where guns have a whole new meaning than back then. And if you want to refer to The Federalist Papers, then you must acknowledge that there was much disagreement on both sides, so to say you can know what the framers intent was, seems a little absurd seeing as they didn't agree amongst themselves.
Steven Sadowski February 20, 2013 at 03:54 AM
Government never retracts. Taxes only go up. Spending always goes up, the restrictions become more rigid, programs only grow in to parts a, b, c,d ,e...and regulations become tougher. It never happens in the reverse. This is the reason why there can be no "compromise" on our civil liberties. Once the government can determine, for whatever reason, that you are only due partial rights, the path has been already set for slow and ultimate abolition. Today it's magazines and AR-15's. Tomorrow it's handguns. Then hunting rifles. And finally they tell you to get on the train. This is what history has taught us and why the Founders (well versed in Locke and Milton) drew up the Constitution the way they did. I'm sorry people cannot see this point, but then again, during the revolution, only 50% wanted to go to war with the British. The other half were perfectly content to be subjects of the crown.
Ed February 20, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Good Luck Steve, you would have my vote.
Les Brutus February 20, 2013 at 01:40 PM
Those who seek to disarm the American people are Nazis, and goose-stepping Fascists (In sheep's clothing).
Robert W Johnson February 20, 2013 at 03:07 PM
The right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The right of the PEOPLE to be secure in their homes from unreasonable searches and seizures. In each case where it states the PEOPLE, are they not the same People?
Gerard February 20, 2013 at 04:22 PM
If you believe that the Constitution is not a living document and that it should be interpreted as written, then you believe in slavery and segregation and you deny women equal rights, for that is how the Constitution is written. And how can this issue be so clear cut when the Supreme Court cannot even agree on the interpretation. And can we dispense with the name calling, it only lessens the credibility of your position.
Steven Sadowski February 20, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Gerard: The Constitution is a living document but how it is reborn is the point of contention. 2/3rds of Congress and 3/4ths of the states is required to amend the Constitution, not presidential fiat or executive order. However, I did not enter the race because of what is happening in DC. I entered the race because I was always under the impression that the 10th amendment gave states the power to craft their own respective laws regarding firearms, and that while the police chief of a town approves the licenses, that was pretty much the extent of local control over a state’s issue. I was shocked the BoS had taken this step, which is clearly going to be challenged in court as G.O.A.L already has the town on their main page. And that’s precisely why people like you and people like me can come together over a common cause: not who should own guns, or is the 2nd Amendment antiquated or not, but why expose the town to a lawsuit? It’s needless especially since the federal government is looking at the issue. And this is exactly why Mr. Jefferies wants to replace Article 30 with a citizen’s petition because he doesn’t want to expose himself to the inevitable lawsuit as well. Now he, and the BoS can point to the citizens and blame them, and allow them to take the fall for their folly.
Bill Wells February 20, 2013 at 05:59 PM
How did he convince Denali Delmar to be the scapegoat?
Tim Chisholm February 20, 2013 at 10:59 PM
Mr. Sadowski you have my vote. We need more men like you running in local politics. As a 19 year old I've seen my peers get swept up in the idea of limiting our individual liberties out of fear or to achieve greater "security" and that more than anything scares me for the future. Good luck and if I wasn't in classes tomorrow I'd be down at this meeting tonight with you.
Robert Bastille February 20, 2013 at 11:48 PM
Good Luck Steve! Sorry you moved to a place where people in 'government' want to infringe upon your basic civil rights. Remember, the last revolution had to start in Massachusetts.
Saber Walsh February 21, 2013 at 01:54 AM
They already have the religious persecution going, and the desire to do warrentless searches of our homes looking for guns. It's 1939 all over again!
Steven Sadowski February 21, 2013 at 03:45 AM
Robert: I love living here despite the Article 30 fiasco. No regrets.

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