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Board rejects second Rizoli Friday, July 9, 2004
D. Craig MacCormack 508-626-4429 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM -- A month after his brother Joe mounted a failed bid for a seat on the Human Relations Commission, Jim Rizoli last night struck out in his own effort to join the panel, with selectmen leaving two spots open.

Only Selectman Ginger Esty voted for Jim Rizoli to join the Human Relations Commission, which still has a two-year term and a one-year seat open.  Lloyd Kaye and Robert Edwards were appointed last night.

"We make judgments about people's ability to work as a team," said Chris Ross, chairman of the board.  "You can't just go in there, turn over the apple cart and make your point."

Jim Rizoli tried to convince the board to support him.

"I know you have a different view about me," he said.  "I'm different than everyone else (on the Human Relations Commission).  I fit the bill of what diversity is."

Richard Brita was also left off the Human Relations Commission, with only Esty backing his bid.  He later left last night's meeting, angry about the snub.  Brita and Jim Rizoli support Concerned Citizens and Friends of Illegal Immigration Law Enforcement.

"It's a stacked deck," Brita said to the board.  "You're an insult to my intelligence."

Jim Rizoli was later appointed to a spot on the Cultural Council, which he admitted was his backup choice between the two.  He was the only candidate for eight openings.

"I really would like to help the town out," he said before selectmen voted, 3-2, to add him to the Cultural Council, noting he went to the Norman Rockwell Museum last weekend.  "Whatever they do, I'll help them."

Vice Chairwoman Katie Murphy, one of two selectmen to vote against Rizoli, didn't see any reason the board should be "placating" his desire to help the town.

"I don't think this would be a good fit," she said.

Esty disagreed.

"We're not a homogenous town," she said.  "We're not all alike.  We should be careful of judging people."

Board member Esther Hopkins also backed Rizoli's Cultural Council bid.

"I'm willing to give him a chance," she said.  "He would bring some spice to the group."

During the public participation portion of the meeting, Joe Rizoli used a stuffed teddy bear to express why illegal immigrants should be kicked out of Framingham.  He said that, while the bears are "cute and cuddly and we all like them," bears are banned in places such as Yellowstone Park.

"Are you comparing a bear to human beings?" Murphy asked.

Selectman Charles Sisitsky called Rizoli's words "totally offensive," and Town Manager George King used his mobile phone to apparently call for assistance to the Ablondi Room.  A few seconds later, he made a second call, saying, "Never mind, it's all set."

Sisitsky asked the policy subcommittee to review the guidelines of public participation and perhaps limit the number of times residents are allowed to speak on a particular subject.

When CCFIILE co-founder Jeff Buck wondered how the board could eliminate his right to free speech, Ross told him he set the guidelines as chairman.

"What we have is a group of people who come here each and every meeting and say the same thing," said Ross.  "We have the right to run this meeting the way we want to.  You have free speech outside this room."

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