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I N T O W N R E P O R T 12 04 08 Document Transcript

  • 1. DECEMBER 4th 2008 THIS WEEK ... ECONOM ICS 40 B AFFO R DA BL E H OU S I NG L A W T AX CL AS S IFI CAT IO N BA L L OT QU ES TI O N T HE P O WER P LA NT W ATERWORKS CH EL MS F O RD H A PP ENI NG S XTRAS
  • 2. Chelmsford an d E C ON O M I C S 1 0 1 Selectmen Chairman Philip Eliopoulos Chelmsford facing difficult decisions over $3.3M deficit By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com Updated: 11/13/2008 CHELMSFORD -- The hard decisions have only begun as Chelmsford officials stare down a $3.3 million deficit. Although some services and programs survived the bare-bones budgets and down economic cycles of the past, no one could have predicted the current fiscal crisis, Town Manager Paul Cohen said last night during a joint meeting of the Board of Selectmen, School and Finance committees. quot;It's an historic time,quot; Cohen said. quot;I've been looking at every department to see where we can make further cuts. I just don't have an answer for how to do that tonight.quot; Several cuts already went into effect this year. A fire station and an elementary school were closed. Town and school employees were laid off. Fees were instated for school-bus trans- portation, and climbed across the board for school athletics and clubs. Anticipating a drop in all the town's major revenue sources, including property taxes, state aid and local receipts, there seem to be few alternatives left besides laying off more town and school personnel next year, officials said. Town Accountant Darlene Lussier said some of the biggest declines in revenue include a 20 percent cut in motor-vehicle excise tax, dipping from about $4.1 million to $3.3 million, and a 35 percent decrease in building permits, going from about $700,000 to $450,000. State aid is expected to shrink by about $860,000. Cohen said he can't see cutting public safety any further. The number of police calls are up, yet patrol officers have been reduced, sometimes with only four officers on the road during a shift, Cohen said. Firefighters have also been reduced to a minimum of nine per shift. Cohen said the town
  • 3. must be ready to respond to two simultaneous fire calls, requiring at least eight firefighters on duty at all times. Superintendent of Schools Don Yeoman said the school district is prepared to operate within its budget, but that would mean more cuts to vital programs and services across the board. Chelmsford Finance Director John Sousa said the skyrocketing health-insurance cost for the town's 663 active employees and 737 retirees is one of the town's biggest budget-busters. If health insurance continues to increase at the same rate, by 2012 nearly 10 cents on every dollar the town spends will be on health insurance, Sousa said. Cohen said the town could have saved $1.4 million on health-insurance premiums if the town had been able to join the state's health-insurance plan. Although state legislators last month extended the deadline to join the state's Group Insurance Commission, town officials say it won't happen this year. Part of the legislation signed in July 2007 by Gov. Deval Patrick requires that cities and towns negotiate membership in the GIC with all local unions and earn at least a 70 percent positive vote from those bargaining units. That threshold, designed to protect the collective-bargaining rights of employees, has proven to be a major impediment for communities like Chelmsford that wanted to join GIC but couldn't muster the support. Selectmen Chairman Philip Eliopoulos blasted the teachers union last night for failing to respond to town officials' request to come back to the negotiating table. quot;The deadline was extended to help cities and towns save money, and when the teachers union doesn't even respond, that's a disgrace,quot; Eliopoulos said. Eliopoulos requested that all union heads be invited to the next budget session to get a better understanding of what the town is bracing for in fiscal year 2010. All three boards will meet again Thursday, Dec. 11, at the Chelmsford Senior Center to dis- cuss next year's budget. *********************************************************************************** http://www.lowellsun.com/letters/ci_11050160 Chelmsford teachers didn't halt negotiations The Lowell Sun Updated: 11/22/2008 We of the teachers' union in Chelmsford respect the town leadership and the tenets of good-faith bargaining. It was therefore with great surprise that we read the article quot;Chelms- ford facing difficult decisions over $3.3M deficitquot; (Nov. 13). It is not a surprise that Chelms- ford is facing difficult times -- we all are.
  • 4. What surprised us was that Philip Eliopoulos, chair of the selectmen, quot;blasted the teachers unionquot; for failing to respond to town officials' request to come back to the negotiating table. We were not the ones who ended negotiations. That was the decision of the selectmen. All town unions are required by the state to meet together to discuss whether to join the state insurance plan (GIC). No single union could meet in isolation from the others. But no town official made any request to the teachers' union or any other union in town, either in writing or verbally, requesting further discussions about the insurance issue. Despite Mr. Eliopoulos' seeming contempt for teachers and unions, we would most certainly have re- sponded, had we been contacted. Mr. Eliopoulos seems to feel that blaming teachers is more important than placing the truth before the public. The town unions offered to put the original negotiations on hold in September because there was not enough time to communicate with our memberships and get back to the town before the deadline. We asked to suspend, pending new insurance-rate information from our current providers. The selectmen chose instead to end the negotiations. Further, on the day before the story was published with Mr. Eliopoulos' comments, the In- surance Advisory group (representatives from all the town unions) met for over two hours to discuss a variety of other insurance options that might better serve our members at lower cost than the GIC and therefore could provide greater savings to the town of Chelmsford. Historically we have moved to contain insurance costs more than surrounding communities, and were praised by The Sun for doing so. While Mr. Eliopoulos' comments were upsetting, The Sun's editorial blast was insulting. By piggybacking on the selectman's comments, The Sun is taking its usual anti-Chelmsford, anti-education stance. In this case all Chelmsford unions, but especially the teachers' union, have been damaged by The Sun's negative comments. No retraction after the initial Sun blast will reach the same number of readers and restore the good name of these groups. These groups work for the total betterment of Chelmsford. Such negative direction from the selectmen does nothing to help the town. Perhaps it would have helped if Mr. Eliopoulos and The Sun had gotten their facts straight first. KATHRYN CHAMBERLAIN president Chelmsford Federation of Teachers *********************************************************************************** http://www.lowellsun.com/letters/ci_11050158 Selectmen concerned for taxpayers, workers The Lowell Sun Updated: 11/22/2008 In her letter to the editor, Kathryn Chamberlain, president of the Chelmsford Federation of Teachers, discusses the status of negotiations between the town and unions regarding health insurance, stating that quot;...no town official made any request to the teachers' union or
  • 5. any other union in town, either in writing or verbally, requesting further discussions about the insurance issue.quot; ... She also makes an assertion that the town, and specifically Select- man Philip Eliopoulos, holds teachers themselves in less than favorable light. This is simply not the case. It is important to understand that Chelmsford, along with other communities throughout the commonwealth, is facing one of the more difficult economic times in recent history. With the prospect of significant layoffs of town employees, the Board of Selectmen last year de- cided to bring to the voters an override to raise an additional $2.8 million in property taxes to avoid cuts in education, public safety, and other town services. Following the failed at- tempt, the town worked collectively to achieve a fiscal 2009 balanced budget. This, however, could not be done without a significant cut in local service, most notably with the closing of one of our elementary schools as well as our fire station in South Chelmsford, as well as personnel cuts in the Police Department, Department of Public Works, the Town Manager's Office and other town departments. Going forward, we are predicting a deficit of more than $3million in next year's operating budget, which will mean further reductions in personnel unless we can achieve savings in other areas. This is why we as a board and the town manager worked diligently to get the unions to approve going into the Commonwealth's Group Insurance Commission (GIC), which could have achieved savings in excess of $1.4 million. We do not want to see further reductions in services, and we especially want to avoid layoffs in this difficult economic cli- mate. To say that we do not care about our employees is simply not the case. Any savings we could have generated by going GIC would have been used to preserve jobs. This should also be the primary objective of the union leadership. Phil Katz, as a field representative for the American Federation of Teachers, was hired to represent the Chelmsford teachers union during the GIC negotiations and served as the spokesman/principal negotiator for the entire Public Employee Committee during the GIC negotiations. It was, in fact, the Public Employee Committee that ended the negotiations on Sept. 4, thus ending our efforts to achieve the Oct. 1 deadline for joining the GIC on July 1, 2009. Teachers' union representative Phil Katz ended the discussions by the request for a six-month hiatus in negotiations, which would have made July 1, 2010 the earliest date for the town to join the GIC. This delay in negotiations precluded any budgetary savings for the upcoming fiscal year when it will be most needed. Sufficient time remained in September to achieve the Oct. 1 deadline for joining the GIC. The parties originally had another meeting scheduled for the second week of September. This meeting was canceled upon the union's demand for the six-month hiatus. It was the re- sponsibility of the unions to inform its membership of the information pertaining to enroll- ment in the GIC during the months of our negotiations. Therefore, the claim of insufficient time for the union leadership to communicate with the membership before the Oct. 1 dead- line is not acceptable. On Oct. 31, Human Resources Director Jeanne Parziale sent to union officials a request to resume discussions, immediately after the state Legislature extended the deadline until Dec. 1 for municipalities to join the GIC on July 1, 2009, expressing the town's sincere in- terest in resuming negotiations. An invitation to continue discussion on the insurance issue was e-mailed to union representatives on Oct. 31. The teachers' union, through their repre- sentative Phil Katz, failed to respond. We are happy to share a copy of that e-mail with
  • 6. anyone who is interested in reviewing it. Our first responsibility is to the taxpayers by using every tax dollar as efficiently as possi- ble. However, we will continue to show our concerns for our employees and for the level of service we can offer this community during these challenging economic times. PHILIP M. ELIOPOULOS and ERIC DAHLBERG Chelmsford Board of Selectmen E d ito r ' s n o t e : Ch a m be rl a in s e n t a co p y o f h e r l e tte r to E lio p o ulo s e a r lie r t hi s w e e k . *********************************************************************************** POLITICALLY IN CORRECT The most recent Politically Incorrect Cable TV Show presented a lively discussion of the town of Chelmsford's proposal to
  • 7. their local unions to incorporate the State GIC health insur- ance into their town employee benefit plan options. This change would have saved the town an estimated $1.4 mil- lion, which could have been used to avoid many lay offs of town employees. During the show, Philip Eliopoulos and Tom Christiano strongly recommended that the town incorporate the GIC health plan, while Billy Martin argued that the unions should stay with the plans they currently have. Pam Armstrong was also on the show, talking about the Plan- ning Board openings, and whether she'll run for re-election next April. Philip did the same from the Board of Selectmen perspective. The show also discussed the recent Selectmen vote not to put Tax Classification on the Townwide Ballot next April. A link to the Google Video of this entire Politically Incor- rect TV Show is as follows: CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO OF THE SHOW
  • 8. Mass. budget crisis has Greater Lowell police bracing for cuts BOSTON -- The statewide budget crisis has forced Gov. Deval Patrick to make significant cuts in some of his most personal projects, including public safety, which has been a priority for the governor in both his campaign and early administration. Last month, Patrick eliminated his $4 million municipal police-grant program and cut funding to com- munity policing. Local police say those steps will end the hiring of new officers and lead to other crime-fighting cutbacks. As part of Patrick's efforts to plug a $1.4 billion budget gap, the governor slashed $5 million, or 24 percent, of the $21.3 million community-policing fund that goes to cities and towns throughout the commonwealth. Chelmsford, slated to receive $26,000 in local policing funds, will now get $18,000. Chief James Murphy said the $8,000 cut will lead to fewer extra patrols for shoplifting during the holiday season and fewer patrols assigned to watch for car break-ins. Like Lowell, these cuts are hitting Chelmsford at a time when the Police Department is already short-staffed. The department is eight officers shy of an ideal complement and short on detectives, affecting drug and crime investigations, according to Murphy. quot;We are functioning with a minimum level of patrol officers on shifts and we have scaled back dramatically on personnel over the last several years,quot; Murphy said. For full story CLICK HERE http://www.lowellsun.com/todaysheadlines/ci_11040456
  • 9. The intent of the state’s housing law (Chapter 40B) was to ensure that the state would pro- duce affordable housing. From urban neighborhoods to rural communities across the state, 40B has produced mostly expensive market-priced housing. Each of the last four decades has witnessed severe declines in the percentage of affordable units being produced by 40B. Whatever the problems are, one thing is clear: Massachusetts is the only state to use 40B and after 40 years, we rank 49th in the nation in housing affordability . 40B In The N ews Hearing on 40B housing statute slammed By Christine McConville | Wednesday, November 19, 2008 http://www.bostonherald.com | Business & Markets Critics of the state’s affordable housing law say they weren’t told about a hearing today on significant changes to the statute. This morning, officials at the state Department of Housing and Community Development expect to hear public comments on the agency’s plans to change the law. The changes, if approved, will increase a developer’s profit while limiting a community’s ability to oppose the developments. “I would have liked to have known about it,” said Sen. Robert Hedlund, a Weymouth Republican who serves on the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Housing.
  • 10. He and other foes of the state’s Chapter 40B law say they learned of the hearing only this week, when one of Hedlund’s aides was reviewing the agency’s Web site. Phil Hailer, a spokesman for the housing agency, said in an e-mail that the state posted notices in seven Massachusetts newspapers and also notified legislative staff. Hedlund and other Chapter 40B critics say the law has created overdevelopment because builders are allowed to bypass zoning rules in exchange for setting aside 20 percent of their housing units for lower income people. Supporters say 40B is a valuable tool for creating affordable housing. The law requires developers to limit their profits to 20 percent of the total project cost. Additional profit must go to the community that houses the project. At a Senate hearing on Chapter 40B in September, state Inspector General Gregory Sullivan said many developers have skirted the profit limit and may owe cities and towns as much as $100 million. At the time, housing agency chief Tina Brooks said the agency would respond to Sullivan’s concerns by changing the law. Article URL: http://www.bostonheald.com/business/general/view.bg?articleid=1133344 LOWELL SUN A n t i - 4 0B g ro u p w r i t e t o i t s p o i n t By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com Updated: 11/19/2008 CHELMSFORD -- The letter was mailed to every household in Chelmsford. About 14,000 received the message from the anti-40B group, Slow Growth Initiative, which blasts town officials for pandering to developers at the ex -
  • 11. pense of taxpayers. With 885 units of affordable housing in town, the group said officials should be outraged Chelmsford quot;is no more affordable now than it has ever been.quot; Fred Marcks, a spokesman for the group, said one of the biggest problems is Chelmsford has hardly any land left to build on, but must construct 3,235 more units to meet the state's 10-percent mandate for affordable housing stock. quot;Without the land to build on, developers will have to build denser and higher structures,quot; Marcks said. quot;This can't happen. If it does, it will destroy the character of the town.quot; The letter asks residents to hold town officials accountable, while it chal - lenges the Board of Selectmen to follow the lead of officials in Norwell. In June, the Norwell selectmen wrote Gov. Deval Patrick a letter asking him to intervene on the state's 40B practices. The Norwell board called 40B a quot;pro-developer, anti-community character, anti-home-rule weapon.quot; The board also told the governor that communities have no fair chance of upholding their interests when the state housing appeals committee quot;is an agency run amok, drunk with its own powers and authority acting without thought to establish law, precedent or common sense.quot; The Slow Growth Initiative said Chelmsford officials should be representing the taxpayers' interests as passionately as Norwell selectmen represent their constituents. Town Manager Paul Cohen said the Slow Growth Initiative's letter is mis - leading because it doesn't talk about the realities of 40B. quot;It indicates that we're giving the store away,quot; Cohen said. quot;But the decision rests at the state level.quot; The state's 40B law gives developers the power to override zoning rules in towns where less than 10 percent of affordable housing meets federal af - fordability requirements. If a developer plans to make 20 percent of his proj - ect meet the state's guidelines of affordability, permission to build can be granted by the state even if the town objects to the project.
  • 12. quot;We can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting developers, or we can try to work with them to get something built that blends in with the com - munity,quot; Cohen said. For six years, Chelmsford locked horns with developers over a proposed 40B for Riverneck Road. In the end, an agreement was reached, but the recent approval by the Zoning Board of Appeals was the result of a remand by the courts. While the Town Manager and Board of Selectmen have been vocal in the past about joining other towns to repeal 40B laws, Cohen said in the mean - time, the town has to live within the law. Since the letters went out two weeks ago, about 100 people have joined Slow Growth. Marcks said the more town officials clamp down on the state, eventually, the state will have to act. He hoped to meet with Selectmen to discuss ways of actively changing 40B because it ultimately influences the town's budget. quot;The frustration is you can say you disagree with the law and that the law is broken, but you don't have to sit back and take it,quot; Marcks said. quot;There are real actions the town could take tomorrow to confront this, they're just not doing it.quot;
  • 13. Some interesting information about the proposed new 40B development at 291-297 Boston Road. http://www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford/news/x1213466042/New-40B-planned-for-Boston-Road New 40B planned for Boston Road By David Golann/Correspondent Mon Sep 15, 2008 CHELMSFORD - Carlisle Equity Partners III of Lexington wants to construct 40 housing units on 5 1/ 2 acres at 291 and 297 Boston Road, next to Immanuel Church. Southfield Crossing would include 16 buildings, mostly three-story townhouses, and 160 parking spaces. According to the group’s comprehensive permit application, 10 of these units will be affordable, while the rest will be market rate. This is the minimum proportion necessary for the developers to take ad- vantage of Massachusetts’ 40B law and build developments that override local zoning codes. They plan to preserve the wetlands on the site and leave 290 feet of woods and vegetation in the back of the property intact. The property contains a vernal pool, a seasonally recurring body of water, and borders the Warren Wildlife Refuge and Mill Pond.
  • 14. Unfortunately the developers and the Town had not contacted the Chelmsford Land Conservation Trust and informed them that they are abutters to the new 40B development. They were however able to find out through the newspaper report Hopefully the developers will have the utmost respect for the Open Space conservation land that borders theirs and the work that has gone into the restoration of the land? Warren Wildlife Sanctuary Approximately three miles south of downtown, in the midst of high- density suburban development, this sanctuary is mostly wetland, much of which is part of Russell Mill Pond. Russell Mill Pond is formed by a dam on River Meadow Brook approximately one quarter mile north of the property boundary. On its south west side, the sanctuary abuts forty-five acres of Conservation Commission land known as the Thanksgiving Forest. On its north side, the pond con - tinues beyond the property boundary as part of the 132 acre Rus - sell Mill Pond and Forest property, also held and managed by the Conservation Commission. Immediately to the south of the sanctu - ary, in the town of Carlisle, is the thousand acre Great Brook Farm State Park and Carlisle State Forest. The sanctuary is linked to the state park by River Meadow Brook and serves to connect the large corridor of open space in Chelmsford with this substantial protected space . http://www.chelmsfordlandtrust.org/node/15
  • 15. http://www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford/news/x596328284/Billerica-40B-has-Chelmsford-residents-worried Billerica 40B has Chelmsford residents worried By David Golann/Correspondent Wed Dec 03, 2008, 10:08 AM EST BILLERICA - Big housing developments often face criticism from neighbors, but a plan for a 14-bulidng 40B development on the town line is catching flack from resi- dents and officials in both Billerica and Chelmsford. “This is quite a mammoth development,” said Chelmsford Town Manager Paul Cohen. “I’ve got residents of Chelmsford who abut the project and are quite concerned.” As proposed, Aspen Apartments would stretch from Rangeway Road in Billerica up to the backyards of Chelmsford residents on Bishop and State streets. The developer’s comprehensive permit application features 14 four-story buildings, with more than 600 housing units and roughly 1,500 parking spaces. Billerica Selectman Jim O'Donnell is concerned that such a large development will simply overload the town's public services. He says his community did not plan its sewer, water, school and emergency response systems to support this level of growth. “It is a very big hit all at once,” said O'Donnell. “We have two intersections along Rangeway Road without signals at Chelmsford Road and Route 4. Right now they are not suited for large volumes of cars.” The developers also plan to build an emergency entrance onto State Street. Although, according to Chelmsford Community Development Director Evan Belansky, there is some question to the developer’s claim that the road ends at the town line. Residents of this quiet, forested neighborhood claim that their living situation will change abruptly if the project goes forward and their yards will face four-story build- ings. Bishop Street resident and Chelmsford Town Meeting Representative Bill Griffin helped to fight off a 55-and-over development on the same parcel back in 2003. He feels Billerica officials should have informed Chelmsford abutters about the project when it first surfaced earlier this year. “It is quite possible they could vote on this Wednesday night and we would have no recourse other than legal,” said Griffin, referring to the Billerica Zoning Board of Ap- peals’ Dec. 3 hearing on the project. “We were definitely blindsided by this.” The proposed building area contains significant wetlands and is not zoned for residential building. The developers intend to get around these restrictions using the state’s 40B law and offering a quarter of the units at affordable housing rates.
  • 16. Garden Homes Development of Short Hills, N.J. is the company behind the project. Ac- cording to its promotional materials, it “takes advantage of tremendous volume buying in order to cut down on overhead costs.” The developers are represented by lawyers from Freeman, Davis and Stearns LLC, a Boston legal group specializing in property law. The firm has guided several controver- sial Billerica projects through the approval process, including the Villas at Old Con- cord. Developers purchased the land for the Villas for roughly $1 million, only to sell it for $5.4 million one week after receiving final building approval in 2003. The complex later sold again for $80 million, raising concerns that developers were wiggling around the 40B profit limits mandated by the state. Billerica may feel powerless in this process, but Griffin claims the state gives prece- dent for towns to reject such huge developments. He says large communities that turn down 40B projects with over 300 units stand a reasonable chance of having its deci- sion upheld. Billerica officials were able to find one benefit among the possible problems posed by Aspen Apartments. If such a large-scale development was completed, it might allow the town to achieve its state-mandated 10 percent portion of affordable housing. “It is one positive along with all of the negatives,” said Billerica Town Manager Bill Ames. “I suppose that is a small solace.” Staff Writer Kevin Zimmerman contributed to this report.
  • 17. Chelmsford And Tax Classification http://www.lowellsun.com/local/ci_11069437 Chelmsford board KOs split tax rate By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com 11/25/2008 CHELMSFORD -- After weighing in requests to shift the tax burden onto local businesses, the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously last night to keep residents and businesses at the same tax rate for another year. quot;The way to provide true relief to taxpayers is having strong business taxpayers,quot; said Selectman Chairman Philip Eliopoulos. In a separate vote, selectmen also unanimously favored keeping a nonbinding question on tax classi- fication from appearing on the April election ballot. The request for a ballot question came to select- men in the fashion of a citizen's petition, signed by more that 30 residents. quot;We shouldn't be governing by petition,quot; said Selectman Bill Dalton. --------- For complete story click here http://www.lowellsun.com/local/ci_11069437 *** http://www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford/news/business/x541365042/Selectmen-nix-tax-classification Selectmen nix tax classification By David Golann/Correspondent Tue Nov 25, 2008 CHELMSFORD - On Monday night, advocates of tax classification suffered two stinging defeats in less than half an hour. The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to reject to create a split tax rate along with a citizen’s petition calling for a non-binding ballot question on the issue. For more than 10 years the selectmen have stopped all attempts to levy higher taxes on commercial
  • 18. properties in order to reduce the tax burden on homeowners. “We should not be governing by petition,” said Selectman Bill Dalton. “We have the responsibility to set the tax rate given to us by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It’s up to us to make a decision with the whole picture, not just part of it.” The board gathered new information during a recent hearing on the issue, but most of it seemed to confirm their existing beliefs. The proceedings were dominated by Chief Assessor Frank Reen’s study, which undermined the petitioners’ claim that the town was undervaluing commercial proper- ties. “There is a perception that business are getting a sweetheart deal, but that is clearly not true,” said Selectman Eric Dahlberg. The board struck a conciliatory note by renewing its pledge to make more businesses turn in the proper paperwork to town assessors. Reen noted that the compliance rate has increased from in the last year, but still hovers at 36 percent. The selectmen appeared to spend more time deliberating on a citizen’s petition for a spring ballot question on classification. Most board members went so far as to applaud the efforts of the petition- ers before rejecting their initiative. “I do struggle a little bit with this,” said Chairman Phil Eliopoulos. “Unless it is a question that is offen- sive or out of bounds part of me tries to say, ‘I want to honor their request.’” Outgoing board member Dalton was more confrontational. He challenged Eliopoulos for appearing to waffle on his earlier stand against classification. “Do you mean your vote was wrong?” said Dalton. “Nothing would change my mind. If they want to get the 2,500 signatures or whatever, they can do it.” In order to override the selectmen’s decision, petitioners must gather signatures from 10 percent of Chelmsford residents. Organizer Matthew Cilento previously pledged he would find the signatures if necessary. *** LOWELL SUN LETTER TO THE EDITOR Let 'we the people' decide The Lowell Sun 11/29/2008 The Sun ran a story on Nov. 25 about Chelmsford's Board of Selectmen voting unani- mously to keep the town's residential and business tax rates the same, at least for an- other year. I applaud them for their unanimity and also their decision. What I do find reprehensible action by the board is the fact that they rejected the idea that a group of citizens should be able to promote an initiative petition, non-binding at that.
  • 19. What makes Selectman Bill Dalton think that a non-binding petition takes the place of the board's responsibility for governing? I personally wouldn't have voted in favor of the petition, but this is America, The last time I checked, quot;We the Peoplequot; have a larger right than a few selectmen to promulgate what we think may be right for the town, state or country. After all, we are the ones who ultimately are going to foot the bill. It's a crying shame how, what started out as a representative government, has deterio- rated over the years to where bureaucrats, now, in towns, states and of course the fed- eral government, turn a deaf ear to the citizens they are supposed to be representing. What kind of representation are we getting when something as democratic as an initiative petition is trivialized and trashed? BOB MOORES Chelmsford LOWELL SUN EDITORIAL Let the people vote 11/28/2008 Chelmsford's Board of Selectmen took a page out of the state Legislature's anti-democracy book, and residents should be concerned. This is not a best-seller by any stretch of the imagination. While denying citizens' petitions is routine on Beacon Hill, it must not become business as usual on Drum Hill. On Monday night, selectmen denied a citizens' initiative petition on tax classification from appearing on the April ballot. The initiative would have asked voters to approve a change in the town's neutral tax system, shifting more of the burden onto businesses and less- ening the load on residential taxpayers. It would also grant an exemption to small businesses.
  • 20. As proposed, the initiative is nonbinding. That means selectmen would have no obligation to make it law should the initiative pass. In effect, the question would serve as a sounding board for gauging public sentiment on the debate-worthy issue of tax classification. At present, Chelmsford business owners and residential property owners pay the same tax rate. For years, selectmen and citizens have debated splitting the tax rate with- out moving in that direction. The initiative's architect, Matthew Cilento, says a tax shift wouldn't bring in more revenue, but it would offer relief to homeowners who are being asked to pay the same as income-producing businesses. We see no good reason why selectmen rejected bringing this issue to a townwide vote. It is incumbent on elected officials to listen to their con- stituents -- whether they agree with them or not -- and to act on their behalf. In this instance, several dozen citizens launched a petition drive to hear what all voters felt about a legitimate issue. They were not seeking to take power away from selectmen or any other town authority. They just wanted their neighbors to weigh in. This is the cornerstone of our democracy. It should not be denied. Sometimes, our elected officials become out of touch with the true senti- ments of the people they serve. The Founding Fathers instituted the initia- tive petition process so that citizens had a democratic avenue to redress government. We don't take up arms to change the decisions of our elected leaders; we vote. We urge the Board of Selectmen to reconsider its vote and allow law-abiding citizens their basic right to be heard in a truly democratic fashion. It's disheartening that a local municipal board would place a higher value on its authority to deny democracy than to willingly embrace it in a direct vote of the people.
  • 21. Chelmsford business owner & CBA member speaks to the Board of Selectmen about the citizen ballot question Click Here for Video Link ------------------------------------------- Chelmsford Board of Selectmen give reasons for their Vote on Citizens Ballot Question concerning Split Tax rate Click Here for Video Link
  • 22. http://www.lowellsun.com/local/ci_11078647 Signing on for a tax fix By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com Updated: 11/26/2008 CHELMSFORD -- It will take 2,100 signatures to get tax classification on the April ballot. Matthew Cilento is determined to make it happen. In the wake of a unanimous decision by the Board of Selectmen to block the issue from going to voters, supporters of shifting the tax burden onto local businesses are ready to do some serious legwork. quot;The people who pay taxes in town should at least have their voices heard,quot; said Cilento, the chief architect behind a petition to put tax classification on the ballot. quot;There are networks in place to gather those signatures. The numbers will speak for themselves.quot; Voters have been debating the town's tax rate for more than a decade, but this year marked the first time in history town officials were petitioned for a townwide vote. Before rejecting the request Monday night, the Board of Selectmen said levying higher taxes on commercial properties would not benefit the town as a whole. quot;The way to provide true relief to taxpayers is having strong business taxpayers,quot; said Selectmen Chairman Philip Eliopoulos during Monday's vote, adding that he struggled with the decision of keeping a non-binding question off the ballot. But Eliopoulos said yesterday the board ultimately felt that setting the tax rate was something the board was elected to do by the residents. quot;At what point do you not put something on the ballot?quot; he asks. quot;If you're going to do anything by referendum, then you don't need a Board. You can just put everything on the ballot.quot;
  • 23. Supporters of tax classification said that if larger companies like Wal-Mart, Hannaford and Kohl's were paying more in taxes, it would ease some financial strain on families trying to make ends meet in a slow economy. Opponents argued that shifting the tax burden onto businesses would hurt small businesses, result in lower commercial and industrial property values, and actually force homeowners to shoulder more levies. Chelmsford had a split tax rate from 1987 to 1998. Since then, every attempt to reinstate classification has been halted. Homeowners and business owners pay the same tax rate, $13.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Selectmen ruled this week that the level tax rate will apply for 2009 as well, and is expected to go up about $14.33 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or, according to assessors, about $50 per single family household. During the past five years, the average single family property tax bill in Chelmsford has climbed from $3,948 to $5,105, or a 29.31 percent increase. ******************************************************************************************** Matt Cilento told me he has been getting calls and emails about his ballot petition. Interestingly he has gotten calls from those who own businesses in town asking to sign his petition. When asked why, Matt was told that even though they would vote against Tax Classification they thought the citizens should have the right to have the question on the April town election ballot. Also other citizens who would not vote for classification expressed the same opinion such as Chelmsford cable’s political talk show host Tom Christiano...
  • 24. From: Tom Christiano Date: December 3, 2008 9:29:35 AM EST To: Matt Cilento Subject: Hi Matt Hi Matt: I'll sign your petition, as I believe in hearing from the people, even on non-binding ballot questions, and even though I am against tax classification. 8-) -- CHRISTIANO PRODUCTIONS: POLITICALLY INCORRECT: Tues & Weds 8:30 PM; Thurs 7:00 AM; Sundays 11:00 AM REEL TALK: Thursdays 8:00 PM and Saturdays 8:30 PM SPOTLIGHT ON CHELMSFORD: Various Times Chelmsford Cable TV Channel 8 For those interested in the ballot petition and the story behind the story contact MATT at LetThePeopleSpeak@gmail.com
  • 25. Power Plant Info N Town Crier Taken from theTewksbury November 20 Power Plant Inches Closer to State Approval Siting Board drafting tentative letter By Jayne W. Miller BOSTON- The Energy Facilities Siting Board last week voted unanimously to direct staff to draft a “tentative determination” to approve the proposal for siting a 348 megawatt power plant in Billerica, directly on Tewks- bury’s border. While a seemingly minor development, not even meriting a mention on the EFSB website, the vote tips off the beginning of a process. Once the EFSB issues the letter, which insiders tell the Crier is likely, a seven-day comment period begins where interveners, the proponent and similar inter- ested parties may respond. After the comment period closes, the board will vote again, moving toward a tentative decision. DG Clean Power, LLC, together with Montgomery Energy Billerica Power Partners LP, proposed a 348 Megawatt “peaking” power plant for a site in North Billerica near Baker Commodities and Jack’s Auto Parts, just over the Tewksbury town line. Entrance to the plant will actually be in Tewks- bury. At 348 MW the plant would be the 13th largest power plant in Massa- chusetts. As a peaking power plant it will operate during periods of high electricity demand, typically winter cold snaps and hot summer days and on average 1,500 hours per year up to a maximum 2300 hours per year. The plant, should it pass the hurdles before it, will use natural gas to power the facility, with up to 200 hours of ultra low sulfur diesel oper- ation during periods of peak natural gas demand. BillericaPowerPlant.org wrote in a weekly email to subscribers, “While disappointing, this decision was not unexpected. A final decision from the EFSB must still be rendered. The proposal must still receive permits from several other state agencies, and pass the scrutiny of several Bil-
  • 26. lerica boards. This process is far from over. Stay tuned ...” Billerica Watchers Group member, and Tewksbury resident, Karyn Sliva, told the Crier in a written statement that Billerica Watchers “were not al- lowed to submit a response following what amounted to be many unsubstan- tiated assertions made by DG Power at the hearings.” Billerica Watchers, the only legal intervener, believes members of the EFSB had incomplete information presented in large part by “embellished statements and inconsistent mapping and site layouts” presented by the proponent DG Clean Power. Billerica Watchers says that the site layouts used “were previously found to be in error at the hearings.” Both the Billerica Watchers Group and BillericaPowerPlant.org noted in conversations with the Crier that the proponent has not yet presented the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR). In the case of a proposed power plant in Brockton, a process going on longer than Billerica and a project higher up the list than Billerica, submitted its FEIR before the hearings process began. The Billerica Energy Center hearings already closed. DG Clean power did submit a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), but it is typical to give the FEIR report to the Board to ensure that all members know the full extent of the expected environmental impact eluci- dated in the report. Sliva adds, “BWG will be awaiting the formal Tentative Decision which will be collaborated and written by the Presiding Officer and Board Ana- lyst of the EFSB who conducted the full hearings, and the Billerica Watcher will be expecting that they will perform their due diligence and comprehensively review the complete record.” Paige Impink, of BillericaPowrPlant.org, reminded the Crier that “Nothing changes for us because this is just a step in a very long process.” She also adds that there is a precedent for plants being sited but later not built. Both groups agree that the process remains far from over. A representative from DG Clean Power did not respond immediately to an email Tuesday afternoon.
  • 27. from “LEFT IN LOWELL” Member of the reality-based community of progressive Massachusetts blogs by Lynne Lupien http://www.leftinlowell.com/2008/12/02/we-dont-need-the-power-now-and-shouldnt-later-either/ December 2, 2008 We Don’t Need The Power Now - And Shouldn’t Later, Either! The biggest argument from the proponents looking to build CO2-pollut - ing power plants in MA, like ones proposed in Billerica and Brockton, is that we’re constantly in need of more power, and need to ramp up our infrastructure to meet tomorrow’s needs. And anyway, natural-gas-fired plants are sooo much better than coal, so really, we need these in the interim…let us build these plants so we can make money hand over fist, your air quality won’t get that bad, and you need us. Sure we’ll be tran - sitioning to renewables and conservation someday, but in the mean - time… Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. The gas- and diesel-burning plant would produce 350 megawatts of elec - tricity and is slated to open by 2012. But new sources of power won’t be needed until 2014 at the earliest, ac - cording to a recent report from electricity overseer ISO New England. And it may be even longer before the Brockton plant is needed if other plants come into service first, electricity projections show. Yet that won’t mean state energy regulators will reject it. Under state law, such forecasts aren’t considered by the Energy Facilities Siting Board, the permit-granting board. That’s a disappointment to project opponents. (And remember, the more natural gas plants go up, the quicker our resi - dential gas bills, yours and mine, go skyrocketing too.) The thing is, by 2014, we should have long been seeing the effects of better policies at the local, state, and federal levels - both in conserva - tion (reducing our need for power overall) and in ramping up the use of
  • 28. renewables, spurred on by such programs as Commonwealth Solar, or local contests (to start with). Thereby, I predict (and am quite sure of myself) that even 2014 will not see an increased need for power. If we’re seeing an increased need for power in five years, we have much bigger problems than having the cost of electricity go up due to scarcity (and honestly, having scarcity might be the only thing at that point that will force us to conserve like we should be). Like the oil market these days, where a downturn has reduced demand so sharply we’ve seen the price slip to 1/3 its peak cost, below $50 a barrel (a price I never thought I would see in my lifetime again!), power and electricity demand should be going down, and also be supple - mented by decentralized power, where every rooftop which is prime real estate for solar will have it, and every windy backyard will have a wind - mill, and home owners will begin to look beneath their foundations for geothermal. Decentralized power, as discussed by such people as Jeremy Rifkin in “The Hydrogen Economy,” is a huge threat to the profits of Big Power types that like to pressure us with warnings of electrical scarcity, so they can keep building giant, polluting plants in our backyards. This time, we don’t have to listen to them. We’re on our way to true energy independence - including from our own industrial power giants. The plants in Brockton, or Billerica, or the myriad other sites being consid - ered in MA, are not needed. Let them go the way of the dinosaurs. Evolve, or get out of the way.
  • 29. BILLERICA MINUTEMAN http://www.wickedlocal.com/billerica/news/x541375226/Special-Town-Meeting-supports-new-power-plant-bylaws Special Town Meeting supports new power plant bylaws By Liana Measmer/Correspondent Wed Dec 03, 2008 BILLERICA, MASS. - If Jeanne Landers had any doubt as to the viability of her warrant article, it was clearly dispelled at Tuesday night’s Special Town Meeting. Representatives voted to support Article 2, a proposal to add bylaws which would regulate and oversee electric generating power plant facilities in Billerica. The Finance Committee recommended the article while the Rules Committee opposed it, saying it lacked certain definitions of what a power plant was. Precinct 11 representative Arthur Torrey came to the microphone to gave his “minority opinion” report and outlined what amendments he wanted to see added. Before discussion, Town Moderator Scott Winchell read off a list of four amendments put forth by Landers to bring the article in line with what Torrey was suggesting. Town Counsel Pat Costello gave his opinion this article was doing nothing more than setting up a regulatory committee. He pointed out that facilitates like this are regulated by state law. “Committees and boards on local and state levels will maintain their own power,” said Costello at the Tuesday, Dec. 2, Special Town Meeting. Landers explained she gathered more than 400 signatures in order to get the article added to the warrant. “It was interesting to find out what people don’t know,” said Landers, a representative of Precinct 7. DG Clean Power has proposed a 348-megawatt gas-fired peaking power plant in North Billerica. Last month, the plant was given tentative approval by the Energy Facilities Siting Board. Landers pointed out there has never been a facility this large in Billerica before and she said there could be unexpected consequences from the environmental impact. “We must be careful and take responsibility,” said Landers. “We need to understand what is needed.” Landers listed all the bylaws the town has, but pointed out there are none for power plants. The proposed plant is due to move through the next phases of state approval within the month. “At this time, the town has an opportunity to have standing,” said Landers. Precinct 11 representative Ed Bunker added historical information about a coal
  • 30. plant and another electric power plant which came into Billerica but did not receive approval. State Representative Bill Greene, D-Billerica, stood in favor of the article, re - minding the floor that its intent was to provide a framework for a common goal. “It’s a great step in the right direction,” said Greene. In the end, the floor voted in favor of the article and Landers thanked the body for their support.
  • 31. http://www.wickedlocal.com/billerica/news/x541375226/Special-Town-Meeting-supports-new-power-plant-bylaws Powerless power-plant proposal passes in Billerica By Chris Camire, ccamire@lowellsun.com Updated: 12/03/2008 10:05:58 AM EST BI LL E R ICA - - O p p o n e nt s o f t h e Bi l le r i c a E n e rg y C e nt e r le t o ut a j o yo u s c he e r l a s t n i ght a ft e r a wa r r a nt a r t ic le s e e k i n g t o r e g u l at e p o w e r p l a nt s p a s s e d at S p e c i a l T o w n Me e t i n g . D e sp it e t h e c eleb r at o r y m o o d , t h o u gh , it r e m a i n s u n c le a r wh at i mp a c t t h e a r t ic le ' s p a s s i n g w i l l h ave o n a $ 2 0 0 m i l l i o n , 3 4 8 - me g awat t pl a nt , p r o p o s e d fo r Bi l le r i c a Ave nu e . T he a r t ic le , wh ic h wa s s ub m it t e d by T o w n Me e t i n g me mb e r Je a n n e L a n d e r s , s t at e s t h at va r i o u s t o w n d ep a r t me nt s mu s t r ev iew 17 c r it e- r i a b e fo r e a n ele c t r ic g e n e r at i n g p o w e r pl a nt c a n b e b u i lt i n Bi l le r - ic a . T h e l i s t i n c lud e s i mp a c t o n w i ld l i fe , n o i s e p ol lut i o n , p ubl ic s a fe t y a n d a i r qu a l it y. T he a r t ic le p a s s e d by a 9 7 - 7 7 vo t e . L a n d e r s s a id sh e h o p e s it w i l l e n c o u r a g e t o w n le a d e r s t o t a ke a c lo s e r lo o k at t h e p r o p o s a l fo r t h e Bi l le r ic a E n e rg y C e nt e r. quot; T h i s n e e d s t o b e lo o k e d at c a r e fu l ly a n d i n a c o n c e r t e d way, quot; she s a id . quot; T h e lo c a l b o a r d s a n d o ff ic i a l s a r e t he o n ly o n e s w it h a ny s ay. A hu g e p r oj e c t l i ke t h i s sh o u ld b e g e t t i n g c a r e fu l s c r ut i ny. quot; T o w n C o u n s e l P at r ic k C o s t e l lo s a id t h e a r t ic le w i l l c r e at e a n quot; a dv i- s o r y c o m m it t e e quot; t o s t u dy t h e p o we r p la nt , b ut w i l l d o l it t le el s e . quot; Re g u lat i o n i s c o nt r ol le d by s t at e l aw at t h e s t at e a n d lo c a l leve l , quot; C o s t e l l o t old T o w n Me e t i n g. quot; No n e o f t h at w i l l ch a n g e . quot; S eve r a l T o w n Me e t i n g r ep r e s e nt at ive s sp o k e p a s s i o n at ely i n favo r o f t h e a r t ic le , s ay i n g t h at a p o we r pl a nt p o s e s g r ave r i s k s t o t he h e a lt h o f B i l le r ic a' s r e s id e nt s .
  • 32. quot; T h e r e a r e c h i ld r e n i n t h i s a r e a wh o w i l l b e i mp a c t e d by t h i s p o we r p l a n t , quot; R o m e C ap o b i a n c o s a i d . Ja me s C a s a rj i a n - P e r r y s a id m a ny o f h i s c o n s t it u e nt s ap p r o a c he d h i m b e fo r e l a s t n i ght' s me e t i n g a s k i n g h i m t o s up p o r t t h e a r t ic le . quot; I n t h e s t at e we ' r e i n , wh e r e we a r e e xt r e me ly c o n c e r n e d ab o ut fo s s i l fu e l s , we sh o u ld h ave a byl aw at t he l o c a l leve l , quot; C a s a rj i a n - P e r r y s a id . L a s t n i ght' s me e t i n g wa s c a l le d a ft e r L a n d e r s c o l le c t e d m o r e t h a n t h e 2 0 0 s i g n at u r e s r e q u i r e d t o g ive s e le c t me n t h e aut h o r it y t o c a l l a S p e c i a l T o w n Me e t i n g t o c o n s id e r a s i n g le wa r r a nt a r t ic le . S h e h a d pl a n n e d t o b r i n g t h e a r t ic le t o t h e f lo o r o f T o w n Me e t i n g i n O c t ob e r, b ut sh e m i s s e d t he d e a d l i n e t o s ub m it it by s eve r a l m i nut e s . T he p o w e r pl a nt p r o p o s e d fo r No r t h Bi l le r ic a h a s d r aw n o p p o s it i o n fr o m a vo c a l g r o up o f r e s id e nt s . Bi l le r ic a Wat c he r s , a c it i z e n s a c - t iv i s t g r o up fo r me d t o p r eve nt t h e p o we r p la nt fr o m b e i n g b u i lt , h a s a rg u e d t h at it w i l l p o s e a he a lt h r i s k t o t h e c o m mu n it y. L a s t m o nt h , t he s t at e E n e rg y Fa c i l it ie s S it i n g B o a r d v ot e d u n a n i- m o u s ly t o d r a ft a t e nt at ive d e c i s i o n t o ap p r o ve t h e Bi l le r i c a E n e rg y C e nt e r w it h c o n d it i o n s . T he b o a r d i s e xp e c t e d t o r e c o nve n e i n Ja nu a r y t o t a ke a fo r m a l vo t e o n wh e t he r t o ap p r ove t h e d e c i s i o n . But t h o s e fa m i l i a r w it h t h e p r o c e s s s ay it' s u n l i k ely t he b o a r d w i l l d e ny a p e r m it . T he Ma s s a chu s e t t s D ep a r t me nt o f E nv i r o n me nt a l P r o t e c t i o n a n d t he E x e c ut ive O ff ic e o f E nv i r o n me nt a l A f fa i r s mu s t a l s o i s s u e p e r m it s fo r t he p o we r pl a nt . O n t h e lo c a l level , t he pl a nt mu s t g o t h r o u gh t h e B o a r d o f He a lt h , C o n s e r vat i o n C o m m i s s i o n a n d P la n n i n g B o a r d . S e le c t me n r e c e nt ly c r e at e d a c o m m it t e e c o n s i s t i n g o f me mb e r s fr o m va r i o u s t o w n d ep a r t me nt s t h at w o u ld me e t e a ch m o nt h t o d i s c u s s a ny n e w s r e g a r d i n g t h e p r o p o s e d p l a nt . B o a r d o f S e le c t me n C h a i r m a n Ji m O ' D o n n el l h a s s a id t he c o m m it t e e m ay b e d i s s olve d i f L a n d e r s ' a r t ic le p a s s e d .
  • 33. Chelmsford and H2O Chelmsfor Independent Planning Board wants more from North Chelmsford Water By Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Writer Fri Nov 21, 2008 CHELMSFORD - At its meeting last week, the Planning Board told engineers representing the North Chelmsford Water District not to return to Town Hall until they address all the concerns from board members and resi- dents. The board asked why the engineers from Tata & Howard have not supplied an architectural plan for its proposed water treatment plant. Other unresolved issues, according to the Planning Board, include a proposal for how the district would deal with a chemical spill and a guarantee that National Grid will grant an easement necessary for access to the facility. “It’s the details that we’re lacking,” said Planning Board Chairman Pam Armstrong. Wednesday’s continued public hearing on the water district’s $7.8 million water treatment plant proposed for Richardson Road was marked by accu- sations that the water district repeatedly has ignored concerns raised by North Chelmsford water takers. Attorney Doug Hausler, who represents some of the water takers, wanted to know why the district has not responded to requests to release copies of its bylaws along with a detailed budget for the
  • 34. plant. “This is about transparency of government,” said Hausler. “They are using public funds and need to justify the costs. At the rate this is going, it’s inviting litigation.” Hausler also questioned the district’s assertion that because an office will not be incorporated into the plant, it would not need a dumpster onsite. “I’d like to see how an 11,000-square-foot facility will generate no trash,” said Hausler. Tata & Howard engineers replied the plant was not proposed as a manned facility; trash would be collected in a bucket then taken every couple of weeks to another water district site for disposal. But it was the lack of agreement from National Grid for an easement that Hausler insists shows the district’s insincerity about open- ness. Although the water district does not an approval from National Grid, it is proceeding as if it does, said Hausler. “It just points to the arrogance of the applicant,” said Hausler. “It’s time for them to put up or shut up.” Some Planning Board members seemed to agree that the district’s proposal still lacks important components. Member George Zaharoolis said the district should obtain the easement — or at least a letter saying negotiation are ongoing — from National Grid before proceeding. Other members urged the water district to work with North Chelmsford residents to address concerns over property lines, easements and plant safety. “You need to work with the abutters,” said Planning Board member Sue Sullivan. “They are your biggest threat for an appeal.” Planning Board member Ann McGuigan offered an even more direct order. “If you come back Dec. 3 without enough answers, we will continue the public hearing without comment,” she said. Kevin Zimmerman can be reached at chelmsford@cnc.com. * ******************************************************************************************** At the Dec.3rd meeting the North Chelmsford Water District’s attorney’s sent the planning board a letter requesting a continuance to their December 17th meeting
  • 35. Chelmsford Happenings ********************* T he quot; G o d fat he r o f C h el m s fo r dquot; w o u ld l i k e t o t h a n k a l l o f h i s fr i e n d s a n d n e i ghb o r s fo r p a r t ic ip at i n g i n t h e 2 n d A n nu a l D ay B e fo r e T h a n k s g iv i n g Wa l k i n T h a n k s g iv i n g Fo r e s t . T he r e w e r e hu n d r e d s o f p e o ple t h e r e , a l l e n j oy i n g t h e d ay, s m i l i n g a n d l au gh i n g, l i k e a b i g quot; fa m i ly quot; g at h e r i n g. S p e c i a l t h a n k s g o o ut t o t h e fo l lo w i n g fr i e n d s o f t h e quot; G o d fat h e r : quot; * B e c k y Wa r r e n , wh o g ave a n o t h e r i nt e r e s t i n g t a l k ab o ut t he h i s t o r y a n d t r a d it i o n s o f Ch el m s fo r d . * P h i l S t a nway, Ji m T r ib o u , a n d a l l t he L a n d C o n s e r vat i o n S t ewa r d s , fo r o rg a n i z i n g t h i s wo n d e r fu l eve nt , a n d fo r t he s e t up a n d c le a n up o f t h e b e aut i fu l T h a n k s g iv i n g Fo r e s t . * P h i l Jo n e s a n d t he G i r l S c o ut s , fo r t h e i r t a s t y t r e at s a n d h o t ch o c ol at e . T he quot; G o d fat he r quot; b e l i eve s t h at t he r e i s n o b e t t e r way t o b e g i n o u r T h a n k s g iv i n g H ol id ay t h a n w it h fr i e n d s , fa m i ly & n e i ghb o r s . He t h a n k s yo u a l l fo r c o m i n g o ut t o t h e wa l k a g a i n t h i s ye a r, a n d r e - m i n d s yo u t o m a rk y o u r n ew 20 0 9 c a le n d a r s fo r We d n e s d ay, Nove mb e r 2 5 t h , at 2 : 0 0 PM , fo r o u r 3 r d A n nu a l T h a n k s g iv i n g Wa l k .
  • 36. Holiday Prelude & Tree Lighting Ceremony Chelmsford Town Common Sunday, December a y P r e l u d ePM – 6:00 H o l i d 7, 2008 from 4:00 PM & along with caroling,Hayrides, music, Tr e e L i g h t i n gand Santa.m o n y refreshments C e r e Tr e e L i g h t i n g C e r e m o n y C h e l m s f o r d To w n C o m m o n S u n d a y, D e c e m b e r 7 , 2 0 0 8 f ro m 4 : 0 0 P M – 6 : 0 0 P M along with C a ro l i n g , H ay r i d e s , Refreshments and Santa.
  • 37. Chelmsford X-tras ********************* from the neighborhood Hi Roy - below is good info if you are sending to your list. Personally I would urge the gas tax and raise $300 million and toll only at the state lines. Folks hit with high gas cost / usage generally have an avenue to recoup - companies reimburse business mileage, self employeed people deduct business miles at a decent rate 58.50 cents per mile as of 12/31/08. Plus look at our neighbors in countries like Ireland - the gas tax is what keeps them afloat - I remember being there and paying for a liter what we paid for a gallon in usa. People keep traveling to Ireland and moving business there....... Have a great Thanksgiving! Mary From: Atkins, Cory - Rep. (HOU) Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 2:43 PM To: 'beacon@cnc.com'; 'mail@carlislemosquito.org'; 'chelmsford@cnc.com'; 'concord@cnc.com'; 'jim@americantowns.com' Subject: F O R I M M E DI AT E R E L EASE : M a s s T u r npi ke Aut h o r it y A n n o u n ce s P ubl ic He a r i n g s : Rep . At k i n s U r g e s L o c a l Pa r t ic ip at i o n F O R I M M E DI AT E R E L E AS E C O N TACT : NATA L I E KAUF M A N, ( 6 17 ) 7 2 2 - 20 13 Ma s s T u r npi ke Aut h o r it y A n n o u n c e s P ub l i c He a r i n g s : Rep . At ki n s U rg e s L o c a l P a r t i c ip at i o n Rep r e s e nt at iv e C o r y At k i n s ( D - C o n c o r d ) a n n o u n c e d t o d ay t h at t h e Ma s s a chu s e t t s T u r np i ke Aut h o r it y w i l l h o ld fo u r p ubl ic h e a r i n g s i n t h e m o nt h o f D e c e mb e r i n r e sp o n s e t o t h e M a s s T u r np i ke Aut h o r it y B o a r d' s r e c e nt d e c i s i o n t o i mple me nt t o l l i n c r e a s e s i n sp r i n g o f 2 0 0 9 . T h e s e h e a r i n g s h ave b e e n s c h e du le d t o r ec e ive i np ut fr o m t h e p ubl ic o n th e B o a r d' s d e c i s i o n t o r a i s e t o l l s at t h e We s t o n a n d A l l s t o n -B r i ght o n t o l l pl a z a s by 7 5 c e nt s a n d t o r a i s e t o l l s o n t h e T e d Wi l l i a m s a n d S u m n e r t u n - n e l s fr o m $ 3 . 5 0 t o $ 7. R ep r e s e nt at ive At k i n s st r o n g ly e n c o u r a g e s h e r c o n st itu e nt s t o att e n d at le a s t o n e o f t h e p ubl i c h e a r i n g s t o vo ic e t h e i r c o n ce r n s w it h t h e p r o p o s e d t ol l i n c r e a s e s T h e d at e s , t i m e s , a n d lo c at i o n s o f t h e p ubl ic h e a r i n g s a r e a s fo l lo ws : Bost o n We d n e s d ay, D e c e mb e r 10, 2 0 0 8 S t at e T r a n sp o r t at i o n Bu i ld i n g 10 P a rk Pl a z a , 2 n d F l o o r B o s t o n , MA 0 2 1 1 6 6: 30 p . m . - 8: 3 0 p . m .
  • 38. Ly n n M o n d ay, D e ce mb e r 1 5 , 2 0 0 8 Ly n n C it y H a l l 3 C it y H a l l S q u a r e Ly n n , M A 0 19 0 1 6: 30 p . m . - 8: 3 0 p . m . F r a m i n gh a m We d n e s d ay, D e c e mb e r 17, 20 0 8 F r a m i n gh a m M e m o r i a l Bu i ld i n g Ne v i n s H a l l 1 5 0 C o n c o rd St r e e t F r a m i n gh a m , M A 0 170 2 6: 30 p . m . - 8: 3 0 p . m . Wo r c e st e r We d n e s d ay, Ja nu a r y 7, 20 0 9 Wo r c e st e r C it y H a l l ********************* 4 5 5 Ma i n S t r e e t Wo r c e st e r, M A 0 1 6 0 8 6: 30 p . m . - 8: 3 0 p . m . W Wh e n d o i n g yo u r Ch r i s t m a s c a r d s t h i s ye a r, t a ke o n e c a r d a n d s e n d it t o t h i s a d - d r e s s . I f w e p a s s t h i s o n a n d e v e r y o n e s e n d s o n e c a r d , t h i n k o f h o w m a ny c a r d s t h e s e wo n d e r fu l s p e c i a l p e o ple wh o h ave s a c r i fi c e d s o mu ch w o u ld g e t . From the front lines to the home front, the American Red Cross provides service members, their families and veterans with the care and assistance they need. The Red Cross is partnering with Pitney Bowes this holiday season for the Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign. For the second year in a row, we’re col- lecting holiday cards to distribute to American service members, veterans and their families in the United States and around the world. Pitney Bowes is generously donating technology, resources and postage to make this holi- day card program possible. Our goal is to collect and distribute one million holiday cards to spread holiday cheer and facilitate thanks to these brave individuals and fami- lies. Please send cards to this address, following the guidelines listed below: H o l id ay Ma i l fo r H e r o e s P O Box 5 456 C ap it ol He i ght s , MD 2 0 7 9 1- 5 4 5 6 Joyce Johnson, Realtor CBRB
  • 39. New w eb s it e c r e at e d by t h e Ch e l m s fo r d Re cyc l i n g C o m m it t e e ch e c k it o ut http://www.chelmsfordrecycles.org/ http://www.townofchelmsford.us/Recycling-Department.cf m **************************** Joint Budget Meeting - Senior Center Dec. 11, 7pm
  • 40. TOMORROW’S HEADLINES TODAY Thursday December 4th 2011 1 I f y o u h a v e f r i e n d s , f a m i l y o r n e i g h b o r s w h o wo u l d l i k e t o b e a dd e d t o t h i s u p d a t e l i s t , j u s t h av e t h e m d ro p m e a line at re007hq@gmail.com