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In-Town Report  1-25-09
 

In-Town Report 1-25-09

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In-Town Report 1-25-09

In-Town Report 1-25-09

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    In-Town Report  1-25-09 In-Town Report 1-25-09 Document Transcript

    • JANUARY 25, 2009 A S e c o n d L o o k a t t h e N ew s This Week: This Old House 40B or Not To Be Speaking of Billerica Running on Empty Winter Wonderland Farmer in the Dell Odds and Ends
    • Chelmsford and the Old Town Halls What to do??? http://www.lowellsun.com/local/ci_11450223 Chelmsford considers a conversion of town hall By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com Updated: 01/14/2009 06:45:10 AM EST CHELMSFORD—If the walls could talk, they'd have more than 100 years of stories to tell. Now a proposal from the Chelmsford Housing Authority seeks to place affordable housing units inside two of the town's oldest buildings—the old town halls in North Chelmsford and Chelmsford Center. The plan to re-develop the vacant and dilapidated buildings would bring in more than $1 million to preserve the historic landmarks for years to come, said CHA Executive Director David Hedison. quot;It will breathe life back into the buildings,quot; Hedison said. quot;Not only will it provide much-needed affordable rental units for residents, but it will bring additional economic development to both centers of town, put the buildings on the tax roll and eliminate the need for on-going capital resources from the town.quot; CHA's plan currently shows 17 studio apartments inside the Old North Town Hall, which has been va- cant for 20 years, and 10 one bedroom units and four studios for the Old Center Town Hall, which was closed for the winter to save Chelmsford thousands of dollars in utility costs. By redeveloping the sites for housing, CHA can qualify for more than $1 million in preservation funds from the state to preserve the exterior of each building. The preservation and restoration will be sub- ject to the same standards and treatment as used on the most significant historical landmarks in the United States. quot;It's a platinum standard of quality,quot; Hedison said. Plans for the Center Town Hall would include carving out the front section of the first floor, about 1,500 square feet of space, for community use throughout the year, including opening it up to the public dur- ing the Fourth of July, for art shows, or other community events, Hedison added. In order to qualify for state funding, CHA would also have to commit to generating a sum of money each year to pay for on- going maintenance of the two buildings. Basically, said Hedison, the state wants to ensure its invest- ment is being taken care of. Town Manager Paul Cohen said the proposal was quot;something for the town to consider,quot; because renovating the town halls would be an enormous cost burden on the town. That is why the North Hall has sat empty for two decades. quot;Up until this point, particularly for the North Hall, it's the first time a creative proposal that's financially viable has come forth,quot; Cohen said. It would also provide more affordable housing options for Chelmsford residents, especially for veter- ans, young professional couples and singles, and people with handicaps. The CHA will hold a public hearing on the issue at 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 2, inside the Chelmsford Police Station's Community Room, 2 Olde North Road.
    • http://www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford/homepage/x497790859/Poll-What-do-you-think-about-the-plan-to-turn-Town-Hall-into-housing Some feedback from the A poll being run by the Chelmsford local newspapers Independent at last count was message boards... ------------ must be crazy 1/15/2009 4:54:14 PM ET What about parking ? The North Chelmsford town hall has no parking. None is allowed on rt 40, and the side street is posted as no parking. The density proposed is insane for that building, too. --------- Good idea #19Friday I think it is a great idea! Why should the Town be spending resources on taking care of building that is not used. With all of the cut backs - we need to focus the Town's money on buildings that are ac - tively used and find constructive uses for those in need of preservation. If they are going to be re - stored what is the big problem. I have lived here my whole life and never been in the building. I drive by it every day and just want it oncechumpsford to be preserved. #22Friday --------------- Good idea wrote: Okay I think it is a great idea! Why should the Town be spending resources on Chelmsford, MA taking care of building that is not used. With all of the cut backs - we need to focus the Town's money on buildings that are actively used and find con- con- #9Wednesday Jan 14 structive uses for those in need of preservation. If they are going to be re- re- stored what is the big problem. I have lived here my whole life and never been in the building. I drive by it Can't imagine that the 1 million would renovate every day and just want it to be preserved. both of those buildings. Wouldn't it be wiser to try preserved? I am surprised they didnt give it to to sell those buildings with historic restrictions and let it be business or residential. If they don't the schools for more office space. Its a historic sell, close them and shut off the water so they landmark so I am sure the historical commis - don't need to be heated. Skip the 1 million, the sion ought to have a say. The history in that state puts to many financial strings on everything place is more than the center town hall ever they offer and the Town is at it's limits. At its limits saw. The workers from the old mill right next because of state mandates on the schools with door, to the civil war vets that used the North BELOW MINIMUM FUNDING FOR Chelmsford hall. That property should be CHELMSFORD. ------ priceless. Stop the buffoons from destroying it Kevin and turning it into apartments to appease their #6Wednesday Jan 14 quot;not in my neighborhoodquot; agendas. Months from now when you look into who renovated Wouldn't it be better to sell the buildings as office the hall, you will notice that certain people re - space, with covenents? If the buildings are so lated to the town officials who suggested it in hard to heat, do you really want low income in the first place are very much involved in own - there? ership. Thats Chumpsford pure and simple. --------- Scott ----------------------------- #5Wednesday Jan 14 Getting ridiculous How dare they want to fix up an old, run down #23Friday building that looks horrible and try to make the Vinyl Square area look nicer. Give me a People in this town will find any break..some people will just complain about any - reason to **** . thing. The building looks like a piece of junk... it would be great to see it all fixed up and generat - Here is another productive idea and they all ing revenue for the town. 17 studio appts arent come out to say no, no no no no going to make a very big impact on the nonononononononononononono traffic...thats just an excuse for you to complain about something. --------------
    • And the discussion flows over onto the TV screen as well... “Town Talk” with Dennis Ready Chelmsford's TOWN TALK 01-15-09 Dennis Ready talks affordable housing and Town Hall with Precinct 1 Town Meeting Rep Peggy Dunn CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO CLIP Chelmsford's TOWN TALK - 01-15-09 -Dennis Ready talks affordable housing and Town Hall with Chelmsford BOS Vice Chairwomen Clare Jeannotte CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO CLIP And on “POLITICALLY INCORRECT” with Tom Christiano Chelmsford’s POLITICALLY INCORRECT 01-13-09 Tom Christiano discusses redevelopment with Selectman Eric Dahlberg, Selectmen candidate Donald Van Dyne, Precinct 8 Town Meeting Rep for re-election Mary Tiano, and Precinct 4 Town Meeting Rep for re-election Sheila Pichette. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO CLIP
    • http://www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford/town_info/government/x497801295/Housing-plans-for-Town-Halls-irks-many Housing plans for Town Halls irks many By Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Writer Wed Jan 21, 2009, 03:45 PM EST CHELMSFORD - A proposal to turn Town Hall on the Common into housing has reignited Bernie Ready’s political career. “I was a Town Meeting rep for 20 years and now I’m coming out of retirement,” said Ready. “The forces pushing this have done their homework. The only way to really stop this is at Town Meeting.” Town Meeting will have to approve the Chelmsford Housing Authority’s plan to create 10 one-bedroom units and four studio apartments out of the Town Hall in the Center and 17 studio apartments in the North Town Hall. According to the Housing Authority’s proposal, the plan will help to save the two buildings’ historical significance. “By redeveloping these sites for housing, over $1 million of funding from Mass Historical Tax Credits can be used to preserve the exterior of the buildings,” Housing Authority Executive Director David Hedi- son wrote in his proposal. “Not only does this plan look to preserve the build- ings, it provides new units that will house our residents and bring additional economic development to both centers of town.” But at what cost, asked Ready. “This was our Town Hall. This was a beautiful building. It’s our Faneuil Hall and they want to gut it and just keep the façade,” said Ready. “It will be like a Hollywood studio. You’ll never be able to go inside and see what it looked like for real.” Ready doesn’t believe protecting the out- side of a building justifies turning a historic structure into a moneymaking ven- ture for the town. Although he admits it’s a bit of a stretch, he suggests the housing plan is not unlike officials allowing a fast-food restaurant to open in the Little Red School House on the Common as long as the exterior remains unchanged. “They are on this kick that if a building doesn’t produce enough money, get rid of it,” said Ready. Ready also doesn’t understand why, after pouring money into Town Hall to help restore it over the years, town officials are anxious to rede- velop the building. He doesn’t buy their argument that it costs too much to main- tain the facility. “What better use for Community Preservation money?” he asked. “This is a nice building to go into to look at. It is a beautiful reminder of Chelmsford’s past. What better thing to preserve than Town Hall?” Kevin Zimmerman can be reached at chelmsford@cnc.com. ********************************************************************** For more information on local efforts to preserve Town Hall contact Dennis Ready at dready@comcast.net Also, Peggy Dunn is urging that everyone attend the February 2nd public forum presented by David Hedison and the Chelmsford Housing Authority. And that all get involved in preserving Town Hall as a community center. Send your comments and ideas to Peggy Dunn at savetownhall@gmail.com or call her at 978-250-8095.
    • Re-Developing Our Resources to Safeguard Our History and Serve the Residents of Chelmsford Photos from Chelmsford Historic Commission - F. Merriam
    • An Opportunity to Preserve and Provide Both Town Halls are currently closed with no plan or funding to safeguard their historical significance. In order to qualify for preservation funds from the State, there must be a viable use that will address not only upfront preservation – but annual operating funds to maintain the investment. By re-developing these sites for housing, over $1,000,000 of funding from Mass Historical Tax Credits can be used to preserve the exterior of the buildings. The preservation and restoration will be subject to the standards used on the most significant buildings in the United States. Not only does this plan look to preserve the buildings. It provides for new y p p g p units that will house our residents, bring additional economic development to both centers of town, put the buildings on the tax roll and eliminate the need for on-going capital resources from the Town.
    • Making Progress in Meeting Housing Needs N d Over the past five years, the Town of Chelmsford has seen an increase in the number of rental and homeownership units for seniors North Village (50 units), CHOICE Center (37 units), Brianna Lynn (16 units) - Rental Windemere, Augusta Way and Wayside - Homeownership Private developers have completed large-scale rental projects that have a very small affordable component that is not very affordable. ff The Meadows, Princeton Commons, Kensington Private developers have developed and continue to propose homeownership for families of which the majority are two bedroom town homes. Glen Ave, Residences at Steadman, Robin Hill Meadows, Orchard Woods, Woodland Square etc.
    • Progress Needs to Be Made g Affordable Rentals for Single Individuals We have 423 local “single” applicants that need affordable rental housing on our waiting list. We currently have no options for people under the age of 60 that need affordable housing. Affordable Rentals for Young Professionals Chelmsford has seen a major decline in this population. Affordable Aff d bl Rentals for the d bl d l f h disabled Of the 423 “single” applicants 143 are disabled applicants. Affordable Rentals for local Veterans Chelmsford has over 4000 veterans. Regina Jackson has indicated that affordable housing is the number one need for veterans. We have 15 local “single” veterans under the age of 60 in need of affordable rental housing today.
    • Goals for Both Projects j While working with the Historic Commission and District, restore and protect historic buildings with matching funds from the state as well as using Community Preservation Funds Provide new affordable housing opportunities to Veterans Single Individuals Young Professionals Disabled Individuals Increase number of residents living in downtown areas. Provide a mix of units that are subsidized and unsubsidized to promote a ov de o u s a a e subs d ed a d u subs d ed o p o o e diverse economic mix. Put these buildings on the Tax Roll in Chelmsford Converting vacant buildings into housing will bring additional economic benefits to the “center” areas.
    • The Residences at Old North Town Hall Photo from Chelmsford Historic Commission - F. Merriam
    • Old North Town Hall Preservation and restoration to Federal Secretary of Interior Standards Analysis showed that a minimum of 17 units were needed to generate enough income for the long term cash flow and maintenance of the building All units will be studios designed for single person occupancy g g p p y Project may be funded 100% through the Federal Stimulus package If it is not funded from Stimulus, $3 million may be funded through the State $500,000 from Mass Historic and $500,000 from Community Preservation will be needed if Stimulus funds are not available All 17 will be rental units and provided with an on-going subsidy from the CHA All residents will be screened including credit checks, CORI’s and landlord history. Preference to local residents and veterans
    • Old North Town Hall All 17 studios will count towards the Town’s 10% goal Project must go before the Zoning Board of Appeals for approval Long term lease for parking at the N. Chelmsford Fire Station will be needed. This is where parking was when the building was in use CHA is not looking for an immediate transfer of the property but is property, requesting an “Option to Purchase” for $1.00 from the Town to move forward. If funding is received, the transfer would occur at a later date Special T S i l Town Meeting action will be required M ti ti ill b i d Immediate action is necessary as stimulus funds have been requested and the CHA must have an architect selected by March 15, 2009 If project does not move forward, the building remains the property of the Town.
    • Old North Town Hall – Proposed Floor Plans 17 studio apartments p
    • Residences At Veteran’s Hall Photo from Chelmsford Historic Commission - F. Merriam
    • Chelmsford Center Town Hall Preservation and restoration to Federal Secretary of Interior Standards St d d Community space and bathrooms provided in front of building for continued community use during Town functions (i.e. 4th of July, Bank Concerts, Chelmsford Art Society etc.) y ) The building is currently closed. Last year’s heating and electricity was approxiamately $20,000. $45,000 from the Town has been budgeted for painting in the next year. Thi $45 000 could b put b k i t th b d t f use This $45,000 ld be t back into the budget for elsewhere. Analysis showed that a minimum of 14 units consisting of 10 – one bedroom units and 4 studios would be needed to generate enough g g income for the long term cash flow and maintenance of the building Total development cost estimated at $4.4 million dollars Will require some funding from Community Preservation All units will be rental and count towards the Town’s 10% goal Only 4 of the 14 units will have rental assistance from the CHA
    • Chelmsford Center Town Hall Targeted towards Veterans, young professionals and single individuals who desire to live in Chelmsford Center Parking plan provides for 52 vehicles for community use for bicycle path, parking for downtown business as well as residential needs Project must go before the Zoning Board of Appeals for approval New location for the Food Pantry would need to be identified such as Westlands School or local church Special Town Meeting action will be required Immediate action is necessary as stimulus funds have been requested and the CHA must have an architect selected by March 15, 2009 If project d j t does not move f t forward, th b ildi remains th property of th d the building i the t f the Town This building will be fully preserved and protected without the need for on- g g going funding from the Town g
    • Chelmsford Center Town Hall Proposed Floor Plan 10 – One BR units and 4 - Studios
    • Next Steps p The CHA has a limited time frame in which to move forward with these projects due to priority funding from the Governor and the Federal Stimulus Package. The CHA is meeting with the Chelmsford Historical Commission on January 13, 2009 as a follow up from the December 30, 2008 contact The Th CHA in conjunction with other parties will h ld a public meeting on i j ti ith th ti ill hold bli ti February 2 nd at 7:00 p.m. at the Chelmsford Police Station The CHA will present to the Board of Selectman on February 9, 2009 Special Town Meeting needed in early March 2009 for transfer of properties as well as funding from Community Preservation if project is to move forward The CHA will work diligently towards securing funds over the next 3 to 12 months If funding is awarded, the CHA would be required to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals for both projects If you have any questions regarding this presentation, please contact David Hedison, Executive Director, Chelmsford Housing y yq g g p ,p , , g Authority at chelmha@aol.com or david@chelmsfordha.com
    • Chelmsford and 40B Begin forwarded message: From: Eric Dahlberg <ericrdahlberg@gmail.com> Date: January 21, 2009 9:53:10 PM EST To: Roy Earley <re007hq@comcast.net>, Tom Christiano <tchristiano@comcast.net> Subject: Billerica 40B - ZBA hearing tonight Hi Roy and Tom, I thought I'd drop you both a line since I know you're following this - I attended tonight's Billerica ZBA meeting on the Aspen Apartments proposal (672-unit monstrosity off of Rangeway). Paul Cohen also attended. I'd say that of the ~40 people in at- tendance, ~30-35 were from Chelmsford (one other person I rec- ognized was Rep. Greene of Billerica). Hearing started at ~7:45 and wrapped up ~9:30. Following some preliminary reports from engineers, an attorney for the Chelmsford abutters spoke at length, followed by several folks from the audience. Paul read a comments letter from Evan Belansky (and submitted written copies for record). I can get you a copy of letter if you like. Hearing continued to Feb 4th at 8:30 PM. Eric Thanks goes out to Town Manager Paul Cohen and Selectman Eric Dahlberg for attending and for Eric filling us in on what happened. The following is the letter that was read...
    • Residents, officials oppose Aspen housing plan By Chloe Gotsis/Staff Writer Fri Jan 23, 2009 BILLERICA - Critics of a proposed affordable housing development presented the Zoning Board of Appeals with a laundry list of objections Wednesday, ranging from the project’s size to questions about the developer's license. Billerica and Chelmsford residents and officials urged the board to deny permits for the proposed 55-acre, 672-unit Aspen Apartments on Rangeway Road. Road “I do believe some of the safety issues outweigh the benefits to affordable housing,” said Pauline Brown, a Nashua Road resident. “All of the construction vehicles and people who live there would be driving over these gas lines.” New Jersey-based developer Better Homes first outlined their plans for the 14-building complex in a vacant wooded area on the west side of Rangeway Road Dec. 3. The proposed project will have three entrances in- cluding an emergency only entryway accessed by a gate on State Street in Chelmsford. The primary way of access will be a 35-ft wide driveway on Rangeway Rd. with a secondary driveway by Curriculum Associates. The Billerica Board of Selectmen have also submitted a letter opposing the project, which Joshua Davis of Freeman and Davis, LLC, the developer’s attorney, claimed would push the town from its current 6.1 percent in affordable housing stock to 10 percent. The Conservation Commission has also submitted its initial re- port for the project. “ The selectmen say it’s too dense ,” said attorney Dan Hill, who represents 55 Chelmsford abutters. “ This is by far one of the largest Chapter 40B projects presented in the state of Massachusetts and the largest in Billerica. You have a good record of approving good affordable housing. This frankly is the opposite of smart growth .” Hill also found issue with the developer not listing the purchase and sale price for land for the $140 million project. He also found issue with the developer not being registered in Massachu - setts to conduct business. “ This is a New Jersey company, ” said Hill adding that he has serious concerns with the find - ings of the Massachusetts Housing Partnership. “ I strongly feel these are flawed and were made with erroneous information. One of the erroneous findings MHP made is this will provide green space. ” Chelmsford Town Manager Paul Cohen said there has been no official notification for the town of Chelmsford or the abutters for the project’s proposal. “ We have a number of concerns with the plans at this stage ,” said Cohen. “ There are wetland resources and clearly drainage will come into the town of Chelmsford. Consider the elevation with the respect to Chelmsford residents .” Since the December hearing, ZBA members have become more acquainted with the site and the proposed plans after a working session with petitioners and engineers along with a site walk. Presently, however, Davis said his client is studying the peer review submitted by the town’s hired engi- neering firm, Nitsch Engineering, and they could not make any further presentations. “This process is a bit like a funnel where you star broad and work more and more into detail,” said Davis. Steven Ventresca, the project engineer for Nitsch Engineering, said he along with his colleague, Silpa Munukutla, went through the proposal and is recommending additional signage be added to the area. They also suggested possibly widening the pavement of Rangeway Road if the design for the driveway required a turning lane. “The proponent has been suggesting that they will make a fair share of contributions to Billerica,” said Munukutla. “We would like them to provide a dollar amount to see if it is equal to the costs of it.” Martin Conway, traffic officer for the Billerica Police Department, also said, that after studying the three in- tersections near the development there are some definite sight concerns on Rangeway Road and if the de- velopment was built there would need to be significant sight distance improvement. “We’ve had the neighbors already out there for existing problems,” Conway said. “I can only imagine their concerns with a project this size.” The next hearing will take place Feb. 4 at 8:30 p.m.
    • The panel of Politically Incorrect discuss the giant Billerica 40B proposal at the Chelmsford border and also talk about the other 40B proposal on Boston Road CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO CLIP
    • POWER PLANT BUZZ News from BILLERICAPOWERPLANT.ORG Please share with your friends, family, and neighbors. www.BillericaPowerPlant.org 24 January 2009 Billerica Town Meeting Member Jeanne Landers, whose power generation bylaw was passed in December at a Spe - cial Town Meeting, has called for a question to be placed on the ballot as a non-binding referendum in order to so - licit Billerica voter opinion on the proposed 348MW Billerica power plant. The plant, proposed for siting in North Billerica, would be very close to residences and schools in all nearby communities, including Tewksbury, Lowell, and Chelmsford. Click here to read the article. ISO-NE , the organization that manages the grid in New England , recently closed its second Forward Capacity Auc - tion. These auctions are used to establish the price and source of electricity generation in the future. The goal of this second auction was to secure the projected electricity generating capacity of 32,528 MW for New England for 2011-2012. In fact, the auction met that goal, and did so leaving almost 15% excess supply. It is important to note that none of the familiar proposed power plant projects -- Billerica, Brockton, or Westfield -- contributed to meet - ing the goal. Separately, ISO-NE’s 2008 Regional System Plan lists 13,666 MW under development across New England as of mid-March 2008, with 4,036 MW in Massachusetts alone. The implication, as we see it, is that there is no need in the foreseeable future for the proposed fossil-fuel burning plants. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is now calling for electric generation by wind power to be stepped up in the Commonwealth, setting a goal of 2000MW of power annually by 2020. Click here to read the article. Increasing the use of wind power makes sense, but we must also stop the development of new fossil fuel-burning power plants in order to significantly reduce our carbon emissions. Click here to e-mail Governor Patrick reminding him of this important point. This week, the new U.S. Secretary of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu, was confirmed. Certainly Secretary Chu should also be interested in your concerns about the rampant development of fossil fuel-burning power plants and the colli - sion this presents with respect to reducing the country’s CO2 emissions, the vast strain on our already fragile water resources, and the need to move quickly to implement non-carbon sources of energy. You can e-mail Secretary Chu at The.Secretary@hq.doe.gov. Meetings/Events Wednesday, February 25, 2009 7:00PM Billerica Conservation Commission The Billerica Conservation Commission will continue its discussion of the Notice of Intent filed by the developer and the review of the wetlands and stormwater management issues. Billerica Town Hall, 365 Boston Road, Billerica, MA Press Click on the News tab to access recent articles.
    • Chelmsford and the S e l e c t m e n R a c e??? Matthew Hanson vies for Board of Selectmen By David Golann/Correspondent Wed Jan 14, 2009 CHELMSFORD - Matthew Hanson didn’t officially start his campaign to become a selectman until last Thursday. He had hoped to grab a Selectmen Candidate publicity advantage by entering the race Monday, the first day it was allowed, but life got in the way. Matthew Hanson “I pulled papers Thursday and that was unfortunate,” said Hanson. “I planned on taking them out earlier, but I had classes.” classes. For those who haven’t heard, Hanson is a 20-year-old college student. His official residence is still in his parents’ house on Wedgewood Drive and he has no plans to get a conventional day job in the private sector. Hanson is quick to point out that his age carries certain advantages. Candidates for the Board of Selectmen are often middle-aged residents who juggle families and full-time jobs alongside their civic responsibilities. “The fact that I don’t have a bunch of kids running around the house is actually a good thing,” said thing, Hanson. “I have all my time and energy to devote to my passion.” passion. Hanson is currently studying political science at UMass-Lowell and plans to complete the four-year program in only three years. In the spring he will move on to graduate studies in regional economic development and begin interning for Rep. Jim Arciero, D-Westford, on Beacon Hill. Unlike most young political junkies, Hanson is soft-spoken and relatively non-partisan. His parents did not see this career path coming until he started traveling to New York to participate in marches on ending the violence in Darfur and raising awareness and research money for breast cancer. “He was always pretty quiet and laid back, though very capable. I never would have guessed this is what he wanted to do,” said his father Kenneth Hanson. “He didn’t make a lot of noise about it. He do just sort of gravitated in that direction. It was amazing.” amazing Hanson's peers were also surprised when he decided to become a Town Meeting representative, but he won the po- sition and never looked back. “As soon as I decided to run everyone started to tell me, ‘You know it is going to be really boring and you are going to hate it,’” said Hanson during a recent appearance on Chelmsford TeleMedia. “I get to it, Town Meeting for the first time…the town manager is up there. He gets the Power Point with the graphs and he starts explaining everything and I am just in heaven, soaking it all in.” in. A registered Independent, Hanson leans slightly to the left and tends to support Democratic candidates. He says his sense of moderation will help him as a selectman. “I was basically born having to be objective about every issue,” said Hanson. “The residents are issue, looking for a few things in their selectmen, particularly scrutiny in financial issues.” issues. Hanson is hesitant to criticize current selectmen or contrast his ideas with theirs. He does believe the board should have pushed back harder against Aggregate Industries’ attempt to expand its asphalt plant on Littleton Road. “It looked like the board was going to accept their agreement, but I would have accepted it under stricter conditions,” said Hanson. “They shouldn’t be there in the first place. There are thousands of conditions residents within a mile of that place.” place Hanson also wants to protect the school system from substantial cuts as town revenues decline. He is eager to pre- serve the programs that enriched his own recent education. “Growing up in the school system here I heard from all of the parents they liked how it still had an art and music system,” said Hanson. “Some of them said they moved here just for the schools.” system, schools. So far only Hanson and Donald Van Dyne have pulled papers for the board’s two open seats. Nonetheless, Hanson is prepared to run a serious and focused campaign. “I am going to have a big campaign kickoff party soon,” said Hanson. “My girlfriend is going to be soon, managing my campaign. My mom is a finance person so she will be my treasurer.” treasurer
    • Selectmen Candidate Donald Van Dyne made his first appearance on Tom Christiano’s show “POLITICALLY INCORRECT ” CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE SHOW IN IT’S ENTIRETY ***************************************************************** On the next Politically Incorrect JAN 27th topics include: Chelmsford's FY 2010 Budget, and our current FY 2009 Budget Current Townwide candidates for our April 7th election Converting the Old Town Hall (14 units) and the North Town Hall (17 units) into Affordable Housing. Billboards in Chelmsford With panelists : Matt Hanson - Selectman Candidate George Zaharoolis - Planning Bd, re-election candidate Sam Chase - Town Meeting Rep, re-election candidate Tom Gazda - Town Meeting Rep, re-election candidate POLITICALLY INCORRECT: Tues & Weds 8:30 PM; Thurs 7:00 AM; Sundays 11:00 AM Chelmsford Cable TV Channel 8
    • VIDEO FLASHBACK One year ago, the new kid on the block challenged the incumbent Selectman. Not A Chance ??? Eric Dahlberg’s first appearances on the local shows. CLICK HERE FOR ERIC’S FIRST APPEARANCE ON POLITICALLY INCORRECT CLICK HERE FOR ERIC’S FIRST APPEARANCE ON TOWN TALK CLICK HERE FOR A CLIP OF ERIC’S FIRST DEBATE CLICK HERE FOR A CLIP OF ERIC’S Election Day
    • Running on Emp t y? As of Friday, January 23rd there are still some empty spots on the Town Election ballot for which no one has pulled nomination papers . . . Last Update 1/23/2009 4:07 PM http://wwc.townofchelmsford.us/election/apr709towncandidates.htm Alternate member of the PLANNING BD 2 Year term remaining (1 opening) PRECINCT 1 TOWN MTG REP, UNEXPIRED 1 YR term remaining (1 opening) PRECINCT 2 TOWN MTG REPS, UNEXPIRED 2 YR term remaining (2 openings) PRECINCT 2 TOWN MTG REPS, UNEXPIRED 1 YR term remaining (2 openings) PRECINCT 3 TOWN MTG REP, UNEXPIRED 2 YR term remaining (1 opening) PRECINCT 3 TOWN MTG REP, UNEXPIRED 1 YR term remaining (1 opening) SCHOOL COMMITTEE 3YR (1 opening) ****************** Nomination Papers due in FEB 17th for more info CLICK HERE http://www.egovlink.com/public_documents300/chelmsford/published_doc - uments/Town%20Clerk/Town_Candidate_Instructions.pdf
    • Chelmsford and Life on the Farm A New Market is Coming to Town! The Chelmsford Farmers' Market is in its final planning stages and the Market Committee is champing at the bit to start sending out the applications to our local farmers. Peggy Dunn and Susan Julian Gates presented the draft rules and regulations to the Board of Selectmen on 1/5/09, answered their questions and received some helpful comments. We have had a lot of positive feedback and we are pleased the Town Manager and BOS are supportive. Our goal is to give the residents of Chelmsford a place to purchase local produce and support local farmers. Stay tuned to learn more about becoming a locavore! Where: Chelmsford Common When: Every Thursday, What to Expect ??? July 9 - Sept. 24, 2009 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM For More Info Check in at CLICK HERE FOR http://chelmsfordfarmersmarket.blogspot.com/ VIDEO PRESENTATION
    • News briefs: Bits & Pieces Submitted by Mike Rigney - Precinct 6 At the last FinCom meeting, the library director noted that Kronos had just donated a bunch of lap- tops. Not sure what to do with that, but if there's a way to mention it, I figure they probably deserve some kind of 'atta boy ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- There is always a way to mention things Mike. Roy ************************************************************************************************************************************************* Feds OK ice storm relief By Peter Costa/Staff Writer Wed Jan 21, 2009 CHELMSFORD - Last week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) agreed communities in Middlesex County should qualify for disaster relief following the Dec. 11 ice storm. “It is good news,” said Town Manager Paul Cohen. Cities and towns can now apply to receive about 75 percent reimbursement for costs related to cleanup and damage that occurred because of the storm. Cohen expects Chelmsford to receive “a couple hundred thousands of dollars” in payments. Earlier last week, Cohen along with more than 70 officials from area towns attended a meeting in Westford to discuss the reimbursement issue. “We presented a slide show of damages to our communities, the power outages and the emergency responses from Westford. We did that through GIS mapping. Then we heard from MEMA and FEMA of- ficials who described the process, gave an update of where we were and why we were disqualified,” Westford Town Manager Jodi Ross said. Senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry and Representatives Niki Tsongas, Edward Markey and John Tierney wrote to President Bush in support of Gov. Deval Patrick’s request to amend the recent federal disaster declaration to include Middlesex and Essex counties. Town officials will now meet with FEMA representatives to complete a series of applications and forms detailing costs to the communities. Communities are expected to begin receiving reimbursements within 30 to 60 days of applying. “One of my frustrations last week was that we had to submit economic stimulus package wants but the ice storm costs are financial needs we have today, right now that are critical. I wanted the focus to be on those costs rather than what we might be able to get down the road in the future,” Ross said. Staff Writer Kevin Zimmerman contributed to this report. ************************************************************************************************************************************************ S tate budget ax will spare fu ndi ng for Greater Lowell scho ols By Matt Murphy, mmurphy@lowellsun.com Updated: 01/23/2009 BOSTON -- Gov. Deval Patrick will spare direct state aid to public schools in his latest round of emergency budget cuts, The Sun has learned. But local officials warned that protecting Chapter 70 aid may not be enough to avoid immediate layoffs in schools. Patrick plans to tell municipal leaders this morning that he will try to protect schools from massive, midyear budget cuts by leaving Chapter 70 aid to public schools intact, according to an administration source briefed on the speech. City and town officials cautioned that Chapter 70 is not the only source of funding for public school systems that often rely on other sources of local aid to help fund education. Deep cuts in those areas could negate the benefits of preserving Chapter 70, those officials said. quot;The question is what will happen to lottery aid and additional assistance,quot; said Chelms - ford Town Manager Paul Cohen. quot;It's all part of our general revenue base used for the schools. To us, it's often a distinction without a difference.quot; Chelmsford is budgeted to receive $9.3 million in Chapter 70 aid for schools this fiscal year, but also receives another $6.2 million in state funding in the form of lottery aid and quot;additional assistance.quot; FOR MORE OF THE STORY CLICK HERE
    • ---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Donald Van Dyne <dvdjr@verizon.net> Date: Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 10:01 AM Subject: Editorial- Globe To: tchristiano@comcast.net, Roy Earley <re007hq@gmail.com> Hi Tom and Roy, The below editorial helps to summarize the fiscal reality of our Town. This is why the TriBoard meeting on Thursday January 29, is necessary. By next Thursday we will know the hard numbers (the cut in state aid and FY2010 budget) and hopefully as a community we will begin to forge a plan that balances our community needs and expectations. Power to the towns Spread the word regarding this meeting. Thanks, Donald Januar y 23, 2009 FOR YEARS, local officials have begged the Legislature for enough power to run their cities and towns. But like patronizing older siblings, state lawmakers chucked the selectmen and mayors under their chins and sent them on their way. It won't work this year, not if people expect decent service local schools, highway departments and public safety workers. More than 1,000 members of the Massachusetts Municipal Association are expected today at the Hynes Convention Center for the largest annual gathering of local officials in New England. The officials fear that cuts in state aid will force them to slash town workforces and blot out basic municipal services. House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi has warned that communities could see as much as a 10 percent cut - roughly $500 million in all - to their local aid accounts in the fiscal year that begins in July. And the Leg- islature recently gave the governor emergency powers that could lead to local aid cuts of an additional $200 million or more this year - though administration sources say education aid will be protected. The recession has been a sharp blow to the municipal jaw. Property tax levy limits are flat without new development. Investment income is falling. So are automobile excise taxes, as drivers cling to older autos. Cities and towns need ways to raise revenues outside their usual reliance on property tax increases. Governor Patrick, who is scheduled to address the meeting today, is prepared to give the towns more autonomy. But lawmakers have been slow to respond. Allowing municipalities more leeway to design health insurance plans for their workers is the most effec- tive way to bring fiscal relief, according to Geoffrey Beckwith, president of the municipal group. State government has the power to increase its workers' co-payments and deductibles to reduce costs. But municipalities must bargain such changes with their unions. To survive the recession, cities and towns need the same flexibility enjoyed by the state. They also need legislative approval to add at least one penny for local use to the state's 5 percent meals tax, and an opportunity to raise taxes on telecommunication companies that use loopholes in state law to evade property taxes. In recent weeks DiMasi has embraced the idea of steering municipal workers into the state's health insurance program without union approval. He and other lawmakers need to show similarly strong leadership on the meals tax and other issues, including reform of the disability retire- ment system. quot;If we don't get reform this year, then when would we ever get it?quot; asks Beckwith. Good question. The governor files his plan to balance the budget next week, and local officials deserve an answer before then ******************************************************************************************************************************* Towns, unions forced to rethink contracts By Alexandra Mayer-Hohdahl, amayer-hohdahl@lowellsun.com Updated: 01/25/2009 quot;We understand that these are difficult and uncertain times, but we think it's reasonable to still have some salary increases,quot; said Anne Wass, the president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association. quot;No matter how bad the economy is, we have to find a way to recession-proof education. Where you might go slow for a while on a road that is in need of repairs, a kid only goes through education once. We have a big investment here that we need to protect.quot; Chelmsford School Committee member Angelo Taranto, whose board is preparing for contract negotiations this spring, said he would agree with that only to some extent. quot;As School Committee members, we certainly want to keep a quality education,quot; he said. quot;But everybody in- volved in school systems has to realize that things have changed. The economy is going to have a huge impact. It's going to be a difficult time for all.quot; School committees have already reached across town borders to exchange ideas on how to handle contracts in the face of the universal economic slowdown, Taranto said. Some local officials say it is time to change the status quo. CLICK HERE for the rest of the story
    • The following was Submitted by Donald Van Dyne - Precinct 6 Vice Chairman of the Finance Committee and Candidate for Selectmen ****************************************************************************************************** Community Announcements: More than ever it is essential for Town meeting representatives and the residents of Chelmsford to remain informed regarding the financial condition of our Town. Following are several important dates and opportu- nities for all residents to participate in helping to balance the needs of our community with the town’s recog- nized limited resources. ~ Wednesday, January 28, 2009- Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick expected to release mid-year State Local Aid cuts which will affect our current FY 2009 budget. In addition, he will deliver his proposed budget for FY 2010. ~ Thursday, January 29, 2009- Senior Center, Public Meeting, 7pm TriBoard Meeting - Board of Selectmen (BOS), School Committee (SC) and Finance Committee. Both the Town Manager (BOS) and School Superintendent (SC) will deliver presentations and thoughts regarding Governor Patrick’s budget cuts for the current fiscal year and his proposed FY 2010 budget and what it means for Chelmsford. ~ Monday, February 2, 2009 Police Station, Public Meeting, 7pm Chelmsford Housing Authority presentation for redevelopment of the North and Center Town Hall. All residents of Chelmsford are encouraged to attend and voice their opinions. ~ Thursday, February 5, 2009 Chelmsford Town Hall, Public Meeting, 7:30 pm, room #205 Finance Committee public budget hearings. Reports will be presented from both the Fire Department and Police Department. This is an opportunity to learn how public safety will be delivered in FY2010. Campaign Announcements: ~ Thursday, January 29, 2009 Channel 8 @8:30pm - Town Talk with Dennis Ready Guest: Donald Van Dyne- candidate for Board of Selectmen INVITATION for all residents of Chelmsford: Please join us and Board of Selectmen candidate Donald Van Dyne at his campaign party. Date: Sunday, March 1, 2009 Time: 4pm-8pm Where: Chelmsford Country Club Suggested donation: $10 Committee to Elect Donald Van Dyne
    • Important Notice: TRI-BOARD BUDGET MEETING Thursday January 29th 7:00pm At the Senior Center 75 Groton Rd. **************************************** Also on ChelmsfordTelemedia: Channel 10 7:00 PM Board of Selectmen,Town Manager, Finance Committee and School Committee, LIVE quot;The cuts will be painful and they will impact everything from public safety to public education,quot; Patrick to slash $128M in local aid By Matt Murphy, mmurphy@lowellsun.com Updated: 01/24/2009 Gov. Deval Patrick announces plans to cut aid to cities and towns by $128 million during a meeting of the Massachu- setts Municipal Association in Boston yesterday. AP PHOTO BOSTON -- Gov. Deval Patrick plans to cut local aid to cities and towns by $128 million next week, with even larger cuts looming for next year as he works to close an immediate $1.1 billion hole in the state budget. Patrick, addressing nearly 1,000 local officials in Boston yesterday at the annual Massachusetts Municipal Association meeting, also proposed increasing the state's meals tax from 5 percent to 6 percent, and the hotel and motel tax from 5.75 percent to 6.75 percent, generating about $150 million in new revenue that mostly will be given back to cities and towns. Along with the statewide meal- and hotel-tax increases, the governor said he will ask the Legislature, again, to approve a local option for cities and towns to asses an additional 1-cent meal and hotel tax on every dollar. quot;We have tough choices among miserable options,quot; Patrick said. quot;My job is to make those choices, and I have.quot; For the complete story CLICK HERE If you have friends,family or neighbors who would like to be added to this news update list, just have them drop me a line at re007hq@gmail.com