In-Town Report july 31 2011

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In-Town Report / Recall Special 7/31/11

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In-Town Report july 31 2011

  1. 1. CLICK  HERE
  2. 2. Choose Chelmsford Offering $500 Reward To Stop Sign Ambushing A statement from Choose Chelmsford. 7/16/11 www.chelmsford.patch.comThe following was submitted by Choose Chelmsford.This morning, Saturday, July 16, a Chelmsford resident reported to the ChelmsfordPolice, the local media, and the political action committee, Choose Chelmsford, thatseveral "Vote NO" signs had appeared on his Thomas Drive lawn around the "VoteYES" sign he had authorized.Choose Chelmsford members removed the signs immediately since we do not partici-pate in, encourage or condone such activities. In fact, a "Vote NO" sign had beenstolen last night from the yard of Choose Chelmsford co-chair Angelo Taranto.To help prevent this from happening again in the 17 days leading to the August 2 re-call special election, Choose Chelmsford is offering a $500 reward to anyone who canprovide photographic proof of someone committing the act of sign ambushing - plac-ing opposite view signs around "NO" or "YES" signs without permission from theproperty owner.We also invite recall proponent Roland Van Liew to match the $500 reward to discour-age the manipulation of signs supporting either position. Breaking News - Culprit caught red handed! Evidence photo submitted from the Farside of Chelmsford to the In-Town Report by Bill Askenburg Waiting on verification before reward is awarded
  3. 3. PRESS RELEASE ISSUED AT 6:30pmJuly 18th outside of the Radisson Hotelwhere the Cheating Chelmsford forum was being held at 7:00 pm Statement Chelmsford Board of Selectmen/Town Manager Paul Cohen Monday, July 18, 2011Good evening, and thank you for coming. The Board of Selectmen and Town Manager PaulCohen had hoped that tonights "forum" taking place shortly at the Chelmsford Radisson,hosted by recall proponent Roland Van Liew and his attorneys, would be an open and sponta-neous exchange of questions and answers such as the event we participated in last month.Much to our disappointment we have been advised that this will not be the case tonight. First,there will be a presentation about ongoing litigation by Van Liew Attorney Richard McClure,then another presentation by Attorney Spencer Kimball, after which questions to the panelmay be submitted for consideration. We are certain that questions from the audience will bepre-screened so that the panel can avoid answering the questions they seek to avoid. Just asMr. Van Liew had five questions that we responded to in his absence last month, we have fivequestions for the panel to answer and we invite those of you here to submit them on our be-half. If tonights event had been set up in the same manner as the Public Information Session lastmonth, we would have gladly attended and asked questions that we believe would assist thevoters in ascertaining the facts for their deliberation before voting in the recall election on Au-gust 2. Since this will not be the case and since we will not be permitted to ask the questionsthat we believe need answering, we will not participate in the staged event taking placetonight. We will remain here until after the forum ends to be available to voters, and will at-tend the forum inside should Mr. Van Liew and his two attorneys decide to change the formatso that it is truly like the frank and open dialogue that took place with the Board of Selectmenand Town Manager last month. We would be happy to answer any of your questions at thistime. The Selectmen and Town Manager made themselves available tothe public before,during and after the forum.And they were prepared to enter into the forum if the forumhappened to change to an open interactive exchange ofquestions and answers during the course of the night.
  4. 4. Recall causes a great divide in Chelmsford By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com 07/19/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD -- Swarming around a mobile command center on Alpine Lane, a crowd held signs and wore T-shirtsreading "Vote No."Driving past them, a caravan of vehicles headed just 100 yards away to the Radisson Hotel, where they were spreadinga message of their own: Vote yes.Welcome to Chelmsford, a town in the throes of political discord triggered by a controversial land acquisition and buildingproject on 9 North Road. The parcel haslargely fueled an Aug. 2 election to recallfour of the towns five selectmen.With two weeks remaining before thefates of George Dixon, Jon Kurland, MattHanson and Pat Wojtas are decided byvoters, residents on both sides of the re-call issue last night worked to get theirmessage across.Down the road from the Radisson, awhite RV was plastered with signs, in-cluding: "Whats it Going to Be? Chelms-ford Board of Selectmen or Van LiewfordBoard of Selectmen."A picture of the current board was placednext to a photo with local businessmanRoland Van Liews head superimposedonto all five bodies. Van Liew, known for crafting fiery mass mailings over the years that accuse town officials of corrup-tion, funneled $90,000 to force the first recall election in towns history."Chelmsford is not for sale," Town Meeting representative Fran McDougal said. "Roland Van Liew cannot buy sale,our town." townMore than two dozen town officials and committee members wore stickers stating: "Ive been falsely accused."Selectman Jim Lane -- the only selectman not targeted -- explained to the crowd why the Board of Selectmen and TownManager Paul Cohen would not be attending the pro-recall forum at the Radisson.Unlike the forum previously hosted by the anti-recall group, Choose Chelmsford, the pro-recall group Cheating Chelms- ford wasnt allowing an exchange of questions from at- tendees at a microphone. Instead, all questions were being screened and submit- ted to the groups panel for consideration. "Since we will not be permitted to ask the questions that we believe need answering, we will not participate in the staged event taking place tonight, " Lane said. Spencer Kimball, a political consultant hired by Van Liew, told his audience inside the Radisson the reason for screening questions was to avoid debating facts.Inside a hotel banquet room, members on both sides of the issue filled the room.Richard McClure, a local attorney and member of the Planning Board, presented video clips of various public meetings,trying to show that former Selectman Philip Eliopoulos and Cohen engaged in back-room deals.McClure also sued the town over the North Road parcel.The parcel was purchased from Eastern Bank by Michael Eliopoulos, father of Philip Eliopoulos, who acted as his fa-thers attorney during the land purchase.Michael Eliopoulos built a two-story, 15,494-square-foot, Colonial-style building on the land, which will eventually housefamily-owned and -operated medical, dental and law offices.
  5. 5. The project received approval from the Chelmsford Historic District Commission, Conservation Commission, PlanningBoard and, last summer, the Board of Selectmen after a lengthy public hearing.Opponents allege that town boards exceeded their authority in approving construction, given their knowledge of the 1978preservation restriction.Three former selectmen, responsible for drafting the 1978 restriction, said their intent was to keep the land as openspace. But the language of the restriction they wroteposed a roadblock. Richard McClure and Roland Van LiewThe wording allows for development of 55 percent of theland. The creators of the restriction said developmentwas reserved for small, barnlike structures only.The matter remains tied up in Land Court, awaiting ajudges ruling.Supporters of the recall say the land behind the fire sta-tion should have been purchased by the town, not theEliopouloses.McClure told a crowd of more than 100 that Cohen knewthe land was for sale in February 2009, and that Eliopou-los knew in August 2008.There was plenty of time for officials to notify the townbut that the availability of the land was "purposelybeing kept secret," McClure said, so the Eliopoulos secret,family could buy the property and officials could convince taxpayers there was no other alternative than building a new,multimillion-dollar fire station at Chelmsford and Wilson streets.Town Meeting representative Mike Combs said he believes Eliopoulos wronged the town."You cant work for this town and secretly work for your father at the same time," he said. time,At the same time, Combs said hell vote no on the recall."What Phil did was wrong," he said. "But these selectmen being recalled did not commit the act, and I wrong,support them." them.Resident Bill Gerber said the Cheating Chelmsford group presented a very strong case last night."But I dont understand how the four selectmen being recalled are involved," he said. involved, "Its still unclear to me." me McClure, Van Liew and supporters of the recall say selectmen should have sought an ethics investigation of the Cohen and Eliopoulos because the board is the sole body with authority to do so. SPENCER KIMBALL "Not only do you bury your heads in the sand, youre actually de - fending the town manager," McClure said. manager, Pat Maloney, who was on the towns former Fire Station Study Committee, lis- tened to McClures presentation and watched the videos. "They took the video snippets that fit what they wanted," Maloney wanted, said. "If you look at the discussions in their entire context, you get a very different story, not the story Van Liew and his propa - ganda machine want you to hear." hear.Van Liew last night accused the four selectmen of actively opposing investigations and blocking court depositions. Kim-ball also stressed that Cheating Chelmsford has gone in circles trying to get more than one state agency to investigate.The Ethics Commission said it has no jurisdiction over the matter, Kimball said.Cohen said Kimballs claim is false. "Its the same Ethics Commission that investigates and fines local offi -cials all the time," he said. "If anyone broke the law, they wouldnt sit idly by." time, by.Whichever way residents vote on Aug, 2, Kimball said one thing is certain: "This is an issue you can control" controlby coming to the polls.
  6. 6. Recall is not the way to oppose a vote The Lowell Sun 07/12/2011 www.lowellsun.comI have never met Roland Van Liew, nor have I ever supported any of his causes. Nevertheless,I am in complete agreement with him on two issues.First, we both believe that the elimination of open space by erecting the "small barn-like struc-ture" at 9 North Road has desecrated Chelmsford Center.Second, we both believe that the 2010 and 2011 Boards of Selectmen could have and shouldhave done more to stop this project.That is where my agreement with Van Liew ends. As much as I disagree with the actions ofthree of our selectmen, who are the subject of the current recall, I do not believe that a recall isan appropriate response. A recall should be reserved for egregious acts while in office -- suchas criminal conduct, not because we disagree with a vote someone has taken. If any or all ofthese selectmen choose to run for reelection, I will work hard to defeat some of them. I thinkthat is a more appropriate response than voting to recall them.I know something about the pressures of serving as a selectman in Chelmsford, having doneso from 1978 to 1981. Running alone against an incumbent, I won by a razor thin majority. Asa result, I entered office with nearly half of the voters believing that I was the wrong person forthe job. That was the high point! I soon became immersed in a number of controversial issues,and many people disagreed with my actions. There was talk of a recall petition to remove mefrom office, but it never materialized. In spite of the pressure I held firm to my positions, and Ibelieve that the town today is a better place because of actions that I, along with my fellow se-lectmen, took.Concerning 9 North Road, I believe that all four selectmen voted their conscience. Even if allfour were to be recalled and others elected to replace them, they would not be able to stop thisproject or to cause the building to be torn down. If they are recalled, who in their right mind isgoing to run to replace them? If they are people who are sympathetic to Mr. Van Liews view-point, how will he respond the first time they vote in a manner with which he disagrees?Mr. Van Liews actions over the past couple of years have had a chilling effect on virtuallyeveryone who serves our town, particularly those who spend countless hours volunteering intown government. This should be a major concern to all of us. I believe that it is time to put thisdivisiveness to rest, tone down the rhetoric, and move on.I urge you to vote no on the recall.JOHN W. CARSONChelmsfordFYI:John Carson was on the Board of Selectmen at the time (1978) the Town Meeting 1978approved the preservation restriction for 9 North Road, and felt that the current Boardshould honor the original intent.He was involved in the sale of the property from the town to Dr. Currie and was involvedin the creation of the preservation restriction.
  7. 7. Choose Chelmsford Rallies Against Recall Choose Chelmsford held a rally with town officials while Cheating Chelmsford held its information session. By Krista Perry July 19, 2011 www.chelmsford.patch.com VIDEO CLICK  HERE  Choose Chelmsford last night rallied against the Cheating Chelmsford information session with town officials, who saidthey refused to attend the session because questions after the presentation were screened instead of spontaneous,open debate.At the rally, officials talked to voters and were answered their questions.Choose Chelmsford organizers encouraged supporters to ask the following five questions of McClure, VanLiew, and Kimball. These questions were not answered at the information session.1. Mr. Van Liew, you have steadfastly denied any connection between yourself, your business and the hatewebsite, cheatingchelmsford.com – but if you go to the DNS website you can see that you, as the owner ofHands On Technology Transfer, are also the owner of cheatingchelmsford.com. If you are going to lie about thisissue, how are we to believe anything you say?2. Mr. McClure, your litigation says that you want to stop the construction at 9 North Road or tear down thebuilding. If stopping that project is the core of your campaign against town officials, why, then, did you offer tosettle the case for a mere $25,000?3. Mr. Kimball, you are Mr. Van Liew’s attorney. You have published that the current Board of Selectmen or anew Board of Selectmen has the ability to stop the project at 9 North Road or to have the building torn down. Asyou well know, Judge Piper from the Land Court has already ruled that this project does not violate the terms ofthe Preservation Restriction. Arent you deceiving the people when you say that the Board of Selectmen can de-clare that 9 North Road violates the Preservation Restriction and can force it to be torn down, when Judge Piperstated the project is legal no matter how they vote?4. Mr. McClure, Mr. Van Liew has, in several of his mailings stated that 9 North Road is illegal. How do yousquare that with Judge Piper’s ruling? And if you say it’s a preliminary ruling, what additional facts make youthink he is going to change his ruling?5. Mr. Van Liew, you have accused the Lowell Sun of “yellow journalism” and criticized the Sun, the BostonGlobe, and the Chelmsford Independent for determining that the accusations against the Board of Selectmenare unsubstantiated and so they do not support your recall. Are the newspapers, plus the current and pastBoards of Selectmen, the Town Manager, the Conservation Commission, the Historic Commission, the TownClerk, the Planning Board, the Attorney General, the State Ethics Commission, Judge Piper, and the U.S. Attor-ney all corrupt because they don’t agree with you?
  8. 8. ☆ - NEW MYSTERY MAILING CONFIRMED BY POLICE... SOMEWHAT ITR●Facebook 7/18/11A new mailing arrived in some mailboxes today from a group called"Our Common Cause" and it contained a police report on Roland Van Liew.So I asked Chief Murphy to take a look at the mailing and to conform if it is authenticor bogus.Also the 5 page report was missing the 5th page. I asked the Chief if anythingsubstantial was on page 5?Here is his response...Roy,The report received is an official incident report of the ChelmsfordPolice Department. Page 5 is only a signature page for the officer.It contains no additional narrative. As with most other police reportson file, this report is considered a public record, and thus, subject todissemination.I would note, however, that contrary to what is included in the letter Ireviewed from Richard Olsen, the report does not confirm that"Roland Van Liew did in fact poison his neighbors dog."He was also not arrested and not prosecuted for his actions.The investigating officer applied for a hearing on the matter, but therewas no complaint issued, and the matter was dismissed at LowellDistrict Court.Chief James F. MurphyChelmsford Police Department2 Olde North Road MYSTERY MAILING  CLICK HERE
  9. 9. TOTALL VIDEO RECALLChoose Chelmsford info Cheating Chelmsford infosession June 23rd session July 18thCLICK HERE CLICK  HERETOWN TALK TOWN TALKChoose Chelmsford Special Choose Chelmsford SpecialPart 1 Part 2WithChoose Chelmsford PR person With Choose Chelmsford co-Joanne Stanway chairs Stefani Bush and Angiealso appearing Taranto also Selectman JonPhilip Eliopoulos and Town KurlandModerator Richard DeFreitasCLICK HERE CLICK  HERE
  10. 10. For those that missed the Cheating Chelmsford informationsession -7/18/11, the following provides a recap of the entiretwo hours on one page.Submitted by Tim McIlvenna CLICK  HERE The MAN Taken from the Cheating Chelmsford info session: SPENCER KIMBALL: with Next question, suppose your initiative succeeds, 4the PLAN? selectmen are recalled, Cohen is dismissed, the big E building is torn down, theROLAND VAN LIEW sale is declared invalid and ownership returned to the bank, what then ? ROLAND VAN LIEW: DRINKS ARE ON ME!
  11. 11. LETTER TO THE EDITOR:To the Editor:I truly believe every member of the Board of Selectmen, or any other appointed orelected Board, has volunteered because they want to do their personal best for theresidents of the town.We are governed by ourselves: Look in the mirror, it could be you.These selectmen are your neighbors, and someone’s close relative and friend.They have stepped up to do what many don’t or won’t: Give countless unpaidhours to fulfill a role with their best abilities, which are never perfect. The jobcomes with no training. It provides no pay or benefits. For every good decisionthere is usually silence, for any bad one there is ruthless complaint. It is what it is.We choose at the polls, from a narrow field, those that may have some relevantexperience, but the rest is truly on-the-job training, coupled with life experience andcommon sense. In the case of when I was elected, there were some long servingboard members I looked to for education by experience. This is no longer the case,with all in their first term but one.This recall, if passed, puts a permanent black mark on these public servants.I was on the Board of Selectmen when this project began a public and transparentjourney through many boards and commissions. Our Board regularly held openPublic Input Sessions at the Senior Center, in addition to the half hour at the startof every regularly scheduled meeting, for anyone to speak with us on any matter.There was publicity and no outcry to the Board at that time.The current Board did the appropriate work once pending litigation was withdrawn,and dealt with it when the public did cry out. The experience they have gained inthe past year, while we hope is never repeated, I am sure has made them all deeperthinkers with more value as Selectmen than before, who understand that listening tothe public is important. The silent majority is hard to hear sometimes.I served one term on the Board of Selectmen, from April 2007 to April 2010.Colleagues may tell you one thing, but it was always the voice of the Silent Majoritythat I was trying to hear. That Silent Majority will go to thepolls on Tuesday, and I hope they will vote to supportthese officials.I urge you to vote NO (on the recall of all 4 Selectmen)on Tuesday, August 2nd.Respectfully,Clare Jeannotte
  12. 12. Submitted by Dick McClure LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Sun Continues to Ignore Recall Facts Up until now, I was willing to let the Sun’s clearly biased coverage of Chelmsford’s recall election go unad-dressed (alleged news stories and two anti-recall editorials in the past two weeks); however, today’s “puff” piece,a non-news article quoting Chelmsford’s state representatives cheerleading in support of the recall candidates,was simply over the top. If readers were to believe the Sun’s so-called news articles and editorials, Chelmsford’s recall election isthe sole result of a “Boogie Man;” a local resident hell-bent on toppling Chelmsford government as we know it andwreaking havoc upon its citizenry in the process. The four Selectmen sought to be recalled also lay all the blame(and cost) of the recall election on this “Boogie Man” and, amazingly, continue to claim they have done nothingwrong. Recall provisions date back to the laws of the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony of 1631,and are found again in the Massachusetts Charter of 1691; they pre-date the United States Constitution by al-most 150 years! Their purpose is clear; to remove a public official from office for failure to perform his/her duties.The recall petitions signed and the pending recall election are in complete compliance with this 380 year old staterecall law; the efforts by the Town Manager and the Selectmen to thwart and trivialize voters’ recall efforts,notwithstanding. These Selectmen (as well as The Sun) would have readers believe that the “Boogie Man” “bought” thispending recall election. These four Selectmen simply refuse to believe (and the Sun refuses to publish the fact)that over 12,000 signatures were obtained from Chelmsford voters demanding the Selectmens’ recall. The Se-lectmen allege that the town’s elderly residents “did not understand” what they were signing and that other resi-dents were “duped” into signing recall petitions; such arrogance is insulting.Each of the four Selectmen are on the record as saying “we didn’t do anything wrong” and “we don’t understandwhy we are being recalled.” In addition to the “Boogie Man,” they seek to place blame on Selectmen in officeover 30 years ago, a vaguely drafted “Preservation Restriction” and a Land Court judge. They (and apparentlyThe Sun) simply refuse to acknowledge the following simple facts:- a former Selectman represented his father in the purchase of a piece of property (9 North Road) in whichthe Town of Chelmsford had a direct and substantial interest at the same time;- such a scenario is a violation of the State and local ethics laws;- the current Town Manager, Paul Cohen, knew of said breach of state and local ethics laws by the former Se-lectman at the time of the violation and did not report it as required by said laws;- at least one of the current selectmen sought to be recalled (Pat Wojtas) learned of the ethics violation whilethe violating Selectman was still in office and did not report it at the time or seek further investigation;- all of the current selectmen (Kurland, Wojtas, Dixon, Hanson and Lane) have subsequently learned of theviolation by the former Selectman and the violation by the Town Manager and NONE of them have reported it orotherwise sought an investigation. Apparently, the Board of Selectmen, the Town Manager and The Sun believe this breach of state and localethics laws, the profiting by a former Selectman and/or his family, as well as the land lost as a result, is no bigdeal. As Selectman George Dixon has been quoted “…its only two acres…the town still has over 800.” Not sur-prisingly, our ever-vigil state representative, Cory Atkins, is quoted in the Sun article as saying "I really dont un-derstand what all the brouhaha is about."Mr. Cohen and Mr. Kurland continue to assert that Mr. Eliopoulos’ actions were “entirely above board.” The sameSelectmen, yet again, displayed their contempt of the voters by recently rewarding Mr. Cohen with a raise andearly contract extension and renewed the contract of town counsel, Kopelman & Paige. Such arrogance onlyrubs salt in an already open wound. They are in complete and utter denial!Recall opponents’ primary opposition to such an election is that the cure is worse than the disease and allege thata “nuclear winter” will settle upon Chelmsford and town government, as we know it, will cease to exist if the Se-lectmen are recalled. Nothing could be further from the truth; by law, a new election to replace those recalledmust be held within 90 days. The cleansing and healing that will take place following the recall election is the“cure” this town badly needs. While I agree that “Chelmsford Cannot Be Bought,” I further submit that the voterswill prove on August 2nd that “Chelmsford Will Not Be Stolen.”Finally, it cannot go unmentioned that the Sun’s largest advertiser, the DeMoulas Market Basket chains, holds the$3 million mortgage (via the Demoulas Foundation) on the 9 North Road property and has a vested interest in theoutcome of this recall election. Perhaps that fact better explains why The Sun has taken a very public, anti-recallposition.Vote YES on August 2nd.Richard P. McClureChelmsford
  13. 13. Businessmen: Recall will hurt Chelmsford By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com 07/28/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD -- There have been lawsuits and counterlawsuits, subpoenas delivered onChristmas Eve and family members dragged into the political fray.An emotionally charged recall election to remove four selectmen has divided Chelmsford. Butwhether you support or oppose the measure, local business owners say one thing is certain --it will be tough to recall a summer of such anxiety and discontent."Its become a huge monster, " Michael Sargent said.The local dentist, whose office is on Chelmsford Street, came out swinging against the contro-versial 9 North Road building project that has fueled the recall effort spearheaded by residentRoland Van Liew.Sargent, whose offices overlook the large Colonial building owned by the Eliopoulos family, suedthe town last year, alleging officials violated a preservation restriction by allowing construction.The restriction, created in 1978, was designed to keep the land as open green space, Sargentargued.But a majority of officials on four town boards felt the wording of the restriction, which allows forbuilding on up to 55 percent of the parcel, indicated otherwise.Alleging that officials engaged in back-room deals to benefit the Eliopoulos family -- PhilipEliopoulos was a sitting selectman until April 2009 and also represented his father, Michael, inthe private land purchase -- Van Liew hired signature gatherers and a political consultant. Morethan 2,400 signatures were collected for each selectman, enough to force the first recall electionin Chelmsfords history.On Tuesday, voters will decide whether George Dixon, Matt Hanson, Jon Kurland and Pat Wojtasshould be removed from office before their terms expire.Van Liew has accused the officials of refusing to act in the best interest of residents and forfailing to enforce the 1978 preservation restriction.Van Liew has also accused Town Manager Paul Cohen of multiple ethics violations and believesthe Board of Selectmen should have sought an ethics investigation of the town manager.Sargent said yesterday he still feels strongly that the preservation restriction was violated. Butthe 9 North Road project and the recall are two different things, he said.Sargent, who lives in Westford, wont be voting in the election. There are no signs in the windowsof his Chelmsford business taking a stance either way."I give the residents of Chelmsford credit to make an informed decision on theirown without their arm getting bent," he said. "Its not fair to interject my feelings bent,on North Road. They are separate from whats happening with the recall."recall.Sargent said it will take years before the town recovers from the emotional toll of a recall elec-tion.
  14. 14. Lynn Marcella, owner of Chelmsford Copy Center, has a "Vote No on the Recall" sign in herstore window."It saddens me to see this happening in our town," she said. "I dont think this is town,the way the recall was intended to be used." used.Attorney Doug Hausler, whose office is also located a few doors down from 9 North Road, saidhe thinks its unfair that the current board is being put in the limelight to address the actionstaken or not taken by prior boards.The fairly new board -- Hanson and Kurland were elected last year, Dixon the year before, andWojtas wasnt even on the board that voted on the project -- relied on the advice of the townslawyers, other boards rulings on the issue and the ruling of a state Land Court judge who al-lowed construction.To protect themselves, Hausler said, the selectmen probably should have sought declaratoryjudgment from the Land Court with respect to the preservation restriction."It would have buffered them from criticism and allowed the judicial system tomake a proper decision," he said. "Part of it is decision, the political naiveté of an inexperi -enced board with three members all serving within their first terms." terms.Infighting and political discord from the special election have also taken the focus off other press-ing matters, Hausler said, adding that the entire Stop & Shop plaza in the center of town willsoon be up for redevelopment and the towns dilapidated Center Fire Station remains in limbo.Sal Lupoli, owner of the Sals Pizza chain and a Chelmsford resident, placed a "Vote No" signin the window of his Chelmsford store."I think everybody should have an opportunity to speak their mind and I wantedpeople to know how I feel about it," Lupoli said. it,Business owners say the recall has been the topic of the town, from the many lawsuits sur-rounding 9 North Road and Van Liew to what some feel have been personal attacks.In a recent mailing, Van Liew called out Cohens wife for being a commercial real-estate broker.Cohen said his wife actually sells residential real estate outside Chelmsford and doesnt under-stand why that would be relevant to the recall.Van Liews own wife was subpoenaed to a deposition hearing, where she was questioned byPhilip Eliopoulos. Eliopoulos and Van Liew have sued each other for defamation of character.A mass mailing also landed in mailboxes recently, accusing Van Liew of being arrested for al-legedly trying to poison his neighbors dog with Bakers chocolate. After finding the substance,which is highly toxic to dogs, on the neighbors property, and talking with Van Liew, a Chelmsfordpolice officer investigating the incident applied for a hearing on the matter in December 2009.But there was no complaint issued, and the matter was dismissed at Lowell District Court, ac-cording to Chelmsford Police Chief James Murphy."Its sad to see the town like this," Sargent said. "Chelmsford will eventually this,recover, but it will take time." time.
  15. 15. Eliopoulos: Attacks unfair to officials, family By Evan Lips, elips@lowellsun.com 07/23/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD -- Former Selectman Philip Eliopoulos, watching the days count down to the towns first recall election, isapologizing for his familys controversial 9 North Road building project and its effects on volunteer officials and employ-ees."To be part of something thats hurting the town has been hard on me," he said. "I felt because my fa - me,thers project is being used to hurt the town that I owed the town an apology." apology.In a letter to residents, published in todays Sun, Eliopoulos wrote that the election to recall four selectmen "is directedat the wrong people." people.Eliopoulos added that he has filed a defamation suit against Roland Van Liew, who has spent more than $90,000 to forcethe Aug. 2 recall vote.Yesterday, Eliopoulos talked about how political fervor surrounding the recall has affected his family, including his father,who was diagnosed with cancer last fall."Its hard for my parents to see their children getting attacked," he said. "The difficult thing for me is attacked,that you meet a lot of good people when you are active in town. To see all of them be attacked overthe last few years for supporting me is hard." hard.Eliopoulos, 41, served as a selectmen for 12 years."You do a lot of great things and then you get off the board and everyone sees you as a positive influ -ence, so its hard to see now that some people are actually believing what Van Liew is peddling," he peddling,said.Van Liew has said "backroom deals" led to construction of a large Colonial building at 9 North Road, formerly owned byEastern Bank, which he says should have remained public land via a 1978 preservation restriction. The Eliopoulos familypurchased the land while Philip Eliopoulos simultaneously was a selectman and representing his father in the deal. VanLiew has said Eliopoulos should have represented the towns interests before his familys.Van Liew accused Town Manager Paul Cohen of multiple ethics violations, and wants the four selectmen removed for notupholding the restriction and declining to seek a formal state ethics probe into Cohen.Cohen and the selectmen deny any wrongdoing.Van Liew has declined to speak to The Sun, accusing editors and reporters of bias in its coverage.Eliopoulos said he decided to write the letter this week after realizing four of the towns five selectmen are on the verge ofgoing through an "unprecedented election." election."This past week it hit me," he said. "If people are upset about this project, they should not be upset with me,the current Board of Selectmen. If you want to be upset, be upset with the Eliopoulos family." family.Eliopoulos added that hes tried to make himself as accessible as possible, with appearances on local radio stations andlocal television shows. As for election day, he predicts that clear minds will prevail."I think voters will see the damage this recall could do to the town as a whole and what it will do tofour individual selectmen who are just volunteers," he said. "Roland Van Liew has never volunteered on volunteers,a board in this town. Its nothing but 100 percent negativity." negativity.Eliopoulos noted that his fiancée, Sarah Howarth, "couldnt be more supportive." Life, he said, could always be supportive.worse."Were not the ones fighting in Afghanistan with bullets whizzing over our heads," he said. heads, ELIOPOULOS LETTER TO THE EDITOR CLICK HERE
  16. 16. Chelmsford split over recall bid By Evan Lips, elips@lowellsun.com 07/25/2011 10:26:05 AM EDT www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD -- From the dark hollows of Heart Pond to the house-lined streets of the Westlands neighborhood, almosteveryone has something to say about next months historic recall election.Temperatures and emotions are on the rise this week as residents gear up for a vote that will decide the fate of four of thetowns five selectmen.At the center of this political vortex stands resident Roland Van Liew, a man who spent more than $90,000 to force the firstrecall election in the towns history.Van Liew, a Chelmsford Democrat who is no stranger to blasting residents with mass mailings that allege instances of corrup-tion by town officials, believes something fishy happened when the town approved the construction of an office building at 9North Road, behind the Center Fire Station.Van Liew alleges that Selectmen George Dixon, Matt Hanson, Jon Kurland and Pat Wojtas failed to uphold the law by nottaking to court an alleged violation of a preservation restriction on the controversial building project developed by the family offormer Selectman Philip Eliopoulos.The fifth selectman, Jim Lane, was not on the board at the time.The election, scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 2, is expected to cost the town between $18,000 and $20,000.Is it an example of democracy in action, or a petty crusade by one angry man?One recent day, a random survey of residents was held in each of the towns four distinct neighborhoods. Households sport-ing white and maroon yard signs reading "VOTE NO on the Recall" were not polled as it was already clear which side of Recallthe recall fence these residents stood.In the Westlands neighborhood, one Hidden Way resident said hes "swayed" by arguments calling for restraint instead of swayedwholesale change.Jim McGinn, a business administrator, said he was approached by Van Liews signature collectors several months ago whileshopping at Drum Hill. McGinn said he first heard of the 9 North Road controversy from one of the collectors."I thought, OK, maybe this is significant," he said. "But it was only later, when the momentum got going significant,for the other side, I started leaning toward restraint and not wiping out the entire Board of Selectmen." Selectmen.McGinn said the recall election is "like throwing out the baby with the bath water" and called it "a little extreme." water extreme."Whats happening is that they took a serious but a focused issue -- this possibility of conflict of interestwith Eliopoulos over that land purchase," he said. "Now theyve speculated that everyone is involved." purchase, involved.And yet, McGinn pointed out, there is "still this persistence that everybody could have been involved, and weneed to clean house and start fresh." fresh.One problem for McGinn is Van Liews refusal to publicly debate the matter."Hell send written messages, but he wont discuss it," he said. "That just doesnt seem right." it, rightAround the corner, Dalton Road resident Paul Fenders, an information-technology engineer, had a different take. Fenderssaid hes "strongly" supporting recall efforts and said Van Liews mailings have been "eye-opening.""What really got me mad was how they renewed Town Manager Paul Cohens contract a couple yearsearly, almost as if they knew," he said. knew,(Selectmen actually recently approved a new three-year contract for Cohen a year before his current contract expires.)Fenders wife, Meghan, a homemaker, said she has pored over a 186-page deposition dated Jan. 7 that featured sworn testi-mony from Eastern Bank official Thomas Dunn, a witness called by Richard McClure. McClure is suing the Epsilon Group,the company run by the Eliopoulos family, claiming town officials did not give residents a chance to contest the 9 North Roadproject."Its clear something fishy is going on," Meghan Fenders said. "I dont know how many people have read it on,cover to cover. Im probably one of the few." few.In North Chelmsford, Sherman Street resident John Salyards said he thinks recall efforts are "silly" and offered Van Liewsome advice.
  17. 17. "I wish hed learn how to write," Salyards said about the mailings. "I think he might have some valid points, but I write,have to wade through 27 pages to figure out what it is." is.Salyards added that he has had a hard time determining if any of the allegations mentioned in Van Liews mailings actuallypertain to any particular selectman."Im unwilling to spend the extra time wading through his nonsense to figure out if he really has a point," point,Salyards said.As far as the recall, Salyards said his plan is to vote no."You had your chance when you elected them. You have your chance again when its time to vote themout. My plan is to go in and vote no." noOn the west side of town, Draycoach Drive resident Rose Krenitsky also said she will vote against a recall."I think the whole thing is idiotic," said Krenitsky, a retiree. "It doesnt seem to be based on any facts of any idiotic,sort but simply on one mans perception of something thats bad for Chelmsford, yet nobody knows why." why.Krenitsky acknowledged she would have rather seen a public park built at 9 North Road instead of an office building."But as far as legalities, I dont know anything about that," she said. that,Neighbor Barbara Richard, who lives on Footpath Road, said she also would like to have seen a park at the location. Shesstill unsure of how shell vote on Aug. 2."Im sure there were a lot of strings pulled," she said about the project. "My neighbors have a sign in their front pulled,yard to vote no, but I dont know. They probably know a lot more than I do." do.Columbia Street resident Patricia Dinnigan said shes also unsure of how shell vote. Dinnigan said she has received VanLiews mailings but hasnt read them."Sometimes when I see mail that looks like junk mail, I dont bother," she said. "But I would want to know botherwhat Im voting for before I go out to the polls. I need to read more information." information.A few miles southwest of Dinnigans home, Blaisdell Road resident Claire Purgus also said she "has to do her homework" homeworkand needs to know more about the issue."We really need to understand the whole story before we can have an educated opinion about it," she said. it,"All we can see are the signs that say Vote no on the recall." recall.Purgus, a managing editor at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, added that this is onlyher third year living in Chelmsford.On the southwest end of town, Evans Way resident Robert Lesley said "theres no way" hes voting to support a recall."What the hell is a recall gonna prove?" the 75-year-old retired Lexington public-works official said in his native prove?Shenandoah Valley drawl."I think this guy is on a personal vendetta for himself," he added, referring to Van Liew. himself,Lesley said he still wants to know why Van Liew has funneled so much money into forcing a recall election."Ive never gotten the straight of it," he said. "I got the feeling he doesnt like the town manager, and I think it,hes mad because he wants Cohen out of a job." job.Near the town center, Aimee Sousa was eating lunch at the Java Room and said she "does not know a whole lot aboutthe recall." recallBut, Sousa said, the election is going to cost money that "we dont need to have spent on this." this.She added that theres only one way the recall will pass."It will only pass if people dont show up," she said. "The election is Aug. 2, which is peak summer vacation up,time for families." families.Outside the Chelmsford Public Library on Boston Road, resident Jennifer Delikat was short and to the point when asked whichway she plans to vote."Im opposed to the recall and Im voting no," said Delikat, a pediatrician who lives near the high school. "Its unnec - no,essary, its expensive and its silly." silly
  18. 18. PRESS RELEASE FROM CHOOSE CHELMSFORD: “Pot Calling the Kettle Black” – Roland Van Liew and Cheating Chelmsford Don’t Play by the RulesAs August 2 recall election approaches, Choose Chelmsford PAC takes the gloves offWHO: Roland Van Liew, Chelmsford resident and business man who has self-financed apropaganda campaign that has lead to a recall effort attempting to oust four of five members ofthe Board of Selectmen.Cheating Chelmsford, a political action committee formed and supported by Roland Van Liewand lead by Springfield, MA political consultant Spencer Kimball to attempt to recall theChelmsford Selectmen.Richard McClure, Chelmsford resident and Roland Van Liew’s attorney, who also is a memberof the Chelmsford Planning Board.Board of Selectmen, Chairman George Dixon, Jon Kurland, Matt Hanson and Pat Wojtas. Se-lectman Jim Lane is not on the recall ballot because he was not in office long enough to be in-cluded.Choose Chelmsford, a political action committee established by town residents to encouragevoters to support the Selectmen and vote “no” in the upcoming recall election on August 2,2011.WHAT: Roland Van Liew initiated the recall effort against George Dixon, Jon Kurland, MattHanson and Pat Wojtas alleging backroom deals, corruption and ethics violations, and not act-ing in the best interest of the town with regard to a building project at 9 North Road. None ofhis allegations have been proven or acted upon by any legal authority – State Police, AttorneyGeneral, State Ethics Commission – but the “pot is calling the kettle black” as recall propo-nents act as though rules do not apply to them.In fact:Ø The only person in legal violation of anything related to this recall effort is Roland Van Liew’sattorney Richard McClure. On May 5, 2011, Superior Court Judge Herman Smith said McClurewas "walking a fine line" and "was never clear about his role" in court proceedings. In addition,"I find you intolerable," Judge Smith said of McClure at one point in court. See ruling below:o Attorney Richard P. McClure is an elected and sworn member of the Chelmsford PlanningBoard and, as such, is a municipal employee within the meaning of G.L. c. 268A. Under G.L. c.268A, Section 17(c): No municipal employee shall, otherwise than in the proper discharge ofhis official duties, act as agent or attorney for anyone other than the city or town or municipalagency in prosecuting any claim against the same city or town, or as agent or attorney for any-one in connection with any particular matter in which the same city or town is a party or has adirect and substantial interest. In this case, Attorney McClure has filed pleadings on behalf ofall the plaintiffs, all of whom are prosecuting claims against the Town. This constitutes a know-ing violation of the conflicts of interest law enunciated in G.L. c. 268A, Section 17(c). The latestexample of Attorney McClures violation is the so-called "Plaintiffs First Amended Petition forCertiorari, Petition for Writ of Mandamus, Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and PreliminaryInjunctive Relief(1) Paper #8 on the Courts docket (First Amended Complaint) which is signedby Richard P. McClure both as a Pro Se party plaintiff and as attorney. No attorney for the otherplaintiffs is named nor signed the First Amended Complaint.
  19. 19. Ø Although it is not the intention of Choose Chelmsford to perpetuate this story, the Lowell Sunreported today (7-28-11) the following, “A mass mailing also landed in mailboxes recently, ac-cusing Van Liew of being arrested for allegedly trying to poison his neighbors dog with Bakerschocolate. After finding the substance, which is highly toxic to dogs, on the neighbors property,and talking with Van Liew, a Chelmsford police officer investigating the incident applied for ahearing on the matter in December 2009. But there was no complaint issued, and the matterwas dismissed at Lowell District Court, according to Chelmsford Police Chief James Murphy.” Itshould be noted that the mass mailing was anonymous – sent under a fake name/organization– and did not originate with the Selectmen, Choose Chelmsford or any of its members.Ø Today (7-28-11), and for the second time, people hired by Roland Van Liew to distributemore propaganda door-to-door in town were asked to leave Willliamsburg Condominiums inNorth Chelmsford where it is posted that leafleting is not allowed. Mr. Van Liew returned a callto Williamsburg regarding the illegal delivery of material on their property. He has been askedto cease any further trespass on their property. He said that he felt the Chelmsford Police De-partment was unfair and less than honest in dealing with the public. They assured him that nei-ther side has been allowed to post on their property. He indicated that they [Williamsburg]would not have any further issue this weekend. Residents of Abbott Farm condominiums alsoreported receiving propaganda delivered to their doors today.Ø Cheating Chelmsford submitted a financial statement to the Massachusetts Office of Cam-paign & Political Finance showing that Hands on Technology Transfer, Inc., Roland Van Liew’stechnology company, had paid $583.58 to the group to pay for the space at the ChelmsfordRadisson for the Cheating Chelmsford Information Sessionon July 18, 2011. It is against thelaw for businesses to support political action committees. (Click here for the OCPF CampaignFinance Guide. The statement in question is on the bottom of page 11.) The financial statementfor Cheating Chelmsford can be viewed here (fifth file from the top – click orange arrow toview). The financial statements submitted by Choose Chelmsford may also be viewed here(sixth file from the top).THE STORY: Including today, there are six days until the recall election and members ofthe community rallying against the recall effort have taken the gloves off. We are tired of theongoing misinformation, selective editing of Meeting Minutes and videotapes, and personalslurs against the good character of our volunteer elected officials…all the whileCheatingChelmsford, Roland Van Liew, and Richard McClure are the ones neglecting the law and therules. Enough is enough.Choose Chelmsford and the Selectmen will be out in full force until Election Day and encour-age you to talk to all the players – black hats and white hats, past town officials, the Town Man-ager and random people in our community – to ask questions. We invite you to explore furtherthe allegations against our Selectmen and the facts we presented to you above. This electionis critical to the history of Chelmsford, to our democratic process and to maintaining the in-tegrity and good spirit of our town. We have 162 Town Meeting representatives and a very ac-tive community who pay close attention to what occurs in our town government. All meetingsand presentations related to the project at 9 North Road were public and televised. The Townhas been recognized by Common Cause for transparency in government for four years in arow with distinction. Our bond rating has just increased during a recession. Money Magazinehas recognized Chelmsford as one of the top places to live in the country.No one said a word until Roland Van View decided to stir the pot with his vendetta.
  20. 20. Q&A with Alexa Ippolito, Cheating Chelmsford’s Volunteer Coordinator ( and ITR Jiminy Award winner )---------- Forwarded message ----------From: Chelmsford In-Town Report <intownreport@gmail.com>Date: Sat, Jul 16, 2011 at 7:11 AMSubject: Fwd: In-Town Report Q & ATo: Alexa Ippolito <info@cheatingchelmsford.org-------------------------------------------------From: Chelmsfords In-Town ReportDate: Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 11:35 AMSubject: In-Town Report Q & ATo: Alexa IppolitoHi Alexa,Just wanted to ask a couple of questions for the next In-Town Report1. Alexa, you are currently the volunteer coordinator for Cheating Chelmsford, tell us a little about yourself "background"and what you do at your new job?2. There have been mixed reports that you are not a resident or registered voter in town but in Methuen you are both?Can you shed some light on that?Thanks,Roy---------------- CLICK HERE  for her answers... so far
  21. 21. After numerous Letters to the Editors were published in local newspapers against the recall, a letter in supportof the recall was submitted by Alexa Ippolito who said she lived in "Chelmsford". The fact is, Ms. Ippolito is the"Volunteer Coordinator" of Cheating Chelmsford, Mr. Van Liew and Mr. Kimballs pro-recall group, she is aMethuen resident and is registered to vote in Methuen. As of the July 13th deadline to register to vote in time forthe August 2 recall election, Ms. Ippolito is NOT a registered voter in Chelmsford. This tactic is yet another wayCheating Chelmsford has sought to influence voters through misinformation. In-Town Reports e-mail toMr. Kimball was meant to specifically address this issue to ascertain the facts behind the mysterious Ms. Ippolitoand to confirm or refute the suspicions of the anti-recall people.Below is our question and Mr. Kimballs non-response.---------- Forwarded message ----------From: Chelmsford In-Town Report <intownreport@gmail.com>Date: Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 4:36 PMSubject: Fwd: In-Town Report Q & ATo: Spencer Kimball <info@cheatingchelmsford.org>Cc: Spencer_Kimball_qwurt_dlcbvdv@cp20.comHello Spencer,Perhaps you could pass the questions on to Alexa belowand let her know I need her answers by Monday the 25th for inclusion in the next In-Town Report.Also one more question for Alexa or for you.If Alexa Ippolito is a resident of Chelmsford why is she not registered to vote in town elections?Especially one that she is writing letters telling people how they should vote?Thanks youRoy----------------------------------------------------Dear Mr. Early,I saw your slide show of our information session which confirmed your bias and total disregard for reporting. Its interest-ing that after watching the undeniable evidence that Phil Eliopoulos is guilty of major ethics violations last Monday, youare not asking questions of town officials involved in covering up and shouting down those criminal violations, you areasking the rather foolish question of why a staffer isnt a registered voter in Chelmsford. Are you implying that our staffhas to be comprised of permanent residents so that public officials can use the same smear tactics and intimidation tac-tics that Ive seen over and over again?Its clear that you arent interested in the real issues regarding the recall, such as why Phil Eliopoulos has been allowed tolie about not knowing the town has a direct and substantial interest in the land he negotiated for his fathers purchasewhile he was a sitting selectman. Nor are you interested in the fact that Paul Cohen has covered up for Phil Eliopoulosfor two years, first lying that Eastern Bank never approached the town and then changing his story three times as evi-dence proved he was lying each time. Nor are you responding to selectmens statements that they would do exactly whatPhil Eliopoulos did -- that is, hide their activities even while they are working against the interest of the town in a land pur-chase, as long as it was "private."Keep up the good work on behalf of your friends who wish to stay ignorant, corrupt or both. With all the information thathas been provided to you, you cannot claim to be ignorant. So we know which side of the equation you are on.Sincerely,Mr. Kimball Whose better at the game? Harold Hill or Spencer KimballSpencer KimballSpokesman You decide CLICK HERECheating Chelmsford------------------------------------------From: In-Town Report <re007hq@gmail.com>Date: July 25, 2011 9:33:07 AM EDTTo: Spencer Kimball <spencer@cheatingchelmsford.org>Cc: Chelmsford In-Town Report <intownreport@gmail.com>Subject: Re: In-Town Report Q & A Editor’s note: Spencer Kimball is a political consultant for hire he is not a Chelmsford resident. http://www.kimballpc.com/Now about those Alexa questions??? Kimball Political Consulting LLC 101 State Street, Suite 708Thanks for at least Springfield, MA 01103responding Spencer.Harold Hill does nothold a candle next to you. Spencer Kimball did not CHOOSE CHELMSFORD But $omeone inRoy Chelmsford Chose Spencer Kimball
  22. 22. It’s an early Monday evening here in Chelmsford. Most Monday’s are typically the same: Gethome from work, make dinner, put kids in bed (if you have them), and relax. On this particularnight, I find myself breaking the Monday Mold – not alone, but with about 60 other individualsin the waning of the warm summer sun. There is a sense of urgency in the air filled withhopeful anticipation…we are on a mission.As the 7 o’clock hour approaches, everyone takes their places wearing T-shirts, stickers, hold-ing signs. Cars start to funnel down the narrow street with individuals driving towards Cheat-ing Chelmsford’s Information Session. As our crowd waved, smiled and joined together, I wasengulfed in two opposite emotions. The first was pride, the second was sadness.To see so many people work hard, devote so much, and be so positive despite the surround-ing circumstances reinforced what I love so much about Chelmsford – people not being afraidto stand up and get involved…but I couldn’t help but feel sad as I watched people drive pastwith scowls, disgust, and anger written all over their faces. I couldn’t help but wonder how, asadults, we can’t look past the issue and still be kind regardless. What have we come to here?Where is the civility? Despite convictions, even if we disagree, a friendly smile or wave is stillthe acceptable and polite response, and that was our response nonetheless.Our evening ended much like it began – a group of dedicated volunteers working together forthe betterment of our town ready, willing, even eager to answer any (unscripted) question thatanyone wanted to ask.In the week following the Cheating Chelmsford Information Session, I have found myselfshaking my head more often than not as I read false accusations, hostile, and sometimeshurtful exchanges between individuals online. This isn’t what Chelmsford is about. This isn’tthe friendly and welcoming town it was six months ago. I get that people are angry over abuilding – over land – over the feeling that they weren’t listened to. I feel like people forget thefact here that there was more than one opportunity to speak, the Selectmen held open ses-sion (and still do) every other Monday for the first half hour of their meetings – why was noone speaking then, why is no one speaking during them now? How has it come to the factthat one man, who has enough money to send countless mailings to thousands and thou-sands of households unsolicited has more credibility than the more than 45 people and 18 col-lective groups being accused of said ‘corruption and graft?’The building is built, it’s not going anywhere according to a preliminary ruling by Judge Gor-don Piper (and nothing new has been introduced which leads us to believe that the prelimi-nary ruling will not stand) and that land was private with a Preservation Restriction to leavethe pond as is and to not build on more than 55% (and Epsilon Group only built on 41% of theland). It wasn’t just the Board of Selectmen who voted on this, it was six boards who weighedin. Surely you can’t believe that every individual on each of those boards was in cahoots withPhil Eliopoulos. Others say that the Board of Selectmen didn’t ‘do anything’ – but that is whatMr. Van Liew wants you to believe.They consulted with Town Counsel (one of the most reputable in the state), they truly ago-nized about their convictions and Counsel’s advice, and they voted their conscience. Theissue was referred to Land Court and there was a preliminary ruling that the land was build-able and the project didn’t violate the restriction. There were no backroom deals – just a webof suspicion spun by Mr. Van Liew and his hired spin master from out of town, Spencer Kim-ball. In all of the countless allegations, where is the hard proof? All I know is that one man ismad as hell about a building he doesn’t like (that was legal), and anyone who stands up to
  23. 23. him and his hateful and disrespectful accusations and mailings ends up next on his list. I knowthis because I stood up to him and suddenly, I’m corrupt and one of Phil’s ‘cronies’(to be hon-est, I barely know the man other than he served on the board with my father for 12 years andhe and my father weren’t the best of friends).What it all comes down to is, who do you see out there working hard for the town, for the bet-terment of open space, for the improvement of the schools, to be the voice of our community?I see the Town Manager, the Selectmen, the Open Space Stewards, our Town Meeting Reps,and countless other volunteers and boards. I don’t see Mr. Van Liew doing anything but hurl-ing baseless and defamatory accusations with zero factual or proven substantiation with littledisregard to the fallout.I see a dedicated group of people willing to come together, give up their time off and summerweekends and weeknights to bring the truth to light and to brainstorm ideas on how to bringthis town back together. I don’t see Mr. Van Liew sitting in living rooms or hosting regularmeetings to do the same. When asked what his plan was if the recall succeeds, his answerwasn’t a well thought out and plausible plan of action, it was a sarcastic and careless, “Drinksare on me.” Is this his only solution? Do we want people of this caliber to come in and causeupheaval with no endgame other than to ‘win’? Where is the genuine concern for our town?What is his TRUE agenda as Mr. Van Liew has already stated he’s not rolling up his sleevesand getting down and dirty with the ‘clean-up’ in the aftermath? It appears that he’s just con-cerned with revenge on those who don’t follow his lead (as evidenced in his April 2007 email –long before 9 North Road - in response to Paul Cohen’s decision to not take his suggestion torename a position in town – he vowed, “The result will be continued political uproar over yourdecisions…”).Of course, as the Choose Chelmsford Co-Chair, I hope that our “Vote NO” crowd gets out andvotes and that the recall effort will fail….but one thing is certain - No matter what happens onAugust 2nd, August 3rd will come without hesitation or mercy.The “No” crowd and the “Yes” crowd will still have to pass each other in the grocery store,work on projects together, live next to each other, and volunteer together. These are ourneighbors, our co-workers, and even our friends. We will still need to come together and finda way to look beyond our opinions and rebuild the town regardless of the outcome on August2nd.Call me an optimist, but I can see us growing and learning from this experience if we can workpast our differences and focus on a creative, productive, and united approach on how we canmove forward together as a town. I’m in…who’s with me?Stefani Bush32 Year Chelmsford ResidentChoose-Chelmsford Co-Chair
  24. 24. Controversial Chelmsford 9 North Road case dismissed By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com 07/30/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD -- Ruling in favor of the town and the Eliopoulos family, state Land Court JudgeGordon Piper has dismissed local attorney and Planning Board member Richard McClureslawsuit alleging officials violated the law over the controversial 9 North Road building project.The project is at the heart of an effort spearheaded by Chelmsford businessman Roland VanLiew to recall selectmen George Dixon, Matt Hanson, Jon Kurland and Pat Wojtas in a specialelection scheduled for Tuesday.In his 33-page decision, Piper states "the selectmen did not commit error" and that the PlanningBoard "was without authority to deny" the Eliopouloses site plan based on the language of a1978 preservation restriction.Piper, who rejected an injunction to halt construction on the Eliopoulos office building in June2010, reiterated his earlier ruling that states, "the restriction expressly envisions use of newbuildings on the parcel in any manner authorized by the local zoning bylaws, so there is nobasis to say that the use involved here would stray outside the uses permitted under the restric-tions terms."In his complaint, McClure asked the court to annul the boards approval of the project, to re-scind the building permit, declare the development violates the preservation restriction and toorder that the building be torn down.Town Manager Paul Cohen said the Land Court ruling affirms the decisions made by the Plan-ning Board, the Board of Selectmen and the building inspector."It was never a matter of the boards endorsing the project," Cohen said. "They had to act withinthe limits of the law. Thats just what they did and Judge Piper confirmed that."McClure, who plans to appeal the decision, said in a written statement to The Sun that Pipersruling "is in no way, shape or form an exoneration of Mr. Eliopoulos, Mr. Cohen or the four recallcandidates regarding their ethics breach." "The recall vote is based solely on this current Board of Selectmens failure to file ethics viola-tions against Mr. Eliopoulos and Mr. Cohen for allowing Mr. Eliopoulos family to purchase 9North Road, all the time knowing that the town had been looking at the property for fire stationexpansion," McClure said.Piper called McClures evidence "tepid" even though some pieces of evidence have standing.McClure said Piper ultimately dismissed his complaint based on the subsequent vote by theBoard of Selectmen last August, when the board declared the building project did not violate therestriction.Selectmen Hanson and Dixon said it was a tough vote, but in the end, they were followingPipers ruling on the injunction, the advice of town lawyers and the three additional town boardsthat agreed the project fell in line with the language of the law.
  25. 25. The language of the restriction allows for building on up to 55 percent of the land area. Threeof the surviving members of the 1978 board that crafted the restriction said their intent was tokeep the space open with the exception of some small "barn-like structures and silo."Piper stated the restriction is clear, "that the power to enforce it resides in the Selectmen andonly in the Selectmen."But the restriction, Piper adds, states "structures may be used for residential purposes and forother purposes permitted by zoning bylaws... except retailing, fast-food establishment or motorvehicle sales, rental, repairs or services."The restriction also requires an owner seeking to develop on the premises, or obtain buildingpermits relative to the same, to apply for approval from both the Planning Board and theChelmsford Historic District Commission.The Planning Board, Conservation Commission, Historic District Commission and the Board ofSelectmen gave the Eliopoulos family permission to build on the private land they purchased."It comes down to the law," said Selectman Kurland, who opposed the building project but stilllanded on the recall ballot.Van Liew, who poured more than $100,000 into the recall effort, said Kurland was aware ofbackroom deals and "unlawful acts," but did nothing to try to launch an investigation or takethe matter to court.Former Selectman Philip Eliopoulos was still a sitting selectman in 2009, when he representedhis father, Michael Eliopoulos, during the familys land purchase. Van Liew, McClure and otherrecall supporters believe Eliopoulos should have disclosed to the town that the land was forsale.Van Liew alleges Cohen wasnt aggressive in pursuing the land for the town because he ulti-mately wanted to spend millions in taxpayer dollars to build a brand new fire station.Cohen said by the time he learned of the lands availability in February 2009, he had a smallwindow of time to look into it before the Eliopouloses finalized the deal in April.The town was only interested in a piece of the two-acre parcel, but the bank did not want to di-vide the land, Cohen said.Kurland said half of the residents who support the anti-recall group, Choose Chelmsford, didnot like the idea of the Eliopouloses putting an office building on the land."But they understood the real remedy is to vote in April and not establish a new precedent torecall selectmen just because their vote might not be popular," Kurland said Holding signs in front of 9 North Road Tom Gilroy discusses the YES and NO issues with Attorney Dick McClure on Read Judge Piper’s decision Saturday July 30th CLICK HERE
  26. 26. SIGNS OF ROLAND VAN LIEW and STEFANI BUSH THE SB: "Im pretty sure I recall your mail- SB ings centering around the preservation restriction being violated." RVL: "The ruling only proves Mr. Mc- RVL Clure wasnt the right one to bring forth the suit" SB: What about when Judge Piper SB states "the selectmen did not commit error" and that the Planning Board "was without authority to deny" the TIMES Eliopouloses site plan based on the language of... a 1978 preservation re- striction." RVL: "You are so irrational....That RVL doesnt mean anything....the land was purchased fraudulently and a new board of Selectmen will do an investi- Richard McClure and Roland Van Liew  gation and make that sale illegal" SB: "Okay Roland, its quite clear (be- SB ings as you are running the pro recall group and I am co-chair of the anti-re- call group) that were not going to change each others minds....so lets just agree to disagree." RVL: "No....we cant." RVL *************************************** REALLY? Does he have to argue EVERYTHING? Phil Stanway - Chief Open Space Steward Bill DaltonRVL: "Yes, I understand theRVLBoard of Ethics cleared youof anything illegal, I accept Phil Stanwaythat....." confrontingRVL: "But you violated con-RVL Roland regard-flict of interest laws"Bill Dalton: "Are you kid- ing his misuse Daltonding me?" of the wordSTEFANI BUSH: Roland,STEFANI BUSH "Open Space"do you mean to tell me that, and trying tothe Board of Ethics cleared educate him onhim....you acknowledgethat....but you still state hes what "Openbroken the law? Are you Space" truly is.more mighty than the Boardof Ethics? Do their rulings Phil clearly isntand investigations not matter getting throughto you in the same way thatJudge Pipers FINAL deci- to him....but hesion means nothing to you?" tried.
  27. 27. RolandVan Liew Remember what he said if he wins... “DRINKS ARE ON ME!” “Choose “ supporters out in force Angie Phil Taranto Stanway Open Co-Chair for Space Choose Stewardship Chelmsford “Cheating “ supporter TM Rep Jerry Loew Sara Kurland Town Moderator Town Meeting Rep Richard DeFreitas Paul Gleason Joanne Stanway Choose Chelmsford’s PR person
  28. 28. Even the youth Choose Chelmsford Sui Van Liew Tom Gilroy Alex Buck and Geoff Lucente Stefani Bush Co-Chair Choose Chelmsford Ralph Bush and Bill Dalton Jim LanePaul Gleason Roland and Sui Van Liew Photos by Stefani Bush & Scoop
  29. 29. FACEBOOK  CHATTER ☆ - NEW VAN LIEW MAILING TODAY goes after Town Moderator Richard DeFreitas, resident Tom ☆ - BREAKING NEWS Gilroy and of course the usual suspects. PRESS RELEASE FROM CHOOSE CHELMSFORD: -------------------------------------- Richard DeFreitas: “Pot Calling the Kettle Black” – Roland Van Liew and I just read Roland Van Liews diatribe in his latest mailing. He re- Cheating Chelmsford Don’t Play by the Rules ally doesnt know me very well... I have a solid reputation for ------------------------------------------ being straight, above board and honest in all my endevours. So, Jeff Apostolakes: Apostolakes Ill let the people be the judge. Nuff Said... Amen! Roland thinks he is above the law. To base the recall on ethic violations, wrongdoing, claimed criminal acts I say he does not Richard DeFreitas: practice what he spews.........so far reported actions of Van liew For the record... In my letter to the editor "Unintended Conse- have ranged from allegations of poisoning a dog, trespassing on quences", I never said to vote NO or vote YES. What I said was the the 9 north rd site, people posing as a registered residents "Vote your conscience, but do your homework first". It seems in Chelmsfors saying why to vote yes( to be discovered they are that Van Liew can not stand up to that kind of scrutiny. not from Chelmsford) Illegal contributions by His company to a Well! I did my homework and I will be voting "NO" on Tuesday, PAC, not once but twice booted for hading out leaflets in August 2nd. Thank you, Roland, for making it easier. Williamsburg Condos where it clearly states in signage and doors that it it not permitted and so on , and so on .......Can you Richard DeFreitas: imagine a board of selectmen in place that agrees and pushes☆ Winners of the sign holding contest in the center of town and Rolands agenda......Talk about unethical tactics......Stop thedown North road this morning goes to CHOOSE CHELMSFORD in madness and VOTE NO to the recall..this is ridiculous2nd place just beating out Cheating Chlemsford was the BoyScouts car wash ;) Controversial Chelmsford 9 North Road case dismissed - Lowell Sun OnlineDavid McLachlan: I missed the sign holding. How many Cheating www.lowellsun.comChelmsford sign hisses were there this morning? CHELMSFORD -- Ruling in favor of the town and the Eliopoulos family, state Land Court Judge Gordon Piper hasStefani Bush: David...you missed Roland Van Liew himself - he dismissed local attorney and Planning Board memberchatted with me, Bill Dalton, Phil Stanway, and Dick DeFraitis (and I Richard McClureput chatted in quotes for a reason). It was....interesting. There were ---------------------------some Yes signs present, but not even close to ours....not even close. Stefani Bush: Bush Heres the important thing to take away from this: "In his 33- page decision, Piper states "the selectmen did not commit error"Stefani Bush: Mr. Van Liew and I had a lengthy conversation - what and that the Planning Board "was without authority to deny" theI didnt like was him calling me irrational (amongst other things) be- Eliopouloses site plan based on the language of a 1978 preser-cause I didnt agree with (and I was VERY polite) his point of view. vation restriction. Piper, who rejected an injunction to halt construction on theStefani Bush: He likes to throw insults with a smile...as if that makes Eliopoulos office building in June 2010, reiterated his earlier rul-his words any less insulting. As if.... ing that states, "the restriction expressly envisions use of new buildings on the parcel in any manner authorized by the localRichard DeFreitas: I had a conversation with Roland also... When I DeFreitas zoning bylaws, so there is no basis to say that the use involvedtold him who I was, he went ballistic and said I had an axe to grind. here would stray outside the uses permitted under the restric-Huh? I was wrong, he does look you in the eye and as you look back tions terms."you sense instability. Hes all over the place and I think he actually be-lieves what he says... no matter how inaccurate or outrageous. It was,indeed, an experience. I think! Me thinks hes surrounded by "yes" menwho depend on his money for sustenance. ☆ - 1,035 absentees ballots have been cast as of close of business today.Philip Stanway: I did ... he was a little off center but did not foam at Stanway Friday July 29the mouth. ------ Stefani Bush: BushStefani Bush: Bush Glad to see people are getting out and voting! This is an impor-By the way....I should mention - Roland Van Liews group went and dis- tant issue in the town!tributed literature for a 3rd time at Williamsburg (theyve been told 2times now that its illegal to distribute literature there). When the police Paul Cohen: Cohencalled him, he denied it and then said it must be "Choose Chelmsford" The deadline to obtain an absentee ballot is 12:00 noon ondoing it. Are you for real? Monday.Stefani Bush: Alex Cole: ColeNo offense, but I would NEVER be a part of distributing the opposing I voted already.....Im a proud absentee voter! :)sides material! That just is SO off the wall. Evelyn Thoren :Richard DeFreitas The man is delusional. He thinks its a game but This is the largest number I have ever seen. Did it set ahe is playing with people lives and he doesnt get it... or does he? record???? I will be voting NO on Tuesday!!!Maybe he is bored with life! Paul Cohen: Cohen It is a high level of absentee balllots for a local election, butStefani Bush: I think he gets it - and I think he truly feels he is right. I higher amounts have been achieved for Presidential elections.also think that he feels (maybe subconsciously) that the rules dontapply to him...but thats a different conversation altogether. ;) Eric Sciacca: Sciacca I voted my 4 NOs this morning. I didnt want to take any chances that I would have to go on a last minute business trip next week.
  30. 30. My Encounter with Roland Van Liew - Saturday, July 30th, 2011 by Stefani BushI decided to write this while things were still fresh as I can only imagine how things will get twisted and taken out of con-text.Mr. Van Liew approached me today as I waited at a crosswalk just outside 9 North Road - not knowing who I was. Heshook my hand, introduced himself and then asked me who I was. When I said who I was, he immediately stated that Iwas doing what I was doing for ulterior motives and revenge and not because I was supporting my Selectmen. {To givethose of you who don’t know – in 2009 he accused my father of ethical misconduct and stated that my mom was gettingkickbacks due to my father’s vote/position as a Selectman.} I promptly corrected him and told him from 2008-2010 myhusband and I spent most of our time in hospitals, traveling to GA/CA/and PA to see specialists, and focused on fightingfor our children’s lives (and my own) due to the medical issues we had. He told me he didnt believe that.See he doesnt believe me....but heres what our life looked like during those years - so Roland, I advise you to STOP as-suming you know what weve been through because you have NO idea - so DONT go there.....I explained to him that my father’s political life wasn’t ANYWHERE on my radar. His abrupt and dismissive response was, ‘I don’t believe you.”I told him that when I became the co-chair of Choose Chelmsford I still had no idea that he was the one who filed theethics complaint against my father. He didn’t believe that either. I was 3 weeks into this campaign when, in casual con-versation about Roland with my mother – she mentioned his filing of the complaint and my jaw hit the floor. Did I findsome poetic justice in the fact that I took on the charge against the man who accused my father and mother of corruption?Sure….but it wasn’t my motivation and it still isn’t. My motivation is clear – to stand up and fight for what is right. I toldhim that I wanted to give back to the community that has supported us through our most difficult times, and his responsewas a nod and an unconvincing, ‘ya, okay.’Mr. Van Liew began to talk about 9 North Road, Phil Eliopoulos and how wrong they all were. When I asked him what histhoughts were on Judge Piper’s ruling yesterday (Friday, July 29th) he said, “It means nothing besides the fact that Mr.McClure didn’t have standing to bring the case to court.” He further stated, “If the Board of Selectmen had brought this toJudge Piper, he’d have been interested in it.” I then referred to the statement made by Judge Piper in his ruling, "the se-lectmen did not commit error" and that the Planning Board "was without authority to deny" the Eliopouloses site planbased on the language of a 1978 preservation restriction.” He told me that this was never about the preservation restric-tion and that it was always ALL about the fact that the Selectmen DID do something wrong, Phil and Paul did somethingwrong.

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