In-Town Report july 31  2011
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In-Town Report july 31 2011

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

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

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

    ● And Now For Something Completely Different - Extremism
    ● SIGNS -Now you see 'em Now you don't
    ● Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum
    ● A Dog Gone Mystery
    ● TOTAL video RECALL
    ● The Man With A Plan
    ● Recall Mania : Letters up the Kazooooo
    ● The Pot Calling The Kettle Black
    ● Q&A With Cheating Folks
    ● Who's a better salesman Spencer Kimball or Harold Hill?
    ● Stef's Letter to you
    ● McClure's Lawsuit RECALLED
    ● SIGNS OF THE TIMES -Photo Gallery
    ● FACEBOOK Chatter
    ● CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE ROLAND KIND
    ● Oh Yeah, then there was other stuff happening in town too ;)
    ● Extra extras
    ● Big Words for little men
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In-Town Report july 31  2011 In-Town Report july 31 2011 Document Transcript

  • CLICK  HERE
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • ☆ - 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
  • 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
  • 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!
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • "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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • He stated that they didn’t enforce the town by-law. I explained to him that the Selectmen knew that he (Roland himself), Phil Eliopoulos, Spencer Kimball, Dick McClure and possibly others had filed with the Ethics Commission and the Attorney General and they knew it was something that had been looked into and Phil had even received a letter clearing him. He stated they needed to do more. I asked him what they could do as they had no power to force anyone to testify to them nor did they have the power to de- pose people. He then called me irrational (while smiling and shak- ing his head, as if the insult would be mitigated by his smile). I asked him why he didn’t speak up sooner and his response was, ‘We didn’t know all this was going on back then.” I shook my head. There clearly was no winning with him. I decided that the best way to finish the conversation was to tell him that it was obvi- ous that he and I would never change each other’s minds and itmight be safe to say that we can agree to disagree. His response was, “No, we can’t.” I mean, what do you say to some-one who is just looking for a fight? I told him I was confused as to why he thinks that the land was the ‘cheapest option’when so much work would have to be done to the land (purchasing, subdividing, cantilevering) before ground was evenbroken to build a new fire station and his response was that Tom Dunn was willing to sell the entire parcel of land towhomever would buy it (one or two purchasers) as long as he made more than 500,000. I asked him where in the deposi-tion that was and admitted that I hadn’t read the entire thing cover to cover but I do recall on several dozen occasions thatTom Dunn said, “I can’t recall” or “I don’t remember.” Tom Dunn was deposed 2 years after the sale of the land and hewas asked about specifics when his recollection was hazy, at best on so many of the questions he was asked.At this point he told me that we (Choose Chelmsford) were ALL Friends of Eliopoulos (or FOE’s as he coins it). I tried toexplain to him that my encounters with Phil prior to May of this year had ALWAYS been on opposite sides of the streetcampaigning against him as he and my father were up for re-election during the same 3 year cycle and that he (Phil) andmy father were almost always on different sides of the fence and the blood between them wasn’t exactly friendly. I toldhim that I had met with Phil 3 times when I first started the campaign with Angie Taranto to get information and ask ques-tions and that there were no ‘backyard’ dealings going on. He didn’t believe that either. There was just no winning.I decided to change the topic. I told him that August 3rd was going to come. One side will lose and one will win…but nomatter what, we have to move forward. I said, “I think that we can both agree that it might be a good idea to talk aboutworking together and find a way to keep the community involved and informed.” Initially he agreed and said that he wouldbe willing to have a discussion on how to move forward – but then, after about 2 minutes of us talking about things that wecould do, he said, ‘How can we move forward if you’re with THEM? If you don’t see that they’re doing things wrong, thenhow can we move forward?” I told him that I was willing to work with him.At that point, Bill Dalton (yes, my father) shows up and I brought up the statement of how he accuses me of being in-volved for revenge. I asked him why I would want revenge when, despite his accusation, the Board of Ethics cleared him.He acknowledged to us that he ‘accepted’ that decision.....Yet, (in the same breath) that Bill clearly violatedconflict of interest laws.Really????My final remark to him as I turned away was as fol-lows: So, the Board of Ethics clears Bill of wrong-doing – you ‘accept’ that but still maintain that heviolated conflict of interest? How does that work?Since when did you have more experience withthese issues than the Board of Ethics? When didyou become the ‘end all be all?’ Sounds a lot likehis response to Judge Piper’s ruling to me.I can only imagine what he’s going to have to sayabout my encounter, but I wanted to go on recordbefore he puts his spin on it. I have nothing to hide.I am proud of my efforts.
  • I am proud of my co-chair (AngieTaranto),I am proud of Choose Chelmsford andEVERY single volunteer (from Chelms -ford),I am proud of my father and mother(who are NOT corrupt as he has alleged),I am proud of my Town Manager, I am proud of my Selectmen, And I am proud of my town.Twist away…Stefani BushChoose Chelmsford Co-Chair32 year Chelmsford Resident & Registered Voter
  • Chelmsford extends pact for Paul Cohen By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com 07/12/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD -- Saying a charged political climate had nothing to do with their vote, selectmen approved a new three-year contract for Town Manager Paul Cohen last night.Cohens current contract wasnt set to expire until next June, but the boards action set an agreement into motion thatgives Cohen a 2 percent raise, a $100-per-month increased vehicle allowance and job security in Chelmsford until 2013.Selectmen voted 4-1 to extend Cohens contract, with Pat Wojtas opposing.With three weeks remaining before a special election to recall four selectmen, including Wojtas, George Dixon, Matt Han-son and Jon Kurland, the majority said they wanted to retain their "superstar" administrator to ensure Chelmsford stays superstaron a path to financial stability and success.After the Aug. 2 election, "there may possibly be four new members of the Board of Selectmen who donthave the experience of working with the town manager and this body would be best to carve out acontract going forward," Kurland said. forward,The new agreement gave Cohen a 2 percent raise, increasing his annual salary from $145,549 to $148,460, and raisedhis monthly vehicle stipend from $500 to $600.A 2-percent salary increase in the years that follow would require a vote by the Board of Selectmen. Cohen is the onlydepartment head who does not receive step increases in pay.Because Cohen still had almost a year left on his current contract, Wojtas said she didnt think the timing was right andhad concerns about the recall election disrupting the natural order of government. "Just because Im voting no,doesnt mean I dont want Paul to stay," Wojtas said. stay,The four selectmen who approved the contract said they based their decision on Cohens job-performance evaluation,which was also discussed at length last night.Cohens last public evaluation was a year ago, at which time he also earned high marks from the board.Selectmen last night applauded Cohen for meeting all of his performance goals over the past year, especially his han-dling of town finances.Despite a bad economy, officials said Cohen balanced the towns budget without further cuts to services; helped the townsecure an upgraded bond rating by beefing up depleted cash reserves; and saved about $800,000 by renegotiating unionhealth-care contracts.Cohen was also praised for leading efforts and securing grant money to clean up the toxic Katrina Road Brownfields site;obtaining state approval for a special program that will advance redevelopment of North Chelmsford; placing more than58 acres of town land into permanent conservation protection; and being the key figure that kept Zoll Medical Corp. inChelmsford when the medical-device manufacturer was contemplating a move.Choose Chelmsford, a group of residents against the recall, has accused local businessman Roland Van Liew of buyinga recall election to settle a longtime grudge against Cohen.Van Liew funneled $90,000 into the recall effort and has been at odds with Cohen since 2007, according to town records.Van Liew has accused Cohen of ethics violations, corruption and engaging in backroom deals over a controversial 9North Road building project.But selectmen said their vote was not about sending a message to recall supporters."No, no and no," said Lane. "The political climate has nothing to do with it. Hes done a remarkable job no,doing more with less. When you have a franchise player, you need to secure him." him.
  • A Not Your Average Joes could be coming to Chelmsford. Guess where? By Krista Perry 7/12/11 www.chelmsford.patch.comTown Manager Paul Cohen gives us an update on the vacant stores in town, including the new Stop and Shops pro-jected opening date as well as a possible location for a Not Your Average Joes.Also, a Subway will be opening up where Quiznos used to be on Parkhurst Road. Speaking of Parkhurst Road, gas lineconstruction is finishing up and the road should be back open soon. CLICK  HERE Chelmsfords commercial renewal By Rita Savard 07/17/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD - The Planning Board has given its stamp of approval to a new CVS in the center of town. But dont ex-pect the drugstore to look entirely new.Board members voted 7-0 in favor of the project, which will resemble a Colonial-style building, according to officials."The architecture will fit into the character of our historic district," said Town Manager Paul Cohen, adding district,that the project was a "critical first step" in giving the dated Stop & Shop plaza a makeover. stepThe evolution of the plaza, located at 16 Boston Road, began with the development of a new Super Stop & Shop at 299Chelmsford St., site of the former Route 3 Cinema.The Chelmsford Street property had sat idle since it was purchased by the supermarketn 1998 for $3 million. Market Basket, located across the street in East Gate Plaza, took Stop & Shop and the towns Zon-ing Board of Appeals to state Land Court in 2001, alleging the new development would slow traffic.In January 2010, the state Appeals Court finally cleared the way for Stop & Shop to build on the old cinema site. The newsuperstore is expected to be completed by November, according to Community Development Director Evan Belansky.Meanwhile, Stop & Shop, which owns the Boston Road property, is exploring rezoning options that could convert the areafrom a shopping center to a mixed-use property combining businesses and residential dwellings, Belansky said."Right now, the property owners are conducting a market analysis and researching redevelopmentconcepts," Belansky said. "Its definitely evolving, but were still waiting to see what kind of shape theconcepts,area will take." take.Construction on the new CVS should begin before winter, Cohen said. The building will be larger than the present loca-tion, with a drive-through pharmacy and 24-hour service.The current location will remain open until the new store is built, then will be demolished, Cohen said.
  • Chelmsford seeks to be businesses bulls-eye By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com 07/18/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD -- It may not become the next Silicone Valley, but officials hope Chelmsfords newlyacquired status as an economic target area will bring a much-needed facelift to Vinal Square.Designed to stimulate economic growth, an ETA designation offers state tax credits, as well negotiatedtax-increment financing to new and existing businesses."The point is taking areas in town that are in need of a makeover and turning themaround," said Town Manager Paul Cohen. "Having this kind of designation allows more oppor -around,tunities for funding and incentives for businesses." businessesThe states Economic Assistance Coordinating Council approved the towns application last month, allow-ing Chelmsford to offer businesses the same opportunities that already exist in communities like Billerica,Lowell and Tewksbury.Until now, only a portion of Chelmsford along the Route 129 corridor had ETA designation. Having thatrecognition was instrumental in drawing computer-security company Arbor Networks, Inc. and Circlesconcierge service, officials say.Each company was offered tax breaks through a TIF agreement, approved by Town Meeting. The townsbenefit, said Cohen, was the creation of hundreds of new jobs, having the companies invest money intotheir leased properties and pumping more dollars back into the local economy."Its about creating jobs and enhancing the value of the community," said Community Devel- communityopment Director Evan Belansky.The ETA program could also breathe some life back into some of the towns older buildings, like aban-doned and historic properties."As far as Vinal Square goes, wed like to see improvements to building facades, decora -tive sidewalks, and then theres the long-term issue of a train station in the area andwhat that would bring," Cohen said. bring,With construction work scheduled to begin on the old Town Hall in the next couple of weeks, NorthChelmsford has already begun to evolve.The historic Princeton Street building will become a new community center by June 2012, and "bringmore activity to the area," Belansky said. areaTown Meeting approved using Community Preservation Act funding to renovate both of Chelmsfords his-toric town halls.With more to offer both smaller businesses and larger companies, including job training, Cohen hopes va-cant spaces inside the towns historic mill buildings on Princeton Street can also be filled in the near fu-ture."The economy is slowly turning around," he said. "This is just another tool to help our aroundlocal economy get back on track." track
  • Tarantos lifetime of dedication toChelmsford schools earns state honor By Michael Wurm, Sun Correspondent Updated: 07/21/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD -- It was an uncharacteristic moment for a School Committee meeting, the standing ovation that eruptedTuesday evening.But it was one, members agreed, that was well deserved.Member Evelyn Thoren surprised former longtime committee member, administrator and teacher Angelo Taranto withthe announcement that, on her nomination, he had won a statewide lifetime achievement award from the MassachusettsAssociation of School Committees.She read the award nomination text that outlined Tarantos accomplishments in a career dating more than 50 years inChelmsford, culminating in four terms on the School Committee.The ever-modest Taranto said yesterday when reached by phone, "This limelight stuff, Im not that comfortablewith. Im a team player." player.Taranto, 73, started from out of Boston College as a seventh-grade science teacher in 1959. He went on to head theScience Department, then into administration as a House Master in middle school and dean at Chelmsford High, retiringin 1994. He was elected to his first term on the committee in 1995, took a break, then won and served three more terms,finishing the last this year. He continues to contribute to the work of improving the school system by serving the commit-tee now as its legislative liaison.After being called up by Thoren to the committee table Tuesday, Taranto said he was surprised and pleased, but quicklymoved into the business of giving his report on discussions and efforts being undertaken with state legislators represent-ing Chelmsford. Taranto will be honored by MASC at its annual conference in November.Thoren stressed that Taranto has always valued working directly with the students of Chelmsford, helping them learn tosucceed at school and planting the seeds for their future success."I allowed them to develop at their own rate," Taranto said, adding, "somehow my mannerisms made them rate,comfortable with my approach. As a result, many of them keep in touch. ... To see them accomplishthings (in their careers) is my greatest reward." reward.As a School Committee member and chairman, Taranto said he was proudest of his work with other members, adminis-trators and teachers "to strive to improve the school system. My background as a teacher helped memake the best decisions for our school system." system.Taranto, who was inducted into the Chelmsford High School Alumni Associa-tion in 2000 as a faculty member, said this is the third time he has beenpleasantly surprised this year with honors. The fieldhouse at the McCarthyMiddle School was named for him, and at the last board meeting, state legis-lators presented him with a citation, a plaque and a mallet.MASC Director Glen Koocher said yesterday that Tarantos lifetime achieve-ment award "is not only for his School Committee work but for his lifetime ca-reer of over 40 years serving children and students. He far exceeds theminimum standards for the award."Koocher added that there are only six to eight of these awards given outstatewide each year.School Committee Chairman Janet Askenburg praised Taranto effusively in aphone interview last night, saying, "It was a very well deserved awardfor Angie. He has been very exemplary, a model member of theSchool Committee, a model school district employee and a modelcitizen of Chelmsford." Chelmsford.
  • Chelmsford playground blaze probed Fire late Tuesday afternoon called suspicious By Olivia Hull, Sun Staff 07/21/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD -- Danielle Evans was accosted by a "strong chemical charred smell" when she arrived at the South RowElementary School at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday.Evans, chairwoman of the playground fundraising committee, was "shocked and devastated" to see that fire had de- devastatedstroyed more than half of the much-loved playground sometime before 5:30."Its amazing what happened in such short a time -- I couldnt believe it," said Cathy Poisson, co-president of itthe South Row PTO.Firefighters and police are investigating the cause of the fire, but have not yet reached any conclusions."Until we investigate further and can determine a cause of origin, we are treating this as a suspiciousincident," said Police Chief James Murphy.incident,The playground is located behind the school on Boston Road, barely visible from the road. The playground equipmentsits atop a bed of woodchips, much of which was also burned.The playground, made of wood, metal and plastic, is 12 to 15 years old, and needed to be replaced in another year, Pois-son said. The PTO had already been fundraising for a new playground, valued at $100,000, which they hope to installnext summer. But with only seven weeks left until the beginning of school, the school is scrambling to come up with alter-native recess and gym-class activities.Poissons daughter Alyssa, 8, was one of the children who often slid down the large three-section slide thats now "to -tally vaporized," Poisson said. vaporized,"When she was going to bed, she was crying. Shes got two more years in that school," Poisson said. school,"The kids just didnt know what to make of it, their mouths were wide open when they saw it. This iswhere the kids play at recess. The playground is a huge deal." deal.The playground wont just be missed during recess, though. Local children play on it all summer long, said Poisson, andduring the fall soccer season, because of its proximity to the town fields."Theres a lot of people there typically," she said. "Its just a community-used playground." typically, playground.Many community members came to the scene to show their support Tuesday evening."When theres something like this, the community comes together, its wonderful. I love this town," town,Poisson said."My son really questioned who did this, saying, Are they going to get punished? " Evans said. "Its onething to be an adult, but when youre a child its hard to understand. Its an elementary school so itstough for them." them.South Row, the smallest elementary school in Chelmsford, enrolls 465 students in kindergarten through grade 4.Fundraising efforts for a new play-ground include a sale of $30South Row "Opoly" games,modeled after the board gameMonopoly, and a walk-a-thon onSept. 25 from 10 a.m. to noon.A fund at the Northern Bank &Trust in Chelmsford has beenestablished for the campaign.Checks made out to the SouthRow PTO Playground Fund.Emailsouthrowschool@yahoo.com formore information.Staff writer Robert Mills contributed tothis report.
  • Trash and recycling update: Residents making progress in cutting waste By Jennifer Almeida GateHouse News Service Jul 23, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordChelmsford — One year ago, Chelmsford implemented significant changes to its solid waste and recyclingprograms. We switched haulers for the first time in 10 years, split the recycling and trash con-tracts between two companies, went to “single stream” recycling collection and adopted a twobarrel trash limit. The town’s goals were to reduce its trash tonnage, encourage increased re-cycling and save money.A year into the program, we are pleased to announce that these goals have been achieved.Our trash tonnage was down by over 15 percent compared to 2010, and we saved $230,000at the combustion facility where Chelmsford’s trash is burned. Looking back even further, it isclear that Chelmsford is making steady progress toward becoming less wasteful. In 2005,Chelmsford generated an average of 1.2 tons of trash per household. In 2006 our tonnagestarted to drop after we implemented mandatory recycling, and by 2009 we were down to .95tons per household. That number went up a bit in 2010, but in FY2011 with the two-barrellimit we generated only .81 tons of trash per household.On the recycling side, Chelmsford residents continue to do a great job diverting recyclablesfrom the trash. We recycled 3828 tons of paper, cardboard and containers at the curb inFY2011. Our 2010 curbside recycling rate – recycling tonnage compared to trash tonnage -was 22 percent; in 2011 that figure rose to 26 percent. Also, our new recycling contract pro-vides that we will earn money back on our paper and cardboard if paper prices rise above$50 per ton. Paper prices reached that level in March, and since then we’ve earned over$4,500. This provides yet another incentive to Chelmsford residents to recycle all of theirpaper and cardboard at the curb - see thelatest “Chelmsford Recycles” flyer for a com-plete list of the many kinds of paper that canbe recycled at the curb.Another way to reduce your household’strash output is to compost kitchen scraps ina backyard compost pile or bin. The Recy-cling Office is fully stocked with compostbins which we sell below cost to Chelmsfordresidents, and we have a lot of informationto help you get started composting whetheror not you purchase a bin from the Town.Residents with questions about the compostbins – or about the Town’s solid waste andrecycling programs generally – should con-tact the office at 978 250 5203.Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
  • Work on historic Chelmsford buildings should begin this month by Monica Jimenez/Wicked Local staff writer GateHouse News Service Jul 23, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordWork on the North and Center Town Halls begins this month and should finish in slightly lessthan a year, according to Chelmsford Permanent Building Committee chairman Pat Maloney.A grand opening celebration is tentatively scheduled for the Fourth of July, 2012.PlansThe Center Town Hall, which housed the Chelmsford Center for the Arts under volunteerSusan Gates’ direction for about a year, closed in February for renovation. The building will beoutfitted with a lighting system for theatrical performances, the old piano will be taken down-stairs to a secondary performance space and a new piano will move in upstairs. The buildingwill also updated with better heating and air conditioning, a kitchen and an elevator will be in-stalled.The North Town Hall, which was once a community center but is not currently being used, willundergo interior and exterior renovations. The redone building will again be a community cen-ter thanks to the work of a nonprofit organization headed by Chelmsford resident Laura Lee,and groups such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will meet there. Care will be taken to pre-serve historical details outside and inside, particularly in the building’s auditorium.Heavy liftingThe project got off to a slow start after the contractor chosen for the job underestimated costsand the town put the town halls out to bid for a second time. That process concluded Monday,July 11 when the Chelmsford selectmen awarded the bid to M. O’Connor Contracting for theamount of $4,136,700.According to Maloney, fencing around the sites was scheduled to go up Friday, July 15. Thenext steps will be mobilizing construction equipment over the next weeks, then doing all nec-essary demolition work. After that the buildingwork will be completed. Plumbing, electricaland drywall work will follow and “finishing”work will cap off the process, involving thewoodwork and trim of both buildings.The scope of work is larger at the CenterTown Hall, where the elevator necessitates anaddition to the building, but the stages of workshould be the same at both buildings, as bothhave the same completion date.Workers will be on the job five days a weekfrom morning until mid-afternoon, as well asthe occasional weekend, but Maloney doesnot anticipate problems with noise or traffic.Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
  • Selectmen OK Plan for Two State Reps The town legislative redistricting committee worked to get the towns reps from four to two. By Krista Perry July 27, 2011 www.chelmsford.patch.comSelectmen Jon Kurland Monday night presented a plan to selectmen for the town to have twostate reps instead of four.The Legislative Redistricting Committee was established by selectmen to take a look at the2010 census numbers and figure out a fair way to reduce the number of state reps. Becausethe town has four, many officials said, none of the state reps are dependent upon Chelms-fords vote.The group is bi-partisan and includes Selectmen Kurland and Matt Hanson, Town RepublicanCommittee Chairman Paul Rigazio, Town Democratic Committee Chairman Sam Poulton, andThomas DePasquale.Kurland told selectmen the state has said it can probably get Chelmsford down to three reps,but the committee has a plan for two. "The sense we got with meetings was that they were aware of our difficulties and that theyfelt comfortable they could get us down to three. We came up with a scenario for one repre-sentative but it was so complicated that we felt politically it would never be seriously consid-ered," said Kurland.Kurland presented a geographical portion of Chelmsford that involved Rep. Tom Golden giv-ing up one precinct, but his portion would be an area closer to his house.The plan would then be to add precincts 1, 4 and 9 to Rep. Jim Arcerio, so in all, hed repre-sent precincts 1, 4, 5, 7, and 9. In exchange he’d have to give up the town of Littleton, whichwould go to Rep. Cory Atkins. He would now represent two communities instead of three.Under the plan, Rep. David Nangles one precinct - precinct 4 - would go to Arciero andpreinct 3- which Arciero currently has - would go to Golden.Atkins currently represents four communities, Kurland said, and under the plan she wouldcontinue to represent four but she would give up Chelmsford for Littleton.Arciero, who has three communities - Littleton Westford, and Chlemsford would go down totwo under the plan. Goldens towns would stay the same and Nangle would give up Chelms-ford. Kurland said hed then just be representing Lowell. "We feel this is the best liklihood we have to getting the people at state houseto seriously consider our proposal to get down from four to two. This just in -volves four reps, who have expressed desire to reduce the number of reps,"reps,said Kurland.Selectmen approved recommending the plan to the representatives and requested to presentthe plan in Boston at the state house as well.
  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Choose Chelmsford? A letter to the editor from Bruce Magnell. www.chelmsford.patch.comTo the editor:I chose Chelmsford in the most meaningful way more than 35 years ago – I chose to live here. I chose Chelmsford in large part because ofthe character of the town. The historic buildings, the open public lands, and the general character of this town were what appealed to me andmy wife. These aspects of the town are not only a matter of personal preference; they are an important factor in determining the value of myhome. That’s why I am angry to see our elected officials fail to defend the public interest; they seem to be motivated by a desire to give awaythe town to their friends. Over the years, we have seen too much of our town center paved over and turned into ugly strip malls, and too muchobeisance to the short-term interests of the business community. The Board of Selectmen’s handling of the 9 North Road development is justthe latest and most obvious example of the wrong path taken by our town government. This is not just a case of disagreeing with the judgmentof elected officials, which might affect my voting choices at the next election. In my view, what they did in the case of 9 North Road is so fun-damentally corrupt (ethically if not legally) that it warrants immediate removal of the selectmen who enabled this disaster.Now opponents of the recall are trying to demonize Mr. Van Lieu, who has spearheaded the recall movement. Many people are concernedabout the tone and content of Mr. Van Lieu’s accusations against the Town Manager and the Board of Selectmen in regard to 9 North Road,and may fear to support the recall because of that. But Van Lieu isn’t really the issue. You don’t have to be allied with Van Lieu, and you don’thave to believe in allegations of criminal misconduct, to feel that something is seriously amiss at Chelmsford Town Hall. The underlying prob-lem isn’t going to go away, no matter how many people put on a smiley face and say we should all work together happily as if nothing everhappened.To see how serious the problem is, all we need to do is to contrast the handling of the recent sale of church property on North Road with thatof 9 North Road a year earlier. In February of this year, St. Mary’s church informed the Town Manager that they will sell a piece of church-owned property at Crosby Lane and North Road. The Town has no ownership rights and there is no restriction or other Town interest in thisproperty. However, if the property were to be sold for development, some negative outcomes might occur – maybe a 40(b) project would getbuilt there, perhaps some historic properties might be threatened, and there would be public opposition. The Town Manager promptly informedthe BOS about the church’s intention to sell the property. The Town Manager and the Selectmen foresaw the potential political problems butthey also perceived an opportunity to solve another problem – the fire station. So the Town Manager quickly put together a plan whereby theTown would purchase the property, move some historic houses to provide a place to put a new fire station, and thus free up the small parcel ofland where the fire station is now. This in turn would provide a place to put the Dutton House. It was a complicated plan with a lot of propertyswapping and uncertainties as to its feasibility and cost. The plan was made public, and the BOS considered it and heard testimony from con-cerned parties. Ultimately the BOS voted it down. They didn’t hide behind confidential legal advice and they weren’t afraid to listen to publicinput and take a stand on this plan. Whether or not you agree with their decision, you can’t fault the process.Contrast that with what happened when the 9 North Road property was being sold by Eastern Bank. We don’t know exactly when or how theTown Manager and the BOS learned of this sale. By his own testimony the Town Manager waited many weeks after learning of the potentialsale to inform the BOS, and when he did, apparently his message was so low-key that members of the BOS didn’t even remember him tellingthem about it - or so they later stated. Of course that’s nonsense. The Town Manager and the Selectmen must have realized immediately thatthis was a red-hot political potato, because whoever was buying the 9 North Road property intended to break the Preservation Restriction andbuild a commercial structure there. Nobody would have bought that property unless they could build on it. The Town Manager and the Select-men must have known that the loss of public open space would be a much bigger issue than just a 40(b) on some church land. And of coursethey all knew who was buying 9 North Road, because one of their own colleagues was representing the buyer. The responsibility and author-ity for defending the Preservation Restriction rested solely with the BOS. So I have no doubt whatsoever that from the start they all knew ex-actly how big a problem this would become.So why didn’t the Town Manager and the BOS spring into action and put together a plan to forestall this problem, as they did for the churchland? If they were opposed to the development of 9 North Road, they could have made the matter public, and announced their intention to de-fend the Preservation Restriction. That would have been a political action, not a legal matter, and they could have done that without evenconsulting Town Counsel. That kind of public action might have stopped the project in its tracks, and would surely have provided the supportthat the Planning Board needed to deny the permit based on the open-space clause in the Preservation Restriction. Any challenge would thenhave put the matter properly into the courts. Alternatively, they could have devised a plan for the Town to buy some or all of the land in orderto prevent the loss of the open space and provide for expansion or re-location of the fire station. But they didn’t do any of that. Instead theyconsulted confidentially with Town Counsel and then refused to do anything at all until the Planning Board, Historical District Commission, andConservation Commission hearings had run their course.Can it be that a majority of the BOS was actually in favor of the 9 North Road project, despite the obvious conflict with the public interest inpreserving the open land behind Old Town Hall? Or maybe the Selectmen just weren’t willing to openly oppose their colleague and his influen-tial family? If so, their political problem was that they couldn’t openly support the development, because that would have been tantamount torepudiating the Preservation Restriction even before it was challenged. No doubt, the Selectmen understood how unpopular that would be.So they hid behind legal advice and did nothing, hoping that public fury would fall upon the various review boards and not on them. Basicallythey abdicated their political responsibility to the voters and property owners of Chelmsford. They did not Choose Chelmsford.In fact, the Planning Board and the Historical Commission just did their jobs, given that the BOS refused to defend the Preservation Restric-tion, and they’ve been pilloried for it. It’s taken a while but the focus is finally shifting to the Town Manager and the Selectmen who secretly fa-cilitated the 9 North Road development but didn’t have the courage to do it in public. They are the ones who are ultimately responsible. Theyare the ones who put the interests of certain businessmen and political cronies ahead of the public interest.I don’t know exactly why the Town Manager and some members of the BOS did this. I don’t know whether their actions were technically ille-gal, or merely wrong. But they did do it and to me that’s a serious matter. It’s not the first time the BOS has exhibited this tendency to placeprivate business interests above the public interest. This is just the biggest and most obvious example of it, and it’s the proverbial straw thatbroke the camel’s back. That’s why I’m glad the recall is going ahead, so people will have a chance to hold our government officials account-able for what they’ve done, or not done. Sadly, I’ve concluded that just waiting until the next election, when the choice is likely to be more can-didates who want to curry favor with the business community, is no longer a sufficient remedy. In my opinion, the Selectmen who facilitatedthe 9 North Road development have violated the public trust and they need to be removed immediately. That’s my view of it, and I believe intaking responsibility for my opinion, so I’m signing this -Respectfully,Bruce Magnell
  • A careful review equals no on recall The Lowell Sun 07/27/2011 www.lowellsun.com/editorialsI have carefully examined the 9 North Road fact sheetsdistributed by both Roland Van Liew and Phil Eliopoulos,have analyzed the preservation restriction, attended theselectmens forum last August, and even attended theMcCarthy-istic Cheating Chelmsford presentation last week,so ably controlled by Van Liews lawyers.And it has led me to a very simple question: Who among uscould withstand the scrutiny of decisions we made in ourjob or in our lives when that attack focused on snippets ofinformation taken completely out of context?Probably not many of us.Are we really to believe that all the entities that have giventhe green light to this project, including the ConservationCommission, Historical Society, Planning Board, Board ofSelectmen, and even the Land Court, have conspired tohelp build 9 North Road?We may not always like the decisions of our townsgovernment, but unless you really believe that thesepeople who sacrifice their personal time in service to thecommunity have committed a truly egregious act, vote "no"on Aug. 2. And remember, we are all cordially invited torun for a seat on the board next April.DOROTHY SKELLEYChelmsford
  • EXTRA ExtrasSUBMITTED BYCHOOSE CHELMSFORD SUNDAY, JULY 31 Rally on Drum Hill Road at the site of the giant Vote NO signs from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Off the rotary, take the Throughout the road next to Sunoco and afternoon, Choose turn right til you get to the Chelmsford members end. Take a right and park will hand out water behind the building next bottles along the to the property. Bruce Freeman Rail Trail. CLICK HERE for the mailing from CHOOSE CHELMSFORD The Chelmsford Food Pantry is now located behind the Town Offices Water Bans - Center & East at Level 2 Citizen Petition deadline for Fall Town Meeting is 8/1 at 5P M
  • QUOTE OF THE WEEK:"There Is ASuckerBorn EveryMinute" - P. T. Barnum QUESTION : What do you call a person that uses big words to make themselves seem smarter than you? ANSWER : a sesquipedalian ses·qui·pe·da·li·an [ses-kwi-pi-dey-lee-uhn, -deyl-yuhn] -adjective Also, ses·quip·e·dal 1. given to using long words. 2. (of a word) containing many syllables. -noun 3. a sesquipedalian word. (Reference: www.dictionary.com) http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sesquipedalian Of course, actually using this word would make you a sesquipedalian yourself ;)Brought to youfrom the FARSIDE of Chelmsford
  • In-Town Report News Links: LOWELL SUN CHELMSFORD INDEPENDENT CHELMSFORD PATCH ITR on FACEBOOK linkIf you have any comments or suggestions on the In-Town Report write Roy at intownreport@gmail.com ROY EARLEY Town Meeting Representative Precinct 6 In-Town Report Westlands Watchdogs Open Space Steward