A low voter turnout is an indication of
 fewer people going to the polls.
 ~ George W. Bush
Submitted by Maria Karafelis

                                                    Letter to the Editor

We'd all like to vote for the best man, but he's
                            never a candidate.”
“A fool and his money are soon elected”.   PHOTOS BY  TOM CHRISTIANO
              ~ Will Rogers
One final word from the Candidates (or maybe two or three ; )
The Candidates for Selectmen and School Committee were offer...
'Excellence in education' isn't just a campaign slogan. It's a mission for all of us wh...
Reaching out and working with residents is my top priority. Together
with a team of volunteers, ...

                                         CLICK HERE
DPW building proposal on ballot
                                                    By Chloe Gotsis/ staff writer
To the Editors,

The proposal on the ballot, April 6, to move the DPW Highway facility on Richardson
Road to 9 Alpha Road ...
•     Project Cost
$5 million to purchase and renovate 90,000 square-foot warehouse build...
And now a word from some of the other candidates around town...

                     Rick Mahoney :             Library T...
Dear Precinct 7 Neighbors,

My name is James Lane and during the past three years I have had the distinct pleasure to serv...
My name is Regina B. Jackson and I am running for Town Meeting Rep in precinct 7. I have lived in
Chelmsford for 16 years....
                            by Tom Christiano

                            Every candidate for the off...
Eric Dahlberg
                       Officially Kicks off his Campaign
                      by Tom Christiano


                              April 3 (Saturday)- Channel ...
Tom TV
Politically Incorrect
with Tom   Christiano

The panelists on the MARCH 23, 2010
"Politically Incorrect" TV Show

North Town Hall was built in 1853 to serve the community of Chelmsford. It is Chelmsford’s fi...
Voters face CPC articles at upcoming Town Meeting
                                                           By Chloe Gots...
Cohen: Town could have saved $1M in insurance costs
                                              By Rita Savard, rsavard@...
Towns should design employee health plans
                                             By Aviva Gat, Sun Correspondent
Chelmsford deals with Center Station flooding

Department of Public Works
supervisors use the sewer
vacuum truck to rem...
Seniors take Tsongas to task
                    Say U.S. rep didn't answer all their questions at health-care forum
Justice: Disbarred attorney misused knowledge of law to help his clients
                                            By Li...
Chelmsford superintendent names new Byam principal
                                                        By Chloe Gotsis...
Slow Growth Initiative co-founder puts money behind
                             anti-40B effort
                                                                   POLITICAL COLUMN


After speaking at length with town officials about the project, the Slow Growth Initiative would lik...

In-Town Report:
In the letters submitted to the In-Town Report(3/17) and the Chelmsford
In-Town Report:

What are the town's future plans for the Center Fire Station?

Paul Cohen:

The Town needs to invest i...
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  1. 1. A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls. ~ George W. Bush ‘ Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. ~ Mark Twain Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children. ~ Dan Quayle There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there. ~ Indira Gandhi “In America, anybody may become president, and I suppose it's just one of the risks you take”. ~ Adlai Stevenson Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened. ~ Winston Churchill
  2. 2. Submitted by Maria Karafelis Letter to the Editor ATTENTION!!! CHELMSFORD VOTERS We have an election coming up on Tuesday April 6, 2010. You have probably already seen information regarding the Board of Selectman and the Chelmsford School Committee. Although these are very important races, they are not the only ones. Every precinct in the Town of Chelmsford has a Town Meeting Representative race. There will also be Library Trustee, Planning Board, Sewer Commission, Cemetery Commission, Constable, Board of Health, Housing Authority, and Library Trustee races. All are equally as important. I encourage all Chelmsford residents to investigate who the candidates are, what they stand for. Consider all of the information, talk to your neighbors; contact the candidates if you have a question in order to make an educated vote. We also have the DPW Debt Exclusion Question. Phase I is for $5M, to purchase the property on Alpha Road and to renovate the building to accommodate the Chelmsford DPW. Accomplishing the relocation of the DPW has many benefits. First and foremost is how much the town will save over the next 25 – 30 years by acting now instead of later where the potential to building a new DPW from the ground up would cost us much, much more, as we have learned from the sewer project. I further encourage you to vote “YES”, let’s do what is good and right for the Town of Chelmsford. This will also eliminate the threat of legal actions against the Town of Chelmsford from the North Chelmsford Water District, and save us legal fees, especially residents and water takers in North Chelmsford, who would pay double. I encourage you all to do your “due diligence” and be an educated voter. Voting is a gift, a very generous gift. Use it wisely and be a well in- formed voter for the Town of Chelmsford. Thank you so much for your support and for your vote. Maria Karafelis Precinct 2 Town Meeting Rep Town of Chelmsford DPW - Alpha Road Proposal - Phased Project CLICK HERE Specimen Ballot- April 6 Town Election CLICK HERE BOARD OF SELECTMEN CANDIDATES WEBSITES SCHOOL COMMITTEE CANDIDATES WEBSITES CLICK on the LINKS CLICK on the LINKS http://www.matthanson.us/ http://www.janetaskenburg.com/ http://kurlandforselectman.com/ http://www.evelynthoren.com/ http://patwojtas.com/ http://pt-pt.facebook.com/pages/T-Jack-Wang- for-Chelmsford-School-Commit- tee/320576477442 “If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal.” ~ Emma Goldman
  3. 3. We'd all like to vote for the best man, but he's never a candidate.” PHOTOS BY  TOM CHRISTIANO ~ Frank McKinney "Kin" Hubbard
  4. 4. “A fool and his money are soon elected”. PHOTOS BY  TOM CHRISTIANO ~ Will Rogers
  5. 5. One final word from the Candidates (or maybe two or three ; ) The Candidates for Selectmen and School Committee were offered one final chance to make a statement through the In-Town Report before the Town Elections April 6th. ( in order as received in ) JOHN KURLAND for SELECTMAN My wife, Sara and I moved to Chelmsford nineteen years ago so that our children could get the best public education in the area. Rachel and Scott both graduated with the skills that enabled them to excel in college. That is a benefit that we re- ceived from living in Chelmsford we can never repay. I have always believed in “giving back”. I am a Past-President of the Lowell Rotary Club. I was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Goodwill Industries of Merri- mack Valley for five years and was awarded its Volunteer of the Year in 1996. I have served on the Board of Directors of the Greater Lowell YMCA and was a founding member of the Greater Lowell Alzheimer Association. I have served on the Finance Committee for seven years and was its chairman for two years. While serving as chairman, I was able to spearhead an effort that saved the taxpayers of Chelmsford thousands of dollars. If elected to the Board of Selectmen, I will try to make certain that all funds are wisely spent. I have learned many things serving on boards and committees. I want to help the town by offering my knowl- edge and experience. I have been successful in the past as a consensus builder and I think that this skill is valuable in advancing important town initiatives. The Board of Selectmen is a team that is comprised of five individuals with different skills and experiences. The town is best served by having Selectmen who possess complimentary talents. It is not good to have too many people who have the same skills but not to have others who possess important talents in other areas. The Board of Selectmen may find that the financial experience and understanding of the town’s operations that I have acquired over the last 7 ½ years beneficial. They may find that my approach to issues as an attor- ney with my 33 years solving problems helpful. I can be useful in advocating on behalf of the town on Beacon Hill. While serving as Chairman of the Finance Committee I uncovered longstanding reporting problems and spearheaded an effort that resulted in saving the town’s taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars. I will continue to work hard for the town as I have for the past 7 ½ years on the Finance Committee. I will listen to citizens’ problems, ideas and concerns over town government by being available to meet with them on the first Saturday of each month at the Java Room at 9:00 a.m. Citizens will know how I will vote on an issue and why and they will have an opportunity to offer their sound advice so that I can have all of the facts before I make a decision. My decisions will be based upon three factors: whether the solution is in the best long-term interests of the town; whether it will save the taxpayers’ money; and whether it makes common sense. It is their votes that will determine whether they believe that I am worthy to serve them in this very im- portant position. I hope that they will look at what I have done in the past as an indication of what I am capa- ble of doing for them in the future and that I will get one of their two votes on April 6th. PAT WOJTAS for SELECTMEN During my first term as a member of the Board of Selectmen, I have kept my pledge to carefully consider all sides of every issue before casting my vote. I have worked diligently with other Board members and the Town Manager to assure resi- dents that we are maintaining the level of services that we have come to expect, and that our children are getting an excel- lent education. At this time, continuity on the Board of Selectmen is critical. If re-elected, I will continue to strive to make Chelmsford even better than it already is, by providing experience to the Board; trusted leadership to the residents; and thoughtful consideration of all issues that impact our community. I respectfully ask for one of your two votes for Selectman on Election Day, April 6. Pat Wojtas If you can't convince them, confuse them. ~ Harry S. Truman
  6. 6. EVELYN THOREN for SCHOOL COMMITTEE 'Excellence in education' isn't just a campaign slogan. It's a mission for all of us who care deeply about Chelmsford schools and our children. And, it is a mission to achieve high stan- dards, conserve our financial resources and accomplish this with a limited budget. I am running for re-election to provide hard work, experience, A STRONG VOICE ON BEACON HILL, educational leadership, service and most importantly, results to our community. "New ideas are funny things, they don't work unless you do." I co-founded the Arts and Tech- nology Education Fund to grant thousands of dollars from private donations to enrich our stu- dents' education. I started the citizen lobbying group "Initiative for Local Aid" that has achieved almost a million dollars in new Chapter 70 funding. We successfully lobbied for and received more than $16 million reimbursement from the state, saving Chelmsford taxpayers $16 million dollars. We are streamlining school operations, implementing best practices, and developing the next comprehensive long range plan. We are meeting these tremendous challenges with less and less money and more and more mandates from the government. But we have been successful as Governor Patrick recently pointed out. My three sons graduated from Chelmsford Schools, and my four grandchildren will all attend Chelmsford schools. All children deserve the same excellent education. Being on the school committee is a significant commitment of time and preparation. Over 1100 meetings and 12,000 hours for me. As you can see, I am very passionate and very active in achieving suc- cessful results. To do this I need your help. I ask for one of your votes on April 6th for Evelyn Thoren for School Committee. We are never done keeping “Excellence in Education” in Chelmsford. Thank you. JANET ASKENBURG for SCHOOL COMMITTEE I am running for School Committee because I believe my business experience will make a posi- tive difference for our schools. I am currently a Director of Business Development at Ryan, Inc. and serve as Vice Chair of Chelmsford’s Economic Development Commission. I believe great businesses understand who they work for and they require all employees to provide excellent client service. I agree with that idea and if elected to School Committee, I will understand who I work for – the parents and the taxpayers of Chelmsford . I am proud to say that I have two sons in the Chelmsford schools and Bill and I are very happy with the education that they are receiving. I volunteer at Byam Elementary and was instrumental in creating Byam’s Outdoor Learning Center . I will work hard for our schools, bring new ideas, a fresh perspective on old ideas, and an open mind for ideas from everyone in the community. Please visit my website for more information www.janetasken- burg.com. On Tuesday, April 6th, I respectfully ask for one of your two votes. “The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson.” ~ Tom Bodett
  7. 7. MATT HANSON for SELECTMEN Reaching out and working with residents is my top priority. Together with a team of volunteers, I have been meeting with and listening to residents, to get the best perspective possible on how I can help you. Some of the issues that I will champion include improving Chelmsford Public Schools, enhancing public safety, encouraging economic development and reducing the residential tax burden. As a member of the Board of Selectmen, I will ensure that we work effi- ciently to provide outstanding services within our budget. As a member of the Board of Selectmen I would focus on strength- ening faith in our town government and on encouraging public input. I will hold weekly office hours once elected and explore alternative forums for public input. I will work tirelessly with the different media outlets to promote public input and community involvement ensuring that the voice of the residents is heard. At the same time, I will work to ensure that the voice, ideas and reason behind the actions of our town government are shared with the residents. When the commu- nity and the town government are working in tandem, the best solu- tions can be created and incorporated. I will bring a variety of different skills and experiences to the Board of Selectmen which will be an asset to the Board and our Town. I am currently a Town Meeting Representative in Precinct 5, the Clerk of the Town Halls Utilization Study Committee and work in the Chelmsford Public Schools. I have worked for Chelms- ford in the Statehouse with State Representative Jim Arciero where I handled constituent services, devel- oped legislative policy and interacted with both Local and State officials. I have a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and am finishing my Masters Degree in Regional Economic and Social Development. My educational background, studying issues such as taxation policy, housing policy, zoning policy, analyzing public policy, the relationship between State and Local governments and much more, will be a direct bene- fit to our town government. Most importantly though, I have experience as a community activist, working directly with hundreds of vol- unteers here in town, tackling many issues that have a direct impact on the lives of residents. Including the proposed Aggregate Industries expansion, restoring the Center and North Town Halls using community preservation funds while not increasing taxes, 40B projects, and funding of the Adams Library to name a few. I have the time, energy and commitment to continue making these things happen for our town as a member of the Board of Selectmen. I have seen first-hand what people can accomplish by working to- gether and encouraging debate and I will bring this important attitude and belief with me to the Board. I want to hear from you about your concerns. I would encourage you to contact me with your priorities or with any questions at 978-319-5383 or by email at votehanson@gmail.com JACK WANG for SCHOOL COMMITTEE We the people of Chelmsford have been fortunate to have a good school system. In fact, many people often say the reason they moved here is for the schools. As a product of the Chelmsford public schools myself, I can attest firsthand to the quality of the schools. Despite annual budget challenges, the teachers and staff have been able to maintain the level of quality. In the end, we all agree that we want great schools. But how we get there is a matter of debate. First, we have to have a direction and some sort of agree- ment on what a great school system looks like. Then we have to hold people accountable. And we have to communicate the results. What’s been done in the past has been good. Now it’s time for great. With my business experience and knowledge of public school regulations, I hope to pro- vide that spark and vision to make Chelmsford even better. On Tuesday, April 6th, I respectfully ask for your vote. “Nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” ~ Oscar Wilde
  8. 8. LEAGUE OF WOMWEN’S VOTERS  CANDIDATES DEBATE CLICK HERE for School Committee debate CLICK HERE for Board of Selectmen debate CLICK HERE for discussion on the DPW debt exclusion ballot question “Hell, I never vote for anybody, I always vote against. “ ~ W.C. Fields
  9. 9. DPW building proposal on ballot By Chloe Gotsis/ staff writer GateHouse News Service http://www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford/features/x1447157836/DPW-building-proposal-on-ballot Mar 27, 2010 Jesse A. Floyd/ Wicked Local staff The Old Mother Hubbard building on Alpha Road. Chelmsford — Next month, town officials will ask voters to support a $5 million debt exclusion to purchase a va- cant industrial building and renovate it for a new Department of Public Works facility. The two-phase proposal is a pared down approach from a $13 million debt exclusion voters handily defeated in October. That plan called for the approval of both the DPW facility and a $12 million fire station. But town officials like former Permanent Building Committee Chairman Pat Maloney are confident that this less expensive approach focusing on one project will receive a warmer reception. The plan calls for about $3 million to purchase the former home of Old Mother Hubbard dog food, $1 million to renovate the facility and other contingencies. The town already has control of $500,000 in an account slated for real estate or land purchases that it will put towards the pur- chase. Phase one of the project will allow the DPW to move it’s mechanical and highway facilities to the new building, while Richardson Road will remain open for mechanical repairs until Phase two is completed. DPW Director Jim Pearson said the approval of Phase one will move most of the DPW’s full-time operations off the Richardson Road site, alleviating some of the town’s legal troubles with the North Chelmsford Water District. The current site was built in 1959 on the site of a groundwater recharge area. To date, the town has spent $50,000 in legal fees fighting lawsuits brought by the North Chelmsford Water District over the DPW site’s proximity to the water wells. The new building will allow all equipment to be stored indoors or at least undercover, which officials say will extend vehicle life and allow the department to operate more effectively during storms. Cur- rently the DPW is forced to store equipment outdoors, which officials say is harmful to the equip- ment and forces them to spend time de-icing during storms. If voters approve Phase one of the project, the average tax bill is expected to rise by $28 in fiscal 2011. But with the declining debt service on the town’s sewer and school construction projects offi- cials say taxpayers will see a net increase of $14 in fiscal 2011, $7 in fiscal 2012 and would see the debt decline in 2014. “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” ~ Winston Churchill
  10. 10. To the Editors, The proposal on the ballot, April 6, to move the DPW Highway facility on Richardson Road to 9 Alpha Road off Billerica Road near Route 3 at a cost of $5 million for phase 1 and eventually consolidate Engineering and Sewer operations in that facility makes sound fiscal sense and should be supported. The DPW facility is in need of substantial repairs, many of which would not be needed in the building on Alpha Road. These repairs are due to wear and tear over the years but also due to two other situations. A subcommittee reported a few years ago that changes needed to be made at the facility in order to mitigate the potential effect the operations might be having on the environment and it just makes sense to run the facility according to “best practices”. Also there has been ongoing litigation between the town and the North Chelmsford Water District which would no doubt cease if the facility were to move. The 10 year capital improvement plan for Richardson Road is estimated to be $29.5 million, $5.7 million for immediate improvements and $11.5 million of which needs to be spent 4 years from now. This project would be terminated with the approval of 9 Alpha Road. The DPW consists of Highway, Sewer, Parks, Engineering, and Recycling. The latter 2 are in separate offices at Town Hall. Sewer has an office in the Town Hall and also leases additional space on Kidder Road for trucks and maintenance equipment that costs $70,000 per year. The $70,000 would be saved and all of DPW in one location would see efficiencies. This proposal would be funded under the town s Debt exemption and since the Debt funding is on the decline would be accommodated without any significant increase in real estate taxes. Moving the facility begs the question as to what happens to the Richardson Road property. There are no specific plans since the town still extracts sand from the site. When that is concluded in approximately 7-10 years the town would have a variety of options depending on the town s needs and situation. David J. McLachlan Fran McDougall Peggy Dunn Bill Martin Clare Jeannotte Colleen Stansfield Debbie Dery
  11. 11. DPW FACILITY INFORMATIONAL SHEET • Project Cost $5 million to purchase and renovate 90,000 square-foot warehouse building located on Alpha Road. This includes the installation of a wash bay, construction of a salt shed; the demolition of dilapidated buildings at the current Highway Department yard located on Richardson Road; and the demolition of the deteriorated salt shed located on Swain Road. • Property Tax Impact The debt service on the $4.6 million would result in an increase of $28 to the average single-family home property tax bill during the next fiscal year. {The average single family home is assessed at $347,659.} Since the Town will make level principal debt service payments, the amount of the tax increase for this project will decline annually. • Protecting the North Chelmsford Water District Aquifer The relocation of the DPW to Alpha Road Relocates would remove the Highway Department operations from Richardson Road which is located in the groundwater recharge area for the North Chelmsford Water District’s wells. • Consolidation of DPW Operations The acquisition of the Alpha Road building would facility the consolidation of DPW facilities into one loca- tion. This would improve operational efficiencies and would avoid the need for the Town to lease space for sewer operations in a private facility. The Town currently expends $73,000 per year to lease space to house the Sewer Division on Kidder Road. • Least Costly Alternative The investment required to begin to renovate the existing facilities on Richardson Road, including the con- struction of a new salt shed on Swain Road, is estimated to cost $5.7 million. Therefore, the Alpha Road proposal is a better short-term and long-term investment for the Town. Chelmsford Democratic Committee Debate - 4/1/10 - Planning Board member Sue Carter speaks on the DPW debt exclusion ballot question. CLICK HERE Video Courtesy of Colleen Stansfield and Bob Joyce ChelmsfordMassNews.com
  12. 12. And now a word from some of the other candidates around town... Rick Mahoney : Library Trustee Candidate My name is Rick Mahoney and I am running for Library Trustee of the Chelmsford Public Library Board of Trustees. My wife and I moved to Chelmsford 20 years ago, and we have a 12 year old daughter, who currently is in the Chelmsford Public School system. I have been a Precinct 8 Town Meeting Representative for almost three years. My background is in Procurement and Supply Chain Management, and I have a Bachelor’s Degree (Honors) in Information Systems from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. I am also a veteran of the U.S. Army, and served on active duty from 1981 to 1984. The reason that I decided to run as a Library Trustee is that it was time that I contribute my procurement experience and IS education to the community, and felt that the Chelmsford Public Library was the logical choice, because it is a valuable asset to the town, where all residents benefit from the services that it provides to our town. My top priorities if elected would be to work together closely with my fellow library trustees and employees, the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium, and most of all, the community, that we manage to the best of our ability the fiscal stewardship by ensuring the maximum use of our financial resources that the town provides to both the Chelmsford Public Library and the MacKay Library that is fair and equitable to all residents, and continue to enhance and invest in our technology infra- structure. Ensuring that the library continues to providing the services to our community will always be my top priority. On April 6th, I ask for one of your two votes for Library Trustee. Thank you for your time and consideration. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From Precinct 7 My name is Barbara Belanger and I am running for a second term as Town Meeting Representative in Precinct 7. For the past three years I have been actively involved in representing not only my precinct but other members of the community that contact me. Nothing is more important to me than responding to citizens who take the time to contact me, whether they are in my own precinct or not. I have been involved in many town issues, including the following: I have been against a number of 40B developments (Hillside Gardens and Westlands Commons, etc.), I have opposed the expansion of the asphalt plant on Route 110, I worked to stop the proposed power plant in Billerica, and I am supporting the preservation of our Old Town Halls as historical buildings in town. My family moved here in 1998 primarily because of the reputation of the schools. I live here with my husband Mark, my children Nicole and Ryan, who are in 8th and 7th grade at Parker, and with my parents. I have been involved in town since moving here, starting with the Newcomers Club and then as a Brownie Leader, Religious Education Instructor at St. Mary’s, as well as being an active parent in my children’s Cub Scout Pack, at their schools and at all of their sporting activ- ities. I am a member of the Upper Merrimack Valley Medical Reserve Corps. (you may have seen me at many of the flu clinics in town) and I was recently appointed to the Chelmsford Military Com- munity Covenant Committee. Chelmsford is a great community and I am thrilled to see that over the last three years more and more people are getting involved in town. I would like to continue to work with everyone to keep Chelmsford as a desireable place to live. I believe my ability to listen and to communicate effectively are the main reasons that I am suc- cessful in working within and for our wonderful community. I respectfully ask for one of your Town Meeting Representative votes on Tuesday, April 6th… I am #4 on the ballot. Thank you, Barb Belanger "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies." ~ Groucho Marx
  13. 13. Dear Precinct 7 Neighbors, My name is James Lane and during the past three years I have had the distinct pleasure to serve as one of your town meeting representatives. I was raised in the Town of Chelmsford and received my education in our public school system. I am proud to have remained in this great community to raise my own family. Three years ago, I made a personal commitment to the residents of Precinct 7 to remain informed regarding issues of con- cern to our community. I have honored that commitment by performing extensive warrant article research and making sen- sible decisions when voting, that are focused on maintaining the integrity of our neighborhoods. In addition, I have attained 100% attendance at all town meetings. If re-elected, I will commit myself to ensuring the town’s continued financial strength. With careful financial planning, we need to continue to maintain our stabilization fund in order to meeting the uncertainty of our state and national economy. We must also be mindful of our bond rating, which greatly impacts our cost of borrowing money for the many important projects in town, including our current sewer and school project. Finally, it is incumbent on all elected officials, including town meeting representative, to advocate for more aid from the state. Public safety and public education need to remain our top priorities as we continue to navigate through this unprecedented time of budget challenges. As an Elected Member of the Planning Board, Chairman of the Master Plan Committee and Member of the Community Preservation Committee, it has provided me with invaluable experience and knowledge to continue making sound decisions and cast votes in the best interest of our community. Now more than ever we need experienced leadership to insure that Chelmsford remains one of the finest towns in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I would be honored to continue representing you at town meeting and respectfully ask for one of your six votes on Tuesday April 6th. Respectfully Yours, James M. Lane, Jr. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dear Precinct 7 Voters, My name is Jodi O’Neill. I am running for re-election for Town Meeting Representative in Precinct 7. There are 9 candi- dates running for just 6 seats so I hope to convince you for one of your six votes. I have served as a Town Meeting Rep. for the past 7 years with perfect attendance at all Town Meetings. I assure you that I am well informed about our town issues and am always available to discuss issues with an open mind. I promise to be a true representative by responding to your questions and considering all opinions before voting at Town Meeting. Since moving to Chelmsford, I have been a very active member of the community. While my highest priority is my husband and 3 wonderful boys, I enjoy volunteering because I feel it’s important to give and make the most of our community. I have been a religious education teacher at St. Mary’s for the past 10 years as well as volunteering for a variety of posi- tions (the Box Top$ for Education, Coats for Kids, Vacation Bible Fest, Innovation Academy Lunch program). I have sup- ported and worked to improve our schools, initiated plans to continue sidewalks on Old Westford Road and acted as a Chelmsford Cares ambassador. As co-founder of Neighbors for Responsible Growth (NRG), I worked with town officials, the ZBA, and concerned neighbors to stop an undesirable 40B development on Walnut Road. I have a lot to contribute to our community and I care deeply about the issues facing Chelmsford today. Serving as a Town Meeting Representative has been a great experience for me. I look forward to addressing your questions and concerns. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at 978-256-1862 or jodioneill@comcast.net. Please vote for Jodi L. O’Neill listed #5 on the ballot. “I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.” ~ Charles de Gaulle
  14. 14. My name is Regina B. Jackson and I am running for Town Meeting Rep in precinct 7. I have lived in Chelmsford for 16 years. I have common sense and I am frugal and I would like to see more of these qualities represented at Town Meeting. Please vote for me on April 6. Thank you. Regina B. Jackson 9 Essex Place From Precinct 6 Write-in Candidate for the 6th spot on the ballot On April 6, 2010 voters in Precinct 6 (Westlands) will be asked to cast a vote for five candi- dates to fill six Town Meeting Rep. positions, leaving one position vacant. After learning of this, I decided to run as a write-in candidate for the sixth position. I’ve lived in the Westlands with my family since 1997 and could not be prouder of our neighborhood and town. I’ve al- ways been active in the community and understand the importance of being involved not only at the local level, but at the state level. In 2001 I served as the co-president of the Westlands School Association, and was Co-Chair of the Westlands Holiday Gift room for three years. I’ve been spoken out against many issues affect the quality of life in our neighborhood, including the proposed zoning change from resi- dential to commercial on both Evergreen and Steadman St., the closing of the Westlands School, the proposed 40B development on Chelmsford St. and the Billerica Power Plant. At the state level, I have advocated for increased chapter 70 funding and reform, and in 2004 I co-founded an organization that has successfully advocated for stronger laws to protect our children and neighborhoods from child predators. I consider myself to be a fiscal conservative who believes in exploring all alternatives to generate revenue for the town without raising taxes. I would appreciate your vote as the sixth person to represent you and the Westlands. Please write in Laurie Myers for Precinct 6 Town Meeting Representative. If elected, I will win. ~ Pat Paulsen
  15. 15. LIFE of the PARTIES by Tom Christiano Every candidate for the office of Select- man and School Committee hosted at least one Campaign Party this year. They were all a lot of fun, and very in- formative, especially for us "Political Junkies." There was plenty of home made food to go along with the many political discussions at each of these events. This year, a new venue was added to the list of party locations...and that was the Chelmsford Elks Hall on Littleton Road, where Pat Wojtas hosted her Selectman campaign gathering. The Chelmsford Country Club was the lo- cation of choice for Selectman candidates Matt Hanson & Jon Kurland, along with School Committee candidate Evelyn Thoren. The other two School Committee candidates, Janet Askenburg & Jack Wang, held their cam- paign parties at the Java Room in Chelmsford cen- ter. At each of these gather- ings, the candidate would say a few words about the campaign and ask for vote consideration on election day. These political par- ties are a tradition here in Chelmsford, and one which deserves to go on for generations, as it's a great way to get to know each of the candidates and what he or she plans to do if elected into office. PHOTOS BY  TOM CHRISTIANO
  16. 16. Eric Dahlberg Officially Kicks off his Campaign by Tom Christiano Chelmsford Selectman Eric Dahlberg officially kicked off his Campaign for the State Senate with a big party at the Chelmsford Elks on March 21st. A significant number of Eric Dahlberg supporters showed up to get the campaign started with a great deal of enthusiasm and good wishes. Eric also celebrated his 32nd birthday on the same day as his kick-off party. Everyone enjoyed a catered dinner and two big cakes at this well at- tended event. Music was provided by the local band, Joe's Attic. The many speakers at the party included the fol- lowing political leaders: The Honorable Paul Cellucci, former MA Governor, The Honorable Lucile Hicks, former State Senator, The Honorable Reed Hillman, former State Repre- sentative, & MA State Representative & current State Treasurer candidate Karyn Polito. The featured speaker, State Senate candidate Eric Dahlberg, gave a comprehensive and enthusiasti- cally received speech, all without using any notes (nothing was written on his hands either, as far as I could tell). We look forward to hearing much more about Eric's campaign as we get closer to the fall elec- tions. PHOTOS BY  TOM CHRISTIANO
  17. 17. CHELMSFORD  TELEMEDIA  REPEAT AIRINGS OF THE POLITICAL DEBATES April 3 (Saturday)- Channel 10- 9:00 AM POLITICALLY INCORRECT - Selectmen Debate: Pat Wojtas, Jon Kurland, Matt Hanson 10:00 AM CANDIDATES NIGHT - Sponsored by the Chelmsford Business Association, March 4 12:00 PM CANDIDATES NIGHT - Sponsored by the Chelmsford League of Women Voters, March 24 2:00 PM CANDIDATES NIGHT - Sponsored by the Democratic Town Committee, April 1 4:00 PM POLITICALLY INCORRECT - Selectmen Debate: Pat Wojtas, Jon Kurland, Matt Hanson 5:00 PM CANDIDATES NIGHT - Sponsored by the Chelmsford Business Association, March 4 7:00 PM CANDIDATES NIGHT - Sponsored by the Chelmsford League of Women Voters, March 24 9:00 PM CANDIDATES NIGHT - Sponsored by the Democratic Town Committee, April 1 11:00 PM POLITICALLY INCORRECT - Selectmen Debate: Pat Wojtas, Jon Kurland, Matt Hanson April 4 (Sunday)- Channel 10- 5:00 PM CANDIDATES NIGHT - Sponsored by the Chelmsford Business Association, March 4 7:00 PM POLITICALLY INCORRECT - Selectmen Debate: Pat Wojtas, Jon Kurland, Matt Hanson 8:00 PM CANDIDATES NIGHT - Sponsored by the Chelmsford League of Women Voters, March 24 10:00 PM CANDIDATES NIGHT - Sponsored by the Democratic Town Committee, April 1 April 5 (Monday)- Channel 8- 9:00 AM POLITICALLY INCORRECT - Selectmen Debate: Pat Wojtas, Jon Kurland, Matt Hanson 10:00 AM CANDIDATES NIGHT - Sponsored by the Chelmsford Business Association, March 4 12:00 PM CANDIDATES NIGHT - Sponsored by the Chelmsford League of Women Voters, March 24 2:00 PM CANDIDATES NIGHT - Sponsored by the Democratic Town Committee, April 1 April 5 (Monday)- Channel 10- 5:00 PM POLITICALLY INCORRECT - Selectmen Debate: Pat Wojtas, Jon Kurland, Matt Hanson 6:00 PM CANDIDATES NIGHT - Sponsored by the Democratic Town Committee, April 1 8:00 PM CANDIDATES NIGHT - Sponsored by the Chelmsford League of Women Voters, March 24 10:00 PM CANDIDATES NIGHT - Sponsored by the Chelmsford Business Association, March 4 April 6 (Tuesday)- Channel 8 -Live 2010 Election Coverage- 9 PM
  18. 18. Tom TV * Politically Incorrect with Tom Christiano The panelists on the MARCH 23, 2010 "Politically Incorrect" TV Show (l to r) Jim Pearson, Carol Kelly Suleski, Tom Christiano, Len Doolan & Jeff Hardy. CLICK  HERE  to watch Political Junkies with Tom Christiano The "Political Junkies Show" host, Tom Christiano, recently had a wide ranging discussion with a Republican candidate for the United States Congress, Jonathan Golnik. The topics discussed on this 30 minute show were as follows: why run for Con- gress...what differences are there between you and the incumbent, Niki Tsongas...the U.S. Economy...how can we create more jobs...the new Health Reform Law...the war on terror...torture of prisoners...the housing market...reform of wall street & credit card companies...gays serving in the military... the shrinking middle class in America. CLICK HERE to watch “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” ~ Will Rogers
  19. 19. NORTH TOWN HALL PROPOSAL North Town Hall was built in 1853 to serve the community of Chelmsford. It is Chelmsford’s first Town Hall. When the Town Hall was built in the center, town meetings alternated between both Town Halls for many years. North Chelmsford contains the largest collection of mill related buildings in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; the Town Hall is the cornerstone of this collection of buildings. The mill buildings were built at the start of the industrial revolution and created a vibrant economic village in North Chelmsford. It is important that we recognize and pre- serve this historical area of our town and this building for future generations. Please contact your Town Meeting Representatives and ask them to vote yes to support the preservation of North Town Hall. Many citizens have worked hard this past year to develop a self-sustaining use for the Town Hall. The Town Halls Utilization Study Committee (THUSC) was formed in the spring to develop a recommendation for long term viable uses for Chelmsford’s Town Halls. The committee com- pleted its evaluation and presented their recommendations to the Town Manager and Board of Selectmen in October and approval was granted to seek funding from Community Preservation Committee (CPC) to enable the Permanent Building Committee (PBC) to proceed with cost-esti- mations for the renovations. The Board of Selectmen approved the THUSC report in December and the PBC initiated work with an architectural firm to develop renovation plans and a cost estimate. One obvious area of concern is the cost of renovation. It is important to note that the PBC developed a “not to exceed” cost estimate for the CPC. The project would go out to bid after Town Meeting. There are many ways that the cost can be decreased and the anticipated excess funds would be returned to the CPC account. Importantly, the funding for renovation is available through the CPC and there will be no addi- tional cost to taxpayers. Another concern has been parking for the building. The proposal and estimate address this issue and include the cre- ation of a new 40 car parking area adjacent to the fire station. The THUSC proposal was designed to cover the operating cost of the building to avoid financial burden to the town. The “anchor tenant”, which would provide most of the funding, would be an after school program for middle school students as this was a frequent concern mentioned by parents. These children are often home alone following school and would benefit from an affordable, safe and entertaining location. The Com- munity Education Director has offered support to work collaboratively on Community Center after school anchor programs; an after school pro- gram at North Town Hall is not considered to be competition to existing programs. The School Department Business Manager has offered support to adjust bus routes in North Chelmsford to drop-off students at the Community Center. This is already done today for the Community Ed Programs. The following information is an excerpt from the Town Halls Utilization Study Committee Final Report which outlines the proposed use for North Town Hall and the benefits of renovating the Town Hall for use as a Community Center.  The emphasis will be to provide a location to foster town, community and family relationships as the “Chelmsford Community Center”.  Activities would include but not be limited to:  Afterschool program for Middle School students (Anchor Tenant)  Volunteer tutors, WiFi capabilities, games, arts & crafts, music, etc.  Rental space for community based organizations  Rental space for private functions  Rental space for small business owners  Space available for arts & crafts, fitness and hobby groups  North Chelmsford Historical Exhibits  Lecture Series  Family Movie & Game Nights  Community Holiday Events  Children’s Theme Parties  MacKay Library Programs and Concerts  Fitness Programs  Men’s & Women’s Clubs  Community Dinners  Historical Programs and Displays  Dances for All Ages  Recycling Events  Girl Scout and Boy Scout Events  Lego Tournaments  Hobby Clubs and Classes Benefits  No similar community center currently exists in Town.  The proposal is projected to cover the estimated operating expenses.  It will provide rental space to individuals and organizations in town that have not been able to find space that fits their size /budget elsewhere.  Possible tax credit opportunities for seniors.  This proposal leverages experience from community centers and after school programs in several surrounding towns.
  20. 20. Voters face CPC articles at upcoming Town Meeting By Chloe Gotsis/Staff Writer GateHouse News Service http://www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford/newsnow/x645476612/Voters-face-CPC-articles-at-upcoming-Town-Meeting Mar 23, 2010 Chelmsford — Next month, Town Meeting representatives will be asked by the Community Preservation Committee to approve seven articles from the committee including the borrowing of $2.8 million for the renovation of the North and Center town halls. After hearing public input from about a dozen residents on all seven articles, the CPC voted Wednesday night to bring forward all of its proposed articles to Town Meeting. CPC Chairman Bob Morse said the committee explained to the public that even if all of the proposed CPC articles are approved at Town Meeting next month the committee will be able to continue to fund other future proj- ects. “Even if all the articles were approved at Town Meeting – the town halls, the veteran affordable housing and the parking on Lewis Farm – we will still have over $1.2 million left in our distributed fund that can be used for the three categories of CPC projects,” said Morse. “That will continue to grow with new funding from the surcharge projects, and state matching funds.” funds. In addition to the $2.8 million the CPC will borrow and pay for over a 10-year period the CPC will use $2.4 million out of its existing account for the renovation of the North and Center town halls, Morse said. Morse said the $2.8 million will be paid for over a 10-year period While Morse said the majority of public input was positive and regarded the renovation on the town halls, some residents expressed concerns over the proposed articles for an affordable housing complex on Manahan Street and parking area on Robin Hill Road. But after further explanation from the committee concerns were alleviated, Morse said. “There was some concern as to who would be living there and who the clients would be,” said Morse. “I think be after hearing from multiple people on the need and the quality of the people using the housing their concerns were alleviated.” alleviated. The apprehension some residents expressed over the speeding on Robin Hill Road, Morse said, was eased by talk of discussion about the addition of signs to the area. *************************************************** Malfunction has E. Chelmsford buying water The Lowell Sun RITA SAVARD http://www.lowellsun.com/local/ci_14769768 03/27/2010 CHELMSFORD -- Eight months after the East Chelmsford Water District spent $1.4 million on upgrading its water treat- ment facility, a severe malfunction in the filtration system has forced a shutdown and a temporary switch to the Lowell water supply. Water Superintendent Rob Conroy said yesterday the district is still waiting on word from engineers as to what caused the problem, and to find out how much repairs will cost. Ed Coletta, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said a seal on one of the pressure filters ruptured, prompting a water leak that extended into the plant and causing a fair amount of damage. Board of Water Commissioners Chairwoman Kathy McGonigal was unable to be reached for comment yesterday. In the meantime, the East Water District will continue receiving its drinking water from Lowell for the next couple of months, Conroy said. Prior to the district's plant upgrades, the district was hooked into Lowell for its drinking water. If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates. ~ Jay Leno
  21. 21. Cohen: Town could have saved $1M in insurance costs By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com 03/23/2010 CHELMSFORD -- If the town had more control over health-care costs it could save $1 million -- enough money to restore six teaching positions and four police officers, as well as reopen the closed South Fire Station. Breaking it down for Chelmsford's state representatives last night, the Board of Selectmen and Town Manager Paul Cohen pleaded for the power to rein in crippling health-insurance premiums. "We've tried other avenues," said Selectman Sean Scanlon, referring to the adoption of local-option taxes and avenues, revenue-generating billboards. "But they don't make a dent in the overall issue. Having control over health insurance would allow us to take a lump sum of money and put it where we see fit ... to keep jobs now and restore services." services. For the second straight year, the town has been unable to reach an agreement on health-insurance plan-design changes with its employee and retiree representatives. Chelmsford's health-insurance budget is expected to in- crease more than a half-million dollars on July 1, the start of the new fiscal year. Since fiscal 2001, the town's insurance costs have increased 183 percent, jumping from about $3.8 million to $10.7 million, Cohen said. While state lawmakers had talked about offering cities and towns a municipal relief package to boost revenue -- which included hiking auto-inspection fees and local fines -- the package didn't address health insurance. Town officials told state Reps. Cory Atkins, Jim Arciero, David Nangle and Tom Golden, as well as state Sen. Susan Fargo's chief of staff, Don Siriani, that health-insur- ance plan design would be the best tool for the town to dig itself out of its hole. Under plan design, unions would still be able to negotiate the share of health premiums their members must pay, but it would also allow municipal officials to determine the kind of plans, including the amount of co-pays and de- ductibles that would be offered. Unless a change is made, Chelmsford will most likely see further reductions in services and more layoffs, Cohen said. Political pressure to give cities and towns more control over health care is dividing lawmakers on Beacon Hill, as it comes down to cost versus the collective bargaining rights of union employees. "We're having the same type of contentious debate between our colleagues about how to make this happen," Golden said. "I'm not sure how we can't do something like this with what's coming happen, ahead." ahead. The delegation warned that next year's budget will most likely have much deeper cuts than those proposed by Gov. Deval Patrick, which relied heavily on $2.1 million in one-time revenue as well as increased sales taxes on candy, soda and bottled water. Also, Nangle said, another $5 billion in spending cuts could be on the horizon if two ballot questions cutting the sales tax pass in November. Preparing for the worst, legislators are predicting that the state will need to cut local aid by as much as $150 million, or 3 percent. Some lawmakers who aren't keen on usurping unions' collective bargaining rights have argued that city and town officials have caused their own problems by handing out generous pay raises for years and allowing the exploita- tion of pension loopholes. Cohen said the savings from a change to plan design would have resulted in $1 million that would have gone to- ward the restoration of education and public-safety services, including $300,000 to restore six teaching positions, $180,000 for textbooks and education support, $200,000 to reopen the closed South Fire Station, $200,000 to re- store four patrolman jobs, and $90,000 to bring back two facilities and maintenance workers. "I think the towns need flexibility," Arciero said. flexibility, "Until I see a better plan, I'm going to support plan design." design Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. ~ Ronald Reagan
  22. 22. Towns should design employee health plans By Aviva Gat, Sun Correspondent http://www.lowellsun.com/todaysheadlines/ci_14747075 03/24/2010 BOSTON -- Public-school advocates rallied at the Statehouse yesterday, urging lawmakers to allow their municipalities to make changes in employee health-care plans they said could save more than $100 million. About 200 Stand for Children members lobbied legislators saying that the saved money could go to schools and protect teachers' jobs. They also asked legislators to protect local aid and Chapter 70 education funding to cities and towns and conduct a study on the cost of educating a child. "We are advocating for cost saving," said Sherley St. Juste, organizer of Stand for Children's Lowell saving chapter. "We want to give towns the tools to better manage their budget." budget. According to Stand for Children, communities spend more than $2 billion on health benefits a year for em- ployees, about 14 percent of their budgets. At the same time, the Legislature is contemplating a 4 percent cut to local aid for fiscal 2011. The organization advocates that if municipalities had the authority to design health-care plans, they would be able to save money and jobs that would otherwise be cut. "We know that taxpayers are counting on the government to spend every dollar wisely," wisely said St. Juste. "We want to minimize harm." harm Unions negotiate their health-care coverage with municipalities. If the Legislature gave municipalities sole power to design plans, cities could decide what would be offered to municipal workers, including the co-pay and deductible amounts. Unions would still be able to negotiate what share of health premiums their members would pay. Paul Georges, president of United Teachers of Lowell, said it would be "blatantly unfair" to give munici- unfair palities the upper hand in contract negotiations. "It would be an additional financial burden on teachers and every municipal employee," employee, said Georges. "They are trying to take away the collective bargaining right." right Georges said teachers have forgone raises in order to keep their health insurance. He also said he op- poses the Legislature's involvement in what has been a local issue. "Teachers are well aware of the financial difficulties right now," he said. "But contracts now, should be negotiated between unions and municipalities." municipalities. He said education advocates should champion more funding, instead of taking away benefits. "(Stand for Children) stands against teachers," he said. "That's unfair because teachers are teachers, the greatest advocates for students." students. Politics, n: [Poly "many" + tics "blood-sucking parasites"] ~ Larry Hardiman
  23. 23. Chelmsford deals with Center Station flooding Department of Public Works supervisors use the sewer vacuum truck to remove the water from the flooded center fire station. Courtesy photo By Chloe Gotsis/ staff writer GateHouse News Service http://www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford/features/x1664781134/Chelmsford-deals-with-Center-Station-flooding Mar 29, 2010 Chelmsford — Chelmsford facilities workers and firefighters are actively pumping water from the cellar of the Center Fire Station as what is expected to be close to five inches of rain falls around the state. Town Manager Paul Cohen said while town employees are battling with flooding in the basement and trying to ventilate the building, he expects the worst is yet to come with heavy rain anticipated overnight. Cohen said he has a meeting scheduled tomorrow afternoon to discuss the flooding at the Center Fire Station. “We’re doing the best we can with facilities to basically get the water out of there,” he said. “As if the build- ing didn’t have enough problems.” But Cohen said the department is facing difficulty because of the building’s proximity to water. “The problem is if the water table gets higher than the basement,” he said. “Unfortunately it happened a couple weeks ago and it looks like it will happen again.” Cohen said the state is dealing with extraordinary circumstances as it finishes up with one of the wettest months in history. But he said the problems at the fire station are similar to those many residents across town are seeing at their homes and in their basements. Thus far the flooding at the fire station is all from storm water and the DPW is not aware of any breach in the sewer line, Cohen said. The Central Fire Station is already running on a short-term basis and in dire need of repair, according to of- ficials and a report recently compiled by an independent consultant. Currently, there is a net in place in the basement to catch falling concrete and debris from the building’s floor. The building’s floor slabs are deteri- orating and the shoring towers are in need of reinforcement. The building’s basement that has falling concrete and debris is now flooded with several inches of water. “Even aside from the flooding we have a need there,” said Cohen, adding that over the next several months the town will be closely developing a plan for dealing with the Center Fire Station. Never vote for the best candidate, vote for the one who will do the least harm. ~ Frank Dane
  24. 24. Seniors take Tsongas to task Say U.S. rep didn't answer all their questions at health-care forum By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com http://www.lowellsun.com/ci_14784353 03/30/2010 CHELMSFORD -- For the first time since the controversial health-care reform bill was passed, U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas returned to her home dis- trict yesterday to explain how the legislation will affect local voters. But by the end of Tsongas' one-hour discussion with about 70 people at the Chelmsford Senior Center, sev- eral said they felt the Lowell Democrat failed to give them a voice and left many questions unanswered. "I'm really disappointed," said Maxine Vaitses, 81, of Chelmsford. "I came here today thinking this would be our opportunity to speak on the issue. In the end, all the congresswoman did was answer just a small hand- ful of questions, taking about a 15-minute period to answer each one." Delia Loiselle, 77, echoed that con- cern, saying she learned "nothing new" about the law. CLICK HERE Tsongas told her audience, which was mostly people over age 65, that thelegislation's passage will make FOR VIDEO health care affordable for the middle class and eventually provide coverage for millions of uninsured Ameri- cans. For the seniors sitting in the room, Tsongas said the bill will not cut any Medicare benefits. "It does the opposite," she said, adding that the new reform will pay for preventative care, including mammograms, and will not allow companies to turn people away because of a pre-existing or serious illness. However, under the new law the government does plan to begin cutting payments to Medicare Advantage, a privatized, managed-care version of Medicare, in 2011. Such plans, in which members often enjoy little or no premium and free gym memberships, may be forced to reduce some benefits or increase premiums for the 10 million people enrolled in them. In Massachusetts, where 198,000 seniors are currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage, many are expected to switch to the traditional Medicare fee-for-service coverage. But Tsongas said health-care reform is better for all Americans, helping to make sure premiums are not arti- ficially inflated to subsidize insurance costs. In the 1980s, Tsongas said, insurance companies agreed to be paid 5 percent less for Medicare patients. Today, the same companies pay an average of 14 percent more, she said. Six million seniors, including 7,400 in Tsongas' 5th Congressional District, fall into a "Medicare doughnut hole" that does not cover prescription drugs, Tsongas added. In September, the congresswoman said seniors in that group will receive a one-time $250 rebate in the mail to help cover the gap between the cost of their medications and what the benefits cover. Despite Tsongas' attempt to sell the bill to all voters, the room remained divided on the law, which aims to provide insurance to most of the uninsured, impose fines on Americans who fail to buy insurance, and tighten regulation of the insurance industry. Christine Morabito, a nurse from Haverhill, asked why Washington lawmakers have taken their eye off the real issue. "President Obama said his main priority is going to be the economy," Morabito said. "He hasn't done that. Can you please tell us how raising taxes in the middle of a recession is going to help the economy?" Tsongas responded by saying health-care reform is "a job bill in many ways." One of the ways she said the bill will help with jobs is by eliminating gender rating among insurance companies, which typically charge women up to four times more for health-care services than men.She talked about a small-business owner she had met in her travels who said hiring a woman led to a large increase in the business owner's premium that, in turn, caused rates to rise for all employees. "This legislation will help end an insidious form of discrimination that's been taking place in the workplace for years," Tsongas said, adding that more work needs to be done to mend the country's economy and create jobs. Delivering a fiery speech, Ralph Barisano, 78, of Chelmsford, one of many seniors who said yesterday that they were content with their cover- age, asked why Tsongas was trying to change a system that works. Barisano then asked if the congresswoman actually read the 2,000-page bill. "I have read it and feel strongly it was the best for the American people," Tsongas said. She then reflected to when her husband, former U.S. Rep. and Sen. Paul Tsongas, fell ill with lymphoma, and how having good, employer- based health insurance was the saving grace that enabled him to battle cancer for 13 years. But many do not have that luxury, Tsongas said, adding that sudden illnesses, like cancer, have ended up being the leading cause of bankruptcy for many American families. That's what the health-care reform bill aims to change, she said. Some expressed support for the legislation that passed March 21, including Mary Riley of Billerica, who said she thinks the new law will keep insurance companies in line. Others said Tsongas and her colleagues ignored the majority. "How can you represent us and vote against us?" Chelmsford resident Tom Gilroy asked. Tsongas said she represents a "very diverse district." "I doubt anyone in this room really wants to see an insurance company drop you because you're too expensive," she said. Tsongas took six questions before leaving the senior center, but many were still waiting to speak. "She's a good gal to show up," said Richard Codling, 79, of Chelmsford. "But she really filibustered us so we didn't get to ask many questions." Tsongas said she plans to spend the upcoming weeks traveling throughout her district to explain health-care reform and her vote in favor of it. "There's still a lot of misinformation out there," Tsongas said. "It's my obligation to go out there and try to dispel the false statements. I am confi- dent that once people start reaping the benefits of this bill, it will put their initial fears to rest." “Too bad ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation.” ~ Henry Kissinger
  25. 25. Justice: Disbarred attorney misused knowledge of law to help his clients By Lisa Redmond, lredmond@lowellsun.com http://www.lowellsun.com/local/ci_14799284 04/01/2010 BOSTON -- A justice of the state's highest court has prohibited disbarred Chelmsford attorney Joseph Shanahan Jr., from reap- plying for his license for another three years, after ruling that Shanahan improperly used "his knowledge'' of the law to help his clients before Chelmsford's various town boards. Joseph Shanahan Jr At a contempt hearing last November, Assistant Bar Counsel Nancy Kaufman ar- gued that Shanahan, a well-known development lawyer in Greater Lowell, should be found in contempt due to allegations that despite his 2002 disbarment, he has been acting as an attorney at Chelmsford board meetings. As a disbarred attorney, Shanahan was eligible to apply for reinstatement this past January -- eight years after his disbarment. Kaufman argued that Shanahan should be held in contempt and not be allowed to reapply for eight to 10 years, the maxi- mum allowed. Supreme Judicial Court Justice Margot Botsford stopped short of finding Shanahan in contempt "given the somewhat blurry line between practicing law and performing services as a consultant in the particular real-estate development context at issue here." "I'm not able to say that (Kaufman) has proved contempt by clear and convincing evidence,'' Botsford added. But Botsford said she doesn't have to find a basis for contempt to issue sanctions. "His presentations to various local boards in Chelmsford -- Board of Selectmen, Board of Appeals, Planning Board -- demon- strate that he is applying his knowledge of statutory and town bylaw requirements related to permitting, conservation, property subdivision and conveyance to address the specific needs of his various clients,'' Botsford wrote. When reached for comment, Shanahan said he is pleased with the judge's decision in rejecting a contempt citation. "She's telling me, 'You didn't do anything wrong, but don't do it again,''' Shanahan said. "The real issue is public perception.'' Working as a consultant as part of a team within a firm is fine, but it was when he appeared before boards under the name Shanahan Associates that he ran into problems. Whatever he does next, Shanahan, 60, stressed that he will be checking with Kaufman so he doesn't cross any lines. While he can appeal Botsford's decision to the full court, Shanahan said it would be expensive and could take years. Instead, he said he'll wait the three years in the hope that he is that rare attorney who is reinstated on his first appeal. "I'll be 63 by then," he said. "I guess on the day I die I want to be an attorney who was once disbarred rather than a disbarred attorney." Attorney Charles Bookman, who represents Shanahan, argued at the contempt hearing that Shanahan informs all his clients that he has been disbarred and that he no longer handles legal issues. Most of Shanahan's clients, who are represented by their own attorneys, come to him for his expertise in weaving through the paperwork of special permits and variances in Chelmsford. Bookman argued that his client has taken "lawyering" out of the what he does. Bookman compared Shanahan to engineers and planners who are hired for their expertise. He suggested it could be a dangerous precedent to suggest that only lawyers can appear before boards. However, Botsford noted, the evidence -- videotaped meetings or meeting minutes -- indicates that Shanahan is "directly en- gaged in representing his clients ... in connection with their legal rights and obligations concerning their property.'' While Shanahan does not draft pleadings or purchase-and-sales agreements, "he is clearly applying his professional legal train- ing'' in helping his clients navigate the permitting process, Botsford wrote. Shanahan was disbarred on Jan. 24, 2002, after pleading guilty to bankruptcy fraud in February 2001 and receiving a one-year jail sentence. While he was awaiting sentencing in the fraud case, he admitted he bilked three families out of their inheritance and a fourth client out of proceeds in a divorce settlement for a total of $800,000. He was sentenced to an additional 41 months in federal prison. Shanahan used the stolen money to pay his mortgage on his former Shedd Lane property, to pay his fees at Vesper Country Club in Tyngsboro, as alimony to his ex-wife, and to pay his son's tuition at Georgetown University, prosecutors said. He also withdrew substantial amounts for unknown purposes, effectively "cleaning out" his clients' bank accounts before surrendering to authorities on the bankruptcy charges, prosecutors said.
  26. 26. Chelmsford superintendent names new Byam principal By Chloe Gotsis/Staff Writer GateHouse News Service http://www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford/features/x645477268/Chelmsford-superintendent-names-new-Byam-principal Mar 24, 2010 Chelmsford — School Superintendent Dr. Don Yeoman has tapped the Assistant Principal of Tynsborough Elementary School Kara Saranich to be the next principal of the Byam Elementary School. Saranich will take over this summer for Dr. Jane Gilmore, who is retiring after serving as the school’s principal for 19 years. Yeoman announced Saranich as his pick from a field of 64 applicants from around the country at the March 23 School Committee meeting. “I’m absolutely thrilled to be chosen as the next Byam principal,” said Saranich to the School Committee members, School Department officials and members of the public. “I’ve been continuously impressed by Chelmsford’s commitment to children.” Over the past month, the district’s Search Committee has whittled down the list of 64 applicants to nine candidates that were interviewed by the Search Committee. Yeoman’s Ad Hoc Search Committee of Byam parents, staff members and school administrators interviewed the top three candidates. “Everyone interviewed showed strengths in a variety of areas,” said Yeoman. “It was a strong candidate pool. Members of the ad hoc advisory Committee were 100 percent in agreement when they recom- mended Kara to me as their number on candidate for the Byam principalship.” Saranich’s colleagues in Tyngsborough described her as “people person, a good communicator” and someone who knows all her student’s names, Yeoman said. Members of the ad hoc advisory committee were impressed by her energy and sense of humor, he said. Saranich, a resident of Tewksbury, is currently studying for her doctorate in Language Arts and Literacy at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell. She received her bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. and went on to pursue her master’s degree at UMass Amherst. After teaching in bilingual inclusive classrooms with both special education children and general education children in Springfield, Mass., and fifth-grade in Framingham, Saranich, who is a mother of two young children, said she knew she loved teaching but also wanted to become an administrator. She went on to receive her administrator certification from Northeastern University. She has previously served as a preschool teacher, elementary teacher, elementary school teacher, assistant principal and principal in both urban and suburban districts in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Prior to her current position as assistant principal at Tyngsborough Ele- mentary School, Saranich served as principal of the Tynsborough Early Childhood Center, who educated 250 children. But due to budgetary cuts, the school was closed and combined with Tynsborough Elementary School. “I love working with all children from young to old,” she told the School Committee. She said she has been a long time admirer of the Chelmsford school district. “Chelmsford is on the forefront of many new initiatives that I’ve been aware of,” she said, adding that she truly believes the town is a champion for education. ********************************** Byam gift-room policy is unconstitutional http://www.lowellsun.com/letters/ci_14791546 The Lowell Sun 03/31/2010 In October 2009 we sought to discuss a policy by the principal of the Byam elementary school banning Christmas from the "gift room." This became a national story because it is shameful. The unconstitutional ban, which defies the existing town policy of diversity and inclusion, remains intact. To date, the Chelmsford School Committee refuses to discuss a fundraiser that took place on school property during school hours. Dr. Yeoman was given a glowing recommendation by the School Committee only weeks after he called concerned parents "critics" and accused us of bringing danger to town. Does this tactic sound familiar? Does it remind anyone of the health care debate? The powerful ignore, and then demonize those who dare to speak out. This is not a unique situation. This is the way problems are handled with the school depart- ment. Show our School Committee that actions speak louder than words. These are our public schools. These seats belong to the people of Chelmsford. KATHRYN and STEVE McMILLAN, KATHLEEN and PETER CULLEN, ELLIE and TOM GILROY, REGINA and JOHN JACKSON, JEANNE and JERRY PAOLILLI, and KELLY and TOM CURRAN Chelmsford
  27. 27. Slow Growth Initiative co-founder puts money behind anti-40B effort By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com 03/22/2010 http://www.lowellsun.com/ci_14716260 CHELMSFORD -- He's been called the "shadowy" figure behind a series of mass mailings that have singled out town officials for alleged corruption. But Roland Van Liew, the co-founder of and largest contributor to the Chelmsford-based Slow Growth Initiative, said he's never been one to stand in the shadows. "How is it shadowy to know exactly who the personnel are that take responsibility for everything they put out and who have attended dozens of meetings with public officials?" he asked. officials? Yesterday, in a telephone interview with The Sun, Van Liew talked about his involvement with SGI, an organization he helped create to promote sustainability in housing, energy and the economy. Attorney General Martha Coakley issued a cease-and-desist order to SGI last week, and another to its parent organization, the New Hamp- shire-based New England Coalition for Sustainable Population, that pulled the plug on all solicitation activity until the organizations register with the state. Both groups have been raising money for a third group, The Coalition to Repeal 40B, which is pushing to wipe the state's Chapter 40B afford- able-housing law off the books this year. Van Liew has funneled about $500,000 into SGI to date. Craig Chemaly, the director of SGI, said his organization is working with an accountant on gathering and submitting financial statements to the state to achieve nonprofit status. Because the New England Coalition for Sustainable Population is already recognized by the federal government as a nonprofit, and is also registered in New Hampshire, both Chemaly and Van Liew said they didn't know they had to register with the state. So who is the man that's been labeled as SGI's "mysterious" benefactor? "I drive a 1999 Mazda 626," he said. "I take one or two vacations a year with my family but I don't own a Caribbean island. I 626, could, but that's just not my thing." thing. Van Lieu, 57, grew up in Worcester in a middle-class family. His father, Robert, was a music teacher and a professional musician -- the lead flute player for the Worcester Orchestra. His mother, Frances, stayed home with the children. He credits his father for teaching him his first lessons in giving. "Whenever he had an extra $40 or $50 left over, he would donate it to charity," Van Liew said. "He never asked for recogni - charity, tion, and that's just how I feel it should be done." done. In college, Van Liew said, it took him a while to find his niche. He dabbled as a music major, playing the French horn and the electric base be- fore ending up at Framingham State, where he earned a bachelor's degree in computer science. A former boss suggested he go to business school. After seven years of classes, Van Lieu earned a master's in business administration from Babson College. In 1995, he founded Hands On Technology, a computer software-training company, and became a self-made millionaire. Over the years, the registered Democrat has contributed to several political campaigns, including Al Franken's successful run for U.S. Senate in Minnesota, and pumped "millions" into nonprofits, including children's charities, women's health organizations and other causes, he said. millions Through his charitable affiliations, Van Liew was directed to the New England Coalition for Sustainable Population, a nonprofit that supports re- ducing population growth. The group was formed to help spread education and awareness about overpopulation that can stretch natural re- sources and lead to deforestation, food and water shortages, as well as climate change. The NECSP also advocates for sex education, including the use of contraceptives to prevent un- wanted and unplanned pregnancies. Van Liew left his position on the board of directors last year to focus his efforts on SGI. "I'm not interested in preaching to the converted," Van Liew said. "I felt they spent too converted, much time preaching to the choir instead of generating new ideas." ideas. While Van Liew said he's poured money into SGI to help drive the cause, he's not in the driver's seat. With a company to run, a family to raise -- he has a wife and three children -- and multiple charitable affiliations, Van Liew said he leaves policy issues to the experts. "Roland doesn't control us, but he gives us a large chunk of money, and certainly that gives him the right to ask us to write on specific topics," Chemaly said. "By and large, topics, we've agreed with the topics we've written about." about. The entire SGI staff, including Chemaly, Director of Policy Austin Simko and Community Outreach and Development Director Ben Garton, have input on mailings, Chemaly said. When asked about Chemaly's recent announcement that the group would take a softer approach in dealing with town officials, Van Liew said that is entirely up to Chemaly. Despite being called a "coward" and a "cancer" by town officials for the "attack mailings," Van coward cancer mailings Liew, who has operated his technology company out of 1 Village Square for nine years, said he's not going away. He plans to continue his efforts to repeal 40B. "The people that live in Chelmsford are wonderful," he said. "It's the oligarchy and the wonderful cronyism shown by our town officials that I have a problem with." with Roland Van Liew
  28. 28. LOWELL SUN POLITICAL COLUMN by Rita Savard 3/21/10 Chelmsford officials aren’t sitting quiet anymore.Over the past few weeks,some Town Meeting representatives,along with members of various town boards have taken a hard line on attack mailings from the Slow Growth Initiative. Initiative During a live broadcast,WCAP radio host Warren Shaw extended an invitation to SGI co-founder and donor,Roland Van Liew, to come on the show and tell his side of the story.But Van Liew told a reporter that probably won’t Liew happen,adding “that’s what the Slow Growth staff is paid to do.” SGI Director Craig Chemaly has shifted gears,taking a more diplomatic approach in working with town officials.He has apologized for the mailings. “I’m going to call them (town officials) incompetent,I’m going to call them corrupt,” Van Liew said about corrupt, going on the radio. “It’s probably not the best thing to do”. do ************************************************************************************************************************************************************* Slow Growth Initiative's 'true nature' http://chelmsfordmassnews.com/clients/chelmsfordmassnews/slow-growth-initiatives-true-nature-p956.htm?twindow=Default&smenu=103&mad=No To the Editor: The true nature of the Slow Growth Initiative in Chelmsford continues to flourish. I have not commented on their actions be- fore but I can’t let it rest. As we all know over the last two years there have been three newsletters to the residents of Chelmsford that have been full of lies and misrepresentation of facts and unsubstantiated personal attacks on many town officials and committees. Specifically, in their last news letter they went after the deliberations of the Conservation Commission on the application for 9 North Road. (I am a member of the Conservation Commission). They stated the Commission had “been working toward approval even before they received an official application”. That is inaccurate. They said “the Conservation Commission immediately grants waivers of the town’s wetlands by-laws that require setback from the pond and would make the building impossible to approve”. That is inaccurate. All of our deliberations were legally held in public sessions of which no one, to my knowledge from SGI attended. There were no waivers given. The building and impervious areas are outside of the Chelmsford by-law restrictions. We did allow them to remove invasive plants from the edge of the pond. Recently in response to a huge outcry of criticism of SGI and their tactics from across the community, Craig Chemaly and Austin Simko apparently decided to change tactics. Chemaly withdrew from a discussion with Dennis Ready and Tom Christiano; in an interview he said he would tone down the rhetoric; he and Simko have had a number of meetings with Evan Belansky to see if there was any common ground on growth issues; Chemaly “publicly apologized” in private to some town officials; and Simko addressed the Master Plan Committee seeming to embrace almost everything that Evan and the Master Plan have been discussing. To my mind all of these initiatives would have been a step in the right direction until it all changed on Sunday, March 21. Now I am not sure if all these actions weren’t just a smoke screen to cover their real intent. In the Lowell Sun’s Sunday “Column” of March 21, the Column states that Chemaly has “shifted gears, taking a more diplomatic approach to town officials. He has apolo- gized for the mailings.” On the other hand, the money behind these guys, Roland Van Liew, isn’t as willing to reach out and be diplomatic. The Column quotes Van Liew as saying, “I’m going to call them (town officials) incom- petent, I’m going to call them CORRUPT”(my emphasis). So much for toning it down. His comment is tantamount to slander except that he doesn’t have the spine to name names. But then that has been their style, unsubstantiated character assassination. So I guess it is back to square one. There is no reason to believe anything they say. David J. McLachlan David J. McLachlan Brentwood Road
  29. 29. LETTER TO THE EDITOR After speaking at length with town officials about the project, the Slow Growth Initiative would like to encourage Chelmsford residents to support the plan for a new DPW at 9 Alpha Road. The reasoning for our support of the new project stems from a legal need to move from the current site, a significant reduction in price of the proposal, and the expressed desire of town officials to use the old DPW sites for open space or community space, not for development. Below are some of the environmental and financial reasons to support this plan. ENVIRONMENTAL: The town is currently involved in a legal battle with the North Chelmsford Water District, and the NCWD has already said they will bring more charges if the town attempts to build a salt shed on the property. The initial lawsuit stems from the proximity of the current DPW site to a public drinking water source, which also makes the current location unsuitable to hold many necessary DPW materials such as road salt and various sub- stances and chemicals used in the DPW vehicles and operations. Basically, environmental factors prohibit the town from running a fully functional DPW facility on the current site. In addition, because the space is not large enough to house all of the town’s vehicles inside, it was found that emis- sions and leaks from the vehicles stored outdoors were also causing problems with groundwater sources. Most recently, town officials also expressed a willingness and desire (though not a guarantee) to retain the old DPW sites as open space or community space, once the move is complete. Possibilities for these sites include additional ballfields, a “North Chelmsford Common,” or possibly a dog park. From a standpoint of sustainability, which is the Slow Growth Initiative’s main concern, this project could be consid- ered desirable simply as a way for our town to gain more open space and help protect our natural resources. FINANCIAL: The Slow Growth Initiative was very concerned that the building was overvalued during the last vote, but the town recently had the parcel “re-appraised” and it was valued at just $2.5 million, nearly 30% less than the $3.5 million originally proposed last fall. Because of the building’s size, facilities, and the new assessment value, the acquisition now essentially allows the town to buy a slightly used Mercedes for same price as a brand-new Vespa scooter. Lastly, there are the issues that many other letters of support have addressed: being able to keep all the mainte- nance vehicles inside during the seasons they are not in use extends their life and reduces mechanical problems; and the plan would also allow the town to stop paying roughly $73,000 annually in rent for one of its DPW loca- tions. Prior to the vote, we would like to see the town articulate a specific action plan to ensure that post-consolidation DPW sites become open space, and that at an upcoming BOS meeting, they implement that plan, but to our exist- ing members in Chelmsford — the new DPW proposal is largely in line with a slow growth philosophy. It proposes redevelopment instead of new construction, it protects the environment and it could help create more open and community space. We hope that Chelmsford residents will support the new DPW proposal and we thank Selectman George Dixon for his efforts in retooling the proposal, explaining the need to move from the current site, and ensuring that residents will have the opportunity to vote for a project that makes sense. Craig Chemaly, Director Slow Growth Initiative
  30. 30. ASK THE MANAGER In-Town Report: In the letters submitted to the In-Town Report(3/17) and the Chelmsford Independent(3/18) Slow Growth Initiative states that they will back the DPW proposal because they have received assurances from TM Paul Cohen and the town that the space if vacated will be used as Community(open)space in the future. " Additionally, through a conversation with Town Manager Paul Cohen, we received an assurance to turn the old DPW sites into open community space, if the April debt exclusion passes. " Did town officials actually give that assurance as stated? Paul Cohen: When George Dixon, Evan Belansky and I met with Craig Chemaly and Austin Simko, we explained that if the Town were to acquire the Alpha Road building, the current DPW site on Richardson Road would continue to be utilized for DPW maintenance and sand mining for at least 7 years. We could not forecast how the Town may choose to utlilize the Richardson Road property at that time. Ultimately, any change of use or disposition would have to be decided by Town Meeting. We suggested that the Town may choose to construct recreational fields, solar fields, and/or other open space uses of the property. However, we did not think that we or anyone could see that far into the future. In-Town Report: If the DPW phase one debt exclusion passes, how long before the voters see the DPW phase two debt exclusion on the town ballot and how much (estimated) will phase two cost? Paul Cohen: The second phase of a DPW facility would not be presented to the voters for consideration prior to Fiscal Year 2015. The projected cost for this final phase is $6 million. However, even if the Town were not to approve of this second/final phase of the DPW facility, it would still be millions of dollars less expensive to purchase and renovate the Alpha Road facility rather than rebuild and renovate the existing facility on Richardson Road. Relocating the Highway Depart- ment operations to Alpha Road as part of the first phase also addresses many of the environ- mental concerns at the Richardson Road site.
  31. 31. In-Town Report: What are the town's future plans for the Center Fire Station? Paul Cohen: The Town needs to invest in a new fire headquarters facility. After the completion of the up- coming spring annual town meeting, I will invite the members of the Permanent Building Committee to join me in a discussion with the Board of Selectmen regarding the development of a plan to address the center fire station. The preliminary projection is that a new/renovated center fire headquarters would cost at least $5 million. Decisions need to be made regarding where to locate a new/renovated center fire station, its size, and whether there should be a second phase of construction beyond the initial investment to replicate the existing amount of space used by the Fire Department. In-Town Report: Is there a time frame for STOP & SHOP to start the demolition of the RT.3 cinema and con- struction of their new store on the site across from Market Basket? Paul Cohen: Stop & Shop representatives have informed me that the company plans to demolish the old cinema building and begin construction of the supermarket within six months.