Economy blamedEconomy blamed in Chelmsford votein Chelmsford vote
By Rita Savard, email@example.com
CHELMSFORD -- Despite a grim economy, two municipal building projects were promoted as a financial opportunity for taxpayers, with one
having the potential to save $20 million.
But in the wake of Tuesday's failed debt exclusions for a $13 million Department of Public Works facility and a $12 million Center Fire Station,
voters said that, ultimately, the economy steered the election.
"Here we are still in a recession, and we've closed a school and a fire station," Town Meeting Representative Debbie Derry said. "We've got 27
kids in a classroom, the library has scaled back its hours, Town Hall closes earlier, we've laid off workers, and we're paying $200 for our kids to
ride the bus and $300 for them to enroll in an activity at the high school. On top of all this, they're asking for debt exclusions for two buildings,
yet our operating budget is flat.
"People didn't vote for it because they feel they can't afford it."
Many voters, added Derry, worry that further cuts in state aid will soon lead to another Proposition 2 1/2 override, raising the tax levy perma-
Last week, state officials announced a $243 million shortfall in revenue, which means communities will likely see a decrease in local aid. Town
and school officials have already warned that further cuts will result in deeper reductions to town services.
"I really don't think it's a matter of people not recognizing a need for a better fire station or the deal to be had with the DPW, but none of us
knows how long we're going to be in this recession," Derry said. "So how can we vote for something when there's no money to go around?"
Carole Hanley, who lives on Concord Road, said she has been out of work for nearly a year after being laid off from her marketing job.
"They told us our taxes wouldn't increase by all that much," Hanley said. "But a lot of people can't afford to open their wallets at all. If you pay
attention to what's going on, the unemployment rate is still rising in Massachusetts. It's not going down."
Tempers flared at some of the polls Tuesday, where firefighters were out holding signs that read "Vote yes on Question 2." Some witnesses
said a few voters made rude comments to firefighters following rumors that the Fire Department used the town's reverse-911 system for cam-
Town Manager Paul Cohen said firefighters did not use the town system, which can only be used for public-safety emergencies.
John Kivlan, president of the firefighters union, said union members used their own money to pay for signs, postage and two automated phone
messages from the Virginia-based Radius Campaigns to help get the word out. The campaign expense report is on file at the town clerk's of-
Kivlan said yesterday he apologizes to residents for any confusion regarding the phone message.
While he didn't see any heated exchanges at the polls, Kivlan said firefighters, many of whom live in town, understand why taxpayers feel frus-
"When you're talking about taxes and you're talking about people's money, these are things that people feel very passionate about," Kivlan
said. "Do we need a new fire station? Yes. But we don't want to dwell on the past. We need to move on and figure where we're going to go now
because our building is falling apart."
Cohen said a $600,000 article to replace the crumbling fire-station floor could end up on the warrant for spring Town Meeting. But officials, who
said there was "no plan B" to fall back on, will have to begin mapping out the next step for both facilities, he added.
Dennis Ready, a former selectman and local real-estate agent, said that, historically, debt exclusions, which raise the tax levy only until the
debt is repaid, have needed to come to the table more than once before voters finally accept them. Renovating the Chelmsford library, he
added, took four votes to pass.
"For the first time out, without a big campaign, I'd say both departments did pretty well," Ready said. "People just don't have the money at the
"THIS ISTHIS IS an important public-safety announcement.”
Lowell Sun Sunday Oct. 11 2009
submitted by Rita Savard
""THIS ISTHIS IS an important public-safety announcement."an important public-safety announcement."
The intro to a wave of automated calls that swept through Chelmsford before Tuesday's special referendum that hadThe intro to a wave of automated calls that swept through Chelmsford before Tuesday's special referendum that had
many voters up in arms that firefighters may have used the town's reverse 911 system for political purposes. The callsmany voters up in arms that firefighters may have used the town's reverse 911 system for political purposes. The calls
were not generated through the town, but were paid for by firefighters and originated through Virginia-based Radiuswere not generated through the town, but were paid for by firefighters and originated through Virginia-based Radius
Firefighter's Union president John Kivlan said all the funding for calls, mailings and signs came from firefighters' ownFirefighter's Union president John Kivlan said all the funding for calls, mailings and signs came from firefighters' own
pockets. Campaign finance reports availabe for viewing at Town Hall show that union members spent about $766 topockets. Campaign finance reports availabe for viewing at Town Hall show that union members spent about $766 to
promote a "yes" vote for Question 2, including $150 for the automated messages.promote a "yes" vote for Question 2, including $150 for the automated messages.
Firefighters still have 30 days after the election or up until Nov. 5, to account for any other campaign-rleated expensesFirefighters still have 30 days after the election or up until Nov. 5, to account for any other campaign-rleated expenses
and submit them to the clerk.and submit them to the clerk.
Chairman to step down fromChairman to step down from
Permanent Building CommitteePermanent Building Committee
Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Reporter 09.OCT.09
Permanent Building Committee Chairman Pat Maloney tendered his resignation this week.
"It's something I've wanted to do for quite awhile," said Maloney. "Regardless of the vote, it's something I needed to do."
Although the Department of Public Works and Center Fire Station questions failed at Tuesday's election, Maloney said his
decision has nothing to do with the vote.
"Was I disappointed? Sure I was. We put a lot of work into it," said Maloney. "Do I have any regrets? No. It is what it is."
Maloney sent a letter to Town Manager Paul Cohen in which he thanked the town for the opportunity to serve, said Cohen.
"It will be effective Oct. 21," said Cohen. "He's going to go to the next (committee's) meeting and help with the transition."
After 10 years volunteering on various committees, Maloney said he needs to turn his attention back to his business, AEI.
"I wanted to see this vote through," said Maloney. "I'm not a disgruntled volunteer. I'll be back at some point."
YOU CAN’T GET THERE FROM HEREYOU CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE
It appears the “Westlands PlaceWestlands Place” 40B development has hit a snag of sorts,
there seems to be a legal question as to whether the developer’s parcel has
the legal right of access to Arlington Street.
The public hearing was postponed from the October 5th Board of Selectmen
meeting and the selectmen voted to continue the Westlands Place LIP public
hearing until November 9.
***********************************Westlands park a drug hangout???Westlands park a drug hangout???
The In-Town Report has gotten a heads up on a situation involvingThe In-Town Report has gotten a heads up on a situation involving
the park and Gazebo behind the Westthe park and Gazebo behind the West--
lands School.lands School.
Is the Westalnds park going the way ofIs the Westalnds park going the way of
the school? Has it become a hang outthe school? Has it become a hang out
with drug and other activity? Is the onlywith drug and other activity? Is the only
solution really to pull down the gazebosolution really to pull down the gazebo
and remove the park? Does Westlandsand remove the park? Does Westlands
really to want give up and lose this openreally to want give up and lose this open
What is really going on at the park?What is really going on at the park?
““EEvveerryyoonnee ffiigghhttss ttoo ssttoopp 4400BB pprroojjeeccttss ffoorr ooppeenn ssppaaccee bbuutt aarree tthheeyy rreeaaddyy ttoo ffiigghhtt ttoo kkeeeepp iitt??””
-- Philip StanwayPhilip Stanway Lead steward of the Chelmsford Open Space Stewardship
In-Town Report :
What progress has made made at Varney Park in North Chelmsford since
the situation over there was brought to the attention of the the town a few months ago.
TToowwnn MMaannaaggeerr PPaauull CCoohheenn ::TToowwnn MMaannaaggeerr PPaauull CCoohheenn ::
Town officials, members of the Varney Park Restoration Committee, and the Chelmsford Open Space Land
Stewards have worked together over the past few months to develop and implement improvements to
the condition of Varney Park. The Land Stewards have made sundry repair, painting, and maintenance
projects. The Middlesex County Sheriff’s Community Work Program has removed graffiti from the Varney
Field House and pressure washed the playground. The North Chelmsford Water District has provided
gravel to fill in some of the erosion from drainage runoff. Old School Roofing has volunteered to install a
new roof for the Varney Field House. The Chelmsford Police Department has increased patrols in the park
area. The Town is preparing new signage for the park, repairing the exterior park lighting, and funding
other maintenance needs. All work should be completed by next summer’s enjoyment at the beach and
the other areas of the park.
What is the status of the underground wire project?
Are the residents still paying for it in their bills? Where is their money going?
PP CC ::PP CC ::
Town officials met with Verizon and National Grid representatives earlier this week to review the status of
the project. The design plans are essentially completed. The work for phase 1 of the project near the
Town Common is scheduled to be bid this winter.
Construction on phase 1 is scheduled to begin in April. The utility surcharge remains in effect. All monies
collected from the surcharge remain with the project.
The Town’s home rule petition to obtain the authorization to suspend the National Grid surcharge has not
advanced at the State House.
What is the status of the North Town Hall? Are there any groups interested in using it?
PP CC ::PP CC ::
The Town Halls Utilization Study Committee presented a report at the October 5 Board of Selectmen
meeting. The Committee recommends that the North Town Hall be restored and used as a community
The uses would include after school programs, community organization events, and private functions.
Neighbors in the area are interested in serving on a volunteer advisory committee to help operate the
The next step is for the Town’s Permanent Building Committee to develop a cost estimate for the restora-
tion of the building. Funding to develop this cost estimate will be requested from the Community Preser-
Concerning the Billboard articles at fall town meeting. Are you planing to issue a Billboard
RFP(Request for Proposal) with a twenty year lease? if so, are you planning to incorporate an
escalation clause into the final billboard contract, so that the amounts we receive will keep
pace with inflation?
PP CC ::PP CC ::
If Town Meeting votes to authorize a twenty year lease of municipal land for billboard use, the Town will
issue an Invitation for Bids.
The RFP is expected to contain language that would increase the amount of the annual lease payments by
inflation or another factor.
Concerning the center fire station and DPW facility.
What happens now? Where do we go from here?
PP CC ::PP CC ::
I will be working with the DPW Director, Fire Chief, Permanent Building Committee and the Capital Plan
Committee to develop a multi-year plan to provide DPW and Fire Department operations from their exist-
For example, at the 2010 Spring Annual Town Meeting there may be requests to install a new floor in the
Center Fire Station and to construct a new salt storage shed on Richardson Road.
Additional capital projects to renovate the existing facilities would be brought forth in subsequent years.
This will be a very challenging effort as the Town has other capital facility and equipment needs that ex-
ceed the long-standing annual appropriation level of $2.5M for capital requirements.
OONN TTHHEE AAIIRR
POLITICALLY INCORRECTPOLITICALLY INCORRECTwithwith
Tom ChristianoTom Christiano
Topics discussed:Topics discussed:
40B Repeal petition drive and 40B reform proposals40B Repeal petition drive and 40B reform proposals
$7.28 Million state reimbursement aid to$7.28 Million state reimbursement aid to
Chelmsford for McCarthy & Parker School projects.Chelmsford for McCarthy & Parker School projects.
Casinos in MACasinos in MA
Pension reform at the statehousePension reform at the statehouse
Texting while driving in MATexting while driving in MA
Chapter 43D (redevelopment) in ChelmsfordChapter 43D (redevelopment) in Chelmsford
Temporary appointment of our U.S. Senator by Governor PatrickTemporary appointment of our U.S. Senator by Governor Patrick
State Budget & Local AidState Budget & Local Aid
Guest Panel includes:Guest Panel includes:
State Reps Tom Golden & Jim Arciero,State Reps Tom Golden & Jim Arciero,
Repeal 40B state coordinator John BelskisRepeal 40B state coordinator John Belskis
& Planning Board member Colleen Stansfield& Planning Board member Colleen Stansfield
CLICK HERECLICK HERE
for the showfor the show
Next on the October 20th P. I Show:Next on the October 20th P. I Show:
Eric DahlbergEric Dahlberg - Selectman & State Senate Candidate *** Pat WojtasPat Wojtas - Selectman
Kirk MarshallKirk Marshall - Town Meeting Rep, Precinct 4 **** Jesse FloydJesse Floyd - Editor, Chelmsford Independent
Reflections on the October 6th townwide vote *** Pat announcing if she's running again for selectman
Eric - talking about his run for State Senate *** The Fall Town Meeting review ***The 40B Law
***Casinos in MASS ***Health Insurance in MASS ***Taxes in MASS....are they too high, or too low?
***Texting while driving
Tues & Weds 8:30 PM;Thurs 7:00 AM
Sundays 11:00 AM
Chelmsford Cable TV
TTTTOOOOWWWWNNNN TTTTAAAALLLLKKKK with Dennis Ready
Guest Clare Jeannotte
(Chairman/Board of Selectmen) talks with Dennis
about the failure of the DPW and Fire Station at
October’s special election
CLICK HERECLICK HERE
Clare Jeannotte talks with Dennis about the
October Town Meeting and the Billboard articles
CLICK HERECLICK HERE
Tech lowers assessmentsTech lowers assessments
GateHouse News Service
Oct 14, 2009
Tuesday night, the Nashoba Valley Technical High SchoolNashoba Valley Technical High School Committee unanimously voted to reduce the mem-
ber communities' assessments in the amount of the $100,000 increase over the required minimum contribution.
Chelmsford's assessment will be reduced by $24,675.
Canceled tour by Chelmsford schoolsCanceled tour by Chelmsford schools
irks Nashoba Techirks Nashoba Tech
By Rachel R. Briere, firstname.lastname@example.orgBy Rachel R. Briere, email@example.com
CHELMSFORD -- It's a longstanding tradition. Hundreds of eighth-graders from seven communitiesCHELMSFORD -- It's a longstanding tradition. Hundreds of eighth-graders from seven communities
troop through classrooms and shops at Nashoba Valley Technical High School to get a taste of whattroop through classrooms and shops at Nashoba Valley Technical High School to get a taste of what
technical education has to offer.technical education has to offer.
For Chelmsford kids, maybe not this year.For Chelmsford kids, maybe not this year.
Officials at the regional tech school in Westford were informed by the McCarthy and Parker middleOfficials at the regional tech school in Westford were informed by the McCarthy and Parker middle
schools that they were canceling an Oct. 27 Nashoba Tech tour. A presentation by Nashoba represenschools that they were canceling an Oct. 27 Nashoba Tech tour. A presentation by Nashoba represen--
tatives to students at the McCarthy school, scheduled for Monday, was called off as well.tatives to students at the McCarthy school, scheduled for Monday, was called off as well.
Nashoba Tech Superintendent Judith Klimkiewicz said this is the first time in her 14 years at NashobaNashoba Tech Superintendent Judith Klimkiewicz said this is the first time in her 14 years at Nashoba
that any of the towns have balked at allowing the presentation or canceled the daylong tour.that any of the towns have balked at allowing the presentation or canceled the daylong tour.
Nashoba Tech serves Chelmsford, Groton, Littleton, Pepperell, Shirley, Townsend and Westford.Nashoba Tech serves Chelmsford, Groton, Littleton, Pepperell, Shirley, Townsend and Westford.
Klimkiewicz said about 140 of Nashoba's 709 students are from Chelmsford, and that number hasKlimkiewicz said about 140 of Nashoba's 709 students are from Chelmsford, and that number has
been increasing in the last couple of years. The presentations and tours are important in letting stubeen increasing in the last couple of years. The presentations and tours are important in letting stu--
dents know what Nashoba has to offer, she said.dents know what Nashoba has to offer, she said.
Chelmsford Superintendent of Schools Donald Yeoman says his staff asked at a meeting whether it isChelmsford Superintendent of Schools Donald Yeoman says his staff asked at a meeting whether it is
mandatory for the middle schools to both send the students to Nashoba Tech and host the hourlong inmandatory for the middle schools to both send the students to Nashoba Tech and host the hourlong in--
formational sessions.formational sessions.
He said he would study the schools' options and decide by the end of October whether to proceed withHe said he would study the schools' options and decide by the end of October whether to proceed with
both activities or move forward with one or the other.both activities or move forward with one or the other.
Klimkiewicz says by the end of the month is too late, given that Nashoba holds its open house on Nov.Klimkiewicz says by the end of the month is too late, given that Nashoba holds its open house on Nov.
4 and begins sending out acceptance letters in December.4 and begins sending out acceptance letters in December.
"My concern is that the presentation only introduces to the students the concept of what Nashoba Tech"My concern is that the presentation only introduces to the students the concept of what Nashoba Tech
does," Klimkiewicz said. "When the students come they explore all the areas we offer. It's very hands-does," Klimkiewicz said. "When the students come they explore all the areas we offer. It's very hands-
Yeoman says his issue with having both the recruitment presentation and the day-long tour of the highYeoman says his issue with having both the recruitment presentation and the day-long tour of the high
school is time. He said he is "leaning" toward allowing the presentation, which he believes is adequate.school is time. He said he is "leaning" toward allowing the presentation, which he believes is adequate.
He said he "can't justify" allowing both the tour and presentation.He said he "can't justify" allowing both the tour and presentation.
"To take 400 kids out of class all day long and only have 30 sign up for Nashoba ... to lose all that time."To take 400 kids out of class all day long and only have 30 sign up for Nashoba ... to lose all that time.
I don't see how that is effective," Yeoman said.I don't see how that is effective," Yeoman said.
Jonathan Considine, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and SecondaryJonathan Considine, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary
Education, said schools must provide information to middle-school students on vocational-technical edEducation, said schools must provide information to middle-school students on vocational-technical ed--
ucation. One such option may be recruitment activities, but it is not required. The Massachusetts Reguucation. One such option may be recruitment activities, but it is not required. The Massachusetts Regu--
lations on Access to Equal Educational Opportunity ensures all students have "equal rights of accesslations on Access to Equal Educational Opportunity ensures all students have "equal rights of access
and equal enjoyment of the opportunities, advantages, privileges, and courses of study at publicand equal enjoyment of the opportunities, advantages, privileges, and courses of study at public
schools" in the state. Middle schools are also required to release student names and addresses to voschools" in the state. Middle schools are also required to release student names and addresses to vo--
cational-technical high schools.cational-technical high schools.
Nashoba Tech School Committee member Sam Poulten, who represents Chelmsford, hopes the situaNashoba Tech School Committee member Sam Poulten, who represents Chelmsford, hopes the situa--
tion is a misunderstanding. He has been on the committee since 1992, and prior to that was a Chelmstion is a misunderstanding. He has been on the committee since 1992, and prior to that was a Chelms--
ford School Committee member for a decade. He does not remember ever having a middle-school visitford School Committee member for a decade. He does not remember ever having a middle-school visit
to Nashoba Tech canceled.to Nashoba Tech canceled.
"We can't control how many kids sign up, how many students take an advanced-placement class, yet"We can't control how many kids sign up, how many students take an advanced-placement class, yet
we expose 100 percent of the kids," Poulten said. "We have college fairs, where Brandeis comes towe expose 100 percent of the kids," Poulten said. "We have college fairs, where Brandeis comes to
show what they have to offer, and what if only one kid applies? Do we not allow them to come?"show what they have to offer, and what if only one kid applies? Do we not allow them to come?"
He also said it was "bad timing" on Yeoman's part due to the Nashoba Tech committee's vote on TuesHe also said it was "bad timing" on Yeoman's part due to the Nashoba Tech committee's vote on Tues--
day to reduce member communities' assessments by $100,000 as promised. The move loweredday to reduce member communities' assessments by $100,000 as promised. The move lowered
Chelmsford's assessment by $24,675.Chelmsford's assessment by $24,675.
Chelmsford was the only community out of the district's seven member towns to reject Nashoba Tech'sChelmsford was the only community out of the district's seven member towns to reject Nashoba Tech's
budget increase for fiscal 2010. The high school had to raise the budget in all the towns due to inbudget increase for fiscal 2010. The high school had to raise the budget in all the towns due to in--
creases in enrollment across the board, Klimkiewicz said.creases in enrollment across the board, Klimkiewicz said.
The number of Chelmsford students attending Nashoba saw the largest increase, rising from 117 toThe number of Chelmsford students attending Nashoba saw the largest increase, rising from 117 to
133. But those who opposed the school's budget increase said the school could have dipped into $2133. But those who opposed the school's budget increase said the school could have dipped into $2
million in cash reserves to cover the $100,000 increase instead of placing the burden on cash-strappedmillion in cash reserves to cover the $100,000 increase instead of placing the burden on cash-strapped
Klimkiewicz said she could not deplete the school's reserve account, which is for emergencies, butKlimkiewicz said she could not deplete the school's reserve account, which is for emergencies, but
pledged to reimburse member towns if the school received stimulus funds.pledged to reimburse member towns if the school received stimulus funds.
The Nashoba Tech committee has asked to be put on the agenda for the next Chelmsford School ComThe Nashoba Tech committee has asked to be put on the agenda for the next Chelmsford School Com--
mittee meeting on Oct. 27.mittee meeting on Oct. 27.
Nashoba Tech School Committee Chairman Ray Riddick Jr. hopes Yeoman will approve both the tourNashoba Tech School Committee Chairman Ray Riddick Jr. hopes Yeoman will approve both the tour
and the presentation.and the presentation.
"It's an opportunity embraced by the state," he said. "All students should get an equal opportunity to"It's an opportunity embraced by the state," he said. "All students should get an equal opportunity to
experience a technical-vocational program. Nashoba Tech is a great alternative to the normal high-experience a technical-vocational program. Nashoba Tech is a great alternative to the normal high-
school experience."school experience."
Staff writer Rita Savard contributed to this report.Staff writer Rita Savard contributed to this report.
Chelmsford shelters,Chelmsford shelters,
schools homeless childrenschools homeless children
By Chloe Gotsis/ staff writer
GateHouse News Service
Oct 15, 2009
Most of the 508 students enrolled at Chelmsford’s Center Elementary School leave school at the end of the
day for a home they call their own, with a closet full of clothes and maybe a yard to play in.
But each day about a dozen students climb off at the bus stop closest to the Best Western Chelmsford Inn
on Chelmsford Street, which they call home because their families have nowhere else to go.
As the economic recession worsened, the number of people forced from their homes by unemployment
and foreclosure jumped sharply. Many turned to the state’s Department of Housing and Community Devel-
opment for help. When shelters fill up, the department shifts the families into motels and hotels across the
Last month, 11 homeless children enrolled in the Chelmsford Public Schools. That number fluctuates as
people are moved in and out of housing. Last year, Chelmsford schools welcomed about 50 students living
at the Best Western. Most attended either the Center Elementary or McCarthy Middle School.
Help from the townHelp from the town
The students come from as far off as Worcester, but that hasn’t stopped residents, school administrators
and town officials from welcoming them to town.
Some residents offer to provide rides for the families to go grocery shopping or attend doctor’s appoint-
ments; others organize food drop-offs or clothing drives.
“I just think that’s typical of the town of Chelmsford,I just think that’s typical of the town of Chelmsford,” said Angelo Taranto, chairman of the School
Committee. “Chelmsford people rallying again [to help out]. It just makes me proud that ourChelmsford people rallying again [to help out]. It just makes me proud that our
town does come to the support of others that need it.town does come to the support of others that need it.”
When the Center School’s Parent Teacher Organization learned the school was taking on a majority of the
children, the group immediately thought of ways to reach out and make the children feel welcome, said
PTO co-president Kirk Marshall.
“The PTO is definitely involved with helping the members of our community that need itThe PTO is definitely involved with helping the members of our community that need it,”
said Marshall. “Our main mission is to raise money for enrichment programs to help supportOur main mission is to raise money for enrichment programs to help support
the curriculum, but with any mission along the way there are other things that need to bethe curriculum, but with any mission along the way there are other things that need to be
done as well.done as well.”
The PTO works with the school nurse to provide clean underwear and socks and, if needed, clothing such
as jeans, jackets, hats and mittens.
Around the holidays, the PTO organized an adopt-a-family drive, purchasing wish-list items for the families
in need. Members also extended invitations to the families at the hotel for school events, providing tickets
“The PTO went out of their way to welcome the childrenThe PTO went out of their way to welcome the children,” said Taranto.
Superintendent Donald Yeoman said he set up a support network made up of principals, school nurses,
secretaries, teachers at the Center and McCarthy schools and representatives from the hotel, churches
and temple in town, as well as the PTO.
“So if a child needed glasses then there is someone who identifies that for them and canSo if a child needed glasses then there is someone who identifies that for them and can
take them some place to have their eyes checkedtake them some place to have their eyes checked,” said Yeoman. “If people need to get medIf people need to get med--
ication or go to a Laundromat there are people can help.ication or go to a Laundromat there are people can help.”
According to Yeoman, once the district learns of a child moving into the Best Western, his secretary visits
the family at the hotel and helps them fill out registration forms. Bob Cruickshank, the school business man-
ager, then arranges transportation for the children and enrolls them in the federal free lunch program, in ad-
dition to finding free textbooks and supplies.
A statewide problemA statewide problem
According to Department of Housing and Community Development Spokesman Philip Hailer, about 1,000
homeless families are housed in motels across the state.
“Our statewide shelter system of about 2,000 beds is running at capacity,” said Hailer in an e-mail. “By law,
we are obligated to shelter those who qualify economically/categorically for those services. When shelters
are full, we use motels as a ‘waiting room’ for families in need of shelter.”
The state is working to find permanent housing and prevent homelessness through public and private part-
nerships and a series of statewide agencies like the Community Teamwork, Inc. in Lowell.
Hailer said the families are moved as soon as an appropriate housing option is found. The length of the
motel stay can vary from several days to as long as three months and the transition can prove difficult to
Once a family is placed in a shelter or home by the state or private agency, the child can chose to continue
their education at Chelmsford. Under federal law, Chelmsford is required to pay for the child’s transportation
to and from school, Yeoman said.
“The main thing is that no matter what as a society we must ensure a child’s safety andThe main thing is that no matter what as a society we must ensure a child’s safety and
that a child gets food and clothing and that a child gets an education, no matter what thethat a child gets food and clothing and that a child gets an education, no matter what the
details are,details are,” said Yeoman. “So even though it’s not convenient and etcetera, we have to figSo even though it’s not convenient and etcetera, we have to fig--
ure out how to do it because the kids deserve food, safety and educationure out how to do it because the kids deserve food, safety and education.”
The decline in homeless children attending Chelmsford School System bucks the statewide trend, said Ed
Cameron, associate executive director of housing and homeless services at Community Teamwork Inc.
Community Teamwork Inc. offers housing opportunities and support services to low-income families.
Cameron said the number of homeless families housed in hotels has multiplied in the past three years from
30 to 1,000.
“While the numbers dropped in Chelmsford, the numbers statewide has really gone through the roof,” said
Cameron. “While the system is so jammed up we wanted to make sure they weren’t stuck there. There was
a sense they were stagnating there.”
State and local agencies step inState and local agencies step in
Cameron said Community Teamwork Inc., along with the state is making a strong push to move the families
away from the hotel as quickly as possible, understanding the strain on families living in unstable environ-
“It’s a lot of transition and trauma on the kids lives,” he said. “We are really trying to push this along.
Community Teamwork Inc. is working with about 10 of the families housed at the Best Western and was
successful in moving some to shelters in Lowell within the last several weeks. Cameron said CTI employ-
ees meet with the families to assess the best possible solution for them, whether it be moving them to a
shelter or subsidized housing.
“We are trying to take it one step at a time,” said Cameron.
The state is hoping that the $44.5 million in federal stimulus funding it received for homeless prevention
and re-housing efforts could help the problem, said Hailer.
Plans for North Road office building filedPlans for North Road office building filed
An artist rendering of the office building planned for North Road behind the fire station.
Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Reporter 13.OCT.09
Epsilon Group LLC’s engineer is slated to present plans for a two-story office building on land behind the
North Road fire station during the Planning Board’s Oct. 28 meeting.
“The application is complete, comprehensive and thorough,” said Community Development Director
Evan Belansky. “Currently it is being distributed for interdepartmental review and comment.”
Plans on file at the Community Development Office call for construction of a 15,494-square-foot structure
to include legal, medical and dental office space.
The design also addresses the issues raised by a preservation restriction on the property.
In December 1979, the then Board of Selectmen, signed and accepted the preservation restriction. The re-
striction includes references to the Emerson House, which is currently on the property, and to future devel-
opment on the land.
“No other building shall be erected on said premises except barn-like structures and silo which shall gener-
ally present the exterior appearance of farm buildings and barns,” states the covenant.
Adhering to the covenant is low on the developer’s agenda, according to Craig Chemaly of the Slow
Growth Initiative (SGI).
“When it (covenant) talks about a barn, it literally means a barn,” said Chemaly. “They are finding ways to
get around the law.”
The proposal states the building’s design was created to reflect the character of the surrounding colonial
As presented, the plan includes elements “reminiscent of New England barn structures and farmhouses,”
including a copula and a vertical tower representing a silo.
Developers will seek four special permits: one to allow more than one structure on the lot, one to forego a
dedicated loading area, one to allow a parking lot dead-end aisle of more than five spaces and the last one
to forego some landscaping requirements.
Before last week’s election, SGI sent out a mailing in which it described Epsilon Group LLC’s plan to “build
a high-rise office facility on the land which the Fire Station is now obstructing.”
Although land owner Michael Eliopoulos’ proposal is for a two-story building, Chemaly said the size of the
structure is less important than open space is being eyed for development.
“It’s a development on land that was never meant to be developed,” said Chemaly. “It’s against the very in-
tent of the covenant. They’re not worried about that. They’re worried about how to get development onto
Board OKs using money for Parkhurst/Smith reconstructionBoard OKs using money for Parkhurst/Smith reconstruction
Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Reporter 15.OCT.09
The Planning Board agreed to spend up to $32,000 in an attempt to receive $1.7 million in federal stimulus money
to reconstruct the intersection of Parkhurst Road and Smith Street.
Town Engineer Jim Pearson asked board members to consider using money from its Chapter 53G fund, which de-
velopers pay into for traffic mitigation, to complete the design phase of the project.
As proposed, the project will alter Smith Street so it would now intersect with Parkhurst Road at a 90 degree angle.
Parkhurst will be widened about 3 feet and raised while Smith will be lowered.
“It will make them meet at the grade,” said Pearson.
A sidewalk along the Palm Manor side will be added creating a continuous walkway from North Road to the rear of
Wal-Mart at the Drum Hill Shopping Center.
Another sidewalk will be installed along Smith Street from Parkhurst to Pleasant Street.
The plan will also create curb cuts into the nursing home’s parking lot, eliminating the current sea of asphalt that
runs to the roadway.
Although on tap for awhile, the reconstruction project languished as the state continue to push its start date back
Pearson said he expects to use the money to complete the designs, which are about 75 percent complete, and put
the project out to bid next spring. He anticipates the project could be finished in one construction season.
Planning Board Chairman George Zaharoolis said it makes sense to get this project to the “shovel-ready” point in
order to go after stimulus money.
“I think this is a reasonable request by Jim to put this project forward,” said Zaharoolis.
Chelmsford housing plan saved by federal moneyChelmsford housing plan saved by federal money
By Matt Murphy,firstname.lastname@example.orgBy Matt Murphy,email@example.com
BOSTON — An affordable-housing proposal in Chelmsford that is at risk of falling apart because of a lack of financing will receiveBOSTON — An affordable-housing proposal in Chelmsford that is at risk of falling apart because of a lack of financing will receive
a shot in the arm from federal stimulus funds earmarked by the governor to keep the project alive.a shot in the arm from federal stimulus funds earmarked by the governor to keep the project alive.
Gov. Deval Patrick announced yesterday a plan to use $50.3 million in recovery funds made available through the U.S. DepartGov. Deval Patrick announced yesterday a plan to use $50.3 million in recovery funds made available through the U.S. Depart--
ment of the Treasury to jump-start a number of affordable-housing projects that have stalled due to tight credit markets.ment of the Treasury to jump-start a number of affordable-housing projects that have stalled due to tight credit markets.
The CHOICE Center at North Village has been tapped to receive $4.5 million from the pool of funding to ensure that developmentThe CHOICE Center at North Village has been tapped to receive $4.5 million from the pool of funding to ensure that development
The Treasury Department has agreed to provide the funding and allow states to convert tax credits previously available to theseThe Treasury Department has agreed to provide the funding and allow states to convert tax credits previously available to these
low-income housing projects into grants.low-income housing projects into grants.
Officials said a lack of confidence in the credit markets have prevented projects like the one in Chelmsford from securing the fiOfficials said a lack of confidence in the credit markets have prevented projects like the one in Chelmsford from securing the fi--
nancing needed to support construction costs.nancing needed to support construction costs.
The CHOICE Center will be an elderly-housing complex complete with support services for residents that offers 37 units to eldersThe CHOICE Center will be an elderly-housing complex complete with support services for residents that offers 37 units to elders
earning less than 60 percent of the area median income, and four affordable units for seniors with incomes below 30 percent ofearning less than 60 percent of the area median income, and four affordable units for seniors with incomes below 30 percent of
the area median income.the area median income.
The project is being developed by the Chelmsford Housing Opportunities for Intergenerational and Community Endeavors, a nonThe project is being developed by the Chelmsford Housing Opportunities for Intergenerational and Community Endeavors, a non--
profit offshoot of the Chelmsford Housing Authority.profit offshoot of the Chelmsford Housing Authority.
“Realistically, we’re about nine months behind schedule, with the potential for this continuing to be delayed or stalled for another“Realistically, we’re about nine months behind schedule, with the potential for this continuing to be delayed or stalled for another
year,” said David Hedison, director of the Chelmsford Housing Authority. “This completely saved this project.”year,” said David Hedison, director of the Chelmsford Housing Authority. “This completely saved this project.”
Hedison said $4 million in financing that has been secured separately was at risk of disappearing if the authority could not get aHedison said $4 million in financing that has been secured separately was at risk of disappearing if the authority could not get a
loan for the rest of the project.loan for the rest of the project.
Upon hearing the news of the grant, Hedison said he spoke with the contractor on the project, Landmark Construction of StoneUpon hearing the news of the grant, Hedison said he spoke with the contractor on the project, Landmark Construction of Stone--
“It’s a done deal now,” Hedison said. “According to (Landmark), they’re warming up the bulldozers.”“It’s a done deal now,” Hedison said. “According to (Landmark), they’re warming up the bulldozers.”
It could take about 45 days to close on a final financing package. Construction will begin shortly after,It could take about 45 days to close on a final financing package. Construction will begin shortly after,
and Hedison said he hopes to complete as much work as possible before the ground freezes.and Hedison said he hopes to complete as much work as possible before the ground freezes.
“The significant investment that is being made in Chelmsford will help to create construction jobs while simultaneously improving“The significant investment that is being made in Chelmsford will help to create construction jobs while simultaneously improving
living conditions for elderly residents,” U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas said. “The impact of each dollar spent will multiply as workers deliving conditions for elderly residents,” U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas said. “The impact of each dollar spent will multiply as workers de--
mand local goods and service — strengthening our economy over time as the recovery package was intended to do.”mand local goods and service — strengthening our economy over time as the recovery package was intended to do.”
The building permit for the CHOICE Center was due to expire on Jan. 1 if construction had not started.The building permit for the CHOICE Center was due to expire on Jan. 1 if construction had not started.
A different take
on 40B and the
Tom GoldenTom Golden
Inspector General Sullivan on 40BInspector General Sullivan on 40B
Inspector General Greg Sullivan recently
appeared as a guest on Monday Night Talk,
the weekly radio show hosted by
Sen. Bob Hedlund on 95.9 WATD-FM.
He restated his claim that the problems he has
uncovered with Chapter 40B amount to the
state's worst financial scandal of the last 20 years,
and criticized the state's slow response to fix the
CLICK HERCLICK HEREE
Inspector general cites waste, fraudInspector general cites waste, fraud
and abuse in 40Band abuse in 40B
By Micah FloresBy Micah Flores
GateHouse News ServiceGateHouse News Service
Oct 09, 2009Oct 09, 2009
State Inspector General Gregory Sullivan believes that Massachusetts’ affordable housing proState Inspector General Gregory Sullivan believes that Massachusetts’ affordable housing pro--
gram, Chapter 40B, started out in 1969 as a noble program.gram, Chapter 40B, started out in 1969 as a noble program.
“Instead of the government building projects of concentrated housing in neighborhoods, which then be-
came the bad part of town,” Sullivan said during a recent visit to Marshfield with Democratic state Rep. Jim
Cantwell, whose district includes precincts 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 in Scituate. “Massachusetts passed a law to en-
courage private developers to build affordable and non-affordable housing in the same project.”
The program worked well for a lot of years and most of the developers who used it were not-for-profits, he said.
“But about 12 years ago, this little program came onto the radar screen of big-time developers, including
national developers,” Sullivan said.
While the majority of these developers play by the rules, Sullivan said a select few saw Chapter 40B, and its al-
lowances for developers to bypass local planning and zoning if the project was more than 25 percent affordable
and the town had less than 10 percent affordable housing, as a “loophole you could drive a truck through.”
“It was a government-authorized law that was basically not being enforced. There was not anyIt was a government-authorized law that was basically not being enforced. There was not any
form of oversight at all,form of oversight at all,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan said his office, which was created to help investigate waste, fraud and abuse, has been dumbfounded
as to the extent in which the program as been allowed to operate without any checks and balances. This became
apparent, Sullivan said, when his office audited 10 40B cost certification projects.
Sullivan said he had approached the state agency that oversees the projects — the Department of Housing and
Community Development, or DHCD — and asked to see a random sample of cost certifications.
“We went in, and in six of the 10 developments we identified, more than $7 million was owed to the cities
and towns,” he said.
While some of those cases have settled, Sullivan said others are still in the process.
Land Flip 101
Sullivan said an example of the basic methodology of what his office calls a fraud is as follows.
Sen. Bob HedlundSen. Bob Hedlund
A developer buys a piece of land for $500,000, and then sells that land to itself for $10 million, creating a new
company or entity in order to do so. Developers are allowed to make up to 20 percent of the project’s cost in
profit, and anything more than that is supposed to go back to the city or town, Sullivan said. However, in Chapter
40B’s history, he said only $15,000 has ever been reported as going back to any town or city.
“Under any reasonable interpretation of the law, the expense that the developer should cite should be the
$500,000,” he said.
In order to make the allowable profit off of the $10 million, developers, instead of building a handful of units, would
have to build upwards of 150 units, Sullivan said.
“This resulted in an explosion of highly concentrated, highly dense 40Bs being built that wouldThis resulted in an explosion of highly concentrated, highly dense 40Bs being built that would
never have been authorized had it not been for these ‘land flips,’ which we call ‘40B bumps’ innever have been authorized had it not been for these ‘land flips,’ which we call ‘40B bumps’ in
our officeour office,’” Sullivan said.
“You can only recover the expenses that you paid,” Sullivan said. “There’s a bunch of issues: flippingThere’s a bunch of issues: flipping
the land, using their own appraisers by using artificial land transfers. They were able to artifithe land, using their own appraisers by using artificial land transfers. They were able to artifi--
cially increase on paper only the value of the land and the expenses that allowed them to buildcially increase on paper only the value of the land and the expenses that allowed them to build
many, many more units than they would have been able to build and pocket the money.”many, many more units than they would have been able to build and pocket the money.”
Despite his office’s findings, Sullivan said that when he asked the DHCD to hand over a list all the “200-some-
odd projects out there,” the agency declined.
“We were dumbfounded as to why the state could not give us a list. So we began to assemble our own, he
According to Sullivan, it soon became apparent that “three-quarters of all the projects that had ever been
done” had not even been cost-certified.
“It became a well-known fact, and it became subject to abuse,” he said.
Recent hearings in the state Legislature have aired the inspector general’s findings and what Sullivan said was
the DHCD’s original reluctance to address 40B oversight.
According to Sullivan, one of the DHCD’s responses to the alleged waste, fraud and abuse wasAccording to Sullivan, one of the DHCD’s responses to the alleged waste, fraud and abuse was
that the state allowed developers to “increase the allowable density,” adding that the state’sthat the state allowed developers to “increase the allowable density,” adding that the state’s
Supreme Judicial Court has since reversed that action.Supreme Judicial Court has since reversed that action.
“We were pointing out that the density was exceeding the maximum and they raised it,” he said. “What if I
told you there was a speeding problem on the Mass Pike and you raised the speed limit to 80 mph?”
Another difficulty, Sullivan said, is that towns do not have the authority to file actions.
“The bottom line is that since the beginning of the project until last year, no one has been preventing
windfall profits from this program,” he said. “If you took a dart and through it at a map of Massachusetts,
you would hit a community that has had a 40B project built that was built when their was basically no reg-
ulation going on.”
Hedlund proposes reform
Republican state Sen. Robert Hedlund of Weymouth, whose district includes Scituate, has filed several bills de-
signed to reform Chapter 40B. One, Senate Bill 646, would crack down on developers who try to pocket excess
profits, and another, Senate Bill 772, would cap project densities, he said.
“I kind of have emerged as leader in the Senate, if not the whole Legislature, on this matter,” Hedlund said.
“I asked for the investigation by the inspector general and the (Senate) post audit committee and those
investigations revealed significant information.”
A budget amendment filed in May by Hedlund, giving Sullivan the power to audit all 40B projects and go after all
owed money, initially passed the Senate by a 37-1 vote, said Hedlund aide Rick Collins.
Cantwell, who has worked with and co-sponsored Hedlund’s 40B reform bills, said that codifying 40B reform is
critical to ensuring that future oversight occurs.
But whether or not the reform is passed is another issue.
“I have learned since giving my maiden speech for reforming 40B, how very divided the Legislature is on
almost any 40B reform,” Cantwell stated in an e-mail. “The reps from the city believe that they have taken on
the disproportionate burden of affordable housing.”
Democratic state Rep. Garrett Bradley of Hingham, who represents precinct 3 in Scituate, said bills he supports,
several of which he took over from former Democratic state Rep. Frank Hynes of Marshfield, aim to “give somegive some
level of local control back to the communities.level of local control back to the communities.”
Bradley said the inspector general’s work was critical, and that it ultimately “peeled back the layers of the onion to
show that people are taking this law and abusing it.”
Bradley indicated that he is optimistic about change and noted that there is bipartisan support for 40B reform.
“Hopefully we can get some movement and combine (the bills) all in a 40B package,” he said. “We’re not
trying to eradicate, but we’re trying to fix it.”
The bottom line, he said, is that DHCD should not be trusted to change on its own.
“They’ve been given every opportunity to fix it and they haven’t. We need to fix the legislationThey’ve been given every opportunity to fix it and they haven’t. We need to fix the legislation
— end of story— end of story,” Bradley said.
Hedlund said setting reform into stone still faces challenges.
“The Boston Globe had an editorial against my reforms,” he said, claiming that the paper made no mention of
the inspector general’s findings. “You would have thought a paper of record would have picked up on that.”
Hedlund said it is unfortunate that the 40B debate has been reduced to either “you are for or you are against
affordable housing.” In the last decade, he said less than 10 percent of affordable housing has been created by
“According to different yardsticks, we rank 49th in the country as far as affordable housing. A rational
person would say, ‘Well, maybe the law has not been affective and we should find a way to improve it,’” he
said, noting that the pendulum should swing back to the local domain so that it can have a little more control and
say as the way the law should function.
Hedlund called the inspector general’s work “absolutely phenomenal,” and said that it has restored his faith in
“some aspects of government.”
“His testimony before the post audit committee was just unbelievable. It was an Earth-shattering critique
of the laws and the DHCD’s handling and administering of it,” he said.
The reform bills filed will be addressed and voted on next spring.
“The committee has to make a decision to recommend as favorable, unfavorable or to put into study,” said Collins.
But if a bill is put into a study, Collins said it would likely not end up passing.
“It’s almost like a legislative Bermuda Triangle from which legislation does not emergeIt’s almost like a legislative Bermuda Triangle from which legislation does not emerge,”
CCCCLLLLIIIICCCCKKKK HHHHEEEERRRREEEE TTTTOOOO RRRREEEEAAAADDDD
TTTTHHHHEEEE FFFFUUUULLLLLLLL SSSSTTTTOOOORRRRYYYY
Automated rubbish pickup weighed in ChelmsfordAutomated rubbish pickup weighed in Chelmsford
By Rita Savard, firstname.lastname@example.org
CHELMSFORD -- The town is gearing up for a new trash-pickup service to reduce operating costs, boost recycling and improve the
appearance of neighborhoods.
Like their neighbors in Billerica and Lowell, officials in Chelmsford are looking to save money by adopting an automated collection
program. According to a proposal from the town's Solid Waste and Recycling Task Force, the new trash service would provide every
single-family household with a 40-gallon container for automated solid waste pick-up, and offer single-stream weekly recycling with
unlimited disposal of recyclable materials.
Some residents have voiced concerns over the plan to dole out 40-gallon containers when neighboring towns with automated collec-
tion have received 64-gallon wheeled barrels. Town Meeting Representative Debby Derry said the smaller barrel would put too much
of a limit on trash disposal, especially for multi-family dwellings.
Town Manager Paul Cohen said that while those details are still being worked out, the idea behind the new service is ultimately
about saving money.
Billerica, Burlington, Tewksbury and Tyngsboro all adopted automated collection programs on July 1, with all four towns reporting a
smooth conversion as well as a cost savings. Last month, Billerica Department of Public Works Director Abdul Alkhatib said the new
trash program had already saved taxpayers more than $30,000 just two months into the program.
Chelmsford's Recycling/Solid Waste CoordinatorChelmsford's Recycling/Solid Waste Coordinator
Jennifer Almeida's presentation regarding options being consideredJennifer Almeida's presentation regarding options being considered
for a new solid waste and recycling contract.for a new solid waste and recycling contract.
• Where we are now and how we got here: Our trash tonnage in FY05 was 16,061. In Feb. ‘06 started WBE – the no visible recy-
clables, mandatory recycling policy. Since then, Chelmsford residents have done a great job getting our trash down – this past FY our
trash tonnage was down 21% compared to FY05.
• Town recently negotiated a new disposal contract, saving $7.50 per ton, but we still pay by the ton – currently we’re paying
74.50 per ton, next year it will go down to $67 per ton under the new contract.
• Surrounding Towns - (Billerica, Tyngsboro and Lowell) have gone to trash limits using automated collection with town bags for
excess trash. Billerica and Lowell, in particular, will see significant reductions in trash and significant savings b/c they previously had
no trash limits and had low recycling participation and rates.
• Currently we’re seeing trash tonnage plateau in Chelmsford. Projecting our annual tonnage based on what we’ve seen so far
this year, our tonnage for the year could increase by about 4% - that would be our first annual increase in 5 years. The past two
years, the recession has helped keep our trash tonnages down, so as the recession winds down, we can expect tonnages to in-
crease unless we act to keep them low.
• Based on a review of what is working in other towns in light of what Chelmsford has already accomplished in reducing its
waste, we’re looking to request bids in this round for a new program:
1. Proposal is to provide every single- family household with curbside collection a ~40-gallon barrel for automated SW collection and
increase the ease and convenience of recycling by offering single-stream recycling and providing weekly recycling collection. (We
currently have DS-R – residents must keep paper/cardboard separate from each other as they are emptied into different parts of the
recycling truck that are then emptied into different sections at the MRF). Residents will be able to re-purpose their current trash bar-
rels into large SS-R containers. The town will provide stickers for the barrels.
2. Cost projections for the new program include an expectation that there’ll be a small increase in collection costs just due to the end
of a long-term contract. We know that the haulers are pushing communities towards automated collection because they benefit from
the savings in labor cost and insurance for workers compensation. We’ve taken into account the cost of automated collection, cost of
weekly recycling, cost of new barrels, savings from new lower tip fee, savings from expected tonnage reductions, some savings from
not having to buy recycling bins, and a small amount of revenue from bag sales. Instead of what you might expect for a new program
with added convenience, the net impact is projected to save the Town $30-40,000.
This recycling program will be more frequent and convenient for residents; the trash system will make the town look clean and sharp
while encouraging us to do more recycling and waste reduction. Therefore we propose that the RFP request automated SW collec-
tion and weekly single-stream collection of recycling.
SW – solid waste (trash)
WBE –waste ban enforcement
SS-R – single stream recycling(residents do not have to separate paper/cardboard from containers)
DS-R – dual stream recycling
MRF – materials recovery facility (recycling processing facility)
Photo collage of the recent
"Barn Raising" at the Garrison House
property in Chelmsford.
In the photos you'll see the barn
(actually, an equipment shed) being
built by some hard working volunteers.
Also shown in the photos are the other
historical buildings on this property on
Garrison Road, along with a few of the
local visitors to the site.
PPhhoottooss bbyy TToomm CChhrriissttiiaannooTToomm CChhrriissttiiaannoo
Open Space Steward: Garden closingOpen Space Steward: Garden closing
By Joanne Stanway
GateHouse News Servicehttp://www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford/news/lifestyle/columnists/x1128411289/Open-Space-Steward-Garden-closing
Oct 14, 2009
Another busy week ahead for the Chelmsford Open Space stewards, partners and volunteers. On Saturday, Old School Roofing here in
Chelmsford will be replacing the roof on the 1935 field house at Varney Park in North Chelmsford. This is an extremely generous donation of
time and roofing materials, as well as labor to install two replacement windows purchased by the town. This kind of donation helps to maximize
funds that are available for maintaining open space properties and their structures. The site around the field house will be closed from 7 to 9
a.m., and help is welcome from neighbors and others around town to pick up old shingles and debris — again, stretching those resources.
Sunday is a clean up day at the Walter F. Lewis Community Garden at Sunny Meadow Farm. Use of a rototiller will be available from 8 to 10
a.m., and if you are afraid you’ll cut your foot off, volunteers will be available to help. Gardeners can pick up two leaf bags at Jones Farm for gar-
den debris – but NO potato or tomato plants can be composted due to the potential spread of the horrible blight we experienced this year. The
rototiller will also be on hand next Sunday, Oct. 25, same time. To wrap up the year, gardeners will meet on Nov. 8 to review this past season,
share experiences and lay claim on a plot for next year.
Also on Sunday, the Stewards are planning to drop in some pipe to help drain the lower area of the community garden where it was quite
muddy. The water tanks will be drained and pumps closed for the season as well.
The community gardeners have generously donated $250 toward the construction of the wheelchair accessible raised bed community garden
on the property. As mentioned before, an Eagle Scout candidate has taken on this ambitious project, and received some Community Preserva-
tion Committee funding.
If you ever see a sign about an Eagle Scout Pasta Supper, please go. Dinner of pasta, meatballs, salad, bread, dessert and beverages is only
$5 and the money goes toward Eagle Scout projects. In the past four years, scouts have been tremendously supportive of the Chelmsford Open
Space Stewardship and have helped to complete many valuable projects around town. Phil’s big date night surprise for me the other night was
an Eagle Scout Pasta Supper, and it was quite good.
Finally, I’m going to make a big push for volunteers to the program. The Chelmsford Open Space Stewardship has just about completed its
fourth year and in exchange for annual town funding of $200 per year, volunteers have donated easily 24,000 hours to the town to date. At a dirt
cheap, conservative rate of $16 per hour, that’s $384,000 back to our community. There are about a dozen really active Stewards, but several
sites need people assigned to do weekly site checks that include walking the grounds (great exercise and fun), picking up trash (community
service), reporting problems (great dinner table stories), and being involved with events (free family entertainment). It’s a fantastic group of peo-
ple – men and women – who have a blast accomplishing things around town. Any one of them will say it is a great experience to be part of a
model program. Sure, I’ve been waiting for two years to get the house power-washed and I still have a small pile of mulch in the driveway, but
I’m really proud of this program. Call Phil Stanway at 978-273-1474 or e-mail him at email@example.com to sign up.
Boy Scout Troop 74 helped to clean up
debris around the water tower at Free-
man Lake in North Chelmsford on Sat-
urday. Many bags of trash were hauled
away, including a foul smelling old
couch that had been tossed in the
water.This huge effort was done in
conjunction with the Chelmsford Open
Space Stewardship. Left to right: Josh
Walsh, Andrew Baker, Joe Sciaudone,
Zach Shepherd,Tyler Carmolli, and
Both Heart Pond and Varney Park Beaches raked at no charge to town by
local contractor ‘ AVL & Company’
Open SpaceOpen Space
Site Stewards:Site Stewards:
Left to right:
Scott and Amy
Photos by Phil StanwayPhotos by Phil Stanway
2009 Steward of the Year
Seeking fairnessSeeking fairness in Chelmsford'sin Chelmsford's property taxesproperty taxes
By John Edward
During the last 20 years, the average single-family tax bill in Chelmsford has increased by 150 percent. My property taxes are up by
140 percent. During the same period, the consumer-price index rose by only 65 percent.
Much of this big increase is due to state policies that shifted emphasis onto property taxes. However, the town of Chelmsford is
also to blame. It has allowed the burden to be shifted onto residential property. It is costing each homeowner hundreds of dollars
Every year the Board of Selectman decides the issue of tax classification. The question is: Should residential and commercial prop-
erty pay the same rate?
According to the Chelmsford Business Association (CBA), maintaining equal rates is fair. It is a simple argument, and therefore ap-
pealing, and the Board has been buying it.
However, there is nothing inherently fair about applying the same tax rate to different classes of property. Residential and commer-
cial properties are legally and logically distinct. The Board of Assessors applies very different methods of assessment for the two
types of property. A member of the CBA described it as comparing apples and oranges.
Different forms of income are often taxed at different rates. So too are different types of property.
The accepted approaches to assessing tax fairness are ability to pay, and benefits received. Chelmsford policy violates principles
of fairness based on both approaches.
Have residents become much more able to pay relative to businesses during the past 20 years? Actually, business profits have out-
paced personal-income growth by a two-to-one margin during this period.
The CBA may believe "Chelmsford businesses do not directly benefit from the school system." However, I do not think even it
would argue the benefits they receive have diminished relative to homeowners.
In fact, Chelmsford formed a subcommittee for the Development of Tax Policy to study tax classification. The subcommittee re-
ported: "We feel that a disproportionate use of services by the commercial property class may be a reasonable basis for consider-
Then how do we justify what is going on in Chelmsford? The CBA formed itself in 1990. That year, the business community paid 28
percent of Chelmsford property taxes. In 2009, it paid only 19.5 percent!
The Chelmsford Board of Assessors will release the 2010 numbers later this month. The CBA likes to observe the "annual ebbs
and flows." What they fail to acknowledge is the significant long-term shift in their favor.
This dramatic shift is no fault of the Board of Assessors. They are applying generally accepted principles of assessing two very dif-
ferent types of property.
Real-estate market forces cause shifts like this. In recognition that such shifts can cause unfair tax burdens, the state allows cities
and towns to use tax classification to correct the problem. Out of 20 communities within a ten-mile radius of Chelmsford, 12 have
chosen to do so.
You can be sure that if the tax burden had shifted in the other direction the business community would be seeking relief.You can
also be sure that they will drag out the old argument that increasing business taxes will be bad for the local economy.
Town officials should know better. Actually, they do know better, and I quote:
"Both Lowell and Billerica do have a differential between the business and residential rates. As a result, they have substantially
higher commercial tax rates. This would seem to provide Chelmsford with a distinct competitive advantage with these two abutting
communities in terms of business attraction. However, scholarly research in the field of economic development and business loca-
tion does not bear this out. Local taxes are not usually near the top of the group of factors in which firms use to make a decision on
business location. Area workforce characteristics, infrastructure and availability of suitable property consistently rank as more im-
portant factors." -- Town of Chelmsford Economic Development Profile.
This past June the Board of Selectmen honored four companies for their designation as being in the top 100 performing companies
in the state. Each of the companies expressed how much they like operating in Chelmsford. They cited convenient access to the
highway system, an educated workforce, available facilities, and "good karma" as advantages of the town. None mentioned taxes.
If you offer a business lower taxes, they will accept. Economic development planners from other communities have described to me
how companies will use taxes as a negotiating ploy.
You cannot fault business interests for protecting their tax breaks. They want to hang on to every cent of profit. That may be why so
many Chelmsford businesses do not file their legally required income and expense statements.
It is the Board of Selectmen's job to protect Chelmsford residents. Homeowners need relief from a tax burden that has been shifted
onto them. Implementing tax classification would save homeowners hundreds of dollars -- money they might spend at Chelmsford
businesses. It would be the fair thing to do.
John Edward earned his master's degree at UMass Lowell and is an adjunct professor of economics at Bentley University.
He lives in Chelmsford.
Boards split over Monday's billboard articleBoards split over Monday's billboard article
Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Reporter 16.OCT.09
Bringing billboards to Chelmsford is an idea that continues to divide residents and officials as Town
Meeting prepares to vote on the issue again Monday.
While the Board of Selectmen unanimously agreed to support an article to transfer land at the high
school for a billboard and a second article to allow officials to enter into 20-year leases, the Finance
Committee failed to do the same.
A motion by Finance Committee member Jon Kurland to recommend the land transfer for a bill-
board was rejected after three members voted for it and three voted against it.
Kurland, Finance Committee Chairman Mary Frantz and member Tim McIlvenna cast positive
votes, members Donald Van Dyne, Vincent Villano and Dwight Hayward voted against the motion.
Finance Committee member Dave Tourcy was not at the meeting when the vote took place.
Although Frantz said she did not want to see billboards brought to town, she didn’t think her per-
sonal belief should play a role in the vote.
“Our job is to recommend articles on whether there is some finance benefit to theOur job is to recommend articles on whether there is some finance benefit to the
towntown,” said Frantz. “This obviously has a financial benefit to the townhis obviously has a financial benefit to the town.”
Villano agreed the appointed Finance Committee should consider finances when casting a vote on
Town Meeting articles, but he didn’t believe that should be the only factor.
“I look at what are the other benefits to the town,I look at what are the other benefits to the town,” said Villano. “We don’t jump atWe don’t jump at
everything that promises money. Billboards do something to the town. I don’t seeeverything that promises money. Billboards do something to the town. I don’t see
an overwhelming benefit to the town.an overwhelming benefit to the town.”
Because the motion failed to earn a majority vote it failed.
At the following meeting, Frantz declined to allow Tourcy to bring the issue up for reconsideration.
She was not sure that under Roberts Rule of Order, an individual who was not present at the first
vote could bring the issue back for reconsideration.
The Finance Committee has scheduled a meeting for Monday prior to Town Meeting at the Senior
If it takes another pass at the issue, it will probably pass by a 4-to-3 vote.
That would be the right decision for Kurland.
“Town Meeting has voted to approve billboards,Town Meeting has voted to approve billboards,” said Kurland. “This article sets in moThis article sets in mo--
tion a process and how that plays out is beyond our control. We either move thetion a process and how that plays out is beyond our control. We either move the
process along or we don’t.process along or we don’t.”
Lowell’s Rt. 3 BillboardLowell’s Rt. 3 Billboard
on the Chelmsford lineon the Chelmsford line
Tyngsboro’s Rt. 3 BillboardTyngsboro’s Rt. 3 Billboard
on the Chelmsford lineon the Chelmsford line
OOOONNNN TTTTHHHHEEEE MMMMEEEENNNNUUUU::::
Fall Town Meeting
By Chloe Gotsis/ staff writer
GateHouse News Service
Oct 14, 2009
Town Meeting representatives are gearing up for Town Meeting on Monday, Oct. 19. This year’s warrant for
Fall Town Meeting is focused largely around financial matters.
Article 1 – Reports of Town officers and committees.
Article 2 – Appropriate Free Cash into the stabilization fund
Free Cash is estimated to be about $1.3 million. The town is awaiting free cash certification by the Depart-
ment of Revenue. The stabilization fund can only be accessed be a 2/3-vote of Town Meeting.
Article 3 – E-rate reimbursement to the School Department
Town Manager Paul Cohen is asking the town to vote to transfer $32,668 from special revenue to the
School Department funding E-Rate reimbursements. E-Rate reimbursements are generated when a
school or district pays up front for the full cost of their telecommunication services, and then are reim-
bursed for a percentage of the cost, based upon the E-Rate discount.
Article 4 – Community Action Program Funding
The Community Action Program, established at the spring Town Meeting in 1996, provides matching funds
to community improvement projects carried out by residents or organizations. Program recipients include
the Eagle Scouts, Girl Scouts, Chelmsford Coalition Against Drugs and the Varney Park Restoration Com-
Project examples – Camp Paul ADA compliant paths, Center School playground improvements, Carl Ols-
The article will allow for $10,000 to be transferred. The fund balance is $926.87.
Article 5 – Amend fiscal 2010 operating budget
The article seeks to amend the previously amended fiscal 2010 operating budget by increasing municipal
administration and municipal facilities expenses and additional funding for excluded debt exclusion.
Municipal administration expense — Special State Election — $25,000.
Municipal facilities expenses — Repair for the collapse of the Chelmsford High School cafeteria ceiling —
$25,000 and McCarthy School auditorium fire curtain — $50,000.
Excluded debt service —$361,111
Article 6 – Chelmsford Forum scoreboard
The article seeks $30,000 from the Forum Special Revenue fund for the replacement of the center ice
scoreboard at the Chelmsford Forum. The current balance of the fund is more than $300,000.
Articles 7 and 8 — Community Preservation Fund
Article 7 is requesting Community Preservation funds for restoration of the Garrison House. Article 8 is re-
questing CPA funds for the restoration of the exterior of the Fiske House.
Article 9 — Land swap with Chelmsford Water District
The Chelmsford Water District would transfer the care and management of two parcels of land containing
approximately 4.43 acres to the town.
The town would transfer a 4.17-acre parcel of conservation land to the Chelmsford Water District.
The water district has maintained a water tower on the conservation land since 1985. The article will allow
the water district to secure the area housing the water tower.
Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution requires a 2/3-approval of Town Meeting and approval by the
Legislature for any transfer of conservation land.
Article 10 – Transfer of Chelmsford High School land for billboard
If approved the article allows the School Committee to transfer the care, custody, control and management
of a portion of town-owned land to the Board of Selectmen.
Once the land is transferred the Board of Selectmen will authorize Town Manager Paul Coehen to enter
into a contract for a term not to exceed 20 years, for a lease for billboards, signs and other advertising on
The land is adjacent to the football field.
Article 11- Authorization to Lease Town-Owned Parcel for Billboards for up to 20 Years.
The article seeks the authorization for Town Manager Paul Cohen to enter into a lease agreement for up to
20 years for a billboard on a parcel of town-owned land in North Chelmsford.
The land parcel is located next to Route 3 near Route 40.
Submitted by LLaauurraa LLeeeeLLaauurraa LLeeee - Town Meeting Representative Precinct 1Town Meeting Representative Precinct 1
Hi Roy,Hi Roy,
Could you include this information in the next In-Town report? Cliff McGann of theCould you include this information in the next In-Town report? Cliff McGann of the
Nova Scotia Celtic band Tri has put together a video so that everyone can get aNova Scotia Celtic band Tri has put together a video so that everyone can get a
glimpse of the musicians that will be performing at theglimpse of the musicians that will be performing at the TToowwnn HHaallllss BBeenneeffiitt CCoonncceerrttTToowwnn HHaallllss BBeenneeffiitt CCoonncceerrtt..
The link is:The link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86h61zSlu24http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86h61zSlu24
CLICK HERECLICK HERE
SSuubbmmiitttteedd bbyy LLyynnnn HHoorrttoonnLLyynnnn HHoorrttoonn
Chelmsford Schools Foundation and the Arts & Technology Education FundChelmsford Schools Foundation and the Arts & Technology Education Fund
announce theannounce the 44tthh AAnnnnuuaall SSppeelllliinngg BBeeee,, oonn TThhuurrssddaayy,, NNoovveemmbbeerr 55,, 2200009944tthh AAnnnnuuaall SSppeelllliinngg BBeeee,, oonn TThhuurrssddaayy,, NNoovveemmbbeerr 55,, 22000099..
This exciting event raises funds for educational grants awarded by CSFThis exciting event raises funds for educational grants awarded by CSF
and ATEF. CSF grants totalling over $36,000 have been awarded to theand ATEF. CSF grants totalling over $36,000 have been awarded to the
individual Chelmsford Public Schools, and ATEF has awarded more thanindividual Chelmsford Public Schools, and ATEF has awarded more than
$55,000. All these grants go to provide educational programs and$55,000. All these grants go to provide educational programs and
equipment that would not be possible without the support of theseequipment that would not be possible without the support of these
community funded organizations.community funded organizations.
Join in the fun at theJoin in the fun at the RRaaddiissssoonn HHootteell oonn NNoovveemmbbeerr 55tthh aatt 77::0000 ppmmRRaaddiissssoonn HHootteell oonn NNoovveemmbbeerr 55tthh aatt 77::0000 ppmm --
register your 3-person adult spelling team today andregister your 3-person adult spelling team today and BBEE aa ppaarrtt ooff tthhee BBEEEE!!BBEE aa ppaarrtt ooff tthhee BBEEEE!!
Visit the Chelmsford Schools Foundation web site for registration forms and information.Visit the Chelmsford Schools Foundation web site for registration forms and information.
The Chelmsford Schools Foundation is a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to
generating resources to support, promote and help fund the best learning environmentpossible for the
Chelmsford Public Schools.
If you're looking for volunteer opportunities in
and around Chelmsford, you've come to the
This linkThis link allows you to view upcoming
volunteer events or to search for organizations
that need volunteers. If you have any questions
about these volunteer listings, please contact
Kathy Cryan-HicksKathy Cryan-Hicks in the Library's Community
Services Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or
978-256-5521 x109978-256-5521 x109.
CChheellmmssffoorrdd RReessiiddeennttss OOnnllyyCChheellmmssffoorrdd RReessiiddeennttss OOnnllyy
22000099 SSeeaassoonnaall FFlluu22000099 SSeeaassoonnaall FFlluu
aanndd PPnneeuummoonniiaa VVaacccciinnee CClliinniicc::aanndd PPnneeuummoonniiaa VVaacccciinnee CClliinniicc::
** RReesscchheedduulleedd **** RReesscchheedduulleedd **
Administered by the Chelmsford Board of Health
This vaccine is for the regular yearly seasonal flu.
The three viruses that it provides protection against are:
A/Uruguay/716/2007, NYMC X-175C
B/Brisbane/60/2008 like virus
THIS VACCINE DOES NOT PROVIDE PROTECTION AGAINST THE NOVEL H1N1 FLU
LLooccaattiioonn:: CChheellmmssffoorrdd SSeenniioorr CCeenntteerrLLooccaattiioonn:: CChheellmmssffoorrdd SSeenniioorr CCeenntteerr
RRoouuttee 4400,, NNoorrtthh CChheellmmssffoorrddRRoouuttee 4400,, NNoorrtthh CChheellmmssffoorrdd
DDaattee aanndd TTiimmee:: TThhuurrssddaayy,, NNoovveemmbbeerr 1122,, 22000099DDaattee aanndd TTiimmee:: TThhuurrssddaayy,, NNoovveemmbbeerr 1122,, 22000099
22::0000 pp..mm.. uunnttiill 44::3300 pp..mm..22::0000 pp..mm.. uunnttiill 44::3300 pp..mm..
(for all other Chelmsford residents ages 6 months +)
For those ages 65 + Bring ALL of your HEALTH INSURANCE CARDS with you.
If you have any questions you may call Sue Rosa, RN at the Chelmsford Board of Health (978) 250-5243
******************************************************************************************************************SSuubbmmiitttteedd bbyy tthhee SScchhooooll DDeeppaarrttmmeenntttthhee SScchhooooll DDeeppaarrttmmeenntt
SScchhooooll FFlluu UUppddaatteeSScchhooooll FFlluu UUppddaattee 1100--1133--00991100--1133--0099
Hello. This is Superintendent of Schools Don Yeoman. Today three forms have been sent to all school fami-
lies via our list serve regarding plans for the flu season. The first announces school-based influenza vaccine
clinics for the regular flu vaccine at our middle schools and our high school and describes procedures and
parent permissions necessary for the vaccinations. These vaccinations will be free of charge. The second
specifies information you need to know as a parent about the vaccine and vaccinations. The third is the
consent form you must sign in order for your middle school and high school children to receive the vacci-
nation. These forms will also be available on our website and on the Town’s website.
If the regular flu vaccine arrives on time, vaccinations will take place in our middle schools and our high
school for middle and high school students on October 22 during school hours. If not, vaccinations will
take place at a later date.
Elementary children will not be vaccinated at school. It has been determined by our Department of Health
that it is better to vaccinate elementary children at their family physician’s office in the presence of their
I so appreciate the leadership of the Town of Chelmsford’s Health Director Richard Day, Manager of
Health Care Services Sue Rossa, and Head School Nurse Dianne Reid as we plan for the flu season.
Please remind your children to cover their coughs with a sleeve and to regularly wash their hands. Work-
ing together we can better help everyone stay healthy.
Enjoy the beautiful New England fall. See you soon.
Don Yeoman, Supt. of Schools
Submitted by THE DAHLBERG COMMITTEETHE DAHLBERG COMMITTEE
Please join State Senate candidate Eric Dahlberg and his supportersPlease join State Senate candidate Eric Dahlberg and his supporters
for a Fall gathering at the best hang-out spot in townfor a Fall gathering at the best hang-out spot in town
The Java RoomThe Java Room
14 Littleton Road14 Littleton Road
Chelmsford MA 01824Chelmsford MA 01824
Saturday, October 24thSaturday, October 24th
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Refreshments will be served.Refreshments will be served.
Suggested contribution is $10 per person.Suggested contribution is $10 per person.
Checks may be made payable to the Dahlberg Committee.Checks may be made payable to the Dahlberg Committee.
Please RSVP to info@DahlbergforSenate.cominfo@DahlbergforSenate.com
Host committee:Host committee:
Merle AdelmanMerle Adelman
Janet AskenburgJanet Askenburg
Nick DeSilvioNick DeSilvio
Rick MahoneyRick Mahoney
Dick and Martha McClureDick and Martha McClure
David MoreyDavid Morey
Laurie MyersLaurie Myers
Donna ParleeDonna Parlee
Steve and Nipha RobertsSteve and Nipha Roberts
Lou TavaresLou Tavares
Stuart WeisfeldtStuart Weisfeldt
The Dahlberg Committee
PO Box 550067
North Waltham, MA 02455
Working to elect Eric Dahlberg to the Massachusetts State Senate in 2010
PAID FOR BY THE DAHLBERG COMMITTEE
Submitted by State Representative Tom GoldenTom Golden
In-Town Report NEWS LINKS
Kevin Zimmerman’s Chelmsford Mass News
Town of Chelmsford Website
ROY EARLEYROY EARLEY
Town Meeting Representative Precinct 6
TOM CHRISTIANOTOM CHRISTIANO
Town Meeting Representative Precinct 9
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