WISHING YOU A GOOD PASSOVER & HAPPY EASTER from the In-Town Report The distinguished Board Of Selectmen invite youto the HOP at the FARSIDE of Chelmsford CLICK HERE
Chelmsford voters KO fire station again By Rita Savard, email@example.com 04/06/2011 www.lowellsun.com CHELMSFORD -- Its two strikes against a new Fire Department head- Ann Ringwood/Wicked Local staff photographer quarters, with voters shooting down the towns second request for a debt Standing behind the Chelmsford Community Education exclusion last night. Center, Marianne Paresky and Roy Earley chat while passing the time holding signs on election Day in After a $12 million proposal failed in 2009, a scaled-down version for $9.1 Chelmsford. million lost by 405 votes. Town Clerk Betty Delaney said 4,594 people, about 19 percent of the towns registered voters, cast ballots yesterday.There were 2,017 votes for the station and 2,422 opposed."Why would we spend the money to build a new station when we already have stations all over town?"town?voter Rachel Besonen asked. "I understand we need a station in the center and that the current one needs repairs. So whynot look more at renovation instead of building from scratch?"Waiting for results to post at Town Offices last night, Fire Chief Michael Curran said he was hopeful."Weve had a lot more people come out to tour the station this time around," he said. "Once they see the condition of the around,building for themselves, we hear a lot more words of support." support.The floor inside the station at 2 North Road has been on watch since 2003, when shoring was installed to stabilize the structure. In 2009, anengineering company advised firefighters to park trucks with caution because the floor could collapse.After the inspection notice, the town put a protective sealant over the surface to stall erosion. Town Manager Paul Cohen said that Band-Aidapproach would only hold for so long.Curran left Town Offices before the final results were posted last night.If Plan B failed, Permanent Building Committee Chairman Pat Maloney said the town would regroup again and come up with a Plan C."I really dont believe we can come up with a plan thats going to be cheaper and still be able to house all the depart -ments equipment," he said. equipment,The proposed station, slated for town-owned land at Chelmsford and Wilson streets near the center, was shaved from 27,000 square feet to19,000 square feet and reduced to four bays instead of five, with the option to expand in the future if needed.At the polls yesterday, some voters said they were upset that the town isnt expanding on the current parcel at 2 North Road.Town officials have said expansion on the current site is not an option because the parcel isnt big enough."I dont believe that for a second because theres a building going up on that land right now," said a voter named Kim, who now,declined to give her last name for fear that shed get harassing phone calls. "Theres a perfect parcel of land and its right behind thefire station. That would have been the most cost-effective approach." approach.The adjacent land next to the Center Fire Station is the site of a construction project that has fueled deep divisions. Michael Eliopoulos, fatherof former longtime Selectman Philip Eliopoulos, purchased the land from Eastern Bank for $400,000 in 2009.Accusations that the land was acquired through backroom deals have spurred several lawsuits.If the fire station was approved, the excluded debt-service portion of the property-tax bill for the average single-family home assessed for$325,000 would have increased by $7 for the next fiscal year. The excluded debt service would have climbed by another $13 for the followingfiscal year, then decline afterward.Cohen said a new fire station would have been the last major capital project the town would have to worry about for at least another 10 years.Walter Braunschweiger, who supported building a new station twice, said a new headquarters seems to make sense."I just think we need it," he said. it,"Weve outgrown the current one."one.
VIDEO: VIDEO:Election Reaction at Town Hall Election Mood is Gloomy,A video from town hall after tonights numbers came in.By Krista Perry | April 5, 2011 "Mean-Spirited"www.chelmsford.patch.com A look at why more people arent running for office or voting in these municipal elections. By Krista Perry | April 6, 2011 www.chelmsford.patch.comCLICK HERE CLICK HERE VIDEO:Back to the Drawing Boardfor Fire Station McClure Thanks VotersTown Officials say the problem isnt going away. McClure said name recognition helped him win.By Krista Perry | April 6, 2011www.chelmsford.patch.com By Krista Perry | April 6, 2011 www.chelmsford.patch.comIt often caused heated debate in town, but ultimately thepeople of Chelmsford spoke yesterday and voted down a$9.1 million fire station. The measure lost by 403 votes. CLICK HERENow, its up to town officials to decide what to do next."The problems are not going away," said Town ManagerPaul Cohen. "After Town Meeting, Ill meet with the Board Dahlberg:of Selectmen and plan how to address the problem." It Has Been an Honor to Serve A thank you to the taxpayers.Cohen said the clear message at the polls is people do April 6, 2011not want to pay higher taxes. However, repairing the cur- To the editor:rent fire station would be sinking money into a buildingthat is both structurally and functionally deficient, said I write to thank the taxpayers of Chelmsford for giving meCohen. the opportunity to serve as a member of our Board of Se- lectmen. It has been an honor to serve during the past three years."We need to look for a long-term cost-effective alterna-tive," he said. My experience on the Board has reaffirmed what I already knew: we live in a fantastic community. Our services andCohen said finances were a key issue at the polls yester- amenities are top-notch. Our town employees, from theday, but probably not the only issue. Voter cynicism in manager on down, are hard-working professionals. Most im-addition to anti-government official propaganda and un- portantly, taxpayers are engaged in town affairs. It is this high level of citizen engagement that enriches our commu-founded allegations played a role in the results, he said. nity and continuously pushes our town government to re- main as efficient and effective as possible."There is a sense of anti-incumbency," said Cohen. "Itsgood to get new people in office but there is a loss of ex- I congratulate our newest Selectman, Jim Lane, and knowpertise that can be costly." that he will make a fine addition to the Board as it continues to move the ball down the field on the big issues facing our town.The problem with figuring out the next step for the firestation, Cohen said, is that there is no money left for new I look forward to staying involved for many years to come. Iplan design. encourage everyone who pays taxes here to do the same! With appreciation,"Weve been studying the station now for four years," Eric Dahlberghe said. "Its a problem that needs to be addressed." Former SelectmanCohen expects the Board of Selectmen to take up the P.S. Thanks to the residents of precinctissue again in May, after Town Meeting meets at the end 9 who wrote my name in for town meet- ing representative! I look forward toof this month. serving in this new role.
For the full TOWN ELECTION 2011 results CLICK HERETHE NEW ORDER• The new School Committee leadership:Janet Askenburg:ChairmanNick DeSilvio: Vice-ChairmanAl Thomas:Secretary• The new Board of Selectmen leadership:George Dixon: ChairmanMatt Hanson:Vice-ChairmanJim Lane: Clerk• The new Planning Board leadership:Sue Carter : ChairmanColleen Stansfield : Vice-ChairmanEd Roux : Clerk
Chelmsford Planning Board results called referendum on 9 North Road By Rita Savard, firstname.lastname@example.org 04/06/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD --In the towns only contested race, voters said a controversial building project led the charge for a shake-up on the Planning Board.Attorney Richard McClure, who is suing the town over an alleged preservation restriction violation at 9 North Road, topped the three-way racefor two open seats, pushing out Chairwoman Ann McGuigan.McClure earned 2,392 votes, followed by Michael Raisbeck with 2,180 votes. McGuigan trailed with 1,883 votes."I believe the election results were clearly a referendum on the 9 North Road project, given the ouster of the chair of thePlanning Board," McClure said in an email last night. "I am very thankful for the voters and I hope to do my best in represent - Board,ing their interests." interests.The results took some by surprise last night, including members of the Planning Board, who have been sued by McClure."I will still go about doing the business of Chelmsford as always," board member George Zaharoolis said. "The Planning Boardhas a responsibility to uphold the bylaws. Thats what Ill continue to do, and I hope the new members do the same." same.The 9 North Road parcel, next to the Center Fire Station, ignited the feuds that led to several ongoing legal battles.Michael Eliopoulos, father of former longtime Selectman Philip Eliopoulos, purchased the privately owned land from Eastern Bank for $400,000in 2009. McClure has sued the town over an alleged violation of a 1978 preservation restriction, which he said was created to retain the two-acre parcel as open space.McClure also alleges that the land sold for such a low price because it has always been marked as "unbuildable." unbuildable.Former Selectmen John Carson, Paul Hart and Joe Shanahan, who helped author the preservation restriction more than 30 years ago, spokebefore town officials last year to confirm the intent of the bylaw was to keep the land as open space.But other town officials argue that the bylaw was not written specifically to prevent building on the parcel. An attempt to halt construction lastyear was rejected by a state Land Court judge.Accusations that the land was acquired through backroom deals have spurred several lawsuits. McClure is also the attorney representingChelmsford businessman Roland Van Liew in his suits against various town officials.McGuigan was unable to be reached for comment.Raisbeck, who was a Planning Board alternate, said he might have done well with voters because he positioned himself "somewhat in be -tween the other two." two."I was a fan of Anns," he said. "I dont really know Dick McClure that well, but Im looking forward to getting to know him Anns,and having a productive term on the board." board.The amount of blank ballots for the race, 2,726, topped all candidates votes.Looking at the results last night, Town Meeting representative Brian Latina said it is clear that "this election was about 9 North Road." Road."People were sending a message," he said. "Its as simple as that." message, that. Richard McClure
POLITICALLY INCORRECTwith TOM CHRISTIANOThe panelists on this POLITICALLY INCORRECT SHOW are SelectmanMatt Hanson TM Representatives Clare Jeannotte, Kathy Duffett & MikeMcCall. Annual Post Election Analysis Show.TOPICS: Town Election and the Fire Station vote and future plans.CLICK HERE for show Coming up on April 26th The PI 16th Anniversary Show with Town Manager Paul Cohen, Board of Selectmen Chairman George Dixon, POLITICALLY INCORRECT SHOW School Committee Chairman Janet Askenburg & Planning Booard Chairman Sue Carter Tues 8:30 PM... Weds 7:30 PM Thurs 7:00 AM... Sundays 11:00 AM May 10th on PI Richard McClure, Jon Kurland Comcast 8 / Verizon 38 Laurie Myers and some Scoop guy
Snow shoveling article being pulled Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Reporter • Fri, Apr 08, 2011 www.chelmsfordmassnews.comTown Meeting just got a whole lot shorter this week.After the fire station plan failed at the polls Tuesday, the corresponding article wont use anydebate time on Town Meeting floor.But the real time-saver comes courtesy of plans to remove the controversial article aimed atforcing property owners to clear sidewalks after wintry weather."I will be withdrawing the snow shoveling article," Town Manager Paul Cohen said article,Friday afternoon.Cohen suggested the article to require residents to clear sidewalks within 24 hours of a snow-storm after receiving calls from citizens concerned about safety issues surrounding snow andice packed sidewalks.Failing to clear sidewalks in front of their property would bring residents a $25 fine under theproposed article.Board of Selectmen Chairman George Dixon said he planned to ask Cohen to withdraw thearticle Monday when the board discusses the upcoming Town Meeting."We cant enforce it," said Dixon. "We had a bad winter. If we have to get another it,sidewalk clearer, we have to get another one." one.
HICKORY DICKORY DOCKour money ran upthe clock $$$
Iconic church spire needs work By Monica Jimenez / staff writer GateHouse News Service Mar 26, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordIf you stop by Chelmsford’s First Parish Universalist Unitarian Church on Sunday, church board memberTom Coffey will take you up to the old steeple and show you a bridge between worlds. If you stay longenough, he’ll be happy to tell you how they plan to fix it.Coffey will lead you up a spacious staircase and between the orderly pews of a bright worship space on thesecond floor. He will beckon you up to the balcony and into a darker,narrower stairway; you’ll have to grab the railing.“Watch your step,” he’ll chuckle. step,Emerging into the attic, you’ll find yourself on a makeshift walkway, awide wooden plank laid across silent fields of insulation and raftersfurry with dust. But this isn’t the bridge. The structure that spansworlds waits at the top of the ladder just ahead — it’s the steeple it-self, joining earth and sky, parish and town, history and the unfoldingfuture.Money neededAt spring Town Meeting, First Parish plans to ask Chelmsford representatives for Community Preservationmoney to repair its steeple, which houses the town clock.The church certainly meets the CPC funding requirement of a historical project. It appears on both thestate and federal registers of historic places, but more importantly, its distinctive steeple graces the townwebsite and the Chelmsford skyline, reminding residents of the community’s origins and values.“The First Parish UU Church is in many ways the archetypical symbol of the small NewEngland town that Chelmsford once was,” said CPC Chairman Bob Morse. was,First Parish began when Chelmsford did. From the 1650s onward, through two centuries and three build-ings, the worship space doubled as a meetinghouse and the congregation gathered alongside residentsparticipating in the public process.The present church building, built in 1842 after the third incarnation burned down, continued the tradition ofparish-town space. A violent wind storm brought the steeple down in 1876, but that didn’t stop a committeefrom choosing the steeple base to house the new Chelmsford clock a year later – and although municipaloffices moved out of the church and into Center Town Hall in 1870, the town still winds and maintains theclock.First Parish representatives keep up their end of the relationship through community work. These days, thechurch organizes offerings like the Table of Plenty and donates money to youth groups. It hosts the localFarmers’ Market in its parking lot and a day care in an adjoining building. A longstanding community hub,First Parish is also a physical center of Chelmsford – located at the intersection of North, Littleton andWestford Roads and adjacent to the town common, it is highly visible.This is one reason the CPC supports doling out funds for repairs, Morse said.“The iconic steeple and Town Clock is seen daily by thousands of commuters as they pro -ceed through the Central Square area,” Morse said. “They have been deteriorating from age area,and exposure to the elements to the point where significant restoration work is needed.” needed.Lightning rodThe First Parish steeple has been struck by lightning – twice. It was hit in 1910 and again in 1955, requiringnew roofing at the base of the spire and a replacement spruce beam the size of a western fir.A quarter century later, the Chelmsford Historic Commission reported the patched-up steeple was deterio-rating. Town Meeting couldn’t approve an article requesting money for repairs – no money was available.That same year, a project inspector known as Mr. House fell through the rotted steeple flooring to the gran-ite steps below and died of his injuries within two months. The Historic Town Clock Preservation Fund wasformed to address what had become a public safety issue. The floors, beams, clock supports, roof andshingles were finally replaced.Proposed repairs this time around include: replacing the bell cradle, belfry railing and floor; scraping, prim-ing and painting the steeple from the top of the ball to the sanctuary roof; restoring the clock face and fixingthe interior mechanism; replacing the lighting; and stabilizing the structure of the tower.Staging the repairs could be difficult because a steeple is… well, steep. David Knox, owner of North
Adams-based J and D Painting and Restoration, said some steeplejacks go as far as removing the entire struc- ture and taking it back to a workshop. Knox himself is old-fashioned, he said. His crew either rigs temporary scaffolding or works out of a basket. It gets cramped, but that’s not the hard part. “You have to bring in cranes. It’s difficult to get to a steeple,” Knox said. “The trade is getting to the steeple, work.” work. Knox applies this philosophy to the towers and high tanks that make up the bulk of his company’s workload – steeple work is a specialty trade these days because the archaic architectural structures aren’t seen so often, Knox said. Most of the ones he works on are from the 1700s to 1900s.Many churches can’t afford to pay for a full restoration and instead opt to replace their slate and copper andsoaring pinnacles with more modern structures and cheaper materials.“You don’t see too much new construction on steeples,” Knox said. “I can’t really tell you steeples,why steeples were built that way to begin with.” with.The top of the church will hold for now. The tragedy of Mr. House isn’t likely to repeat soon. But Coffey saideven if the roof isn’t coming down, costs are going up. The situation will eventually not only endanger thecongregation but burden taxpayers with a higher project cost.“We’re going to need to do it eventually,” Coffey said. “We should do it now.” eventually, now.Joint historyIn keeping with its joint history, the funding plan for the steeple-clock project is a church-town collaboration.First Parish has paid for a professional engineering, architectural and steeplejack review of the necessaryrepairs, resulting in an estimate that a $185,000 CPC grant should cover repairs to the clock ($96,424) andpart of the work on the steeple ($88,620).The CPC is strongly in favor of the project and has approved the funding, Morse said.“The Community Preservation Committee supports the joint efforts of First Parish and theTown to restore the Town Clock and clock tower that contains it,” said Morse. “It supports it,the further restoration efforts of the bell tower, parapets and slate roof of the structurethat helps give our historic town center its fine New England character.” character.But while the CPC is behind the project one hundred percent, about 80 percent is all it can offer financially.The rest of the steeple repair cost, about $45,000 would fall to the church.First Parish has paid for minor repairs on its own through revenue from the Metro PCS and T-Mobile anten-nae hidden behind the slats of the steeple. Funds generated by one antenna funds the church’s communitywork, while money from the other goes to maintain the building. Between these costs, not much is left overeach year, but Coffey said First Parish is prepared to scrape together the $45,000 amount by forgoing someof its annual community activities.“We thought long and hard about whether to ask for money,” Coffey said. “We did a lot of money,soul-searching. But we have a long legacy of investing in the town, and a lot of peoplechose to put that clock in our building. We feel we are one of the images of the commu -nity.”nityAt April Town Meeting, Chelmsford representatives will decide whether to approves funding for the repairs.For those questioning whether to preserve such anantiquated architectural form, it turns out David Knoxcan, after some thought, come up with a reason forsteeples.“They evoke something angelic and godlike.They point to the heavens,” Knox suggested. heavens,“They’re a prominent building on the horizon.”horizon.First Parish’s steeple, which has always drawn resi-dents’ and visitors’ eyes to Chelmsford’s horizon, isno exception.“This building shows you the character of thetown,” Coffey said. “It goes back years, and wetown,hope it will be here for years to come.”come.Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
Heres the church,and heres the steeple.Open the doors and here’s our bill
An aging icon. Who should pay? Chelmsford will vote on funds to repair landmark By Rita Savard, email@example.com 03/26/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD --With time ticking down to Town Meeting, an antique clock has become the center of debate.Chelmsford owns the 169-year-old timepiece located in the steeple of the First Parish UnitarianUniversalist Church. The clock and the steeple need repairs, but a $186,000 price tag has somequestioning why the town should foot the bill for both, especially when the church owns the steeple.Town Meeting representatives will be asked to approve two warrant articles seeking CommunityPreservation Act funds for the repairs. Clock restoration will cost $96,424 and steeple repairs are $88,620.Town Meeting begins April 25.Peggy Dunn, a Town Meeting representative for Precinct 1, told members of the Finance Committee thatthe bill seemed hard to swallow."Im concerned because I see this as a dangerous precedent of using thisamount of money for a privately held church, " Dunn said. "I want the clock saved,but I dont know if I can afford a quarter of a million to save it. " The First Parish said it applied for the funding because the building, which is listed on the federal and state historical registers, qualifies. The church, at 2 Westford St., overlooks Chelmsford Common. The Community Preservation Act is a statewide program that allows municipalities to set aside money for investments in open space, recreation, affordable housing and historic preservation. Chelmsford taxpayers now pay about $55 for the surcharge that the town sets aside. At the end of the year, the state adds to the CPA coffer. Peggy Dunn speaks about the Town Manager Paul Cohen said the town collects about $800,000 clock in the steeple to the annually on the surcharge and the state match is more than $200,000. finance committee CLICK HERE for VIDEOIf Town Meeting approves the articles earmarked for CPA funding,including a measure to treat Heart Pond for invasive plants, thetown would still finish fiscal 2012 with $1.2 million in the CPAfund, Cohen said.Others question why the church, which makes about $50,000 inannual revenue from housing two cell towers in the steeple, hasnot asked T-Mobile and Metro PCS to pay for steeple repairs."Rehabbing the steeple is necessary in order to protectthe clock," said Fred Merriam, a member of the Chelmsford clock,Historical Commission. "The clock is the towns responsi -bility, but the trustees of the church should have beenlooking after the steeple too. If you have a business,you dont want the roof to fall in on your business." business.Tom Coffey, chairman of the churchs board of trustees, said heunderstands the communitys concerns.
"If we felt the cell towers were responsible in any way for the steeple, we would havepursued it for sure," sure, he said. "But the equipment for the towers is stored in the buildings attic, separate fromthe steeple." steeple.Contracting with the cellular companies gave the independently funded church a means to afford thehistoric buildings costly repairs. From the roof to the windows, whenever a repair is needed, the buildingmaterials and repairs typically cost more.When the shingles needed replacing, there were strict requirements set by the towns Historic DistrictCommission not to use the cheaper synthetic materials available, Coffey said.About half of the churchs cell-tower income is spent on upkeep of the building, while the other half isspent on the churchs outreach and relief work, including weekly soup kitchens in Chelmsford and Lowell.Chelmsfords Community Preservation Committee agreed to accept the parish application based onhistorical significance and the churchs financial records.Both the church and the town were founded in 1655. For years, the building also served as the townsmeeting house. The clock, made by the Howard Clock Company, was added to the steeple in 1875. Thetown later transferred ownership of the property to First Parish in 1879, when the Old Town Hall wascompleted.The last major repairs to the steeple were undertaken in 1981, following the tragic death of buildinginspector Ralph House, who fell through a rotted floor when he was trying to assess structural damages.Beams, clock supports, floors, roof and shingles were replaced, all funded by the church.The damages now are mainly from weather, Coffey said. If the town approves using CPA funds to repairthe historic steeple, First Parish has committed to paying the remaining $45,000 for the steeple repair.
INFO taken from the First Parish Unitarian Universalists website CLICK HEREFirst Parish Steeple Restoration ProjectThis place mattersLocated in Chelmsford center, First Parish holds a place of significance in Chelmsfords history as the FirstMeeting House. As one of the most prominent structures in the historic district, First Parish still plays a vi-brant role as a historic symbol in our community.First Parish is on both the State and National Register of Historic Places. Falling under the guidelines ofHistoric Preservation Act, we were able to apply for a Community Preservation Committee (CPC) Grant.We take pride in maintaining our historic building and hope that these funds will allow us to continue tomaintain our historical integrity.A Joint VentureThe faces and antique mechanism of the town clock are physically supported by the fabric of the FirstParish bell tower. Though this CPC Grant application is being made by First Parish, who will oversee thework, it is essentially a joint venture between the church, who owns the steeple and the roof, and the town,who owns the clock.How will we pay for it?On Wednesday February 16th 2011, the CPC approved a grant of $185K for both the Clock ($96,424) andthe First Parish Steeple ($88,620). The Church will be responsible for an additional $45,000 to cover thesteeple repairs. This grant still needs to be recommended by the Board of Selectman and voted by TownReps at Town Meeting on Monday April 25th.What Has Been Done?First Parish has undertaken, at its cost, a professional engineering, architectural and steeplejack review ofthe work required to preserve the steeple, the town clock and surrounding roof. This review is the basis forthe costing used in the grant application.Steeple HistoryIn many ways, the town of Chelmsford and First Parish have been intertwinedsince their inceptions. From the invitation to the Rev. Fiske and his congregation inthe early 1650’s to the present, the Town and the congregation have shared theirhistories. The present meetinghouse, the fourth building on this site, served as both a religious and gov-ernment center as did its three predecessors. It was erected in 1842 after the third building burned down.The Chelmsford Town Hall had offices in the basement and town social affairs were held there until 1879,when the Town Hall was built across the common. There have been many renovations and much mainte-nance over the years, both inside and out. The church steeple has been the focus of many projects.In 1876 the original steeple blew down, the result of a tremendous wind storm that caused much destruc-tion in the area.Also in 1876, a committee of public spirited citizens was formed to purchase a clock. A year later, the clockwas purchased and installed in the base of the First Parish steeple at a cost of $463.16. Although the clockwas installed in the meetinghouse, a group called the Chelmsford Village Clock Association had the re-sponsibility for maintaining it until 1892, when the group was disbanded and the Town took over its respon-sibilities. The town still has the responsibility for the maintenance and weekly winding of the clock.In 1910, and again in 1955, the steeple was hit by lightning and then repaired. In January 1977, the LowellSun reported that the Chelmsford Clock was in trouble. The Chelmsford Historic Commission determined
that the structure supporting the clock had been "worn down". An article was presented to the Town Meet-ing to fund repairs.By 1981 the steeple structure was in dire need of repairs. Various beams, clock supports, floors, roof, andshingles were replaced and the new work was painted. There were no Town funds available for thisrestoration project, so a public committee, the "Historic Town Clock Preservation Fund" was formed toraise the money for repairs.Since the 1981 project, the steeple has received minor repairs and maintenance paid for by the FirstParish congregation.Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)Why is the church asking the town for money?First Parish Church is on both the State and National Register of Historic Places and is one of the oldestand most prominent structures in the historic district. As such, it is required by the town to be maintainedso that its appearance and materials reflect the time it was built back in 1842. This makes routine mainte-nance and restoration much more expensive and frequent than would be the case if modern materialscould be substituted. In addition, First Parish owns the steeple and the Town of Chelmsford owns theclock.The Community Preservation Committee has monies set aside for historical preservation, affordablehousing and open space. Under the guidelines of the Historic Preservation Act, as a historic building FirstParish qualifies to apply for a Community Preservation Committee (CPC) grant. As custodians of this his-toric building, we take pride in maintaining it for everyone in town, not just for ourselves as parishioners.CPC funds will allow us to continue to maintain First Parish’s historical integrity and its appearance as aprincipal landmark of central Chelmsford.Can anyone get a CPC Grant?No, applicants for Historic Preservation funds from the CPC must pass several hurdles before being con-sidered for funding. The structure must be listed on the State or Local Register of Historic Places. A per-petual Historic Preservation restriction may be required by the local CPC to be placed on the structure toensure that future modifications to the structure do not alter the historic character of the building.Why doesn’t your diocese or religous governing body maintain the building?The First Parish Unitarian Universalist (UU) church is a self-sustaining community. We receive no supportfrom any diocese or equivalent organization: The operation of the church is paid for entirely by our individ-ual members (~200) through an annual fund drive or canvass.What has the church done to maintain the steeple?In 1955 the steeple was rebuilt after a lighting strike, and in 1981 various beams, clock supports, floors,roof, and shingles were replaced and the new work was painted. Since then, the church paid to have thesteeple painted in September 1999, and the church replaced and painted the bell cradle in March 2000.Don’t you get money from the cell towers?Yes, First Parish does receive approximately $50,000 in revenue annually from the cell towers. About halfof this money has been and will continue to be spent on maintaining this historic building. Unfortunately, inrecent years the church has needed much work, including rewiring, a new furnace, parking lot repaving,installation of a handicap-accessible bathroom and replacement windows, slate and roof repairs, a septicconnection, exterior painting of the church and steeple, and more. Because we are required by the Townof Chelmsford Historic District to maintain the historical integrity of the building, the cost of exterior repairsis greatly increased.The other half of the cell tower income is dedicated to making charitable donations to outreach programs
to assist service groups inside and outside of the church. This has included Table of Plenty, NOLA serviceteam, and SHIFT coalition to name a few.Are the cell towers responsible for the damage?No, the majority of the damage is age and weather related. The equipment for the cell tower is located atthe far end of the church from the steeple. Only light antennae are in the steeple itself. It’s weight is sup-ported by the ceiling over the sanctuary and has no weight bearing on the steeple.What is the total cost of the First Parish steeple restoration project?The total cost for the First Parish steeple restoration is $243,094. The amount of CPC money requested forthe project is $185,044. Since the town of Chelmsford owns the clock and First Parish Church owns thesteeple, the cost for the repairs – approved by the CPC – was divided into two grants, one for the clock andone for the steeple.The CPC grant for repairs to the town’s clock was for $96,424 (separate from the steeple repair). This cov-ers 100% of the repairs to the clock, as well as the outer structure, which houses the clock. Unlike FirstParish, the town is not required to contribute any general funds to this repair – it will all be paid for out ofthe CPC grant.The other CPC grant, for $88,620, will be used to repair the steeple. The 200 members of First ParishChurch will be responsible for the balance of $45,000, in addition to the already incurred costs of $13,050to review the damage and prepare professional plans.MORE FAQs at their website CLICK HERE A similar situation is occuring in Littleton. The sanding of time at First Baptist Church in Littleton C L I C K H E R E to read For “A Short History of the Town Clock “ CLICK HER E Submitted by Town Meeting Representative Peggy Dunn THE CLOCK IS TICKING ITR Facebook ● 4/16/11With the clock ticking and time running out before the start of Town Meeting one week away onMonday night April 25th some residents are saying in order for the First Parish to get themoney to repair their steeple from Town Meeting and avoid being shot down, the church willneed to pony up more money for the project and not let the town pay for the lion’s share.
FACEBOOK CHATTER: Facebook Chelmsfords In-Town Report Roy Earley: For Whom The Bell Tolls Chelmsfords In-Town Report April 8 at 7:29pm · Like · Susan Julian Gates: I have been thinking about this a lot. The town should definitely take care of the clock. The steeple, how- ever, belongs to the church. If they applied for Community Preservation Act funds, I can see paying if the building is deemed to be of Historic Significance; however, I do not support paying for this from our town budget. April 8 at 8:56pm · Like · 1 person Dan LeBlanc: Id be ok with it if it could run backwards. April 8 at 8:59pm · Like Susan Julian Gates: FYI, the town actually owns the clock! April 8 at 9:05pm · Like Dan LeBlanc: Id still be ok with it if it could run backwards April 8 at 9:32pm · Like Eliane Consalvo: My thoughts about the steeple is that the steeple must be in good structural integrity in order to house the clock. So, in a way either through CPA or other methods, we should appropriate some portion of the cost. April 8 at 9:39pm · Like · 2 people Debbie Dery: The church is on the National Histrical Preservation list. I went to a meeting the Friday before the tour in the Com- mon Room that was once used by the town for town meetings for 37 years before the Center Town Hall was opened. This prompted me to go and see the steeple and clock on Sunday because I was unsure of spending money on this project. Climbing the stairs and looking out the small window that was next to the clock face,looking out to the center of our town changed my my mind why these funds need to be spent. The forefathers of our town knew the importance of the building and the history thatshould be passed on to the residents for future generations.April 9 at 6:03am · Like · 2 people Roy Earley : The questions still remains... What is Community Preservation Act funds for if not for projects like this??? Is it for only buildings OWNED by the town??? Is it only for buildings that PAY TAXES to the town each year??? if this passes, will it open the door for every historical church in town to come to the CPC and take from well. Also is there a conflict of interest that the Chairman of the CPC is a member of the church? Does separation of Church and State come into play on this issue when our taxes are being used to fund church property??? And also just a reminder to those who keep on saying "it comes out of cpcfunds" like it is not taxes. It IS part of our taxes that we voted to increase a few years back. Many more questions to come beginning on April25th at the senior centerApril 9 at 8:43am · Like Susan Julian Gates: Im not a town meeting rep any more, so please correct me if I am wrong, but it is my understanding that the request is NOT for CPA funds. Is that true? April 9 at 9:17am · Like Roy Earley : The request by the church according to church member and CPC chair Bob Morse is for CPA funds. ..... According to the warrant for Town Meeting ARTICLE 22. To see if the Town will vote to appropriate a certain sum of money from the Community Preservation Fund Historic Preservation Reserve and/or from the Community Preservation Fund General Reserve to the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, which islocated at 2 Westford Road in Chelmsford to fund the repair and restoration of the Town Clock,and the church steeple in which the clock is located; or act in relation thereto.This Article would appropriate money from the Community Preservation Fund to repair andrestore the town clock and First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church steeple where the clockresides. .. And ARTICLE 23. To see if the Town will vote to appropriate a certain sum of money from theCommunity Preservation Fund Historic Preservation Reserve and/or from the CommunityPreservation Fund General Reserve to the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, which islocated at 2 Westford Road in Chelmsford to fund the repair and restoration of the churchsteeple, parapets, clock tower, and adjacent roof area; or act in relation thereto.This Article would appropriate funds from the Community Preservation Fund to repair andrestore the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church Steeple, parapets, clock tower andadjacent roof area. https://backup.filesanywhere.com/fs/v.aspx?v=896d628f5b67757ab298April 9 at 10:40am · Like Frances T. McDougall: Theres a hole in the bucket, dear Lisa, dear Lisa, theres a hole in the bucket, dear Lisa, a hole. THEN FIX IT, for crying out loud. April 9 at 10:43am · Like Susan Julian Gates: Thanks Roy. Will the church be required to guarantee they will in the future keep up the steeple? April 9 at 11:28am · Like Roy Earley: One would hope so Susan, one would hope so. April 9 at 11:43am · Like
Roy Earley: The Finance Committee has already recommended AGAINST approval at Town Meeting on both articles. BOS votes on it Monday night. April 9 at 11:44am · Like Roy Earley: For comparison take a look at a similar project over in Littleton... http://www.wickedlocal.com/littleton/features/x188783140/The-sanding-of-time-at-First-Baptist-Church-in-Littleton#axzz1GxFUhvjE April 9 at 12:25pm · Like Roy Earley: There is a bit of a $$$ difference in what Littletons church is looking for from the Town and what Chelmsfords cen- ter church is looking for... in Littleton... "The church is seeking $25,700 in Community Preservation Act funds to restore the tower and the clock faces, which are black-painted wood with gold hands pointing to Roman numerals. It will be the finishing touch on a 10-year effort in which the church has invested about $200,000 to recondition the belfry’s dome, louvers, columnsand weathervane and install a new roof.April 9 at 12:30pm · Like Roy Earley: First Parish will contribute $45,000 to the steeple repair and is asking for CPA funds to cover the rest. Which totals out to around $186,000. $96,424 for the clock repairs and $88,620 for steeple repairs. April 9 at 12:34pm · Like · 1 person Peggy Dunn: Some information: The cost to repair the clock is $7,500, the remaining $178,500 is to repair the steeple, roof, and adjacent area as well as paint them. To my knowledge, the church is not individually on any historic list, but is included in the Center Historic District which is listed on both the Massachuestts districts register and the National districts registers. But, inci- dentally, so are the other four churches in the Center since they are all in the District. The only buildings in the Center that are listed separately, are the Fiske House, the Emerson House, and Old Town Hall.April 9 at 3:27pm · Like Roy Earley:Here is a link to "A Short History of the Town clock" that Peggy Dunn put together - http://www.slideshare.net/re007hq/a-short-history-of-the-town-clock April 9 at 8:25pm · Like Bonnie Smith Rankin: Please visit the First Parish UU website, we have put together a webpage which includes responses to frequently asked questions, steeple project, steeple history, and pictures. www.uuchelmsford.org/steeple April 10 at 8:06am · Like Roy Earley: Thanks Bonnie :) April 10 at 9:56am · Like Susan Julian Gates: There is precedent for using state funds to preserve historic churches. Trinity Church in Boston, for example, has received historic preservation funding. See: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/mhc/mhcpr/mhcrnd10.htm April 10 at 10:21am · Like Susan Julian Gates: oh, and one more thing: in order to get funding from the state in the above referenced program, the build- ing must be on the register of historic places. April 10 at 10:22am · Like
A S K T H E M A N A G E RITR : First a few questions sent in from some residentsWho does the EMT training for the firefighters?And how much does It cost?Paul Cohen: Chief Curran budgets $50,895 for the EMT courses.Firefighter John Robinson serves as the EMT trainer for the ChelmsfordFire Department.Some of the firefighters EMT training is done while on duty.The firefighters collective bargaining agreement allows firefightersto attend EMT courses while off duty for the purpose of continuing education credits.Upon successful completion of any such courses, a firefighter is paid at a rate of time andone-half, with a maximum of 28 hours per year.ITR : Another question from a residentWhile reviewing the FY2011 Budget for the Fire Department there is a line underpersonnel services for Educational Incentives. The amounts for the last three yearsseem to be extermely high.FY 2009 $211,814FY 2010 $171,980FY 2011 $206,166Staff Education $4,000Could you please explain what these amounts for education cover?What does seem concerning is the fact that we have no funds to open the SouthFire Station because we no money in the operating budget and although educationfor training is necessary these amounts appear to be excessive for fire fighters thathave been trained before being employed.Why are the overtime accounts for FY 2010 for $171,980 and FY 2011 for $208.188 sohigh ? Wouldnt the money be better spent to employ fire fighters than to pay overtimeso the South Station could be reopened?Paul Cohen: The education incentives category in the Fire Department budget consists ofthe education stipend for those firefighters who have obtained a degree in Fire Science.The Town provides a 5% stipend of base pay for an Associates Degree in Fire Science,a 10% stipend for a Bachelors Degree in Fire Science, and a 12.5% stipend for a MastersDegree in Fire Science. The education incentives budget category also includes the fundingof a 6% stipend for those firefighters who possess a Massachusetts EMT certification. Thesestipend levels are consistant with those offered in fire departments of similar communities toChelmsford.It would be more costly to maintain adequate shift coverage by hiring additional firefightersrather than paying the current OT funding levels. Each new firefighter that the Town hireshas associated benefit costs and is assigned a particular work schedule.
ITR : Now concerning the First Parish Church’s request for Community Preservationfunds for it’s Steeple and town clock it houses.Here is an idea the town gives the clock to the church as a gift from the townor how about the Town taking it’s clock out of the church building and installing it in amodified steeple of the renovated Center Town Hall? Is this something Town Meetingcan accomplish at this months Town Meeting.Paul Cohen: No. The Town Meeting warrant articles provides notice to the town meetingrepresentatives, as well as to all of the residents of the town, of the specific nature of the ac-tion that will be considered. Since the Town Meeting warrant does not warn/notify the votersthat the Town may consider relocating the Town Clock, any requested action to that effectwould be ruled out of order. What could be done is to defeat/reject the requested fundingfor the repairs to the clock, church steeple, etc. Then at a future town meeting anotheraction could be proposed by its inclusion in a specific warrant article.ITR : What historical buildings in town were helped by Community Preservationfunds over the years since the Community Preservation Act came into being?Paul Cohen: I have attached a copy of a portion of CPC Chairman Bob Morses report to the2010 Town Meeting. The report lists the use of CPC funding since its inception in FY02 -FY10. ( CLICK HERE )You can obtain the information regarding what historical buildingshave been helped by CPC funds. Be sure to add the two Center Town Hall ($2.56M) andNorth Town Hall ($2.85M) buildings to your list of historical buildings aided by CPC funds.ITR : What % do people pay on their property tax for the Community Preservationfunds.(giving the usual example of a home at $250,000) How much is that per year?Paul Cohen: The CPA surcharge is approximately 1.5% of the property tax. The first$100,000 in property value is exempt from the surcharge. Also, there is an exemption fromthe surcharge for low-income housing owners and low- and moderate-income senior housingowners. The average single-family home in Chelmsford is assessed at $324,573. The taxrate is $16.72. The average single-family property tax bill is $5,427. Exempting the first$100,000 of the $324,573 average single-family property assessment results in a surchargeon a revised assessed property value of $224,573. This is a 30.81% discount factor($224,573/$324,573). The surcharge amounts to (1-.3081) x $5,427 x 1.5% = $56.32.ITR : What is the state match currently to the towns contribution to the CommunityPreservation Fund?And how much has the State match to towns declined since the Community Preserva-tion Act fund was conceived?Paul Cohen: The state match is currently 25% of the Towns surcharge collection. In theoriginal years of the CPA program, the State match was 100% because of the limited numberof communities participating in the CPA program and the large amount of State revenue col-lected via the deeds excise tax that funds the States contribution to the program.
ITR : And isnt the money that the State uses to match the towns contribution justour State tax money? Some folks may think this is FREE CPA money coming down likemanna from the heavens.Paul Cohen: Funds collected by the States deeds excise tax are limited to the CPA program.State law prevents these monies from being expended for any other purpose. Therefore, if theTown of Chelmsford did not participate in the CPA program, Chelmsford residents would con-tinue to pay the State deeds excise tax, but the revenue collected under the program would goto residents in other communities that participate in the program.ITR : If a place is eligible for Community Preservation funds does that mean that itshould automatically get it? Should all these people who live in homes on the nationalregistry be eligible for CPA funds, also?Paul Cohen: No place automatically receives CPA funds. In order for a place/project to befunded, the Community Preservation Committee must recommend approval and Town Meetingmust vote approval.ITR : Are people of a certain age and income exempt from paying into the CPA fund?if so, what form do they fill out and where is the information for people to find out aboutthis?Paul Cohen: As mentioned above low-income residents and low- and moderate-income sen-ior citizens residents are exempt from paying the CPA surcharge. Information and forms to ob-tain these exemptions are available in the Assessors Office, which is located at the TownOffices.ITR : Does the term "separation of church and state" come into play dealing with thisrequest by First Parish for tax payers money to initiate repairs on their church?Paul Cohen: Since the church property is historic, it is eligible to be funded.However, there has to be a public benefit for any non-Town owned property to receive CPAfunds.In this instance, the public benefit is the buildings hosting of the Town Clock, the historicalsignificance of the building for Town operations prior to the construction of the Town Hall in1879, and its impact on the building on the viewshed of the town center.
And from the FEB. 20th edition of ITR Ask The ManagerITR:In this years spring Town Meeting warrant you propose an article to change therecall bylaw that would include(From the Lowell Sun Story)A petitioner would only receive enough copies of blank petitions containing the number of signatures needed, mul-tiplied by five. For example, if the petitioner needs to gather 3,000 signatures from registered voters and eachpage holds space for 25 names, then the town clerk would give them 120 pages and up to five times more, or 600pages total.* Recall petitions shall be returned within 20 days, rather than 14.* Recall petition shall be signed by 15 percent of the registered voters rather than 10 percent.* If the elected official is recalled, he or she shall not be appointed to any town office within two years after suchrecall or resignation, instead of the current one year.I can understand the reasons for all except for one, why raise the percentage of registered voterssignatures from 10% to 15%? Is that line item thrown in because some one actually met the goal?And if it happens again succesfully at 15% will we be asked to change the bylaw again to increase the requiredsignatures from 15% to 20%?PAUL COHEN:The proposal to obtain the signatures of 15% of the registered voters to trigger a recall election as opposed to thecurrent 10% requirement came from the data that was collected from 14 other communities recall election re-quirements. The number of registered voter signatures to require a recall election ranged from 5% - 25%. I offerthe midpoint of 15%. This percentage can be amended by Town Meeting from 15% to 10% if Town Meeting sochooses. There are many instances where it serves the community to recall an elected official. The 15% pro-posal is not offered with any bias.ITR:In this years spring Town Meeting warrant you propose an article to introduce electronic voting to Town Meeting.From your point of view what advantages will this bring to town meeting?How much will it cost the town to invest in the system?Could this system be used for anything else besides just for Town Meetings?PAUL COHEN:The Town of Chelmsford has a Representative Town Meeting form of government whereby 162 elected represen-tatives, which amounts to 18 from each of the Towns 9 precincts, serve as the legislative body of the community.These 162 Town Meeting members represent the Towns 23,500 registered voters in approving the Townsbudget, capital expenditures, adopting and amending bylaws, and other legislative functions. On a typical year,elections are held for 1/3 of the Town Meeting member seats. Electronic voting at Town Meeting would provide avoting record that the Towns voters could assess in making their determination as to whom to elect to representthem. It would also provide a voting record for those Town Meeting members who choose to seek a townwide office.Some votes at Town Meeting, such as the recent billboard zoning bylaw, have passed or failed by a handful of votes de-termining the outcome. With the availability of todays technology to provide an efficient, low-cost electronic voting option,I think that Town Meeting should consider this opportunity.The estimated cost to purchase an electronic voting and tally display system is $10,000. The Town of Wayland will be un-dertaking a demonstration of electonic voting at its upcoming annual town meeting. Other towns are considering elec-tronic voting at Town Meeting. The Town of Chelmsford would be the first to adopt this system in the Commonwealth ofMassachusetts. The electonic voting system has successfully been used for years in other voting venues such as re-gional and national organizational meetings.---------------------------------------------------------------------Since these answers to electronic voting were published back in February,Wayland became the first town in the State to use electronic voting.Touching history with e-voting at Wayland Town MeetingREAD ABOUT CLICK HERE http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x481360823/Electronic-voting-makes-its-debut-at-Wayland-Town-MeetingElectronic voting makes its debut at Wayland Town MeetingAlso HERE http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/archive/x1700907816/Electronic-voting-makes-its-debut-at-Wayland-Town-MeetingWayland residents rave about electronic voting at TMAnd HERE http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/top_stories/x1596675643/Wayland-residents-rave-about-electronic-voting-at-TM
Site pushed to release names behind comments Published • Fri, Apr 15, 2011 www.chelmsfordmassnews.comA Middlesex Superior Court judge heard arguments Thursday as to whetherChelmsfordMassNews.coms publisher should be deposed in the ongoingRoland Van Liew vs. Frances McDougall case.Van Liews attorney Richard McClure believes the websites publisher knows the identities ofindividuals who posted comments on the site attached to stories about 9 North Road and VanLiews campaign to recall Planning Board members."Mr. (Kevin) Zimmerman has acknowledged he knows who theseindividuals are," said McClure. are,"We are looking to depose Mr. Zimmerman. He has information." information.McClure told Judge Paul Chernoff that comments from McDougall and others on the websiteconstitute a threat to Van Liew. Those comments, said McClure, led to "foul letters" sent to lettersVan Liew and individuals driving by his clients house."She is encouraging people to harass him," said McClure. him,McClure believes some of the other posters continued conversations with McDougall offline.He wants to depose those individuals to bolster his case against McDougall."Were trying to strengthen the case on intent; if her intention was to inflictharm," said McClure.harm,Chernoff wanted to know if, during her deposition, McDougall acknowledged she was workingin concert with others to harass Van Liew."She claims we are misreading her blog (comments)," said McClure. (comments), "In fact, she is sending out a harassment order." order.Chernoff also questioned what McClure was looking for the court to do."What is the scope of what you’re asking for?" asked Chernoff. for? "Are you looking for thousands and thousands of people?" people?McClure said he would be happy to get the names of two or threeanonymous posters."Were not on a fishing expedition," said McClure. "The only expedition,way to identify these individuals is through the non-party(Zimmerman)."(Zimmerman).ChelmsfordMassNews.coms attorney Eric Rutt argued the publisherhas already signed an affidavit stating all documents related to thecase are posted on the website. Anyone can access them by doing aGoogle search and typing in the sites domain web and McDougalls Kevin Zimmermanname.Rutt also brought up the issue of the website’s First Amendment protection in keeping postersnames private."They want Mr. Zimmerman to out anonymous bloggers," said Rutt. bloggers,
What are people posting lately at the Zimmerman blogabout the story to release anonymous blogger’s names???Debbie DeryAPR 16 • My question is it just the names that do not see eye to eye with Roland or will the names that agree with him also be pub-lished?We all the get the point but what truly bothers me does that mean NOBODY can question or speak out if they dont agree withRoland? The confusion this has caused throughout our town will last for years. God bless Chelmsford.Philip stanwayAPR 16 • I have little time for anonymous bloggers as I feel you should stand for what you say... I have less time for using the law as aweapon to attack people.Roland Van LiewAPR 16 • The one thing Chelmsford town officials appear terrified of is formal inquiry, whether for harassment or other forms of malfea-sance and corruption. Formal inquiry is not, as Phil Stanway states, "a weapon to attack people," it is this societys accepted method of find-ing out the truth.Town officials have been sending racist, xenophobic, and obscene letters to me and my wife “anonymously.” Phil Stanway hasn’t had theseor phone calls in the middle of the night for the simple purpose of cackling homophobic slurs – again, by town officials. We know who these“anonymous” officials are, but corroboration is required to prove it. Perhaps if Mr. Stanway were the subject of coordinated defamation andsmears, leading to an "anonymous" blogger encouraging folks to put a bullet in his head, he might feel a little differently. Then again, maybenot.Mr. Stanway agrees that the vicious anonymous postings that used to dominate Chelmsford’s blogs prior to my lawsuit are not desirable,but he laments the use of a lawsuit to rein them in. Hmm. What does he suggest instead? Mr. Stanway doubtless agrees that the EpsilonEdifice should not have been facilitated by corrupt town officials, but he appears to disagree with a formal inquiry over that too.In other words, town officials should be able to do what they like? That’s not most people’s idea of democratic government. Right now inChelmsford, lawsuits are the only way to prod public officials to tell the truth and uphold the law. It’s a slow and difficult process, but the al-ternative is clan rule dominated by corruption and malfeasance.Philip stanwayAPR 16 • "Mr. Stanway agrees that the vicious anonymous postings that used to dominate Chelmsford’s blogs prior to my lawsuit are notdesirable"I do agree with Mr. Van Liew that the attacks on our elected officials along with those on him needed to stop and hopefully I will see nomore name calling on both sides.“Formal inquiry is not, as Phil Stanway states, "a weapon to attack people," it is this societys accepted method of finding out the truth.”I personally feel the slew of recalls, mailings and other attacks on residents and freely elected office holders is an embarrassment to thetown. It is legal and by the book but I am embarrassed as things grinds on and on. I see no return except a lot of tax money being spent.“Mr. Stanway doubtless agrees that the Epsilon Edifice should not have been facilitated by corrupt town officials, but he appears to disagreewith a formal inquiry over that too.”I have never said any such thing nor would I say any such thing. This comment is totally groundless Mr. Roland Van Liew has never spokento me so how he knows what goes on in my mind astounds me . I personally have no idea what goes on his mind nor would I even try tofathom it. Please disregard his statement as without merit.“ Phil Stanway hasn’t had these or phone calls in the middle of the night for the simple purpose of cackling homophobic slurs – again, bytown officials.”I have NEVER heard any town official say any Homophobic comment nor do I think they would. If such a comment came by phone I wouldfile a complaint with the police and the phone company and have them trace the source. I am amazed they were unable to do this in theabove case.I personally have no malice towards Mr. Van Liew as I have never talked to him and if anyone knows of anyone who is using homophobicphone calls to ANYONE please report it. “cackling homophobic slurs – again, by town officials.” If there is any evidence it is a town official Iwill be the first to support them removed from office.Jeff ApostolakesAPR 16 • I am going to exercise my right of Freedom of Speech as an American. All of these lawsuits are childish. To be afraid to voice anopinion for fear of being sued by any resident or any Lawyer that grew up in this town is beyond comprehension. It is sad to see those thatgrew up in this very town turn their back and start suing everyone and anyone in town. Well kiss my backside. I used to say that it was de-pressing to watch the evening news because of all of the conflict and tragedies that take place. Well, now I cant read a Chelmsford publica-tion without lawyers and residents suing each other over nothing......You said this or called me that...I am going to sue you. Hmmmmmreminds me of elememtry school. I think your all a bunch of idiots , I am wearing your least favorite color, I didnt vote for you, I use junk mailto pick up after my dog, is my grass to high, do you not like the music I like, do I disagree with you, do you like facial hair....I DONT-CARE...SUE ME. Otherwise let the decent people in Chelmsford be. Allow them to behave like adults and air their viewpoints without fear-ing that the scales of justice will smythe you. Not everyone will see eye to eye but thats why there is chocolate and vanilla...It will work itselfout.....Just the way it is children. Grow up. I would like to read publications without ,for once, seeing that someone is about to walk a plankwith an accuser and a lawyer using the sword of justice to push good people overboard and for what...calling someone a name. Well sticksand stones will break my bones but.....We have all heard that one ...Kind of Childish dont you think. Freedom...as Braveheart says!!!!!!
Roland Van LiewAPR 17 • Jeff Apostolakes and anyone else can exercise their freedom of speech until the cows come home, without fear of lawsuits. Heand anyone else can use spurious logic, personal attacks, even lies, but there are a couple of things that one cannot do. One is to defame,and the other is to threaten. It’s that simple.Town officials have lied about me and have lied about what I’ve said hundreds of times. But there’s no law against lying, so those officialsdon’t need to fear lawsuits, just blowback at the ballot box. The officials who are the subject of lawsuits and ethics investigations have brokenthe law, and if Mr. Apostolakes thinks it’s childish to uphold the law, then I think he hasn’t thought through the consequences of doing other-wise.Mr. Stanway himself makes the point that he never talked to me, yet he launched an attack on me via an "open letter" to the entire town be-cause I didn’t contribute – and was never asked to contribute – to his pet project. And because Mr. Stanway didn’t talk to me, he is unawarethat a police report about the homophobic late-night phone call was indeed filed, and the phone call was indeed traced. The official took careto make the call from a public pay phone. Mr. Stanway might do as well to question why his buddy Paul Cohen has changed his story aboutthe 9 North Road scandal, and has clearly lied not just to the people of Chelmsford but to the Board of Selectmen on multiple occasions. In-stead Mr. Stanway has worked to turn the public discourse away from Mr. Cohen to center on me. That’s his right.But I am not the one building unlawfully on what is supposed to be an open space conservation area. I am not the one lying about what townofficials did to facilitate the Eliopoulos Edifice. And I am not the one sending racist, xenophobic and obscene messages, “anonymously” orotherwise. Those messages are in writing and are attached to the complaints filed with the police and with the court. Why is it OK with Mr.Stanway to file police reports (he even complains that I might not have) but it is not OK to file a complaint in court that might result in an ac-tual formal investigation?Phil StanwayAPR 17 • I am glad phone calls were reported as they should have. I still do not undestand “phone calls in the middle of the night for thesimple purpose of cackling homophobic slurs – again, by town officials” If you know they are town officals then you know who they are andthey should be named. If you have no proof then it casts a negitive light on all our elected officals and thats just not fair.mike combsAPR 17 • Anonymous posts and midnight calls from phone booths are acts of bullying and Zimmerman should be ashamed of himself forbeing a part of it. Are the ad dollars worth that much to you Kevin?Phil StanwayAPR 17 • “Perhaps if Mr. Stanway were the subject of coordinated defamation and smears, leading to an "anonymous" blogger encouragingfolks to put a bullet in his head, he might feel a little differently. Then again, maybe not”Thank you to the people who talked to me but be assured Mr Van Liew is really not asking that people actually do this but yes it is disturbingthe part “blogger encouraging folks to put a bullet in his head”. Do I feel a bit nervous .. well yes. Mr Van Liew is not suggesting that someoneshould harass me and then putting a bullet in my head so I could understand what he is going through but still I will not make me sleep welltonight. I know what he is trying to say but taken out of context it can indeed be taken as sinister. I think this is was just poor phasing on hispart. No need to make this a court case.Susan Julian GatesAPR 17 • Roland, would you be willing to sit down and talk (NOT debate) at Chelmsford TeleMedia? I would like to discuss yourpoint of view.Mr. ApostolakesAPR 17 • Mr. Van Liew, (See being respectul). I appreciate your response however I did not mentin your name but now that you have re-sponded I will address you. Perhaps you responded because you feel guilty or something. I dont know or care. First of all do not suggest thatI have ever threatened or lied. To that point, it is your multiple mailings that I receive , now that you have Identified yourself, read them andcompletely disagree with your point of view. A few points...1) you are entitled 2) i disagree 3) because I disagree I dont expect to be sued byyou and your lawyer 4) I consider it junk mail and I use all junk mail to pick up my dog droppings and 5) take me off of your mailing list or I willview it as harassment. Ok so moving forward everyone has the right to representation and legal councel and uphold the law.....your charac-terization of me not wishing to do so is misguided. I am not out there trying to sue everyone in town little Johnny because he ran me down onthe bike path with his bike nor am I out to sue those who probably viewed your mailings and disagreed with your point of view. So here is alesson for you......I dont agree with you, you dont agree with me. It happens so move on. Adults tend to do that. You see I have been a resi-dent of Chelmsford for over 51 years. I love this town, I have voted people in and out of office...My vote does the talking. I dont feel the needto hide behind the scales of justice when people disagree. I have see folks come and go but one thing is for sure.....Chelmsford will live onwith or without those that look to force their opinions down peoples throat. It is a great community. If one does not like it there are alterna-tives. So Blah blah blah blah blah because that is what I personally think of your positions and mailings....Sue me for me not agreeing withyou..That is why there are Dems, Repubs and Independents. I disagree with you and you me....move on. So I leave you with a few finalpoints.....1) Do not mail any more of your propoganda to me . Take me off of your mailing list. and to make it clear...I do not expect to see theFEDERAL POST OFFICE delivering any more of your garbage ( yes that is my opinion and I do not speak for anyone other than myself) tomy house. 2ND) and more concerning ..for someone who uses the law at any chance they get I find it utterly disturbing that you in an openforum would even think to suggest a bullet being put through somebodys head. If you read news other than your own there are some outthere that carry out despicable acts. That is crossing the line and you need to retract any such suggestion. Anyone who would even think of athing need professional help. #) If a town official did that to you share the name...I will vote them out and hold them accountable. Do youhave the fortitude to post this officials name that made a similar comment the way you did Mr. Stanway? Your comment is very disturbing.And Lastly we as adults can disagree. Just my opinion
Selectmen Table Liquor License Decision , Take Positions on Warrant Articles By Krista Perry | April 12, 2011 www.chelmsford.patch.comCouldnt make it to last nights Board of Selectmen meeting? Dont worry, Patch has you cov-ered. Heres a look at 5 things you missed from last nights meeting.1. The Wine Rack Changes Location. Selectmen continued a publichearing to May 2 for The Wine Rack for a change of location on theirliquor license. Attorney Angelique Eliopoulos told selectmen JohnDiSilva, the owner of the business, was unable to keep his lease at210 Boston Road and has found a new location on Alpine Road.Since the town has a limited number of liquor licenses, selectmensaid they try to spread out the liquor-selling establishments acrosstown. With the Wine Rack leaving its Boston Road location, a neigh-borhood would be "underserved," according to selectmen. There arealso two establishments with liquor licenses in the immediate area,according to selectmen. Eliopoulos told selectmen if they dont ap-prove the change in location, it quite possibly put The Wine Rack outof business. "He can’t stay," she said, "it’s possible he’ll stay,have nowhere to go and be put out of business. "2. Selectmen vote against recommending Nashoba Tech stabilization fund. Selectmen decided not to rec-ommend Town Meeting vote to establish a stabilization fund for Nashoba Tech. "Im not support this be-cause of the (fire station) vote last week. Theres no appetite in this town for spending money where wedon’t absolutely need to and I don’t think we need to be funding the stablization for Nashoba," said Select-man Pat Wojtas.3. Selectmen have mixed feelings on Town Clock repair. Selectmen agreed to recommend Town Meetingapprove one of two warrant articles dealing with the repair of the Town Clock, which is located in the FirstUnitarian Church in the center of town. Community Preservation Act money will be used to pay for the re-pairs which total more than $100,000. A few selectmen noted they think the town should contribute to re-pairing the clock, but the church should offer to pay more than the $45,000 they have offered. "I haveconcerns about this one because Im not sure that the funds are going for a purpose that, in my own mind,is necessary for the town," said Selectman Jon Kurland. "I think we should (repair) the clock and the exte-rior and interior but Im not convinced the church is coming up with their fair share."4. Selectmen Support Recall Changes, Electronic Voting and the Town Budget. Selectmen agreed to rec-ommend changes to the town official recall procedure which will require the lead petitioner to collect 15percent of all registered voters within 20 days. Currently the bylaw requirement for recall is signatures from10 percent of all registered voters within 14 days. Selectmen also recommended Town Meeting Reps OKelectronic voting and the towns $104 million "level service" budget.5. Grand Marshals Named. John and Linda Chemely will be the grand marshals of the2011 4th of July parade.
THE MEATLESS HOUSE Town considers liquor store move By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service Apr 15, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford Chelmsford — Wine Rack owner John DaSilva came be- fore the Board of Selectmen Monday night seeking permission to move his liquor store to a new location. The Wine Rack is currently located on Boston Road, but after DaSilva’s landlord Tedeschi told him he must stop selling snacks and lottery tickets to renew his lease, DaSilva decided to pursue a new location in Parlmont Plaza. Chelmsford attorney Angelique Eliopoulos made DaSilva’s case to the board, pointing out the new location will be a similar distance from the nearest liquor store, Harrington Wine and Liquors. Re- gardless of where it is, Eliopoulos said, the Wine Rack provides part of Chelmsford’s total supply, which has been deemed appropriate for the town’s needs.Eliopoulos said denying DaSilva permission to move would mostlikely force him out of business. Without snacks and lottery tick-ets to draw people into the store and create a one-stop shoppingsite, she said, Wine Rack sales will plummet. Selectmen Jon Kurland and Pat Wojtas expressed concern about leaving the south Chelmsford area without a liquor store. Kurland added the new site is halfway between the Westlands and Har- rington establishments and if moved there, the Wine Rack would not be serv- ing a specific neighborhood.Selectman Jim Lane agreed – because two liquor licenses already serve the area, he said,policy is clear.The board chose to continue the public hearing to their next meeting onMonday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m.Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD (LIQUOR) PLACE FACEBOOK CHATTER: Facebook Chelmsfords In-Town Report Roy Earley: ☆ - The MEAT less HOUSETown considers liquor store movewww.wickedlocal.comWine Rack owner John DaSilva came before the Board of SelectmenMonday night seeking permission to move his liquor store to a new location.Friday at 4:12pm Parlee Donna: I might have an available chicken coop Friday at 5:03pm · Like Debbie Dery: This story had been reported earlier. Although as you pointed out Roy its the Meatless House any business that has been it town that long should be given the opportunity to continue even if the location is not to his advantage. This isnt the same issue as the Meat House and at this point with all the empty buildings in town let him try to continue his livelyhood a little competition never hurt anyone.Yesterday at 4:59am · Like Jeff Hardy: This is not about a competitive advantage or disavantage, as Roy wants to imply. Deb in the past you have express concerns for traffic, why would you want all these folks to drive to the center? The State only allows so many licenses, so the policy has ALWAYS dictated they be distributed in certain locations. Hopefully he will find an approriate location. Yesterday at 6:47am · Like Debbie Dery: Your right Im always concerned about traffic in our town. There is a traffic light at the plazza which is a plus and an empty store front that needs to be filled. My concern is that a business that has been in our town over 20 years just might need a helping hand. I would rather see his business continue than see an estab- lishment such as the Meat House open up the door for licenses given all over town.Yesterday at 7:18am · Like Brad Marmo: I think that is the key. He has been in business in town for so long that he deserves some help. We should be able to make adult decisions on a case by case basis that make common sense. Yesterday at 7:39pm · Like · 1 person Jeff Hardy: The "Town" didnt cause this problem. the landlord did. As much as I dont want to see any busi- ness eliminated in town, the "town" cannot create policy on a case by case basis. The solution is to try to find a space closer to his current one and serve that neighborhood.23 hours ago · Like
Proposed asphalt plant gets air permit GateHouse News Service Apr 13, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordChelmsford —An asphalt plant planned for a spot in Westford near the Chelmsford border has been grantedan air permit.The Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection approved amodified air permit for Newport Materials’ 540 Groton Road site Thursday, April 7, bringing anend to a two-year appeal brought by a group of 47 Chelmsford residents.Chelmsford residents, Newport Materials and Mass-DEP signed an agreement stating New-port had demonstrated compliance with federal and state air pollution regulations. As part ofthe agreement, Chelmsford residents waived their rights to appeal the air permit.State land court must still decide whether to remand Newport’s site plan application back tothe Westford Planning Board for another review.If built, the asphalt plant will produce industrial grade asphalt for public agencies and privatecompanies across the region.“From the beginning, we have re-lied on science and data to provethat our facility will be clean andquiet, and that we will meet or ex-ceed all local, state and federalguidelines,” said Newport Materi-als President Richard DeFelice ina statement. “We are pleased thatMA DEP and our Chelmsfordneighbors agree that our air permitshould be granted.”Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved City cell tower site near Chelmsford homes Published • Mon, Apr 11, 2011 www.chelmsfordmassnews.comResidents of the Manning Road-Huntley Street pocket of Chelmsford between 495 and Lowellrecently received word about a cellular tower proposed near their neighborhood.Although the US Wireless and T-Mobile plan for a 150-foot tower with nine antennas will be lo-cated at 363 Boston Road in the city, Chelmsford residents live close enough to be consideredabutters to the project.According to the Lowell Planning Board notice, the tower and accessory equipment, containedwithin a fenced 3,000-square-foot compound, will be lo-cated on an 11.6-acre parcel directly south of the EdsonCemeteryThe Lowell Planning Board has scheduled a public hear-ing for a site plan review on Thursday, April 21, at 6:30p.m. at Lowell City Hall, 375 Merrimack St.
Coop dispute scratches surface of farm debate GateHouse News Service Apr 08, 2011Chelmsford —There are no chickens in Bernie Ready’s chicken coop.For decades, hens pecked around the small shack on Ready’sClover Hill Drive property. Now, the walls glisten withpolyurethane, a wood finish normally used for cabinets and furni-ture — and the coop is no longer fit to house chickens.Chelmsford Board of Health Director Richard Day, who instructedReady to coat the coop walls, insists he’s acting appropriately inenforcing a longstanding disease-prevention bylaw. Ann Ringwood/Wicked Local staffReady and some fellow farmers argue the town board isn’t just photographerstepping up enforcement, but overstepping its bounds — andharming local farming in the process. The dispute outlines a growing schism: Farmers, facing higher costs, unsympathetic neighbors and stiff regulations, struggle preserve their livelihood. At the same time, town officials struggle to meet state directives, interpret outdated bylaws and balance conflicting interests as they try to support agriculture in increasingly residential-industrial areas. Ann Ringwood/Wicked Local staff photographer Closed chicken coop opens conversation By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service Apr 15, 2011 Local farmer Bernie Ready may miss his chickens, but his coop-related troubles have gotten town officialsand local farmers talking about regulating agriculture.Board of Health Director Richard Day and citizen member Annmarie Roark responded to concerns aboutthe town’s rules on farming at the board’s meeting Monday, April 11.It seemed like a simple disagreement at first. Ready, who recently gave up his chickens after coating his coop in a varnish that might harmthem, insisted Day told him to use polyurethane. Day maintained he just told Ready to use a sealer.“I just want to be told what I did was right and everything will be okay,” Ready said. okay,But when nobody could either confirm or deny this, both parties acknowledged there could be a larger problem. Although Day said he haschecked with experts at the state level, who are now checking with an expert at the University of Connecticut, no one can yet say whetherpolyurethane and the ammonia in chicken droppings would react to produce a toxic compound.Farmer Henry Parlee said this proves it’s not a common practice and Ready should not have been asked to do it. According to Parlee, moretypical practices include bleaching the coop between flocks, using insecticide to kill mites, and relying on chickens’ immune systems to keepbacteria under control.Parlee suggested in many cases, farmers may know better than the people writing the rules.“When you grow up with it, it seems second nature,” Parlee said. “When you’re not as close to it, you don’t know.” nature,Day agreed he doesn’t have all the answers – but neither do the people who should, he pointed out, namely the experts at the state level.Few state guidelines are available for local boards when it comes to agriculture, so communities end up having different rules. Further, it’s diffi-cult even to apply a single set of rules within a given community, because some people are serious farmers and some are merely keeping ahorse or a few chickens.People in different situations have different needs, Day said, and it’s essential to reconcile these needs between towns as well as within them.“We need to separate the commercial versus the recreational components of farming and match the different concernsof different entities,” Day said. entities,Roark assured Parlee and Ready no one is out to make things tough for farmers.“If our rules overreach, we’ll happily talk about them,” Roark said. “There’s got to be a middle ground.” them groundThe board and the farmers determined to wait for an expert’s verdict on whether polyurethane is harmful to chickens. Until the facts come in,Roark said, little can be done.Parlee agreed it’s important for both sides to be as informed as possible.“Educated inspectors and educated consumers – that’s best for both,” Parlee said. both,Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
Buildings allowed on farm land By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service Apr 15, 2011 www.wickedlocal.comRoadside strawberry stands may soon go up on Sunny Meadow Farm, which lies be-tween Route 27 and Robin Hill Road. The Board of Selectmen voted Monday night tochange the wording of a town preservation restriction on Sunny Meadow Farm to allowbuildings on the Route 27 side of the property.To do so, they first had to resolve a conflict between the allowed and prohibited uses ofthe property. Any land purchased with Community Preservation funds must have apreservation restriction placed to protect its condition indefinitely. In this case, the restric-tion prohibited building structures on the property.But Town Manager Paul Cohen explained the rule conflicts with another that specificallyallows temporary or permanent buildings for commercial agricultural use. In other words,a farmer using the land should be able to put up a stand or small store to sell produce.Selectman Kurland said if the board allows structures on the property, future ownersmight build large stores instead of produce stands. But Agricultural Commission member Henry Parlee said forbidding structures on the landwould make it much more difficult for farmers to sell their goods, which could mean thedifference between scraping by and going bankrupt.Selectman Lane suggested restricting the size of buildings to 900 square feet or less, butTown Manager Cohen cautioned such a move might complicate matters for future select-men, who would have to pursue a special act from the state legislature to bypass the re-striction if the town’s needs changed.Selectman George Dixon agreed no one can predict how Chelmsford’s situation willchange – one day, he said, 900 square feet might be too small. Selectmen Wojtas andHanson said they have faith in future boards to make that call for themselves.The board voted to allow structures of any size on Sunny Meadow Farm, but to restrictbuildings to the Route 27 side of the property so homes on Robin Hill Road are not af-fected by increased traffic.Selectman Jim Lane, who said he couldn’t support the change without a size restriction,was the only opposing vote.Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved