Souter helps Chelmsford mark milestone Ex-Supreme Court Justice at open-space event: This was my house By Rita Savard, email@example.com 6/13/11 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD -- In 1961, John F. Kennedy was elected president, Alan Shepard became the first Ameri-can to venture into space, and Barbie got a boyfriend named Ken.In Chelmsford, Harriett Bartlett was working on another beginning -- setting aside land for permanent openspace.Nearly 50 years later, members of the Chelmsford Land Conservation Trust wanted to learn more abouthow their story began and about the woman who helped the towns preservation efforts by donating her ownbackyard.They dug through old meeting minutes, legal papers and letters, where they found correspondence be-tween Bartlett and a young lawyer, who called her "aunt" and signed his missives: "Love, David."The trust tracked down the lawyer, only to find out he was working in the countrys highest court.Helping the trust celebrate its 50th birthday, retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter -- known for beingan intensely private person -- talked openly with residents and town officials yesterday about his childhoodmemories of Bartlett Park and the importance of preserving open space."Being back here this afternoon is the closest thing to being home again," said Souter, stand- again,ing on the same grassy field he knew as his childhood playground. "To a great extent, this was myhouse."house.Although Souter called Bartlett "aunt," there was no Bartlett blood in him. Members of the Bartlett family,however, were as close as blood relatives to members of Souters mothers family.He remembers driving down from his familys New Hampshire home just about every month to spend aSunday with the Bartletts at their farmhouse at 4 Bartlett St.He grew up playing on the 3 1/2-acre parcel with its grove of trees, high rolling fields and stone walls alongthe edge."When youre a small boy and youve explored the land and you know it like the palm ofyour hand, you love it for the rest of your life," Souter said, adding that Bartletts devotion for the life,land was "part of the bones that made her up."In January 1961, rumors reached Bartlett about a possible Town Meeting warrant to turn her familys openspace into a parking lot. She sprang into action, deciding to gift the land to the newly formed Land Conser-vation Trust with the intention of preserving it.In a letter to family friends, Bartlett wrote about a man who approached her aunt about buying the familysland for a town post office.She worked with family members, former Land Trust Chair Martin Bovey and her lawyers, which included,Souter.Souter helped draft the documents for the property, which became the towns first land acquisition protectedunder the trust.By March, Bartlett Park was forever protected as open space.In a letter to friends, Bartlett wrote, "For a while there, I had visions of my ancestors comingdown out of the frames of their portraits to say sternly, Did we save this land for over acentury, only to have you let it go for a parking place? place?
"So now I hope they are at rest," she said. rest,In 1964, Bartlett, who died in 1987 at the age of 89, donated another 10 acres across the street from thepark, off Acton Road, known as Bartlett Woodlot.The Conservation Trust continues to safeguard the towns open spaces, working jointly with the Conserva-tion Commission. Town Manager Paul Cohen said this year alone, more than 15 parcels were transferredinto permanent protection. The trust protects 80 acres of open space townwide.Remembering the legacy of his "aunt," Souter shared what he believes to be the most important of the an-cient myths for people in the 21st century -- the story of Hercules and Antaeus the Giant.Antaeus appeared to be invincible, beating every challenger he wrestled and then slaughtering his adver-saries. Hercules realized that unless he did something different, he would meet the same fate. Hercules dis-covered that every time Antaeus fell, hed rise up from the ground stronger than before. Realizing Antaeusdrew his strength from the Earth, Hercules lifted him off the ground, suspending him in the air until Antaeuslost his power and Hercules could defeat him."In this 21st century, we are Antaeus," Souter said. "If we lose our touch from the ground in Antaeus,which we come, we will lose our strength as well as our mental and physical power." power.Souter, who was born in Melrose in 1939, moved to New Hampshire at age 11. He received his degree fromHarvard Law School in 1966, later serving as assistant attorney general of New Hampshire before becom-ing the states attorney general in 1976.He served in New Hampshires Superior and Supreme courts and was later named to the U.S. Court of Ap-peals for the First Circuit. Soon after, he was tapped by President George H.W. Bush to replace JusticeWilliam J. Brennan Jr. on the Supreme Court in 1990, where he remained until 2009.While he was on the court, Souter was known to return, whenever he was able, to his farmhouse in Weare,N.H., where he favored hiking in the nearby mountains and quiet time for reading rather than doing the pub-lic-speaking circuit.While maintaining a low-key profile, he developed a reputation for long hours in his chambers and carefulstudy of the issues coming before the court.When Souter announced his intention to retire, President Barack Obama said he showed what it meant tobe a "fair-minded and independent judge.""He approached judging as he approaches life, Obama said, "with a feverish work ethic and life,a good sense of humor, with integrity, equanimity, and compassion -- the hallmark of notjust being a good judge, but of being a good person." person.Souter said he had good role models in life, many rooted in Chelmsford. Fifty years after helping the townsecure its first open space, Souter helped end yesterdays celebration by planting an elm tree in BartlettPark."I dont know whether the human race can prevent turning the world into a toxic place," he place,said. "But if theres a hope, it has to rest in a place in the unspoiled world." world.
Chelmsford Land Conservation Trust celebrates 50th anniversary By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service Posted Jun 16, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordChelmsford —The Chelmsford Land Conservation Trust celebrated its 50th anniversary Sunday, June 12 in an afternoon ceremony in BartlettPark. About a hundred people attended, gathering under a canopy to escape the light rain.The crowd enjoyed Chelmsford ginger ale and chicken fresh from the grill as jazz musicians played from atop a red truck. As thespeaking program began, children continued to lob balls, swing softball bats and play soccer in the background. The youngsters’shouts punctuated each speaker’s tribute to the CLCT.One speaker received a standing ovation before saying a word. CLCT Director June Cook explained a series of letters addressed to“Aunt Harriet” and signed “Love, David,” prompted her to track down this person, who had clearly been close to Harriet Bartlett.“David” turned out to be former U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter, who had visited the Bartlett property as a child. Souter,who retired in 2009, traveled from his New Hampshire home to address the residents at Wednesday’s celebration. He was pre-sented with a watercolor painting depicting Bartlett Park.Highlights· Selectman Pat Wojtas read a proclamation from the Board of Selectmen, honoring the CLCT’s anniversary. Town Manager PaulCohen praised the collaboration between town and resident groups that has led to the success of land conservation in Chelmsford.Town Conservation Commission Chairman Dave McLachlan spoke briefly about the efforts of the commission, which also celebratesits 50th anniversary this year.· A new sign for Bartlett Park was unveiled. It will replace the current sign shortly. The new sign, made of cedar, is expected to last anumber of decades.· A young Valley Forge American elm tree has been planted in the park. Once a familiar feature of New England towns, the speciesfell prey to a rampant blight and is rarely seen nowadays. The Bartlett Park tree is a resistant variety and it’s hoped it will live fordecades.The CLCT Board of Directors, other group officers and former Justice Souter gathered around the elm sapling, whose slender trunkwas still wrapped in white. Gripping shovels, they turned some of the earth around its roots.All the children present were given cups of liquid fertilizer, which they poured at the base of the tree.Letters from the pastFormer CLCT director Becky Warren read a letter from Harriet Bartlett, a Chelmsford resident whose donation of Bartlett Park gotstarted the trust on its mission. In the letter Bartlett expressed concern for her family’s land, in danger of being turned into a parkinglot.Humor warmed Bartlett’s words as she described hiding for most of an early CLCT meeting, then emerging to announce her gift ofthe land.“Do I feel relieved this is taken care of!” Bartlett wrote. “I had been having visions in which my ancestors came out of!from their portraits, saying, ‘Did we save this land for more than 100 years so it could go for a parking lot?’Now they are at rest.” rest.A letter from original CLCT chairman Martin Bovey expressed his hope that Harriet’s gift of Bartlett Park and later Bartlett woodlotwould endure for generations.“I hope it provides enjoyment and refreshment for the citizens of Chelmsford in the future, as it has for me andmy family in the past,” Bovey wrote. He added, “Fifty years from now, they [the parcels] will be priceless.” past, priceless.Lessons from great teachersRetired justice David Souter had the crowd roaring with laughter as he described his childhood visits to Chelmsford, largely spenttrapped on a couch between endlessly chattering adults, and his first lesson in conservation, delivered by tall Aunt Harriet one May:“Never pull a ladyslipper up by the roots.”roots.That lesson took place in what would later be Bartlett Park, Souter said, which bloomed with rare yellow ladyslippers in the spring.Souter would often end up in that area after boyhood jaunts took him past the last line of sheds and all the way across the family’sproperty.“When you’re a small boy exploring the land and you know it like the palm of your hand, you love it for the restof your life,” Souter said. life,Souter retold the ancient tale of Hercules and Antaeus, a myth known to Harriet Bartlett and another of Souter’s Chelmsford teach-ers: Ralph Waldo Emerson. The giant Antaeus derived his strength from his mother the Earth and became powerless as soon asHercules lifted his feet from the ground.“In this 21st century, we are Antaeus. If we lose our touch with the ground from which we come, we will lose ourstrength and our mental as well as physical health,” Souter said. “If it has been hard for us to keep that contact health,today, it will be harder still for the people a generation or two generations hence.“Whatever hope Chelmsford has of maintaining our sanctity as human beings, that hope rests on a chance tobe in touch with an unspoiled world. That’s what the Chelmsford Land Conservation Trust has done its utmostto guarantee.” guarantee.Souter then turned to address the CLCT leaders.“On behalf of the people who suffer the same risk — of losing touch with a sense of the ground beneath us —thank you,” Souter said. “Thank you not only for preserving a place that is beautiful and preserving the memory of you,the old agricultural town Chelmsford was, but for preserving our humanity.“The importance of what you do is nothing less than that.” that.Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
C helmsford O pen S pace S tewardshipTown Hall parking lot clean up forChelmsford Garden Club Photos by Phil Stanway
Public Information Session to Discuss Recall Election Time: Thursday, June 23 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm Location: Chelmsford Radisson 10 Independence Drive Sponsored by: Choose ChelmsfordOn Thursday, June 23, at 7:00 p.m., Chelmsford voterswill have their first opportunity to ask questions of the Boardof Selectmen and Town Manager Paul Cohen related to theupcoming recall Special Election on August 2. Recall proponentRoland Van Liew has been invited by to participate on the panel. ****This Information Session WILL TAKE PLACE whether or not Mr. Van Liew attends****The Public Information Session will be held at the ChelmsfordRadisson, 10 Independence Drive in Chelmsford and will beindependently moderated by Warren Shaw from WCAP.Chelmsford businessman and resident Roland Van Liew hasinitiated a recall of four Chelmsford Select-men – George Dixon, Matt Hanson, JonKurland and Pat Wojtas – alleging failureto enforce a Preservation Restriction at 9North Road and protect the rights of thercitizens of Chelmsford. Chelmsfordresidents have launched an effort asChoose Chelmsford to encourage voters tovote “NO” to the recall based on a lack ofevidence of wrongdoing and the negativelong term impact on thecommunity.
Questions Raised Over Ethics Commission Investigation In his latest e-mail, Roland Van Liew alleges the Board of Selectmen refuse to initiate an investigation of the ethics violations of Town Manager Paul Cohen. By Krista Perry 6/15/11 www.chelmsford.patch.comLead Recall Petitioner Roland Van Liew, in his latest e-mail, has alleged the Board of Selectmen are refusing to initiate aninvestigation of the ethics violations of Town Manager Paul Cohen and former selectman Phil Eliopoulos."It is troubling that Chelmsford town officials, and in particular the Board of Selectmen, refuse to referthis scandal to a Land Court judge for investigation and adjudication ... and... refuse to initiate an in -vestigation of the ethics violations of Town Manager Paul Cohen and former selectman Phil Eliopoulosas mandated by the town’s ethics bylaw," the e-mail from Van Liew read. bylaw,Late last month Cohen sent a letter to the State Ethics Commission inviting them to investigate the allegations madeagainst him and Eliopoulos regarding 9 North Road."The lack of any formal response by (the Ethics Commission) and by the office of the Attorney Generalto these serious allegations leaves the residents of the community with an uncertainty regarding thevalidity of these charges ... I invite the state Ethics Commission and any other appropriate legal au -thority to conduct an investigation into these serious allegations," Cohen wrote in the letter. allegations,Cohen said all parties involved in the land court case Van Liew mentioned above are still waiting to hear from the courtson the issue. Cohen also said he spoke with an investigator from the state ethics commission about three weeks ago."The Commissions policy is to neither confirm nor deny an investigation. He explained that theagency has done nothing outside of its normal protocal regarding the original complaint that was filedover a year ago. At that time, the Commission investigator contacted me with a few questions and myresponses to those questions remain in their records," said Cohen. records,All of the agencys investigations are confidential, he said."He explained that the status is that allegations were filed against me and others. However, the status remains as allega-tions. He concluded by explaining that the Commission would contact me in the future as part of any investigation, if war-ranted," said Cohen. "The invesitgator understands the situation that exists in the Town of Chelmsford.However, the Commission will not alter its protocols." protocols.Cheating Chelmsford Spokesman Spencer Kimball said in a statement it is the Board of Selectmens job to investigate theallegations."The fact is the State Ethics Commission, The Middlesex DA office, the U.S. Department of Justicehave all said they don’t have jurisdiction to investigate Paul Cohen. They have never stated that therehave been no violations – "the towns ethics bylaw" is not the same as the state statutes. The EthicsCommission has specifically said it is choosing to treat the local bylaw as "outside of [its] jurisdic -tion." It therefore is refusing to investigate Paul Cohen -- because that is specifically the Board of Se -lectmens job under the local bylaw. The selectmen refuse to investigate, and are actively blockingdepositions in third-party lawsuits," Kimball said in a statement. lawsuits,Because all investigations are confidential and the state will not confirm or deny an investigation, the Ethics Commissioncould not confirm their position on jurisdiction.In a statement from anti-recall group Choose Chelmsford, organizers Stefani Bush and Angelo Taranto said Van Liew mis-represents the facts."Roland Van Liew uses tactics such as this video and others, as well as a direct mail propaganda cam -paign and trying to hijack the choosechelmsford.org information website to communicate his misrep -resentation of fact. The Choose Chelmsford committee is keeping Chelmsford voters informed withdocumented fact and a respect for their intelligence.Our purpose, as a group with members on BOTH sides of the 9 North Road issue referenced in thisvideo, is to encourage voters to vote “No” in the August 2 Special Election. The recall is wrong be -cause there is no evidence of egregious or criminal acts on the part of our elected officials and theongoing negativity is discouraging good people now and in the future from wanting to serve our com -munity in any capacity. We further want to encourage voters to allow our volunteer Selectmen toserve their terms and vote their conscience during the normal election cycle," the statement read. cycle,
Political Group Raises Questions About Recall Signs Political group "Cheating Chelmsford" is claiming the signs violate the towns bylaws. By Krista Perry 6/13/11 www.chelmsford.patch.comA political group that supports the recall of four members of the Board of Selectmen is raising questions about the politicalsigns throughout town. Those signs urge voters to vote "no" to keep the selectmen in office.In a press release from "Cheating Chelmsford," spokesman Spencer Kimball claims the signs are on both public and pri-vate property and violate the towns bylaws, which say political signs must not go up until 21 days before an election."On Route 3A, Vinal Square, two lawn signs have been on town property for weeks. Chelmsford doesn’t allow politicalsigns to be on private property until 21 days prior to the date of the election, which would be July 12 for the August 2 re-call ... The group has identified over a dozen lawn signs on private property, which violate the town ordinance as well," thepress release said.The press release included two photos, posted to the right.Town Manager Paul Cohen said the photos depict route 3A, which hebelieves is not town-owned property but state-owned right of way, as itis a numbered state route.Cohen said the town bylaws dont allow anyone to post their politicalsigns until 21 days before an election, but town counsel offered anopinion several years ago that the bylaw interferes with the Constitu-tional right of freedom of speech."Therefore, over the years, candidates seeking office in thetown have voluntarily complied with the provisions of thezoning bylaw, but property owners cannot be required to remove signs unless they present a dangerto public safety," said Cohen. safety,Stefani Bush, an organizer of the anti-recall group Choose Chelmsford, said the signs in question do not belong to that or-ganization. Choose Chelmsford: The Signs Are Not Ours A statement from Choose Chelmsford. 6/13/11 www.chelmsford.patch.comThe following was submitted by Choose Chelmsford.In response to Roland Van Liews Cheating Chelmsfords "Press Release" accusing Choose Chelmsford of violating townlaws regarding signs:Those signs had nothing to do with Choose Chelmsford. We have NOT distributed ANY signs for our efforts and our com-mittee has NOTHING to do with those signs. Those signs were created and distributed MONTHS prior to ChooseChelmsfords formation.Our signs have not even arrived at our doorstep yet as we know and respect the law and had not planned to put signs outuntil 21 days prior to the election.The signs they are referencing clearly state "Do NOT sign Recall Petition", and say nothing about "Voting NO on the Re-call August 2nd", and have been on lawns for months.I find it interesting that Roland andhis group had nothing to say aboutthose signs until the news startedramping up about "Choose Chelms-ford" getting organized and gainingmomentum.This is yet another distortion of thefacts. Comparison shopping. On the left the signs in question, on the right the signs that are still at the printers.
A Rebuttal Statement from Cheating Chelmsford A statement submitted to Chelmsford Patch from Cheating Chelmsford regarding recall signs.The following was submitted by Spencer Kimball of Cheating Chelmsford .We think it is relevant to reveal who financed and organized the distribution of the signs. It is Jon Kurland and GeorgeZaharoolis, both town officials- (see email below). It is noteworthy who they distributed them to -- mostly other town offi-cials.It was shocking to read that town officials response, including the Town Manager, is that they can do what they want be-cause their laws rest on voluntary compliance -- and when they dont feel like voluntarily complying they should be able toflout the law, especially the ethics law.Thats why the press release was worded the way it was: "Chelmsford officials feel entitled to preferential treatment overregular residents," so they pass ordinances they expect others to "voluntarily comply with." I wonder why Cohen didn’task to change the unconstitutional sign ordinance instead of using an undemocratic procedure to change the recall bylawinto another unenforceable, unconstitutional bylaw.The expression “on a thief, his hat is always on fire”explains Jeff Apostolakes posts: Seems Like Old Signs ITR●FB 6/21/11"Like I said before and will say again........get thefacts straight before stirrig up a bees nest. A repeat- In a case of the pot calling the kettle black.able tactic....They are not Choose ChelmsfordSigns and if they did their fact checking they woudhave seen that they were " do not sign the recall Last week "Cheating Chelmsford,"petition " signage. More mis information. Is Mr Kim- spokesman Spencer Kimballball going to retract his statement or just continue raised a stink over signs that were around town trying to link themthrowing out the FUD factor" to the recall election and the Choose Chelmsford movement stating in a pressThe press release and the article make no charge release the signs are on both public andthat Choose Chelmsford is the source of the signs. private property and violate the townsYet it turns out their members are the people who bylaws, which say political signs must not go up until 21 days before an election.created them. The signs in question turned out to be oldThe point is that the signs are still up. signs made up last fall during the failed petition drive to recall the Planning Board membersFrom: Jon Kurland and used again in the spring when paid signature gatherers were doing the petition drive to recall the SelectmenSent: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 9:10 PM Now it looks as though even Cheating Chelmsford has a few old signs still upTo: and around as of today.Subject: Recall status Mr. Kimball, Me thinks thou doth protest too much ; )We need your help more than ever ….We have a few signs that should be strategicallyplaced on PRIVATE property on well-travelled roads. If you live on such a street, please contact George Zaharoolis who has graciously offered his assistance in this effort.RVL has only 12 more days to get the signatures. If you see them at stores or in parking lots, please discuss this with thestore manager. It is my understanding that DeMoulas and Hannaford frown on this type of activity by their stores. We donot have bumper sticklers or any real organization. If someone wants to step up for a quick fundraiser to get signs orstickers, let me know. The cycle is quite narrow so time is both our ally and opponent. You should also feel free to for-ward this to anyone you think would benefit from reading this. Thanks for your support.Jon H. KurlandSelectman, Town of Chelmsford CHELMSFORD FARSIDE TRIVIA What is Roland Van Liew’s favorite TV show??? “All fun aside” On with the Report ...
Is this really the guy behind"CHEATIING CHELMSFORD.com"? How does he do it ???Or is he justanother hired hand? CLICK HERECLICK HEREfor his WebsiteHe specializes inunique campaign planssignature gathering, direct mail,phone advocacy,grassroots planning Spencer Kimball, CEO Founded Kimball Political Consulting in 2002, Spencer combines his academic and practical experiences to create inno- vative campaign programs for any level campaign. Spencer has worked on hun- dreds of campaigns across the country at the federal, state and local levels and pro- vides commentary for a variety of televi- sion and radio programs and newspapers. Professor Kimball teaches at Emerson College, Clark University, Northeastern University and Salem State University. Kimball Political Consulting was founded in 2002 to assist Re- publican candidates running for public office at all levels with the strategic components necessary to run a winning campaign. Depending on your campaign, we will draw up a unique cam- paign plan and help implement all elements of the plan from sig- nature gathering, fundraising, direct mail, press conferences, speech writing, debate preparation, absentee ballot programs, paid media advertising, phone advocacy, grassroots planning and staff direction. The truth about it is, there are basic components to this process that apply to every campaign. There are basic philosophical tenents involved that apply to every campaign. There are basic psychological processes that apply to every campaign. There are basic tactics that apply to every cam- paign. There are basic techniques that apply to every campaign. From strategizing and formulating your initial campaign plan, to helping you carry out your final get-out-the-vote push, our sea- soned campaign operatives make your cause our own, and we develop winning strategies to help you win.
Cheating Chelmsfords Accusations that Signs were Financed by Choosing Chelmsford Committee by Stefani Bush on 6/14/11Cheating Chelmsford has issued ANOTHER statement regarding the SignsThey state: "We think it is relevant to reveal who financed and organized the distribution of the signs.It is Jon Kurland and George Zaharoolis, both town officials- (see email below). It is noteworthy who they distributedthem to -- mostly other town officials."They further to go on and use this as their proof: "The press release and the article make no charge that Choose Chelmsford is the source of the signs. Yet it turns outtheir members are the people who created them.The point is that the signs are still up.From: Jon KurlandSent: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 9:10 PMTo:Subject: Recall statusWe need your help more than ever ….We have a few signs that should be strategically placed on PRIVATE property on well-travelled roads. If you live on sucha street, please contact George Zaharoolis who has graciously offered his assistance in this effort.RVL has only 12 more days to get the signatures. If you see them at stores or in parking lots, please discuss this with thestore manager. It is my understanding that DeMoulas and Hannaford frown on this type of activity by their stores. We donot have bumper sticklers or any real organization. If someone wants to step up for a quick fundraiser to get signs orstickers, let me know. The cycle is quite narrow so time is both our ally and opponent. You should also feel free to for-ward this to anyone you think would benefit from reading this. Thanks for your support.Jon H. KurlandSelectman, Town of Chelmsford"----------------------------Again, he takes things out of context and twists the truth for his own agenda trying to paint the town officials as UnethicalHalf truths are unacceptable.I spoke to Jon Kurland - he did NOT finance this. George had leftover signs from the PREVIOUS recall RVL initiatedagainst the Planning Board last fall and offered them to those who were interested in putting them up during the timewhen signatures were being sought to get the Selectmen Recall on the Ballot.There was NEVER any money exchanged in connection with these signs and the Selectmen Recall Petition - they werepreviously purchased for a DIFFERENT Recall (yes folks, this is our 2nd Recall orchestrated by our very own RVL - see apattern?)Look at the date in Jon Kurlands email - this date falls within the time that the Recall PETITION was ACTIVELY beingpursued - NOT AFTER. Jon Kurland did NOTHING wrong. He was actively campaigning (his right) for his position. Therewas never any Formal organization for the Selectmen Recall Petition - it was a group of concerned citizens who merelyasked for signs - there was no official movement.I have asked them to PROVE that JonKurland financed this (since he againhas singled him out).More information that he has delved outwithout substantiation. See a pattern?I encourage everyone to look deeperinto the proof that is given by RVL andhis HIRED (out of town) GUNS....They are counting on you to take theirword at face value instead of you doingyour due diligence.Thank you,Choose Chelmsford
Tangled web domain alleged in recall battle By Rita Savard, firstname.lastname@example.org 06/15/2011 www.lowellsun.com CHELMSFORD -- A special election to recall four selectmen is heating up, with an anti-recall group accusing Roland VanLiew of hijacking its Internet domain name.Stephanie Bush, co-chair of the group "I Choose Chelmsford," said Van Liew bought the domain names IChooseChelms-ford.com and IChooseChelmsford.org as an attempt to derail the opposition.The group was able to secure the domain name ChooseChelmsford.org, Bush said."Its not going to work, " Bush said. "We have a lot of support and this is just another maneuver byRoland Van Liew to mislead the public and promote his own agenda. Were not going to play in thatsandbox. Our goal is letting people in town know the truth, that this is an election based on one mansvendetta, not egregious acts or malfeasance." malfeasance.Both domain names lead directly to the website CheatingChelmsford.com, which is a grass-roots watchdog group made upof concerned citizens, according to the website.Van Liew, who has spearheaded the recall effort, said yesterday he didnt know anything about the domain names and thatthe CheatingChelmsford.com website is not his.He declined to comment further on the issue.Van Liew told The Sun during an editorial board meeting last month that SpencerKimball, a hired employee,is responsible for CheatingChelmsford.com.Kimball, reached for comment yesterday, declined to speak to a reporter.Voters will decide Aug. 2 the fates of Selectmen George Dixon, Jon Kurland, Matt Hanson and Pat Wojtas.Van Liew, a Chelmsford resident and business owner, invested $90,000 to launch the first recall election in the towns his-tory. He is accusing the four selectmen of failing to uphold the law for not taking an alleged violation of a preservation re-striction on 9 North Road to court. After obtaining permits and approval from four town boards, the family of formerSelectman Philip Eliopoulos is constructing a two-story office building on the site.Van Liew alleges town officials conducted backroom deals to benefit the Eliopolouses and to have a new fire station builton another parcel in the center of town.Town officials have repeatedly denied the accusations. The matter is still tied up in multiple lawsuits, with Van Liew suingtown officials and Eliopoulos suing Van Liew.On March 3, Eliopoulos filed suit for defamation of character against Van Liew and Van Liews business, Hands On Tech-nology Transfer, Inc.Eliopoulos alleges CheatingChelmsford.com is full of lies and inaccuracies that were intentionally used to damage his rep-utation.A domain name system, or DNS, is the most recognized system for assigning addresses to Internet web servers. The do-main name keeps the technical IP address invisible for most viewers.Records show the domain name for CheatingChelmsford.com is owned by Hands On Technology Transfer, the companyowned and operated by Roland Van Liew.Van Liew slapped Eliopoulos with a lawsuit for defamation in Middlesex Superior Court in January. Eliopoulos publiclycalled Van Liew a "liar " which Van Liew is calling defamation.To get its message out about voting "no" on the recall, I Choose Chelmsford has secured the domain name noChooseChelmsford.org Bush said.The group has been raising money through donations, about $3,000 to date, to help purchase signs and campaign materi-als. The goal, Bush said, is to rally high voter turnout during a time of year when many people are away on vacation."We dont have the kind of money he (Van Liew) does to run our campaign," Bush said. "But Chelmsford campaign,is not for sale. It doesnt matter how deep your pockets are. In the end, we feel people will vote for thetruth and after Aug. 2, well all be able to move on." on.
☆ - 9 NORTH ROAD : The Prequel The Great Email CHASE ITR●Facebook 6/11/11Before 9 North Road ever came into being there was Roland. Sam Chase shares some 2007 emailsbetween himself, Roland Van Liew and Town Manager Paul Cohen CLICK ON LINK http://www.slideshare.net/re007hq/the-great-email-chase Things to consider GateHouse News Service Posted Jun 16, 2011 @ 03:05 PM www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordFocus on the issuesA press release from Cheating Chelmsford – the group backing the recall of selectmen – showed up this week, accusing recall opponents of vi-olating town bylaws regarding political signs. Choosing Chelmsford, the primary group organized to oppose the recall, denies ownership of thesigns, which appear to be from a previous recall effort.It’s been a long time since political signs have become such a news story. A few years ago, not to far up the interstate from Chelmsford, therewas a bitterly contested election for mayor. Every hilltop in every hamlet of that city was dotted with “Vote for Me” signs. They blighted theneighborhoods, becoming a cancer on that quaint little city.Election day came and went, followed by a torrential downpour. Those proud signs began to wilt, fade and wither, falling from their metal stan-chions and floating toward the Merrimack, becoming a flotilla of political dreams, broken or otherwise.Those signs were such a problem, the next election cycle, candidates made it a campaign promise: Win, lose or Florida, my signs will be gonewithin 24 hours of the election.No more rafts of cardboard, no more democratic tumbleweed drifting down Main Street and into the air conditioner at the library.The danger here, of course, is the battle smoke over who owns the signs, who put them up, whether they are on town or state property andmyriad other issues will obscure the real issue: The recall is happening and the reason it is happening is the story.Talk about the issues that led Chelmsford to this point on the map. Has the current board failed to protect the interests of the voters?If so, how?Has a small, vocal minority hijacked politics in Chelmsford, subverting the political process for their own gain?Those questions should dominate the discussion, not who owns which sign and where.Channeling Nixon?The erosion of common sense continues. A web link ichoosechelmsford.org now links to cheatingchelmsford.com. For those keeping score,Choose Chelmsford opposes the recall; Cheating Chelmsford backs the recall.Either someone has an unorthodox sense of humor or the discourse is heading into that weird world of Watergate, Plumbers and CREEP whendirty tricks were nightly news fodder.We hope is the unorthodox sense of humor: the poison-ivy infested path leading to Nixon-era dirty tricks is one we’d rather avoid.Nixon comes to mind when reading this because it’s the 40th anniversary of the Pentagon Papers release, papers which have finally been de-classified.
TOWN TALK with Dennis Readyand Mary Gregoire Selectman Matt Hanson talks about the ef- fect of the recall election on him, his family and the town CLICK HERE Dennis talks with Selectman Jon Kurland who takes a crack at debunking Van Liews latest mailings. CLICK HERE Dennis talks with Sam Chase about the recall and Roland Van Liew CLICK HERE Jim Lane talks with Dennis about the permuting process with 9 North Road CLICK HERE Dennis and Mary talk with Choose Chelmsford Co-Chairs Angie Taranto & Stefani Bush CLICK HERE
No backroom deals on Chelmsford fire-station site, ex-committee chairman says By Rita Savard, email@example.com 06/22/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD -- A former committee chairman charged with finding the best location for anew center fire station now says North Road was "never off the table." table.After an independent study group recommended the corner of Wilson and Chelmsfordstreets for a new fire station in August 2007, the town Fire Station/DPW Committee chairedby Pat Maloney threw its support behind it. Pat MaloneyBut with an Aug. 2 election to recall four selectmen fast approaching, Maloney said votersneed to know what was really happening behind closed doors."There were no backroom deals," he said. "Roland Van Liew keeps trying to say deals were being made deals,to benefit the Eliopouloses. But (Town Manager) Paul Cohen and I were pursuing a part of that prop -erty for a plan B for a fire station or for future use." use.After pouring $90,000 into an effort that included hiring signature gatherers, Van Liew, a Chelmsford businessman, wasable to push the first recall election in Chelmsfords history. The election seeks to remove Selectmen George Dixon, MattHanson, Jon Kurland and Pat Wojtas from office.Van Liew, who could not be reached for comment for this story, alleges the selectmen failed to uphold the law when deal-ing with a 9 North Road building project owned by a former selectmans father.In a previous meeting with Sun editors, Van Liew said the recall isnt about 9 North Road."Its about good government," Van Liew said. "I want them to uphold the law." government, law.Opponents of the recall say Van Liew is a man with an agenda -- to get rid of the town manager.The North Road controversy "just gave Van Liew the latest fodder to fuel his agenda," said Stephanie Bush, agenda,co-chair of Choose Chelmsford, an anti-recall group.By creating a timeline dating back to Cohen and Van Liews first disagreement in 2007, Choose Chelmsford said its tryingto present facts and show Van Liew was looking for a way to oust Cohen years ago.Van Liew, who funded the former Chelmsford Slow Growth Initiative, began mass mailings in 2008 and 2009, blastingtown officials and Cohen of bringing mass 40B affordable-housing projects into Chelmsford.Van Liew has told The Sun his involvement sparked interest in the 2009 election, resulting in a six-man race for two openseats."Thats a good thing," Van Liew said. thing,Cohen has said the only 40B approved in his 4 1/2 years as manager was a 48-unit affordable-housing project on River-neck Road, which was tied up in court for six years before a judge finally approved it.Bush said throughout the years, Van Liew has taken bits and pieces of information and twisted them to fit his goal to getrid of Cohen and other officials who disagree with him. Her anti-recall efforts seeks to prove that.The timeline, she says, highlights Maloney and Cohens attempt to purchase the land behind the North Road fire station.In February 2009, the Fire Station/DPW Committee recommended a new fire-station headquarters for the corner ofChelmsford and Wilson streets. Chairman Maloney remained in favor of renovating and expanding the existing facility."I thought Chelmsford and Wilson Street was too big," Maloney said. big,During the same month, Cohen heard from Fire Capt. Frank Houle that Michael Eliopoulos, father of then SelectmanPhilip Eliopoulos, was trying to purchase a two-acre parcel behind the fire station along with the historic Emerson House,owned by Eastern Bank.
Cohen called Eastern Bank Vice President Tom Dunn to see if he was interested in selling a piece of the parcel to thetown.Dunn said hed get back to him.Maloney said they werent interested in purchasing the Emerson House. The town already had three historic buildings --the Dutton House and two old town halls -- that it was trying to figure out what to do with."All we wanted was the land behind the fire station," Maloney said. "We had a very small window of time station,to work with and we didnt want to make a big deal publicizing it until we were sure it could happen.We were trying to work with the bank to buy a piece of the land that Michael Eliopoulos wanted. Ofcourse we didnt want him (Michael Eliopoulos) to know right away." away.According to the timeline, Maloney informed the Permanent Building Committee that there was a possibility of acquiringland behind Center Station.In late February 2009, Cohen informed Maloney that the banks appraisal of the land was $430,000, and an offer was onthe table from Michael Eliopoulos for $480,000Maloney and Cohen both felt is was still possible to purchase a piece of the land. Cohen received approval from theBoard of Selectmen during a work session to explore the issue further.The meeting minutes of March 16, 2009, do not reflect any such conversation. Cohen said thats because the meetingoccurred before the states Open Meeting Law became more stringent."It wasnt abnormal to bring up items that werent on the agenda," Cohen said. "It was a quick discus - agenda,sion, for the purpose of getting the boards approval to look deeper into it." it.According to the minutes, Philip Eliopoulos left the meeting early. Cohen said he was not there during talks about theland."We chased it until the end," Maloney said of 9 North Road. end,But ultimately, Eastern Bank did not want to break it up.The Eliopouloses finalized a purchase-and-sale agreement in April. Maloney met with the Eliopoulos family after to see ifthey could purchase a strip of land behind the fire station.After reviewing the site plan for an office building the family wanted to build, Maloney learned it would not be possible.When asked why town officials didnt make a point to highlight their efforts before now, Cohen said, "it was privateland and it was up to the owners, Eastern Bank, to sell it to whomever they wanted." wanted."In the end, they made a deal with Michael Eliopoulos," he said. "There was nothing we could do about Eliopoulos,that."that.Choose Chelmsford will hold a public forum at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Chelmsford Radisson to discuss the recall and an-swer voters questions.Via email, Van Liew declined an invitation to serve on the panel, calling it a group strategy to attack him personally whenChoose Chelmsford said no one else could serve on the panel on Van Liews behalf.Bush said the intention wasnt to attack or even debate Van Liew."He initiated the recall," she said. "Its his effort and we thought voters should be able to direct any recall,questions they have for him, directly to him." him. Roland Van Liew
The Van Liew Recall TimelineSubmitted by CHOOSE CHELMSFORDHere it is - a detailed timeline of events leading to therecall Special Election. If you care about protectingthe democratic process, care about our communityand believe in taking the time to learn about theissues rather than simply absorbing propagandamailed to your home, then read this timeline.Everything in the timeline can be found in MeetingMinutes posted on the town website, and ourSelectmen and Town.CLICK HERE to Read
APPEAL DENIED ITR●FB 6/20/11Current Planning Board member Richard McClures appeal of the courts finding that he knowingly violatedthe conflict of interest law has been denied, thus the ruling of the judge remains in place.When asked for comment Attorney Richard McClure replied..." this may sound confusing, but bear with me....defendant/town of chelmsford moved to "dismiss" plaintiffs complaint for multiple reasons. The "reason" itook issue with on appeal was the fact that the lower court judge "agreed" and stated in his decision that iwas "...in violation of M.G.L. c. 268A, Sec. 17 (c)."my issue on appeal/argument to the Appeals Court, had it been allowed to be made (my motion for inter-locutory appeal of judges various orders which has now been denied), was my disqualification, under a"conflict of interest," as plaintiffs counsel, as I am also a member of the town Planning Board.what the appeals court appears to be saying is that since this (the lower court action) was all decided on a"motion to dismiss" (which is a pre-trial ruling and NOT a final judgment subject to appeal under ordinarycircumstances), my motion for "interlocutory review" ( an appellate review of courts action on a pretrial mo-tion) is not appropriate.My purpose in bringing the appeal had very little to do with the recall election/petition gathering issues as it/they is/are now moot, but ratherwas due to the fact that the judge is quoted as saying i violated the state ethics law in attempting dual representation (and even my singlerepresentation). that is my point of disagreement for appeal.this is important because Paul Cohen has filed an ethics complaint against me for the very same reason w/the state ethics commission. If theethics commission finds merit, there will be a Hearing before them and a decision entered. If they rule against me, I can appeal the decisionto the Superior Court. The complainants (Cohen) counsel would then ask the Superior Court to deny my appeal based on fact that a SuperiorCourt Judge has aready "ruled" that i am in violation of the statute/state ethics law (via this recent Court Hearing before J. Smith) and that iam "collaterally estopped" (legal term meaning the matter has already been finally decided) from arguing that I am NOT in violation..... stillwith me??My purpose in requesting this appeal was to nip this issue in the bud. I did not want to be in a position a year from now where the ethics com-plaint is before the Ethics Commission or the Superior Court after a decision by the Ethics Comm. and opposing counsel is arguing "why arewe even here?....a Superior Court Judge has already ruled on this issue!"What the appeals court is, in my opinion, saying today is that my "appeal" of an eventual decision against me is "preserved" and I will not besubject to the "collateral estoppel" argument mentioned above. That was my only purpose in filing the appeal; i was not taking issue (not that iagree with them) with the judges other "findings."My question to you/readers is "why did the Board of Selectmen and Mr. Cohen authorize town counsel to expend thousands of your taxpayerdollars on an opposition to this appeal when none was required/needed?ITR FACE BOOK CHATTER Roy Earley Original Appeal :http://www.slideshare.net/re007hq/mc-clure-appeal Courts decision: http://www.slideshare.net/re007hq/mc-clure-appeal-denied Paul Haverty I would be curious to hear the rationale why the town should not have defended itself from a lawsuit. Joanne Bartels Stanway Well, there you have it. Philip Stanway I will put money on the fact that While slamming eveyone in town office RVL crew will skip over this one in the next mailing. Jeff Hardy Dick fails to recognize that a judge needs boths sides of an arguement to make a fair decision. He and RVL consistanly want folks to hear their opinions, so the town shouldnt present the facts? Ann McGuigan Spin Doctor spins again. Language from original ruling, "NOT ONE IOTA OF EVIDENCE INDICATING THAT THE TOWN DID ANYTHING TO HINDER OR IMPAIR THE RECALL PETIONING EFFORT. NOR IS THERE ANY EVIDENCE THAT ANY- ONE WAS USING THE TOWN RESOURCES OR PERSONNEL TO DO SO. IN SHORT, THIS COURT FINDS THE PLAINTIFFS AL-LEGATIONS ARE WHOLLY LACKING IN MERIT." (emphasis added) This is the lower court decision. Now comes the appellate court. "THEPETITIONER HAS NOT ESTABLISHED, AS IS HIS BURDEN, THAT THE JUDGE COMMITTED A CLEAR ERROR OF LAW OR ABUSE OFDISCRETION" (emphasis added). There you go folks the courts have spoken, disqualified Mr. McClure from representing RVL, thrown out hisspecious allegations and and deemed them wholly with out merit. Not dissimilar to the current recall effort, WHOLLY WITHOUT MERIT. David McLachlan Can anyone understand his gobbledygook? Great spin.
Vivian Nerrill hes still in denial. Jeff Hardy Dave, Im not sure because im not the smartest guy in this area and we all know I didnt pass a bar exam, but...........if i keep typing long enough consistantly telling you that I dont know everything but what I do know, you arent schooled on the same things as me, so I can try to distact you with invalid points that I made along the way, so then you will start to forget what this post is even directed to or why you even started to read this rediculous rant and then I can end with another point to discredit my oppo-nents even though I caused these reactions in the first place, so they all must be acting unscrupulously and at the peril of the townspeople. Jeff Hardy Hope that cleared things up! CLICK HERE for official Roland invite ☆ - VAN LIEW refuses invitation to public forum on recall in his latest E-mailing. ITR●FB 6/20/11Choose Graft - Debate the Factsapp.simplycast.comFolks, I received a letter on Saturday to serve on a panel for an “Information Session” sponsored by the “say no to recall” group of town offi-cials supported by the usual suspects: Phil Eliopoulos, Dennis Ready, George Zaharoolis, Ann McGuigan, Jon Kurland, and so forth. This“panel” would consist CLICK HERE TO READ IN FULL Stefani Bush Simply stated - NONE of the Choose Chelmsford Committee members were going to participate, ask questions, or stack the panel in any way. We already asked our questions. Mr. Van Liew is the one who has brought forth the allegations and HE is the one who is proposing the recall. We WILL NOT invite Mr. McClure as he is already in an ethical tangle for representing Mr. Van Liew while serving on the Planning Board....FURTHERMORE - we will NOT invite Mr. Kimball as he is an OUT OF TOWN HIRED GUN. He is simply twisting and turning all the facts and wants you to take his word for it instead of getting the story from those who have been accused. Jeff Hardy Once again, the response to to accuse everyone of using the tactics he has used all along. AND since the facts will not support his arguements then the tactic will be to lie and deny........its a vicous pattern to get out false information. If he truely believed the things he has reported, then why is the harm in standing behind them.Wonder if he is afraid someone may call HIM pinnochio Roy Earley He does not want a stacked deck unlike the forum he proposed to Tom Christiano - Originally posted MAY 16th... Tom Christiano: As many who posted comments above want to hear directly from Roland Van Liew, I sent him an email and asked for his rationale for not wanting to discuss the recall election with the four selectmen whose names will be on the ballot, in a forum which would be moderated by our Town Moderator, Dick Defreitas. I have received a response to that question from Roland, which he said I could post here. The unedited response from Roland Van Liew is as follows:"How about we do four shows -- four guests each. One selectman and myself, Dick McClure, and Spencer Kimball, who are experts on the evidence that the selectmenclaim doesnt exist. Sounds more fair and more informative than four selectmen lying together facing an untrained debater/questioner such as myself.""Oh, I forgot -- Jon Kurland already declined to appear with EITHER Spencer Kimball ALONE, or with Dick McClure ALONE on your show.""There is no way to keep the selectmen from continuing to lie, just as Paul Cohen did on your show. As we have discussed previously, there is no way to rebut lies inreal time on video. Rebuttal requires research, documentation and time. Even with fact checking and postproduction editing, which is not available for your show, itwould be impossible to correct all the misinformation that Jon Kurland alone spouts during interviews. I will appear in any venue where they are under oath -- such as aformal inquiry. Jon Kurland has been running away from his deposition for months now for just this reason - he cannot lie under oath without facing legal repercussions.""You may publish the above three paragraphs in their entirety but not separately."- Roland Stefani Bush Also...apparently, now I am a sophist...because I spoke my mind....yet he can speak his and he is not? "Do as I say, not as I do" doesnt fly in my book - and I have NOT attacked Mr. Van Liew in any way, shape or form....and Id like for him to PROVE that I am attacking him by statements that Ive made. Mr. Van Liew, I hope youre reading this. You may lightly accuse public officials of wrongdoing - but be careful of doing this to individuals who are NOT public officials. We are a committee of NON-elected officials with NO particular affiliation other than to defeat the recall. We are NOT doing ANYTHING wrong but asking for the truth and verifying that truth with the facts....tread lightly....oh so lightly..... Jeff Apostolakes Well there it is folks. the accuser will not face the accused. So take note Chelmsford...Here is a man that is not afraid to stand behind his position when it comes to mailings but to face the very individuals that voters put into office he cries foul or hide...where is his convictions...he has none......One would think that someone spending over 100k to recall and destroy reputations would jump at the chance to appear before residents and an- swer questions......THE TRUTH in Rolands response is ..."I don’t pretend to be the most knowledgeable person about these issues"........ There you have it. He cant speak for himself. As a matter of fact Chelmsford residents, he will only appear and answer questions with a lawyer and a Hired Political Consult-ant to fight this battle for him. Well I think somebodys integity has to be questioned and Roland , as an independent, I have to look at what really may be happening hereand you leave me no conclusion other than this is personal, you dont and cant stand behind your position and your email to Paul Cohen in August of 2007 threatenedhim with "Continued Political uproar" says it all my friend. Frances T. McDougall Sick coward. Jeff Apostolakes BIGGER not BETTER........simply said your BIGGER wallet does not make a BETTER community citizen.
Glenn Thoren This is the definition of a cowardly vendetta. This rch man will make pronouncements of graft and corruption with the figments of his imagina- tion. How disgusting How sad. Name calling, guilty pronouncements from the rich man as judge jury and sentencer. Let him stand in the public forum, speak to the people directly, out from behind the highly paid hired guns, out from behind the out of town sign holders, out from behind the lies and distortion that his mind has conjured up to damage and injure a fine town and honest servants. Let him stand with his " vendetta fully exposed" and face the light of truth. But alas no, he wont face the town or the people he accuses. The light of truth is the greatest disinfectant for lies and distortion. The rich man wont be there. Itsmuch too bright. Mike Combs Who will be on the panel? Stefani Bush The Accused - Paul Cohen and Selectmen. We invited The Accuser but he refuses to attend, which I find unfortunate as people have questions for both The Accused and The Accuser. In any event, The Accused will be present. Mike Combs Its not cowardly to skip appearing on Fox news, or a panel stacked 5:1 against you. If this were really about hearing from Roland, itd be a 1:1 session. Im not sure even that would draw him out, but it would at least appear fair. Jeff Hardy The accuser facing people he has accused isnt fair? Stefani Bush Mike, I respectfully disagree. Was it fair for him to request a 3 on 1 debate - 2 of those 3 were hired guns? This is merely an opportunity for the TOWN to ask questions. No one is ganging up on him - the Selectmen/Town Manager were NOT going to be asking the questions - the residents of the town were. I find great issue with the fact that no matter what - he will NOT address anything in a public forum but can make accusations from behind the computer screen and through his mailings. The town wanted this - so we provided it. Mike Combs The accused are on TV every week and any message they want to get out gets an assist from the media including the local access shows. They dont appear powerless to anyone, and so I think calling Roland a coward falls flat. After all, he puts his attacks in writing alongside his photo. That shows more stones than the anonymous posters on Chelmweb2. Personally, I think the best way to defend our Selectmen is to talk about all the time and work they put in, and to distance them from supporting 9 North Roadand Phil. Why are they taking the rap for him? Mike Combs Stefani, the way I read his request for a 3:1 debate, if you read all the whole things, was as a sarcastic counter to the requests for 1 on 3 de- bates. Now weve upped it to 1 on 5. Gotta run, Id like to put up more about this, maybe I can later. Stefani Bush Mike -this wasnt a debate - this was a public input session - to which the Accused and the Accuser can answer questions from the residents....I dont see the harm in that unless you have something to hide. Frances T. McDougall OK, Mike. Now is the time for you to reveal your reasons for accusing Phil of wrong doing. This needs to be out in the open. What ille- gal act did he commit that you are accusing our selectmen of covering up. Facts, Mike. Just the court and law proven facts. If you cant, then please stop hurt- ing this town by your defense of Roland, no matter how much you support his politics. Mike Combs Fran, I dont define right and wrong by legal or illegal. Its legal to cheat on your wife, but it isnt right. It was apparently legal to loot our banking system, and its legal for congressmen to take money from the industries theyre regulating. Its legal for Roland to try to recall four Selectmen. What Phil did was wrong because he was elected to guard Chelmsford, not exploit it. Thats a public trust. He could have told the BOS that the lot was build- able, so they could make an informed and open decision, but he weaseled around it and Paul recused him.I dont think Im hurting Chelmsford by rejecting the bad government that was Phil. I think youre hurting Chelmsford by supporting Phil Eliopoulos clever exploitation of hisoffice.Im frustrated that there is no room to reject profiteering and support our current honest and hardworking selectmen. Stefani Bush Mike, the issue I have is that people are punishing the Selectmen for what they (the people of the town) think Phil did wrong - when the Select- men followed the law and the advice of their legal counsel (and they have a superb reputation). Jeff Apostolakes As I see it from an independent viewpoint, 9 North alone is not the reason for the recall. Looking at timelines, philosophies etc there is a person who strongly believes in ZERO GROWTH unfortunately for everyone but himself. If it was really about 9 North and the taking of open space then you have to believe he would have not built his home on an undeveloped lot and left it be. That said, belonging to a ZERO GROWTH/ POPULATION group, he had issues with 40bs, threatened the town manager in August 2007 with continued political unrest because the town manager would not change the title of a position to that of which Roland recommended ( would satisfy the agenda of the ZERO GROWTH group he belonged to) etc. You have to look way beyond the9 North issue to see where this all started. So take an objective look at what is happening....Attacks on the town manager even before 9 north. So what does any busi-nessman do.. put together a strategic plan to attain their goal....How do you get to the town manager, by removing selectmen and hope you can get your crowd in. Sobusinesspeople will use any tactic, hire whoever they need to in order to get this done. Pull the curtains back folks this is nothing more than a business plan by a businessperson to achieve their goals and philosophies in town at any expense. This is not a 9 north issue this is a personal vendetta and polarizing Chelmsford residents is noth-ing more than a tool and a tactic to achieve his plan. Hiring a consultant from Springfield whos website talks about psychological tactics to win at any level is nothing morethan a tool, lining a lawyers pockets with cash is nothing more than a tool. He even saus in the timelinethat he is not an expert on the subject matter and claims not toknow everything....So what does a business man do...Hire the folks that do and be the financial backer.....Thats all this is..A Business plan to achieve a vendetta....and weare being used as a tool to do so David McLachlan Based upon McClures unintelligible response to the judges denial of his appeal I hope he shows up as a private citizen and speaks. Jeff Hardy Oh I see Jeff, now its the business guys fault!! (Relax everyone, its a joke, please no need to start another thread battle)
Frances T. McDougall Mike, you make an old lady very sad. Even Bill Clinton cheated on his wife and we didnt indict him. Very, very, sad. You have become a moralist on situations you know very little about. Phil did nothing wrong by serving as a lawyer for his father in a business deal that had nothing to do with any public office. He does not deserve your disdain. Mike Combs Is it true that Phil was on the BOS when they made the decision not to buy the lot, but he didnt tell them it was buildable? Dont you consider that a lie by omission? I dont care about his personal life. I care that as an elected official, Phil Eliopoulos failed to upload a public trust. On the other hand, if word is out that public office gets you the first crack a prime real estate in Chelmsford, I think we can look forward to more volunteers. Philip Eliopoulos I appreciate the support Fran. Mike, you are wrong in much of what you claim. Foremost, the board never decided not to buy the lot. That issue never came to the board for even discussion. The only issue that came before us during my time on the board was a decision by the Permanent Building Committee in March of 2009 whereby Pat Maloney reported to the BOS that his committee had chosen Wilson Street for the site of the new fire station. You can read the minutes to verify the above. I had no occasion to discuss with the BOS whether or not the land my father was purchasing was buildable or not be-cause the Emerson House was never a topic of discussion. I wont even dignify your last statement with a response as it is well settled that my father contacted EasternBank asking them if they had any interest in selling the Emerson House. He was proactive in pursing the land. What would prevent my father from pursuing the purchaseof any privately help property. If you want to meet sometime and discuss the true facts in this matter, I would be happy to do so at any time. Peter Eliopoulos I have read with much interest over the past year comments made by Mr. Coombs and others. I do, in fact, have a vested interest in my fami- lies project on North Road. I am aware of all aspects pertaining to the sale and construction of the building in question. Mr. Coombs is probably the most un-in- formed of all towns folk. His comments are totally off base and basically idiotic. I have to admit that I have enjoyed reading some of them for the humor. Its almost as if I say to myself "is this guy for real?" I have to admit, as well, that I have never met him, but he sounds like he would be the lfe of the party-not. I do encourage you, Mr. Coombs, to meet with Philip Mike Combs Phil, you were chairman at the time and knew the property was for sale and was of interest to the town as far back as 2008. I believe you had an obligation to make sure the board had all the facts so they could make an informed decision. As chairman that was well within your ability. Maybe the law didnt require you to be proactive to guard Chelmsfords interests in this, but I hoped that in your role as an elected official you would hold your- self to a higher standard of conduct. I dont know if it would have changed the outcome, but thats not my point. I simply want open, accountable government. Ill contact you about meeting to discuss this further. Mike Combs Peter, I agree with you on one thing: This was a family project. When Phil says "What would prevent my father from pursuing the purchase of any privately held property" I believe hes understating his involvement to a degree that is misleading. Paul Haverty Mike, it appears what you are suggesting Phil withheld was his legal interpretation of the PR that additional buildings could be placed on 9 North Road, correct? Has it ever been suggested that the town did not pursue a fire station at 9 North Road because it believed the PR prevented the con- struction of a fire station at that site? If not, why is Phils interpretation of the PR relevant in any way? Philip Eliopoulos Mike, this is my last point which I tried to get across earlier. The Emerson House was not for sale. My father approached Eastern Bank after they bought out MassBank and asked them if they would be willing to sell it to him. After some discussions between him and the bank, the bank agreed to sell it to him. So at no point was the bank marketing the property. That was what I was trying to convey when I said he was being proactive. My father is free to buy a private property even if his son is on a town board. And he is free to ask his son to represent him as a lawyer. The State Ethics Commission agreed that all of this was above board and in compliance with all ethics rules. So I think it is unfair for you to put a cloud over it but again, would be happy to meet and re- view any aspect of the matter with you at your convenience. Glenn Thoren Mike, you probably know that Phil and I havent agreed on all issues, on some, maybe even most if I were to count, but not all. I disagreed withthe North Road purchase and the building being placed there BUT you also know I do my homework. There were no wink-wink deals, thre was no obfus- cation of information, there was no town manager collusion or I would have seen it. The only distortion of the facts and creation of an "alternate universe" of information is by a rich man with a vendetta and those who would like a different outcome for the property based on imagination not reason. I have read the timeline and looked into this carefully. Your comment that one could "lie by omisson" is truly incredible. Lets talk about that we we get to gether at the nexttown event. My take on this is that is was legal and above board. The vendetta vigilantes will only harm our town with halfbaked accusations and distortions. Please dontbe one of them. Frances T. McDougall Thank you, Glenn and may I say now, Amen. *Editor’s note the dialog is continuing as I write this but I am out of room and out of time I T R F A C E B O O K
A email B last from the P astThe greatest hits continue...❋ The Writings of Van LiewA Roland Van Liew review ofTom Christiano’s Politically Incorrectpost election analysis show of 2009CLICK HERE for the reviewCLICK HERE for the show☆ - Perhaps he was looking to land a job with the ITR as the entertainment reporter❋ 5/8/2009 email referenced in RVL Timeline
Chelmsford schools outsource custodial By Rita Savard, firstname.lastname@example.org 06/09/2011 www.lowellsun.com CHELMSFORD -- In a move to save $200,000, the School Committee voted yesterday to outsource the districts custodial services.The unanimous vote allows the district to enter into a contract with Aramark Education Services to managecleaning, maintenance and facilities in Chelmsfords seven schools.School Committee member Nick DeSilvio said hiring an outside company will save the district money at atime when aid has leveled but fixed costs continue to rise. It was unclear yesterday whether custodians whowere concerned about losing their jobs will remain working in Chelmsford schools.School officials mapped out a contract that stresses a preference for retaining the current custodial staff. Butthat decision is now an issue between Aramark and the custodians, DeSilvio said."We wanted them to look at our employees first and they were all in favor of that," DeSilvio that,said. "They actually prefer that for continuity for everyone involved." involved.Michael Greenwood, president of the custodians union, was unable to be reached for comment yesterday.School officials met with the union four times to try and negotiate a contract that would save the districtmoney. If custodians offered the same proposal that Aramark put forward -- the lowest bid, at about$841,000 --then custodians would have had to take a $3-per-hour cut in pay, Greenwood said.On average, most of the school districts custodial staff is making under $18 per hour, he noted.There are currently 23.5 custodians tasked with cleaning the towns seven schools, at an annual cost of $1.3million.Aramark, which also holds the food-service contract for UMass Lowell and Lowell Public Schools, is one ofthe largest school service providers worldwide, with 255,000 employees in 22 countries, according to thecompanys website.When Aramark was awarded a contract in Lowell, the districts food-service employees were allowed to keeptheir jobs.School officials started to weigh outsourcing as a way to bridge a projected multimillion-dollar gap in health-insurance costs. The effort was put forward after taking a long, hard look at the towns unfunded pension lia-bility, said Kathleen McWilliams, schools business manager.Until two years ago, cities and towns were not required to disclose retiree health-care obligations. The Gov-ernment Accounting Standards Board, which regulates public financial accounting, now requires communi-ties to conduct a study every three years and publish data on unfunded pension liabilities in their annualaudits.According to Chelmsfords study, the town is looking at an annual liability of $7 million.The pool of retirees continues to grow each year. More than 700 retirees are now enrolled in town health-in-surance plans, costing about $3 million.Next year, Chelmsford school officials say they plan to look at outsourcing the districts food-services pro-gram.
School Committee Approves Aramark as Custodial Vendor Aramark will now supply Chelmsford Public Schools with custodians and equipment. By Krista Perry June 9, 2011 www.chelmsford.patch.comIn a short meeting last night at 6 p.m., three of the five School Committee members voted to use Aramark as a vendor for custodial servicesfor the School Department.The move will save about $200,000 per year for each of the three years of the contract, according to school officials. The School Departmenthas the option to renew the contract for two more years after the contract ends.School Committee Chairwoman Janet Askenburg, who did not attend last nights meeting, had recused herself from a discussion on the topicTueday evening due to a potential conflict of interest.School Committee member Evelyn Thoren was also not present at last nights or Tuesday nights meeting.School Committee member Mike Rigney said the decision, for him, was not purely financial. Rigney said the change will allow more staffmembers to work at the schools and use top-notch equipment to get the schools clean. Rigney also said the employees of Aramark will en-gage in monthly training - an opportunity the School Department would not be able to give them."Im comfortable and confident that the service that is being offered by Aramark will be as good or better than the serv -ice we currently have," he said. "The contract provides for additional staff, both line people and an additional supervi - have,sor."sor.Rigney said the current custodians - "through no fault of their own" - just could not provide those services. own"Im confident Aramarks intake procedures are at least as good as ours," he said. "I hope we retain a lot of people we al - ours,ready have. Aramark reps have said that is a primary concern of theirs. They understand the necessary for security askids first and foremost." foremost.Rigney said he recognized the move was "disruptive" for the community. disruptive"Change is always disruptive, what Ive heard is everyone is committed to doing everything we have to (in order to) re-estbalish the sense of community we have now," he said. "Ill say its a personal request to the current employees to nowplease consider staying on. The testimony from the community (has been) an exhibit of their role in the community." community.Committee member Al Thomas said at the beginning of the process, which started in March with the School Department issued a Request forProposals on its website, he was probably the "strongest opponent" on the committee. Thomas said he changed his mind. opponent"One by one my concerns were picked off or addressed," he said. addressed,School Committee Vice Chairman Nick DeSilvio, who acted as chairman last night in Askenburgs absence, said the process has includedopen meetings and discussions as people are always allowed to come and speak at a School Committee meeting. DeSilvio said committeemembers have also been on Chelmsford Telemedia, on the radio, and in the print and online media talking about the change.A handful of parents and teachers had spoken out against the outsourcing at recent School Comittee meetings, including the teachers unionpresident, however no members of the public were at last nights meeting.State law mandates that committee members cannot talk about contract negotiations with unions, said DeSilvio, which made it difficult to ad-dress residents concerns."(The RFP) has been on the website, so when you talk about (union) negotiations, our side was known," said Superintend- known,ent Frank Tiano. " ... Our side was clear." clear."We feel we’ve been fair and we’ve been as open as we possibly can without disclosing private information from negoa -tions," said DeSilvio.tions,Desilvio said it was a difficult decision to make."We had a long drawn out discussion, all members dicussion not heated but strong opinions were voiced through entireprocess and we voted as a team," he said. "I think the employees in most places will make out. (Aramark will) train them, team,help them by giving more opportunities. Our guys are limited for personal advancement, at least here they have an op -portunity to move up ... We cant give that opportunity to someone. It doesnt exist." exist.The cost of the contract is:Year Amount1 $841,0332 $866,2643 $892,2524* $919,0195* $946,590* = Denotes the year is an option for the School Department."If you look at the cost of the custodians today, it is $1.2 million," said School Business Manager Kathy McWilliams. "So if you million,take that minus the $841,000 you get (about) $500,000. But in reality there are costs with letting (the custodians) go." go.McWilliams said unemployment benefits are still an unknown number, which is why she estimates about a $200,000 savings per year of thenew contract with Aramark.
Nashoba Tech stabilization fund gets final approval By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service Posted Jun 16, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordChelmsford —A stabilization fund for capital projects will be established for the Nashoba Technical High School district.Residents of the town of Shirley approved the fund Tuesday, June 14 at their Town Meeting, according toShirley Town Clerk Amy McDougall.Of the district’s seven sending towns, Chelmsford, Littleton and Pepperell voted against the fund andWestford, Groton and Townsend supported it. Shirley’s was the tie-breaking vote.The state recently changed the rules regulating a regional school district’s stabilization fund, allowing adistrict to use the money for specific purposes if 2/3 of its school committee approves. Previously, a re-gional school district had to get approval from each of its sending communities in Town Meeting.Establishing the fund required a majority vote. At Chelmsford’s Town Meeting at the end of April, NashobaTech Business Manager Jeanne Savoie and Superintendent Judy Klimkiewicz urged representatives toapprove the fund so the district wouldn’t have to come before them asking for money in the future.But former Chelmsford School Committee Chairman Kathy Duffett argued the district’s existing revolvingaccounts — School Choice and tuition from Ayer residents — already contain too much money and aren’tadequately regulated.Although Chelmsford resident and Nashoba Tech School Committee member Sam Poulten explained theSchool Choice and Ayer tuition funds are not well understood and are a separate matter, the ChelmsfordBoard of Selectmen and Finance Committee recommended against approving the account. The chairmenof both boards stated Town Meeting should decide how taxpayers’ money is spent.Most Town Meeting representatives also voted against the fund, although the vote was close enough forseveral to request a recount.Once the stabilization fund is set up, all Nashoba Tech’s sending towns must put money into the accountevery year, increasing their overall contribution. Although Chelmsford is contributing the minimum requiredby the state, the town still pays Nashoba Tech a larger amount than any other town, because it sends themost students to the school.Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reservedComments (1)mckenkmWould the articles author Monica Jimenez please correct her errors stated above.Of the districts seven sending towns, Chelmsford, Littleton and Pepperell voted against the fundThe facts are, Pepperell and Littleton both chose to DEFER putting the article on their Annual Town Meeting war-rants. The Term DEFERRED means that no vote had been taken by members at an ATM in either of those towns.Therefore it is considered defered to a future town meeting if required.The Town of Chelmsford was the only town NOT to vote in support of the Stabilization article.Reporting like this is shameful and unforgivable, Monica Jimenez never once contacted anyone at Nashoba Val-ley Technical High District prior to taking this article to press in Chelmsford Independent.RespectfullyKevin McKenzieChairman School Committee / NVTHS
Janitors: Pay cut will force us to retire By Rita Savard, email@example.com 06/21/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD -- They offered to take a pay cut and slash their benefits, but the school districts custodians say it wasnt enough. Now theirunion says janitors are being forced into early retirement after the new corporate bosses offered to keep them on the job -- for a 60 percent cutin hourly wages.Following a School Committee vote to outsource custodial services on June 8, Aramark Education Services will hold a contract to managecleaning, maintenance and facilities in Chelmsfords seven schools.Although the corporation has agreed to retain the jobs of 23.5 custodians, Michael Greenwood and Rick Thorne say Aramark offered even vet-eran custodians who have been on the job for 23 years a decrease in hourly wages, going from $18 per hour to $8.25 per hour. Under the newcontract, health benefits would also cost about $100 more per month, custodians said.A spokesperson from Aramark was unavailable for comment yesterday."Putting this all on the backs of the people who can least afford it just doesnt seem fair," said Greenwood, president of the fair,union. "What sacrifices have the administration been making? There are many pulling in six-figure salaries. What are theygiving up?" up?Greenwood said Aramarks offer gives the majority of the custodial staff no alternative but retirement. Greenwood, whose wife is battling termi-nal cancer, said if he took lesser insurance combined with the steep pay cut, hed lose the house he worked his life for.It costs the school district $1.3 million per year for the custodial staff. Outsourcing the service to Aramark will cost about $841,000, saving theschool district about $460,000 annually.School officials say they hammered out a contract that stressed a preference for retaining the current custodial staff. But what happens now isbetween custodians and the contract holder."We didnt discuss with Aramark the salary they would negotiate with staff," said Superintendent Frank Tiano. "At that point, staff,its our hope that veteran staff would be offered more than $8 an hour. But now thats in the hands of Aramark." Aramark.Thorne, the highest paid custodian, made $38,495 last year, not including overtime. Greenwood made about $36,973. Custodians said anyovertime accrued is typically paid by outside sources that rent the school buildings and need custodians on hand to clean during and afterevents.Greenwood, 59, has worked as a custodian in Chelmsford for 13 years. Thorne has worked in the district 23 years.School Committee member Allen Thomas, who was elected to the board in April, said it was a tough vote. Thomas knows the men well afterworking as a teacher, dean and principal in the district for many years.At first he was against it. But the more discussions touched upon the cost of replacing outdated equipment and the loss of 10 custodial posi-tions over the past decade, Thomas said his opinion changed."The cost of replacing old equipment and staff was so considerable," Thomas said. "Its a sad circumstance and its not the considerable,custodians fault. Its the situation they were put in after a long period of time, of not having the money to upkeep equip -ment."ment.Thomas also said hourly wages werent discussed, but it was his understanding that the benefits were reasonably good for both health anddental. Custodians did not receive dental under the school districts insurance plan.Custodians had a chance to bid for the contract as well, but were unable to match Aramarks offer."We were willing to come to an understanding," Greenwood said. "We offered to take a $1.50-per-hour cut in pay, give up a understandingweeks vacation and paid sick days. They didnt want it, but they didnt really tell us what they wanted from us." us.The custodians union is also the last union to have a sick bank in place, which allows workers to deposit and accumulate unused sick days forthem to cash in on later.Custodians say in the end, outsourcing could cost the district more. With more than 1,000 days in the bank, the school district could have toshell out more than $100,000 to the janitors.School officials declined to comment on the sick bank yesterday because they were still in negotiations with the union.Jim Durkin, a union representative from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said its not too late for the SchoolCommittee to "admit it made a mistake." mistake"The School Committee should be listening to what the community wants," Durkin said, adding that every teacher in the school wants,district signed a petition to keep the custodians jobs.Many of the teachers expressed concern over bringing in workers at low wages resulting in more turnover and more strangers coming in andout of the schools."If these people lose their jobs, there are 1,051 labor households in Chelmsford under the AFSCME umbrella and we willmake sure they all know what happened," Durkin said. happened,School Committee member Nick DeSilvio said the committees decision ultimately came down to the bigger picture."I never knew what was offered as far as hourly rates were concerned," he said. "I had to look at the long run, and that was concernedthe impact to students. The cost savings will help the district do what we do best, and thats educate our kids." kids.