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I choose Chelmsford. by Timothy McIlvenna 11 Brook StreetI choose Chelmsford.I choose to celebrate that we have come through what we think is the worst of theeconomic crisis, and are now increasing services where possible, including life-guards at the beaches and more hours at McKay.I choose to support and treasure the volunteers - the MANY volunteers - who helpthis community in so many ways.I choose to participate in town government, knowing that town government is not aspectator sport.I choose to communicate directly with our volunteers, appointed and electedofficials, and town administration, even when I disagree, so that communicationCAN be dialog, and that mutual respect and understanding can prevail.I choose to support our teachers and administration, and take the time every sooften when they go above and beyond to send emails praising them, copying theirleadership, so they know how much their efforts are appreciated.I choose to watch closely the actual meetings that occur, and not just read aboutthem in blogs or mailings.I choose to commend those that work tirelessly to ensure Chelmsford gets its duefor grant money, so that our town can be improved beyond what our local fundingcan provide.I choose to try to attend many great events in Chelmsford like parades, breakfasts,book sales, concerts on the common and many of the other offerings that Chelms-ford has each week.I choose to believe we will move beyond recalls andmailings, and spend our collective limited resources to move us forward, to increaseour sense of community, to continually restore the Lions pride, to be sires that willwin more, andchildren that will truly guard what has already been won.I choose Chelmsford.
I demand good government Roland Van Liew says Chelmsford recall is about the law. Others see a vendetta By Rita Savard, firstname.lastname@example.org 05/23/2011CHELMSFORD -- Recalling elected officials is no small task.But Roland Van Liew invested $90,000 to force the first recall in town history for four selectmen.The man who has crafted fiery mailings for several years accusing town officials of corruption says"its about good government." government."I want them to uphold the law," Van Liew told The Sun Thursday. law,He says Selectmen George Dixon, Matt Hanson, Jon Kurland and Pat Wojtas failed to uphold the law when they did nottake an alleged violation of a preservation restriction to court.From hiring signature gatherers to mailing thousands of petitions, Van Liews resources and organization helped him gar-ner more than 2,400 signatures to recall each selectman.Supporters say the recall reflects voter outrage and enhances democracy. Opponents say Van Liew is misusing a sacredtool that was never meant to be used lightly, all to force out Town Manager Paul Cohen."For four years hes been on a witch hunt after Paul," says Kurland. "He first tried recalling the town man - Paul,ager, which you cannot do, according to the Town Charter, then he tried with two members of the Plan -ning Board last year, and now this. He has no evidence of any illegal activity or corruption, yet here weare and its a shame for the town." town.Tomorrow night, the five selectmen, including the four recall targets, must set an election date.Like it or not, recall is now a reality.Who is Van Liew?Hes been called the"shadowy" figure behind shadowya series of mass mailingsthat have singled outtown officials for allegedcorruption. But Van Liew,co-founder of and largest Roland Van Liewcontributor to the formerChelmsford-based SlowGrowth Initiative andfounder of Better not Big-ger, says hes never beenone to stand in the shad-ows."They know who I am.Ive been to the pub -lic meetings and Ivebeen to the townmanagers office," he office,says. "But all of theboard members are Photo by SUN / David H. Brownpart of an inner cir -cle. Chelmsford hasreached a point where everything has to be unanimous or else you face retribution. I was brought upto believe youre supposed to be concerned about this kind of thing." thing.The 57-year-old grew up in a middle-class Worcester family. His father, Robert, was a music teacher and a professionalmusician who played lead flute in the Worcester orchestra.Van Liews mother, Frances, stayed home. He credits his father with teaching him his first lessons in giving."Whenever he had an extra $40 or $50 leftover, he would donate it to charity," Van Liew says. "He never charity,asked for recognition, and thats just how I feel it should be done." done.Van Liew earned a bachelors degree in computer science from Framingham State. A former boss, he says, suggested hego to school for business.He earned his masters in business administration from Babson College and, in 1995, founded a software training com-
pany, Hands On Technology Transfer Inc., in Chelmsford center.The business helped Van Liew make millions, he says.Van Liew, a registered Democrat, has contributed to several political campaigns, including Al Frankens successful run forU.S. Senate in Minnesota, and pumped "millions" into nonprofits, including childrens charities, womens health organiza-tions and other causes, he says.Through his charitable affiliations, Van Liew was directed to the New England Coalition for Sustainable Population, a non-profit that says it supports reducing population growth. The group was formed to spread education and awareness aboutoverpopulation that can stretch natural resources and lead to deforestation, food and water shortages, as well as climatechange, according to its website.The NECSP advocates sex education, including the use of contraceptives to prevent unwanted and unplanned pregnan-cies. Van Liew left its board of directors in 2009 to focus on the Slow Growth Initiative in Chelmsford.Through SGI, Van Liew helped funnel resources into a massive grass-roots effort to wipe out the states Chapter 40B af-fordable-housing law. The measure made it to the state ballot, but lost.SGI, he says, grew from his contact with Chelmsford officials."For years, 40Bs have been springing up like mushrooms in Chelmsford," Van Liew says. "Officials were Chelmsford,saying one thing and doing another. That started getting my hackles up." up.Cohen says Van Liews 40B claims are "grossly inaccurate." He says the only 40B approved in his 4 1/2 years as inaccurate.manager was a 48-unit affordable-housing project on Riverneck Road, which was tied up in court for six years before ajudge finally approved it.Hillside Gardens, another 40B project on Boston Road, was also approved after years of litigation, but remains on holdfollowing an appeal."The town has fought many proposals to try and make the best of a bad situation," Cohen says. "In the situation,end, the town has to abide by the law." law.Allegations of back-room dealsVan Liews foes say he is driven by his opposition to 40B, or to the controversial building project at 9 North Road, whichwas listed on petitions as the catalyst for the recall.Not true, he says."As a citizen, I demand good government," he says. "Weve lost our village green because of bad gov - government,ernment, and if you try to talk to (town officials) about it, they diss you." you.Van Liew and other opponents of a two-story building being constructed at 9 North Road, next door to the Center FireStation, allege that the site-plan approval exceeded the authority of the permitting boards, given their knowledge of a1978 preservation restriction on the land.The 15,494-foot, Colonial-style building has received a stamp of approval from the Chelmsford Historic District Commis-sion, the Conservation Commission, the Planning Board and, last summer, the Board of Selectmen after a lengthy publichearing.The parcel, purchased from Eastern Bank by Michael Eliopoulos, father of former selectman Philip Eliopoulos, will even-tually house medical, dental and law offices owned and operated by Michaels children and other family members.Van Liew says the parcel, which included the adjacent historic Emerson House, sold for about $400,000 because thepreservation restriction made the land unbuildable.He alleges that backroom deals, and loopholes Philip Eliopoulos found in the language of the restriction, allowed a largebuilding on what should have remained public land.Officials vehemently deny Van Liews allegations, and accuse him of spinning the truth.Philip Eliopoulos says he contacted the state Ethics Commission before becoming involved with the building project, andfollowed all legal protocols through several public hearings,A state Land Court judge refused to halt construction last year. Construction has begun, and the facade of the structure isvisible from North Road and Chelmsford Street.Dixon and Hanson, the selectmen, say they believe no violation has taken place, based on the Land Court judges ruling,the fact that the land was privately owned and the way the restriction was written.Kurland opposed construction. He says the intent of the preservation restriction is clear and that the judges rulingshowed he wants selectmen, who have ultimate authority, to weigh in."I supported the preservation restriction," Kurland says. "But others disagreed. I wasnt happy about it, restriction,but at the end of the day you have to live with it. There was no corruption involved. People voted theway they interpreted the law and that is not a crime." crime.Kurlands name will appear on the recall ballot. Van Liew says Kurland was privy to backroom deals but chose to do noth-ing.
"That makes him just as guilty as the others," Van Liew says. others,Local-level recalls more commonThe recall of elected officials grew from a post-Civil War municipal reform movement."There was widespread citizen support for bringing about changes," says Joseph Zimmerman, a political sci- changes,ence professor at Albany State University of New York who wrote the 1997 book, The Recall: Tribunal of the People.Today, 29 states allow recall elections for local governments. Only 18, not Massachusetts, allow for a recall of state offi-cial.Thresholds for a recall are high."The signature requirements are usually set high enough to discourage anything but a sincere at -tempt," Zimmerman says.tempt,Recall bylaws are unique to each community in Massachusetts. In Chelmsford, a registered voter must first obtain signa-tures from 25 other registered voters in each of the towns nine voter precincts. Once those signatures are certified by thetown clerk and petitions are handed over to the petitioners, a 14-day window begins to collect additional signatures from10 percent, about 2,400 names, of the towns registered voters.If the signatures are collected and certified, town officials must hold a recall election.Last month, Chelmsford Town Meeting amended the recall bylaw, increasing the signature requirement to 15 percent,over 20 days. The measure was hotly contested.Opponents argue that changing the bylaw would make it even more difficult to institute a recall, especially for those with-out means to hire petition gatherers. Supporters say recalls should be used for egregious abuse; if that occurred, peoplewould stand in line to sign petitions.Jeff Berry, a political science professor at Tufts University, said the road to recall should be difficult."It should be a high barrier to recall. Otherwise it could be used frivolously," Berry said. "It should not be frivolously,used because we dont like the policies enacted by incumbents. It should be used in cases of criminalactivity, gross misconduct and abuse of power." power.Van Liew said he believes that is the case in Chelmsford, and that those who signed his petitions agree.Organizers rallying against the recall say no crime has been committed."There is no good reason for this recall," says Colleen Stansfield, a Town Meeting representative and Planning recall,Board member. "Were hoping to keep the vote no focus on the positive aspects of Chelmsford and thepositive things our selectmen and town manager do because there are so many. Were going to try toignore the hate mail that has gone out and share the truth with the public." public.Recall opponents will gather tonight at 6 at the Chelmsford American Legion.Wojtas, the selectman, says she is talking to voters about the recall."You never know what can happen in an election," she says. "Im not taking anything for granted." election, grantedCohen says Van Liews reasons for the recall cant compare to the case of Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner, who wasousted by his colleagues, and later sentenced to jail, for accepting a bribe."None of the officials Van Liew is accusing of corruption have been found guilty of any crime orwrongdoing," Cohen says. "These people are being punished because Roland Van Liew has an ax towrongdoing,grind with me." me.In 2009, an effort to recall Cohen failed because its not allowed under the Town Charter. Last fall, Van Liew tried to recalltwo Planning Board members, but was unable to gather enough signatures in time.Cohen says his offer still stands to debate the issues with Van Liew anytime, anywhere. Van Liew has declined.Van Liew says town officials have tried to block 9 North Road from formal inquiries because "they know its illegal." illegal.The matter remains tied up in court.Although hes very interested in politics, Van Liew says he has no desire to run for office."I dont want to be the one in charge," he says. "I want residents to get involved, take ownership and run charge,their town." town.
Chelmsford opponents of recall rallying to retain board Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford 05/21/2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordChelmsford —A growing number of Chelmsford residents are rallying against the recall of fourChelmsford selectmen.Voters will decide whether to remove selectmen George Dixon, Jon Kurland, Pat Woj-tas and Matt Hanson from their positions at a special election this summer. On Friday,May 6, Chelmsford resident and recall leader Roland Van Liew submitted the numberof signatures necessary to call the election.The Chelmsford Board of Registrars certified the signatures — more than 2,363 foreach selectman — a week later. The Board of Selectmen is expected to schedule therecall election at its meeting Monday, May 23, for sometime between mid-July andmid-August.But former selectman Dennis Ready isn’t holding his breath. Many Chelmsford resi-dents will fight to keep this board, he said.“ Almost eve r y o n e y o u k n o w w h o ’ s i n v o l v e d w i t h the town of Chelmsfordh as said, ‘C o u n t m e i n , ’” Ready said of the anti-recall effort. “ Almost everyone ,’who’s invol v e d a t a l l i s w i l l i n g t o d o s o m e t h i n g .” invo l .The group opposing the recall will most likely be called Choosing Chelmsford andmay mobilize as soon as the week after Memorial Day, Ready said. The organizationwould hold fundraisers and use the money to produce signs and send out mailings.A related Facebook group called “ V O T E N O o n R e c a l l – Choose Chelmsford,” Chelmsford,formed Sunday, had almost 70 supporters by Tuesday evening.“ They’re go i n g t o f i n d o u t w h a t g r a s s r o o t s m e a ns,” Ready said, referring to ns,recall advocates.Van Liew has stated the recall will give Chelmsford voters a chance to express theirwill.“ We’ve bee n v e r y p a t i e n t a n d g i v e n t h e s e l e c t m en so many opportunitiest o do the ri g h t t h i n g ,” Van Liew said shortly after submitting the signatures. “ All ,we want is a f o r m a l i n q u i r y i n t o t h e ‘ 9 N o r t h R o ad’ scandal; we want ac - quc ountability f o r m a l f e a s a n c e b y c o r r u p t p u b l i c officials; and we demandt hat officia l s s t o p f l o u ti n g t h e l a w. I a m s o g l a d that voters will be al - til owe d to vo t e o n w h e t h e r t h e s e l e c t m e n w h o ’ v e ignored these simple owedc alls for go o d g o v e r n me n t r e m a i n i n o f f i c e .” me .Van Liew began the recall effort in March, accusing selectmen George Dixon, JonKurland, Pat Wojtas and Matt Hanson of failing to protect the interest of residentsduring the approval process for an office building project at 9 North Road.In the first weeks of May, local attorney and Planning Board member Richard McClure— then representing Van Liew — faced off with town counsel Kopelman & Paige in aseries of legal skirmishes, demanding more time and more petition blanks to collectsignatures. At one point, McClure argued Kurland had violated the right of equal ac-cess to the ballot by implying store managers should remove petitioners from theirpremises.The judge dismissed McClure’s claims and ordered him disqualified as Van Liew’s
counsel, ruling because he holds a position on a town board, he has a conflict of in-terest.If voters choose to recall any of the four selectmen in this summer’s special elec-tion, another election to fill the vacancy or vacancies on the board would most likelybe scheduled for sometime between late October and early November.Each election would cost the town between $16,000 and $20,000 and during the in-tervening period Chelmsford would have fewer or possibly only one selectman – JimLane, who was just elected.Town Manager Paul Cohen said in a May 10 statement a reduced board would beable to perform fewer functions.“ If the reca l l p r o c e s s w e r e t o r e d u c e t h e m e m b e rship of the Board of weSelectmen t o l e s s t h a n a q u o r u m o f 3 , t h e n t h e remaining member(s),Sele ctmenwould only b e a b l e t o p e r f o r m m i n i s t e r i a l f u n c t i ons such as one-dayl iquor licen s e s o r o t h e r n o n - p o l i c y r e l a t e d m a t t ers,” Cohen said. ersFormer selectman Eric Dahlberg said Facebook chatter aside, he hasn’t caughtwind of a coordinated effort to keep Chelmsford’s selectmen in office, but he plansto vote against the recall.“ I respect t h e r i g h t o f a n y a n d a l l r e s i d e n t s t o p ursue a recall of electedt own offici a l s b y f o l l o w i n g t h e p r o c e s s t h a t i s l aid out in the charter,but I will v o t e a g a i n s t t h e r e c a l l o f m y f o u r f o r mer colleagues on theBoard of Se l e c t m e n ,” Dahlberg said in a statement Monday. “They have done Se ,nothing to warrant such an extraordinary and unprecedented step.”Chelmsford Center for the Arts Director Susan Gates, who supports the “VOTE NOon Recall” Facebook group, also said she’s only heard murmurings of organized op-position to the recall. But if such a group got going in the near future, Gates said,she would join in a heartbeat.“ Lots of pe o p l e a r e t a l k i n g a b o u t , ‘ W h a t s h o u l d we do?’” Gates said, refer- do?ring to the recall effort. “ I t h i n k i t ’ s r e a l l y b a d f o r o ur community that this is thhappening. A n d i n t e r a c t i n g o n F a c e b o o k w i t h p eople I don’t agree withhappening .often, we c a n b o t h a g r e e t h i s i s c r a z y a n d h a r m ful for our community.” community.Ready said he doesn’t believe Chelmsford voters will recall the selectmen.“ You can bu y 2 , 5 0 0 s i g n a t u r e s , b u t I d o n ’ t t h i n k you can buy an elec -t ion,” Ready said. ion,Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
Residents Rally Against Recall Chelmsford residents against the upcoming recall discussed last night how and why they should vote against the recall. By Michael Carney May 23, 2011 www.chelmsford.patch.comA group of Chelmsford residents rallied together at the American Legion last nightdiscuss the recall that Roland Van Liew has initiated against Selectman Jon Kurland,Pat Wojtas, George Dixon and Matt Hanson.Some residents, such as the Planning Board member Colleen Stansfield, said theyfeel the actual reason for the recall is being misrepresented. Stansfield said she be-lieves Van Liew’s actual goal is to remove Town Manager Paul Cohen from office.“A certain angry man has bought himself an election based on misrepre -senting what the true reason is that he seeks this recall, to remove PaulCohen,” said Stansfield. “This is not about a building or acting unlawful.”Cohen, unlawful.Many of the residents said the repercussions of the recall is going to hurt the town.“He took a very emotional issue, and turned it into dividing the town,” town,said Selectman George Dixon, one of the selectmen Van Liew is targeting with the re-call. “If he is successful he is going to set the town back 100 years, atthe very least.” least.Selectman Jon Kurland said by voting in favor of the recall, voters will be empoweringVan Liew.“If even one selectman is recalled, we are empowering this individual,” individual,said Kurland. “And heaven forbid if all four of us are, I don’t know whosegoing to be running, but you know this individual probably has his slateof people who will be glad to run for Selectman.” Selectman.Kurland said if Van Liew’s recall is successful, it will make individuals that plan onrunning in the future more hesitant.“Who is going to want to deal with this guy, knowing that all he has todo is say the wrong thing, and he is going to either have voters votethis guy out, or get new people in,” said Kurland. in,Town Rep Billy Martin agreed with Kurland, saying that if the current selectmen arevoted out, no one will be willing to run for anything. Martin also emphasized how therecall has now moved past the building at 9 North Road, saying that at this point 9North Road is off topic.“No matter how you vote, it will have no effect on 9 North Road,” said Road,Martin.
Former selectman Jon Carson said he feels the building at 9 North Road should nothave been built. However, he said that despite this, he feels a recall is not the solu-tion.“A recall is not the way to address that decision,” said Carson. “Who in decision,the right mind is going to run for elected office if this is successful?” successful?George Merrill said those against the recall should focus their attention on garneringmedia support.“The important thing is to get the media behind you,” said Merrill. “I’ve you,done two of these before, and without the media, you’re not going tobe winning.” winning.Residents at the meeting last night also discussed how to spread their message forthe upcoming election.Plans include simply talking about the situation with others, using the print and elec-tronic media, using social media such as Facebook, and making a Choose Chelms-ford website.Town Representative Alex Buck said that going ahead, the residents of Chelmsfordneed to focus on what is best for the town of Chelmsford itself, and not the issue re-garding 9 North Road.“When it comes to choosing the town of Chelmsford, there is a clearwinner,” said Buck.winner,Jon Kurland said Chelmsford has always been a wonderful place to live, full of greatpeople willing to lend a hand. Kurland said that he recalls hearing stories on howthe town used to be divided, between North Chelmsford and Chelmsford Center, andthat he fears this recall may result in a similar rift in the town.“We need to keep Chelmsford the wonderful town that it is, not the di -vided town that it used to be,” said Kurland. “Hopefully we can bring be,more people together, work hard, and on August 2, we are going tolook at each other and say ‘we saved this town.’ ”If you wish to make a donation to help withthe "Vote NO" on Recall movement,you can make them payable to:Choose Chelmsford PACand send them toPO Box453, N. Chelmsford, MA 01863
Chelmsford recall election set for Aug. 2 By Jennifer Myers, email@example.com 05/24/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD -- Voters, circle Tuesday, Aug. 2, on your calendars.Selectmen voted unanimously last night to hold a special election to determine the fate of four of their fivemembers on that date.The recall election was forced by resident Roland Van Liew, who alleges that Selectmen George Dixon,Matt Hanson, Jon Kurland and Pat Wojtas failed to uphold the law by not taking to court an alleged viola-tion of a preservation restriction on a controversial 9 North Road building project developed by the familyof former Selectman Phil Eliopoulos.The two-story, 15,494-square-foot office building will eventually house medical, dental and law offices forthe Eliopoulos family. The 2-acre parcel, behind the Center Fire Station, was purchased from EasternBank by Michael Eliopoulos, father of the former selectman, for $400,000.Selectman Jim Lane was not on the board at the time. He replaced Selectman Eric Dahlberg, who did notseek re-election this spring.While Van Liew has said his motive is to preserve "good government" in the town, opponents, includingTown Manager Paul Cohen and Kurland, contend that he has a vendetta against Cohen, whom he tried tohave removed from office in 2009.In related news, last night Cohen said he sent letters to Attorney General Martha Coakleys office and thestate Ethics Commission inviting them to investigate allegations of corruption and "back-room deals" thatVan Liew has levied at himself and Phil Eliopoulos in relation to the North Road project."I am not aware of any wrongdoing by myself or any town officials," Cohen said, adding that officialshe has invited those agencies to investigate in an effort to resolve what has evolved into a "crisis ofconfidence" in town government.Cohen said he was informed that the investigation has been assigned to the Attorney Generals Public In-tegrity Division, as well as an investigator at the Ethics Commission. He was told to call next week for anupdate.On May 13, Town Clerk Betty Delaney certified that Van Liew submitted the required number of voter sig-natures -- 2,363 per selectman requested to be recalled -- to trigger an election. The petitions submittedincluded 2,537 signatures to recall Hanson, 2,523 for Kurland, 2,504 for Dixon and 2,495 for Wojtas.The election is expected to cost the town between $18,000 and $20,000.Delaney said that, by law, selectmen must schedule the recall election 60 to 90 days after the certificationof the signatures, giving them a window of July 12 to Aug. 11."There is no good time in the summer to have an election," Delaney said, adding that she election,spoke to her staff and poll workers, and determined the first week of August worked best for all involved.Before the vote to schedule the election, Lane asked if any of the selectmen intends to resign. No onereplied in the affirmative. He added that if any of the four do resign before May 28, the vote to schedulethe recall election becomes null and void.In accordance with the Town Charter, the ballot will include four separate "yes" or "no" questions, one onthe recall of each of the four selectmen.Delaney said the ballot order has been determined by the order in which the recall petitions were submit-ted to her office: Hanson, Dixon, Wojtas and Kurland.
☆ - Van Liew refuses to participate in debate forum ITR●Facebook 5/15/11According to a posting by Politically Incorrect talk show host Tom Christiano on hisCHELMSFORD REPS & RESIDENTS Facebook page, Roland Van Liew was issued an invite by Tom to appearin a televised debate forum moderated by town moderator Dick Defreitas.The proposal was for both sides to come together, Roland Van Liew and those being recalled, in a debateat the performing arts center, televised, expressing their point of view and outlining their facts so resi-dents can be educated going to the pols.Roland answered that he would not participate in such a Forum, for a variety of reasons. ☆ - Van Liew’s reply to Tom Christianos forum invite ITR●Facebook 5/16/11After 4 years of unsuccessfully trying to get Roland Van Liew as a guest for hisPolitically Incorrect talk show (the most recent attempt, a show opposite Paul Cohen)Tom Christiano tried for a proposal that would have the accused come face to face withthe accuser in a televised debate at the Performing Arts Center. Now in a response Roland gives reasons for his latest refusal.In a note to Tom Christiano to be shared with the public Roland states,"How about we do four shows -- four guests each. One selectman and myself, DickMcClure, and Spencer Kimball, who are experts on the evidence that the selectmen claim doesnt exist. Soundsmore fair and more informative than four selectmen lying together facing an untrained debater/questioner suchas myself.""Oh, I forgot -- Jon Kurland already declined to appear with EITHER Spencer Kimball ALONE, or withDick 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 havediscussed previously, there is no way to rebut lies in real time on video. Rebuttal requires research, documenta-tion and time. Even with fact checking and postproduction editing, which is not available for your show, it wouldbe impossible to correct all the misinformation that Jon Kurland alone spouts duringinterviews. I will appear in any venue where they are under oath -- such as a formalinquiry. Jon Kurland has been running away from his deposition for months now for just this reason - he cannotlie under oath without facing legal repercussions.""You may publish the above three paragraphs in their entirety but not separately.- Roland Tom Christiano Roland Van Liew
LETTER TO THE EDITOR:An all time favorite Christmas classic playing out in Chelmsford.......Can you imagineMr Potter sitting behind his desk, wanting to own everthing and everybody. Doingeverything he can to buy, because he had the means , that one remaining institutionin town. He even tried to buy George. In the end the integrity of the people won outand they said NO.Well look what we have going on today in Chelmsford.An individual with deep pockets trying to dictate what he believes Chelmsford shouldlook like (zero growth....Google on his publications and beliefs regarding growth andpopulation).Tyring to buy an election as Potter tried to buy that building and loan and evenGeorge. Replace the existing selectmen with his own or those that agree with him,remove the Town manager as Potter tried George.If you think that he gets people in Selectmen seats that they will not carry out hisagenda your are kidding yourself. If you happen to be elected and dont agree youwill be removed....This is a control issue folks.Do not be clouded by the 9 North road issue because it is not that...Its about control.RVLs quote in the Lowell Sun on Sunday May 22nd " I dont want to be in control, hesays. I want the residents to get involved, take ownership and run their town." says itall. As long as you agree with his agenda the residents can run the town or fear beingrecalled or sued. Mr Potter sat back and watched...if you did not agree with him hewould try to eliminate the threat to his agenda.RVL will sit back and observe and if you disagree with him watch out.Its all about control. My Friends, fellow reps and residents look at what is really hap-pening...Control, becoming personal.Let integrity speak....No one person should be able to dictate what the town shouldbe or look like because in the end its about you, me, the future of Chelmsford.This is a dangerous precedent and will divide a town like we have never experienced.One person with deep pockets should never have this much pull....This is a community...we all should run this town...Notice I used the wordWe and not "I".Protect Chelmsford...She is worth it....Choose Chelmsford.....VOTE NO TO THE RECALLJeff Apostolakes17 Queen StreetChelmsford
Cohen to State: Investigate 9 North Road Allegations Town Manager Paul Cohen is encouraging an ethics investigation to assure the public of the facts when it comes to 9 North Road. By Krista Perry May 24, 2011 www.chelmsford.patch.comTown Manager Paul Cohen last week sent letters to the state Ethics Commission andstate Attorney Generals office asking them to investigate Roland Van Liews allega-tions against him regarding 9 North Road.In the letter, Cohen says serious allegations have been made including "violationsof the states conflict of interest laws by former Board of Selectmenchairman Phil Eliopoulos and by (me)." (me).Cohen, in the letter, says he is not seeking to involve the state in the local issue of arecall election."However, the lack of any formal response by (the Ethics Commission)and by the office of the Attorney General to these serious allegationsleaves the residents of the community with an uncertainty regardingthe validity of these charges," Cohen wrote. charges,Cohen went on to write he is unaware of any illegalities or improprieties regarding thedevelopment of 9 North Road."I invite the state Ethics Commission and any other appropriate legalauthority to conduct an investigation into these serious allegations," allegations,Cohen wrote.Cohen told selectmen last night he followed up withboth offices and an investigator has been assignedfrom the state ethics commission."Ill call back in about a week ... I don’t be -lieve there’s any merit, but I think it’s an in -vestment in the town to call forth theassistance from the state to help restore theconfience in the community," Cohen said. community, Paul Cohen
Chelmsford building inspector docked $7G By Jennifer Myers, firstname.lastname@example.org 05/24/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD -- As allegations mount against Building Inspector Scott Hammond in his hometown ofBillerica, Town Manager Paul Cohen said he is waiting until he receives all available information beforeproceeding with further disciplinary action against the eight-year town employee.Hammond, who has owned a home on Highview Street in Billerica since 1987, was called before thattowns Conservation Commission on May 11 to face charges he dumped truckloads of fill into a town-owned, protected wetlands area three years ago.The allegations came to light after a phone call from one of his neighbors to the states Department ofEnvironmental Protection.Hammond admitted to the wrongdoing and vowed to work with town officials to remedy the situation.Cohen said that based on Hammonds willingness to work with Billerica officials and the fact that therehave been no issues with his job performance in the two years since he has been Chelmsfords chiefbuilding inspector, he took actions that will cost Hammond about $7,000.Cohen explained, as a punitive measure, he did not approve Hammonds move to the next step on thesalary scale during his annual performance evaluation. That move costs Hammond about $1,600, whichover the next six years, the amount of time it will take him to reach the top step in the pay scale, amountsto about $7,000.Late last week, further allegations regarding Hammond came to Cohens attention, including:* He has allegedly been running a general contracting business from buildings on town-owned land behindhis home.* The permit for the swimming pool he built 20 years ago, which encroaches on town land, was falsified.* That he built a garage/workshop on his property without permits.In a letter sent yesterday by Billerica Town Counsel Patrick Costello to Hammonds lawyer, Steve Lentine,Costello requests a meeting to review the issues that have arisen. In the meantime, Costello instructsLentine to "please instruct your client to cease and desist from any unauthorized use or occupancy of thetown-owned land to the rear of his property.""The town believes that your clients (Scott and Joan Hammond) have illegally enteredand erected structures upon the town property, altered protected wetlands/conservationland without appropriate notice to the Conservation Commission and erected buildingsor structures without obtaining appropriate building permits or other required approvalsfrom the town," Costellos letter reads. town,The letter adds that Hammond will be receiving a letter issued by the Billerica building commissioner,notifying him of several permitting and zoning violations.Cohen called the allegations "quite disturbing," but added that he will not take any further action until disturbing,he receives more information because he does not want to "rush to judgment." judgment."Every person is entitled to fair process," he said. process,The Billerica Conservation Commission is expected to discuss the issue again at its July 13 meeting.
Chelmsford inspector resigns over Billerica zoning, dumping allegations By Rita Savard, email@example.com 05/26/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD -- Chelmsford Building Inspector Scott Hammond has resigned amid mounting alle-gations of zoning violations and illegal dumping in wetlands behind his Billerica home.Hammond submitted his resignation yesterday morning after disciplinary action from Town ManagerPaul Cohen that canceled the building inspectors annual $1,600 step increases for the next sixyears, amounting to a fine of about $7,000.The fine was a response to Hammonds admission to Billerica town officials that he knowinglydumped truckloads of loam and gravel over an area of protected wetlands behind his home at 50Highview St.Since Monday nights Board of Selectmen meeting, Cohen received a list of other alleged zoning vi-olations against Hammond from Billerica officials, including falsifying a pool permit application, build-ing a deck, shed and part of a garage on town-owned land, and running a commercial business fromhis home.Hammond did not return phone calls yesterday, but Cohen said Hammond agreed that in the wakeof the charges, "it was not tenable to effectively serve as building inspector in Chelms -ford."ford.In his resignation letter, Hammond wrote "I appreciate the opportunities I have been givenhere and regret any hardship or inconvenience this may have caused the town ofChelmsford."Chelmsford.Hammond was called before the Billerica Conservation Commission on May 11 to face charges ofdumping truckloads of loam and gravel into town-owned, protected wetlandsbehind his house three years ago.Aerial photographs show Hammond parking construction and landscaping equipment on top of thefill that he dumped onto the wetlands. The dirt and gravel he dumped was used to build a separatedriveway for construction and landscaping vehicles.Conservation Commission member Diane DePaso said she was not only shocked to hear someonewould willfully dump fill on wetlands, but that the act was committed by a town enforcement official.After the commission meeting, Hammond told officials he would "make it right." right.Billerica Town Manager John Curran said Hammond has shown a willingness to come into compli-ance, having pulled applications to fix his permits and move his shed and pool back onto his prop-erty."Ive received calls from people who have said Scott is a nice guy, people who havesaid the towns reaction has been too strict," Curran said. "But you cant have a differ - strict,ent set of laws for somebody just because hes a nice guy." guy.Hammond was appointed full-time building inspector in Chelmsford two years ago. Cohen said thatduring that time, there have been no concerns about Hammonds job performance. He has beenworking as a building inspector in Chelmsford since 2003, and made approximately $65,000 lastyear. Prior to that, he had also worked as a temporary local inspector in Billerica.Staff writer Evan Lips contributed to this report.
Delaney: Precincts Will Change Due to Census NumbersTown Clerk Betty Delaney is working on reprecincting the town after the latest census. By Krista Perry May 24, 2011 www.chelmsford.patch.comTown Clerk Betty Delaney last night told selectmen she is working on changing up the townsprecincts after the 2010 census results.Even though the town actually lost about 68 people in the census, Delaney said populationshave shifted throughout the town and only 4,000 people per precinct are allowed according tothe towns charter."Every 10 years we have to review precinct lines, they send us a map and welook at it and decide on what we want to do. In Chelmsford we haven’t had biggrowth," said Delaney.growth,Still, Delaney said she is concerned about a few neighborhoods in town. There is a section ofSteadman Street in which some voters are in precinct 6 while others are in precinct 8. Delaneysaid shed like to put all of Steadman Street in precinct 6, using Route 3 as a boundary. "In South Chelmsford near 495, Chamberland Road, were trying to makae 495the natural boundary," said Delaney. "That would put them into precinct 5, right boundary,now theyre in 7." 7.Delaney said she is trying to preserve neighborhoodsas much as possible."I know people may be upset," said Delaney, re- upset,ferring to the 162 Town Meeting Reps who may haveto run for re-election in a different precinct. "It’s afact of life. Its lines. I cannot help lines ...Hopefully we can resolve (these issues) andcome back for a vote."vote.Selectmen need to vote on the new precincts by June14 before submitting the changes to the state.Try to keep in natural boundaries 495 route 3 andbrooks.They’re all pretty much within, it’s all a ballpark we’repretty well grown up there’s not much more we canexpect in terms of calling for another precinct. CLICK HERECohen- the most sig is 3 and 8 we could not keepthem in current configuration there was movementaround the town. We try to set the boundary of route 3 to be the eastern most edge of precinct8 and precinct 2 stays as WilliamsburgIronic- the precincts aren’t numerically aligned. Historic reason when the town was smaller30s 40s 50s 1 was center and 2 was north Chelmsford the distiction went away and we’re leftwith historical anomelie … the state doesn’t care just number them
POLITICALLY INCORRECTwith TOM CHRISTIANO with Lowell City Manager Bernie Lynch and State Representative Tom Golden.Among the topics included the town recall election. A very interesting & informative show. CLICK HERE for showTOWN TALKwith Dennis Ready Selectman George Dixon talks about the town the recall and why he chooses Chelmsford CLICK HERE and Mary GregoireDennis talks with former Selectman Bill Dalton Why School Committee member Former Selectman Susan Gatesabout why he Chooses Chelmsford Nick DeSilvio tells why she Chooses Chooses Chelmsford Chelmsford. CLICK HERE CLICK HERE CLICK HERE Town Manager Round T able - Open Space and Conservation, May 2011 CLICK HERE Guests Thaddeus J. Soulé and Phil Stanway
Legaleze Q&AITR:What is the status of your appeal of the judges ruling thatyou violated the conflict of interest law?RICHARD McCLURE(Attorney & Planning Board member) :I still have to obtain a copy of the transcript of the Hearing from theSuperior Court before i can file appeal (appeal needs to be filed within30 days of original ruling; May 6?). In any event, it will be filed firstweek of June. After that it could take weeks or months to get a deci-sion. More important question is ..."will the Town waste more moneyon town counsel by having them file an opposition to theappeal?" (which is not "required").ITR: What is the status of the town’s complaint to the ethics board on planning boardmember Richard McClure?And have you heard back from the Ethics board or Attorney General on your request toinvestigate 9 North Road?PAUL COHEN (Town Manager):The policy and practice of the State Ethics Commission is not tocomment on a complaint. The agencys investigations areconfidential. Therefore, all that I know is that the State EthicsCommission is in receipt of the conflict of interest complaint againstRichard McClure and that the agency has received my recentrequest to investigate the allegations pertaining to 9 North Road.The conflict of interest complaints regarding 9 North Road werefiled against Philip Eliopoulos and me during the winter of 2010.I was contacted by a State Ethics Commission investigator at thattime. Since it has been well over a year without any further inquiry,it appears as though the allegations have not been substantiated.As for the Attorney Generals Office, I have been able to confirm thatthe office has received my letter. As of this time, I have not receivedword as to how or whether the agency will respond.
Committee to Survey Parents Regarding School Calendar The School Committee wants to know what you think about changing when school starts. By Krista Perry 5/26/11 www.chelmsford.patch.comThe School Committee will put together a staff and parent survey to ask if school should beginbefore or after Labor Day and if February and April vacation should be nixed for one springbreak in March instead.The committee began mulling the idea of starting before Labor Day back in February while ap-proving next years school calendar. Next year school will start after Labor Day as usual, butthe committee decided to take another look at when school should start.Dr. Frank Tiano said that some of the dates are specified in the teachers contract, such as thatthe four days after Washingtons birthday be vacation days, as well as the four days after Pa-triots Day in April. However, Tiano said those items could be bargained in the next teacherscontract.The committee may also look at rescheduling professional work sessions to Friday afternoons.However, before getting into a discussion about the considerations, committee members saidthey wanted input from staff and families.Tiano said nothing will change for the 2012-2013 school year, but after that, the School Com-mittee can look at making those changes. Chelmsford teacher opposes outsourcing By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service May 26, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordChelmsford —From Kathryn Chamberlain’s prepared remarks:“They [school kitchen workers] get to know each student and make sure thatspecial needs students are well treated and receive the school lunches to whichthey are entitled. They are another set of eyes for security purposes, who noticewhen a stranger enters their area. They are also aware of students who may notbe eating, seem down or troubled, and alert the principal or nurse to concerns.They are yet another familiar, friendly face in school for students who need tofeel connected to someone. And they do this at zero cost to the ChelmsfordSchools. They even pay their own payroll and invoices AND health insurancecosts without cost to the school system.“Bottom line: The old adage “you get what you pay for” is more often true thannot. Out of thirty-some vendors who attended the walk-through, all but 6dropped out before the tour was ended – a very telling statistic. Of those sub -mitting bids, only one is significantly lower than our current costs. It is essen -tial to ask, ‘How can they do all that is listed in the RFP for so much less?’” less?’School Committee member Nick DiSilvio, who is on the negotiating team handling the matter,later said nothing has been decided yet.“The only thing we’re doing right now is investigating what’s best for the schooldistrict,” DiSilvio said.district,Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reservedKathryn Chamberlain is a teacher at McCarthy middle school and also President of the Chelmsford Federation of Teachers
Chelmsford students present advertising possibilities By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service May 27, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordChelmsford —Students from the Chelmsford High School DECA team delivered a presentation onthe possibility of putting advertisements on school websites. They attended theSchool Committee’s meeting Tuesday along with their DECA advisor, Tom Sousa.According to the students, traffic to school sites reaches about 500,000 hits permonth. The CHS site alone gets 90,000 hits per month.A Missouri school site was briefly visited to demonstrate possibilities for where toplace ads.With six ads on each page for all school sites and each ad bringing in $60 permonth, students said, quarterly revenue would amount to $10,800. However, this isthe ideal scenario. More realistically, they said, three ads would be placed on nine ofthe 10 sites, excluding community education.The list of possible advertisers, according to the student, includes about 130 localbusinesses and 20 national chains like Staples, Hannaford, Panera, Best Fitness,the Radisson and Sylvan Learning Center. Categories of local businesses includeretail, restaurants, stores carrying school supplies or providing test preparation serv-ices, real estate, law offices and contractors.Students called the 150 businesses, 35 of whom agreed to and completed a surveythe students wrote about online advertising. The survey included questions such as:Do you advertise on the Internet? What’s your advertising budget? How has the re-cession affected that budget? What’s the biggest obstacle to advertising online?
A Stain on our neighborhood( but in a good way ;)The Westlands Cynthia Ann Moores Nature Park May 21, 2011working on the gazebo. Art Moores Debbie Arthur Jim Lane and Collin Lane Roy Earley Diane Earley Elisabeth Earley Phil Stanway Fran McMcDougall McMcDougal Joanne Stanway Laurie Myers Mike Combs Photos by Jerry the open space wonder dog ;) ;)
Choosing Chelmsford - An Opportunity for us!I choose to think of our upcoming election as an opportunity.Lets determine how we work together to ensure that rather than run a negative campaignagainst the recall - we run a positive campaign to urge people to go to the polls to show thatwe support our electedofficials, that a small but well-funded minority cannot overcome the greater electorate, whenthat electorate is rallying around a basic and fundamental premise about what we value as acommunity.I am not against an individual or a small group,I am not for/against a building,I am for Chelmsford.Lets make this about much more than what others wantto debate,let us win a decisive victory, aim for record turnout, andcount on the voters of Chelmsford being what they are -smart, engaged, and proven to speak loudly when en- Timothyrolled correctly. McIlvenna 11 Brook StreetI choose Chelmsford.
The Chelmsford Land Conservation Trust is celebrating 50 yearsof preserving open space in town. From the first acquisition ofBartlett Park in Chelmsford Center in 1961 to receiving the Kroll,Calder, Larter Pasture in South Chelmsford in 1992, the Chelms-ford Land Conservation Trust is dedicated to preserving Chelms-fords rural past for future generations to enjoy.To help celebrate this important milestone, the valued membersof the CLCT are invited to a "Picnic in the Park" onSunday, June 12, 2011 in Bartlett Park . Everyone is in-vited to join the CLCT members at 1:30 pm for guided walks ofBartlett Park and Bartlett Woodlot, childrens games and activi-ties, and the planting of an Elm tree in Bartlett Park.Joining the festivities will be retired Supreme Court Justice DavidSouter as we re-dedicate Bartlett Park in memory of his dear fam-ily friend and donor of Bartlett Park, Harriett Bartlett. The CLCTwelcomes you to join us in celebrating our 50th anniversary!Becky Warren
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:Dorothy - "But how can you talk if you havent got a brain?"Scarecrow - " I d o n t k n o w , b u t s o m e p e o p l e w i t h o u tbrains do an awful lot of talking."-Wizard of Oz1939Introducing theChelmsford farm team playingover on theFARSIDE of Chelmsford CLICK HERE
In-Town Report News Links: LOWELL SUN CHELMSFORD INDEPENDENT CHELMSFORDMASSNEWS.COM CHELMSFORD PATCH ITR on FACEBOOK linkIf you have any comments or suggestions on the In-Town Report write Roy at firstname.lastname@example.org ROY EARLEY Town Meeting Representative Precinct 6 In-Town Report Westlands Watchdogs Open Space Steward