Public Statement Regarding False Accusations Made By Selectman Candidate Roland Van LiewYesterday, Friday, January 11, 2013, Chelmsford Selectman Candidate Roland Van Liew emaileda flagrant accusation to his Better Not Bigger Chelmsford database against me as well as anunnamed sitting member of the Board of Selectman.Excerpts from Selectman Candidate Van Liew’s email include: - It appears that Oak Hill Study Committee member Phil Stanway (the "lead steward" of the Chelmsford Open Space Stewards) has been working quietly with a selectman to set up a deal for selective logging of valuable hardwood at Oak Hill, supposedly in order to create revenue for the Town. This is not congruent with the stated intent of the committee in their public hearings. Stanway refuses to provide answers to the simple questions directed to him in the message below. - So I am publicly asking what is going on? Why on earth, after public pronouncements that the land is going to be protected, is a committee member already working with a selectman to set up a logging deal?On Thursday, Selectman Candidate Van Liew emailed me directly to say he had had been “told”I am “already working with a selectman to try and set up a logging deal.” Then he asked: (1) “Why would selective logging be desirable?” (2) “If it is desirable, why wasn’t it discussed with the committee specifically tasked with evaluating such measures during the year-long Oak Hill Study committee meetings, rather than subsequently with a selectman seeking to strike a logging deal?” (3) “How would selective logging take place without creating access roads for logging vehicles?”My response was to have him speak directly with the Oak Hill Study Committee Chair which isthe protocol for speaking about such issues, and primarily because Selectman Candidate VanLiew’s modus operandi is to take a nugget of information and manipulate it into some sinisteraccusation not based on one iota of fact. I tried to avoid this, but he did it anyway as I knewhe would.
So here are the facts and a few questions of my own: - The Oak Hill Study Committee met on open, public meetings with many individuals, town departments and abutters to gather information so as to make our best informed recommendations to the Board of Selectman for the use of the 66-acre Oak Hill land parcel in North Chelmsford. - The Committee did discuss forest management and the idea of logging came up briefly during this discussion which is available in our Committee minutes. Forest management – not logging – will be noted in the Committee’s recommendations to the Board of Selectman. - As a member of the Oak Hill Study Committee, I have no power or jurisdiction to encourage or initiate a logging deal at Oak Hill or anywhere else for that matter. As such, I am not “working quietly” or otherwise with anyone about a logging deal. Why would I? - The same is true for my role as a member of the Chelmsford Open Space Stewardship. I am a resident volunteer and must have prior approval from the Town of Chelmsford and/or the Conservation Commission to do any work at town open space properties. - I’d like to know who “told” Selectman Candidate Van Liew that I “was working quietly with a selectman to set up a deal for selective logging of valuable hardwood at Oak Hill?” Which of our five selectman is he referring to? Which logging company has been contacted? - On Selectman Candidate Van Liew’s campaign website, he states about himself, “I am an honest man. I act with integrity. My positions are based on analysis of hard evidence rather than on biased opinions of self-interested cronies, and are influenced by rational discourse rather than influence-peddling.” Where’s the hard evidence to make such an accusation against me and an unnamed selectman? His effort to make an issue out of something that does not exist sounds exactly like influence-peddling. - I have no interest in engaging directly with Selectman Candidate Van Liew. He fabricates information for the purpose of discrediting people and our town government. He also has a well-known habit of suing anyone who disagrees with him – the town, members of the Board of Selectmen, members of Planning Board and private citizens. If you have any further questions on this matter, I am referring them to the publicity steward for the Chelmsford Open Space Stewardship, Joanne Stanway, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Phil StanwayJanuary 12, 2013