WHERE’S THE BEEF???
... Not near the alcohol
Meat House does not get beer, wine license
Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Reporter
• Mon, Jun 21, 2010
The Board of Selectmen voted 3-to-2 not to issue The Meat House a beer and wine license at its Monday meet-
Selectmen Jon Kurland, Sean Scanlon and Eric Dahlberg voted to deny the license. Chairman George Dixon and Matt Hanson voted against
the motion not to issue a license.
Kurland made the motion to deny the license based in part on a letter from Police Chief Jim Murphy.
"Presently, Chelmsford has seven all alcohol beer and wine licenses throughout the town," Dahlberg read from the letter.
"For a town the size of Chelmsford, I feel this provides sufficient and convenient opportunity for those seeking to pur -
chase beer and wine."
Read more CLICK HERE
Editorial: BOS sends wrong message with denial
Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Reporter
• Tue, Jun 22, 2010
On Monday night, the town failed the first test of the Economic Development Committee's slogan "Chelmsford
Gets It Done."
Instead of granting The Meat House a beer and wine license, the board ceded to demands from the Chelmsford Business Associa-
tion and killed the plan.
Chairman George Dixon and Selectman Matt Hanson deserve credit for voting in The Meat House's favor, but the other three board
members did what the CBA told them to do.
Jon Kurland must be singled out for his bizarre spiel during the proceedings. At times he looked like the DA doing a cross-examina-
tion of a murder suspect.
Likely, he was setting the town up for its defense when The Meat House owner appeals the denial to the ABCC. And despite Kur-
land's channeling of Perry Mason, don't be surprised if The Meat House is soon, legally, stocking beer and wine.
So what was this vote about?
The three members who voted against granting a license will tell you it was a public safety issue.
Police Chief Jim Murphy wrote a letter to the board urging the license's denial. In his letter, Murphy said the town currently has seven
all alcohol beer and wine licenses in town and those businesses "provide sufficient and convenient opportunity for those seeking to
purchase beer and wine."
Murphy goes on to say because alcohol sales would not be The Meat House's primary business, that could lead to "alcohol rules and
regulations on their premises becoming a secondary, less important issue."
Because The Meat House focuses on selling meat it wouldn't adhere to state laws regarding the selling of alcohol?
That's a little hard to believe.
And luckily Hanson saw through that questionable concern.
As he points out, the Board of Selectmen votes annually to renew alcohol licenses. If a business isn't doing the right thing, it doesn't
get to keep its license.
Kurland's other argument involved The Meat House owner Leonard Carpenter's experience as a restaurant manager. In a restaurant,
said Kurland, a customer must purchase alcohol from a bartender or wait staff member. Customers in a retail outlet have direct ac-
cess to the alcohol so there is more opportunity for it to wind up in the wrong hands.
There is a lot wrong with this argument as well.
The Meat House is an upscale gourmet food shop. A group of underage patrons perusing the shelves would catch the eyes of em-
ployees and managers. Secondly, having worked in the restaurant business, we know how easy it is to sneak drinks to friends and
family members sitting in our section, who are not 21.
That too goes back to Hanson's statement.
If a business breaks the law over alcohol sales, it will lose the right to sell alcohol.
One other argument worth mentioning came from Scanlon and Dahlberg. The town shouldn't grant the license because it had never
granted such a license before.
So, because we've always done it that way that is how we should continue doing it?
Sure, if you want Chelmsford to remain a second-tier community.
Basically, the Board of Selectmen said we're interested in attracting commercial enterprises that won't upset anybody already here in
town. That should keep the town flush with nail salons and pizza joints for decades.
If, however, the town is really serious about attracting new businesses to town that provide good paying jobs, it might be time to lose
the old boy's network playbook and come into the 21st century.
Otherwise, the Economic Development Community should rethink its slogan.
Maybe "Chelmsford: Where the status quo keeps things from getting done."
The Meat House appeals license denial
Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Reporter
• Mon, Jun 28, 2010
Claiming his client was treated unfairly at last week's hearing, the lawyer for The Meat House owner Len Carpenter has appealed the beer and
wine license denial to the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.
The appeal, which was delivered to the ABCC Friday, states the Board of Selectmen's action is unsupported by the evi-
dence in the record, that Carpenter satisfied all requirements of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 138 necessary to
approve its application and that the board’s statement of reasons do not properly support denial of the application.
Attorney Thomas S. Vangel, of Murtha Cullina LP, believes none of the reasons the board gave for denying the license
Read More CLICK HERE
Chelmsford Board of Selectmen erred in denying wine license to Meat House
The Lowell Sun
On June 21, the Chelmsford Board of Selectmen denied the wine license application made by the Meat House. The argu-
ments for denial made by the majority of the board -- Selectmen Jon Kurland, Sean Scanlon and Eric Dahlberg -- were weak
and ill-advised to say the least. I thank the two selectmen, George Dixon and Matthew Hanson, who had some sense.
It is apparent that the Chelmsford Business Association was the influence behind this vote. This is not the first time it has
been against competition and lobbied for its own special interests. I am afraid it will not be the last. The result is that the citi-
zens of Chelmsford are the losers because of this selfish behavior.
This town has historically awarded liquor licenses to restaurants and package stores. The Meat House is neither and is a
significantly less intense sales operation. Alcohol is consumed on the premises in restaurants with the potential for abuse.
But wine and beer would not be consumed on their premises. In package stores, people make larger purchases of alcohol
than they would at the Meat House.
The sale of wine will not be their primary business but a convenient adjunct to the nature of the business. Businesses are al-
ways trying to add incremental value to serve their customers. All you need do is look at how appropriately it is handled at
Alpine who moved from Chelmsford to Lowell. Has Alpine had any problems? Not that I have heard of. Chelmsford residents
who trade at the Meat House would have had the convenience of one-stop shopping if they wanted wine to complement
I don't believe the Meat House would offer competition to the many package stores in Chelmsford. But if it did then the resi-
dents of Chelmsford would be the better for it with greater choices and possibly lower prices. It amazes me that the Board of
Selectmen would be against competition. I agree that there are certain situations where the town might need to have a say
in how a business is run. However, this is not one of them. The Meat House is not British Petroleum. The town must be very
careful how it tells a business how it should operate. They usually know better than the politicians. Wine is part of the Meat
House's national business model. If you dicker with it the business may not be as successful as it could be. The Meat House
is just the new type of establishment we can benefit from in Chelmsford.
Some have argued that there is a precedent in not granting a wine and beer license to an establishment other than a restau-
rant or package store. However, precedent is never the reason to deny. Facts, circumstances and times change and what
was appropriate in the past many no longer be appropriate. The Board of Selectmen have the opportu-
nity and obligation to review each application on its merits and to review the operation in the future.
If we want to encourage economic development in Chelmsford and provide new retail services to the
town the Board of Selectmen certainly sent the wrong message to our business community by denying
DAVID J. McLACHLAN
Opinion: Many reasons to disagree with Meat House denial
By Clare Jeannotte
GateHouse News Service
Jul 01, 2010
There are many reasons to disagree with the 3-2 vote of the Board of Selectmen to deny the beer and
wine license to the Meat House. First and foremost, it has cost the 34,000 residents and 12,000 voters an
opportunity for the convenience of quality and one-stop shopping, without leaving town. Long gone are the
days one could walk from the Elegant Farmer to Alpine Butcher, then cross the street to purchase beer or
wine to go with dinner. Now we have to shop only big box stores or travel to surrounding towns for higher
quality, natural or unprocessed foods. I hear so many candidates and sitting members say that they work
for the citizens, but three of five did not with this vote.
The state allocates a number of allowable wine and malt beverage licenses based on population: Chelmsford could grant
seven and currently has none. Selectman Kurland has determined that sufficient alternatives exist within a mile either way,
sending us once more through traffic for no good reason but burning fuel and wasting time. If the state considers our popu-
lation right for seven, how is none the right number? It has been this way for 30 years I am told. That is never a good rea-
son to continue something, in and of itself. To lean on the recommendation of the Police Chief not to grant the license, was
to decide that a proprietor was more likely guilty until proven innocent, not a sentiment I support.
Twenty five years experience serving restaurant patrons is no reason to expect insufficient employee training and conduct
relative to sale of alcohol. Sanctions are available if violations develop. The manner in which this applicant was interrogated
at the meeting was a further embarrassment to the town, hardly appearing to seek a solution if there were a legitimate con-
cern. I would expect that if invited back, most concerns could likely be addressed in a more hospitable manner.
In the three years I served on the Board, an Economic Development Committee was formed to attract business to the town,
we worked to retain a fair tax climate for business, and the Master Plan Committee began the extensive, once-a-decade
process of collaboratively laying the groundwork of planning all aspects of our town. This decision by the Board is a slap in
the face to the efforts of all these volunteers who have dedicated many hours over the years to encourage some diversity of
business. This decision makes it clear that if you want to bring business to Chelmsford, you may want to look elsewhere
This businessman chose to locate here because he felt the demographic of this town was right to support his business
model, and upscale gourmet meat shop. The Meat Shop has locations in Arlington, Beverly, Franklin, North Andover and
Walpole. Not bad company to keep. I think he was, and still is, right. I hope all the citizens will stop in and check out this
shop - I think you would find it a nice change, and right here, in our own town. And just maybe the success of this shop will
breed more success, and attract other unique shops to our town, so we don’t need to do our shopping out of town when we
seek something a little different than we have now. Why wait for an appeal? If only our Board of Selectmen could find a way
to reconsider this applicant, and really serve the citizens. If you agree, write your Selectmen and let them know.
Copyright 2010 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
by Rita Savard
Some wine to go with that prime cut of beef? Not in Chelmsford.Well at least not at the Meat House.
The town’s new upscale butcher shop was denied a beer-and-wine license from the Board of Selectmen and has since filed
an appeal with the state Alchoholic Beverages Control Commission.
The move has some folks,including Consevation Commission member David McLachlan, thinking that members of the
Chelmsford Business Association influenced the Board by playing a game of backroom politics.
“This is not the first time (the CBA) has been against competition and lobbied for it’s own special
interests”, McLachlan wrote in a letter to the Sun. “I’m afraid it won’t be the last.”
John Harrington, owner of Harrington Wine and Liquors, has been a longtime member of the CBA. Some say it’s no coinci-
dence that Chelmsford, which is allowed to issue seven full liquor licenses and seven partial licenses to sell malt and wine,
hasn’t issued a single partial license. All seven full licenses are currently in use by package stores.
But Harrington said the accusations are simply not true. He said they stem from just a few individuals who have an ax to
“We’re very happy to see the Meat House there and hope they will thrive,” Harrington said. “My competition
is the state of New Hampshire and the commonwealth of Massachusetts with their sales tax on this
product.Those are the guys I battle.”
To the Editor:
The following information pertains to the topic of the Meat House requesting a beer & wine license for their new Chelmsford Store. Since the
Meat House is appealing the denial of a beer & wine license by the Board of Selectmen, and since you have summarized this license issue in
this week's IN-TOWN REPORT, I thought it would be appropriate to address this topic here.
The first part of this Letter to the Editor is a copy of the email I had sent out to the Selectmen before they voted on this beer & wine license re-
quest. The Selectmen voted 3 to 2 to deny the license on June 21, 2010....Mr. Dahlberg, Mr. Kurland, and Mr. Scanlon voted to deny...Mr. Dixon
& Mr. Hanson did not vote to deny the license.
My email to the Selectmen begins here:
As a resident of town and a town meeting representative I would like to give you my recommendation relative to the above topic.
As we all know, we have a very active Economic Development Commission here in Chelmsford, as we are looking for ways to help Chelmsford
become a more "business friendly" community. One concrete step that we can take to help us achieve that objective is to grant this new busi-
ness a beer & wine license, as it will be a brand new Meat House location here in Chelmsford, and the company standard is to sell beer and
wine (subject to the appropriate and required training of course). [Please see the quotes about this topic, as copied from the company literature,
Many small businesses have a tough time succeeding, and that includes franchise operations, such as the Meat House. If they are able to carry
beer and wine, they might be able to survive and even thrive here in Chelmsford....and that's a very good thing, as we all know.
They also will be able to serve our community better by having another location in town selling beer and wine, and this location might be more
convenient that the current locations.
I see no good reason to prohibit fair and open competition among businesses here in town......fair competition always increases quality and it
helps keep prices low...therefore, we should be encouraging competition in the beer and wine business. as well as with all of the other busi-
nesses here in town.
The best way to accomplish that fair competition and "business friendly" objective is to grant the Meat House a beer and wine license, subject to
all the appropriate training of course.
End of my initial email to the Selectmen.
After the Selectmen denied the license, the Meat House appealed this decision to the State's ABCC. I hope they are successful with their ap-
peal...I also hope that the Selectmen reconsider their denial after they have watched the Meat House run their operation here in Chelmsford for
a short period of time.
The Meat House Company has some very stringent requirements before an owner even opens up one of their stores. A standard part of their
operation is to sell beer & wine in their stores in the locations which are not "dry." Please take a look at the information below, which was copied
from the Meat House's website.
It shows the type of beer & wine service they provide to their customers (which would be a benefit to the residents of Chelmsford who drink beer
& wine)...and it lists the qualifications one must have before a person can be an owner in the Meat House operation. Clearly, the owner will not
risk all that he has put up to open this store in Chelmsford... to sell to someone he shouldn't sell to, or to disobey the law in any other way.
MEAT HOUSE COMPANY BEER & WINE BROCHURE INFORMATION:
"Whether you’re entertaining a houseful, or planning an intimate dinner for two, our team has hand selected a variety wines to perfectly pair with
your Meat House feast. We take great care to ensure that you can always find a wine that will perfectly complement your meal.
"Unsure which wine to pair with your meal? Just ask a Meat House butcher or staff member. Each Meat House staff member is trained by
The Meat House’s Certified Wine Educator in the fine art of wine pairing.
"The Meat House also offers a wide variety of beer. From pale ale to porter and stout we feature locally brewed, domestic, and imported options
that are sure to please any palate!"
Quote from: THE MEAT HOUSE.COM website
"QUALIFICATION CRITERIA (to open a Meat House Store):
Recognition as a top restaurant operator or multi-unit franchise developer
Minimum financial net worth of $1.5 million and liquidity of $500,000
Infrastructure and resources to handle a typical development agreement commitment of 4-8 units
Knowledge of real estate and trade areas in development territory
Operating partner must live in the territory under development
Ability to obtain a liquor license
Must have enthusiasm, drive, and passion for the service industry
Total commitment to developing and protecting The Meat House brand"
Quote from: THE MEAT HOUSE.COM website
My only objective in writing this letter, and speaking with the Selectmen about this issue, is to try and support our local small businesses, so that
they may be able to survive during a very tough economy and so that the Chelmsford residents may receive their goods and services as effi-
ciently and conveniently as possible.
I can't help but notice that we still have three empty storefronts in the brand new plaza where the new Cafe Madrid is located. We also have had
many empty spaces in the strip mall on Chelmsford Street, across from Alpine Lane, for over a year now. Shouldn't Chelmsford be a more
"business friendly" town so that we can fill those spaces with a variety of businesses, which would: (1) provide needed goods and services to
our residents; (2) allow for more employees to find jobs right here in Chelmsford; and (3) send more tax revenues to our town... revenues that
we so desperately need during this "Great Recession." I think the answer to this question is YES, we should be a more "business friendly"
community, for all the reasons cited above, and we should grant the Meat House a license to sell beer and wine in their store on Chelmsford
Town Meeting Representative
Chelmsford's beef with beer and wine licenses atypical
The Lowell Sun
By Rita Savard / firstname.lastname@example.org
CHELMSFORD -- After years in the restaurant business, all Len Carpenter wanted to do was open his own neighborhood butcher shop.
Chelmsford, he said, seemed like an easy choice to turn that dream into reality.
"The location of the town and the people who live here are great," Carpenter said.
But inside The Meat House, located at 120 Chelmsford St., Carpenter has one room closed off to the public. It sits empty as he awaits an Aug. 4
hearing with the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) to appeal a Board of Selectmen vote that denied Carpenter a license to
sell beer and wine at his new business.
The 3-2 vote, with Eric Dahlberg, Sean Scanlon and Jon Kurland opposing the license, and George Dixon and Matt Hanson approving it, has
stirred a debate in town about the issuance of liquor licenses.
State law limits the number of licenses based on a community's population as recorded by the U.S. Census. Licenses for liquor stores are limited
to one for every 5,000 residents. Licenses allowing the sale of beer and wine only, such as a grocery store, are also limited to one for every
In Chelmsford, that translates to seven full liquor store licenses and seven for beer and wine.
But Chelmsford seems to be the last community in Greater Lowell that has not issued any of its licenses to sell beer and wine only, and some are
asking why. Former Selectman Clare Jeannotte and Conservation Commission member David McLachlan have both criticized the vote on the
grounds that it will only deter new business from taking a chance on Chelmsford.
"This decision makes it clear that if you want to bring business to Chelmsford, you may want to look elsewhere first,"
Jeannotte wrote in a letter to The Sun.
Carpenter said Chelmsford officials have been good to him throughout the permitting process, with the exception of one road block.
Considering that the concept of his upscale butcher shop is well known, Carpenter said the obstacle surprised him.
Meat House franchises in Salem, N.H., Bedford, N.H. and in North Andover all sell wine and beer to complement their selections of meats,
breads and cheeses. Whether it's a six-pack of specialty brew for a backyard barbecue, or a homemade wine and cheese basket for a special
occasion, a malt-and-wine license is synonymous with the Meat House name.
"The idea is a one-stop shop service for your dining needs," Carpenter said. "All
needs,of the other Meat Houses sell
beer and wine. If I had known this was going to create such a problem, I might have looked
Chelmsford's neighboring towns, including Billerica, Lowell and Westford, have all granted beer and wine licenses. Dracut, Groton and Tewks-
bury have also granted beer and wine licenses to some local businesses.
"Beer and wine is more of a convenience-store thing," said Patty Dube, secretary for the Westford Board of Selectmen. "We don't
see a lot of requests for that kind of license."
Westford's population has allotted the town five full package store licenses from the state, and five licenses for beer and wine sales only. Three
beer and wine licenses have been granted to local businesses by the Westford Board of Selectmen.
Selectmen in Chelmsford who voted against the partial liquor license for the Meat House had cited public-safety issues, and also looked at the
town's track record for granting such licenses.
Dahlberg said one of his main concerns was what to do about past applicants who tried to obtain a license but were denied.
According to Town Manager Paul Cohen, it appears there have been just two requests for such a license in a decade. One application, which
came from a convenience store on the corner of Fletcher and Chelmsford streets, was unanimously denied by selectmen. The other, for a mini-
mart in Vinal Square, was thrown out by a 3-2 vote.
"This is the first time we know of an appeal for a denial," Cohen said. "We're in uncharted waters."
After visiting Meat House shops in North Andover and Salem, N.H., Selectmen Chairman George Dixon said he felt it was a "special type of
place that deserved a chance."
"No one in town came to me to try and influence my vote," Dixon said. "I just felt comfortable with it. We are looking for new
businesses in town and I really thought there was room for a place like this."
The ABCC, which oversees and enforces state liquor laws, can "uphold or overturn the local board's decision based on what the
law says," said Ralph Sacramone, the agency's executive director.
Next month, a panel of three from the ABCC will listen to arguments on both sides and then issue a decision. Either party has the right to appeal
the state board's decision to a higher court.
"I'm not looking to be a precedent setter," Carpenter said. "I'm just looking to offer a nice, high-end business to the town."
Hi Roy - I know that there has been considerable interest in my vote denying a beer and
wine license to the Meat House. I had given this issue considerable thought before acting
in this matter. Before my vote I spoke to many past Selectmen to get their perspectives as
well as a former member of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (ABCC) whom I
know and whose opinion I value. With the sole exception of Clare Jeannotte EVERY past
Selectman (from Dennis Ready and Tom Moran to Peter Lawlor, Sam Chase, Bill Dalton
and Pat Wotjas) counseled against the granting of the license.
I was in NO WAY influenced by anyone from CBA and I have no idea where that rumor
came from. The reason for the prior Selectmen's position as well as the former ABCC
Jon Kurland member was the fact that it has been the policy in town NOT to grant these licenses
(called mixed use licenses) for many reasons: 1) it would encourage other businesses
such as convenience stores to seek these licenses - Lowell just granted such a license to
a Gulf Station on the Chelmsford town line at Drum Hill; 2) Chelmsford has not issued these licenses for decades since it
was the vision of the town leaders that the sale of alcohol not consumed on premises be greatly restricted; 3) historically,
mixed use licensees are not as concerned about violations of selling to minors since a loss of license has a minor effect on
their business as opposed to a liquor store which would suffer significant loss of income if its license was suspended; and 4)
once we start granting mixed use licenses it will be more difficult to defend appeals of future denials of applications from gas
stations or convenience stores.
After discussing this issue with past leaders I researched the case law and found that the ABCC can overturn towns that
deny licenses (depending on who the hearing officer is). The likelihood of the town being upheld in these appeals is im-
proved by the fact that we have an informal policy not to grant mixed use licenses. This is why we have 7 such licenses
available (and have had them available for decades).
Since we do not want gas stations and convenience stores to apply for these licenses we had to make a statement and ren-
der a difficult decision to deny a license to a more attractive applicant. There is no distinction that can effectively be made
between a "specialty" store (which is what some people call the Meat House) and a convenience store. In fact the Meat
House does sell many items that would be sold at convenience stores such as meat, vegetables, rice, sauces, etc.
We start to travel down a slippery slope if we grant the license to the Meat House but not to a Little Peach which sells many
similar items. If I owned a Little Peach and applied for a mixed use license after it was granted to the Meat House, I would
be upset that the BOS deemed my store inferior and was denied a license. If I then appealed the denial to the ABCC, I
would argue the the granting of the mixed use license to the Meat House is no different than my store. There is a much
greater likelihood that a Little Peach would successfully overturn such a vote if we did not have this policy. We certainly do
not want to attribute any class distinction between the customers of each store since that becomes a bigger problem and we
will be accused of being elitists. I do fully appreciate the opposing position and I acknowledge that this was a difficult deci-
sion. On the other hand, a mixed use license is a mixed use license. We don't grant them since it becomes a serious prob-
lem justifying the granting to a Meat House but a denial to another operation. I hope that citizens can appreciate that it is
not so easy to justify the type of distinction to the ABCC that we would have to make to keep alcohol out of gas stations and
Moreover, the police chief, in the strongest possible terms, requested that we deny this application.
I should point out that I want this business to succeed. I do not believe that this license is necessary for the Meat House to
thrive. Mr. Carpenter indicated that alcohol sales would only amount to 6% of revenue. It is also clear that this license is
not necessary for this business otherwise he would have made the approval of a license as a condition of his leasing the
premises. He did not. If he had made a prior inquiry on this issue he would know that Selectmen have not granted this type
of license to ANY business for many, many years. Alpine Butcher Store thrived in town without a liquor license to the point
that it expanded from it's Summer Street location to a larger store in Lowell. If you talk to Phil Doyle, I am certain he will tell
you that if he had found an appropriate location in town, he would have stayed in Chelmsford even without a beer and wine
Anyone who argues that this vote is anti-business is being disingenuous. We need to fill unoccupied office space along the
129 corridor as well as other locations. Those businesses (like Comcast, Kronos, Zoll, etc.) do not care at all whether the
town grants a beer and wine license to a butcher shop or any other store. In fact, a member of the Economic Development
Commission specifically told me he was against the granting of the license to the Meat House.
I understand that some may disagree with my vote. Admittedly it was a difficult one. Contrary to published comments that
seem to indicate otherwise, I can assure you that NO ONE influenced my vote. My decision was solely based upon my vi-
sion of what I want our town to be like. I do not want alcohol to be sold in ANY stores other than full service stores.
People who want to discuss my vote in greater detail please feel free to call me at 978-250-0631 or on my cell at 508-864-
7499. I take pains to look at all sides of the issue and seek out and listen to all parties before deciding a matter. I am not
beholden to any special interest group. Some may choose to disagree with me but if they have watched me during my
brief tenure on the Board, they should know that I am an independent voice and my only concern is the welfare of the town.
Jon H. Kurland
I voted to deny the license because I believe that approving it would
have opened the Board to accusations of being inconsistent/arbitrary
in exercising its licensing authority, since the Board has been
consistently denying similar applications for decades. My
understanding is that this has potential legal consequences for the
Board (which, of course, means potential costs to the taxpayers).
As I stated immediately following the vote, I would like to spearhead
an effort to review the precedent of denying such "mixed use
licenses." Through a Board sub-committee, we would solicit input from
the taxpayers and promptly present a recommendation to
keep/modify/ditch the precedent accordingly. Should we as a town
decide to ditch the precedent, we will have done so
transparently,deliberately, and inclusively, minimizing the potential
for accusations of inconsistent/arbitrary decision-making down the
This path isn't necessarily the best from a PR perspective, but I
believe it's what's best for the town and the taxpayers in the
As a side note: I am thrilled that The Meat House has opened here in Dahlberg
town. My wife Suzanne and/or I have since shopped there numerous
times. Please know that my vote to deny was not meant to be a slight
to this business specifically or to new business in general, nor was
it the result of any "inside deal" with any other interest here in
town (as some have alleged!).
A final note: two good side effects of all the attention that our vote
to deny has earned: The Meat House has gotten a TON of free press
(always good for a new business), and I've received input from a ton
of residents who previously have never contacted me.
Often, there are merits to opposing arguments in a given situation and I can't think of a recent
controversial topic where I was not approached by members of divergent parties who hoped to
persuade my vote. The Meat House issue was/is no different. I always weigh both sides of the
debate and try to vote through the objective lens of what I think is in the best strategic policy in-
terest of the town. While issues are often complex, votes are very "black or white"/yes or no with
no shades of gray, and the subtleties of the conversation are sometimes lost in the sound bites
and media quotes, which is truly unfortunate.
I understand the arguments that have been brought forth in favor of granting a license and as I mentioned above, believe
there is merit to some of them. That being said, I cannot vote half way. Above all, I maintain it is strategically a bad idea for
the board or town to get into the game of choosing which mixed-use business model we like over another, or grant a license
because one owner makes a better presentation. I consider myself a man of principle and such practice makes everything
too fluid, too based on personality and politics, and should be avoided as bad for our fair business climate. I like the Meat
House and am certain it will do well in Chelmsford, but the fact that I like the Meat House should not detract from a fair and
consistent course for the long term.
I would ask those who have questioned the integrity of my vote to consider that in my short time on the Board, I have been
accused of being an insider to both sides of opposing factions in town when past votes did not please one or the other. Al-
though I grew up in Chelmsford, I came to be a Selectman as a political newcomer, not through any long-standing connec-
tions in town. Perhaps it is my fault when rationale for my action is unclear (or if my mic doesn't work in a meeting), but
while conspiracy theories about back room deals are convenient, and they certainly generate buzz, they do not serve the
issue or the townspeople well, and they are not true regarding my position on the Meat House, or any other vote I have
taken or will take in the future. I have and will always deliberate on the merits of the subject at hand and act according to my
core values of Integrity, Service, and Excellence in application of what I believe is in the town's strategic policy interest.
Selectman, Chelmsford Massachusetts
Chelmsford Selectman Scanlon to resign
By Chloe Gotsis/ Staff Writer
GateHouse News Service
Jul 14, 2010
After serving 14 months, Selectman Sean Scanlon is resigning to devote more time to a new full-time job in the
Homeland Security field.
Scanlon said he will publically announce his decision in a statement thanking the
other selectmen and the people of Chelmsford at the next board meeting July 26.
“I’ve been offered a position that will require a fair amount of training
and a bit of time on the road,” said Scanlon in a phone interview Wednesday
night. “And I can’t balance being a selectmen and this at the same
Scanlon, who currently works full time as a civilian for the Department of Defense
on Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, said when he ran for selectman last
spring he never intended to resign early.
“The position I’ve been offered is a once in a lifetime opportunity and
being a selectman is a volunteer position, I have to do what’s best
for me and my family,” he said.
Chelmsford-born Scanlon moved back to town in 2006 with his wife Nancy to start raising a family.
Scanlon and selectmen Chairman George Dixon topped the ticket in a six-man race in April 2009.
“I’m gong to miss him because he’s a great kid,” said Dixon about his 29-year-old colleague. “He’s a
wonderful young man and I wish him the best.”
Scanlon said he is announcing he resignation this month to give the board the necessary amount of time to pro-
ceed with holding an election for a fifth selectman. Scanlon said it’s up to the board but he suspects there will be an
election along with the state elections in November.
An Air Force officer, Scanlon served for six months in Afghanistan. He also served overseas in Lebanon.
Earlier this year, Scanlon and former Selectman Pat Wojtas, also an Air Force veteran, worked to form the town’s
first Military Community Covenant Task Force to connect local military families and Chelmsford businesses.
“The two of us together, we created a program that’s an example for the rest of the state,” he said.
“It’s gotten a fair amount of attention on the state level and on the local level and it’s been great
to help people.”
Scanlon said he and a number of other volunteers in the task force helped a local mother of three, whose husband
was recently deployed, mow her lawn several times a week and set up her air conditioner when the hot summer
heat wave set in.
Helping people was really what being a selectmen meant to Scanlon, he said.
“A lot of the stuff I tried to do didn’t always have big headlines with it,” he said. “I didn’t really
have a motivation for being a selectmen other than to help people.”
Scanlon described his first six months on the board as a time where he figured out what the position was really all
about but he says he then found a niche of what his goals were. He describes his 14-month stint on the board as
the best he could’ve done.
“I just feel like I did the best I could do and that’s all I feel like I could ask of anyone that runs for
public office,” he said. “At the end of the day, I respect those people who put their money where
their mouth is. It’s been a great experience and I’ve met a lot of great people.”
Copyright 2010 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
says he will
seek selectman's seat
Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Reporter
• Wed, Jul 14, 2010
Within hours of Selectman Sean Scanlon's retirement announcement, Former Board of Selectmen
member Bill Dalton confirmed he plans to run to complete the unfinished term.
"I've got the time and I definitely have the experience," said Dalton.
"I want to help the town out again like I did before."
Dalton, 63, served 15 years on the town’s top board before stepping down after his fifth term in the spring of 2009.
For him, Chelmsford's biggest challenge remains the budget.
"It is ever-tightening of the strings," said Dalton.
"There doesn't seem to be an end in sight."
Dalton believes Town Manager Paul Cohen has done a "good job" of staying on top of the current financial
downturn. And the former selectman wants to make sure that continues.
"You've got to make the town function as efficiently as possible," said Dalton.
Dalton understands want needs to be done when the economy is not cooperating. During his tenure, the town
went through a couple of boom-and-bust cycles.
"That is one of the reasons we started the stabilization fund," said Dalton. "We made it so the only
way to take out money was to get a two-thirds vote
at Town Meeting."
Even before Scanlon announced his plans, Dalton contem-
plated making a return run to the board. Today's news con-
firmed now was the time.
"I've been thinking about it,"
said Dalton. "And with this opening, I thought, 'Why
not?' I've got the time and the desire to help the
IS HE OR ISN'T HE ???
That remains the question.
Although initial news reports on the Chelmsfordmass-
news.com blog have Bill Dalton throwing his hat into
the Selectmen candidate ring to fill the vacant seat in
the fall, later news reports from other sources have
Dalton just weighing the possibilities of running?
Could this be because now there is now competition for
the seat? Granted it is easier running a campaign when
your running unopposed.
I'm sure in his 15 years of service and BOS elections Dalton
Bill has enjoyed the "thrill of victory ", perhaps it's the
second half of that phrase he would rather not face?
Time will tell.
No shortage of candidates for a
selectman seat in Chelmsford
By Chloe Gotsis/ Staff Writer
GateHouse News Service
Jul 16, 2010
A day after Sean Scanlon announced he is resigning as selectman, candi-
dates are already lining up to serve out the remainder of his 18-month term.
Among them are Planning Board member Jim Lane, who told the Independent
Thursday afternoon that he will be pulling papers to run for Scanlon’s seat.
Lane, who will be finishing out the fourth year of his stint on the Planning
Board this April, said he has a strong history of both as an elected official in
town and as a businessman.
“I think I can bring a lot to the Selectmen,” said Lane, who is a third
generation Chelmsfordian. “I’m passionate about this town. I’ve raised
my family here and now I want to give back.”
Lane is one of at least three residents who are expressing interest in the seat, Jim
expressing the passion for politics in this town. Lane
Lane said he already planned on running for Selectman Eric Dahlberg’s seat in the spring, but is excited
about the earlier opportunity presented to him with Scanlon’s resignation.
Lane said he has long aspired to serve as member of the town’s highest elected board, but he saw the Plan-
ning Board as a stepping stone to the Board of Selectmen. After familiarizing himself with the town’s zoning
and land use bylaws and as chair of the town’s 2010 Master Plan Committee he is now ready to take on the
next venture and run for the Board.
“I’ve gained a lot of experience in this town and I’m ready to put that to work,” he said. “The
board needs someone that has leadership abilities and I am coming from an elected posi -
Lane said he doesn’t think the current board is actively working other boards that are laboring to bring busi-
nesses to town such as the town’s Economic Development Commission. Lane does not support the board’s
decision to deny the town’s newest butcher shop, the Meat House the right to sell boutique wines alongside
“I would’ve been in favor of giving them a beer and wine license,” he said. “That individual
had a wealth of knowledge on restaurant management and I don’t think a beer and wine li -
cense would’ve been any more of a safety risk.”
As the Regional Vice President of the Stoneham-based EMCOR Group and Building Technology Engineers,
Lane said he has the strong business background that is needed on the board.
“At the end of the day I bring a pretty good business experience,” he said.
Lane has three children: Corey, 25 and six-year-old twins Colin and Madison. He lives on Old Westford
Road with his wife Deanna.
Pledging to be committed for the long haul, Lane said he doesn’t find the short 18-month term as a deter-
“I think it’s positive for me. Personally it allows me to get involved right now and make a
difference right now,” he said. “When some doors shut for some another opens for others. I
have nothing but admiration for Sean and he based this on his family and I don’t blame him
Former selectman Bill Dalton is also considering throwing his hat in the ring for Scan- Bill Dalton
lon’s seat. Dalton, who didn’t run for re-election in April 2009, said he hasn’t fully made
up his mind yet but is seriously considering a run for Scanlon’s seat.
“I’ve actually been thinking about for a while,” said Dalton, who retired from
the Chelmsford fire department eight years ago. “The reason I stepped down was
because I needed a break. I’d been on there 15 years and I needed a
Dalton, who moved to town in 1971, said he misses being a selectman and thinks his
15 years of experiences could be an asset to the young board.
“I felt that with Sean going the most senior guy there is Eric with just over 2 years and
you’ve got George just over one year and Jon and Matt just over three months and I think
they do need some experience,” he said.
Unlike Lane, Dalton said he supports the board’s move to deny the Meat House a wine and malt beverage li-
“I try to look at the issue as a whole,” he said. “People have asked me and I’ve said, ‘Well if
John Harrington came in and tried to get a common victualer’s license and sell meat, how
would the Meat House feel?’”
Dalton said he has shown his commitment to the town and can likely count on one hand the number of Town
Meetings he’s missed since 1981.
Wojtas Another former selectmen Pat Wojtas, who lost her bid for re-election in April,
told the Independent today that she is considering a run for Scanlon’s seat, as
“I’ve kind of been thinking about giving it another shot next year,”
she said. “This is even sooner than that and I’m considering it.”
Wojtas, who lost out to Jon Kurland and Matt Hanson in April, said she misses
being on the board but has remained involved in the town.
“I’m still a representative to NMCOG and I’m still the representative
to the LRTA,” she said. “I’ve been staying involved and I’m still up on all the issues, so if I do
get back in I would still have all the experience and wouldn’t have a gap really.”
Wojtas, who worked together with Scanlon to found the town’s Military Community Covenant Task Force that
joins military families together with local businesses, said the effort has reached beyond expectations.
“I brought it to Sean and he was very enthusiastic about it,” she said. “He really led the way
on a lot of the initiatives. I think a good part of the success is really due to him.”
Town Manager Paul Cohen said the most effective and democratic option for the town would be for the
Board to schedule an election in November in conjunction with other statewide and federal elections.
“The cost of doing it in conjunction with the state elections are less,” he said. “You generally get your highest
turnouts at statewide elections. It’s what generally makes sense for cost and for democracy.”
Residents at the polls on Nov. 2 would have two ballots to fill out, said Cohen.
Copyright 2010 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR
OPEN SELECTMEN’S POSITION
I have been interested in town politics since I was a small
child delivering newspapers in the South Chelmsford neigh-
borhood of Robin Hill. The dinner table discussions always
consisted of what was happening in the world, around town
and occasionally resulted in spirited debate. I currently live
on Old Westford Road, my wife Deanna and I have 6-year-
old twins, Collin and Madison who attend the Byam School. I
also have a 25-year old son Corey.
Nearly four years ago I decided to get off the sidelines and give back to the community that has
been so good to myself and my family. During this time I have continually broadened my experi-
ence in town government. As an Elected Planning Board Member, Chairman of the Master Plan
Committee, Community Preservation Committee Member and a Town Meeting Representative I
have continued to research the issues, ask tough questions and cast my vote based on the best
interest of Chelmsford. Most recently, I have participated in a 19 month comprehensive Master
Plan review which looked at every aspect of the town. The Master Plan will set a strategic vision
for the next 10-15 years to identify issues, opportunities and recommendations guiding future
boards, committees and policy makers for the town.
Currently I am the Regional Vice President for EMCOR Facilities Services, a Fortune 500 leader
in commercial real estate solutions for Facilities Management and Property Asset Management.
My resume offers over 25 years experience in facility management, operations and mainte-
nance, and other services, often at sites with highly technical requirements and mission-critical
functions. I have responsibility of a multi million dollar budget, more than 300 employees and
offer a lengthy background negotiating and managing union contracts thru collective bargaining.
The past several years have brought tough financial challenges and continuing change. Now
more than ever we need experienced leadership to insure that Chelmsford remains one of the
finest towns in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. With my business acumen, proven leader-
ship ability and town government background I can help the current board make sensible and
sound decisions in the best interest of Chelmsford.
If elected, I will commit myself to ensuring the town’s continued financial strength. With careful
financial planning, we need to continue to maintain our stabilization fund in order to meeting the
uncertainty of our state and national economy. We must also be mindful of our bond rating,
which greatly impacts our cost of borrowing money for the many important projects in town, in-
cluding our current sewer and school project.
Finally, it is incumbent on all elected officials, to advocate for more aid from the state. Public
safety and public education need to remain our top priorities as we continue to navigate through
this unprecedented time of budget challenges.
If you would like to learn more about my candidacy, discuss any issues or offer any feedback
please feel free to contact my either by phone or email anytime.
says he will NOT
seek selectman's seat
Saturday after a mid-morning meeting between The Dalton Gang
and Jim Lane, Bill Dalton thought it would be best to not run at this
time for the soon to be vacant Selectmen seat and throw his support
behind Jim Lane’s candidacy this fall in hopes that Lane will return
the favor next spring if Dalton chooses to run for Eric Dahlberg’s
Pat Wojtas is seriously considering running for the seat she lost last
April to Jon Kurland. As of yet no official announcement has been
made. Other former Selectmen candidates have expressed an
interest in running for the seat in November also, but none have
come forward publicly to announce so far. Maybe they will, maybe they
If it does become a race of more than one candidate for the empty
Selectmen seat be sure to look for one of the first debates this fall on
Tom Christiano’s Politically Incorrect
Bill Dalton Jim Lane Pat Wojtas
Patriotism on Parade
Chelmsford, Lowell celebrate 4th in style
By Rachel R. Briere and Robert Mills, Sun Staff
CHELMSFORD -- In Chelmsford, traditions for the Fourth of
July include red, white and blue -- oh, and lawn chairs. "We se-
cured our place Friday night," said Jackie Murphy, a native of
Chelmsford who lives in Groton. "We try to be in the same
area every year. There may be no fireworks, but the spirit of
the crowd makes up for it."
There were, however, fireworks on the Merrimack River in
Lowell later in the evening, and many headed from Chelmsford
to Lowell after the parade.
Murphy was one of thousands lining the curbs along both sides
of North Road in Chelmsford yesterday morning for the 43rd
annual Fourth of July Parade. They cheered, clapped and oc-
casionally blew into plastic noisemakers as marching bands,
antique vehicles, floats, politicians and a litany of Boy Scout
and Girl Scout troops strolled by.
The assembly of marchers was led by parade Marshal Dr. Stuart Weisfeldt, an obstetrician with a practice in
town. After the John Carson Road Race, the parade got under way just after 10 a.m., with temperatures
hovering in the mid-80s. As the last of all 97 "marching units" finished the two-mile route about 12:30, the
sun beat down on the crowd, which endured 100 percent humidity and 90-degree temperatures.
"I never remember it being this hot and humid," said Rose Sousa, who
recently moved to town but has been coming to the parade for nearly Clare
30 years. "I guess it's better than the rain we had last year." Jeannotte
Some in the crowd turned toward the floats toting squirt guns for a lit-
tle relief from the heat. Alton Foster, 10, of Carlisle taunted one group
with the water weapons, running alongside and heckling them in order
to be sprayed repeatedly.
Selectman John Kurland said this year's parade and Country Fair is
the largest the town ever hosted.
Booth and Town Common activity organizer Robert Kelley agreed, saying each year there are more and
more requests for booths. This year, 62 organizations manned 73 booths at the Country Fair. Kelley said it's
one of the largest Fourth of July celebrations in the state, and it's all made possible by private donations --
no public money.
"That's what is unique about Chelmsford -- the spirit of volunteerism," Kurland said.
A number of local politicians marched the route yesterday
including U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, U.S.
Mary Rep. Niki Tsongas, Attorney General Martha Coakley, state
Rep. Cory Atkins and Governor's Councilor Marilyn De-
"It's a tremendous parade," Devaney said. "I can't believe
it's not publicly funded. Everyone is warm and inviting. It's
great the people here remember the patriotism."
Later, in Lowell, thousands lined the banks of the Merrimack River, and children swam at Rynne Beach to
beat the heat as the sun set about 8:30.
Across the river, an ice-cream truck parked in the lot of the
Lowell Humane Society broadcasting a jingle, and families set
up blankets and lawn chairs along the river and in the parking
lot at UMass Lowell's South Campus as more than a dozen
boats, including one toting a
Paul large American flag, cruised the
Owen DeLuca, 7, of Chelms-
ford, had been in the Chelms-
ford parade with Cub Scout
Troop 77 earlier in the day, and Jon & Sara
he and his family rushed to Kurland
down melting Frosties from
Wendy's as they waited for the
His parents, Paul and
Wendy DeLuca, along
with their other children,
Colin, 5, and Sophie 2,
said squirt guns had also
helped with the heat dur-
ing the parade.
Donna Lowell firefighter Bill Har- Wojtas
Ready land of Littleton said he
drank as much water as
possible while marching in
the Chelmsford parade with Fran
the Stuart Highland Pipe McDougall
Band, based in Wilmington.
He set up in the back of the UMass parking lot with his wife, Michelle, and
sons Matthew, 5, and Zachary, 1, to await Lowell's fireworks.
"No one bothers you here but the mosquitos," Harland said, noting that a blast
of bug spray was needed.
Photos by Candace Chase
Chelms ford resident driv ing force behind par ade
By Chloe Gotsis/ Staff Writer
GateHouse News Service
Jul 01, 2010
On Monday, July 5, Lynn Marcella won’t be leading the Fourth of July parade through Lynn
Chelmsford, but many say she’s the woman behind it.
Members of the Parade Committee and Chelmsford residents say they are incapable of de-
scribing the amount of time and work that goes into putting together the $50,000 operation
that is the town’s annual 4th of July Parade. But they do say the past three parades and
this year’s wouldn’t have been possible without Marcella, co-chairman of the Chelmsford
“People have no idea what it takes to put this thing together and at the end of day, she
glues it all together,” said Jeff Hardy, Marcella’s co-chairman. ”The woman is incredible.”
Each September, the 10 members of the Parade Committee begin working on the next parade, which attracts both state and federal
political dignitaries and thousands of Bay State residents each year. But as the spring months fly by and July 4 is around the corner,
the members of the Parade Committee including Marcella are dealing with last minute requests for floats and donating hundreds of
hours of their time around the clock to make sure the town’s signature event goes off without a hitch.
Last year, the committee received the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce’s Community Service of the Year Award. The committee
was recently featured in a documentary, “The Great American 4th of July,” for the amount of work it puts into its annual parade.
“[Lynn herself] puts in countless hours to the parade committee not only in terms of the minutes and the agendas but also in terms of
the marching units and helping coordinate the raffle,” said Town Manager Paul Cohen, a liaison member of the Parade Committee.
“She’s really the driving force behind the successful organization and operation of the parade.”
In the fall of 2008 Marcella was diagnosed with breast cancer and she informed the members of the Committee that she may need
some extra help while she was undergoing treatment. But Hardy said she never let it slow her down.
“You know what? She never got tired,” he said. “As much as we told her to take it easy, she’d be like ‘I’m fine, let’s just get to work.’”
Today she is now cancer free and enjoying life with her husband Chuck and giving back to the community in her volunteerism and her
“I had this great group of support people behind me,” she said, in her office last week, as she sat surrounded by awards and certifi-
cates hanging from the walls recognizing her volunteer efforts. “Between my Chelmsford Business Association friends to my Parade
Committee friends and my family it was a piece of cake,” she said.
While the Chelmsford Parade Committee took over the work of the town’s annual 4th of July parade in January 2007, civic activity isn’t
new for Marcella.
Despite owning two local businesses in Chelmsford — Chelmsford Copy and Secretarial on Alpine Lane and Metrics, an educational
consulting firm in the medical industry — Marcella serves on numerous town organizations including the Chelmsford High School
Alumni Association. In 2002, she was inducted into the CHS Hall of Fame. In 1994, Marcella was the first female president of the
Chelmsford Rotary Club.
“She’s just an amazing woman in this town,” said Rick Romano, who serves with Marcella on the Chelmsford Parade Committee and
the Chelmsford Business Association. “She just donates so much of her time to all these causes and the town is lucky to have her.”
When Romano needed an executive director for the New England Jewelers Association, where he serves as president one person
came to mind — Marcella.
“She is just so organized and effective that it was great to have her join,” he said. “Once we hired her everyone thought this was the
best thing I’d done since I became president.”
As the executive director Marcella handles most of the administrative work for the organization including handling all of its mailings.
“I don’t know anything about jewelry except that I like it,” she said laughing.
Marcella said her copy business, which she has owned for 37 years, introduced her to many people in town and led her to become in-
volved with numerous organizations like the committee.
Since taking over the parade in 2007, Marcella said that the committee has brought the parade to a new level.
“We really, enjoy it,” she said. “But we don’t want to be do it forever.”
As of right now, Marcella said all the committee members are committed volunteers for next year’s parade.
Copyright 2010 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
CHELMSFORD’S 4th and 5th
RE RE RE
Nick And THEY said you
would eventually end
DeSilvio likes pie
up with egg on your
RE face. Boy were
Myers Poulten Brenda
TC Hanson Anna
Photos by Roy Earley and Tom Christiano
Dahlberg Matzkin Janet
Paul Cohen Trace
RE Ann McNamara
Norm Aubert Chief
Eric Paul George
Dahlberg Matt Cohen Jon Dixon
Chase Scott Martha
Chelmsford Open Space Stewards
Photos by Roy Earley and Tom Christiano
Photos by Roy Earley and Tom Christiano
Niki Tsongas Dahlberg Dahlberg
Catherine TC TC
Philip Eliopoulos TC
Photos by Roy Earley and
GOP's Martinez wants to bring 'transparency' to state Senate
By Rita Savard, email@example.com
CHELMSFORD -- Sandi Martinez calls 2010 "The Year of the
Republican" in Massachusetts.
"Incumbents are really going to face some tough Sandi greets the crowd
challenges this time around," said Martinez, who is
around, during Chelmsford’s
seeking her third run for the 3rd Middlesex District Senate 4th of July Parade
seat that has been held by Lincoln Democrat Susan Fargo
"There's a new energy sweeping across the state," Martinez added.
"People are tired of politics as usual, and they're starting to feel their
voices are being heard."
But before Martinez can take on Fargo, she must first overcome an obstacle of her
own -- a fellow Republican challenger.
Chelmsford Selectman Eric Dahlberg, 32, also threw his hat into the ring this year
and has made headlines by calling out Martinez for stonewalling debates.
Martinez, 62, denies any objection to debating Dahlberg and reported last Thursday
that she and Dahlberg will discuss the issues at a Chelmsford forum in August.
She said a Republican primary is a positive, as it draws more attention to the seat and to her campaign.
"I've always talked about bringing more transparency to Beacon Hill," Martinez said. "It's the people's money, and they should
see where every cent of it is going."
If elected, the first thing Martinez wants to do is make every dollar the state spends available for voters to view on the web.
"An online checkbook," she explained. "Tracking and itemizing every dollar the state spends, from mowing the Statehouse lawn
to local aid."
That kind of transparency would help cut wasteful spending and most likely increase the people's involvement in
their government on many levels, Martinez said.
"Imagine a small-business owner who sees how much the state spent on mowing the lawn and
saying, 'I can offer something better.' Next thing you know, you're increasing bids and saving
money on those housekeeping items," she said. "But on a bigger scale, people can really get in -
volved in where the money is being spent because they can see it clearly, all mapped out in front
It would also hold lawmakers accountable, she said.
"Everything would be a click away, so if $50,000 went toward buying something like drapes, taxpayers would know and could
do something about it with their votes," Martinez said. "If the people could have that checkbook online, I'm sure they'd find lots
of ways to save their tax dollars."
Martinez was born in Waltham and spent her childhood in Chelmsford, where she later purchased a home and raised four children with her husband
of 26 years, Louis. By holding a variety of jobs throughout her life -- from working in a factory and waiting on tables to eventually landing a job at IBM
and starting up her own information-technology consulting business -- Martinez said she can identify with "pretty much everybody."
"All of those experiences play into what I'm doing today," she said. "Nothing in life ever goes to waste."
She believes her resume will resonate with voters across the district, which includes Bedford, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Lexington, Lincoln,
Sudbury, Waltham and Weston.
"If you don't have a lot of life experience, you can't bring as much to the table," she said.
Martinez has also pledged not to serve more than three terms and refuses to take a state pension.
Fargo, who was unable to be reached for comment yesterday, has touted in past interviews a track record of votes that "cut taxes and increase local
aid," for her staying power over the past 14 years.
But Martinez, calling Fargo a "tax hiker, not a tax saver," said if Fargo is not re-elected this year, it will be because of her voting record.
"She voted to increase the state sales tax and ignored voters who wanted to roll back the state income tax," Martinez said.
"That's not listening to the people."
Fargo previously told The Sun that when the state hit a recession after 9/11, "to suddenly roll the income tax back
like that would have had disastrous effects on cities and towns." towns.
"We just wouldn't have been able to provide the local aid in the amounts they needed," Fargo added.
"But we are rolling back gradually."
In 2008, Fargo beat Martinez, winning 62 percent of the vote, with 48,912 votes to Martinez's 29,390.
Martinez, who launched the local tea-party movement in 2009 to largely protest the government's stimulus packages and
taxpayer-funded bailouts, said the tea party's goals coincide with this year's campaign in many ways.
"People are taxed out, and they're sending a message," Martinez said, adding that U.S. Sen. Scott Brown's victory in January, which sent
shock waves through the largely Democratic House and Senate, is proof that times are changing.
"I think more than ever before, people are voting for the person rather than the party," she said. "That's why I think we'll see
more Republican victories in this traditionally blue state than we've seen in a while. People don't just want to vote in the in -
cumbent -- they want to vote in the person that will work the hardest for them."
Photos by the Martinez Cammittee
Work begins in earnest at 9 North Road
• Thu, Jul 08, 2010
Construction workers jumped into two bulldozers Thursday morning and cleared most of the grass
from the parcel at 9 North Road.
Although Boars Head LLC attempted to stop Epsilon Group LLC from constructing its two-story office
building, a Land Court judge paved the way last week for work to begin.
Boars Head's appeals of Planning Board and Historic District Commission approvals for the project
are still pending.
recently changed to
allow developers to
commence work on
projects even while
being challenged in
If Epsilon loses those
appeals, it would be
required to return the
lot to its original
Workers cleared most of the
grass from 9 North Road
Thursday. (Staff photo by
Former Chelmsford selectmen rip
current board over building project
By Rita Savard, firstname.lastname@example.org
CHELMSFORD -- The last three surviving members from the 1978 Board of Selectmen blasted their successors last night for not tak-
ing more action on a controversial building project at 9 North Road.
John Carson, Paul Hart and Joe Shanahan said the preservation restriction they helped create 32 years ago was meant to secure the
two-acre North Road parcel as open space. But now, the former officials allege the regulation is being violated while the current board
sits idly by.
"While I am not a lawyer, it is clear to me that the courts recognize the Board of Selectmen is the sole enforcing
authority of the preservation restriction," Carson said. "My question to you is, what are you doing to exercise your
authority? Your apparent inaction is allowing plans to go forward to build a building that was never intended by
the 1978 Town Meeting, Board of Selectmen or Planning Board."Board.
The building in question is a two-story, 15,494-square-foot Colonial-style structure owned by Michael Eliopoulos, manager of Epsilon
LLC. Once completed, the building will house a law practice along with dental and medical offices, all operated by members of the
Eliopoulos family, including attorney Philip Eliopoulos, also a former selectman.
The building proposal sparked debate last year after it was approved by the Historic District Commission, Conservation Commission
and the Planning Board.
Dentist Michael Sargent, whose practice abuts the Epsilon building site, has filed lawsuits against the town. Sargent alleges that con-
structing such a building would break the 1978 restriction that safeguarded the land for open space.
Philip Eliopoulos said last night that the wording of the preservation restriction clearly allows for some development on the site, which
is why three town boards, town counsel and the state Land Court have all given the project a green light.
"If the land was intended to remain entirely open space, that could have been reflected in a one-page document,"
Eliopoulos said. "It (the preservation restriction) does not bar all development on the site, but establishes standards
of density of the site."
Eliopoulos said allowing some development was meant to give the former landowner, Rodger Currie, room to build a bank drive-
through and maintain or make minor changes to the buildings that already existed on the site.
The Epsilon Group, which also bought and restored the historic Emerson House as part of the land deal, has argued that the construc-
tion of its building will still not equal the amount of building space that occupied the parcel when the restriction was adopted 32 years
The three former selectmen urged the current board to intervene as quickly as possible, especially in the wake of a recent Land Court
decision that rejected a request to halt construction at the site.
"Everyone believes your total lack of discourse since last December is an insult to the town of Chelmsford,"
Shanahan said. "By your inaction, you have led to the perception that everything is fine."
Selectman Jon Kurland said he wants an opinion from town counsel on whether the board could move forward with a public hearing.
Eliopoulos said he didn't believe the board could hold a public hearing while the issue is locked in litigation.
Several public hearings have already been held through the Planning Board, the Historic District Commission and the Conservation
Commission, Eliopoulos added.
"I take great offense that they would presume that I would violate the preservation restriction," he said.
"I served this town just like you and would never do anything to violate an agreement with the town. It's just not
who I am."
Hart, who served as selectman for 15 years, said his former board would never have supported selling the former town-owned land to
Currie if the North Road parcel wasn't going to remain open space.
If the parcel was meant to be built on, Eastern Bank wouldn't have sold it to Epsilon LLC for the bargain price of $480,000, Hart said,
adding that banks aren't about to strike a deal that would lose them money.
Hart compared the deal to the smell of manure that used to waft through the windows of St. Mary's
Church from a former cow pasture.
"It never smelled as bad as what is taking place right now," he said.
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