Folks, this is a reminder to return the recall affidavits for the selectmen who have refused to uphold the law on our behalf. They refuse to follow the requirements of the Chelmsford Code of Ethics bylaw, which requires the selectmen to file complaints when they become aware of malfeasance. They continue to stonewall formal inquiry into conflicts of interests by Phil Eliopoulos and Town Manager Paul Cohen. They steadfastly refuse to uphold the law regarding residents' legal interests in the Village Green by bringing the Preservation Restriction into Land Court for interpretation of land enforcement.
It’s disappointing but I guess we all knew what Jon Kurland’s response would be to our demands that the lying stop and the law be upheld. Mr. Kurland has characterized a recall based on those demands as "absurd."
This is not the kind of good and honest representation that American citizens demand.
As usual with Chelmsford officials, he can’t refute the actual facts, so he makes some stuff up and talks about that. Mr. Kurland claims that I personally complained that he didn’t file a motion with a court, which of course is not the case. In fact, I have complained repeatedly that, given his intimate knowledge of malfeasance by Paul Cohen and Philip Eliopoulos, Mr. Kurland is required by law to file a complaint with the state Ethics Commission.
Mr. Kurland could, in fact, file an appropriate complaint with the Ethics Commission today. However, he refuses to act to uphold the law and chooses instead to call me names.
With respect to the charge that, during a publicly televised Selectmen’s meeting, he suggested that people toss their ballots in the trash, at least he admits it (it is, after all, public record). However he attempts to remove the sting of such intimidating behavior by saying:
Of course Mr. Kurland can say what he likes. Mr. Kurland is not disagreeing with the information in the mailing, just that he should be called to account for his anti-democratic sentiments. Nobody has said he doesn’t have a right to speak as a private citizen. But he did tell people to toss their ballots, just as the Better Not Bigger mailing correctly stated. In addition, he did so at a public session of the Board of Selectmen. He got off the podium and stood at the microphone to speak “as a private citizen,” a legal nicety that protected him from abuse-of-authority charges.
Dick McClure apparently asked Mr. Kurland to join in his litigation pending before the Land Court last fall to enforce the Preservation Restriction; however, Mr. Kurland states, “I was in the minority [and] didn’t think it was appropriate." He didn’t think it was appropriate to uphold the law, because he was in the minority?
Jon Kurland calls me, personally, a “bully” for “trying to discredit selectmen.” I’m not discrediting anyone; the selectmen do a fine job of that all by themselves. No citizen who demands good and honest government should be characterized as a “bully.” Anyone in Chelmsford who demands accountability for malfeasance is subjected to the coordinated smear tactics of public officials. Who are the bullies?
Jon Kurland says, “My job is to represent everybody in the town.” That’s precisely the point. He’s not representing the interests of the town’s residents and that, in itself, is the very definition of malfeasance. Because Roland Van Liew demands that the lying stop, the malfeasance stop, and the law be upheld, I am wrongfully characterized as “a bully” who seeks “to control the town.” I suppose we all want to control our community in the sense that we demand that our officials work on our behalf and in the best interest of the community.
Jon Kurland has drawn a line in the sand. Public advocacy groups, as well as myself, have been calling for good and honest government and accountability for malfeasance. Mr. Kurland’s response to the clear and repeated calls for good and honest government is to now state that “I certainly am not going to bow down to Roland Van Liew...and do what he wants us to do."
Jon Kurland knows that what we all “want [the selectmen] to do” is to stop the lying, uphold the law, and obey the law. That means to stop playing games with the people of Chelmsford. Mr. Kurland knows he should have filed a complaint against Paul Cohen and Philip Eliopoulos with the state Ethics Commission. He should have filed a motion to uphold the law and bring the Preservation Restriction into Land Court for interpretation and enforcement. He should have supported formal inquiry, and stop fighting depositions so that the truth could be told. He should have refused to vote to pay Kopelman and Paige to act unethically against the best interests of the residents of the town.
Not only didn’t he do those things, he makes it crystal clear he is going to refuse to do those things until he is removed from office. The only way we are going to achieve good and honest government in Chelmsford is to act to recall Mr. Kurland and the other selectmen who agree with his view that they should not be accountable to their constituents.
Yours with best wishes and hope for the future of our town,
Roland Van Liew