The fifth and final show in the series called "Meet the Candidate: Roland Van Liew" is now available for viewing at http://origin.peg.tv/pegtv_player?id=T01497&video=51196. Last week we had sent a URL that did not work for everyone, so please use the updated URL above. The show can be viewed on Chelmsford Telemedia's cable schedule as well as online.
This fifth show focuses on the fire station study process – how an initial predisposition toward a new site by the Permanent Building Committee proved problematic, how the committee attempted to reassess strategy in late 2008 and early 2009 but was subverted by the town manager’s insistence that renovation options be taken “off the table.” There is a strong relationship between the activities of the Eliopoulos development group in acquiring and developing Center Park, and the activities of the Town Manager in subverting study of renovation options. As a result, renovation hasn’t been looked at seriously for the last three years even though the town has thrown tens of thousands of dollars at unpopular plans for a new facility.
There are some interesting bits from Phil Eliopoulos himself, who correctly and presciently stated in 2007 that residents would not go for a new station at “Wilson Street” (the ballfields on Route 110). Phil also pointed out at that time that renovation should be thoroughly studied and, if not feasible, “knock it down and rebuild it at the current site.” He strongly advocated for "multiple options." When it was clear this might not be in his family’s interest in 2009, Phil stopped advocating for that position and, despite the fact that three of the five options for the fire station presented to the BOS in March of 2009 involved studying renovation further, none of those options were thoroughly pursued moving forward – again, because the Town Manager unilaterally took them “off the table” just weeks later without explanation.
My hat is off to the staff at Chelmsford Telemedia and the volunteers who help to record these shows!
Roland Van Liew