Selectmen Jon Kurland and Jim Lane have in recent weeks been actively defending the actions of Phil Eliopoulos, claiming that the Ethics Commission has “reviewed” Phil Eliopoulos’ actions and found no violations. Kurland goes so far as to say that a letter from the Ethics Commission to Phil Eliopoulos “clears” him and that he did nothing wrong. The letter does nothing of the sort. The letter simply states that, “As you know, we discussed with you a concern that you were participating in matters which would impact your business and acting as agent for your family’s business before the town. Relying on what you told us, we are satisfied that this matter does not require any further action on our part.”
Here’s a copy online if you want to see for yourself: https://backup.filesanywhere.com/fs/v.aspx?v=896d668e5e6276b6a4ad
In other words, the Ethics Commission never performed a full investigation because Phil Eliopoulos told them he didn’t do anything wrong! It’s a very good bet that he told the commission that the matter of the land deal at 9 North Road was not before the town until after he resigned as selectman,since that’s what he told the press. But that’s not the case. The purchase of 9 North Road was certainly before the town because the Fire Station Study Committee had since 2007 emphasized three different repair/refurbishment proposals for Center Fire station that involved the town purchasing the land and using a small part of it for the fire station. Also, it’s a very good bet that Phil Eliopoulos didn’t provide documents showing he voted against the town purchasing the land in late March of 2009 while still a selectman. Both Lane and Kurland have the gall to call these well documented facts “misinformation.”
Did Phil Eliopoulos tell the Ethics Commission that he was a sitting selectman and had personal knowledge that the taxpayers had expended over $100,000 on fire station studies that listed the land behind the fire station as a potential site for expansion of parking or the station itself? I think not. Did he tell the Ethics Commission that he represented his father in the purchase of that land from the bank while a sitting selectman – the same land that the town was interested in? I think not. Did he tell the Ethics Commission that he was representing his father’s LLC before multiple town boards even though the matter had been before the town while he was a selectman? Most importantly, did he tell the Commission that, as a selectman, he voted against the town’s purchase of the land at a BOS meeting on March 23, 2009? I think not.
Furthermore, the commission's letter was issued on March 23, 2010 – before the deposition of the bank official that shows that Phil Eliopoulos and Paul Cohen have both lied about what they did, what they knew, and the irrefutable fact that the land purchase was before the town while Phil Eliopoulos was a sitting selectman.
Our newspapers won’t print the facts – apparently, they’re just too embarrassing for our town’s top officials. So Better Not Bigger has been independently distributing the facts for almost a year now. Jim Lane and Jon Kurland have been parroting the exact same line that providing the facts is “dangerous to democracy” and serves a nefarious “personal agenda.”
They are correct about one thing: their political health is in danger. That “personal agenda” has been articulated many times, and I think you can see why it outrages them:
This “personal agenda” is so odious to the pigs at the trough, that Conservation Commission Chairman David MacLaughlin characterizes me and Better Not Bigger as “very dangerous.”
Very dangerous, indeed – a threat to the gravy train carrying graft and personal favors at the expense of the people who live in our community.
Yours with best wishes and hope for the future of our town,
Roland Van Liew