Folks, by now you probably know that with some 7,000 residents voting, we pulled 41% voting “Yes” to recall the selectmen who stand in the way of investigation and rectification of the “9 North Road” scandal. The whole point was to let the voters decide what action they want the town to take regarding the graft that has occurred. Apparently a majority agree with the selectmen that it is not worth having the town’s Ethics Bylaw upheld. I'm disappointed but I believe in letting the people decide.
There will be much gloating and backslapping by those who oppose accountability for malfeasance, but the major state ethics charges against Phil Eliopoulos still stand and the fight for good and honest government is not over. It's never over. That's why the perpetrators of graft need to lie. As long as they need to do that, they will be at risk.
41% is significant. I was disappointed we didn't reach 9,000 voting as that was what we needed in order to win. Probably most of you on this e-mail distribution voted, but much of the town did not.
We have made a difference. The policy discussion regarding the fire department has taken on a more rational tone, and the South fire station has been funded for reopening. Paul Cohen was forced to report the Eliopoulos complaint regarding the land deal to the Ethics Commission – two years late – but it at least it is finally in front of the Commission.
Residents now have the information to make informed personal choices. I for one will not shop at DeMoulas Market Basket, as they provided the millions in financing for the Eliopoulos’ monument to greed when no reputable bank would touch it. People can also decide whether they really want to reward any firm that locates in the Eliopoulos Edifice with their patronage.
The justice system remains a problem for all of the perpetrators involved in the 9 North Road scandal. Although the law severely limits what we can do as individuals in litigation to rectify this graft, what we can do we will do. The justice system works slowly, but we can all hope that at some point in time the building will come down as it should, and the graft that it represents won’t slap us in the face every time we pass what is supposed to be a park for public enjoyment in perpetuity.
The fight for good and honest government and accountability for malfeasance never stops. Like many people, regardless of the policy issues I will support officials who speak the truth, and I will fight those who lie and betray the interests of the good people of the town.
As residents, we need to be remain vigilant. There are several major policy issues that will be tackled soon, not the least of which is the renovation plan for the Stop&Shop/Marshall’s plaza. The Town Manager will continue to award no-bid contracts in defiance of the law, and will continue to move to appoint people with conflicts of interest to the various commissions and committees that he controls. None of these things can be stopped unless someone blows the whistle in a timely way. When you see something happening that doesn’t pass the sniff test, report it. We need to know in time to do something about it. For example, late last year when the Town Manager tried to use a quiet subterfuge to appoint Phil Eliopoulos to the Master Plan Implementation Committee, timely public outrage forced him to drop that appointment.
All those who have worked hard to improve the responsiveness and integrity of our government deserve special thanks, but there are too many to call out individually. You know who you are. Thank you.
Yours with best wishes and hope for the future of our town,
Roland Van Liew