We are in the final days before the election on Tuesday, Aug. 2 and the group “Choose Chelmsford” (more accurately, Friends Of Eliopoulos) has ramped up its personal attacks and disinformation campaign.
According to Choose Chelmsford’s mass mailing, the election has nothing to do with the building at 9 North Road. That’s a ridiculous statement, of course. The ethics violations that Phil Eliopoulos committed and Paul Cohen tried to cover up for two years, are centered on not only the fraudulent land purchase negotiations but the corruption of the permitting process for the building by both Eliopoulos and Cohen.
And of course the mailing claims that the selectmen have done nothing wrong. But Pat Wojtas was a selectman at the time Phil Eliopoulos’ ethics violations became obvious and she failed to report the violations as required by law. And of course all of the current selectmen are aware of the violations but simply deny they occurred, and thus refuse to report or investigate them as required by law.
We will have a stand-out in front of “9 North Road” on Saturday morning from 9:30AM to 11:30 AM just to make the point that this is very much about the graft and scandal that the Eliopoulos Edifice represents. Come down if you’d like to meet some of the other supporters of the recall. We’ll have Vote Yes signs for people to hold.
The Choose Chelmsford group claims in their mail piece to be “working hard to provide the documentation to refute [Van Liew’s] claims” that have already been proven; by video evidence, by written minutes and by reports, and of course by those e-mails from the Eliopouloses to Eastern Bank in 2008. It’s so laughable it can only be called silly. How could any “documentation” show that such hard evidence somehow doesn’t exist? It’s impossible. Therefore they have yet to produce this “documentation” but recommend you vote to keep the very people who are blocking formal inquiry in office!
It would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic. There’s no truthful way to say that these selectmen have done the right thing or are doing the right thing. There is still time to rectify the graft and corruption exemplified by the Eliopoulos development. But it is not going to happen with the current Selectmen. So the FOE mailing makes false claims and attacks me personally (and libelously). It's impossible to even try to defend the selectmen’s refusal to investigate the reprehensible – and very damaging – ethics violations by Eliopoulos and Cohen.
Because it’s “frustrating to be bombarded with an overwhelming amount of information” the pro-Eliopoulos group offers the following in the mailing to “simplify” residents’ decision-making: Common Cause, the Washington DC group, awarded Chelmsford the e-Government award! In other words, the town has a terrific website. Not only that, Standard & Poor’s financial rating of Chelmsford is “positive!” In other words, the town is stable financially.
What this has to do with the corruption and graft exemplified by "9 North Road" is certainly beyond me.
Do these public officials and other Friends Of Eliopoulos who reject accountability for malfeasance really think such red herrings are going to make people accept the fact that our selectmen are allowing other officials to flout the law? And refuse to follow the law themselves?
The byline on the Choose Chelmsford mailing is “Better Not Bitter.” That’s a pretty funny pun, but it’s not precisely accurate. The opponents of graft and corruption are frustrated and angry. And in a democracy, the cure for anger is voting. If you reject insiders stealing what’s supposed to be yours, if you reject graft and support good and honest government, vote Yes on Tuesday.
And if the spirit moves you, come on down to the “open space conservation area” (if you can find it) to join other folks on Saturday any time between 9:30AM to 11:30AM.
Yours with best wishes and hope for the future of our town,
Roland Van Liew