Van Liew Questions on Oak Hill Raise Stir
An e-mail exchange between Roland Van Liew and Phil Stanway has created a buzz on the In-Town Report over the past few days.
Tonight the Oak Hill Study Committee will meet at Town Hall to discuss a final report on recommendations for the Board of Selectmen on the parcel of land, but most of the talk on Oak Hill recently has been on a different subject.
Late last week, Roland Van Liew contacted Oak Hill Committee and Chelmsford Open Space Stewardship member Phil Stanway in regard to possible selective logging on the site.
Stanway referred Van Liew to Oak Hill Committee chair Susan Carter, with Van Liew responding again asking him specifically on the subject and also copying the exchange on the Better, Not Bigger website along with his views on the subject and allegations of impropriety.
“The proper protocol is to answer questions and respond to residents when they serve on a committee. If (Stanway) refuses to address the questions of any resident or any official in a personal message, then that resident has every right to go public,” said Van Liew in a statement to Chelmsford Patch. “What am I supposed to do, let him run me around in circles like they do with all the residents? This is the status quo in Chelmsford, we have officials that are arrogant and have a culture of self-entitlement.”
Chelmsford Open Space Stewardship spokeswoman Joanne Stanway responded in disbelief to Van Liew’s e-mail exchange.
“We’re not 100 percent certain what he’s talking about,” said Stanway. “He preferred to think Phil was avoiding these questions, but Phil didn’t understand what he was talking about because a.) he hasn’t ever and doesn’t have any intentions to talk with Selectmen about logging on Oak Hill and b.) he doesn’t have any authority to do so anyway.”
The exchange garnered over two dozen comments on the Chelmsford In-Town Report, where Board of Selectmen chairman Jon Kurland indicated Stanway observed the correct protocol in referring the matter to Carter, and challenged Van Liew to a lie detector test on the subject of logging.
In an interview with Patch, Kurland indicated that if logging were to have taken place, it would have likely occurred in 2009 following a need for new revenue following unexpected cuts in state aid.
“In my opinion, this is just another one of his baseless conspiracy theories,” said Kurland in a statement to Patch. “He finds a conspiracy around every turn, he doesn’t check his fact and he thinks nothing of attacking people who spend countless hours volunteering to make this town a better place.”
A vote on ownership of the property is likely heading for a Town Meeting vote this spring.