LETTER: Romney Did Not Care About Chelmsford As Governor

The following is a letter to the editor.




To the Editor:

Please allow me to introduce your readers to the Mitt Romney I know.

In Chelmsford, MA there is a small neighborhood known as Twiss, Waterford, Main and Leedberg which abuts Route 3, a major route from New Hampshire to Route 128 in Burlington, MA. This roadway, originally constructed in the 1950’s, was two lanes on both sides.  Residents of the neighborhood were negatively impacted with the original construction in the 1950s, their homes were physically moved to this neighborhood to make room for the highway.  Then beginning in 2001, the Route 3 widening project began expanding the highway to three lanes on both sides. The residents of this neighborhood experienced a dramatic increase in noise due to the project and traffic. The Department of Transportation (DOT) had estimated the 2010 decibel level would be 68. In 2005 as the project was nearing completion, the decibel level was 72. An example of 72 decibels is the equivalent of the telephone ringing inside your home and a lawnmower running outside your home simultaneously, continuously throughout the day. The residents could not peaceably enjoy their homes, suffered sleep disturbance and health disorders.

The neighborhood was denied a sound barrier because it was not “cost effective”. The project received federal funds, so it was bound to the federal guidelines. Under guidelines, the first criteria for mitigation is cost effectiveness, however, very clearly in the guidelines; this neighborhood did meet each of the other criteria including sound levels, impact from prior highway projects. The Department of Transportation issued a letter to our then Congressman Marty Meehan stating that the neighborhood did meet the other criteria that would permit a sound barrier to be built.

Numerous letters from the neighborhood, the Chelmsford Selectmen, the State Senator, the State Representatives and the Congressman were sent to Governor Romney regarding this inequity.  Governor and his aides were repeatedly invited to the neighborhood to view the situation for themselves. Never once were any of these letters or requests responded to.  I spoke with our State Representative Tom Golden asking why Chelmsford was being ignored.  He told me “I have never seen anything like it; we (meaning the Representatives and Senators) can’t even get in to meet with his aides, forget a meeting with the Governor.”

I am not a resident of this neighborhood. I am a Town Meeting Representative in Chelmsford who became involved in 2003 when the residents asked Town Meeting Reps to help them.  I wrote letters, called and delivered copies of these letters to the state house to no avail.

So in September 2004, while at my day job, I received an email from a friend which informed me that Governor Romney would be in Chelmsford stumping for two local Republican candidates. I saw red, how dare he enter Chelmsford after ignoring us for years.  How dare he come to town for politics while real people were suffering. It forced me to get up and excuse myself from work for a few hours. 

I went back to Chelmsford and took a seat in the middle of the second row of the event, listening to the speakers. When Governor Romney finally arrived, he greeted the front row with handshakes and a hollow smile.  I extended my hand, as he took it and said “hello” I grasped his hand with both of mine and said “Chelmsford wants its sound barriers”.  Governor Romney went blank, withdrew his limp hand and kept going. So I mirrored his steps along the second aisle and asked him more loudly “Why are you ignoring Chelmsford?”. “People are suffering - why won’t you respond to us”. At the end of the aisle, Romney and I were again face to face and he said “if you get a couple of these guys elected, you’ll get your sound barrier.” Then the Governor was whisked away and an aide approached me. He handed me his business card and I explained the frustration, the nerve of the Governor to show his face here, to make the plight of these residents a political trade off. The aide asked me to call him the next day and he would be sure to put the issue in front of the Governor. 

Needless to say, the abject refusal to respond to the people continued. I got a first-hand look at this man who pledged to represent the people of Massachusetts and he could not even acknowledge this nonpartisan issue.  He was not a leader of the people, he was holding peoples’ enjoyment of their most valuable asset as political hostage.  In a room full of supporters it did not take much to scare him away. The Mitt Romney I know is a fake. He hides and ignores, only coming out in situations where he is the presumptive star.  When faced with a real life situation that he could easily correct, he held the correction as a barter, he chose to flee. 

I am glad to report this story does have a happy ending.  I attended a town meeting by Candidate Deval Patrick in June of 2006 in that same room where I met Governor Romney.  That day I got up, explained the plight of the neighborhood and asked what Patrick would do as Governor.  He turned around to the officials who were present, asked them if it was true and they all nodded yes.  Candidate (currently Governor) Patrick asked me to take him to the neighborhood after the event.  We drove there together. He and his aides got out of their cars and listened, not only to the noise level but also to the people.  Patrick pledged that if he were elected, this disgrace would be corrected and it has been.

I urge your readers to understand that their everyday concerns are not important to Romney. Quite honestly, they will be ignored by him unless they have something to give him in return.  These people suffering from a nonpartisan issue where they were 100% eligible to receive relief could not even get Romney’s attention as governor never mind action. You will not receive relief from Romney as President. 

This is the Mitt Romney I know, and the reason I am voting Barack Obama for President on November 6th.



Mary E. Tiano

Chelmsford, MA

Max Ward November 03, 2012 at 11:16 AM
Mary, thank you for writing this letter and giving us first hand knowledge of what is in the "core" of this man.
diane Gray November 03, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Thank you for sharing this info, It is a REAL eye opener.
Tricia Mescall November 03, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Mary, Thank you for writing this letter. I've shared it on Facebook on my profile page and shared it with my friend Rita who is the chairman of the Democratic Party in Sarasota County Florida. Hopefully your experience will help Florida see who Mitt Romney really is. Tricia Mescall
Jules November 03, 2012 at 01:58 PM
This reads like a grocery store paperback,. Perhaps if you just stuck to the facts instead of injecting your descriptive distain for the man it would be more believable, His "limp handshake" and "hollow smile" have done a lot for this state,, including working across party lines and making Massachusetts a health care model for the rest of the nation. Governor Romney left a 2 BILLION dollar rainy day fund when he left office. You should check and see how much is left now.. Governor Patrick also cut pensions for the men and women who are first responders-- the people that risk their lives to save yours.. no matter what. Imagine facing retirement after putting your life on the line every day- with next to nothing live on. The point is that its easy to throw taxpayer money at problems.. but its got to come from somewhere else in order to do so... I appreciate your passion for helping neighbors here in town, but the tone of your story is just laced with such hatred, it makes me feel very comfortable, Just yesterday President Obama told his supporters that voting is the best revenge.. Revenge for what? He's been in charge for 4 years.. Spewing hate filled stories isn't going to help this town or this country,,,
John Doe November 03, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Ya, this letter will have a real impact on the core of Democratic Party leadership! This will really sway all those Democratic Party officials who were considering voting Romney!! This election is not about person, it's about the overarching principals of our country. Our current political process is designed to produce zealots on both sides. We will likely never see another Bill Clinton in our lifetimes (that is, a centrist) run for president. That means that Obama and Romney are both filled with the worst kind of political aspirations and self-agrandising goals. That said, putting individual issues aside, Romney and the people he surrounds himself with are republican zealots who believe strongly in smaller government, strong national defense, low taxes and little in the way of welfare programs. Obama and the obamunites believe nearly the mirror opposite. They believe in a bigger government who's goal is to help people. They believe in high taxes, in order to distribute money and welfare to the masses. They also believe in a national defense that relies on tolerance and diplomacy with no stomach for military actions. That's what this election is about. Personally, I dislike Romney on nearly all levels, but not as much as I dislike the Idology of Obama and the democrats. The two paragraphs above are accurate assessments of what the two presidential candidates would attempt to transform America into. Pick your poison and vote. I'm choosing option A) mitt Romney.
Norm9do November 03, 2012 at 02:38 PM
If this is the worst thing that Romney ever did, he takes it on the chin for that. If the president had to take it on the chin for all his mis steps, he wouldn't have a chin left!
befuddled November 03, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Fran McDougall November 03, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Mary, I remember the day I saw you with the Governer in the car leaving the Old Town Hall to go see in person the Twiss Rd. neighbor. And no, I wasn't readind a dime store novel. Everything happened exactly as she said. Mitch is the dime store mock up of a candidate. You can change his looks as often as you want but always remember to be very careful of those flammable pants. Vote on Tuesday and vot, please, for Elizabeth Warren.
Steven DiSalvo November 03, 2012 at 04:42 PM
The best thing for Massachusetts and the country would be a vote for Scott Brown and Mitt Romney
Muriel McGrann November 03, 2012 at 04:45 PM
In my opionion, the one issue you desired and demanded of the Government while Romney was Governor did not meet your expectations? Governer Romney did not pratice "THE DIVINE RIGHTS OF KINGS" to the Mass Legislators who vote on issues. The blame for any issue failing is on the hands of the current party in power. Remember all the current issues that the leader of the current President in control of this country is and has put into practice . Think twice before you vote for any of his party.President Obama has wrought much havoic to this Nation by his KING like tactics. Using this one issue as an effort to sway votes to accomadate your ONE experience when we have four Democratic Representatives to support any local issues is a bit far fetched. Place your outrage with your own Party in power where it justly belongs.Vote on Tuesday for the man who honors the CONSTITUTION.
Susan A. Cassidy November 03, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Thanks for the timeline and your perception of this situation and how then-Governor Romney handled it,Mary, and how it was resolved. This didn't surprise me at all, but then I pay attention to tone of voice and body language more than what comes out of someone's mouth, particularly politicians! Some people will say anything to get elected, they are more interested in the power of the position than acting for the common good.
Chris November 03, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Hey Jules, do you mean the "healthcare model for the rest of the nation" he told people while he was running for the Republican nomination that he would repeal, but then once he became the nominee said he would repeal parts of, or, early in his candidacy, when people would bring up the healthcare he passed in Massachusetts, so as not to seem the hypocrite, he said it was okay to pass such a law as a governor because he thinks it should be left up to the states, or the position he is staking out today, which I just heard in a radio ad about an hour ago, where he has a litany of items criticizing all he says the President has done wrong and how now, "Obamacare" (HIS plan, passed under him as governor here) adds to the tax burden and the deficit? Which Mitt, exactly, gave us that "healthcare model for the rest of the nation?" This letter is not about his limp handshake, Jules, it's about the fact that Mitt is a chameleon who will do and say ANYTHING to get elected, and that once he is elected, he really doesn't give a crap about the people that he is supposed to serve.
Mike Combs November 03, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Thanks for telling the truth about Romney and his utter lack of interest in even hearing our side of the story.
getoutthetruth November 03, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Chelmsford has a chance for change. We can elect our own resident as state senator and can replace 2 of the 4 state reps the Democrat Legislature stuck us with after the infamous carving by the now infamous speaker of the house. Let's send a message - we are not accepting this shabby treatment any longer. On Tuesday, November 6th, Vote Sandi Martinez for State Senate and Michael Benn or Valerie Wormell for State Rep.
Rommmaaaannnn m November 03, 2012 at 07:49 PM
So a sound barrier is a huuuuge deal huh? What about the lack of care for americans lives (Benghazi). Or the lack of bipartisanship under Obama, still no budget eh? Or the spending, but that goes with the budget problem. Or maybe the fact that Obama ignored our biggest ally (israel) when he BEGGED for help with Iran's nuclear program. But stick with the health problem causing sound barrier. Grow up and get some morals. Or move to Japan maybe?
Andrew Sylvia (Editor) November 03, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Hey, Just wanted to chime in here on that note. If you'd like to write a letter to the editor in support of any of those candidates, or any of their opponents, or anything, please e-mail me at andrew.sylvia@patch.com or head to chelmsford.patch.com/blog (or the "start a blog" button on the homepage) Normally the rule of thumb is that when people upload it on their own to get into the local voices section (the blogs) it goes up within 24 hours, if not instantly, and if people e-mail them to me, I'll hold onto it for a few days. However, I'm guessing I'll be getting a lot of opinion pieces from you all, so I'll waive that between now and 11:59 p.m. on Monday. Send me whatever you can and it will be up ASAP. Tuesday's going to be a really busy day, so I can't promise too much then.
Kauko John November 04, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Stan, Thanks Jules you hit the nail on the head!Let's get out the vote and elect Romney/Ryan and return Scott Brown as our US Senator.
Donna Reed November 04, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Mary Tiano has lived in Chelmsford for approximately 15 years (give or take). I have known her all of that time. She has done more good for this town than MANY who came before her, and even some who were BORN here. That she shared with us her experience with Mitt Romney is a GOOD thing. It offered insight that many of us were not privy to. As for these Politcians...good LORD..do ANY of them speak the truth??? It seems to me that they ALL tell us what they know we want to hear...does anyone recall President Obama saying......"I PROMISE you that if I can NOT turn the economy around in four years, I will be a one-term President" ? Maybe you remember it, maybe you don't......but he DID say it. So there's at least ONE promise made and not kept.....As for our next President??? Not sure we win in either case, but as for Mary Tiano? Chelmsford received a GIFT when she moved to town...and it came wrapped in a very pretty package ! !


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