Van Liew Talks to Voters on Chelmsford Patch, Here's the Recap

Here's a quick recap of what you missed yesterday, and you can check out the full transcript as well!


Chelmsford Patch invited Board of Selectmen candidate Roland Van Liew for a lunchtime live chat yesterday.

In case you missed it, here are the policy highlights and results of our in-chat polls below,

We'll be talking with our next candidate, Bob Joyce, Friday, March 8 (tomorrow) at noon.

Who Will Get Your Two Votes for Selectman?
(First Choice Second Choice Total* )
Pat Maloney 31% 50% 40.5%
Matt Hanson 38% 30% 34%
Janet Askenburg 19% 20% 19.5%
Roland Van Liew 13% 0% 7.5%
Bob Joyce 0% 0% 0%

*- sum of both columns, divided by 2.

Poll not scientific

Tax Classification

Van Liew considers classification as irrelevant, seeing it as a litmus test for the Chelmsford Business Association's endorsement of candidates.

Solar Farm on Swain Road

Van Liew has mixed feelings, wanting to support the solar industry, but concerned about environmental issues in the area.

New Dog Parks

Van Liew supports them, but only in locations where they would not negatively impact abutting residents.

Attending Community Events

Van Liew sees attending community events as an elected official as something that would need to be assessed on a case by case basis.


Off-Site Liquor Licenses for Non-Liquor Stores

Van Liew generally supports licenses.

Turf Fields

Van Liew would need to see documentation before believing private investors would invest in the turf fields at the McCarthy School and Chelmsford High. He's also urged caution over the spending of public funds.

Open Space and Growth

Van Liew believes the town seeks to maximize revenue from selling off open space and wants to conserve it.  

He also seeks growth as a regional, as well as local issue along with other issues such as affordable housing.  

Phil stanway March 07, 2013 at 11:58 AM
I do not understand this "Van Liew believes the town seeks to maximize revenue from selling off open space and wants to conserve it ". Town Meeting has gone out of its way to add open space. A the last meeting alone Town Meeting ok'd buying to additions to our farm land. At this upcoming meeting town meeting has been asked to move Oak Hill from general use to Open Space for Conservation. Most of Selectman candidates I have spoken to want to fast track Oak Hill to Conservation as soon as the work outlined by the Oak Hill Committee has been done. I think town meeting has done a great job of adding new open space and protecting what we have.. None of these open space protections are going to make the town money and that's ok. I do not think town meeting would approve selling ANY open space off .. not now not EVER. I want to thank all the reps for what they have done.
Phil stanway March 07, 2013 at 01:08 PM
Marc, Confused about what? That the report that RVL showed was Jim Murray's Logging plan his tree farm in Maine? That Town meeting has done a good job adding new open space? That if RVL takes down the false allegations he has on his web site I will drop the matter? I stand by these and I am not confused. I would be happy to explain any item that you do not understand.
Donna Reed March 07, 2013 at 01:25 PM
On more than one occasion in the past, I've thought that Mr. Van Liew has made some good points. Yesterday I arrived home to find a flier in my door regarding tax rates. It was designed to point out how high Chelmsford's tax rates are to our "surrounding communities". However, it's a bit "skewed", as I certainly don't consider BROOKLINE to be one of our surrounding communities..nor is Somerville, Woburn, or Cambridge. And yet, Tyngsboro was not on his list, nor was Billerica??? What's up with that?..In addition, while our tax rate may well be higher than those in Andover, as his flier points out, what isn't mentioned, is that homes values in Andover are much higher than they are here....so Andover, no matter how you look at it, is still raising MANY more dollars in taxes than we are here, to pay for the same services we must pay for. I don't mind reading information provided it is TRULY informative, and more importantly, reliable and based on fact.. When it is skewed, it makes me wonder about any other information we may receive from this source. If someone wants to make comparisons, shouldn't they be comparing apples to apples, and oranges to oranges?? Isn't that how it's typically done?
Andrew Sylvia (Editor) March 07, 2013 at 01:39 PM
I'm not even sure if Cover it Live added them all up. Let me check.
Andrew Sylvia (Editor) March 07, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Not seeing a total number of votes. I'll contact the tech folks to see if that information can be ascertained somewhere.
Donna Reed March 07, 2013 at 03:38 PM
WHOSE the heckler Marc???? You seem rather "testy" this morning.....I'm sure many WOULD rather pay more in taxes, but not all of those "many people" can afford the million dollar and up price tag for a home in a town like Andover.....where it would take fewer homes to rake in a LOT more in tax revenue than what we are getting here. And really.....why on EARTH would anyone stay in a town where they feel things are being run "inefficiently"? Cause it doesn't seem as though you are very happy here.........And really..how "simplified" is it if one is comparing a small town like Chelmsford to a rather large city like Cambridge?
John Gault March 07, 2013 at 03:58 PM
Got to agree with Mark here. "Blah Blah Blah" and "You've got to be kidding me" are both acceptable answers. You don't like it? Move on. Case closed.
Rob Carey March 07, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Just re-read the transcript and found this but interesting: “Bob Joyce is the only Planning Board member who voted against multiple special permits for the 9 North Road building that eliminated the best options for Center Fire Station” Does this mean that Roland wanted the new fire station built on this piece of land instead of a private building? It would just as much take away from his “Open Space” that he is suing us for. I also forget the reasoning behind killing Chelmsford st/Wilson st corner as a good location. Big lot, FLAT, trucks can exit easily onto Wilson or Chelmsford st. Seems to be a much more logical place than on the side of a cliff next to the town hall which will obviously cost much more money just to reinforce the hill. Or bulldoze the eyesore that is Marshalls and Stop and Shop and build there next to Harringtons.
Andrew Sylvia (Editor) March 07, 2013 at 05:26 PM
I am unsure if I can provide how many users we had on the live chat to the general public, but the system says that between Roland and the readers, there were 62 total comments over the approximately 90 minute live chat. I believe there were 2 or 3 comments where someone submitted them and then the reader saw a grammatical error and resubmitted, I don't believe I put those up. Although it's a different format, my current personal record is the 2012 Division 3 MIAA Eastern Mass Super Bowl, that had 533 comments in an approximate 2 hour time frame.
Andrew Sylvia (Editor) March 07, 2013 at 05:41 PM
That's a good idea. It would assume that everybody who logged on voted, but I suppose we can do that. Let me double check if I can give you that info. If it were up to me, I'd be fine, but it's above my pay grade so I need to make sure.
jim March 07, 2013 at 11:37 PM
Sorry but I have to disagree. While Blah Blah Blah etc may be an acceptable answer in some instances, you cannot put your head in the sand as to who is asking the question and more importantly why it was being asked. RVL has made public accusations about Phil. RVL has those accusations published on the internet at this very moment. To my knowledge RVL has not provided one shred of evidence to support his accusations. Not one shred. Phil has every right to ask that RVL provide evidence to support his accusation and he certainly has the right to keep asking that same question when the answer is Blah blah blah. Mark, you call it heckling and you say "ask your questuion once" but if you stood publically accused of something that was completely unsubstantiated you would have every right to keep asking until you receive the proper answer. And what is the proper answer...to either provide the evidence you have, or retract your false claim...plain and simple.
John Doe December 23, 2013 at 12:26 PM
"To my knowledge RVL has not provided one shred of evidence to support his accusations. " Then you are simply ignorant. In all these lawsuits that Roland keeps "losing", there are dozens of depositions that he has made public (though frankly, I cannot recall where they are posted, nor do I know if they are still up wherever they were). Those depositions proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Phil, the town Manager, and others engaged in unethical communication. That doesn't mean that the courts found those actions to rise to the level of criminal activity, but for intelligence people, it should certainly rise to the level of not supporting public officials who act that way. Cohen has been caught in so many lies and mis-statements it would make your head spin. Im sure you could contact Roland somehow and get that info, I know he also had it in some of the mailings.


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