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Posts Tagged ‘dickhaut’

Spring Has Sprung – Bloodsport Is In The Air

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

The beauty of spring is here and with that comes the local election season. Unlike last year there is actually a contested selectmen’s race, although the cast is made up of all selectmen and former selectmen. So much for new blood…Pun Intended!

Vying for seats are incumbents David Sargent and Maryrose Dickhaut and former selectmen Mark Iacobucci and Kevin Haley. This is actually a very interesting turn of events. I don’t remember anytime in the past when all the candidates were former selectmen.

I’m going to leave you hanging for a while and not comment on what I think may happen or on the candidates. I’ll wait until the caucus and see if anyone is put up as a potential “spoiler”. That will be very telling.

The Taxman Givith…!

Friday, December 7th, 2012

The Taxman Givith…!

OK, I don’t know what’s going on here but I feel like I entered an alternate universe last night. The Clinton BOS voted in a perplexing vote to LOWER the tax rate split to a whopping 1.65 for business and industrial property. This board with the exception of Selectman Connolly and sometimes Selectman Sargent DROPPED the split from 1.70 (Max is 1.75) to 1.65. When Selectwoman Dickhaut made that motion it spoke volumes…althought the volume was in the words weren’t spoken! She actually asked for a motion to adjust to a 1.65 split in the rate structure it took a few seconds before it came  and then they voted without comment on what’s usually a really contencious issue.

Of course I’m delighted as I believe in fairness to business and industry and don’t believe they should be overtaxed as is the new paradigm right from Obama on down. Evil Business and rich must pay more as is the Socialist agenda.

Homeowners got about an extra $35 property tax increase thanks to the fairness the board exhibited during their Thelma & Louise lemming like dive off the Clinton Fiscal Cliff!!!!!  Maybe a business or two might hire an extra body now. I’m still dumbstruck as MaryRose usually sites the poor and elderly and declines to raise their taxes any more than is needed while allowing businesses to suck up the brunt of our tax base. Did she finally take the plunge and become a fiscally conservative Republican? If so we have a place for her at the RTC table! Maybe Mr. Bill made a deal with the devil.  Damn, the next thing you know they’ll be selling passes to target shoot at the Rifle Range!

Merry Christmas!

Ohhhh Shittttt!

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS32kDPqYiNP6o6lbD1Us3htkmOSzkkeat_o7OsaZOu7Jvb28nv

It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

I’ll start with with an apology to Yogi Berra for using his famous quote about seeing Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris hit back to back homers.

Three members of the BOS are at it again, Dickhaut, Leblanc and Dziokonski  who is newest member of the anti-rifle range triumvirate are pandering to the exclusive South Meadow “enclave” and again trying to ban the Clinton Police Department from firearms qualification behind the former landfill. This land is owned and within the confines of the Town of Clinton. (This is not the rifle range but an adjacent parcel of land) Remember this will cost all taxpayers more money in overtime and the use of an inferior trailer that they proposed. The land in question is an eminently safe location and the only minus is that about 14 petulant prevaricating residents out of 14,000 are whining about the noise. These are the usual few residents that are from both Clinton and Lancaster who want their own private Idaho up there on South Meadow road. Yeah this is the same crew that wanted to stop the railroad from running at night and who complained to police about the Galloping Gaels football team making to much noise at their games (all 8 home games that is).

Well the three voted Wednesday night September 28th to allow the police to qualify there one last time (only because  time has run out again this year) and to never do so again. They also wrongly voted to withdraw from the lawsuit with the town of Lancaster. They don’t have the power to do so, only the law committee does.

Their ban will also disallow the police or others to use the 100 year old rifle range EVEN IF Clinton wins the lawsuit. This is a slap in the face of all taxpaying Clintonians  (Well not the 14 out of 14,000 petulant prevaricating whiners).

My most sincere thanks to Selectmen David Sargent and William Connolly Jr, for voting in favor of us taxpayers and also the 100 year old tradition of parents teaching sons and daughters gun safety and target shooting skills. The politically correct tripe this gang spews and the contempt for the majority of their fellow citizens is nothing short of remarkable and narcissistic…They now have their private little enclave and you can’t discharge a firearm at that totally safe rifle range or take an awful motorboat on their pond and by the way they don’t like your Green and Gold  Galloping Gaels football team and the cheerleaders making all that noise …you soccer moms better knock it off too, or they’ll ban that as well.

Waaaaah!

Economic Damnation

Friday, January 21st, 2011

I find it quite disconcerting that the Town of Clinton via the Board of Selectmen have given such little thought and action to the area of Economic Development. After the sudden departure of our last Community & Economic Development Director (Herein called Director) you would have thought it to be a clear wake up cal,l to hopefully spark a thorough study and to restore or redefine the position with the immediacy it deserved.

I believe the citizens of Clinton are really being cheated by the laissez faire attitude this important department and function have been given. The BOS has had since September 2nd 2010, the day Mr. Duff submitted his resignation to work on this and they have not done anything accept to give it lip service.

Look no further than the Town of Bolton, They have an Economic Development Committee that meets alongside their Town Planner. Why doesn’t our reactive BOS get off their keisters and do something proactive for a change. It’s not hard to start a committee (costs nothing accept advertising cost) and if formed our local talent could bring a lot of good data and ideas. Here is Bolton’s web page for reference.

http://www.townofbolton.com/Pages/BoltonMA_Economic/index

I couldn’t help but notice the billboard in Bolton center asking residents to fill out an economic development questionnaire. Could you imagine Clinton doing something proactive like that? I couldn’t even fathom it with the current cast of characters. They voted to raise the tax rate split, becoming one of the few towns in the state to have such a tremendously high over-taxation of local businesses , that’s in my opinion. So much for economic development, it’s more like economic suicide.

So combine the fact we’re in what the economic community calls the “red zone” with regard to economic development and anybody moving a business here. For instance, if a company in Marlboro is paying much more per square foot to lease a building and could move here (ala Scholastic Book) and save quite a bit of money, it would be eaten up by the immense tax burden incurred.

There was a concerted effort back when Scholastic moved here to lower this rate a few percent per year to help in locating business here. This was wholeheartedly welcomed by our then Director Don Lowe and Chamber of Commerce Director Megan McCaffery.  Now we have a BOS with a cavalier attitude toward the business community and could care less about attracting new business. Yes, It’s a sad state of affairs when your elected leaders don’t really care to expeditiously address something this important, something that has the ability to improve our tax base and therefore our quality of life in Clinton.

I will again mention that Selectmen Connolly and Sheridan did try to lower the tax rate split only to be rebuffed by Selectmen LeBlanc, Dickhaut and Sargent.

Just wondering where the complete Master Plan is? I believe it has information about economic development in it and has not been offered to the public that I’m aware of. I did find a master plan goals document that had some suggestions. Why aren’t these used at least as fodder for discussion between the BOS?

From the master plan goals document, there is an economic development fact sheet on clintonmass.com but it links to the master plan goals document. I’d like to read that too:

-Establish an Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (EDIC): marketing, acquisition/redevelopment of difficult sites.

-Reorganize rules, regulations and standards in commercial and industrial zones; emphasize quality.

-Adopt Chapter 43D, the Expedited Permitting Law; consolidate permitting procedures wherever possible, develop a permitting guide.

-Encourage commercial development of appropriate type, scale and appearance, considering surrounding land uses, setting and context

-Make fair, timely permitting decisions by publishing clear development standards and applying them consistently.

-Institute growth management policies that encourage infill development and reuse of existing buildings over new development in outlying areas of town


-Establish a full-time town planner position.


Local Businesses Lose Once Again – Updated With Figures

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

I want to thank Selectmen Kathleen Sheridan and William Connolly, Jr for stepping up last night and trying to help keep our local businesses alive and less burdened by property taxes, also for seeing the potential of helping others locate here through a more equitable tax rate split.

To the other three, Dickhaut, LeBlanc and Sargent, shame on you! You people don’t have a clue what you’re doing. Selectman Dickhaut said “lowering the split during the past few years has failed to attract new business to town, as proponents predicted” shows a shallow, politically motivated move that will save residents a minimal amount per quarterly tax bill. Don’t spend it all in one place people, wake up and complain to these rogue selectmen.

Dickhaut has a lot of nerve and must think we the people of Clinton are stupid, during her reign our director of community and economic development left for greener pastures. The BOS under her chairmanship dragged their feet for months before hiring a replacement and when they did they hired someone who didn’t perform. Once again we have no one in this position, what’s it been 5 or 6  months now?  How in hell would you expect a token, one year drop in the split to 1.65 to have the desired effect without someone to advocate and pull businesses into town?

Will these three anti-business selectmen actually take responsibility when they push what’s left of our small businesses over the edge and out of business? What will they do when a larger business like Nypro or Dunn and Company says good bye Clinton, I can do business in another town that has a more business friendly rate split. I’ll tell you what they’ll do, exactly what they have to, put the tax burden on YOU the residential taxpayer.

When your neighborhood corner store or favorite small business is shuttered, please remember to call and thank Dickhaut, LeBlanc and Sargent for “helping you”. I’m amazed at the total lack of intelligence these selectmen have show with regard to the over-taxation of businesses and the effect it will have on our town.

Please make sure you contact the board of selectmen and make them aware of your displeasure with this poorly executed, anti-business action.

Board of Selectmen
Town Hall
242 Church St.
Clinton, Ma 01510
(978) 365-4120

UPDATE

I got official numbers with residential and commercial-industrial examples this morning, with the residential/commercial split now at 1.70 the tax increase for the average home (2010 average home value is $219,816) is $8 per year or $2 per quarterly tax bill. The tax bill for the average home at a split of 1.70 is $3106

With the previous years split of 1.65 the increase of the average home would have been $39 or $31 dollars more per year than the rate split of 1.70 that was set. This would have equaled $7.75 per quarterly bill minus the $2 that it actually increased for a net savings of $5.75 per quarter.

So for $5.75 per quarter the BOS has effectively screwed local businesses small and large. Here’s the math for a business with the exact same value as the average home.

With the residential/commercial split now at 1.70 the tax increase for a commercial-industrial property with the same evaluation of$219,816 is $624 per year or $156 per quarterly tax bill. The 2010 tax bill for a commercial-industrial property with an evaluation of $219,816 is $6014

With the previous years split of 1.65 the tax increase for a commercial-industrial property with the same evaluation of $219,816 would have been $448 per year or $112 per quarterly tax bill.

So as you can see from these examples, commercial-industrial business owners were already paying a ridiculous sum for their property and and now will pay even more. Would you bother to keep a business here, or locate here with such an inequitable rate? The BOS members that voted for this were given this information and still opted to pander to residential voters, most likely for political reasons. Again I applaud Selectmen Sheridan and Connolly for having the courage and foresight to try and make the rate more equitable and help small (and large) businesses remain viable and to keep their doors open.

When businesses close or are unable to hire because of this viciously unfair rate I want the BOS members who voted this rate split in to take full responsibility for their anti-business actions. I would hope now that you folks have this information you’d demand the same.

I really hope pandering to the residential ratepayers for the votes they hope to gain is worth the $23 per household they saved people.

The Do Nothing Selectmen Did Something (Updated)

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Wow, I’m stunned.  The do nothing BOS actually did something at one of their infrequent meetings, and it actually made sense.  At the urging of Selectman Connolly the board created three sub-committee’s to study Regionalization, Capital Planning and Changes to Town Government.

I’m glad to see that the board that hasn’t done a damn thing all year accept issue liquor licenses and turn down automobile sales permits has done something that makes sense and has a pro-active tone to it.

I won’t get too giddy though, It may be nothing but lip service by the Chairman to placate the masses as it had been brought up in open session by Connolly and couldn’t be swept under the rug.  Who knows, maybe they have room on their committee for someone that served on the Charter Commission and as a Selectman, one who has true insight and a working understanding of town government and what is lacking.  I wonder what would happen if I applied???

Hmmm, maybe, just maybe it’s worth a shot, I wouldn’t expect to be selected as this board wants things to stay as they are, but it would be a good exercise in showing what hypocrites they are.  Dickhaut and Haley both ignored the  proposal I put forth as a starting point when I  was still on the board.

In fact here’s the starting proposal which was cut from the old charter document and put forth for DISCUSSION, this never took place as Dickhaut and Haley just sat there slack jawed and ignored it.  http://www.josephnotaro.com/Archived/change_agent_2_13_08.pdf

It should be an interesting committee, bet the outcome is what Dickhaut wanted all along, A strong Town Administrator with no specified duties so she can tell him / her what to do without boundries.

Common Sense Prevailed Last Night

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

The tax burden via the real estate tax split that has been levied for years on commercial and Industrial property owners has been a disincentive to stay in Clinton, or for businesses to locate or relocate here. Look at the empty mills and storefronts on High St. Some business failures and closings are obviously due to to the economy but you have to wonder how many of those would still be here if we had equitable tax rates for all…something I’ve pondered for quite a while.

Chairman Dickhaut seems to believe TIF’s are the answer, but they only last a finite amount of time and are only good with regard to new businesses. This is like when you open an account somewhere and they give you a better introductory rate. then it goes up and stays there. Existing businesses get no break other than the reduction of the rate split. Don’t get me wrong, the TIF is a good tool to have but is only one tool, not the be all end all of economic development.

Also Commercial and Industrial property values have not diminished in value like residential properties have, resulting in a double whammy on our businesses. The difference between the average increase and the increase with the split adjusted down to 1.65 is $28 per year which translates to $7 per quarterly bill. This is a pittance and doesn’t even register on my radar screen, for the record I’m a fiscal conservative.

When I was on the BOS the split we inherited was 1.75. We dropped it two years in a row at that time Scholastic Books decided to relocate in Clinton citing the business friendly reductions of the rate split. Last year the newly seated BOS raised it to the maximum level, also called the red zone by the business community. In fact when looking statewide businesses avoid communities that are at the max.

I can only hope the BOS has seen the light and this trend continues, if it does and more businesses were to locate here it would have the effect of actually reducing our residential tax burden even though we have a lower split, because more business would be paying taxes into our coffers.

I applaud Selectmen Haley, Sheridan and Connolly for having the courage and common sense to reduce the split, you did the right thing! Congrats…

The Height Of Hypocrisy

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

In a stunning display of hypocrisy the Lancaster Zoning Board of Appeals granted the Lancaster Police Department a special permit to practice and qualify on land that’s zoned residential. Lancaster has already set a precedent by serving cease and desist orders to both the Clinton Police Department and previously the Clinton Fish and Game for exactly the same purposes.

I believe this helps Clinton’s position with potential litigation. Lancaster has applied zoning laws differently in cases that are the same. I really don’t care about their nuanced decision that there aren’t residence’s as close by or what not. The facts are the facts, It’s a grandfathered use, shooting never stopped and Clinton has a right to use the property for Police department qualification and practice.  In fact as a non-profit entity the police are most likely exempt from these unjustly applied zoning laws. In my opinion Clinton is being singled out by Lancaster due to collusion with two of Clinton’s Selectmen, LeBlanc and Dickhaut.

In another case of hypocrisy the Clinton BOS voted 3-2 to deny a permit to an applicant to reopen the small car lot at the corner of Main and Water streets. Of course they all say they’re pro-business and want to help the little guy but when it comes right down to it they just don’t care. The person was from out of town, I bet if it was someone the dissenters knew, they’d have passed it in a New York second! Denying someone the opportunity to open a small business to earn a living in these trying economic times is just downright wrong.

The final case is that our our “stellar” selectwoman MaryRose Dickhaut voted against allowing Chief Laverdure to appoint three recently retired policemen as “special police officers” in order for them to be covered under the town’s umbrella policy and able to work details when full time officers aren’t available. Thankfully the other selectmen weren’t pigheaded about this and it passed.

Yeah, they all say they’re pro-public safety until they have to vote on allowing police to qualify at our range and to defend that right in a court of law if necessary or to help keep our Police Department full time. With the lack of funding all dispatchers will be laid off, possibly an officer. With the three latest retiree’s, four laid off dispatchers and a laid off officer we’ll be down eight people. this will result in only two officers per shift for a town of 14,000. What are our supposed pro-public safety selectmen doing about this? Nothing of course, because they’re hypocrites!

Confluence Of Issues

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

So here we are again back at the rifle range issue, although I have a lot more to say than selectmen Dickhaut and LeBlanc are plain wrong on that issue. they’re wrong on a lot more than that.

Selectman LeBlanc seems to be doing what’s in his own selfish interest, not what’s in the best interest of our town, our police force and in effect US. I would posit that LeBlanc has had conversations with the Lancaster town administrator that undermine the work our town counsel is doing to preserve our right as a town to use the land for police firearms qualification. Mr LeBlanc, if you’d like to deny that please chime right in!

Now we have the Lancaster police applying for a special permit to qualify and practice at the range they use WHICH IS ZONED RESIDENTIAL. I question why Lancaster hasn’t applied their zoning laws equally to their own police department. If Clinton gets a cease and desist order for qualifying on residential property then Lancaster MUST get the same under their zoning laws. If not then nullify the one against the Clinton Police Department. This selective enforcement is hypocritical and wrong.

Now for the financial ramifications. We have a BOS that’s supposed to be looking out for our best interests, they are NOT. When they formulated the budget it should have taken the overtime line item into account. The police shouldn’t have to rely on overtime for the normal everyday operation of their department. I understand budgets have to be cut, however common sense shows that in times of financial turmoil crime rises, it’s a fact. Now we may have less police on the street, dispatchers laid off and replaced with officers who would be on the street performing their duties. The BOS has botched it’s budget big time on this front.

So here’s where the rifle range issue, safety and fiscal responsibility merge together into one large confluence. First, we have an underfunded police department. Second we have officers that haven’t been able to qualify and practice because Dickhaut and LeBlanc are on a mission to shut down the rifle range and are in my opinion in collusion with Lancaster town officials to undermine our best interests. Third, to qualify the police may have to go to a private out of town range at some cost to the town. I’ve heard price tags of $10,000+ per year and a need for more overtime which we have no money budgeted for. We’ll be less safe, with less officers on the street and incur higher costs.

Finally, if they succeed in closing the rifle range it would need to have a lead remediation done at a cost in the neighborhood of $2,000,000. These selectmen are a detriment to the people of Clinton and should be damn ashamed of their actions. They have put our safety at risk, our financial state at risk and have potentially damaged our police departments relationship with our sister town…for what just so some people don’t have to hear the police qualify during the day for a couple weeks a year, These selectmen are a bad joke who put their self serving interests first and put our police department in the middle of their political brinkmanship. Please remember this next spring when you go to the polls.

A Double Standard

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Lancaster has issued cease and desist orders to the Clinton Fish and Game and also to the Clinton Police Department stating that they cannot shoot at the Clinton rifle range because it’s partially located in Lancaster and zoned residential.

Well the range that the Lancaster Police use is located in Lancaster and is zoned residential…How is it that they can continue to shoot and qualify there and Clinton is prohibited?

I understand the Lancaster Police have requested a special permit to shoot on their residentially zoned range, if this is approved I would expect the same standard to be used for the Clinton P.D,  If not this is a complete double standard and totally unacceptable.

The Clinton BOS that hardly ever meets anymore (last meeting was somewhere like October the 7th) and is finally meeting again November 10th should be fighting for our sovereign right to use this resource. I really don’t care if it has to go to litigation.  Because very importantly if Clinton loses the right to shoot there and the range reverts to ” open land” there will be a $2,000,000+ bill for lead remediation and that is a hell of a lot more than a simple zoning litigation case will cost, and that’s why we have a Town Solicitor in the first place.

This whole thing is so out of control with the anti-gun duo of LeBlanc and Dickhaut causing disention beetween the two towns police forces that we probably are better off that they only meet every five weeks or so. They’ve pushed their self serving agenda to the limit, trying as hard as possible to keep the “blue collared, regular Joe’s” off that range and turn that section of town into a private enclave for the prestigious professionals that live there. Its a  private enclave for the priveleged. UNBELIEVABLE!