Tuesday, April 24, 2018 16:03

Posts Tagged ‘Lancaster Mills’

12 Reasons Not To…

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Vote for Mr. Kevin Haley

“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”   Abraham Lincoln

“This election belongs to the people of Clinton. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their backs on common sense and vote for Haley, they’ll burn their asses. Then as is sometimes the case, they’ll just have to sit on their blistered behinds for another three years.” – Joe Notaro, With Apologies to Lincoln!

Clinton Has A Big Choice To Make

With Selectwoman Mary Rose Dickhaut dropping out of the BOS (board of selectmen) race Clinton has a clear choice in the coming local election. There are three candidates all of whom have experience serving on the board of selectmen.

Lets examine one of those candidates, Kevin Haley, who was an utterly presumptuous selectman during his term of office. You don’t need to think very hard to remember many of the antics he displayed and the blatant disregard he had for the citizens who elected him. Without further ado here are a few tidbits from his term in office.


I just went to candidates night, please read #5 below, Mr. Haley stated that one of his greatest achievements while in office was signing the Conservation Restriction on the Wekepeke. This was the Document that was holding the $353,600 Rauscher farm grant up and he was extremely reluctant to sign it.  Only after badgering from many citizens and the FORF did it get done. He was against it,  and Rauschers Farm.  Unbelieveable, Tony Fiorentino and I worked on changing restrictions in the inherited document leading up to the Rauscher Farm grant proposal, and worked  with Town Counsel and the state to get as much restrictive verbiage taken out as possible to secure Clinton’s right to use the land.  He was never on board with it!


1. He suspended public comment at BOS  meetings because he didn’t want to listen to you, the people.

2.  After denying citizens from speaking at public comment time he let a political ally speak for a Town Meeting warrant article that he supported, this was morally wrong and hypocritical.  He also didn’t allow/solicit an opposing viewpoint, (The article went down in a ball of flames).  This was such a controversial and undemocratic move that citizens added a petition to the Town Meeting warrant to force the BOS to have public comment. This passed Town Meeting by an overwhelming margin although it was eventually disallowed by state law governing open meeting laws.  It did make it’s point though.

3.  A prior board on which I served had changed public comment to the beginning of BOS meetings. This was so citizens wouldn’t have to wait for hours to talk for a couple minutes about something they found important. This was changed back to the end of meetings during Haley’s term to discourage comment.

4.  Even more importantly, comment was changed to the beginning of meetings to facilitate communication with  citizens who wished to speak on upcoming agenda items before action was taken by the BOS. For example a vote on an issue that may have effected the person wanting to comment and have their opinion or facts heard before a decision was made.  This is all very poor representation of “we the people”.

5.  He held up the application for a pre-approved state grant, almost losing the town $353,600. This was voted on and signed the night before it was due in Boston and had to be hand carried the next morning by our faithful Director of community and economic development.

6.  Voted to buy the American Legion property for an extremely high premium over what it was actually worth and it still lies dormant today accept for weeds and junk cars. It’s always nice to have a nearly $475,000 dollar vacant lot around to store junk cars on.

7.  In 2009 or 2010 Haley who was a member of the budget sub-committee restored the BOS $7,500 stipend that the board as a whole voted not to take a few weeks earlier. This was previously donated to the COA, Library and Emergency Management budgets a year earlier.

8.  During the public hearing on awarding a liquor license to either the Via Alta 27 or the Cocoa Creme cafe Haley spoke against the Cafe and for the Via Alta. The former was being financed by the lending institution Haley worked for. When the time came to vote he abstained. This was a direct conflict of interest where he should have recused himself and left the hearing.  Of course the BOS voted unanimously for the one with the best business plan and that was in the towns best interest – Not because of a politically motivated or financial gain reason!

9.  Haley worked hard to deny Brady-Sullivan the chance to rehabilitate the former Colonial Press property. This  included some behind the scenes crap including other town officials I won’t get into.  Luckily he wasn’t successful in this counter-productive pursuit. This would have denied Clinton tax revenue and as the folks at Brady Sullivan said, “kept it from becoming a pile of rubble” like the former ITT eyesore. In the end the true governing body who had jurisdiction, the planning board, not the BOS, approved it.

10.  While I was on the BOS with him (we overlapped for a year) I tried to bring up positive changes for town government,  some of which have been on the warrant at recent town meetings. Haley stared at the ceiling and would not comment or participate, much like a petulant child.

11. He vacillated on his support for OUR rifle range. He was for it before he was against it, and then for it, or was that against it?  Bottom line is he played games with it and never supported it,  just tried to sucker both sides into thinking he was on their side, but was on neither.

12.  Destroyed what Mike Ward called “The Best Working Personnel Board I have ever Seen” by removing the very people that this was said about. The board is supposed to have 5 members, now it only has one, the person Haley wanted back on it.

Now ask yourselves, were you better off before,  or after his three years of  nonsense?  Don’t let history repeat itself!

A Second Chance

Monday, August 10th, 2009

I recently read with renewed interest an article that talked about a new plan being presented by Brady Sullivan to the Planning Board regarding the Lancaster Mills project. In the not so distant past we had the former chairman of the BOS, Kevin Haley, dismissing this proposal and badmouthing it. Hopefully this isn’t the case in today’s dire economic times. This project would represent somewhere in the vicinity of another $400,000 in tax revenue for our town.

Brady Sullivan have been very patient and I’m sure wasted a good sum of money on carrying charges such as heat, taxes, etc. I hope the Planning Board see’s the light as well. One member said he wouldn’t ever vote for it prompting the resignation of former chairman Phil Duffy.

The no way, no how attitude has to go, it’s time to look at all revenue sources. I also see that the disenters at Weetabix were shown the door. Chuck Marble and another senior management person have left. I wonder what that the means in terms of Weetabix’ previous unhappiness with the project, their viability and presence in Clinton’s future?

What I see here is a second chance for Clinton in getting needed boost in revenue and rebuilding a blighted old building. Clinton officials should take a long hard look at this and ultimately approve it for the good of the town. To not do so would be a travesty!

Yet Another (Potential) Lost Opportunity For Clinton

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

At the October 22nd  Clinton Selectman’s meeting there was a discussion centered around the venerable Lancaster Mills building on Green street. This is the former Bigelow Brothers mill and was the first horizontal manufacturing location in the U.S. during the industrial revolution. This was later the location of the Colonial Press. Note that I personally prefer to (1) keep the Mill’s exterior as is, to preserve the historical significance of this building and (2) move forward with the planned project. (My Opinion!)

During this discussion, Selectman Fiorentino very succinctly described the reasons the Brady Sullivan proposal should be allowed to go forward only to be rebutted by Chairman Haley and Selectman Dickhaut. The fact Clinton needs to attract Industrial and Commercial businesses, jobs and the revenue they bring with them is the point here. As Fiorentino pointed out, and I agree, A total commercial-industrial complex would be best, but given the fact that Brady Sullivan has done a nationwide search for a tenant and can’t find one makes the 139 unit condo plus 160,000 sf commercial space desirable. This is absolutely a great mixed use compromise solution for this site.

I personally wrote a letter of support for this project to the Planning Board and am sure it will fall on deaf ears. Weetabix has protested claiming it would put them in violation of the Bio-terrorism act of 2002 which I read and found nothing to prohibit the Brady Sullivan proposal. In fact Brady Sullivan agreed to Weetabix’ demand that they remove 24 condo units facing their warehouse, then at the very next hearing dropped the bomb that they may just move their operation to Canada if this goes forward. Veiled threat? possibly. They may already have decided to do this and want an out.

Haley stated he doesn’t care if the building is torn down and doesn’t seem to care about the historical significance or the infusion of badly needed revenue for the town. Dickhaut cautioned that Oxford Court is a perfect example of what would happen there with the town realizing no revenue…I’m at a loss here, as Dickhaut was a sitting Selectman when Oxford Court was siting their complex on High Street and the Board willingly signed over use of the public Church street parking lot to them when we already didn’t have enough parking for downtown businesses.

Selectman Dickhaut also stated we don’t need any more housing of this type in town, this is after endorsing the building of, and working for the Woodlands complex which will be 493 units when complete.  Sheridan commented that the mill could be razed and/or used for assisted living for the elderly. While a nice thought, it would likely be revenue neutral as the Corcoran house is. They had a TIF which had to renewed while I was on the BOS to help refinance, as they were in a financial pickle even though full with tenants. Brady-Sullivan isn’t an assisted living developer, and they own this property so it’d be their call.

My conclusion is that this project should be givin the green light by the Planning Board, the plusses outweight the minuses with Brady Sullivan willing to pay to fix the intersection of Green and Chestnut streets, landscape and clean up the land across the street from their building all the way to the top of Chestnut hill and have compromised on the number of units dropping the number at least twice while increasing the commercial component of the project. If this plan is rejected we all lose…yet again.