LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Resident Rebuts Selectmen’s Comments On Global, Doubles Down On Transparency Concerns

Dear Editor,

Exactly who is fighting for Wilmington Families?

I am writing this letter in response to recent comments made in this publication by Selectman Champoux and Selectman Loud in regard to the Global gas station proposal.

These Selectmen took exception to local residents expressing concerns that “the process … to date has lacked the transparency and scrutiny that a project of this size requires – raising suspicions and concerns as to what may be happening behind the scenes to accommodate this large out-of-town corporation.”

Let’s review the facts: On Tuesday, April 4th, 2017, before the applicant, Global, ever submitted an application to the Planning Board, the Planning Board voted to recommend approval of their Special Permit, but on what grounds? This subversion of the normal course of events raised our suspicion and concerns of how Global was able to get to this point without some assistance from folks involved in the approval process. At that April 4th hearing, Global and its representatives, Mr. Newhouse and Mr. Caira, had no traffic study to submit, and their site plans were incomplete. Why the rush? You decide for yourself.

Even though Champoux said it was his belief that this project was following the “prescribed set of steps and sequences,” he has firmly been contradicted by Mr. Loud, who, as Chairman of the Board of Appeals at that April 4th meeting, stated – “I am not comfortable voting tonight. I want to wait for the traffic study and site plan review. I’ve never approved a project before without a site plan review approval from the Planning Board.” Again, why the rush to the ZBA on April 4, 2017. Normal course of business. I think not.

So I ask you, what’s the truth? Why was this project rushed to the Board of Appeals without proper hearing at the Planning Board? And why did the Planning board unanimously vote to recommend approval of a project not even before them? And why won’t these Selectmen, who are supposed to have residents’ best interest in mind, take a position on this issue when so many of their constituents are so vocally opposed. Perhaps Mr. Champoux and Mr. Loud are correct. This is the normal course of business in Wilmington. If so, we should all be ashamed of our town government, and of our elected representatives. Because they are certainly not representing those that have elected them.

Every Wilmington resident can make their own determination as to what is really going on here, and as to who is calling the shots on this one. But please look at the facts of this case. It would certainly appear that “the process” does not involve the people of Wilmington who have expressed their concerns over this project. And ‘‘the process”, by their own choosing, will not also involve our Board of Selectmen, the very people who were voted in to represent our views.

The lack of transparency and proper scrutiny only benefits a large out-of-town corporation over current residents and taxpayers. Wake up, fellow residents! We have become a town of 30,000 being run by a group smaller than 12.

Also heard that Global is a family oriented company, I think not if they proceed with this project.

Thank you for your time.

Tony DiFraia

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