WILMINGTON, MA — Below are statements issued by Wilmington Town Manager Jeff Hull and Wilmington Board of Selectmen Chair Mike Champoux in response to Selectman Mike McCoy’s press statement this morning:
Town Manager Jeff Hull
“I am surprised by Selectman McCoy’s statements towards me. During the meeting that he refers to that took place last week between Ed Coughlin, Mike, Sharon George and me, he was very cordial towards both Sharon and me. In my estimation, we have had a good working relationship even though we do not always agree.
I provided both the representatives from the Lowell Sun and the Wilmington Apple with the facts about the petition article which was submitted to the Town Clerk. Those facts are that the petitioners did not provide notice in their petition that they were seeking to hold a special town meeting. The petition article that was presented was simply an article seeking to change zoning with no instruction as to whether it was intended to be addressed at a special town meeting or an annual town meeting. While there has been much talk by some residents interested in holding a special town meeting, that intention needed to be expressed in writing as part of the petition that residents were being asked to sign based upon the legal opinion of Town Counsel.
Regardless of who the petitioners are or the nature of the petition, one of my responsibilities is to see that the procedure for calling a special town meeting conforms to state law and local bylaw.”
Selectman Chair Mike Champoux
“I most certainly can see where Mr. McCoy, and the others involved in this petition effort, would be frustrated about how this transpired. I was not present during the meetings that Mr. McCoy refers to. However, I was made aware that Town Clerk Sharon George had provided ‘Regular’ Town Meeting signature forms to Mr. McCoy in error. I am also aware that Mr. Hull went through the effort with Town Counsel to verify that the signatures, as submitted, were not in the form required to schedule a Special Town Meeting. It is clear to me that there were communication gaffes that occurred between the parties. Of course, this is regrettable, unintentional and undesired.
That said, however, I am of the strongest of convictions that nothing nefarious or intentional was done to undermine Mr. McCoy or the petitioners’ efforts. It seems to me that Mr. Hull’s primary effort has been to ensure that any Special Town Meeting that gets scheduled, is done so following the legal process as prescribed by Town Bylaws.
I am deeply disappointed in Mr. McCoy’s use of name-calling and insinuation of conspiracy. I find it to be reprehensible. As I mentioned, I understand someone being disappointed or even angry. But, I cannot understand people who knee-jerk into name calling and reducing the conversation to false, baseless accusations and unprofessional decorum. I believe that we, as leaders, ought to lead by example and rise above this type of fray. I refuse to reduce and lower myself to similar tactics and call upon my colleagues, friends and neighbors throughout town to do the same.”
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