LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Former Selectwoman, Environmental Activist Slams Selectmen For Town Counsel Vote

(Editor’s Note: Wilmington Apple will be publishing a recap of the vote in question within the next 24 hours.)

Dear Wilmington Residents,

The Board of Selectmen (minus Mr. McCoy) voted to replace town counsel. There are some places politics do not belong. Not one Board member gave any specific reason to replace our current counsel, not one. In fact one selectman basically said he liked working in the past with Mr. Ross and thought the other attorneys were great, including Mr. Deutsch. The Town Manager expressed his frustrations when the firm split and it caused him stress. He gets paid almost $200,000 a year to deal with stress. That stress is nothing like what the residents will feel if Olin and New England Transrail gets their way. Watch the meeting. So, in other words, the reason for replacement is politics, plain and simple. The new counsel will be more money too.

Years ago when we were facing significant environmental issues the legal opinions at the time were opposite to the best interest of the town. The citizens stood strong, worked hard, and proved it and eventually the town got what it deserved a good environmental attorney and an environmental consultant that knew the laws and regulations. Both agreed with the citizens on the Maple Meadow Landfill and Olin Chemical issues. The landfill so called capping project was shut down. And the water supply was finally tested for NDMA which was found in the drinking water wells. For years the majority of Selectmen told us they were acting in the best interest of the town but their actions were the opposite. This is what made me run. They turned us into the enemy when the real enemy of the town was those who contaminated it. It was like they sided with the enemy instead of their own fellow citizens. That same toxic environment is once again upon us.

All those issues still remain today. Maple Meadow Landfill remains in limbo because of inaction. Olin is now a superfund site and is actively producing data to further their agenda for seeking a technical waiver to NOT clean up the site, including our now inactive water supply. New England Transrail looms large as a rail carrier exempt from regulation. These are not just south Wilmington issues, these are town issues. We are all effected. The residents that have been working on these issues for the last 20 years for no other reason then to protect our town get zero support from the Board (minus Mr McCoy). We asked please, in a thoughtful letter, to not replace counsel at this time and leave us in a weakened position. It was critical to have the same environmental attorney , one of the best in the state, ready to work on these issues. Our counsel has done well by the town. And the crazy thing? They all agreed but still voted to replace.

I keep trying to not dislike this board, but it is getting hard. The dismissive attitude makes me want to run against a couple of them like I did successfully years ago. True I am not the best politician, I’m not cut throat enough and I don’t revel in blowing smoke. Speaking of which, what is up with a former select-person sitting in the audience texting selectmen during the meeting? How wrong is that? Cowardly is the first thing that comes to my mind. I am not naming who because I did not see the full transaction, only 1/2, like others but if true, shame on you.

We have serious environmental issues. Like the Board of many years ago, they say right to your face they are “looking after the best interest of the town” while their actions are contradictory. This should be a concern to everyone. You might be able to fool some of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. It is not what you say, it is what you do. Actions speak louder than words.

Suzanne Sullivan

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6 thoughts

  1. Suzanne – great piece and after hearing about this all I can think of is ‘the fix is in’.

    So many things in local government boil down to relationships and it appears that the elected officials and town manager will always continue to have great relationships with the businesses in town.

    I can go to bed confident each night that THEIR interests will always be looked after.

    And that their kids, relatives, secret lovers etc will always be afforded the nicest scholarships, under the table house upgrades, sweetest cheap rentals and $$$ stash in envelopes.

    America is a wonderful place and even more wonderful if you are a politician who takes their cues and ethics from Jefferson Davis “J.D.” Hogg.

    1. You real ignorant to think a Selectman would benefit for VOLUNTEERING his or her time. Everything they do effects them too, they live here. I’m so sick and tired of all these ACCUSATIONS and ASSUMPTIONS your only making yourselves look bad.

      1. I’m ignorant? That’s hilarious.

        Dear you seriously can’t be so naive or unable to run a simple google search to understand how deeply in bed the current selectman are with businesses.

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