SPECIAL ELECTION: Mark Nelson Announces His Candidacy For Board Of Selectmen

Below is an announcement from the campaign of Wilmington Selectman candidate Mark Nelson:

WILMINGTON, MA — Mark Nelson has announced his candidacy for a term on the Wilmington Board of Selectmen.

As a lifelong resident, he has had the opportunity to witness first-hand the growth and development of Wilmington over the last 50 years.

Mark is graduate of Wilmington High School 1973, his daughter Kristen (Wilmington High School, class of 2003). He later attended Middlesex Community College and studied land development law. Nelson has been self-employed all his life and is semi-retired.

In 1996 Nelson made his debut bid for town office, receiving 1,100 votes for Redevelopment Authority. He has since served on the Master Plan Advisory Committee and the Transportation Sub-Committee.

A. The never ending saga with the superfund site at Olin Chemical and the EPA involvement with the landfill and recent developments related to the Maple meadow water quality that flows west to east through the heart of town. As a candidate in 2004, several town officials scoffed at Mark’s proposal quoted below.

“I have always considered Olin a serious concern that previous boards have tried to hide and run away from,” Nelson says. “I feel Olin should install state-of-the-art filtration systems on their property and pump out everything that they pumped into the town aquifer.” JANUARY 21, 2004 TOWN CRIER

In April 2021, 17 years later: Highlights of the cleanup remedy are as follows: Begin cleanup of the aquifer by constructing and operating new groundwater extraction and treatment systems.

B. Cancer Study: Water Quality
Where is a copy of the Monitoring well reports located on campus of 159 Church St.?

April 11, 2011, Lowell Sun:, As the debate heats up on whether the town should build a new high school, Nelson as candidate for Board of Selectmen has raised questions about whether the high school’s environmental status might affect the town’s ability to build on its campus. Nelson been campaigning throughout town to forewarn residents of just how costly such a proposal might be, considering the school’s record of oil spills dating back to the mid-1990s. The high school’s deed has a “limitation on its activities and use” due to its environmental history, according to the Lowell Registry of Deeds.

Rifling through town reports, Nelson said he learned an oil spill caused by leaking underground oil tanks was discovered at the high school in 1984. A $400,000 grant from the state helped to clean up what then-Town Manager Reginald Stapczynski called “a catastrophe.”

Two years later, another oil spill demanded a second cleanup. That problem was remedied after several years, but that could all change if new construction is performed at the former site of contamination, Nelson said.

DEP documents also confirmed Nelson’s account of past oil spills and cleanups. According to a March 2010 DEP opinion, the site has a notice of “Limitations on Activities and Use,” known as an AUL, dating to 2002,

C. ***Buy The Farm***‘Last large chunk of land’

Construct Sports Complex with at least 2 State of Art Hockey Rinks with easy access off 125 and accommodate affordable Senior Housing Units with Nature Trails to Connect to Camp Forty Acres.

April 11, 2011. Lowell Sun: Nelson, however, said he strongly believes the town should consider purchasing, with a portion of its $6.8 million in free-cash reserves, (now over $ 40 million, due to overbudgeting) about 75 acres of Sciarappa Farm at 333 Andover St., since it is the biggest plot of available land in the town. The town owns 30 + acres that fronts on Rte. 125 and abuts the 75 acres.

Yet, when Nelson asked if the town is considering that option at the Board of Selectmen meeting on March 28, 2011, Selectman. One responded that it isn’t a viable option, and the Town Manger agreed with that assessment.

“We don’t have another party interested in negotiation,” one Selectman said of the farm owners. “It’s been talked about and discussed, but that ship has sailed, and it’s not a viable option right now.”

However, attorneys representing the owners of the farm, William Crowley and Bill DiMento, told The Sun that they hadn’t talked to the town in at least two or three years about a potential purchase — and they had no knowledge of their clients recently talking to town officials either.

Crowley said, however, that the Town Manager called at one time recently, but then never followed up — a claim that he denies, saying he is still waiting for a call back from Crowley.
Both attorneys said their clients are open to the possibility of selling their land, especially since a prospective $7.5 million deal in 2008 with developer Brickstone Properties fell through when the housing market collapsed.

Crowley said it has been difficult since then to find appropriate buyers for the land.
DiMento said they would like to see the land “be used for something that’s in the best interest of the community.”

“It’s the last big chunk of land in that region and in the town of Wilmington,” Crowley added. “And if the town has an interest, come talk to us. We would welcome a conversation.”

D. Traffic, Private Ways, Official Map

The first may to amend the Town Charter and “ELECT” the Planning Board similar to surrounding Towns and televise all their meetings on WCTV. Thereby allowing the residents a clear transparent accountable process. The town has over 33 miles of unaccepted ways and has not adopted a practical means to correct that. See the link below for the Town of Plymouth Ma. This is a commonsense, reasonable, practical resolution. https://www.plymouth-ma.gov/…/…/betterment_policy_draft.pdf…

The Town “OFFICIAL MAP” is not in compliance with State Statutes. MGL c. 41, s.81E. and has not been updated in 47 years.

E. North Wilmington new Police/Fire Substation, can be funded via solicited donations from major Corporations along Ballardvale and the area. These donations are deductible and their insurance rates would be lowered. Maybe the State could chip in with grant funds as this location would be most accessible to route 93 off 125.

Article 11 2008, directed the Town Manager to do a feasibility study for a possible new fire sub-station to best serve North Wilmington, a concern for over 40 years. However, the Town Manger has failed to execute the voter’s direction and no study has been completed, very alarming.

Mark has been very active in local government since the mid 80’s and is very familiar with all the players and most of their objectives. And is best known for his straight forward, no-nonsense approach and his ability to best address the real issues up front and with total transparency, while having no hidden agendas and a policy of not accepting any monetary campaign donations, there are no political favors owed or backrooms deals to be made.

The Water quality and total protection of the environment surrounding the Silver Lake area has always been of the utmost importance, the Lake is Wilmington’s most precious natural resource and has been enjoyed by townies for decades. For the former superintendent of Public Works to use this area as a dirty snow farm, is irreprehensible and blatant dis-service to the entire community. March 2, 2011 Lowell Sun

If elected, other projects Nelson would like to embark on include the development of Silver Lake into a recreational resource center, expansion of the senior tax plan and renovations of the town’s window replacement at the West Intermediate school.

“We’ve been reactive, rather than proactive. Without a master plan update we’re shooting from the hip. The master plan is the key to Wilmington’s future,” Nelson concludes.

Mark can be reached at Nelson.Selectman@yahoo.com, and on Facebook.

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