Miceli said he backs the construction of a new school, and that while he is disappointed to see the delays, he supports residents’ rights to file the appeals.
“You have a process going on right now which to a lot of people might be frustrating,” said Miceli. “This is the process. We can dislike it, but these folks, good or bad, have the legal right to do what they’re doing. I’m not happy about it. It seems to be never ending.”
The State Representative said that while he was not a part of what went on behind the scenes in the weeks and months leading up to the appeal, he wonders if anything could have been done differently to prevent the delays.
“Could anything have been done months ago to preclude this from happening?” said Miceli. “This is unfortunate. It’s unfortunate, but I ask that question again. I wasn’t privy, so I don’t know. Maybe someone made an effort to preclude all of this. But some of the folks who are appealing this project are playing the process that is made available to them.”
Miceli has been present at multiple public forums about the school, and has seen first hand how contentious the discussions have gotten in recent months.
When resident Kevin MacDonald, who is the spokesperson for the latest appeal, was dragged out of a public meeting in October following an exchange with Town Manager Michael Caira, Miceli was in attendance and spoke out against the decision to get police involved.
“This has become very bitter, and that is a shame,” said Miceli. “People have taken advantage of the rights given to them … I think everyone should sit down around the table and try to bury the hatchet. That may be possible, but it may not.”
Several Wilmington Patch readers expressed concern that there are four Deming Way residents who signed the appeal.
Those residents have questioned whether the Deming Way senior citizens were taken advantage of as petitioners readied their appeal.
“That’s an interesting question,” said Miceli. “They have the right to sign any petition they want to sign. I would assume that they knew what they were signing. You have an astute crew down there, and they stay up to date on the issues in town. I would hope that they read the appeal before signing it, but the only other person who would be able to answer that question is the person who brought the petition.”
Miceli said he hopes the process will move quickly, and parties will resolve their differences through whatever means possible. As he concluded his thoughts on the appeal, Miceli again stressed that while the appeal may be frustrating for many, it’s simply part of the process.
“These folks have the legal right to do what they’re doing,” said Miceli. “However, in the final analysis, this will have cost us a substantial amount of money.”