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UPDATE: School Appeal Prompts Policy Discussion at Deming Way

According to a Lowell Sun report, the Wilmington Housing Authority will discuss its current solicitation policy during a Thursday meeting.

Updated at 1:45 p.m.: Wilmington Police Lt. Brian Pupa said that as it is written in the general town bylaws, solicitation rules only apply to parties who are going to door to door to sell a product or service.

According to Section 40 of the bylaws, anyone interested in speaking with residents door to door with religious or political materials do not need to check in with the Police Department in advance.

However, Pupa said that if an area like Deming Way has its own set of rules that specify no solicitors of any kind, those instructions must be followed.

Original Story: The filing of has prompted discussion on Deming Way after four elderly residents were approached to sign one of the that have .

According to a Lowell Sun report, Wilmington Housing Authority executive director Maureen Hickey said board members will discuss if any changes need to be made in its solicitation policy to prevent future issues. 

"It's a policy we have, but it doesn't seem like it has a lot of teeth," Hickey said. "It doesn't necessarily stop people from knocking at your door."

When MacDonald was asked about the subject by Wilmington Patch last week, he said the Deming Way residents knew what they were signing when he went to their homes.

“Everybody that signed the appeal was in their right mind and had the entire thing explained to them,” said MacDonald. “Sometimes people try to say, ‘Oh well there are only 10 people who want to appeal,’ but I could have gotten hundreds of signatures if I put the time in."

According to The Sun article, 93-year-old Grace Block said increasing taxes were her motivation for signing the appeal, but she later backed off of her stance.

"I said, 'What the heck?' and I signed it," Block told The Sun. "But if they want to build another school, let them build another school. Good luck to them."

Christine August 10, 2012 at 03:25 PM
(continued) @ Nurse Kay You want us to treat these appellants with the same rights and freedoms as every other citizen-then you want us to back off because they now feel they are being targeted by the townspeople speaking up about THEIR rights to fight these appeals.. These appeals are potentially costing the town 3 million in delays AND delaying a better education for our children--MY children too.. You can't have it both ways. You can't deny the rights of some to express themselves, then expect to protect them from the backlash and financial consequences that don't even effect some of them-- The people who signed are supposed to read and understand the appeals-- did they? Grace does not sound like she did (nothing personal--just evidenced by her backtracking). I respect and honor our seniors, as well as their participation in our govt. I have never,nor will I ever ASSUME they were not signing anything willfully and with a sound mind.Never.However, they should also know that they can withdraw their support for the appeal if they weren't informed, didnt read it completely or understand the implications of signing it.. It's a two minute process to get out of the appeal. They should know their choices! That is the most respectful thing thay can do for the families of the town--IF that's the case. I'll continue to urge the townspeople to speak up --both publicly/privately so long as it's civil/respectful of all involved. If I can help my email is cd2240@aol.com
Donna August 10, 2012 at 07:35 PM
All I know at this point anymore is that I an sick and tired of listening to Kevin MacDonald and this continuing tirade. I am the mother of four young children here in Wilmington, and attended both the first vote and the Town Meeting with ALL four of my children. Truth be told, you scared my children Mr. MacDonald. Not with your information and and stories of "what if", but with your behavior. At this point, all we want as a family is to have this projected started. We, as a family, will stand up at a rally, a Town Meeting, a vigil, a sock hop, whatever it takes to get it done. I think all you've accomplished at this junction is motivate an ENTIRE town to GET THIS PROJECT DONE!! NO, nobody wants to pay more money, we are mostly all in the same boat; NO, nobody wants children to suffer hazards or illnesses; NO, nobody wants to poision wetlands, or water resources. We have addressed all of these concerns many, many times, AND seriously, we have got to move on. All you've done, Appellants, is motivate me further to see this project completed, not just for my children, but for all of the children of the great community, and also for the entire community of the Town of Wilmington, AND the residents of Deming Way.
Kevin MacDonald August 10, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Donna, It sounds like you are contradicting yourself. You don't want to pay more money, however, when there is an effort made to stop a massive problem with oil migrating into the wetlands that would cost massive amounts of money to solve you disrespect this effort. I guess you think a sock hop is a better remedy. I wonder if you and your children were abutters, with your source of drinking water being a well, would you still feel the same way?
Christine August 10, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Oh Kevin, are you now Mr O'Reilly's keeper? He's a big boy, let him take care of his own appeal please..You have your own mess to clean up on Andover St., please start in your own back yard...
Donna August 11, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Mr. MacDonald, I wonder if in part of our current State's Appeal laws, IF the filers are found to be frivoulous in their claims, they could be held financially responsible for the legal fees incurred by the Town, you would continue this foolishness. You are the contradiction here Mr. MacDonald. And do not call me by my first name. That would be Mrs. Leone to you. You need to learn how to treat people with respect. Respect is a mutual thing. Perhaps people may tolerate you better if you showed any respect for anyone, not just for your own agenda. Oh, and I'd sock hop anytime. Maybe you need to go out and have some fun yourself.
Karl Ian Sagal August 11, 2012 at 04:24 PM
There are some here who clearly want the high school built, and are willing to steamroll over any who say anything that will delay or impede that. Some here say that appellants should be charged 3 million dollars for expressing their opinion within the law, and then also say that someone is not being honest with the residents of Demming way. Truth is, if you say something that is not true to get them to sign the appeal (no one has offered any evidence to this) it would be wrong, but no more wrong than threatening to tar and feather (has been done) and to charge them $3 millon (has been done) or restricting their rights that everyone else has to speak with pollsters and other religious and political community activists. I think the greater harm and infringement to the rights of Demming way residents done and witnessed on this forum has clearly been done by those who would take away their rights, and charge them $3 million. Not by those who spoke to them and allowed them to sign a petition that has delayed their tax increase. Lets look at it realistically. The spoken of resident is 93? If her actions delay her tax increase a year or two, might that not take it off her plate entirely? I hope not. But while I hope she sees the payoff of the tax increase in 25 years, I suspect that it is not likely. Nurse Kay is right. If Kevin is a problem, the solution is not to remover rights from the residents of Demming way. If he was no problem, then it is punitive.
Nurse Kay August 11, 2012 at 05:00 PM
They sure did make their names available when signing, knowing it was for the better in their own opinions. Does this mean we attack them? Because they were not part of the majority vote, we should now question their mental status and do an investigation? Nobody is doing an investigation on you or knocking on your door or trying to take your right to vote due to possible mental incompetency. When you say, "Every action has a reaction and consequence", you're basically saying that you condone this. I'm a bit unraveled by this. You feel bullying and targeting is the answer to get what YOU want. There are far better resolutions to handle this. You have mentioned in previous comments about the example we are leaving for our children in this matter. Is this really a good example?
Kevin MacDonald August 11, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Donna, Donna, Donna, are your socks as stinky as your philosophies? I'll avoid that sock hop!
Nurse Kay August 11, 2012 at 05:10 PM
"then you want us to back off because they now FEEL they are being targeted by the townspeople" Last I checked and read, this is not a feeling rather an action taken against them. They are not FEELING threatened or insulted or intimidated, they are actually receiving this through direct action against them. Is that fair? If so, could you post your address and phone number for those citizens who want to combat you? Some of us are actually on the same side of the fence here, but still find these actions out of control and unreal. Regardless of your stance on the new school, throwing daggers (at this point, literally) to get what you want is disgusting and wrong. I simply ask that we all (not just you) use our wits to handle this matter and stop with the personal attacks-this one going a bit too far in my book.
Wade Samatis Kennedy August 11, 2012 at 05:43 PM
The appeals come with a cost. Citizens are upset at having to pay this added bill. Kevin's appeal, demeanor, forum posts and past actions in meetings strongly suggest he has some issues with some people here in town. The appeal system is being abused and used to further a personal vendetta. Citizens are frustrated that this continues. The Deming Way residents have a right to be heard and not stuck with a $3 million dollar bill. I don't approve of anyone harassing them either. It's my understanding that Kevin went to them though. I think they are being misrepresented as citizens actively seeking this appeal based on the actual issues in the appeal. If the goal of their signing the appeal is as you say, Karl, to delay taxes, that's missing the point of the appeal and very unfortunate. We already voted for this and not having taxes raised is not grounds for an appeal nor what these appeals are about. Kevin's appeal is about issues such as Installation of artificial turf, Off-site mitigation areas, Activity and Use Limitation and Stormwater Management. I sincerely hope those are the reasons people really signed the appeal. The scrutiny should be on Kevin, the appeals and the appeal process, not the citizens (victims?) of Deming Way who signed the appeal.
Kevin MacDonald August 11, 2012 at 06:13 PM
The petition letter specifically stated that it was a request for a review of the superseding order of conditions for DEP Wetlands File No. 344-1233. Get over it Wade and stop calling it a tax issue and stop slandering me. No one was tricked or deceived.
Karl Ian Sagal August 11, 2012 at 06:38 PM
I am only reacting to what she told the newspaper. She was the one who said she signed the appeal to ward off higher taxes. Then she winds up being attacked here, as if she has diminished capacity. I do not know what is in her mind. I agree, the appeal should not have been about the reason she stated was the reason she signed, but so what. It seems that she has her own reasons for signing. My point was that people have been treated poorly at best, horribly is more like it, by pro build advocates on this forum.
Karl Ian Sagal August 11, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Wade, You say that the appeal process has been abuse, as if that is a fact. As I recall, the first appeal helped the town, because it pointed out a failure in their first filing, which would have been rejected. The second appeal corrected an omission in the order of conditions and was supported and endorsed by the DEP. To this point, I fail to see the abuse. Now, this third round has yet to be adjudicated. Once it is, an impartial authority can decide if they have merit or not. The only thing that is clear is that people on this forum that want the high school built but do not care if it is done correctly or not are happy to bully anyone who says anything other than what they say. They are equally happy to try to bully those who want a high school but want it built correctly with protections for the rest of the town, as those who do not want it built.
Wade Samatis Kennedy August 11, 2012 at 08:44 PM
The person interviewed brought up taxes, making it relevant to the conversation. "According to The Sun article, 93-year-old Grace Block said increasing taxes were her motivation for signing the appeal, but she later backed off of her stance." The appeals may end up raising taxes. Taxes we all pay, making it further relevant. Yes, I believe the way Kevin is going about using the appeal process is invective. I state that as my opinion. Appeals are an important part of process and I'm not against them. In this particular situation there is the appeal, the motives driving the author and the motives of those that signed it. In a perfect world, there would be a lot of overlap and alignment in the three. Just because some quantifiable good may fall out of this appeal, doesn't mean that the way it was executed wasn't corrupt. I wish I felt more sincerity from Kevin on the issues he is trying to champion, but I don't get a warm fuzzy feeling from any of this. Kevin, the word you are looking for is libel, not slander.
Kevin MacDonald August 11, 2012 at 10:45 PM
You shouldn't live your life based on feelings " Wade"
jozkid August 11, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Oh for crying out loud! I can barely stand to read any of these comments anymore! These forums have just disintegrated into grade-school nonsense. Kevin, "Wade" is really Wade. "Christine" is really Christine. And before you jump all over someone who is actually commending you for once (like Nurse Kay), perhaps you should take the time to READ THE COMMENT and understand it! Karl, before you leap all over me - I actually defend the appellants' right to their appeal. I get the whole democracy thing, so please don't lecture me on it. I am concerned about the environment and do all I can as an individual to protect it by trying to buy green, recycling, etc... If that is the TRUE motivation behind the appeal, fine. But alas, reading comments from Kevin (which for some reason, Karl, you never berate him), leads me to believe that the reasoning behind the appeal is anything but genuine. I have watched him many times at town meetings where he makes personal accusations against town leaders and employees. You get respect when you give respect. (to be continued)
jozkid August 12, 2012 at 12:06 AM
(continued) As for the school, I am all for it. The existing high school is dismal at best. No, buildings don't make better students, but a fresh, attractive environment is conducive to learning. Who wants to work hard at anything when you're looking at four drab, beige walls? And trying to retrofit new technology into an old building is hairy. I know, I watched it happen to my office. Guess what? Two years later the business moved into a space that could be tailored to meet our tech needs. The high school will end up being built. It will most definitely cost more due to the delays. And I guarantee that most of the appellants will complain bitterly about the cost at a future town meeting. Now I bid you all adieu, as I just cannot take part in these forums any longer. It only makes my blood pressure go up. I've tried never to be hateful or hurtful. I have never advocated tarring and feathering anyway. Wade, I'm with you buddy. And Karl, please don't bother to comment on this. I won't read it.
Karl Ian Sagal August 12, 2012 at 01:00 AM
I don't really care who reads this, as this forum is populated with a large amount of bomb throwers and liars, but there are others here as well. I do not believe any reasonable person can say that this site has not maligned and berated everyone associated with all the appeals, even though the DEP has vindicated the first two. Clearly, those who signed the appeals have their own reasons, but have been harangued and browbeat and threatened here very often. It is disgusting, and every bit as bad as the tactics and wording that Kevin uses. I have not endorsed his actions, and have publicly and frequently said he did not present himself well. or appropriately. I do it again here. He was foolish and dismissive to Nurse Kay, and that was wrong. That does not mean he does not have the right to say his piece, and to file his papers. He may not always say that which I agree with, but that does not mean I will not defend his right to say it. I always have, and hope to continue to do it in the future. Just as several of us here have said, when some of the bomb throwers here said that people aught not have the right to appeal, and that the people who have a problem with the papers submitted to the state by the building committee, regardless of if those papers where what they said they would submit, they have moved on to try to take away the rights from people at Deming Way. Soon, there will be more people who these folks feel do not deserve to have rights.
Christine August 12, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Nurse Kay, Like I posted earlier I have NEVER and will never encourage disrespect of our seniors or deny one's right to appeal this process, but I will not discourage active participation either- we've had patience with the process, but it is broken and frivolous in my opinion. So long as everyone signed willingly and with full knowledge of the FACTS-- there are no victims here-- Think about it this way--this is an ENVIRONMENTAL appeal-- that WILL cost the town millions, should we all sit back and just accept it? The signers here have all the protections, the taxpayers, kids and Wilmington educators do not. The appellants took serious ACTION by signing the appeal--this is a big deal-- and the good solid information the public is learning from this (myself included) will serve our town better in the future. Yes we have a problem with a PROCESS, but I have never made ANY question as to the competency of any of our seniors--ever-- they were in their full rights and mind to sign whatever they want. They are feisty, smart, and experienced members of our town who could easily put me in my place. That said..I do not feel that need you to be calling anyone's reaction to this appeal, wrong, disgusting or "daggers". People have every right to be dissatisfied, express themselves and disapprove of the appeal. Unfortunately, there would be no appeal were it not for the signers.
Christine August 12, 2012 at 04:18 PM
That said... *Grace said her "reason" for signing an environmental appeal was a tax issue--if that's true, that is wrong, the others refused to comment acccording to the paper *Several of the signers did not vote in the high school process or participate anywhere along the way, nor do some pay property taxes at all-while many of us are willing to do even when we are trying to raise our kids in this crazy economy. *Even the state of MA is beginning to see the light in how easy it is to manipulate large scale projects through the DEP process by awarding ($19,000) in financial damages to those who could not show they had a true interest in the project it upheld. This is only further evidence that change is brewing. Please do not pit me/us against our seniors because they have guts and can stand up quite well on their own and I sincerely respect them.. I went to the housing meeting this week and one senior asked me at the housing meeting, "Did I learn something today?" to which I responded "I still have a LOT to learn" and she said "so do I"...don't we all? I am not the enemy of anyone.. I am actually an advocate for a living-- here's my email-- contact me and let's stand on the same "side" in getting out good solid information and a message of respect for all involved. I would gladly speak with you anytime. cd2240@aol.com
Kevin MacDonald August 12, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Christine, you said that the appeals will costs the town money. Did you ever think that they may save the town millions? Are people so gullible to believe everything the Town Officials tell them? Did you ever wonder why the community television has not broadcast every high school building committee public meeting or has even been there? Could there be things that the officials don't want broadcast? Would you like to tell the community what the seven chemicals are that have to be tested for?
Christine August 12, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Kevin-respectfully-have you even stopped to consider that you have a problem with EVERY person, department, and "group" in this town-to the point where you lose credibility. Kevin, put all your intelligence and energy into finding a sensible solution to this problem rather than stalling and you might be surprised that people take a minute to listen to SOME of what you say. It can't feel good to cost us all money and feel like an outcast..do something great for this town- be a positive example for kids and adults alike--Just think about how it would feel... No project is ever perfect, we all know that,namecalling us "gullible" is offensive-- but other towns are getting it done and they are just as passionate about the environment-- cooperating and working together is the sign of a good leader-- Are there real solutions you would consider that you'd sit down and consider with the town or discuss with me in return for withdrawing the appeal? Are you big enough to try ANY other route than holding up the entire project for months? Could you list your demands in order of importance or is it just an all or none deal?? I've been transparent and honest--can you be? Here's my email--I'll buy the coffee--cd2240@aol.com. Anyone who's on the appeal including, Mr. O'Reilly, feel free to contact me-I may not agree but I'lll listen. We all want solutions don't we? And if you don't, you've only provided further evidence that these appeals were always frivolous to begin with.
Steve H August 12, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Kevin just answer me one question. Are the meetings open to the public
Kevin MacDonald August 12, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Christine, 1.) What do you mean by an all or none deal? 2.) If you were an abutter whose drinking water source was a well and was being threatened, would you respect those who had no regard for you and your family's health and well being? 3.) Why do you slander me and say I have a problem with everyone and every department? This is a wetlands issue. 4.)Why have you not read the petitions for review of the DEP superseding order of conditions when Patch was kind enough to post them. 5.) Do you live your life based on emotionally driven impulses or do you ever think about others and impacts on them and the environment and people with drinking water needs down stream?
Steve H August 12, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Kevin, again please answer me this, are the meetings that open to the public
Al Roberts August 13, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Listen Hat Boy. It is very tiring listening to all your long winded speeches that say nothing, and your rediculous non-statements that mean nothing. It is clear all you are here to do is provide support for kevin and the rest of the tiny anti-town crowd at least have the guts to admit it. you hate the town too because you have come in dead last every time you run for something and also removed. Do something productive. Mow that property on Main Street its an eyesore.
Karl Ian Sagal August 13, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Al Roberts, You will be happy to know that I am as proud of my military service and public service since that guarantees you the right to say your opinion as well as the appellants rights to say theirs. My requests for civility have fallen on deaf ears in your case, (and sometimes in Kevin's case as well) but I do defend your rights to state your piece, as the constitution declares. I surely do not agree with you, but happily defend your right to speak.
Donna August 15, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Christine, it appears to me, and has from the beginning, contrary to the way Mr. MacDonald has actually voted openly in meetings FOR the new high school and against his own articles, that his bottom line is he has absolutely no desire to have a new high school built. Period. And as you have said, and I have discussed with friends and neighbors, if he approached people and subjects in another nonconfrontational, namecalling, insulting way, people might actually listen and give him an opportunity to air his thoughts and opinions. However, I do believe now, that this has become some kind of personal crusade of stopping the building of this new high school at a whatever-it-takes mentality. Mr. MacDonald won't ever stop fighting this project. Ever. He has no solutions to offer. He would only be happy if the DEP tanked the entire project or the Town gave up.

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