State property and OS 548

Citizen group actively involved in affecting growth and development in town.

State property and OS 548

Postby mooncrab on Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:34 pm

A new fast-track auction bill - which makes the fast-track auctioning of
state "surplus" land to the highest bidder permanent - will be voted on in
the next two weeks as part of the legislature's supplemental budget!

An outside section of the supplemental budget (OS 548) is again being used to
circumvent democratic debate on this important issue, despite the growing
public outcry against it. The new fast track auction law contained in this
outside section continues to disempower communities, tilt the playing field
towards unaffordable housing and overdevelopment, and make acquisition by
municipalities effectively impossible.

Intensified grass roots pressure is urgently needed to prevent the
development industry and its legislative supporters from giving DCAM (the
Department of Capital Asset Management) PERMANENT power to auction off
"surplus" state land to the highest bidder.

This should be of great concern to Tewksbury because of the expanse of the State Hospital.

A citizen activist group has formed to oppose this land grab and it can be reached at www.masschc.org If you don't want predatory developers and 40B projects now is the time to join the fight.
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State property and OS 548

Postby Rep Jim Miceli on Fri Feb 11, 2005 3:39 pm

I would like to take this opportunity to update you on the status of this provision in the supplemental budget filed by the Governor. The original section 548 was included in the Senate FY04 Budget and included in the conference committee report. I worked with the speaker and the Ways and Means Chairman to have an amendment passed in a the FY05 budget that exempted Tewksbury State land from the provisions of this section. The original section has a sunset clause that is due to expire on June 30, 2005. None of this effects Tewksbury due to the amendment I had passed last session.

The governor just filed a Supplemental budget H 20 Section 17 in that budget extends the sunset clause from June 30, 2005 until June 30, 2008. If passed, this bill would supersede the amendment I put through last year.

Be assured that I am leading the efforts on Beacon Hill to defeat this provision. I have already met with the Speakers staff and contacted the new Chairman of Ways and Means and asked them to remove this section from the Supplemental Budget.

As always protection of the Tewksbury State land remains one of my top priorities.

I will keep you apprized of the situation.
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State property and OS 548

Postby Duffxfour on Fri Feb 11, 2005 9:44 pm

There are many things that define this town, some very good, some something less. The advantages of this historical, recreational and visual centerpiece are many and in many ways, provide an identity and individuality to this town. It should be of concern to all, to see this land and legacy protected and brought to it's full potential... That and occasionally we might need the water...
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State property and OS 548

Postby Rep Jim Miceli on Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:35 pm

MICELI MOVE PROTECTS STATE LAND

Boston - Representative James R. Miceli, Chairman of the House Committee on Personnel and Administration, continues to deliver on his promise to protect all state land in Tewksbury.

Last year, Chairman Miceli was successful in exempting Tewksbury from a fiscal 2004 budget provision (Outside section 548 in the final FY 04 budget) introduced in the Senate that eliminated the role of the legislature in disposing of State property. This budget provision leaves the governor and his administration with the sole power to dispose of state property. Miceli succeeded in including an amendment in the Fiscal Year 05 budget that exempted Tewksbury Hospital and all state land in Tewksbury from the provision in the FY04 budget. The provision in the FY 04 Budget has a sunset clause set to expire on June 30, 2005.

Governor Romney filed a Supplemental Budget, H 20, late in January. In that budget, the governor proposes to extend the authority given to him under Outside Section 548 until June 30, 2008. The House referred the Governor’s budget to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Miceli immediately contacted the Speaker of the House and asked that this section be removed from the Supplemental Budget before reporting the legislation out of the House Committee on Ways and Means. As soon as the new Committee Chairs were named, he contacted the new Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means and again requested that the section be removed before his committee reported the bill it out of Committee to the House floor for debate.

Representative Miceli once again was successful, and the section extending the sunset clause was removed. As it stands today, Governor Romney’s power to surplus and sell off state property without the legislature is due to expire on June 30, 2005. Most importantly for the Town of Tewksbury, all state owned land in Tewksbury is still exempt from this provision due to the amendment Representative Miceli put thorough in the FY 05 budget.

Since he was elected to the office of state representative, Representative Miceli has been vigilant in his protection of Tewksbury Hospital and its land. He has secured numerous parcels for municipal purposes, including but not limited to soccer fields, baseball fields, police stations, and most recently the new library at no cost to the Town. He has worked to ensure that the hospital stay open when numerous state hospitals were closed throughout the state. He also has blocked many proposals for development of the land surrounding the campus.

On May 24, 2000 Representative Miceli was the recipient of the Tewksbury Hospital Trustee’s Endowment Award for all his hard work on behalf of the staff and the patients of Tewksbury Hospital.

“As always, one of my top priorities is to protect the Tewksbury hospital land. I am pleased that I was able to prevent this disaster from happening again. But it is important to remain cautious.â€￾ Miceli said. “This issue is not dead. The debate will continue at the State House and I will remain at the forefront of this fight.â€￾
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State property and OS 548

Postby dougsears on Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:51 pm

... and he single-handedly saved the 19 acres next to the senior citizens from being made into a 218 unit housing project by John Sullivan!
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State property and OS 548

Postby Joe Average on Mon Feb 14, 2005 9:32 pm

I, for one, am very appreciative of Jim Miceli's efforts and results.

He has always stepped forward on issues and not minced words. Regardless of whether I've agreed with him or not, I appreciate his candor and clarity of position.

I hope that sooner, rather than later, the lingering bad blood of the Livingston land swap can be left behind.
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State property and OS 548

Postby Joe Average on Mon Feb 14, 2005 10:13 pm

I want to add that I also feel the same with regard to Doug Sears.

I believe that he represents his constituency extremely well and is up front with regard to the issues.

It's interesting to me that I vote for both Miceli and Sears and yet, between the two of them, exists all this animosity.
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State property and OS 548

Postby dougsears on Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:05 am

Joe:

There's no bad blood.

We see some things differently, and most things the same.

(Remember:
Miceli used to be a Republican who changed his party, but not his philosophy -- when he couldn't get reelected with an R next to his name on the ballot -- together these made him more effective)

Miceli did not check with his constituents when he proposed the landswap -- All he did was get a vote from the Hospital Trustees and from the Selectmen.

[He had got a 4-1 vote from hospital trustees (I voted "no") and 3-2 vote of selectmen (Coppola, Gill, Coldwell -- "yes"; Ryan, Anderson -- "no").

He tucked the vote under his arm, scurried off to Beacon Hill, ran it up the flag pole on March 19, 2001, there was testimony that day from me and from others.

After the testimony he then realized to his horror that the elderly and the sports parents who were among his core supports, almost jeered him off the stage at the Lowell SUN forum at the high school.

(I have the tape if you want to review it!)

No matter how much J.D. Sullivan wanted Jim to want it, an auditorium full of angry core supporters told him in no unceratin terms that they didn't want the 288 unit housing project -- and all the associated traffic -- on Livingston St.

Miceli then back-peddled furiously, said this was all one big misunderstanding, and that he was no longer in favor of the bill that he sponsored in the Legislature that would swap land owned by everyone for land that didn't have clear title on East. St.

Working collaboratively with Jim, I presented the ZBA with a certified copy of the docket sheet of the Land Court case which has tied up the East St. land since June, 2000, which docket clearly stated that there is a "Miscellanious Action to Rremove a Cloud of Title" on the wetland DeMoulas interests have tried to find some use for for years -- and that the matter had not resolved as of the date the ZBA voted to deny JDS a comprehensive permit because he could not "evidence ownership or control" of the subject parcel.

The swap did not occur. JDS Deer Haven Estates did not get built. The title is still tied up in Land Court. Livingston St. got saved -- I fulfilled my campaign promise in 2002 "Save Livingston Street from Development."

Jim and I are on the same side.

We both learned.

In the end, Jim and I both placed a key role in keeping a 288 unit housing project away from the elderly and the kids.

Jim has learned to ask his constituent base before making any more rash proposals for people like the Sullivans -- or for anyone.

When Governor Romney listened to the proposal of the Land Use Committee and Open Space Committee and others in town to put the majority to the hospital land under an Article 97 conservation protection, -- Miceli and other Democrat leaders lobbied Gov. Romney -- however, as Romney remembered the Sullivan innitiative and Miceli's role in it -- to be sure that this new proposal wasn't some reworked version of a 2002 idea -- looked for bi-partisan support.

I wrote a letter to the Governor, which Jim will tell you the Delegation brought around to all the key players, which showed that I, as a Selectman, and as an local office holder who is a Republican, supported the proposal. This proposal was billed as having "bipartisan support," and Jim will tell you that I was the one who made it bi-partisan -- no one else.

So, again Jim and I are on the same page as far as the preservation of the state hospital land. I have been a trustee at the hospital for 10 years now, and am proud that during my time of service to have worked constructively with the decision makers to save Livingston Street from Development, and to help preserve most of its open land for posterity.

Thanks, Jim, and thanks for all who worked for both efforts, especially when supporting both had their times when ut was very unpopular to support either!

Doug Sears
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State property and OS 548

Postby Joe Average on Tue Feb 15, 2005 9:25 am

Thanks for that.

I feel well served by both of you.
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State property and OS 548

Postby shot-n-mist on Tue Feb 15, 2005 9:15 pm

Lets see now... tucked the vote, scurried off, to his horror, back peddled.

Sears, I don't think you have to worry about Miceli asking you to write his obituary.

Sort of like shaking with one hand and slipping the knife with the other.

But hey, whether you want it or not, you have my vote....
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