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Citizens for Limited Taxation

Esty and Reilly deserve credit for sewer war victory Thursday, February 19, 2004
Antoinette K. Burrill Metrowest Daily News
MWDN: 2-14-04: "Framingham Gains Victory in Sewer War" is remarkable.  This is an issue MWDN has followed for years.  As stated, Ashland cut a deal with Framingham in 1963.  This agreement went UNNOTICED by Framingham until 1999.  Ashland will now pay Framingham $275,000 per year instead of the previous $5,500.  Who discovered/uncovered this 35 year old situation? I submit that especially two people deserve credit for the follow-up.  Selectwoman Ginger Esty and Mr. Francis X. Reilly, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Public Works, each deserves a public "Thank You" and a public apology for some of the unpleasant treatment inflicted by some members of the present administration.  (See My Letter to Editor: 7-19-2000).

MWDN:7-14-2000: "Framingham Water & Sewer Rates Hiked": A portion of that article states in part: "Sisitsky chastized Reilly for speaking at the meeting without being recognized by the chairman".  MWDN: 9-7-2000: "Citizens Warrant Filed" had a photo with Mr. Reilly submitting petitions with about 1300 signatures; however, "Town Manager George King who hadn't read the petition yet but knew of its contents, said one of the proposed articles that would increase a fee to the town of Ashland for sewage might be outside Town Meetings authority".  At lease Mr. Reilly kept the pressure on.

MWDN: 3-5-2001: "Town Meeting Member Gets Under Hoard's Skin" stated in part: "Members of the board berated Reilly at Thursday's night's meeting as he asked for an attorney to look into what he believes are millions of dollars in lost revenues from sewer customers in Natick and Ashland".  The article goes on and states: "It really is getting a little absurd, Mr. Reilly, said Selectman Chris Petrini.  "You've turned this into some kind of B-rate movie".  With this victory, one can ask: Where does Natick stand with monies owed to Framingham? Does the fact that the Chairman of the Framingham Board of Selectmen is also the Director of Public Works in Natick factor into the issue?

MWDN: 10-25-2002: "Sewer deal nets $1.4M Framingham OKs pact with Ashland developer" states that Ginger Esty eventually cast the only vote against the agreement.  "I don't approve of this negotiation at all", Ginger Esty said, citing a still-unresolved sewer dispute with the Town of Ashland.  I really believe we are giving away something.  I just see this as something that was inappropriate. " The article goes on and further states: "Town Manager George King and other board members saw the $1.4 million in revenue as a potential boon.  '(It's) capacity we won't be using... and we're getting (the money)', King said.  "What are we giving up"?  Now 16 months later, the taxpayers and ratepayers of Framingham can only guess!

Thank you Ms. Esty and Mr. Reilly for honesty and perseverance.

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