All posts by sjashe

New Gas Station along Broadway

If there’s anything I’ve hoped for for a while its a gas station over here along 113, and now it looks like its going to happen.

“Spartan Homes” has an item on the Board of Selectmen’s agenda for next week that talks about a “drive through gas station” and a restaurant.

We’ll have to wait for the meeting so see what they are planning.

According to the map, this looks like it will be down by Coyle’s Roadhouse Tavern along Broadway (which looks to me like someone has reopened the pizza place there as well).

I’ve always hated having to either head back over to Bridge St to get gas when I was headed to Salem, NH. Otherwise you have to go through the rotary and deal with turning around.. just a mess.

A little new economic development, along a road already known for business. This can’t be bad for the town.

Unofficial Presidential Primary Election Results

I post here the election results as they have arrived from the Town Clerk.

These are considered Unofficial at this time, but there are rarely many changes that come up during final certification over the next few days.

In summary:

Republicans (4717 total votes): Trump 3020, Cruz 391, Carson 104, Rubio 621, Kasich 479

Democrats (4983 total votes) : Sanders 2737, Clinton 2029

Other candidates, parties, state and town committees are included in the attached.

Backchat, again

More from the Lowell Sun Backchat today:

SMALL PRICE TO PAY: Dracut residents, this proposed override needs to pass. Our schools are failing, and our Police and Fire departments are operating with skeleton crews (and that is an understatement). This is very dangerous and something needs to change. I understand that no one likes to pay more in taxes, but this would equate to a very small amount per taxpayer.


KEEP ON GIVING: Dracut voters, please remember that an override of $1.1 million means that increase will be included every year thereafter. The tax increase will never go away.


Looks like the Sun is trying to keep things even. Today they post a “pro”item and a “con.”

In terms of the “pro,” I agree that the safety services are woefully underfunded and there is great risk do to that. As to the “schools are failing” meme.. that’s hard to sell when we just had the front page story yesterday about our physics program.   The schools do need funds to continue forward, but they are not “failing”.

As to the second, its just a reminder that the override would continue forever. We would be voting to permanently raise our own taxes. That is something that is rarely done, except to purchase something concrete.. for example a building or vehicle, a boiler or new roof.

You will note..

Links of my audio clips are being crossposted to a couple sites on FB.

No attribution of course, but the audio includes mention of Warren Shaw, the host of the show being presented, and in the link.

Its just interesting to see the lack of ethics…

Interesting Backtalk shows need for question discussion

Todays  BACKTALK in the Lowell Sun had two items regarding the School override question in Dracut:

SENIORITIS: The Dracut School Committee must think seniors have an abundance of money trees growing in their yard. How about doing something to help us out?


DOUBLE DEBT: We used a “debt exclusion” to upgrade the Dracut High School facility. Will we have two “debt-exclusions” on the books, or will the one for the high school end before a new one is initiated?


Now the first shows the continuing discussion around town regarding the many people who don’t believe they can afford another tax increase. This is a fair discussion to have.

As to the second, I believe the choice has been made that this would be a tax override (or two tax overrides), not a debt exclusion. As to the answer to the question, the school debt exclusion would continue, and other tax overrides would be put on top of that (actually, on top of the tax levy — the exclusions are separate from taht).

Lowell Sun Column: Will she run?

Cathy Richardson returns to the Lowell Sun Politcal gossip column this Sunday morning:

“DESPITE THE heavy baggage she will carry into the election, Dracut Selectman Cathy Richardson

may still seek to retain her seat on the board.

Reached before the beginning of her trial in February — she faces five counts of animal cruelty — Richardson said that she had not yet made up her mind on whether she would run for another three-year term. Her trial has been postponed until April.

Richardson pulled nomination papers on Wednesday. She said Saturday she still may not run.

Richardson will still have to face a jury before the May 2 election, but the March 14 deadline to return nomination papers is fast approaching.

Unlike last year, when only two candidates vied for a single selectman’s seat, this year boasts a robust field.

Selectmen Chairman Tony Archinski is the only candidate so far to have returned completed nomination papers. Housing Authority Commissioner Jesse Forcier and Permanent Building Committee memberPhil Thibault, who narrowly lost to Selectman Joseph DiRocco Jr. last year, round out the candidates for two selectmen seats.

When Richardson last ran in 2013, she came in second behind Archinski by less than 100 votes. In that race, she edged out incumbent selectmen George Malliaros,who coincidentally is back on the ballot this year, albeit as the sole candidate so far for town moderator.”

Sun Editorial: One town, one override


If Dracut’s one town, endorse joint override

Dracut’s long history of struggling for sufficient funds to run the municipal and school side of government could be described as this town’s version of death — and dare we say — taxes.

It’s the only thing residents can count on. That, and the continuing crusade by some to pit one interest against the other. And the next chapter of that story currently involves how to frame a Proposition 2 1/2 override question for the May 2 town election.

The Board of Selectmen and School Committee both seek roughly $550,000 apiece to address serious shortcomings.

Selectmen would use these funds to hire and train six police officers and three firefighters. Structural deficiencies aside, the lack of public-safety staffing seems obvious. Currently, only three police officers patrol town at any given time, while some Fire Department engines operate with only two firefighters.

With that same sum, the school board would upgrade the district’s Internet system to include fiber-optic cables and wireless capacity. According to School Superintendent Steven Stone, that amount triggers roughly $230,000 in federal government rebates in the first year alone, with which he’d hire needed staff.

It appears that a majority of both boards want these overrides combined into one $1.1 million request, which would cost the average residential taxpayer approximately $100 a year.

However, one selectman, former town Fire Chief Joe DiRocco, remains adamantly opposed to a joint override. DiRocco apparently still wants to make the school board pay for giving the superintendent a $12,000 raise and allocating another $37,000 for salary increases split among six school prinicpals and three administrators.

Yes, we agree the school board’s timing — no matter the reasoning behind it — couldn’t have been worse.

But why, Selectman DiRocco, hold the 3,800 students in the Dracut school system hostage while you settle your political score? Voters can validate or reject the School Committee members’ decision at the polls. That’s fair game — not the entire school system.

Presently, as the town counsel prepares language for both a joint and separate override, time is of the essence. In order to appear on the May 2 ballot, selectmen must endorse one or the other at their March 8 meeting.

No one likes paying more taxes — especially in Dracut — but public safety and education are the bedrocks of every desirable community.

Selectman Tami Dristiliaris, in dismissing separate overrides, insisted on a joint question. “This is not a divided town,” Dristiliaris said. Well, it’s time for Dracut to prove it. Selectmen should back a combined $1.1 million override, and let the voters decide them on their merits.