Selectmen’s support of Mass. Ave. includes Mahon

A pre-election mailing urging a No vote on Question 1 is signed by all 5 members of Arlington’s Board of Selectmen, including Diane Mahon.

This flier from the Better Mass. Ave. Committee arrived in today's mail

This flier from the Better Mass. Ave. Committee arrived in today’s mail

Mahon cast the sole votes against the 3-lane design in 2009 and 2011 but has been on board with the project for at least a year.

The mailing, a large postcard, says, “Don’t Stop the Mass. Ave. Project, vote NO on Question 1.”

It is the effort of the Better Mass. Ave. Committee.

The mailing is also signed by Clarissa Rowe, a former selectman who lives in East Arlington, and others.

Despite her earlier skepticism, Mahon posted a statement of support of the Mass. Ave. project to the Arlington List earlier this year.

At a March 2012 Selectman’s meeting she told Mass. Ave. opponents that “we could lose this money” if there were further delays.

She then joined the rest of the Board in unanimously rejecting opponents’ request for a ballot question.

The pending Mass. Ave. advisory question was added to the ballot by direct petition.

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7 comments so far

  1. Mark Kaepplein on

    A shameful and sad day for Arlington. All five sitting Selectmen lying outright to residents to pit east Arlington residents needing road repairs against those outside east Arlington who are made to fear another override campaign by the same Selectmen. There is no substantiation that funding would be lost. It would need to come in writing from the Boston Metropolitan Area Planning Council, who controls how money is spent. Also a lie is that there has been 8 years of public input. The project only started officially in November 2005 and went nearly 3 years without public input.

    How scared and desperate do politicians need to get to lie like that and try to transfer their fear to residents? They all need to go.

  2. Mark Kaepplein on

    Its late at night…Correction, the money is controlled by the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), not the MAPC. A letter would need to come from the MPO to substantiate any claims of loss. Even Sen, Donnelly did not make a bold lie like Selectmen – funding would be shifted to next year if the Sept, 20 deadline is not reached (doubtful anyway), so technically “lost” in this year (his deception, not lie).

  3. GRD on

    And as I said before in comments about the transcripts:

    But the most interesting thing may be on page 1062, from Mark Kaepplein.
    His otherwise predictable screed contains the sentence ‘Any loss of funding is [town officials’] fault.’ A primary project opponent is conceding the threat to the funding!

    C’mon, who’s really lying?

  4. Steve Cella on

    Adam…not sure what this 3 lane design was in 2009?? If there was a design for 3 lanes in 2009 along with two lanes and 4 lanes… that is if we were given options in 2009 then we would not be at this point and the road would probably be completed by now!!

    The 3 lane design did not appear until 2012….In 2009 there was a two lane design which was then changed to a 2 1/2 lane design (part of the so called compromise) and then it was finally changed to a 3 lane design we have now!!

    • Adam Auster on

      @Steve: I was referring to the August 2009 vote of the Board of Selectmen, which was in favor of a 3-lane design.

      The Town’s consultants had, in early 2009, floated a “draft for discussion” design that was more 2-lane (in transportation-speak a “2-1/2-lane” design because of so many turning lanes).

      The draft also would have removed traffic signals at Teel-Thorndike and Foster-Linwood.

      This idea got a chilly reception from the community and a 3-lane plan was drafted in early Spring. The traffic signals were included in drawings released in June of that year, and the 3-lane plan with signals was approved in August.

      Even the draft 2-lane design had a 3-lane stretch in it, and one 5-lane bit at Late Street.

      • Steve Cella on

        Sorry Adam, maybe there was but I don’t recall any 3 lane plan being presented to the board of selectman in 2009, if it was then why was it not presented at the hardy school or at the town hall in 2011… why wasn’t the option presented to the public, along with a two lane plan and a 4 lane plane??

        If different options had been presented then it would have saved a lot of time and trouble and for me was one of the major problems with the whole process, it is also one of the reasons why I would agree with opponents when they say the process was not open and transparent and there was not much input!!

        I understand the 2009 version was the preliminary version, it was only at the 25% mark anyway but at that point they only had the one version which was in effect a two lane design (with turning lanes, which is basically a two lane design) and was the only one presented to the public.

        The second design was a two and half lane design that emerged in 2011 or after the hardy school meeting (that is two full lanes with a 1/2 full lane and 1/2 of turning lanes) again it was the only one presented at the town hall or to the public. It was not until after that, that a full 3 lane plan (with no turning lanes) emerged or at least was presented to the public.

        Again if there were other plans floating around then they were not presented to the public which would have been a serious error on the selectman’s part!!

        In any case the vote went much as I suspected, that the town is divided with people favoring a 4 lanes over the 3 lane proposal (it would have been a lot more lopsided or an overwhelming majority favoring a 4 lane if the vote had been with the 2 lane plan back in 2009 or 2 1/2 land proposal back in 2011!!) it is a shame that it took so long to have the vote. Also it was interesting that those living within the projects boundaries where more against it than those living in other parts of town.

        I am glad the town was forced to have the vote…now we know where people stand instead of speculating, just like in town meeting where a voice vote can be deceptive, all the speculation on both sides did not mean anything or help matters much…until an actual vote occurred….it is just too bad it took so long and the selectman were so stubborn in having a vote especially since it is non binding!!

        It will be interesting to see what happens from here!

        • Adam Auster on

          Steve: The 3-lane plan WAS presented at the Hardy School meeting in April of 2009.

          I was not blogging back then but I attended the meeting, saw the drawings, and heard the presentation about the plan from the engineers.

          The Town posted that plan to its web page at the time. It is still available online, but has been moved to “archive” page for the project since it is no longer current.

          The link to it reads “alternative concept plans 1” under “Tuesday April 28, 2009, 7pm, – Hardy School Auditorium – held.”

          The draft 2-1/2-lane proposal (labeled “Public Information Meeting Concept Plans”) was really only “current” for two months in 2009. It was presented for discussion, never as the final plan.

          This change is one of many examples of how the plan evolved in response to public comments.


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