What was meant to be a focused on finalization of recommendations for the Oak Hill property to the Board of Selectmen took a very different path during Monday night's Oak Hill Study Committee meeting.
Controversy over allegations made against Oak Hill Study Committee member Phil Stanway leading up to last night’s committee meeting resulted in a formal statement that dominated proceedings surrounding allegations by Selectman candidate and BOS critic Roland Van Liew that Stanway was interested in creating a deal for selective logging of valuable hardwood at Oak Hill, supposedly in order to create revenue for the town.
“The allegation made on Friday by Mr. Roland Van Liew stating that one of the Oak Hill Study Committee members was involved in private negotiations with a selectman and a logging company related to valuable hard wood at Oak Hill caught me and the Committee by surprise,”said Committee chairwoman Susan Carter in a formal statement, going on to say there there is “no factual evidence to support any of Mr. Van Liew’s claims."
Carter continued, stating that “on behalf of the Oak Hill Study Committee, I want to say that I have full confidence in all our Committee Members including Phil Stanway who has publicly stated that he is not involved in any such discussions.”
The controversy began late last week after Van Liew contacted Stanway regarding questions about logging on Oak Hill, where Stanway referred Van Liew to Carter for further information, followed by public statement on the matter on the Better, Not Bigger Chelmsford website.
CORRECTION: On Van Liew's letter, he mentions a deal for the town, no personal gain was mentioned. We have reworded the paragraph in question to reflect this.