By William Tauro
It has been bubbling up for a few weeks….and it is gaining a real head of steam now…..the whistle is now blowing Somerville……there is talk of an intentional deception in the proposed Demolition Review Ordinance.
This is no small deception. This will dramatically reduce the property rights of every home-owner in this City…..and citizens are just now hearing the whistle blow, thanks to the whistle-blowing efforts of a handful of vigilant individuals.
This deception was first published in our April 3rd issue of The Somerville News Weekly, in which Dr. Mouhab Rizkallah wrote a letter to the Board of Alderman, requesting Ward meetings to expose the significant deceptions in the deceptively named “demolition” review ordinance (which has more power than controlling just demolition. It controls construction rights).
According to Dr. Rizkallah, “Every single home over 75 years old will be considered historic until deemed otherwise. That is the entire City! It is hard to imagine that all of Somerville will be under Historic protection? It quietly steals the rights of every unassuming home-owner. It is tyranny.
Many citizens have been calling for each Ward Alderman to have a Ward meeting prior to a vote by the Board of Alderman. Whistleblowers like Dr. Rizkallah want the Alderman to EACH have a meeting in their ward, to properly inform their constituents that the demolition review ordinance is deceptively named. It will not just control demolition. It will also control by-right construction permits. Every property owner will lose significant rights.
Two weeks ago, the Ward Alderman were asked by multiple citizens to provide a date for a Ward meeting to expose this deceptive ordinance. They were informed that their willingness/responses would be published in this weeks’ Somerville News Weekly.
As promised, their response are below:
Ward 1: Matthew McLaughlin- No Response
Ward 2: Jefferson T Scott- No Response
Ward 3: Ben Ewen-Campen- No Response
Ward 4: Jesse Clingan- No Response
Ward 5: Mark Niedergang – No Response
Ward 6: Lance Davis – No Response
Ward 7: Katjana Ballantyne – Out of Town Autoresponse
Questions to Alderman:
Why have you not responded?
Do you want your constituents to be deceived?
Are you ok with unaware property owners losing rights?
Is this an intentional power grab by the City?
This is a public request to the Alderman:
Alderman, please have a Ward meeting on this ordinance, so that it can be exposed as the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” that it actually is. You owe it to your constituents!