A local business owner filed suit against the town of Wilmington, alleging that the zoning department defrauded him of $290 in fees. According to the complainant, the town charged $145 to change a room in his establishment from a retail space to an office space, then charged him $145 again two years later to change it back to retail space. He said he later determined that the town’s zoning laws did not cover such changes of use, and that the zoning administrator “guessed” when telling the business owner he had to apply for the permits. In its rebuttal to the suit, the town said that the fees were properly applied, and a “reasonable person reading the town ordinance” would not reach the same conclusion as the plaintiff.
15 years ago:
Wilmington Selectboard member John Redd announced his resignation after completing only one year of a three-year term, citing time constraints. In an effort to provide a smooth transition, Redd made his resignation effective on March 5, Town Meeting Day, when a new elected board member could begin serving a term. But after discussing the matter, it was unclear whether it was statutorily permitted for a candidate to run for the position before the seat was officially vacated. In a move to circumvent the road block, Redd made his resignation effective immediately, and the board chose to reappoint him to fill the seat. Under state law, an appointed board member can only serve until the next election.
20 years ago:
Dover Selectboard Chair Bob Rubin announced his resignation after six years on the board. Rubin said it “just seemed like the right time” and noted that the board had “accomplished a lot of good.”
The Wilmington Selectboard received a petition asking voters “if they will authorize the selectboard to employ a town manager. A “no” vote would have eliminated the town manager position. Supporters said the move was an attempt to “recreate local government and cut expenditures.” It was the second such petition in 10 years.
25 years ago:
State representative Wendell Coleman said he would continue his dedication to education reform, even though he hadn’t been appointed to the education committee. One of his first initiatives, he said, was a bill that would help weed out “the small percentage of teachers who do not, and never will, perform satisfactorily.”
“Hot Buns” were available at the Mount Snow Ski Shop for $35. The “buns” weren’t an expensive pastry, they were shorts with a panel of neoprene that “covers the sitting area” to keep ski instructors, patrollers, and recreational skiers and riders warm in that particular part of the body.
35 years ago:
Wilmington police arrested six people who were trespassing at a Chimney Hill house. The group had been renting a house in Davis Mowing, but they got stranded in Chimney Hill when their car got stuck in a snowbank. They were unprepared for the cold temperatures and sought shelter in the Chimney Hill house, kicking in the door to get out of the cold. Once inside, they liked the place so much they helped themselves to food and liquor, started a fire, and had a party. They were discovered after concerned friends reported that they were overdue.
A group of parents sought an investigation into the management actions of a Deerfield Valley Elementary School principal after one teacher sought a leave of absence.
40 years ago:
Dover faced a $5,000 per day fine by the waste management division of the Environmental Protection Agency because the landfill wasn’t being “compacted” on a daily basis and being covered by a minimum of six inches of fill. EPA representatives also said pollution was leaching into a nearby brook. Selectboard members complained that following the regulations “would be astronomical, from a dollar standpoint.”
45 years ago:
A stubborn ice jam in Wilmington Village refused to budge even after officials used heavy equipment and even dynamite in an effort to unclog the North Branch of the Deerfield River. The ice jam collected in the village after heavy rains dislodged the ice and pushed it downstream. The ice was in the village when the water receded, leaving it packed tight in the narrower section of the river. Road commissioner Andy Crawford and his road crew exploded about 220 sticks of dynamite along about 300 feet of river without any result.
A petitioned article on Dover’s Town Meeting warning asked that the town offices be moved to “brick building on Dover Common known as the former Dover Elementary School.” The article was drafted by planning commissioner Elva Turner, and the town’s planning commission was in favor of the move. Commissioners said the town offices in use at the time did not meet state standards.
50 years ago:
After scrutinizing passes and lift tickets for about a week, Mount Snow lift personnel discovered two season passes with identical numbers. Lift attendants eventually apprehended two Massachusetts men. One of the men, from Lexington, MA, admitted that he had sold the fake pass to the first man. In fact, he eventually admitted that he made copies of his pass for 10 friends, charging them $25 each. The state’s attorney claimed 15 passes had actually been made. The forger was fined $150.