The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 18, 2007

How many votes did Kevin Smith really get?

To the Editor:

Congratulations to Kevin Smith for a superb effort in his run for school committee as a write-in candidate. Unfortunately, due to a hyper-technicality in the voting process, the voters of Carlisle do not know how many votes Kevin Smith actually received. Indeed, he may be the actual winner.

By state law (Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 54, s. 42), write-in votes should include the name and address of the candidates. However, "the courts have decided that a vote should be counted whenever the intent of the voter can reasonably be determined, even if the voter omits the candidate's address or makes a mistake in the name or address." (William F. Galvin, Secretary, www.sec.state.ma.us/ele). Because Carlisle has two residents with the name Kevin Smith, the town required voters to write either "Kevin T. Smith" or "Kevin Smith, Lowell Street" on the ballot. If you did not write your vote these ways, your vote did not count; rather, your vote was counted as a "blank." There were 442 "blank" votes in the School Committee race. Kevin Smith is the winner of the second School Committee seat if 242 or more "blank" votes were intended for him.

I surmise that the law was intended to protect voters by ensuring that they know exactly for whom they are voting. It is hard to imagine that anyone in Carlisle intended to vote for anyone other than the Kevin Smith who took part in public debates, and actively campaigned.

I do not know whether there is any process available to facilitate a recount where the so-called "blank" votes are counted as the voters intended, but I do urge concerned voters here in Carlisle to have a voice in this matter. I am troubled by the reporting as "blank" of what were determined to be mis-marked Kevin Smith votes. At the very least, Carlisle voters should know that Kevin Smith received a lot of support — more than what has been reported in the election results. Just how much support remains a mystery, and, perhaps, an injustice.

Margaret Crouse Skelly
Berry Corner Road

Thanks to election volunteers

To the Editor:

Many thanks to the wonderful team of election volunteers who worked so hard on Tuesday, May 8, 2007 to make the election such a success. We are grateful for the many new volunteers that joined our group and we encourage anyone interested in the election process to contact the Clerk's Office and we will add your name to our list.

The poll workers usually work in 4 hour shifts and we also need counters in the evening after the close of polls. The counting is done in pairs and usually begins by 8:30 p.m. and we try to have the counters home before 11 p.m.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone whose efforts contributed to the successful election. The Police Officers that worked throughout the day from before the polls opened until after they closed, Peter Duffany who set up the voting booths before the election and had them moved out before the 9 a.m. Wednesday morning exercise class, and the Registrars who came in and signed the multitude of absentee ballots. A special thanks to the Carlisle Mosquito for their continuing thoughtful coverage of the Town Meeting and the ever changing Election Day process.

Finally, thank you Carlisle residents and voters. Your commitment to the election process and your patience and cooperation throughout the day was impressive and most appreciated.

We look forward to seeing you at the September 4, 2007 primary election for Marty Meehan's replacement. The general election for that seat will be October 16, 2007. So please contact my office if you are interested in joining our group of election volunteers.

Charlene M. Hinton
Town Clerk

Stevens says thanks

To the Editor:

Heartfelt thanks to the voters of Carlisle for returning me to the Board of Trustees of the Gleason Public Library for another term. I appreciate your vote of confidence and the great privilege you have given to me, and will work hard to see that the library remains an effective, modern information center and a community treasure.

Thank you also, voters, for choosing to maintain Saturday hours in the summer. Those hours are an important resource for our community and your support demonstrates that by working together, we can make the very best use of our tax dollars to serve our town. Thank you Carlisle!

Priscilla Stevens
Maple Street

Show greater support to vets

To the Editor:

I support the Town Common Committee's recommendation to basically keep the current form of Veterans' Honor Roll. If one wants to show greater support for veterans, I suggest either volunteering at the VA hospital in Bedford, as some residents do now, and telling our senators and congressman to get in gear to provide the care and help that injured vets need and deserve. (Walter Reed is only the tip of the iceberg of neglect for our injured vets.) A fancy piece of granite on our Town Common does not help the vets who need it most.

I do believe that citizens of Carlisle who served in time of war deserve public recognition. But I think what we have now is quite appropriate. This basic scheme also allows us to add names as other conflicts occur. Yes it needs refurbishment, and will need refurbishment in another 30 years. So be it.

If some feel that a granite marker is essential, perhaps a small one that honors the three who served and were killed in action would be appropriate. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Navy vet, one of the lucky ones who returned to civilian life unscathed.

Tim Eliassen
Steams Street

Center park update

To the Editor:

After an irregular winter, there is activity at Center Park: new grass is growing and slope curbing has been laid around the parking area. In addition to this natural growth, the Friends of Carlisle Center Park need your help to further "green the park." Today, we are only $6,000 short of our fund-raising goal, which would create a haven for Carlisle residents to enjoy this special place for picnics and breaks.

A timber fence with four granite entry posts to the park area and three eight-foot granite benches are slated to be installed next. We are almost there! Lowell Robinson, landscape architect, has selected 59 trees and shrubs for the perimeter screening to benefit neighbors and enhance the beauty of the whole 0.6 acre site. The area around the oak tree will expand to a large oval island entry garden planted with seven small shrubs and 178 perennials. The center mixed flower border will contain 36 small shrubs, 118 perennials, and two handsome teak benches. Maria von Brincken, garden designer, has selected plantings for early, mid and late blooming as well as year-round interest. (In the fall over 400 bulbs will be planted for enjoyment next spring.)

You will notice, too, the oak tree has a tree-ometer indicating $6,000 is still needed to reach the $70,000 goal to "green our park." For your own special connection to this community park, and to contribute to the "greening" of Carlisle, we encourage your tax deductible gift, payable to the Town of Carlisle, and mailed to the Friends of Center Park.

The dedication of Center Park will be featured as part of the Old Home Day celebrations at 2 p.m. on June 30. Thank you for considering a gift now. Let's all plan to meet at the park!

Susan Pepple & Sabrina Perry
for Friends of Carlisle Center Park

Funraiser a success, thanks to many

To the Editor:

Last Saturday evening, May 5, the CSA hosted a dinner/dance to raise funds for the school's Cultural Enrichment program and for teacher grants. In addition to raising money for the school, the event also brought parents together for a night of dancing and fun. There were about 150 parents enjoying the evening's entertainment, over 200 raffle tickets sold and about $14,000 raised for the school.

The evening would not have been possible without the efforts of the CSA board and the many volunteers who helped plan the event. I would like to specifically mention the efforts of Kevin Brown, Christine Melvin, Deb Schurr, Kathleen Ryder and Lori Jimenez. These parents worked very hard over the last several months to coordinate and plan the fundraiser from the initial idea of a raffle to the decorations, food, advertising and set up. All of us owe these committed parents a debt of gratitude and I would like to thank them very much for their efforts.

I would like to also take this opportunity to remind us all of the CEF sponsored auction to be held this year on November 3. This will be the principal fundraising event for the school and I would urge us all to volunteer to ensure a successful and fun evening. If you have questions or would like to volunteer to help, please contact Laura Snowden at lsnowdon@gsd.harvard.edu.

Dale Ryder
CSA PresidentLowell Street

Calling all young veterinarians to be

To the Editor:

The first step on the long road to becoming a veterinarian is to see what happens in a veterinary clinic.This Sunday, May 20, Countryside Veterinary Hospital is having an open house.This is your chance to see state of the art veterinary facilities in a family friendly environment. Two local Carlisle residents are veterinarians at Countryside Veterinary Hospital which is only ten minutes from the center of Carlisle in Chelmsford. Come and see your Carlisle neighbors! We will have an exotic animal display, demonstration of our laser, digital x-rays, animal ultrasound, and tour of our facility including the surgery suite and new animal physical therapy center. For younger animal lovers, there will be a clown, face painting, rabbit races, Clifford the Dog, and refreshments.This experience will give young people with an interest in veterinary medicine a look behind the scenes at our state of the art facility. This is a great opportunity to ask questions on how to help your children grow and develop into veterinarians to be! For those of you have serious students, I am happy to help guide the mentorship process of your budding young veterinary scientist.

Tiffany J. Rule
DVM Veterinarian
Canterbury Court


2007 The Carlisle Mosquito