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Home Page Letter of Complaint
Subject: Reimbursement for Legal Fees
To: Board of Selectmen
From: Joseph M. Dougherty
Address: 52 Mount Pleasant Street
Date: September 11, 1997
Location: Town of Billerica, Massachusetts


Dear Board Members:

A March 3, 1993 letter was sent to the Board of Appeal by the Billerica Town Counsel, regarding the Passalaqua's variance, which informed the Board of Appeal that, "the Board is not authorized to grant the requested variance" (see attached, third paragraph).

The Board of Appeal simply ignored Town Counsel. That's when the trouble really began. If the Board of Appeal simply followed Town Counsel's advice, Mrs. Ingraham and I would never have been in this senseless charade. In addition, they held secret meetings, paid no attention to the evidence or the zoning by-laws, and they decided to grant the variance, even though they had no proof, as required by state law, to back up their decision.

And, Mr. Shaw's recent statement that the Board's job is to break the law just sums it all up. Mr. Shaw feels no need to read or follow the law. This is outrageous. Nobody is authorized to be above the law. He should be removed immediately from the board.

Even Chairman Pearson is still in denial. She thinks that this was a close one. The fact is that she made a bad, bad, bad decision. She participated in secret meetings with the Passalaquas and was told by three courts that the Board of Appeal cannot grant variances without backing up their decisions with facts and evidence. The second highest court in the state severely chastised her decision. I would have been embarrassed. She still thinks she did nothing wrong. She needs to be replaced.

In fact, the behavior of the entire current Board of Appeal is totally outrageous. Apparently trampling my civil rights and Mrs. Ingraham's civil rights is OK. Well it isn't.

This Board is out of control and intellectually corrupt. The damage they did to the public, my neighborhood and me is obvious in the Passalaqua case. The variance that they granted, should never have been granted. If left unchallenged, this would have been the first big step in destroying the character and value of an entire neighborhood. The idea that this case is a private matter is ridiculous. Margaret Ingraham and I have been greatly damaged by your freelancing Board of Appeal. We are the victims here.

I would appreciate your help in fulfilling the vote of Town Meeting and putting a stop to the vendetta that Mr. Mercier is carrying out against my neighborhood. Would you please direct the Town Manager to produce a warrant for your signature that would reimburse our neighborhood costs we endured as a result of the Board of Appeal violating our civil rights by acting in excess of their authority (i.e., paying no attention to the laws). Thanks.

Joseph Dougherty

Home Page Response to Letter of Complaint
Subject: Reimbursement for Legal Fees
To: Joseph M. Dougherty
Address: 52 Mount Pleasant Street
From: Board of Selectmen
Date: No Response Provided
Location: Town of Billerica, Massachusetts


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