Friday, September 29, 2006

Montessori Help From The Stokes Report

Enfield Montessori School Needs Your Help!

By Greg Stokes

This week I was made aware of a situation that I want to speak out about in this week’s article. It has to do with the future of the Enfield Montessori School (EMS) and the use of the parking lot they have used for years.

The Enfield Montessori School has been in operation for over 40 years serving the needs our community by bringing first class education. The property located at 1370 Enfield Street was acquired by the Felician Sisters in 1932. The school has provided a great place to learn for children 3-12 years old and with your support will continue. But, that is just what is needed….Your support and help.

In 2003, the Enfield Zoning Enforcement Officer issued an order that the school cease and desist use of its parking area despite the fact that the parking area had been continuously used as the school parking lot for decades and preexisted zoning and the establishment of an historic district along Enfield Street.

In 2004, the Enfield Historic District Commission denied an application by the school to improve the parking area on the site by moving it behind the main school building along the rear border of the historic district.

While the historic district matter was pending, the Zoning Enforcement Officer issued a second cease and desist order forcing an appeal to the Enfield Zoning Board of Appeals.

In 2005, the Zoning Board of Appeals overturned the zoning enforcement order and determined that the existing parking area used by the school for decades was legal.

The Planning and Zoning Commission has now sued the Zoning Board of Appeals claiming the decision that the parking area is legal should be overturned.

So there you have it. This information was provided to me by concerned staff, parents, and alumni of the school. But is there more behind the scene political maneuvering that has not been disclosed? Over the next few weeks I am going to do my best to investigate if there is some personal interest by local politicians. Do some people high up have a stake in this property?

So how can you help?

Here are a few things that citizens can do to come to the aid of the EMS.

First, join me and other concerned people on October 16, 2006 at 6:00 P.M. on the Town Green for a rally to protect the school. You as taxpayers have a voice and it needs to loud and clear.

Two, contact our local elected officials and tell them to step up and stand up to protect one of Enfields most historic institutions.

Three, contact those heading up the Protect EMS Team and let them know you support them. Contact information is: or call Sister Anastasia at 745-5847.

The fact is this endeavor can be a costly one for the Felician Sisters. With all they do, it is terrible that they have to spend money to fight a legal battle, money that would otherwise be spent for community care.

Let me remind you also that when one Board sues another in our town it is you who pay the expense. Is this a good use of public tax money?

Also let me report that from the information I have obtained the EMS saves the taxpayers over $300,000.00 a year by providing great education.

So contact them today and let your voice be heard. Contact our members of the Town council and ask them where they stand on this issue. Then, since this is an election year, contact people running for office and if it’s not an issue…make it one. Remember, you have the power, because you have the vote.

You also can contact me at . I will help you, help EMS.


Anonymous said...

Enfield deserves leadership who treats all residents & town employees with respect.
Enfield deserves elected officials that will remember it is the people’s money, and we will use the people’s money wisely. I'm a democrat just today looking at the republican web site. All this nun bashing is making me want explore other people to vote for. This is so sad.

Anonymous said...

How can I get money to the nuns? How can people be so cruel to these wonderful women? We just don't get it. The more they go after the nuns the more we want to help them. Sister's please keep the faith.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else agree that while we are happy for the nuns we are sad for Enfield? Let's recap. The nun's had a gravel lot. Several boards and commissions saw as illeagal. Another board overturned the decision as they can (I smell a solid system of checks and balances). There was no resolution so it went to court. Not an unprecendented move by any stretch of the imagination. It was resolved and the nuns can build a nice driveway.

Ah, but there is so much more. The mayor was accused of bad behavior. And while he may have exercised poor judgement as he does from time to time, no one has come forward to prove anything illeagal or unethical. But this was the great excuse by those who hate the mayor, many in Maryann's Republican party, to jump on his back and wave their flag of self righteousness. Yes Madame Chair, we know you're in this game. Not many a game happens that you aren't in. Did you know you and Mr. Mayor are cut from the exact same cloth?

The solution?
1. Mr. Mayor walks away and takes his bad judgement with him.
2. Madame Republican Chair walks away and takes her hatred of Mr. Mayor with her.
3. Mr. Zoning Board Chair steps down and takes with him his reputation for being a bully and the mayor's puppet.
4. Mr. Stokes stops writing his nonpolitical political columns.
5. Enfield licks its wounds and starts the recovery process.

If you are really concerned about Enfield as you all say you are, do the right thing people. Recognize that you are all to blame for the hurt and embarassment. Perhaps it will start to restore people's faith in the good people of their local government.

Anonymous said...

The Stokes Report, also printed in the Enfield Press, is the most fair and balanced writing in Enfield.

Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy, the republicans don't have to do anything the democrats are doing this to themselves. Look at the names and then what party they are affiliated with. HMmmmm

Anonymous said...

Mary Ann Turner here, I just received an e-mail about being blogged by a "fun" Republican. Just to set the record straight, I haven't even been following the blog, let alone the comments sections, until today.

First, I am surpirse at all the anonymous writing. I for one have no problem signing my name.

Second, Pat Tallarita, does show poor judgement sometimes. The question I have about the "nun" incident, isn't should they have a drive way or not (but I'm glad they won) but about the posting on the town website with hot links and two pages of description.

Now that is a gross misuse of town resources.

The question you should ask yourself is why for this litigation did Pat request the town council to state its position, when in the past it always has been "no comment."

If they (Town Council) have now decided that litigation should be posted on the town website, let's see everything.

As for asking Pat, Greg, Tony or myself to "step off" so to speak, I say..."no can do." But I know that all of us would be happy to see more "hands on deck" so to speak.

Things you should consider:
If you have ideas to share, come to the Council meetings.

Think you can make a difference, join your town committee.

Have the spine to put yourself out there, run for office.

If an elected official or appointed board member steps off the legal road, well, they will have to face the consequences.

If a political figure gives the impression of inappropriate behavior or misuse of their position, they should be investigated.

As Town Chairman come to our town committee meeting (10/12). You may just find that I am not the "big bad guy" you think I am.

The TC meeting is at 7:30 tomorrow night, hope you will join me. Pat will let you talk for 5 minutes.

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