, Newburyport, MA

Local News

September 25, 2013

Town manager calls on citizens group to refute accusations


Called for comment yesterday on Harrington’s statement, Gracemarie Tomaselli said she and her sister stick by every claim they made in the article. She said although Harrington said the town has won every lawsuit they filed against it, she insists that’s because town officials lied at court hearings.

“When it comes to who’s telling the truth, we’re telling the truth,” Tomaselli said.

Contacted yesterday for comment on why the Salisbury Beach Citizens for Change sent out the email to its membership, its president, Tom Saab, refused to comment.

“I’m not talking to you about anything,” Saab said.

However, Saab later left a message confirming the SBCC had sent out an email containing a link to the story to about 300 to 400 members. He said in the email, the SBCC does not offer a comment on the issue, only a link to the article.

Chuck Takesian, an SBCC member who is on its Advisory Board, said the article was upsetting. A former selectmen, Takesian was on the board during initial years when the Tomasellis’ complaints against the town began.

“The article is totally false; when I read the story I was incensed,” Takesian said yesterday. “I can’t believe (the author) didn’t contact the town for comment. What kind of a journalist is he? I will totally disavow myself from the Salisbury Beach Citizens for Change if I learn they’re backing this email.”

The story was written by Tom Duggan, publisher of The Valley Patriot. It appeared last week, about a month after the Land Court Judge Gordon H. Piper ordered the Tomasellis to pay more than $250,000 in back taxes, sewer charges, interest and legal fees by Sept. 30 or risk losing their 113-115 North End Blvd properties to the town for taxes. The Aug. 2 order was the result of 19 years of acrimonious tax battles between two beach property owners and the town and the latest finding against the sisters by the courts.

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