Cervasio takes last stand on blight

Cervasio takes last stand on blight

FOSTER – In what appeared to be his last time leading the Foster Planning Board, Ron Cervasio made sure the board sent a letter recommending that the Town Council take action on blighted buildings along Route 6.

Cervasio said during the Sept. 4 Planning Board meeting that the heavy blight represented by the dilapidated buildings along Route 6 is preventing businesses from coming into town.

The Town Council’s earlier reinstatement of Cervasio will likley only last until its next meeting, planned for tonight, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m., at the Benjamin Eddy Building, 6 South Killingly Road.

After being removed from the board during the Aug. 1 council meeting for his disparaging remarks and poor conduct in the community, Cervasio was reinstated two weeks later, councilors saying he could not be removed due to a phone call he made to local business owner Henry Chabot because he had not been warned against the disrespectful behavior before he made the call.

Town Councilor Cheryl Hawes said that after Cervasio commented in The Valley Breeze & Observer that Foster is a s---hole town, she intended to remove him during the council’s next meeting.

Cervasio, leading what was likely his last Planning Board meeting on Sept. 4, said the Planning Board, acting as an adviser to the council, did its job and pointed out that there is a problem in town. The board drafted a letter to the council identifying six buildings along Route 6 that the board believes pose a safety risk.

“I’ve been criticized for saying Foster is a ... I can’t remember the exact words,” Cervasio said.

He said he suspected the council has not been enforcing the state’s maintenance code because members are protecting their friends and business owners who don’t have money, despite that lack of action impacting the whole community.

“I don’t know how all those people missed that we live in the most unattractive town in the state,” Cervasio said.

Bottom line, he said, was that it was the Planning Board’s job to advise the council that there is a problem.

Planning Board member Michael Carpenter, a safety expert, signed the letter after stating during a July 17 meeting that the town needs to enforce the state’s maintenance code. Carpenter researched and drafted the blight letter, and said it outlined the procedures that need to be followed to protect the health, safety and welfare of Foster residents.

“Everybody knows it’s out there. There is a problem,” Carpenter said.

Planning Board member Anthony Renzi said there are more than just troubled businesses that are blighted on Route 6. He said the town should consider offering a tax break for property owners to allow them the money and time to clean up.

Frustrations over the blight situation have been ongoing for more than a year, said Renzi.

Cervasio said a blighted building under state law must be torn down if it affects the health and safety of the public.

He said some of the businesses on Route 6 have violated state code for years.

Comments

Take a drive along Route 6 from the Scituate line to the Connecticut line and tell me he's wrong. It *is* a s___hole.