Paying Attention!


Bill Manzi Answers Allegations
Printed in Rumbo

Methuen Councilor Bill Manzi has been accused of using political influence to benefit
from the city's construction project of a foot bridge. Ellen Bahan and Rumbo have
contended that the bridge lands on Mr. Manzi's Property while he has emphatically
denied it on Paying Attention radio program.

"The bridge doesn't land on my property. It's an outright lie. This isn't parsing of words
from a politician, it doens't land on my property, period. I don't know what plans she is
looking at but there has been no easement there has been no deal. Maybe they need
english emmersion over there (at Rumbo).

Yesterday, Ellen Bahan printed a map with lines showing the bridge lands in front of or
on the Manzi Property. Here is Councilor Manzi's Response.

To the Editor,

Dalia Diaz's so called "answer to Manzi", printed in the February 15, 2003 Rumbo, is nothing short of an outrage. Let us start right at the beginning, so that even Dalia Diaz can understand. To quote Dalia directly "Although the map shown on this page might be a bit confusing to understand, we are publishing it to demonstrate that this is the basis used for Ellen Bahan's articles on the bridge and walkway connecting Mr. Manzi's properties and the Marlin Mills housing units".

Rumbo now claims that this map is the "basis" for Ellen "Big Lie" Bahan's articles. I wonder if Rumbo can explain why, if this map (which shows the walkway landing in the front of my store) is the "basis" for past articles, Big Lie Bahan in the October 1, 2002 Rumbo wrote that "…lease a miniscule piece of property to the Pages to hide the fact that the walkway does indeed land on his property, and have the taxpayers fund that walkway between two private properties". The Page lease refers to land in the back of my building. If this map is the basis of the Bahan articles (as stated by Dalia Diaz and Rumbo) how could she have alleged in October of 2002 that the bridge lands on property behind my building, and in February 2003 allege that the bridge now lands in front of my building? Do you need English immersion to understand that there is a difference between "front and back"?

If Rumbo and Dalia Diaz were interested in the truth they would have ascertained certain facts about the project that are in the public domain and easily verifiable.

1. The project is state funded, and state administered. While Rumbo recognizes that this is a state project they seem unwilling or unable to contact Mass Highway, the state agency involved, to get a version of the current plan, not one dated from November of 1998, over four years ago, which is the "basis" of the current "story".

2. This project has had several different conceptions, including the first, which had a walkway coming in over the 1859 House. If Rumbo were to come into possession of those documents could they use those as a "basis" for writing a story that says the walkway lands on property owned by the 1859 House? Or would such a story be inaccurate?

3. The State, as I have acknowledged, presented me with a plan several years ago that would have had the walkway and easement come across my property. (In the front) I rejected the plan (as had the 1859 House) and refused to sign an easement permitting the access. That rejected plan (from 1998) is what Ellen "Big Lie" Bahan now attempts to use to extricate herself from the lies she has written and continues to write. Bahan acknowledged my public rejection of this plan in her February 2nd column. Again a direct quote from Big Lie Bahan contained in the February 2nd Rumbo "In the past, head knickknack Billy Bridge Boy Manzi stated that originally it was going to land on his property but this plan had not worked out for him and it has been changed." Bahan first acknowledges my rejection of this plan and then uses the rejected plan to support her story that the bridge lands on my property. Her incompetence as a fact finder is well established. (See the "Jim Conway" story and other fictions printed in Rumbo.) This story however is told knowing the facts are wrong and with malice of forethought.

4. As we all know any property owner who agrees to allow the State the use of his property must sign some permissions (easements, lease agreements, or outright sales). There is a list of owners who have agreed to sign such agreements on file with Mass Highway. Without these permissions the State cannot access or use a property owners land. Let us settle this issue of fact once and for all. I challenge Rumbo (again) to take the truth test. Get a list of those property owners who have signed easement agreements to support this project and publish them in Rumbo. If you are interested in the truth lets put it to the test. If my name appears on that list I will have to withdraw my objections. If it does not then Rumbo should retract and apologize for many years of lies. Let us settle this in a way that brings out the truth, which is the walkway does not land on my property, as Rumbo continues to write. I eagerly await your publishing of the easement list.

Bill Manzi