Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

June 5, 2013

Citizen's exchange with Selectmen prompts call to police

By Bill Kirk

---- — A citizen’s comments escalated into a shouting match with members of the Board of Selectmen Monday night and only ended after officials threatened to call police.

The heated exchange involved Donal Coleman of High Street, who addressed the board at 7:30 p.m. during its “Citizens Petitions & Presentations” time, which opens every selectmen’s meeting.

Coleman directed sharp words at selectmen over his concern with traffic in Elm Square and along Elm Street, saying the crosswalk lights leave pedestrians unsafe.

“People go 60 mph past my house,” he said. “My mother can’t get across the street to get to the library.”

“It’s horrible. The lights aren’t synchronized. No one yields at the right-hand turn. That has to be improved or someone’s going to get killed.”

He then began speaking about a former town official, at which point Selectman Mary Lyman told him several times, “You’re done.” Selectmen Chairman Alex Vispoli then reiterated several more times, “You’re done.”

After the exchange continued for a few more moments, Lyman said, “One more comment and I’m calling the police” to have Coleman removed from Town Hall. At that point, Coleman sat down.

While police were called to the town offices on Bartlet Street at 7:59 p.m. for “community policing,” according to the police log, no offenses were reported.