Published DateTo the editor,
We are writing in response to the front page article about Bill and Carolyn McDonough and the Town of Belmont. My family and my relatives have lived in the Lakes Region for more than 100 years. Whoever wrote the article should be ashamed of themselves. The article was twisted so as to insult and criticize the McDonoughs. They ran multiple local restaurants and always treated people fairly. Bill McDonough is over 80 years old and never seeks to file lawsuits. He and his family have been generous and kind and big supporters of the Lakes Region community. They always sought to avoid expensive legal proceedings.
In this situation, it is the Town of Belmont that is in the wrong. The McDonoughs purchased a property on the town "green" and the town began to notify tenants and costumers that they were moving the road and changing the location of the road and the parking. Many tenants would not want the location if they did not have the road frontage, location, and parking. Obviously, as owners, the town plans damaged the McDonoughs, they repeatedly sought to resolve it directly with the town and just got the run-around.
Indeed, we understand the town is the one that involved lawyers long before the McDonough's did. Town lawyers started pressuring the McDonough's to "cave in".
After having a vacant building for years because of all this mess, the McDonoughs finally sold to the town, at a reduced price, far below the price it was worth, and listed in your article ($300,000).
These folks are retired and this building was critical to their retirement. Only after numerous efforts to settle it cooperatively did they resort to lawsuit, and now the town is stonewalling and apparently leaking false information of the press. It would have been nice if your paper connected both sides to get the straight story.
Let's give the locals a break and sympathize with them when the town damages them, not tarnish them with inaccurate and misleading reporting.
(Editor's note: The article Mr. Pannaglo was published on Dec. 21, 2012. In it, reporter Gail Ober noted that town voters authorized selectmen to pay no more than $250,000 for the property. The $300,000 number was noted in reference to a 2008 warrant article regarding the same building that was defeated.)