FALMOUTH — Although candidates for municipal offices are not required to file campaign finance reports, a candidate for Town Council is questioning contributions he claims opposing candidates have accepted.

There are five candidates running for three seats in the June 11 Town Council election: Valentine Sheldon, Jim Chaousis, Janice de Lima, Tommy Johnson and Jay Trickett.

During time set aside for public comment at the May 29 council meeting, Sheldon claimed several donors who have provided support to Trickett, Johnson and de Lima were “intimately involved” in a 2016 rezoning.

Criticism of that zoning change and its consequences has been a tenet of Sheldon’s campaign. Councilors last week rolled back the dimensional standards in the Residential A districts to pre-2016 requirements in an attempt to fix what they called the “unintended consequences” of the 2016 rezoning.

During his remarks, Sheldon accused de Lima and Trickett, in particular, of taking money from developer Jonathan Culley. Sheldon said Culley wants to see the 2016 rezoning remain in place.

Sheldon also questioned the motives of the “many other anonymous donors” he claims are supporting de Lima and Trickett.

While campaign finance laws don’t apply, Sheldon argued there are “very obvious reasons” why campaign donations are so closely regulated in general.

De Lima this week said “it’s unfortunate that the facts seem to have been lost in this situation.”

“My campaign has not benefited from any financial contributions from developers,” she said. “My website does have an option for people to offer their financial support … (but) I have not received any financial support via the website.”

De Lima also expressed dismay at the “negative overtones” of Sheldon’s comments and argued that “accepting contributions toward offsetting campaign expenses has been a common practice in Falmouth for many years.”

While de Lima hasn’t received any financial donations from her website, she said she has received “a few contributions toward the expenses of signs, palm cards and an ad in the (newspaper).”

“I am very grateful for the assistance and support from Falmouth residents,” she said. “Money should not be a barrier to running for municipal office.”

Trickett said he was “not surprised that Valentine Sheldon has once again inappropriately used a Town Council meeting to electioneer.”

Trickett said Sheldon, and anyone who has followed his campaign for Town Council, knows “my views on growth, development, and zoning because I have shared them … at public meetings and on my website.”

“I reject Valentine’s attempt to manufacture guilt by association by marginalizing other Falmouth residents with whom he disagrees,” Trickett added.

He said Sheldon’s May 29 comments “illustrate an important distinction between us – Valentine has a personal, anti-development agenda and views residents who do not share that agenda as enemies.”

Voting in the municipal election on June 11 is at Falmouth High School. The polls will be open 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 780-9097 or [email protected]. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KIrishCollins.

Valentine Sheldon, a candidate for Falmouth Town Council June 11, has accused two others in the race of taking money from pro-development sources. They deny the charges.


Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: