Leominster Mayor, Little League At Odds Over Scoreboard

LEOMINSTER (CBS) – The season opener isn’t until next month, but the Leominster American Little League already has a challenge on its plate.

It seems the league and the mayor are at odds over a scoreboard named for a fallen soldier, but there may be some misunderstanding in all this.

Mayor Dean Mazzarella bought land next to some Little League fields 25 years ago and now wants to build a house on it. His insurer won’t play ball because there is a big scoreboard on the property.

The scoreboard is dedicated to PFC. Jonathan Roberge, a Leominster native who was killed in Iraq.

The league was rattled when an e-mail from Mazzarella’s girlfriend mentioned removing the scoreboard.

“We go down there, we watch the kids play and I can just see my son running around,” says Roberge’s father.

League officials were already upset with Mazzarella when he built his daughter’s house on the property last year. That construction took away from an existing t-ball field.

“He literally came to a ball field that children play at, and destroyed it,” says Jim Xarras the league director.

The league believes they have some legal rights to the fields because they have used them since the 50’s. The mayor says that field was no more than a loaner during his ownership.

The mayor says the situation with the scoreboard got ugly when it shouldn’t have. He says he is seeking to have the scoreboard moved to left or centerfield, not removed altogether. He has even offered to help foot the bill.

  • Gig

    But the mayor owns the property …and was being a good guy by letting the little league use it. He has a right to do anything he wants with it!

    • padinka

      No good deed goes unpunished. Instead of being thankful for his generosity in loaning his land, they are ungrateful selfish idiots. I certainly wouldn’t do any more after this. People these days are so selfish!

    • citizen

      The mayor sent in an excavator overnight and ripped down a historic field that has been there for 60 years, he destroyed a fence and a bunch of sprinklers, without even having a conversation with anyone. Now he has his girlfriend send a letter to remove a memorial for a fallen soldier so he can build her a house on an undersized lot! Seems like political suicide to me. The league definitely has rights and the mayor cant just do whatever he wants!

      • working for a living

        that’s crap, the league moved the fence themselves according to Ed Cuddahy in todays Leominster newspaper…and the current league president left all the junk on the mayor’s land b ecause it was too heavy to move…check the papers, those are the league’s own words…..http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/local/ci_20289120/mazzarella-little-league-fence-flap-can-be-resolved…not that I want to let facts interfere with character assasination…this Mayor has given so much of his own to money to the City and he vetoes his own raises….and the guy is just a working stiff trying to pay his bills and get a home built….

      • Matt

        His land he can do what he wants. Don’t care what was done in the past on his land.

    • Mel

      I bet you are the girlfriend

      • Gig

        No, I am not the girlfriend, just a supporter of this mayor and sympathetic with the position he is in with his land.

  • Colonel

    I say the town should take the mayors land by eminent domain.that way the sign can stay .and the kids can still have a place to play

  • Colonel

    Remember what this Mayor did come voting time. It sounds like he is a sneak. as he just went ahead and did what he wanted without letting anyone know whats going on.Even if a person owns land they are supposed to get permission when it comes to building or moving things on the border lines.

  • Ryan D

    As a Leominster citizen, its embarrasing this guy keeps getting elected, the problem is people are pretty much afraid to run against him, he always runs unopposed, he has taken his job for granted & his ego has skyrocketed over the years. He comes off in the piece as a nice guy but he really is just another phony politician who cares about himself, he’s been screwing the little people of Leominster over for years, hope soon someone will stand up and take on this egomaniac.

    • bp

      Sounds like he’s a relative of Kerry’s.

      Seriously though, he sounds like a weasel and should be voted out.

  • Rob Cleary

    Is it safe to assume this dolt is a Democrat?

    • rockysfan

      Democrats ask, rethugs take.

  • PegBundy

    What about the Mayor remembering who the board was named for, a native of the town who died supporting his very right to make a deal out of something as silly as a sign.

  • Tony Shoulders

    Thats what he thought, unless the agreement kis in writing he don’t have a leg to stand on! Mr. Mayor is speaking out of line, he needs to follow the laws like everyone else

  • noblepa

    Actuall, the mayor may not own the land any more. There is a concept in law called “adverse possesion”, by which the rightful owner may lose his/hre property without compensation.

    If someone occupies your land for a specified period of time, without your permission, and uses it exclusively, they can acquire title to the land. Google the term “adverse possesion”.

    To fight the case, the mayor must PROVE that he specifically and formally gave his permission for the little league to use his land. If he did not give permission, then the doctrine of adverse possession may apply.

    In theory, he might be forced to pay the little league for the land on which the house he already built stands, if a court rules that he lost title due to adverse possesion in the form of the t-ball field.

    The doctrine exists so that the great-grandson of the farmer who owned the land your house sits on , a hundred years ago, cannot come forward and claim ownership on the grounds that his great-grandfather was never paid.

    • kel

      Adverse possession is more than using a certain piece of real estate for a long period, but it also intails the user to prove maintaince of the real estate (i.e. mowing, etc….) Which it does appear the little league organization did. But here is the kicker, the user must also prove the paid the taxes for a certain amount of time (every county different on exact time). Although they can go to court they would have a better footing if they also assumed and paid the real estate taxes associated with the land. If they did not then they basicly used the land and did not assume full responsibiity for the land. The mayor sounds like a real butt I give you that! But by him still paying the taxes that proves he never intended to give full and forever control over to the little league organization. I don’t agree with this, but that is the law.

      • noblepa

        I am not a lawyer. Nor do I live in Massachusets. However, I did a google search and found several sites that discuss adverse possession. Here are a couple that are specific to the statutes and case law of that state:



        Neither of those sites mention paying property taxes as a requirement for gaining title through adverse possession. However, as I said, I am not a lawyer.

        Its true that the Little League may NOT, in fact, have acquired title. As with most legal disputes, the devil is in the details, which are not sufficiently spelled out in the article.

        I was merely trying to point out to those who were saying “its the mayor’s property. He can do what he likes”, that there is at least a prima facia case for adverse possession. I think that enough elements of adverse possession are present that a case could be made. It is not completely clear that the mayor has an unfettered right to build on the property. If the Little League wishes to pursue it, a court iwll have to decide.

  • Jon Anthony

    The mayor may have the legal right for all of his actions, but his execution is that of a crap-weasel.

    Political career = over.

    • working for a living

      good thinking, Mayor lends his land to Little League and now he is the bad guy…get a job and buy your own land

  • Old Hippie

    Time to vote out the mayor – or just be another stupid citizen of “No-whereville”

  • working for a living

    the league officials forgot to mention that they do no own the land that they play ball on…it is owned by the City of Leominster and licensed to the league. They like to make it sound like it is their land and it isn’t…somebody forgot to check before they built the scoreboard and now they want to blame the guy that let them use the land for the past 15 years….welcome to the modern world where I pay for something and you think you have a right to use it…..the Mayor is registered unenrolled and worked his whole life for his living, but the gimmee boys are looking for handouts….the real villain is the little league official who was find a half a million dollars for illegal disposal of asbestos into the local environment, Mr Xarras…this smear campaign is his idea to get back at the Mayor for calling him out on the asbestos…..drive down the main entrance to the city and witness the giant flags that the Mayor paid for and had erected in honor of the City…this guys bleeds Leominster and will be mayor forever….your playing ball on his land, can you now help him get his insurance by moving a sign a couple of feet? Sheesh…

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