Felony charges may await man who repainted crosswalks

Photo: Ed Tierney

Common sense can be awfully uncommon.

Just ask Billerica, Mass., Selectman George Simolaris, who got tired of waiting for his town to repaint crosswalks.

He’s a professional painter by trade and used some green deck paint he had along with some he bought from the hardware store.

“I tried to be beneficial to residents,” he said in a phone interview with the Boston Globe. “We said we would have these crosswalks painted by May. I promised that to the people who lived near me, and who asked me when it’s going to be done. I used a good paint, and did it as a temporary measure. But mainly I did it for safety.”

Cool story. People pitching in to improve things and not wait for the bureaucrats.

The police department in town posts on its website today that it may file charges against Simolaris.

On July 18, 2015 Billerica Police received reports that an unauthorized persons had painted some crosswalks surrounding the Town Center. This area has been under construction recently in part for pedestrian crossing upgrades. At this point some of the crosswalks in the town center area have been painted green by unauthorized persons. DPW crews are working to remove the unauthorized markings and the roadway will be restored with new striping as had been previously planned. The Town considers this to be an unauthorized defacing of town property and the matter remains under investigation by the Billerica Police Department.

He could be charged with a felony by the end of the day, according to the town manager.

“One of the reasons we are doing that is because we want to make sure he is not treated differently than anyone else. We will be looking at filing a complaint, and possibly seeking restitution,” John Curran said.

The chairman of the selectmen said the crosswalk scofflaw should resign.

“I just think he put himself in the position that he can no longer be effective as one of the leaders in the town,” John Piscatelli said, showing an astounding grasp of public opinion.

City workers, who had delayed painting the crosswalks, had plenty of time to power wash the paint job away, the Lowell Sun says.