Cashman Forced to Close Hardware Store

Not being able to operate his 25-year old farm, a lawsuit with the town, and all the associated financial struggles has left Jeff Cashman no choice but to close his retail store.


Jeff Cashman, business owner and Clinton resident, has been in a year-long struggle with the town over the zoning and operation of his farm.

Due to the financial hardship of the lawsuit, attorney's fees and lack of business revenue, he has been forced to close his retail store, Cashman Tool & Hardware.

"I've lost the financing for the store," said Cashman in a call to the Clinton Patch. "It's that bad. I have no working capital anymore."

Cashman, who has owned the store on West Main Street for nine years, said the massive financial burden of the lawsuit has forced his mortgage company to inform him that he's lost the financing for the retail store.

Cashman says he has suffered financial problems due to the fact that the town will not allow him to operate his 25-year old farm, Sprucey Hill Farm on River Road.

"This is a farm that has operated for 25 years," said Cashman. "I have the documents, the zoning permit, the everything to prove it.  How can this happen? How far do I go to survive and protect my farm and business?"

Cashman says that despite hiring attorneys and talking to town officials, "no one is listening or helping."

He also says the town has spent "$4,000 in legal fees over a $10 permit."

"This year has been torture for me and my family," he said. 

Omar Francis March 28, 2013 at 02:41 PM
Chris, I believe the old police station has been designated for town office space. It is under renovation for that purpose. A restaurant would be great, but it is not happening.
veronica lopez March 28, 2013 at 02:45 PM
then why were you so willing to sell me the deer food I was feeding them and give me apples for them? You blame me because you claim the deer are eating your trees/shrubs. That was happening way before I started feeding the deer. You told me this yourself. Your comment about no more gentlemen sitting around the table. Well, you had a "gentleman's agrement" with the town to process the wood chips into mulch, sell the mulch and move the cows up there. After you did all this, you backed out of the agreement. Sure, your property looks nice out front, but what I see from my front & back yard is that what you have behind your barn and next to my property line is a junk yard. I'm supposed to sell my property to someone when this is what they'll get? Don't think so. I'm sure you left these issues out of your comments because you don't wan't your "supporters" to know everything. You know, many people do wonderful things for the town and for individuals in town, they just don't go around bragging about it. When you perform a kindness, that should be between you and your God. As a taxpayer/citizen of Clinton. I too have rights and I won't let you or anyone take those rights away from me. You are not the only one suffering in this town. There are many others out there struggling, but don't complain in public.
VIN CIMINO March 28, 2013 at 02:58 PM
Fay, I clearly stated that those print newspapers require that you use your real name in order to have your opinion PRINTED. I have communicated directly with management at Patch and was informed that Patch has been considering requiring real names to comment. I hope they choose to adopt that policy and I'm sure you would like to see what I refer to as drive-by shootings minimized.
VIN CIMINO March 28, 2013 at 03:07 PM
Veronica, thank you for using your real name. Obviously, there is a long-standing dispute between you and Jeff, which is never good. It seems there are allegations of encroachment from both sides. I don't know enough facts to be able to comment on that but I would be interested to know if you knew that the property next door was an established farm when you bought your home?
Fay Abrahamsson (Editor) March 28, 2013 at 03:52 PM
The comments on this article are getting way off track and are very close to violating the Patch Terms of Use. Please think carefully before you post, as all comments are being monitored closely.
Larry Bird March 28, 2013 at 04:23 PM
I agree with Mr Cimino. Using your real name is a slam dunk.
Silly Ness March 28, 2013 at 04:34 PM
Fay! You're no fun.
veronica lopez March 28, 2013 at 04:38 PM
Mr. Cimino - When my husband and I bought this property back in 1989, the Cashman property was being run as a landscaping/nursery and not a farm. Nothing was ever grown on this property, all plants for this business were purchased from another nursery. I know this because I once bought a hanging plant from them and when I asked if he grew them, he repllied no.
Jeff Cashman March 28, 2013 at 06:05 PM
Let me make a final response to our conflict: Documents, photographs, zoning regulations, and all official correspondence is available for ANYONE in Clinton to view. Our phone number is listed in the book. You are free to call. Let the next post be the decision of a judge. Thank you, Jeff Cashman
Alan Anderson March 28, 2013 at 08:49 PM
I was informed today that I had left comments on this website. Unless there are two Alan Andersons in town, someone has been fraudulently using my name and I don't appreciate it. I have never left any comments on this site. If you don't have the guts to use your own name then don't comment coward! Alan Anderson - Clinton
Larry Bird March 28, 2013 at 11:21 PM
Jim Davidson March 29, 2013 at 03:57 AM
First- Larry Bird is hilarious. Second, Vin, stop referring to people not using their name and posting comments as "drive-by shootings" you are so concerned with who is saying what. Does it matter? It's the content that is relevant. You just want names to then dig up dirt. The credibility of a statement does not begin nor end with the person voicing that opinion. So everything Obama says is credible because HE says it? Sorry, Fay, way off track but I know the masses are reading this and Vin needs to called out at some point.
Jeff Cashman March 29, 2013 at 09:32 AM
THAT IS REALLY SAD.. to think that a resident would use some one else s name and not theirs . Isnt that Identity thief? Larry bird ? that's pretty shallow of a pit..
Alan Anderson March 29, 2013 at 05:54 PM
Excuse me but my name is also Alan (Lee) Anderson. I own a company in town and have lived in Killingworth/Clinton my entire life. I have been commenting on some of the inaccurate comments and facts and ignorant opinions on here lately and ment no offense to you so calm down. If someone hunted you down at your house or your getting threatening phone calls I feel bad for you. No wonder some people do not want to use their real names when posting. I guess we know why some want our names posted.
Alan Anderson March 29, 2013 at 06:08 PM
Funny how you are so intersted in the town following the letter of the law for zoning the new school in the paper but your position is quite different for the application of the zoning laws in this matter. In the public record, Mr. Cashman was given quite a bit of leeway in the form of deadline extensions and opportunities to reclassify the materials and their storage on his property. He chose to ignore them. In the case of the mulch, when granted an extension to have the material removed he not only did not remove the material, but had more trucked onto the site.
VIN CIMINO March 29, 2013 at 06:18 PM
I understand but since it was approved for farming, isn't it reasonable to expect that the farm might be expanded over time? Isn't that the caveat when buying a home next door to an approved, existing farm? If you buy a home next to a commercial enterprise, say a bakery, don't you run the risk that one day it might become a full-blown restaurant?
VIN CIMINO March 29, 2013 at 06:27 PM
It's my hope that Patch will take steps to eliminate irresponsible drive-by shootings to protect the integrity of the comment section. I'm sure you have your own reasons for wanting to maintaine the ability for somerone to attack a person anonymously, make a rude or innappriatel comment anonymously or impersonate another person in an attempt to attribute a comment to that person that they would never make. But, I'm sure those days are numbered and Patch will be a better place once safeguards are put in place.
VIN CIMINO March 29, 2013 at 06:42 PM
Brad, i'm sorry you have such a shallow opinion of Patch but I assure you that it has become far more relevant than you think. The community has embraced it as the best way to share information and it has only continued to grow in popularity. Jeff's situation is important, though not to you. The community is very interested and concerned. If it can happen to Jeff, it can happen to anyone. The current administration clearly thinks that it can do anything it wants without consequences. The community is very concerned with the steady deterioration of businesses in Clinton and the reputation of the town as a whole. The more information the public can gather, through all sources including Patch, the better. You've made it clear that you have no intention of running for the Board of Finance again. That's a very good thing and I haven't heard a single person express any disappointment with your decision. Happy Easter to you, too.
Larry Bird March 30, 2013 at 01:36 AM
Is everyone else tired of Jeff and Vin's never ending dribble?
Brad March 30, 2013 at 01:58 AM
I moved out of Clinton in 1977 to enter the military and never regretted it. I have always followed what has gone on in my childhood town and all I see is a town that has grown is population but a government that has made bad choices for its citizenship time and again over the years. My father gave many years of volunteer work to the town and got neer a thank you for it. Now I see Jeff in a situation so typical of what is happening in many towns across America, he is being forced into most likely a bankruptcy position by his own town leaders and one neighbor over a simple issue because nobody has the balls to sit down at a table and talk. Out here in Arizona in small towns you had best talk it out because there isn't enough money for government to waste over such mundane issues as the definition of a fence or where a mulch pile is dumped or where some trees are planted. I think both the town and Jeff are lacking some simple common sense in this situation that has been blown out of proportion that Jeff will lose because the town and state have bigger legal pocketbooks. Sorry situation for Jeff. But we see it all over the country don't we. The Walmart syndrome!!! Clinton has been going down hill for forty years and will continue go that way and struggle and become a big box store town if only to fund its mere survival.
Alan Anderson March 30, 2013 at 11:24 AM
I too have lived in Clinton my entire life. I'm 56 years old and known to many throughout town. I'm surprised this has not come up before in that, though not extremely rare, our names are not all that common. (My middle initial is also L for Lewis). Apologies for the the fraud accusation. You are entitled to your opinion and free speech but please understand that I do not subscribe to those views. Alan Anderson
Katha Pollitt March 30, 2013 at 12:21 PM
I am so sorry to hear about the closing of Cashman's. I love the store and try to shop there instead of Ace, even though Ace is much closer to my house. The small stores make (made?) Clinton special. Is there any chance the store will stay open after all?
Larry Bird March 30, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Fay keeps taking my post down!! She has pulled two thus far, so I'm shooting for 3!!!
Fay Abrahamsson (Editor) March 30, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Patch welcomes former Celtics star Larry Bird to our conversation! Great to have you. Will other NBA players be joining our little group? Dennis Rodman? Shaq? We can only hope.
Bradford J. Sullivan March 30, 2013 at 02:34 PM
Vin, Imagine a world where my personal opinion requires your assurances or validation. Spoiler alert: that world only exists in your delusions. You, sir, do not speak for the majority of our Clinton community; certainly not Peggy and me. You are a firebrand. You do not have a "seat" at the proverbial table where Clinton's problems are discussed and attempted to be solved because you cannot be reasonable. I hope you do get elected as First Selectman, Vin. It will be an eyeopening experience for the Community that has embraced the Patch and support you and Kirk Carr. As far as Mr. Cashman is concerned. I would never allow my clients to post anything about pending litigation on social media, or be interviewed for a news story concerning pending litigation. That would be bad for my case, in my opinion. As I posted earlier in the week, I wish Mr. Cashman and his attorney good luck. Finally, me not running for reelection is due to the time needed to run my small business that is based here in Clinton where I employ five people and pay thousands of dollars in taxes every year. And my kids with whom I prefer to spend time after I free up time not working for Clinton. And why would someone be disappointed in my not being Chairman of the Finance Board anymore? According to you and the rest of the squeaky wheel squad, I have done a terrible job. Ok. Next? The fact is I shepherded the Finance Board through some rocky times since 2008 despite your toxicity and objections.
Alan Anderson March 30, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Thank you Mr. Anderson. I have heard of another Alan Anderson in town and I am sorry for this confusion and any trouble this has caused fo you.
Ray Moriarty March 31, 2013 at 01:38 PM
Yea! Thank you for put it so eloquintly Mr. Sullivan: "Imagine a world where my personal opinion requires your assurances or validation." Next, as with most bullies, you will get a tyrant of name calling and personal insults. We got your back, Brad.
VIN CIMINO April 01, 2013 at 06:23 PM
Brad, I did not say that anyone would be disappointed with you not being on the Board of Finance anymore. To the contrary, I said that it was a very good decision and that I haven't heard a single person express any disappointment with your decision. I'm sorry you don't consider me to be a reasonable person, since I always explain my position. Clinton belongs to its residents. In this case, I don't think that spending the town's money on legal fees and forcing Jeff to close his business and hire an attorney is what the residents want. I think that the community is very upset about this and I'm glad Patch provided the information. I understand that you'd never allow your clients to post anything on social media, but Jeff made it clear that he has nothing to hide and wants the community to be aware of his plight. Who would fault him for that.? I don't know where the "proverbial table" exists in your mind, but I will tell you that Clinton has a town meeting form of government. By virtue of Clinton's town meeting form of government, every resident of Clinton has a voice in identifying and trying to solve Clinton's problems. The objections that you saw were from the community, when it did not support unreasonable proposed budgets. Yes, I publicly opposed those budgets, which is my right, and the residents defeated those budgets, which was their right. And, you've decided not to run again, which is your right.
VIN CIMINO April 03, 2013 at 10:27 AM
With the introduction of Patch's new appearance, it seems that many public comments are now unavailable for viewing. More than 100 of the original 130 comments on this article are no longer visible. Can they be retrieved by interested readers?
J.D Clampett June 17, 2013 at 12:12 AM
First off I would like to say that good fences do not make good neighbors. Fences block partial views but not noise or smells. I have a neighbor with a rooster that screams like its being murdered just about every 20 seconds for about 18 hours a day. 1 rooster thats it. Forget quiet times in our yard, forget sleeping with windows open, we have to run fans for white noise just to sleep. Zoning says "um you all live in a rural area and even a residential area is allowed 5 chickens. So they basically laugh at the mere suggestion of a complaint while our home life is altered completely by this rude neighbor. I could imagine having to try to sell my house. Its worst than a barking dog. At least the dog will sleep at some point. And zoning will actually do something about a dog. I feel for the neighbor and as far as the hardware store goes, Im sure the new Stewards Ace Hardware super store a 1/2 mile away did not help your profits and your facing the same fate as Clinton Grain store did. You just cant make a living selling bags of first run mulch while its free for the taking at any town landfill thats grinding wood. Get rid of your mulch pile and move yer dang cows out back, give the lady next door some quality of life or buy her house for fair market value, use her land and rent the house out to some chicky babe with a horse who just loves the sweet smell of horse poo for the amount of the mortgage payment.... Problem Solved. Next? Next case please. Step up don't be shy.


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