Friday, July 23, 2021

Recap: Town Council approves Dean alcohol license and executes right of first refusal for Maple Hill open space

Quick Recap:
  • The Town Council recognized two retirees Patti Wyllie, Treasurer-Collector's Department and Tommy Grundstrom, DPW and Ndoumbe Ndoye, Franklin High School, Commonwealth Heroines Award
  • Reconsideration of the alcohol license for Dean College per their ABCC appeal resulted in approval by a 7-2 vote
  • The right of first refusal for the Maple Hill property was funded and approved by a unanimous 9-0 vote (via roll call). This is the first time the time has accepted its right of first refusal as it was in position to do so with the funds from the Pond St sale ($1.6M) and use of the Community Preservation Act funds now available. It will take time to complete the purchase, then the planning for trails, access parking, etc. can begin. Funding for this improvement work remains to be determined.
  • Town Administrator contract approved with minor revisions to extend for 5 years (from 3), increase aligned with that of other town employee commitments, and formalized the annual review with an ad-hoc subcommittee to provide a report to the full Town Council.


As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session
The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #tc0721 

Photos captured during the meeting and shared via Twitter can be found in one album


Citizens comments
  • Citizens comments, Dale Kurtz announcement of purple heart day, Aug 7, recognition of 18 recipients. Contact veterans office to confirm participation. Monument repair project starting.
  • Kerri Bertone treasurer collector announcing paperless billing option, also waiving ACH charge for electronic payments. #tc0721
Approval of minutes
  • Motion to approve mins of 5/26 meeting; 5/27 minutes approved also by voice vote; June 9 meeting mins, Jun 23 minutes, approved also via voice vote - 2 abstentions for last vote #tc0721
  • Patti Wyllie recognized at retirement after 33 years of service to Town of Franklin #tc0721
  • Tommy Grundstrom, DPW sewer dept now retiring after 26 years, #tc0721
  • Ndumbe Ndoye, recognition for her selection as a commonwealth heroine. #tc0721
  • Public hearing opened for bylaw amendment on tasting rooms, no Public step to comment, EDC subcommittee chair Hamblen speaks for, hearing closes ... up for vote later in meeting #tc0721
Dean College all alcohol license
  • Next up, dean college alcohol license up for approval after denial last year by council. ABCC determined no legal reason for denial. Back for approval... #tc0721 
  • If TC does deny again, the applicant could appeal, would be heard by superior court which would review the hearing by the Council. Not a public hearing, applicants can respond to questions clarification on points. Students would not be tending bar, only Sodexo employees #tc0721
  • Councilor Chandler pulled records of last 4 years of police incidents. College may not notify of all incidents, can be handled internally, major ones or per student request do get reported. Alcohol events are well managed by college personnel and Sodexo tip certified #tc0721
  • Chandler concerned with 'capricious' comment by ABCC. Council does have broad authority, the applicant does have broad authority. "It is not that simple" #tc0721
  • Bissanti Council should not be bullied by ABCC or threat of lawsuit. Dellorco how much have we spent? Just over $2k to defend the community for the prior decision. Jones adds that this is a simplification of the 30 one day licenses with this they did have no incidents #tc0721
  • Mercer important to clarify the license for events, no a pub open in the campus center, faculty, college business. #tc0721 Cerel "do you want to take their advice or not?" Hellen State ABCC acts to provide guidance and oversight on the legality of the process.
  • Events only license not a liquor license? Kelly - Dean needs to do better community outreach on any number of the other issues, parking etc. #tc0721 a further amendment to add a condition of req 21+ to serve at the events. Bissanti calls this a recipe for disaster
  • Exception made for citizen comment which is not part of the public hearing. Another citizen complaining about the student behavior as neighbors. #tc0721
  • Confusion between what is allowed per license for the special events vs. general alcohol already on campus from other Franklin establishments. This license doesn't allow for those type purchases. #tc0721
  • Roll call vote: Chandler, Bissanti no, all other 7 Councilors voted to approve. 7-2 vote, it passes. #tc0721
Legislation for Action
Maple Hill right of first refusal
Town Administrator report
  • Many happy people out there voted for this historic vote. #tc0721 TA Hellen report, grant for $20k for complete streets for chairs, lighting, barriers for outdoor dining downtown. Thanks to the 4th of July committee for their work. Quiet zone study money rec'd.
  • Thanks to Chrissy Welton for her work, she is moving to FL, best wishes. #tc0721 Dean Ave parking for future agenda. Thanks to those who voted for CPA, put us position to make the purchase of Maple Hill. Last word "awesome" for Chrissy. Dean relationship does need to improve
  • #tc0721 thanks to prior Councils for identifying the Maple Hill space and helping to work towards the purchase today. Executive session, will return to open session, subject to what happens for final adjournment. Negotiate with TA, motion and 2nd passes via roll 9-0
Executive session

Return to open session

  • Council returns to open session, contract for Jamie, FY 22 same salary (2% COLA) no new financial commitments, removes auto increases, replaced by increase inline with other municipal employees, also reqs ad hoc sub comm to do review and bring to full council. #tc0721
  • No comments on new contract, motion to approve, passes 9-0 Motion to adjourn, passes 9-0 #tc0721

Audio recording of meeting to be available in couple of days 

Dean College officials answering questions during the alcohol license discussion
Dean College officials answering questions during the alcohol license discussion

No comments:

Post a Comment