Town elections are over and Abington’s municipal boards are pivoting quickly toward getting ready for Town Meeting, which will take place on May 24.
Over at the town’s schools, students and teachers have enjoyed their last scheduled week-long vacation break and now face a straight sprint to the end of the school year in June.
And the town’s athletic fields were filled over the weekend with soccer, softball, baseball, lacrosse, and flag football seasons now underway.
In other words, we’re deep into spring. Hopefully it’s stopped snowing for the season…
WHAT YOU MISSED
Abington News usually doesn’t like publishing articles towards the end of the week and over the weekend. Frankly, they just don’t get read. But we had a bunch of news this weekend, so here’s a recap:
Turnout was disappointing (about 10%), and the two competitive races were close: Incumbent Selectman Tim Chapin edged out Chris Henrikson by 25 votes; the margin between Kevin Whalen and Melissa Pond was even closer – 15 votes. (These results are unofficial; official tallies will be finalized in the next couple of days)
Here’s the full Election Day results:
Town Clerk Leanne Adams said some tweaks can be made, but was otherwise happy with the first general election held at the Beaver Brook Elementary School. She wants to specifically thank DPW Superintendent John Stone, Deputy Police Chief Chris Cutter, Jason Linn of the Abington School Department, and all the Election Day staff that helped make the day successful.
AYS GOLF TOURNEY
Abington News is taking advantage of this platform to promote the upcoming Abington Youth Soccer Golf Tournament, which will be held the morning of Friday, June 11 at Ridder Farm Golf Course. Cost for a foursome is $400. Hole sponsorship is $100. Proceeds will help support the organization’s programs and scholarships. To sign up, or if you have any questions, email Rick Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org
(To the town’s other non-profit orgs, yes, Abington News is happy to include your future fundraising endeavors in this space. Email us at AbingtonNews@gmail.com)
SUMMER STREET 40B
News that a 40B affordable housing project has been proposed for the 9 acres of land between Summer Street and the Abington commuter rail station went over like a lead zeppelin, especially considering the Abington/Rockland Joint Water Works recently instituted a freeze on new water applications while it conducts a demand and supply study. But the state Department of Housing and Community Development historically has realllllyyy liked the 40B program and gives communities little leeway in denying the projects – including concerns about water availability.
Here’s what the Massachusetts Housing Partnership has to say in its 40B handbook for municipalities: “Low- or moderate-income housing often sparks objections from residential and non-residential neighbors, and in most cases the proposed housing involves a higher density than the development pattern found in surrounding neighborhoods. However, communities have largely controlled the make-up of their population by the choices they have made to control housing growth. Introducing different types of housing opens doors to a more diverse population, and sometimes it is fear of difference that triggers opposition.”
A 40B project proposed in Rockland is looking to see if it could use well water to supply its future residents, but those wells would be located near one of the major reservoirs for the water works.
The project is on the agenda for the Abington Board of Selectmen meeting tonight. It’s not a public hearing on the project, rather an informational discussion. A site walkthrough is scheduled for May 4 at 11 a.m. for members of the Board of Selectmen, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Conservation Commission, and Affordable Housing Trust.
The Abington School Committee will welcome its two newest members – Heidi Hernandez and Julie Groom – to the board tonight. The board will have a brief, remote meeting Monday at 7:30 p.m. to “reorganize” (elect a new chairperson). The board will then regather on Tuesday at 7 p.m. for its regularly scheduled monthly meeting, which will include a public hearing on whether to remain in the school choice program.
Board of Selectmen, Town Hall, 6:30 p.m. Agenda includes appointing a new chairman, appointing a person to the Griffins Dairy Park Committee, an update on the North Quincy Street zoning complaint, and discussions about the Summer Street 40B, a proposed bond project at the South Shore Regional Vo-Tech High School, the contract to hire an outside search firm for a new police chief, and the citizen’s petition process.
School Committee, remote, 7:30 p.m. The agenda includes reorganizing the committee after the town elections.
Conservation Commission, via Zoom, 6:30 p.m. Agenda includes a certificate of compliance for 212 Bedford Street (Halstead Apartments), and other building permits/site visits.
School Committee, via Zoom, 7 p.m. Agenda includes a public hearing on school choice, a discussion about summer school, and other matters.
Finance Committee, via Zoom, 7 p.m. Agenda includes an update on the FY ‘22 budget, and votes on special and annual town meeting warrant articles.
Abington Summer Concerts Committee, Town Hall, 6:30 p.m. Agenda includes a discussion about the sign outside the Millennium Complex