WEEK AHEAD: Selectmen’s meeting preview; land auction; new police chief; charter review; cornhole tourney results; soccer camp

The town’s eyes will be on tonight’s meeting of the Board of Selectmen. Well, not really. Most eyes will be on a vacation spot fire pit, or the Olympics, or the American League-leading Red Sox. 

But the selectmen’s meeting could be interesting. Here’s why:

Chestnut Street land pulled from auction; but some have questions about others

Abington Treasurer/Collector Sonia Hodge confirmed to Abington News Monday morning that an 11-acre parcel off Chestnut Street has been pulled from the list of town-owned properties being auctioned off next month. Selectmen Chairman Kevin DiMarzio made the request last week citing a review of the parcel’s “geographic characteristics” and a desire to reconstitute the dormant Open Space Committee. The town’s Master Plan – which serves as a blueprint around how Abington should use and manage its land –  specifically encouraged preserving as much land on the northside of Chestnut Street as possible. A vocal group of environmentally-minded citizens may appear at tonight’s board meeting to advocate for the removal of additional parcels that they feel hold significant environmental value; specifically an 11-acre parcel located between Washington and Walnut streets, and a 27-acre plot off Rockland Street. The Chestnut, Rockland, and Washington street properties were all obtained through tax takings (the previous owners stopped paying property taxes) and under state law Hodge is authorized to auction those off without Board of Selectmen or Town Meeting approval. Hodge said the current list of properties set to be auctioned were put together with input from the previous Town Manager. Hodge said she’d be open to figuring out how to transfer the Chestnut Street property from her office’s control into some sort of conservation protection, if that’s the direction the town wants to move. 

Board meeting behind closed doors; could be discussing new police chief

The board’s agenda includes a discussion that will take place in executive session, or without the public present, “to conduct strategy session in preparations for negotiations with non-union personnel.” Sources tell Abington News that Town Manager Scott Lambiase has chosen a new Police Chief and this discussion is related to that. The new chief’s name is expected to be made public soon. Longtime Abington Police Chief David Majenski will retire August 31 under a separation deal struck with the town last year; he has been using accrued personal time for the past 12 months. Deputy Chief Chris Cutter has overseen day-to-day management of the department during that time.   

Volunteers needed/wanted

The Board of Selectmen and Town Moderator are again asking for volunteers to help run Abington. Selectmen are expected to revisit appointments to some committees after there was confusion during the appointment process at their last meeting. It wasn’t clear whether some committee members were looking to be reappointed, and whether they were full voting members or associate members. Town Moderator Shawn Reilly is also looking for volunteers for the Finance Committee as well as a Charter Review Committee. Two members of the Finance Committee are leaving that panel and need to be replaced. Reilly said it’s also nearing time to start the statutorily required review of the town charter. The Town Moderator is responsible for appointing members of both committees. 

Cornhole tourney raises $2,500 for veterans

The first annual cornhole tournament held yesterday at the Knights of Columbus drew 21 teams and raised $2,500, tournament organizer and Abington Veterans Agent Adam Gunn said. The money will be split evenly between the American Legion, VFW, Post 2, and the Abington Emergency Veterans’ Fund. Champions Jimmy Anderson, of Rockland, and Eli Solis, of Holbrook, donated $100 of their prize money back to the charity, Gunn said.

Studio Two – The Beatles Tribute plays the Abington Summer Concert Series Sunday

It will be Beatlemania on a Sunday night all over again this coming week. Studio Two – The Beatles Tribute, will play the Abington Summer Concert Series this Sunday, August 1, at the Nisby Bandstand. The concert is free to the public.  

Registration open for AYS summer soccer camp

Abington Youth Soccer will be hosting a 4-day soccer camp the week of August 16 on the high school turf fields. The camp runs from 8 a.m. until Noon, Monday through Thursday, and is open to anyone going into Grade K and up. Cost is $100. Parents can register their kids here.

MEETINGS

MONDAY

Board of Selectmen, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes an executive session to discuss contract negotiations, board and committee appointments, a call for members for the Finance Committee and Charter Review Committee, a one-day beer license for the annual Jeffrey Coombs race, and a report from Town Manager Scott Lambiase. . 

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