TOWN HALL LIVE: Updates from the 8/9 selectmen’s meeting

Live coverage of the August 9th Board of Selectmen’s meeting. We will update as much as possible.

Student vaccination clinic scheduled for Aug. 25

The Abington Board of Health, Abington Health Department, and Abington Public Schools will be holding a vaccination clinic for students 12+ on Wednesday, August 25, from 11 a.m. to 3 pm. The clinic will be held in the High School gymnasium and is voluntary. Those interested must pre-register through the Health Department website. Parents/guardians must be present during the vaccination. The second dose clinic will be given Sept. 9 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Fireworks, family event planned for Sept. 18; Coombs 5K on Sept. 19

Abington Celebrates are bringing back fireworks on Saturday, Sept. 18 as part of a special afternoon and evening of events in conjunction with the Jeff Coombs Final Memorial 5K. The road race, which has been held annually for the past 20 years in memory of Jeff Coombs who was killed in the 9/11 attacks, is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 19. The day before, Abington Celebrates will host a family event at Memorial Field from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., featuring food, children’s games, and other activities. The American Legion will be hosting a beer tent and serving food. The evening will end with a fireworks display. Abington Celebrates had started hosting an annual fireworks display around Founder’s Day Weekend in June, but was not able to secure final details in time this past June.

License approvals

The Board of Selectmen, which serves as Abington’s licensing board, approved the following licenses:

  • A common victualer license for Malissa LaPointe, who will be opening a breakfast/lunch place at 171 Brockton Avenue
  • A limousine license for Samira Guermoudi to operate Encore Limousine, which she described as a higher-end limousine service, at 96 Central Street
  • A one-day liquor license for the Abington Lions for a special event on August 31, at the Senior Center
  • Extended the outdoor entertainment license for Timber Lanes through September

Land auction on as scheduled

Tomorrow’s land auction is on. Selectmen rejected requests from residents to cancel the auction, or to remove a number of parcels. Selectman Alex Hagerty made a motion to remove parcels on Rockland Street, Oakland Street and Washington Street from the auction block, but it was not seconded by another selectman, defeating the effort.

Opponents spoke for nearly an hour making their cases for why the auction should either be postponed or certain parcels removed.

“I question whoever could walk this land and tell me it shouldn’t be earmarked for conservation,” said Aaron Parsons, a Hancock Street resident.

Dan Brielmann, one of the group’s organizers, asked why the auction has to happen today.

“We’re asking you to stop this auction because people found out about this auction a month ago,” he said. “Stop this auction we’re begging ya.”

“Why can’t we keep the properties we already own?” asked Jean Matiyosus. “There’s a 27-acre tract that would be a beautiful town forest. Rockland has a town forest. Whitman has a town forest.”

Selectmen past and present took time to explain the multi-year process leading up to the auction. Ken Coyle, who was a selectmen when Surplus Land Committee was created in 2015 and served on the committee, went through a timeline of the work, including letters sent to multiple boards, such as the Conservation Commission, asking for their thoughts on which parcels should be preserved and which could be auctioned off.

“I don’t want people to think we did this in a vaccuum,” he said. “We asked other boards for their input and we didn’t receive much.”

Some of the conversation revolved around the difficulty getting information flowing from Town Hall to residents, as well as low voter involvement in the public committee meeting process as well as Town Meeting.

Selectman Alex Bezanson said every decision over the past six years has been made during a public session – it’s just that nobody attended the meetings.

“None of this has been done behind the scenes,” he said.

Selectmen Chairman Kevin DiMarzio and Town Manager Scott Lambiase both said efforts are being made to improve communication and outreach.

The auction starts today (Tuesday) at noon at the Senior Center.

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