The curtain opens on another chapter of the Saga of Dale Street Monday night. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say a previous chapter is being re-written?
The four members of the Conservation Commission that were removed/disciplined last month following the walk through of a Dale Street property will be back before the Board of Selectmen for a do-over.
One of the four – it’s not clear who – protested the hearing process, particularly the lack of advance notice. Town Manager Scott Lambiase said town attorneys believe the hearing was handled appropriately, but that they should do the process over to be safe, this time giving the four members involved more advance notice, and the option to have their hearing in executive session.
[UPDATE: The town’s attorney, during Monday night’s meeting, said the previous hearing was actually not held properly under the Abington Town Charter; that the committee members should have been notified directly, not just via a board agenda.]
Selectmen Monday night are expected to vote to rescind their earlier vote and then hold a second disciplinary hearing behind closed doors.
A quick recap for those interested: Richard Montgomery in July asked the Planning Board for permission to consolidate his 16-acre property off Dale Street from seven lots to two. However, doing so would place the house currently on the property on a different lot than its driveway, which is a problem. Finding a solution for this brought Montgomery before the Conservation Commission as the Shumatuscacant River runs between the house and Dale Street. Four commission members – Jim Dombrowski, Karen Bowen, Joanne Demack-Harding, and Lynne Mullen – walked the site one day in August. Bowen said Montgomery had verbally given them an open invitation to visit his property. Montgomery said in a complaint to the Town Manager that they didn’t have permission. He also said that Dombrowski at one point hit the back of his hand in a “slap of the wrist” type of action, and he felt harassed and intimidated by the group. During a Selectmen’s meeting on August 23, the group agreed that Dombrowski did hit Montgomery but strongly disagreed with the rest of his characterizations. Selectmen in a 3-2 vote removed Dombrowski, Bowen, and Demack-Harding from the commission, and suspended Mullen for 15 days. Whew.
Meanwhile, the Conservation Commission has moved forward with their deliberations on the Dale Street project. Their agenda for their meeting Tuesday night features a discussion on the order of conditions for the work. Montgomery is expected to be back before the Planning Board, where this all started, next week.
Schultz resigns from Board of Health
Chris Schultz, who took over as Board of Health Chairman weeks before a global pandemic broke out, has resigned to take a position as Assistant Health Coordinator within the Abington Health Department. “This provides me with the opportunity to take a much more hands-on approach in safeguarding public health. I look forward to serving Abington [in] this new role,” Schultz wrote in a Facebook post last week. Schultz was elected to a second three-year term this past April. The Board of Health and Board of Selectmen will hold a joint meeting in the near future to appoint someone to fill the remainder of Schultz’s term. Aaron Christian took over as the board’s chairman earlier this year.
Selectmen will consider deal with 5th retail pot shop
One other interesting nugget on the Board of Selectmen’s agenda: a fifth company is apparently interested in opening a retail marijuana operation in Abington. The board is expected to discuss and possibly vote on a community host agreement with Bean Collective, LLC, which is looking to open a shop at 1431 Bedford Street, the current home of South Shore Terminal. Under a change to town zoning bylaws approved last year, the number of retail cannabis shops allowed in town is 50 percent the number of liquor stores. There are nine full-service packies in Abington, which means the town can permit five retail cannabis shops. Bud’s Goods & Provisions, at 1540 Bedford Street, is the only one currently open. Green Harbor Dispensary 1410 Bedford Street has received all town permits but has not yet started construction. The Planning Board is currently hearing a plan by Natural Agriculture, LLC, for a retail, manufacturing, and cultivation operation at 1437 Bedford Street. NashMac, LLC, is expected to soon file plans for a retail, manufacturing, and cultivation operation at 678 Adams Street.
Hall of Fame ceremony scheduled for Nov. 21
The 2020 Abington High School Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021 at 1 p.m. at the Abington Middle/High School Auditorium. Scheduled to be inducted are: The 2002 Abington High School Football Team, Joseph D’Antonio, Jr. (AHS ‘86), Cecilia (Bombardier) Akins (AHS ‘84), Richard “Dick” Wight (AHS ‘78), Robert “Bob” Bancroft (AHS ’66), Charles “Lindy” Hanson (AHS ’45). Tickets to the induction ceremony and reception are $25. Contact Shawn Reilly at 781-690-3185 or Eileen Walls at 781-985-6123 for more information.
Abington student/athletes honored
Jackie Earner and Eddie Reilly are this year’s class recipients of the Arnold Trophy, which is awarded to two students for their outstanding achievements in athletics, academics and sportsmanship. Earner is a standout on the cross-country, indoor track, and outdoor track team, and a member of the National Honor Society. Reilly is the captain of the football and baseball teams, and is a member of the National Honor Society. Earner and Reilly were both honored at halftime of Friday night’s football game.
School committee meets Tuesday night at police station
In case you missed it, there’s been a change in venue for Tuesday night’s School Committee meeting. It will be at the police station.
[Disclosure: the author of this article has not worn a mask while attending meetings in town hall where masks are not required, and worn a mask while attending meetings in the middle/high school, where they are required. He regrets his actions.]
Boosters door to door drive on Sunday
Green Wave athletes will be going door-to-door this weekend in their annual fundraising drive for the high school boosters. They will be out and about this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Donations can also be made by going to greenwaveboosters.org
Board of Selectmen, 6 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes discussion about Conservation Commission members, a proposed marijuana shop at 1431 Bedford Street, an update from Veterans Services Director Adam Gunn.
Conservation Commission, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes projects at 75 Dale Street and 380 Brockton Avenue.
School Committee, 7 p.m., Police Station. Agenda includes a public comment period, unfinished business, and reports from the superintendent, athletic director, director of curriculum, director of student services, and assistant superintendent.
Abington/ Rockland Joint Water Works, 3:30 p.m., 366 Centre Avenue, Rockland. Agenda includes a public forum, a commissioner’s forum, and a report from the superintendent.
Charter Review Commission, 6 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes a review of the town’s charter and charters from other towns, and a discussion about public outreach going forward.