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Around Town: Recreation Board Member Resigns, Selectmen Schedule Business Opportunity Meeting with Invensys & More

The following town news and notes were compiled from the Jan. 22 Foxborough Board of Selectmen meeting.

Invensys, locally known as the Foxboro Company, is interested in meeting with the town’s Board of Selectmen to discuss future business opportunities with a community it has served for over 100 years.

Foxborough Board of Selectmen vice chair Mark Sullivan has been speaking with the company’s leaders about where the business is and what its future plans are in town. Invensys has agreed to attend to the Feb. 5 BOS meeting to share these discussions with the public and other board members.

Peter St. Laurent Resigns from Board of Foxborough Recreation

Foxborough’s Board of Selectmen accepted with regret the resignation of Peter St. Laurent from the Board of Foxborough Recreation.

St. Laurent’s letter cited work and family commitments as reasons for her resignation.

“I will send a letter to Peter on behalf of the board’s accepting of the letter,” Town Manager Kevin Paicos said. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with the Recreation Board on a number of things and Peter was an outstanding leader for them and has done an excellent job. He is going to be missed.”

DeVellis agreed.

“We accept with gratitude for his years of service,” DeVellis said. “He will be missed.”

Selectmen Hold Moment of Silence for Retired Employee

Foxborough’s Board of Selectmen held a moment of silence prior to Tuesday’s meeting for Barbara Germaine, a retired town employee and longtime resident who passed away on Jan. 9.

“Barbara was a very respected longtime resident of Foxborough,” Board of Selectmen chair James DeVellis said. “She was our elected collector and treasurer and appointed revenue officer for our town. Her elected and appointed service [was over] 23 years and she certainly left her mark on many people in town.

“The number of years and her dedication aside, Barbara was a key position in our town as our town transitioned our systems into the computer era. Barbara is fondly remembered as the person who took the time to work with people, listen to specific situations and when encountering a delicate situation regarding people that struggled in town she took it upon herself to find a way to make it work. People appreciated the skill of that dedication and compassion.”

The town lowered the Common’s flag to half-mast Saturday for Germaine’s services.

“That is something that is not done very often unless there is military significance,” DeVellis said. “When we asked our Veterans Officer Michael Johns if this could be done he said Barbara was in the hearts of many of the veterans in town and had personal relations [to news of her passing].”

Selectmen Officially Cancel March 4 Special Town Meeting

Selectmen voted to officially cancel March 4 Special Town Meeting for the regional sewer project because Mansfield and Norton will not be ready to vote on the IMA until May.

“The reason for the special [town meeting] was the regional sewer project,” Paicos said. “Mansfield was unable to get a quorum in the fall. Both Mansfield and Norton have opted not to try special town meetings in the spring. Word of that came last week. This gives us time to go to the annual town meeting, which is better because it gives us an opportunity to communicate the finance plan to the public. It allows a more orderly process moving forward.”

Tri-Town Chamber to Hold Informational Meeting Regarding Sewer Expansion

DeVellis informed the board that the Tri-Town Chamber of Commerce in Mansfield, which also represents local business in Foxborough and Norton, will be holding an information session on Thursday at 8 a.m. at the Chamber’s main office in Mansfield.

“They want to assist us in the sewer expansion of the tri-town partnership that we are trying to do,” DeVellis said. “If you are available, it is a good opportunity to sit with businesses. There will be a presentation that will hopefully get us all on the same page.”

Let the Process of the Town Common Electronic Sign Proposal Run its Course

DeVellis acknowledged there has been a lot of reaction and discussion regarding the recent proposal by DPW director Roger Hill and the Foxborough Lions Club for electronic signs on Foxborough’s Town Common.

“[The proposal] was presented as a concept,” DeVellis said. “The Historic Commission is going to be meeting to discuss it on Monday [Feb. 4] and then we have it on the agenda for the following Tuesday, I think it is Feb. 5.”

DeVellis asked everyone to let the proposal go through the process.

“I know there are a lot of opinions out there but let’s just let it run the process,” DeVellis said. “We gave our opinion. It may come back as the same proposal, it may come back different or it many not come back at all. Bare with us, that’s the process and I think it is a good process.”

Selectmen to Meet with Sheehan Victims

DeVellis told the board he has been contacted by victims of the sexual abuse allegations against former town resident and youth leader William E. Sheehan Jr. for an update on the town’s progress regarding the investigation.

“The concern [from the victims] is it has been kind of silent again from the town,” DeVellis said. “We’ve been wrapped up in a lot of different issues on the Board of Selectmen’s table but I wanted to assure them that I am speaking frequently with our police chief and I think what the status is right now is we are going through round two [of the investigation]. The tree has been shaken a bit with all the press and people may be more comfortable to speak.”

DeVellis said the investigation is still going forward and the town is in contact with District Attorney Michael Morrissey’s office.

“Mark [Sullivan] and I were invited to sit in on a session later in the week with the victims and we graciously said, ‘yes’ to hear it first hand and let them know we are still working on it,” DeVellis said.

In addition to the investigation, DeVellis said the town has established a new policy for town employees to follow when reporting sexual abuse in the community.

“Just after the New Year, the Board of Selectmen, in cooperation with Kevin Paicos drafted up a town policy, which we did not have before in cooperation with the police chief and district attorney,” DeVellis said. … “We are implementing a town-wide policy for town employees that takes the grey out of who, when and how things are reported. It wasn’t in effect before. I know it is in effect within our school system but not with our regular Town Hall employees. We are taking it seriously.”

Miscellaneous Action Items

  • Selectmen approved Jan. 8 meeting minutes
  • Selectmen issued taxicab license for one taxi vehicle to Hussein M. Shuman on Time Taxi Service of Foxborough
  • Board of Selectmen voted to petition the General Court to amend Chapter 5 of the Acts of 2004, an act providing for a selectmen – Town Manager form of government in the town of Foxborough, in accordance with the vote on Article 8 of the Dec. 11, 2012 Special Town Meeting
  • Selectmen approved the application for Reach the Beach Relay race on May 17-18. Both Foxborough Police Chief Edward O’Leary and Fire Chief Roger Hatfield approved the race route. There will be no road closures for the race.  
Steve January 23, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Jeremie, Nothing about how some town officials want to sell off parcels of land on Oak Street? This land was voted on to be bought and preserved for open space specifically because there was so much development, and now , because of a technicality, our town manager is having our town counsel trying to figure out a way in which this land can be sold to a developer?!?!?!?! Please don’t under estimate this story, people are really going to be angry when they find out what our tax dollars are being spent on in regard to this land. Mr. Paicos said that there would have to be a compromise “to do what is in the best interest of the town”. Well Mr. Paicos the town voted 40 years ago that it WAS in our best interest to preserve this land. We were right then and we still believe this to be true. Maybe it is he, that should compromise and propose a new town hall that is within our means!!!!
Jeremie Smith January 23, 2013 at 03:50 PM
Hi Steve, Thank you for the comment. There's still plenty of notes I'm going through from Tuesday's meeting as it lasted over 3 hours. I will be reporting on the issue you have stated above as well as Waxy O'Connor's suspended liquor license, breathalyzer grant, fire department fees, BOS fees, gaming proposal review committee, etc. This article was meant to get some of the news briefs and quick-hit info from Tuesday's meeting out while I work on the lengthier pieces. Thank you, Jeremie
Steve January 23, 2013 at 04:07 PM
I didn't think you would skip this story. I think with the light of the media on this certain things will not be done or people will be outraged.

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