Foxborough's Board of Selectmen took a moment before Tuesday's meeting to reflect and pray for those affected by the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. that took the lives of 26 people, including 20 children.
"There is absolutely nothing I can say that I’m sure you haven’t thought of," said Foxborough Board of Selectmen chair James DeVellis regarding the school shooting in Connecticut. "I think the only appropriate thing I would like to do is have a moment of prayer and thoughts for the victims over at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut."
Selectmen Recognize Foxborough Animal Control Officer for Outstanding Achievement
The board presented Foxborough Animal Control officer Sue Thibedeau with an official citation to recognize her for her outstanding achievements.
Thibedeau was named Massachusetts' Animal Control Officer of the Year for her work in the town of Foxborough. Selectmen clerk Lorraine Brue read the following citation to Thibedeau at Tuesday's meeting:
We, the Foxborough Board of Selectmen, would like to extend our sincere congratulations to Sue Thibedeau, Foxborough’s Animal Control officer, on being named Animal Control Officer of the Year in Massachusetts.
This award was established to honor a professional whose efforts throughout the year have promoted responsible pet ownership and the award was presented to Sue by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Animal Rescue League of Boston.
As Animal Control Officer for the town of Foxborough, Sue has worked to increase the dog-licensing rate; she has set up a shelter for family pets to be housed during weather emergencies; she has hosted a large animal rescue class and has organized an event to educate the community about coyotes. She also works on a volunteer basis for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, where she raises Labrador retriever puppies to become guide dogs.
The Board of Selectmen is proud to acknowledge the efforts of Sue Thibedeau on behalf of pet owners and the animal population in the town of Foxborough and recognize her achievement in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as Animal Control Officer of the Year.
Sullivan Thanks Town for Support After Threat from Casino Supporter
Foxborough Board of Selectmen vice chair Mark Sullivan expressed appreciation to the town for its support as he and his family dealt with a threat from a resident over his opposition of a casino in Foxborough.
"It’s pretty much public knowledge that what my family and I have had to go through with a citizen being a little threatening towards us and having to be involved in the court system for coming on a year now," Sullivan said.
Foxborough resident Michael Viscardi admitted to threatening Sullivan over the selectman's vote opposing a Foxborough casino and recently pleaded guilty to violating a harassment prevention order issued by Wrentham District Court.
"I want to thank the town for the support it has given me and my family," Sullivan said. "The board has given me their support. The Town Manager and his staff and the public safety personnel, Chief O’Leary and his people really worked hard. It is not just me, they protect this whole town and it is an outstanding group of public safety [personnel] we have. It is extremely appreciated and I am forever indebted."
Public Hearing for Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift Concerts at Gillette Stadium Continued to Jan. 15, 2013
Selectmen continued the public hearings for both the proposed Kenny Chesney concerts in August and the Taylor Swift concerts in July at Gillette Stadium at the request of Gillette Stadium representatives.
"They had asked us to continue [these hearings] to the next meeting while they work out some details," said DeVellis.
The selectmen meet next on Jan. 8, 2013 but a liquor license violation hearing with Waxy O'Connor's is scheduled that night and Town Manager Kevin Paicos expects that to last "several hours."
Paicos suggested selectmen continue the public hearings to Jan. 15, 2013 and extend an invitation to the Gillette Stadium Advisory Committee as well as the Walpole Board of Selectmen for the Kenny Chesney concert hearing.
"Walpole selectmen have called and asked that they be allowed to meet with you and express their concerns," Paicos said.
The Kenny Chesney hearing is expected to be held at 7 p.m. in the Andrew Gala Meeting Room of Town Hall. The Taylor Swift hearing will follow at 7:30 p.m.
Thoughts from Town Meeting
DeVellis thanked those who attended last week's Special Town Meeting and those who worked to organize it.
"[Thank you to the] Town Clerk’s office and Town Hall [staff] and as usual, thanks to the Advisory Committee, who spent a lot of time reviewing and making recommendations to many articles," DeVellis said.
DeVellis said he would like to review ways to improve Town Meeting process as Foxborough readies for another Special Town Meeting in March to vote on Foxborough's involvement in municipal sewer with Mansfield, Norton and possibly Easton.
"We are getting finished with one and we are going to be starting another one," DeVellis said of Town Meeting. "Not specifically related to this Town Meeting, but I have been in correspondence with our Town Moderator, Frank Spillane. I was going to reach out to Larry [Thomas] of the Advisory Committee and someone from the Planning Board to meet with Frank and talk about things that selectmen, advisory committee and planning board with zoning articles can do better."
DeVellis said improvements can be as simple as coordinating who makes prints of documents, who is replacing paper and buying toner to who is bringing the Town Warrant articles forward and in what order they are presented in.
Shout Out to Foxboro Jaycees and Volunteers During the Holidays
DeVellis thanked the Foxboro Jaycees and volunteers who decorated the Foxborough Common for the holidays this year and reminded the community the town's annual Caroling on the Common will be held Thursday at 7 p.m.
"If anyone is around it is nice to bring the families and participate," said DeVellis.
A Look Ahead
DeVellis previewed a few topics that will be discussed at future selectmen meeting.
"Selectmen have asked for an update from the asset review committee to take a look at which properties the town has and what positions there are of these properties being sold," DeVellis said.
Brue is expected to report those findings to selectmen at the Jan. 8, 2013 meeting.
Selectmen Approve the Following Action Items
Selectmen voted in favor of the following action items on the Dec. 18 agenda:
- Approved meeting minutes from Nov. 27 and Dec. 4
- Approved Boyden Library Director Jerry Cirillo's request to accept a donation of $200 from Martin J. Dambekaln in memory of Shirley DeLisle to the Library Gift Fund.
- Approved Veterans Service Officer Michael Johns request to accept a $100 donation from Joanne Pratt to the Veterans Gift Fund.
- Approved Veterans Service Officer Michael Johns request to accept a $400 donation from the American Legion to the Veterans Gift Fund.
- Approved Bill Cunningham’s request for four one-day beer and wine licenses for Dec. 26, 27, 28 and 31 at the Orpheum Theatre.
- Approved Nicholas Panagopoulos of Demetri’s request for early opening on Sunday, Dec. 30 for the New England Patriots home game against the Miami Dolphins. Kick-off is 1 p.m. and Demetri’s will open at 11 a.m.
- Approved Nicholas Panagopoulos of Demetri’s request for a later closing time at Demetri’s on New Year’s Eve. The establishment will close at 2 a.m. but last call will remain at 12:30 a.m. with drinks off the table at 12:45 a.m.