Editor’s note: The following is a brief summary of what the Foxborough Board of Selectmen discussed at Tuesday’s meeting. Additional coverage from Tuesday’s meeting will be published later.
It was revealed at Tuesday’s public hearing regarding transfer of all alcohol restaurant license from MJ Holding to D&N Corporation DBA Christina’s Fireside Grille and landlord Nicholas Panagopoulos that the function hall was in violation of more than 10 liquor license violations over the past 12 years under previous ownership of the license, according to Foxborough counsel Louis Cassis.
The violations of the liquor license include unauthorized change in ownership of the license without proper notification or approval by the Board of Selectmen and operating without a valid liquor license in the town of Foxborough as a result of the improper change in ownership.
It was noted that a previous owner – MJ Holding – is responsible for the liquor license violations and not Panagopoulos, who is currently seeking the license transfer from MJ Holding following the recent action change in ownership at Christina’s.
Members of the Board of Selectmen and Town Manager Kevin Paicos tried for over 40 minutes Tuesday to make sense of these liquor license issues surrounding the Route 1 function hall before ultimately agreeing to continue the public hearing to Aug. 7 at 7:20 p.m.
“I would suggest the selectmen take this under advisement and allow counsel to explore this a little deeper because frankly, I don’t see how the board can responsibly approve this transfer knowing there could be financial gain to a president of a corporation [MJ Holding], who acted in a fantastically irresponsible manner for over a decade,” said Paicos. “I don’t see how you can do it.”
Selectman Mark Sullivan suggested the town seize the liquor license from Christina’s as a result of the violations but Cassis said the town would need to provide proper notification and a public hearing in order to do that.
In addition to the liquor violations, the town is owed nearly $9,400 from MJ Holding for cost of police detail during events at Christina’s, according to town officials. Foxborough Police Chief Edward O’Leary is pursuing that payment in criminal court, according to Paicos.
Panagopoulos’ attorney, Dean Plaikus, noted his client has paid $20,000 in water bills and $84,000 in meals taxes owed by MJ Holding.
Paicos went on record to say Panagopoulos has been “fantastic” in working with the town to address outstanding payments.
Editor’s note: This story will be updated and expanded on Foxborough Patch Wednesday.
Paicos Talks Trash Pickup Changes with Local Vendor
Foxborough resident AJ Dooley of Dooley Disposal Services asked the Board of Selectmen if a resident would be contractually obligated to pay Russell Disposal – the town’s new vendor as of Aug. 1 – if the resident did not opt out of trash pickup with the town by the end of the month.
Paicos said he did not know if the resident would be liable for two payments if that resident chose a different vendor for trash pickup without informing the town.
The easy solution, according to Paicos, was for residents to do what they have been advised to do, which is call Town Hall and inform the town if they no longer wish to be picked up by the town vendor.
“If a resident doesn’t tell somebody, either the new town contractor, Russell Disposal, or the town that they no longer want that service then neither the vendor nor the town has anyway of knowing that they have chosen a new vendor, in which case that homeowner is going to get two bills,” Paicos said.
There were 3,800 people on the town vendor’s list for trash pickup at the time of Russell Disposal agreeing to become the new vendor on Aug. 1.
Click here to view frequently asked questions regarding the town’s change in trash vendor.
Selectmen Vote to Accept EPA Grant, Sign South Coast Rail Application and Talk Housing Plan
Town Planner Sharon Wason and members of the Foxborough Planning Board met with the Board of Selectmen Tuesday to discuss an EPA grant, an application for South Coast Rail grant and the town’s pending Housing Production Plan.
The Planning Board prepared and submitted an application to the EPA for a sustainable communities grant and Foxborough was one of five towns chosen, according to Wason.
“We proposed to have a parking workshop that looks at available parking and where there might be additional parking in the downtown," Wason said, who identified the library as an area the workshop will try to "identify solutions." ... “[The study] is going to look at our parking requirements and zoning.”
The board unanimously voted to accept the EPA grant.
Selectmen also unanimously voted to authorize DeVellis to sign the South Coast Rail grant application for funds to update the zoning of the downtown. The application is due July 31.
Wason also discussed the town’s proposed Housing Production Plan and recommended the selectmen adopt the state’s recommended housing plan for Foxborough. However, the selectmen opted to hold its vote until the Planning Board had reviewed, discussed and voted on the state housing plan. Wason said the Planning Board is expected to adopt the plan on Thursday night.
Selectmen Reject Open Meeting Law Remote Participation
The board unanimously opposed the Open Meeting Law Remote Participation after a report from selectman Virginia Coppola and discussion amongst board members. Selectmen agreed that there is greater value in being physically present at public meetings and attendance is part of the job. Selectmen had entertained the possibility of adopting remote participation using technology for members who were not able to physically attend meetings due to certain scheduling conflicts that arose.
Other Town Business
- The selectmen reviewed 29 goals and objectives for Paicos. Check Foxborough Patch for the complete list of goals and objectives Paicos has been tasked with.
- The board discussed the possibility of sitting in on collective bargaining sessions to observe town negotiations with police, fire, DPW and . Paicos said he was in favor of a member sitting in on each collective bargaining and would discuss the possibility further.
- Selectmen approved the meeting minutes for June 26, June 28 and July 10 meetings.
- Selectmen approved the Hockomock Area YMCA’s request to hold a 5K Road Race on Sunday, Sept. 23 from 9 a.m. to noon on condition of both the Foxborough Police and Fire Chiefs sign off on the race.
- Selectmen voted to appoint election workers to a one-year term expiring on Aug. 30, 2013.
- Selectmen voted to hold the Massachusetts State Primary election on Thursday, Sept. 6.