HANSON — The Board of Selectmen is seeking three Hanson residents to serve as at-large members of the Maquan School Transition Committee. Those interested in helping determine the future of the elementary school building, being closed as a school and returned to the town at the end of the 2017-18 school year should apply to the Selectmen’s office as soon as possible.
Town Administrator Michael McCue told the board on July 11 he has been in contact with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ruth Gilbert-Whitner as well as School Committee Chairman Bob Hayes to appoint a Hanson representative to the committee.
While the School Committee is not scheduled to meet in July, Hayes said he will reach out to Hanson members to determine who is willing to serve on the panel.
“They’ve also indicated that members of staff, as needed, will be made available to us as we go forward,” McCue said.
Selectmen Laura FitzGerald-Kemmett, who has been selected to represent the Hanson Board of Selectmen on the Maquan Committee, also noted that a “litany” of other residents have also been mentioned as possibly being asked to serve the committee in an advisory capacity.
FitzGerald-Kemmett said she wants to see the committee in place and ready to go to work by late August or early September at the latest.
“I don’t want to get dramatic about this, but it is a rather large-scale project and it’s a lot to look at in a fairly condensed timeline,” she said. “The number of people impacted [is large and there is] the anxiety level around it for a lot of people with little people that want to know what’s going on — the schools will obviously handle a lot of communication with folks around the physical transition of their little guys. But I would like to get our conversations going just about as soon as we hear from the school Committee on who they’ve got.”
McCue said he shared that concern and noted that the only difficulty would be in attracting the at-large members from town.
McCue is also aiming to convene a workshop meeting of some of the members of the Memorial Field Trustees, the Thomas Mill Committee, the Parks and Fields Committee and the Recreation Commission regarding committee consolidation as soon as he can arrange a date that works for all parties, preferably in early August.
“What we’re trying to do is look at efficient use of limited resources and take a fresh look at whether [some of] these committees are needed or whether they’re a little redundant and maybe another committee can pick up a few tasks without being unduly burdened,” FitzGerald-Kemmett said.
Selectmen also devoted more discussion to their goals for the year as Selectman James Hickey noted his wish to stress conclusion of the situation at the former Plymouth County Hospital site, perhaps citing a solar panel installation either there or at the transfer station as well as finding a location for a cell tower in town.
“Cell phone reception in Hanson is the worst,” he said.
FitzGerald-Kemmett and McGahan have already submitted lists to McCue.
“I want to make sure each member of the Board of Selectmen knows that I certainly want to welcome any items — any other input,” McCue said. “My hope is that, at the next meeting, I would have a formalized list I could present to the selectmen and we could all come to an agreement that this is what the board as a whole wishes to move forward on.”
McCue also noted that the state has given little guidance on the subject of marijuana bylaws, adding “we need to get in line so that we have some sort of bylaws on the books in October [when the special Town Meeting is the town’s next bite at the apple] in terms of regulating retail marijuana.”
He has already begun discussing the issue with the town planner and health agent, but noted Selectmen should also be involved and added that the current recommendation include with the present overlay district for medical marijuana — in a section of the industrial park toward East Bridgewater — a location for any retail establishment.
He cautioned, however, against bylaw that would contradict the state “once they get their act together.”