New members, new roles on Hudson Board of Selectmen
By David Fassler
Hudson – Reorganizing for the new political year, the Board of Selectmen unanimously elected Selectman James Vereault as Chair, Santino Parente as Vice Chair, and newly-elected member Christopher Yates as Clerk at its May 16 meeting.
Laura Elsheimer, a Hudson resident and the owner of Sunshine Taxi, met with the board regarding damage that has occurred on her 40 Grove Street property. Big trucks negotiating the turns on Summer Street, Grove Street, and Forest Avenue have caused repeated damage to her fence and property, Elsheimer said. She showed the board photos and police reports as evidence of her claims.
Elsheimer requested that the board limit the size of vehicles moving through the roadways in question. The town's Executive Assistant Paul Blazar recommended referring the matter to the traffic committee that will be meeting May 27.
Elsheimer also addressed the board on behalf of license requests for several prospective drivers who are seeking employment with Sunshine Taxi. Citing a lack of Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI), the board voted three to two against issuing a Hackney License for Nathan C. Foster. The board approved a Hackney's license for Michael Fox. The license request for Chassan H. Fahad was withdrawn.
In other business, the board approved the appointment of seven seasonal employees to the Public Works Department and the Recreation Department at a rate of $10 per hour. They also designated members of the Hudson Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) as Special Municipal Employees. This move would allow members of the ZBA to speak in their official capacity on matters other than official ZBA business. Blazar explained that such designations are common in municipal government and the new designation would allow members of the board to offer their expertise without the appearance of a conflict of interest.
“Peter Pistorino has a unique combination of experience and background to see facts on the ground opposed to architects and engineers who see things on paper,” Selectman Vereault said of the proposed appointment of Pistorino as a part-time employee for the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Middle School Building Committee. Vereault cited that Pistorino had already saved the project $1 million in costs that others had missed.
There was some concern cited among the board of a possible conflict due to Pistorino's pending retirement as Director of Facilities for the Hudson school district.
“We are in the design phase of the project where we need his expertise and tenacity,” School Committee member Tammy Ducey said.
“I think [School Superintendent Kevin Lyons] would be much more comfortable to know that Mr. Pistorino is on board,” said Yates.
After concluding there was no conflict with the pending retirement and new appointment, the board approved Pistorino's appointment, with only Selectman Charles McGourty voting in opposition.
A discussion regarding a recently commissioned road repair analysis drew exasperation from board members. The report had indicated that the cost would be $400 per household, per year.
“If a $17 a year [per household] proposal was voted down at the town meeting for a new Department of Public Works building,” Parente said, “there is no way voters are going to approve a $400 a year road repair override.”
The report concluded repairing Hudson's streets would cost $25.2 million with an annual cost of $4 million and the majority of the money would be coming from a Proposition 2 ½ override. Such an override would be twice that of the JFK Middle School project.
The board also approved a Second Hand Merchandise Dealer License to Michael Kurb doing business as Pennywise at 42 Washington Street.
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