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Select Board Dissolves Zoning Bylaw, Athletics Field, Public Events and Celebration Committees

The Select Board met last night without members Jay Kelly or James Mackey.

The meeting opened with a demonstration by the TMHS Robotics Team. Coach Scott Morris said each member of the Tewksbury Titans 1474 spends about 30 hours per week building the robot, which must meet specific criteria. The challenge for this year’s league events was to pick up large balls, drive them to a line and take a shot at four- and eight-foot high goals. The Titans ranked high enough to go to the state championship and won a judge’s award at an event last weekend at WPI.

“This program has been at the high school for 18 years,” said Morris. The current robot took well over 1,000 hours to build. The club looks to raise about $25,000 annually from community members and corporate sponsors. Anyone who wishes to donate money or materials can contact the team at frcteam1474@gmail.com.

Above l-r: Victor Impink, Jared Woodman, Renuka Late, William Mullins, Todd Johnson, Jayne Wellman, David Penney, Mark Kratman, Scott Morris. Photo credit: Rosalyn Impink

The Select Board approved a slate of about 40 committee reappointments, most through June 30, 2023. Chair Todd Johnson also announced Select Board committee appointments:

Todd Johnson: General Bylaws Committee
Jay Kelly: Community Preservation Committee, Taxation Aid Committee
Mark Kratman: Lowell Regional Transit Rep, North St. & Trahan Reuse Committee
James Mackey: Economic Development Committee
Jayne Wellman: NMCOG, Beautification Committee, Diversity Equity & Inclusion Advisory Committee

Johnson also announced that the Zoning Bylaw and Tewksbury Athletic Fields committees are permanently dissolved.

Town Planner Alexandra Lowder spoke on behalf of the Public Events and Celebration Committee, which she chairs. Lowder pointed out that the two annual events organized by the group, the Fall Harvest Festival and the Tree Lighting, have grown so popular and complex to arrange that they should now be planned and executed by a staff member.

“I along with my fellow committee members here tonight respectfully request that the Public Events and Celebrations Committee be dissolved and the mission and responsibilities of the Committee be absorbed into the community development department,” said Louwder. “I would be the staff contact for the events in town and continue to involve residents in the planning and execution of these events.”

The Board voted unanimously to disband the three committees.

Johnson noted that residents re-appointed to committees must be sworn in and should have been contacted by the town clerk.

The board discussed four liquor license violations resulting from an April 7 Tewksbury Police Department underage alcohol compliance operation. 

AJ’s Beer & Wine, Oakdale One-Stop Liquors, Main St. Liquors and Lincoln Liquors were cited and must appear before the Select Board on June 28 for show cause hearings. 

Montuori said Main St. Liquors failed a subsequent, second underage compliance check. Town counsel and TPD chief Ryan Columbus will be on hand for the hearings.

“I want to wish everybody Happy Pride Month,” said Wellman in Committee reports. “And I want to note that the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee will be in attendance at the Community Market with the Front-Line Initiative on June 23 and June 30, with swag.”

Finally, Johnson reminded residents that yesterday was the 78th anniversary of D-Day.

“As veterans of World War II are sadly passing away, we’re losing sight of the enormity of that event,” he said. “I just wanted to take a pause and remember with gratitude the many men and women who served our country in that time period, and most importantly, those who laid down their lives so that we can enjoy what we do every day here in the US of A.”

Lorna is a 25-year resident of Tewksbury who has written for organizations ranging from the DIA to InformationWeek to a free weekly in New London that sent her to interview the pastry chef at Foxwoods.

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