EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 7, 2013

Selectmen setto review Town Meeting warrant

By Douglas Moser

---- — NORTH ANDOVER — The Board of Selectmen will review a warrant of articles tonight that members said was low key.

There currently are 34 articles on the warrant, including regulations and zoning for medical marijuana facilities, zoning changes to allow keeping backyard hens, licensing food trucks and budget issues.

“It seems like it’s a normal warrant. It’s a lot shorter than it has been in years past,” said Selectman Don Stewart. “Things are running so smooth.”

“It’s not a real controversial year,” said Selectman Rosemary Smedile.

The board received the articles last week and will discuss them at tonight’s board meeting at 7 at Town Hall on Main Street.

Board Chairman William Gordon said the capital improvement plan would be one of the more important discussions. Town Manager Andrew Maylor also would give a presentation on energy service companies and the town’s future involvement with programs to save energy by upgrading buildings and fixtures.

Among the articles is one to regulate medical marijuana facilities. Several selectmen said they have not seen any proposal for regulations yet, but want to discuss the right move for the town.

“The long and the short of it is the people have spoken so communities need to plan,” Smedile said.

Voters in November approved allowing marijuana to be prescribed for certain debilitating ailments and set a limit of 35 nonprofit marijuana dispensaries across the state, with at least one and at most five per county. Attorney General Martha Coakley ruled in March, saying cities and towns cannot prohibit dispensaries.

A citizen’s petition article to allow backyard hens is on the warrant, along with a separate article to license food trucks in town. Once the selectmen finalize and close the warrant, likely to happen at the April 22 meeting, a unanimous vote is required to reopen and add an article.

Town Meeting is scheduled for May 21 at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

“The results of the audit are alarming and unacceptable,” O’Connor Ives wrote in her April 1 letter to Weber. “They indicate a dereliction of duty on the part of EEC, an agency charged with protecting the safety of children in early education and care programs.”

Hart said Friday that the department has moved to address the concerns Bump raised in her report.

“We’re moving forward to strengthen the safety protocols and make sure we’re as tight as we can be,” Hart said.

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