At last week’s Select Board meeting, Chair Jennifer Constable said she wasn’t going to ask for a moment of silence following the recent tragedy in Uvalde, Texas.
Rather, she said, “It’s time to take action,” and asked fellow board members for their “thoughts and prayers” for the victims’communities and families, “who probably suffered the worst day of their lives” on the day the shootings occurred.
“These types of incidents have become far too routine, and moving beyond moments of silence, action is needed across the country and locally,” Constable said. “It’s terrible for children to be afraid to go to school.”
While she did not offer specifics, Constable asked the board to acknowledge “that we need to do what we can do to start moving the needle on gun violence and racism – it all starts locally” – and to commit to working with the Hull No Place For Hate Committee, Hull Public Schools, and others who come forward to join the effort. The board unanimously agreed.
The Select Board welcomed newly-elected board member Irwin Nesoff and elected Jennifer Constable as the chair for a second year, Donna Pursel as vice chair, and Nesoff as clerk during the traditional reorganization that follows every town election.
In other business:
* The majority of the board approved the request of Local 02045 Manager Lisa Powers to amend the establishment’s common victualler, seasonal all-alcoholic, and entertainment licenses to allow operating the second-floor of the building at 2 A St. as a restaurant.
Nesoff voted against the proposed change because of concerns with the 1 a.m. closing time and potential negative impacts on neighbors – when customers start their cars at that late hour or stand around outside talking. That said, Powers explained that the restaurant usually wraps up business by 11 p.m. on weekdays. Constable recused herself from the discussion.
“We really have over the years listened to and cooperated with every request of our neighbors,” Powers said.
The board’s decision came on the heels of the planning board’s unanimous approval on May 18 of the use of the second floor for this purpose and to modify parking operations and logistics within existing parking areas – whereas under earlier permitting, the second floor was restricted to private functions.
Pursel noted that the town is committed to increasing traffic safety in this and other parts of town.
“Most people who live in Hull echo the same message: ‘This is a magical place to live, which can be attributed to the residents and businesses alike who invest in our community,’” she said.
Pursel further noted that Hull Police Chief John Dunn has indicated that the parking situation at 02045 “is trending in a new [positive] direction. Is anything ever going to be perfect? No,” she said.
* The board reviewed the final version of the town’s home rule petition requesting five additional liquor licenses, in accordance with an earlier town meeting vote.
“The purpose of this request is to increase opportunities for economic development on the front beach part of town,” Town Manager Philip Lemnios said. The board will vote on the final version to be submitted for legislative approval after Town Counsel James Lampke seeks answers to questions posed by board members.
“There are currently no more liquor licenses to issue,” Constable explained.
If approved, the new licenses would be limited to use in the Nantasket Beach Overlay District, with one reserved for a hotel. The Select Board would have three years to issue the licenses.
The NBOD is located on the easterly and southeasterly parcels along Nantasket Avenue and Hull Shore Drive, from the northerly boundary of Phipps Street and the southerly boundaries of Rockland Circle, Park Avenue, and the intersection of Rockland House Road and Atlantic Avenue.
A concern is that once issued, the licensee would not be allowed to sell or transfer the license to another business owner. Rather, the licensee would be required to surrender the license to the Select Board.
Lemnios said these limitations “complicate the whole business model” for the NBOD. At the same time, he noted, the town’s request for five additional licenses represents a roughly 33 percent increase over the town’s current quota of liquor licenses.
* Lampke’s request to be reappointed as Hull’s town counsel was unanimously approved by the board. This is an annual appointment.
In his letter to the board requesting reappointment, Lampke wrote in part, “My serving as Town Counsel is no passing interest to me. Being Hull Town Counsel has been my primary professional activity. I have worked hard to stay abreast of the developments and changes in this field of law and in public administration. Over the years, I have participated in numerous professional and educational programs and municipal activities as both a speaker, contributor of material, planner, and attendee. I have also achieved the designation of a Local Government Fellow under the auspices of the International Municipal Lawyers Association. The information learned and the contacts made have, I feel, greatly benefited the town.”
Lampke said he values the opportunity “to continue to serve my hometown and remain committed to doing the best for our community. Therefore, I respectfully request your favorable consideration on my re-appointment as Town Counsel. I am truly honored to serve.”
Board member Domenico Sestito called Lampke “the ultimate public servant with a love for the town.”
Lemnios, who has worked with Lampke for more than 20 years, said Hull is a better place to live and work because of his service.