Temple Beth Shalom will resume the tradition of offering parking for beachgoers and others this year, after a hiatus in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Fifty spaces will be available for a fee.
The Select Board granted permission this week, but not without some debate. Temple president Patrick Guiney was on the call. “After closing the lot off last year, we’d like to open it up again this year and make some money,” he told the board.
The vote was 3-1 in favor of allowing the temple to open the lot for the upcoming season Monday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., from May 27 through Sept. 5.
Select Board Chairwoman Jennifer Constable did not attend.
Domenico Sestito took a firm position about what he considers to be a “quality of life” issue for residents.
Referring to an earlier conversation he had with Guiney, Sestito said, “This lot is in a residential neighborhood, and this part of the beach [should be] for residents and their friends and families.”
While acknowledging that the temple’s parking operation has run smoothly in past years, Sestito maintained that the board needs to make more decisions based on how they affect residents. “I apologize, because I know this is a fundraiser for the temple,” he said.
While understanding of Sestito’s viewpoint, Select Board member John Reilly said there are “families and other patrons” who pay a fee to use the lot on a regular basis, which helps defray the temple’s costs.
Select Board member Donna Pursel also spoke in favor of the temple’s request. “I think we would be jeopardizing the quality of life if we were to limit parking [requests such as this one],” she said. “We need to be welcoming to everybody if we want to make Hull great.”
Pursel also emphasized the importance of supporting local businesses, including restaurants. “During another meeting, a resident noted that people heading for the beach in the alphabet street area often frequent Kenberma and other businesses on their way there,” buying lunch or picking up supplies at the Village market and other places.