Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

October 10, 2013

Town Notebook: Donations sought, Banner ban


The Andover Townsman

---- — No Slots still looking for donations

No Slots Tewksbury, a grassroots organization that mobilized this summer to fight Penn National Gaming’s ultimately unsuccessful push for a slots casino at the Tewksbury-Andover border, is seeking donations to offset some of the initiative’s costs.

The Tewksbury residents behind the campaign are reaching out to Andover residents, particularly those neighboring the proposed casino site, for contributions. Donations to No Slots Tewksbury may be sent in care of the Lowell Five Bank, located at 1775 Main St., Tewksbury.

No banners allowed

Banners are banned, at least for the foreseeable future.

In an update to selectmen this week, Town Manager Buzz Stapczynski said he and his staff held a briefing recently on the experience with the first banner being hung over Main Street.

The banner, promoting Andover Day, was put up after almost nine years of discussion among town officials and Mark Spencer, a former downtown business owner and longtime member of the Andover Business Community Association.

Spencer met with town officials last week to discuss possibly amending the banner bylaw that was OK’d by Town Meeting in 2008. As it’s currently written, the bylaw makes it expensive — to the tune of about $1,000 — for local nonprofit groups to hoist and lower a banner because they have to pay town workers overtime to do it.

Spencer is working on re-wording the bylaw and will return to selectmen soon with a proposal that could reduce the cost, Stapczynski said. In the meantime, no banners will be hung over Main Street.

Town boards filling vacancies

The town’s Economic Development Council has two openings for members. The group is tackling a variety of local issues, including making it easier for new businesses to start up and improving downtown parking.

There is also a vacancy on the Retirement Board. The uncompensated position requires 18 hours of annual training and some financial disclosure.

Anyone interested should contact the town manager’s office.

Speaking of vacancies, there are still three open positions on the Zoning Board of Appeals. A subcommittee of selectmen, which is responsible for appointing ZBA members, is meeting with applicants next week and should have a list of top candidates in another week or two. The vacancies have brought some business on the board to a halt.

And, of course, a new town accountant still needs to be hired. The deadline for applications was extended one week to Oct. 18 because an ad for the job only just appeared in the Beacon, the official publication of the Massachusetts Municipal Association, considered the bible of municipal jobs.

No Slots still looking for donations

No Slots Tewksbury, a grassroots organization that mobilized this summer to fight Penn National Gaming’s ultimately unsuccessful push for a slots casino at the Tewksbury-Andover border, is seeking donations to offset some of the initiative’s costs.

The Tewksbury residents behind the campaign are reaching out to Andover residents, particularly those neighboring the proposed casino site, for contributions. Donations to No Slots Tewksbury may be sent in care of the Lowell Five Bank, located at 1775 Main St., Tewksbury.

Bike forum gets rolling

Bicycling enthusiasts take note: The town is hosting a public forum on bicycling on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. in the police/fire station at 32 North Main St.

The forum is for anyone who is “a concerned, engaged citizen who wants to create changes to better bicycling infrastructure and safety,” according to a flier on the event.

Paul Materazzo, the town’s director of planning, is hosting the event. It is being put on by the town in conjunction with MassBike, also known as the Massachusetts Bicycling Coalition.