September’s Board of Selectmen’s Meetings – What Were They Voting On?

Minutes of the 9/6/11 Meeting. What was in the proposed zoning changes the Selectmen were given to review? Were they the articles in Special Zoning Articles Fall 2011?

The 5-0 vote was supposed to be about the articles the Selectmen were presented with by the Town Manager and were looking at for that September 6 meeting. The Rev. Agenda 9/6/11 listed the one word “Gaming” for the 7:00 meeting. The Sun Chronicle article titled “Casinos will be topic in Foxboro” stated “Brue said the purpose of the two-hour public session will be ‘to discuss putting a warrant article for the special town meeting to look for zoning changes that would permit a casino up in that area.’ With a bill to allow three resort-style casinos and a slot machine parlor in play on Beacon Hill, Paicos in August proposed changing Foxboro’s zoning bylaw to allow such uses in the Route 1 area, on parcels of 50-acres or more, including on what is now land owned by the Kraft Group.”

Instead, they went further and voted on an issue affecting the entire town. What they were supposed to be voting on as discussed during that meeting was whether the proposed amendments should be included in the Special Town Meeting. They all felt that it would be too much of a rush and some thought the expanded gaming issue in town needed further examination than what had been done for the racino vote so decided not to include it for the FALL STM.

Only a few citizens were present at the meeting (9 spoke out of a town of 17,000) and they deviated from what was stated as what they were doing so this may have been an illegal discussion and vote. Was it? The next week, the matter was brought up again and a few Selectmen decided they had jumped the gun on it the week before. Minutes of the 9/13/11 Meeting and Foxboro selectmen looking for new deal on zoning bylaw.

The media is spinning this to say that the Selectmen outlawed gambling in Foxborough in September. They did not. The vote was to not support that zoning amendment proposal and not to include it in the FALL STM. They went further that first night by adding their own moral opinions into the mix, which in many eyes tarnished the process for a week. If the Selectmen outlawed gambling in town, why are the Massachusetts State Lottery machines still churning out tickets and residents buying scratch tickets in Foxborough?

The Selectmen said gambling in town should be up to voters by a ballot vote. When will that happen?

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