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Three Town Government Newcomers Named to Patton Committee

The Hamilton Board of Selectmen chose three residents without any prior experience on a town board or committee to become part of the committee that will determine the future of the Patton property.

Three newcomers were selected Monday to fill the remaining three spots on the committee that will come up with a plan for the Patton estate.

Joanne Patton that she is donating her home and surrounding land on Asbury Street to the town. Ideas have all been discussed as possible uses for the property. The committee will make it recommendation prior to Annual Town Meeting in May, when voters were be asked to accept the donation.

Phil Tocci of Farrington Lane, Bob Baker of Goodhue Street and John Vanderwilden in a unanimous vote by the Board of Selectmen on Monday at .

Selectmen received interest from nine residents before last week’s Friday deadline.

The board had already selected seven of the board’s members, including two selectmen – Chairman Jennifer Scuteri and Marc Johnson – plus representatives from the Community Preservation Committee, Conservation Commission, Planning Board, Recreation Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals.

“This is the first time our land use boards will all be working together on a project,” Scuteri said.

The board then received the skills and experiences of the members to see what skills were needed. While some members had experience with environmentally friendly construction, the committee said it needed a “true developer,” according to Scuteri.

In the end, selectmen felt they wanted to select residents who did not already have extensive experience with town boards and committees. According to the applications from the three members that were selected, none have been on a town board. Baker, who was the only of the applicants who was in the audience, told the board he has never served on a town board.

“I think we all want to get new people involved,” Scuteri said.

The decision on Monday was made by Scuteri and Selectman Jeff Hubbard and Jeff Stinson. Selectmen David Carey and Marc Johnson were absent.

"I really want to make sure new folks get involved in the committee," Stinson said.

Hubbard said the board was faced with a difficult decision "in a good way."

“No matter what decision we make it’s a good one,” Hubbard said before the final vote.

Vanderwilden was the only veteran among the applicants.

"That is a group we want represented with this property," Scuteri said.

Scuteri said the full committee is scheduled to meet for the first time on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Hamilton Town Hall, although the meeting had not been posted as of Monday night.

From there, the committee is scheduled to break into subcommittees to look at the house and the land individually and other consideration such as the history of the estate and the possibility of building a housing development on a portion of the property.

The other committee applicants were Jennifer Flynn, Keith Glidden, Peter Gordeau, Christopher LaPointe, Barbara Lawrence and Steven Ozahowski.

If one of the selected residents is not able to fill their commitment, Town Manager Michael Lombardo said selectmen can revisit the list of interested residents. Lombardo also said he will send all of them a thank you letter.

Jennifer Flynn February 07, 2012 at 05:25 PM
I applied for the committee but wasn't chosen but hopefully there will be ways for residents to be involved. I really hope they are environmentally conscientious when making decisions about this land. Has this gift already been officially accepted or is there still a question of whether our town can even handle this?
Linda February 07, 2012 at 08:21 PM
I hope we have learned something from our inability to care for the Clark property when it was gifted to the town of Hamilton, and then returned.... Or we should not accept the gift at all..

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