Government the Lynnfield way

December 2, 2016

Don’t think for a minute town officials in Lynnfield are taking a small-town break from their business at hand now that a grueling election season is in the rear-view mirror and the holidays beckon.

The Board of Selectmen got down to business on Monday to discuss concerns ranging from voter initiatives with ramifications echoing across the state to projects defining the town’s future.

Voter passage of the statewide referendum question legalizing marijuana poses particular questions for a small, still a little bit rural community like Lynnfield.

The law outlined in the referendum gives community leaders some latitude over finding a site for marijuana dispensaries. It does not give communities the power to slam the door on pot shops.

Lynnfield officials will undoubtedly take guidance from other communities and municipal advisory organizations, as well as legal counsel, as it defines the town’s approach to hosting legalized marijuana.

Monday’s meeting agenda highlighted more immediate town concerns, including a new town tax rate and Centre Farm. The town approaches 2017 with a rare opportunity to revive the use of a major structure in the town’s center while crafting plans to build a new library and revive land at the edge of town, including the Perley Burrill property.

Lynnfield businesses seeing red over taxes

Choices made by town leaders on all of these projects will be praised or criticized by future generations of Lynnfield residents. Elected officials in small towns make their mark on their community, for better or worse, when they help shape a pivotal project like Centre Farm.

Setting the parameters for a new library’s design means forward thinking even beyond the merger of cutting-edge mobile technology and the traditional role a library plays in a small community.

Lynnfield’s new library could become a mecca for feeding information on town events and sharing resources not only from the town library, but from libraries around the world, with residents. The selectmen will be best served in imagining these possibilities by bringing Lynnfield’s youngest and brightest into the library conversation.

Perley Burrill’s redevelopment is a chance to enhance a great residential neighborhood and preserve a little of bygone Lynnfield from the days when Route 1 was a turnpike and gassing up at Perley Burrill cost a couple of bucks.

Town officials have a lot of work on their plate. Hopefully, they won’t forget to wish one another happy holidays and Merry Christmas as they plow through the pile.