New town selectman gets down to business

MARBLEHEAD – Newly elected Selectman William Woodfin, who served on the board previously, lost no time making his presence felt.After Selectmen Chairman Harry Christensen read the list of applicants seeking permission to place sandwich board signs at various town locations, Woodfin asked his colleagues to think about limiting the use of the signs, which are used by numerous town organizations to promote their events.”They’re all over the place,” he said.When he made a motion to look at the issue, Christensen asked if he would serve as a committee of one to study the issue with Town Administrator Tony Sasso.Sasso seemed to like that idea. “We can report back to the board next week,” he said, explaining that sandwich board applications create 20 hours of work each week for his staff.”I know these are excellent endeavors, but we need to look at the way we do this,” Christensen said.It was Woodfin who made the motion to name Christensen as board chairman for a second year.The new selectman also opposed granting eight outdoor seats to The Hurricane Restaurant, expressing concern about the nighttime noise it could generate.Restaurateur Peter McMann wanted the seats available to patrons until midnight, although his kitchen usually closes at 10 p.m. The previous board granted permission for 15 outdoor seats April 25, subject to Board of Appeals approval. McMann returned for a downscaled request because the eight seats were on his property, not the sidewalk, and did not require appeals board approval.Selectmen talked about barring alcohol service to those seats from 10 p.m.-midnight. McMann asked the board for a “gentleman’s agreement” instead, in the event that outdoor diners wanted to linger past 10 p.m. over a glass of wine.Sasso told the board other restaurants have had outdoor seating in the past, including the one that previously occupied The Hurricane’s building. He said only one other restaurant had room to install outdoor seating, so the town isn’t likely to be swamped with requests.On the vote to allow the seating, Selectmen James Nye, Judy Jacobi and Jackie Belf-Becker were in favor and Woodfin and Christensen were opposed.”My opposition isn’t to your idea, just seating people until midnight,” Woodfin told McMann.Selectmen also interviewed four candidates for police patrolman: Permanent Intermittent Officers Michael Daigle, Dennis DeFelice, Michael Everett and Adam Mastrangelo. They appointed Daigle and DeFelice, the chiefs’ recommendations, but the other two will be back seeking the positions left vacant by two retirements the board approved Wednesday.

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