SELECTMEN NOTEBOOK: 5 Things That Happened At Monday Night’s Meeting

WILMINGTON, MA — Below are FIVE things that happened at the Wilmington Board of Selectmen Meeting on Monday, January 27, 2020.

#1) CASA BLANCA ALMOST READY TO OPEN: The Wilmington Board of Selectmen unanimously approved the requests of Casa Blanca General Manager Jorge Vargas to for a common victualer license and entertainment license for his soon-to-be-opened restaurant at 207 Main Street in the former Chili’s location. The Health Director and Building Inspector recommended favorable votes.

Vargas noted there while there is still work to due — plumbing, electrical, and fire alarm testing — his best guess is an opening during the 3rd or 4th week of February.

Vargas added that the entertainment license is for a jukebox, not live music or karaoke.

The restaurant will be open 7 days a week, likely from 11am to 10pm from Sunday through Thursday and 11am to 11pm on Friday and Saturday.

“I think only 4 or 5 people in this community haven’t asked me when you’ll be opening,” joked Selectmen Chair Greg Bendel, who noted he visits the Casa Blanca location in Billerica and looks forward to trying Wilmington’s.

“I wish you all the best of luck. A lot of people have been waiting to hear what’s going on,” added Selectman Mike McCoy. 

#2) TOWN MEETING VOTERS WILL GET TO VOTE ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO… TOWN MEETING: The Wilmington Board of Selectmen supported 7 of the 8 recommendations of the town’s Inhabitant Bylaw Study Committee, placing each proposed bylaw change on the warrant for the Annual Town Meeting on Saturday, May 2, 2020. Most of the changes are aimed at improving attendance at Town Meeting.

Wilmington Apple will have a more in-depth story soon, but changes include eliminating random selection (4-1, Caira opposed); streamlining the budget vote so its taken up as a whole, rather than department-by-department (4-1, Caira opposed); and change the start time from 10:30am to 9am (unanimous). A majority of Selectmen opted to keep the 150-voter quorum to start the meeting (2-3, Bendel, Caira & Eaton opposed), despite the committee’s recommendation to eliminate it. Selectmen also opted against the recommendation to give it discretion when scheduling the Annual Town Meeting, instead opting to hold it on the last Saturday of April, with the Annual Town Election on the second-to-last Saturday of April (4-1, McCoy opposed).

In two proposed changes that didn’t involve Town Meeting, Selectmen backed the recommendation to establish a noise bylaw in regards to construction noise (Caira and Bendel voted against) and allowing leashed dogs on property adjacent to Silver Lake and Town Beach.

Town Counsel ruled that a proposed change to clarify the Animal Control Officer’s ability to issue citations for dog-related violations wasn’t necessary and that the position already has the capability.

#3) NEW HISTORICAL COMMISSION MEMBER: The Wilmington Board of Selectmen unanimously ratified the Town Manager’s appointment of Paul Chalifour as a member of the Historical Commission.

Chalifour is a recently retired Wilmington Police Officer, who has written books on the history of Wilmington and is currently working on a documentary regarding Wilmington during World War II.

Chalifour replaces Kathleen Delaney, who stepped down over the summer.

#4) FOOTBALL FUNDRAISER APPROVED IN TOWN COMMON LOT: The Wilmington Board of Selectmen unanimously approved the request of the Wilmington High School Football Team to conduct a Fundraiser Car Wash at the Town Common Parking Lot on Sunday, September 13, 2020, from 9am to noon.

#5) LIBRARY PROGRAMS APPROVED AT SWAIN GREEN: The Wilmington Board of Selectmen unanimously approved the request of Wilmington Library Director Tina Stewart to use the Swain Green on Thursday, August 13, 2020, from 4pm to 11pm, for a performance of “Much Do About Nothing,” and on Friday, August 14, 2020, from 5:30pm to 7pm, for the Library’s Annual Summer Bash.

PLUS: Congratulations to Selectman Jonathan Eaton and his wife Sarah, who are expecting the birth of their second child on Tuesday, January 28, 2020. … Selectmen Greg Bendel, Jonathan Eaton and Kevin Caira recently attended the Massachusetts Municipal Association Conference. Bendel noted that Wilmington was one of the few communities to oppose the gas tax. … A recap of the Town Manager’s FY21 Budget Presentation is forthcoming.

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