5 Things Wilmington Is Talking About On Wednesday, September 29, 2021: Frank Downs Recognized As Man Behind ‘Welcome Home’ Signs On Town Common

WILMINGTON, MA — Below are 5 news items in Wilmington that residents are talking about (or will be talking about) on Wednesday, September 29, 2021:

  • Have you ever wondered who is behind the Town Common’s ‘Welcome Home Signs’ for Wilmington’s active military members? At Monday night’s meeting, Selectman Greg Bendel spilled the beans, thanking Frank Downs during the board’s recurring “Salute To Service” segment. Downs — who served in the Marines from 1977 to 1981, earning the Good Conduct Award and the Riffle Expert Badge — does a “ton of work behind the scenes for our veterans,” said Bendel, including assisting at veterans ceremonies and standing out for KIA’s arriving home all across New England. “He does all of this, but doesn’t want the recognition.”
  • The Board of Selectmen voted 4-1 at its meeting Monday night to allow the use of the Town Common gazebo on Saturday, October 16, 2021 at noon for a public square rosary sponsored by America Needs Fatima. America Needs Fatima is part of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, whose support of traditional marriage and other stances have been seen by some as homophobic and transphobic. Select Chair Lil Maselli voted against the request, noting that America Needs Fatima is not an all-inclusive organization. “They believe that homosexuals sin and are evil. I, personally do not want them to do this. I don’t support it. It’s just my opinion and I want it on the record,” she said. Selectman Greg Bendel responded that — whether a board member agrees or disagrees with a certain position that any group may take — the gazebo is on public property and the group has rights. “I don’t know if board members should be making decisions based upon what they believe of a certain group… It sets a precedent we ought to be careful of.” Maselli clarified that while the group has a right to hold their event on the Town Common, she does not personally support the event.
  • Town Manager Jeff Hull reported Monday night that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (Mass DEP) has approved placing an electronic charging station in the parking lots of the Town Hall and Library. RMLD — which will cover the design, construction, and maintenance costs — is preparing site plans for the installation of the charges. The Town will soon be asked to enter into a 30-year licensing agreement to authorize the use of charging stations at these spots.
  • Selectmen unanimously appointed Selectwoman Judy O’Connell as the town’s representative to the MBTA Advisory Board on Monday night. … Selectmen signed off on Town Manager Hull’s recommendations for upcoming staff trainings from Town Counsel, including “Harassment & Discrimination Ad voidance Training” & “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Town Meeting But Were Afraid To Ask.” … Selectmen signed an ABCC Licensing Authority Certification relative to reflect a change in officers for 99 Restaurant on 144 Lowell Street. … Selectmen did not vote on Jared Rankin’s request to become a constable in town because his application was incomplete.
  • On Monday night, Selectmen unanimously approved the request of the WHS Girls Basketball team to use the Municipal Parking Lot for a Fundraising Car Wash on Sunday, October 3, 2021, from 10am to 1pm. … Selectmen approved the request of Wilmington-based “Misfit Artist Company” to use the Swain Green on Saturday, October 23, 2021. … Town Manager Jeff Hull reminded residents of RMLD’s National Public Power Week’s virtual programs beginning October 3 as well as the upcoming Town Clean-Up Day on October 2.

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