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Aiming to limit truck traffic, Shirley Select Board establishes Transportation Committee

Aiming to limit truck traffic, Shirley Select Board establishes Transportation Committee
Aiming to limit truck traffic, Shirley Select Board establishes Transportation Committee

SHIRLEY — With an eye to controlling an anticipated influx of 18-wheelers from a trio of planned truck depots looming on the town’s borders, in Lunenburg and Lancaster, the Select Board established a transportation committee to study the issue and on Monday night appointed its members.

The subcommittee originally was set up to have seven members, including five “at large” members, the police chief and one member each from the Planning and Select boards, but it was expanded to include more people who wanted to serve on it.

With more community applicants than the sign-up roster called for, the board initially faced a dilemma.

“Everyone is qualified … I appreciate they want to participate,” Chairman Debra Flagg said. But the high level of response caught the board by surprise.

“So, do we pick four?” Flagg asked her colleagues.

“We suggested that they submit a resume, a letter of interest, or attend tonight’s meeting,” Town Administrator Mike McGovern said, explaining how the call for members went out.

The names of six residents requesting appointments to the subcommittee appeared on the agenda, some with resumes or letters attached.

Bill Castro submitted a detailed professional resume and attended via Zoom. Susan Hutchinson also sent a resume. Tristum Darby sent a letter that spelled out his understanding of the issue as well as his interest in serving on the committee. Robert Adam, an advocate for traffic control, came in person. Others on the list were Patricia Krauchune and Ron Banay. Added to the list was Theresa Richards, whose letter came in that day, McGovern said.

“I know it would be a big group, but could you consider appointing them all?” asked Planning Board member Janet Tice.

Resident Tim Hatch expressed reservations about that scenario, noting that most of the group’s community members would come from areas outside the village.

“I was under the impression that it was going to be seven,” Hatch said. He was also disappointed, he said, that the business community was not represented, and that people who live in the village area, which gets a lot of truck traffic, had not come forward.

Select Board member Andre Jean-Jacques pointed out that the board allowed plenty of time to apply.

“Traffic is a concern … no matter where you live in town, Bryan Sawyer said. “I’m ready to appoint …”

After some discussion, the board agreed to appoint all seven applicants, along with Tice, representing the Planning Board; Sawyer, representing the Select Board; and Police Chief Samuel Santiago.

Siding with Sawyer’s assessment, Castro, a newly appointed subcommittee member, said the problem affects everyone. He also debunked the notion that the committee members might lean toward protecting their own neighborhoods versus those of other town residents. “That won’t happen,” he said.