Norwell: Town meeting votes yes on town government change, new police station design

Norwell held their second session of annual town meeting at the middle school Tuesday night and voted in favor of the government study committee’s article to change the board of selectmen from 3 to 5 members, and to appoint advisory board members by committee, rather than the board of selectmen.

Town meeting also voted in favor of an amendment by Highway Surveyor Paul Foulsham, to remove a section of the article that changes the job of Highway Surveyor from an elected to an appointed position.

Foulsham says it was while he attended a meeting of the government study committee, that he felt that the issue became personal.

“Throughout that meeting and numerous discussions afterwards, the theme revolved around my untimely demise, prompting the board of selectmen into holding a special election at the expense of the taxpayers to fill that position,” said Foulsham.

Government study committee chair Betsy Gordon says she apologized to Foulsham about the incident and that the proposal wasn’t personal.

Gordon said, “Paul is absolutely correct that we were kidding around about him. When I realized it disturbed him I apologized to him profusely, and promised I would not do it again. I’m sorry that he still feels badly about it. We do believe Paul is a well-regarded highway surveyor – the town has elected him. This was not about Paul.”

The measure now goes to before the state legislature for approval and then finally to a town election vote.

Town meeting also voted to appropriate $400,000 dollars to design a new police station adjacent to the fire station on Route 53. The full cost of construction is estimated at about $3.8 million dollars.

Town meeting wrapped up all the articles on the warrant.

About John Penny

John Penny is a town news reporter at WATD. He primarily covers stories in the towns of Marshfield, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hingham, Abington and Quincy.