Pembroke: Selectman candidates’ forum

Pembroke’s Chairman of Selectmen Gregg Hanley has decided not to run for another term, in order to concentrate on the job of County Commissioner. Three residents names will appear on the April 27th ballot: real estate agent and former Housing Authority member Michelle Burt, banker and Planning Board Chairman Dan Taylor and Cable Advisory Committee member John Mattison.

The three candidates for one vacant seat on the Pembroke Board of Selectmen met in the Pembroke Community Media Center Thursday evening for a forum moderated by Robert Kopper. He asked them about their views on the community center, PACTV and other issues.

Most of the talk focused on the community center; a study group has recommended to selectmen the town raze the building and construct a new one. Selectmen will make a recommendation to a fall Town Meeting.

Burt and Taylor agreed they would, reluctantly, accept the committee’s recommendation, while Mattison strongly stated the town should save the building.

Kopper then asked if they wanted to talk about something else,and they agreed the hot topic in town is medical marijuana zoning. Selectmen have proposed creating a marijuana zone identical to the town’s unused pornography zone – off Route 139 on the east side of Route 3. The planning board has rejected the plan as unworkable.

All three candidates called the subject complex and all agreed selectmen acted hastily. Mattison said he believes most people assume the worse about marijuana dispensaries, visualizing pushcarts rather than “multi-million-dollar facilities.”

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About Charles Mathewson

Charles Mathewson worked in print journalism for more than two decades as a reporter and editor, and has won several regional and national awards. He resides in Plymouth where he writes fiction and paints, when not producing award-winning news as a reporter for WATD.