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Selectmen at their first meeting of the year opened a warrant for a special town meeting and voted compensation for two employees taking on additional responsibilities.

Adams Sets Special Town Meeting on Marijuana Bylaw

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — The Selectmen have set a special town meeting for Monday, March 5, chiefly to vote on a new marijuana bylaw and other outstanding items.

"We have been discussing a special town meeting for some months now," Chairman John Duval said at Wednesday's brief meeting. "We need to clean up some items."

The board also voted to open a special town meeting warrant that will close Jan. 31. Duval said the board will go over other warrant items and possible citizens petitions at an upcoming meeting.

The Planning Board last month voted to recommend the retail marijuana bylaw. Retailers will only be able to locate in the downtown, or B-2 district, with a special permit from the planners, but can't be located closer than 250 feet from schools, day-care centers or other areas where minors commonly congregate and are the population primarily served by the facility. With three schools downtown, that limits where retailers can set up shop. 

Retailers, cultivators, and processors can operate in the Industrial Park by right but independent testing laboratories will require a special permit to locate in the park. The bylaw can be found here. A public hearing last month drew few residents and there has been no significant opposition to cannabis businesses operating in the town.

The Selectmen also voted to compensate Director of Community Development Donna Cesan for the added responsibilities she has taken on serving as the interim town administrator.

"Donna is still the director of community development and those responsibilities have not gone away," Duval said. "She has taken on extra responsibilities."

Cesan will be paid an extra $350 each week while in the position.

The Selectmen also voted to compensate Town Accountant Mary Beverly, who also will take on extra financial responsibilities during the town administrator search process. Duval said Beverly will have a more substantial role in this year's budget process.

Beverley will be compensated an extra $200 a week.

Duval said these are the same amounts the Selectmen have compensated employees in the past.

"We thank them both for taking on these responsibilities in the interim," he said. "We really appreciate it."

Tags: bylaws,   marijuana,   special town meeting,   zoning,   

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Suffrage Centennial Committee Kicks Off Yearlong Celebration

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent

Cassandra Peltier as Alva Belmont Vanderbilt, a prominent figure in the suffrage movement.
ADAMS, Mass. — About 75 people filled The Manor on Saturday afternoon for the kickoff event of a yearlong celebration of Susan B. Anthony and the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote.
The event at St. John Paul II Parish's Italianate mansion was organized by the Adams Suffrage Centennial Celebration Committee. The committee serves as an advisory committee to the Board of Selectmen. 
Anthony was born in Adams and was a social reformer best known for spearheading the women's suffrage movement. She was also involved in the anti-slavery movement, collecting signatures for petitions as a teen, the temperance (prohibition of alcohol) movement, and women's financial rights.
Retired school teacher Mary Whitman, committee member and host for the day, shared why Anthony's work was so important. 
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