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Mendon Musings

It always seems as if there is a flurry of government activity at the end of the calendar year, timed to match the flurries of snow coming our way.

Mendon had its fall Special Town Meeting this past Tuesday, acting on a number of financial items before moving on to the annual tax classification hearing – held last night, which is the final thing necessary for the property tax rate to be set.

Among the non-financial things being voted on at the Special Town Meeting were five articles giving Mendon voters a choice of what to do about "adult use" (translation: "legal") marijuana sales in town. One of them would allow retail pot shops in the business zone on Rt. 140.

Due to the paper's deadline, I'm writing this column before the Mendon Special Town Meeting, but I hoped that one passed. Since I live in the Rt. 140 business zone, I can just picture the sign, "Cape Road Cannabis," on my house or on one of my neighbors'.

Since Milford's outlawed the sale of recreational marijuana, I can also envision using an old song lyric as an advertising slogan: "One toke over the [town] line." (Anyone else remember Brewer & Shipley's song?) Maybe we could think of it as bringing a form of "tourism" to Mendon.

Seriously, if marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, why not take advantage of the fact that other area towns are banning it by allowing it in Mendon?

Any shop that opens has to sign a "host community agreement" with the town that basically calls for the store to pay the town back for any increased public safety costs associated with that store. And, the town can opt to add a local sales tax to raise additional funds.

By the time you read this, the voters will have decided and we'll know.

Selectman Rich Schofield resigned earlier this month after serving on the Finance Committee and the Board of Selectmen. While I did not always agree with some of his ideas, Rich nonetheless deserves a giant "Thank You" from all of us for his service. It's not easy being a public official these days, but he gave it his "all."

His resignation, of course, means that there will be two open seats on the board next spring. Potential candidates, start planning!

Finally, sincere thanks to Mendon's public safety officials who do their jobs day in and day out. Most of us never need them, but when we do, they are there. Same goes to the Highway Department staff, who probably do more with less than any other town around in keeping our streets plowed in wintertime.


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