Board of Selectmen May 16, 2017
Chairman Karen Donahue called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Present were Marie Smith, Joseph Pacheco and Karen Donahue
Acceptance of the Minutes
Mrs. Smith motioned and Mr. Pacheco seconded to accept the minutes of the May 9, 2017 meeting as printed, Mrs. Donahue made it unanimous.
Public Hearing – Shaw’s Supermarket, 300 New State Highway – Application for Wine & Malt License
Attorney Nick Zozula of McDermott, Quilty and Miller was present representing Shaw’s Supermarket. Shaw’s Assistant Store Director, Joyce Bailey who is the proposed Manager of Record on the liquor license as well as Paul Gossett who is the President and Director of Shaw’s were both present. Attorney Zozula brought packets pertaining to public need, a copy of the liquor sales policies and procedures for their employees, proposed plans and renderings of the sales area within Shaw’s as well as over 550 signatures in support of the application. This is a long existing store in the community for over 40 years at this location, the applicant is an experienced operator they have five other retail store licenses and have a very good track record of operation and only one violation in decades of selling
alcohol products to customers which occurred over 10 years ago. The application is part of the stores upgrade with a new alcohol display area. The proposed alcohol section itself is 2 isles and includes end caps or 2,300 sq. feet of the 44,000 sq. feet of sales space. The alcohol will be contained and secured during statutory non-sale hours. If the application is approved, the store is planning on hiring a liquor Manager and four to five additional employees. The Manager, Joyce Bailey, has been a store Manager for 45 years within the company, she has implemented age sensitive policies in other store with bear & wine liquor licenses and is TIP certified. Another employee is a Police Officer with the Town of Rochester and these two would train staff and be handling the liquor sales area. Customers would not be able to purchase liquor in the self-scanning isles, the POS system would not allow it. The applicant does have
strict liquor sales policies and procedures in place. Mrs. Smith asked if there would be a designated cashier for it? Atty. Zozula replied: There would be a designated Manager in the vicinity at all times. There would not be a dedicated isle or check out, there would be a Manager at the self -check-out lanes as well. Anyone under the age of 18 cannot touch the alcohol, anyone between the ages of 18 and 21 would have to call over a Manager, over 70% of the current employees are over the age of 21. They will all go through training in store and if the Town recommends any other training as well. Mr. Pacheco said: I’m a Shaw’s customer and I never see anybody at the self-check area, you have that little kiosk and it’s always empty and my concern is that somebody is going to sneak through beer or wine there. I can tell you, if you look at the record of this Board, we have zero tolerance for selling to minors
and so I would really hate to see you put yourself in a position where you have a violation because we will come down on you quite had. So, what I’d like to see is how you’re going to monitor the self-check area because I’m at your store at least once a week and there is never anybody there. And sometimes I have to wait because it gets clogged up, so I know this for a fact. With due respect, there is a little flaw in your report that you do need to address. Ms. Bailey said: I believe the terminal will not allow it to be rung up. Mr. Pacheco replied: But you have an option that you don’t’ swipe it, then you can choose not to bag the item so there is an option that people cannot even pay for it and still make it through there because there is nobody monitoring it. So unfortunately, we live in a society where not everyone is truthful and my point is, there could be people who are getting through your store who shouldn’t.
There has to be safeguards that would keep that from happening. Right now, I’m not seeing it at the self-check-out area. Atty. Zozula replied: We can come up with a plan 1. By hiring the additional employees, and that person could be monitoring that area as well and if the license is approved, that position be staffed at all times. And if they were to try to ring it up they would not be able to. Mr. Pacheco replied: I’m not going to let that hold it up, but if there is a violation, they you cannot use this as an excuse. I like to have my concerns as plain as day because we’ve had people come in before with violations and they really offend me when they do not accept responsibility. So, this is a warning for our minutes, that if we grant you this license, and somebody gets through your self-check there’s no excuse. Atty. Zozula replied: Understood. There are self-check outs at their other
locations and we don’t have that issue, so what we can do is see how that’s handled there. And make sure it’s implemented here and make sure that it is staffed at all times. Mr. Gossett, President of Shaw’s also spoke: We are in the process of eliminating the self-check-out lanes and this one will be elevated to the top of the list and then it will become a non-issue if that’s the case. Mr. Pacheco replied: Good. Mrs. Donahue asked: You said they are going to be secured during the hours that alcohol cannot be sold, how are they going to be secured? Atty. Zozula replied: Typically there is a steel gate that is implemented that is what they do at other stores. Mr. Patel, who owns Debucas Beer & Wine on Rt. 44 said he had three points he wanted to bring up, first being on Rt. 44 we already have 4 existing licenses, by allowing one more there will be more accessibility and easy access to beer and
wine. There is Debucas, Raynham Liquors, Globe Liquors on Rt. 44 and Walmart also, so just in this small area there are a lot more licenses already there. Second we have seen this in the past, while there plans are great enforcement is much weaker in big box stores. Debucas’ staff has up to 35 years’ experience we train all our staff, carding people if an employee has not carded someone they are handed a red card, the second time they receive a red card they are dismissed. If it’s two people, or ten people everyone is carded in order to purchase. How will they control that at a supermarket? We already have, in a half a mile, 4 liquor stores. Atty. Zozula replied: If you look at the Town it has a list of licensees, Globe Liquors is not in Raynham, it’s in Taunton and should not be under the prevue of this Board it’s in another town. I would also state that Shaw’s has a zero tolerance policy if an employee is caught
selling to someone underage, that employee is terminated immediately, the employee signs off on the policy twice a year. I think their track record in the Commonwealth speaks for itself. Finally, I think it’s telling that the only one here who is in opposition to this application is a competitor. Competition is not a valid rational to deny a license. Mr. Patel said: There was an instance that Shaw’s in Worcester was denied (a license) and Star Market on Rt. 9 was denied for this reason. Mr. Gossett replied: We have been doing business for over 150 years and many of the tenured employees, and many are union employees, who have been employed over 15 years. We operate many stores that sell beer and wine and we give our employees the tools so that they are not in violation and we train them to protect themselves and the public. And I think our track record of having 1 violation in a decade for all the stores that we
operate, speaks for itself. If three people come into the store then all three are carded. The Board discussed the matter. Mr. Pacheco said: When I’m looking at a liquor application I’m not looking at the other factors, and if we are going to use justification of groceries, it would have been when we approved Walmart and in good conscious I couldn’t deny this strictly because they are a grocery store. And to Shaw’s credit, you did a phenomenal job on the application and I hope that you heed my caution about the self-check-out, outside of that I don’t see any justification to deny this. Mr. Pacheco made a motion to approve, Mrs. Smith seconded and Mrs. Donahue made it unanimous.
Town Administrator’s Report
Mr. Flaherty reviewed the Town Administrator’s Report. The Town Meeting went very well. The North School Committee met last week and they are waiting for additional bids for the downstairs work. Arcadipane Painting was notified to start the painting work.
The next Selectmen’s Meeting will be held May 23rd.
The next scheduled Historical Commission meeting was cancelled.
Student Government Day will be held on Thursday, May 25th at 9:00 a.m.
Correspondence was received from the Police Department requesting the Board accept on its behalf a $300 donation from the NMR Meditation Temple in Raynham.
Correspondence was received from Jaclyn Sousa of 222 Elm Street requesting sidewalks be installed on Elm Street because of all the pedestrian traffic. She fears the speeding cars and commercial trucks that utilize that street is a great safety concern.
7:31 p.m. Mr. Pacheco motioned and Mrs. Smith seconded to adjourn for the performance of administrative duties, signing of Bills and Warrants, with no business to be conducted afterwards.