Selectmen seek town hall display policy

SOUTHWICK — Visitors to the Southwick Town Hall may soon have some new things to look at when they enter the front doors.
The Rotary Club of Southwick has requested the use of a small space in the town hall building’s foyer for the purpose of displaying items such as awards, certificates, and banners that the group has achieved throughout the years. According to the proposition, club members “would be honored for the town to see what we’ve achieved.” The organization’s vice president, Joseph Deedy, told selectmen last night that the amount of space they are requesting is small.
Selectwoman Tracy Cesan noted her concern about ensuring equality in the process of allowing civic groups and organizations to display items inside the town hall.
“It’s a worthwhile endeavor,” she said, but she wants to make sure that if the Rotary Club gets this chance, that every other group requesting it is allowed that same chance.
“I think the Rotary Club is an outstanding organization. They do wonderful things,” she said. “But we can’t open this for one group and not for all.”
Another concern raised was that of who specifically would manage and set up the display cases if the town allows more civic organizations to feature items in them. Board of Selectmen Vice Chairman Russell Fox suggested allowing the various groups or citizen volunteers to put these displays together, under town officials’ management.
“I would like to see different organizations be able to [display awards and other items],” he said.
The town’s Cultural Council, as well as the Historical Society, has each had items on display in the building’s front foyer display cases. Such featured exhibits have also been rotated in the past, according to Fox, allowing different groups the chance to be featured.
Selectmen agreed yesterday to table the Rotary Club’s request until Monday, while they address these concerns. In the meantime, the board will speak with members of the Cultural Council (given that groups’ involvement in such matters in the past) to develop a policy that will clearly define organizations’ use of the town hall display cases.
In other business, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved several permit requests. Among them was a “parade” request by Church World Services, based in Ludlow, to allow its Crop Walk for Hunger event to pass through Southwick on June 2.
Other requests included one by Moto-X 338 Inc. for a one-day beer and wine license for the organization’s event on June 29 from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Another permit request was submitted by the same organization, this one for outdoor live entertainment on May 25 from 6-11 p.m. This was approved, but amended. According to Fox, this same event last year became a bit of a problem later in the night when the organization wanted to offer the live entertainment until 1 a.m. Southwick has a town-wide noise ordinance that begins at 10 p.m. Selectmen agreed that they are happy to allow the event, but in approving the permit, it was amended to a 10 p.m. end time.

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