Man About Canton: More Condos Proposed


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As reported in the Citizen last month, the JPM Development Company is seeking special permits and site plan approval to convert the former Emerson and Cuming industrial building at 869 Washington Street into a mix of condominiums and retail/offices to be called “The Residences at Canton Corner.” The plans call for 8,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor and 58 condos on the upper floors, including 22 one-bedroom units and 36 two-bedroom units. It is interesting to note that Zoning Board member Greg Pando is listed as the primary architect, and ZBA chairman Paul Carroll will also have to recuse himself due to a past relationship with the developer, leaving new alternate members John McCourt and Gary Vinciguerra to hear the petition along with regular member John Marini.

The Eversource Electric Company recently issued a public notice to all area towns that it intends to apply herbicides along the length of their right-of-way, which includes the town of Canton. The treatment period will last through the end of this year (July 15 through December 31, 2015). Questions may be directed to William Hayes, Eversource Senior Arborist, Electric Transmission, at 781-441-3932.

Canton Town Administrator Bill Friel plans to retire in January 2016. Selectmen recently adopted a revised job description for that position. Human Services Director Jody Middleton has begun to advertise for the position and hopes that the new town administrator will begin by December 1, 2015. A committee headed by Middleton and made up of selectmen and town officials will review the applications and forward the final selections to the full Board of Selectmen.

As reported in the Citizen, Canton Finance Director Jim Murgia recently informed selectmen that the town will have a surplus of $100,000 that will be certified as free cash to start the 2016 fiscal year with more to come once the state and federal agencies reimburse the town for snow and ice removal costs.

Canton Police Chief Ken Berkowitz, at a recent selectmen’s meeting, said that 85 to 90 percent of petty crime in Canton (thefts and burglaries) can be attributed to drug addiction and the need to “buy the next fix.”

The average property tax bill in Canton for a single family home is $6,066 a year, while the average value of that home is $473,171.

Most housing authorities in this area, including Canton, have banned all types of smoking. Most bans cover apartments, balconies, common areas, and parking lots.

As a former selectman, MAC felt that it was in poor taste when the Finance Committee, at the recent town meeting, recommended eliminating the salaries of all elected officials in order to free up money for “more pressing needs.” The selectmen are underpaid for the hours they put in, for which they receive a measly stipend of $1,500 a year. The town meeting, in their wisdom, reestablished the salaries, but only by a 116-84 vote. There are still people out there who just don’t like politicians, no matter how good they are.

The following is a quote from a recent story in the Canton Citizen by local historian George T. Comeau: “[The Shepard Dam], which the town recently destroyed as part of a multi-million dollar upgrade, was one of the most historic and sensitive sites in Canton. We have a long and sullied habit of tearing down our history and replacing it with a sign in the name of progress.” That beautiful waterfall is no more, replaced, in MAC’s opinion, by an ugly cement waterway at an estimated cost of $3 million. MAC doubts if it was worth it.

State lawmakers voted to override a veto by Governor Charlie Baker and restore $500,000 in state funding for the Blue Hills Trailside Museum on the Canton/Milton town line and also restore $100,000 for the Blue Hill Weather Observatory, which has been making weather observations since 1885. The Blue Hill Weather Observatory is the oldest continuous weather bureau in North America.

The second annual golf tournament in memory of Evan J. Greene will be held on Thursday, September 10, at the Easton Country Club. The day will consist of golf, good food, and a chance to win some great prizes, all while helping to bring awareness to the overwhelming drug epidemic that is claiming too many young lives, including that of 19-year-old Evan. All proceeds will benefit Teen Challenge ( and The Herren Project ( Please contact John Greene via email at or call Stephanie Greene at 774-826-8768.

Cheerfulness is contagious, but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.

This is all for now folks. See you next week.

Joe DeFelice can be reached at

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avatar Posted by on Aug 28 2015. Filed under Man About Canton, Opinion. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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