Over 2500 voters gathered in three spaces in the high school tonight… Photo from the Tewksbury Patch website
Tonight over 2500 registered voters in the Town of Tewksbury gathered in three locations in the town’s new high school – the gym, the cafeteria and the auditorium to deal with one issue on the Special Town Meeting Warrant. “To see if the Town will vote to amend the Tewksbury Zoning By-Law and the Zoning Map by adding section 8700 to the Zoning By-Law and adding the overlay map described below…” Passage of the article would have allowed Penn National Gaming to establish a Category 2 gaming establishment on Ames Pond Drive – off Route 133 in North Tewksbury. This article was unanimously recommended by the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee. The Planning Board recommendation came on a 3-2 vote.
After two delays, hearing a number of speakers – but no one who was not from Tewksbury other than the Town Manager – a motion to move the question offered early on led to a standing vote of the voters present. Passage needed a two thirds vote of approval. The results: Voting YES = 995; Voting NO = 1568. The Town Clerk told me that 1709 YES votes were need for passage. The NOs prevailed at 61.2%.
This marked the end of this phase of PNG’s attempt to bring SLOTS to Tewksbury. A scheduled/posted town-wide ballot is happening on Saturday September 21, 2013. This balloting will go forward despite the failure to pass the zoning change article. Stay-tuned.