By Joan Goodchild
Shrewsbury – At its July 12 meeting, Shrewsbury's Board of Selectmen heard from a local jeweler who is concerned that a new business offering to pay “cash for gold” items will negatively impact his operations.
“This is really going to hurt me, business-wise,” George Abdien told the board.
Abdien is the owner of Simon Jewelers, located at 127 Boston Turnpike, the same area where Cash for Gold plans to open its doors. Abdien cited the new business's close proximity to his and a lack of parking as reasons why he feels there will be a conflict. He also expressed worry about the potential clientele the new business might attract.
“There is going to be a lot of traffic, and God-knows-what kind of people will be coming in there,” he said. “There are going to be a lot of issues.”
Archie Deflorio, the owner of Cash for Gold, had his attorney, Richard Ricker, represent him at the meeting. Ricker stressed to the board that Deflorio was not planning to run a pawn-shop-style business and that he meticulously maintains records of purchases at two other existing operations he owns in Lowell and Salem. The records are often turned in to law enforcement in order to ensure no stolen items have been purchased.
Abdien was seeking a public hearing on the matter and wanted the board to delay granting a business license to Deflorio. But not all board members were in agreement that delaying licensure was the right thing to do. While Selectmen Moira Miller and John Lebeaux said the request for a hearing was reasonable, Chair James Kane and Selectmen Henry Fitzgerald and Maurice DePalo wanted to move forward with granting Deflorio a junk license.
“My approach to licensing has never been to control competition,” DePalo said.
The license was ultimately granted.
In other business, the board appointed residents to a recently created Open Space and Recreation Committee. The committee, comprising six members, will include representatives from the Planning Board, the Parks and Recreation Department, the Conservation Commission, the Lake Quinsigamond Commission and two local residents and will update the town's open space and recreation plan, which was last revised in 2000. The board selected residents Martha Gach and Larry Barbash to serve on the committee.
Two openings on the Historic District Commission were also filled. The selectmen named both Christine Gustafson and Paula Lupton to the commission.