Hudson Select Board member defends liquor license proposal

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Hudson Select Board member defends liquor license proposal
Medusa Brewing Company stands on Main Street in Hudson. (Photo/Caroline Gordon)

HUDSON – Select Board member Shawn Sadowksi defended his proposed changes to one-day liquor license regulations in a recent letter presented as correspondence during the Sept. 26 Select Board meeting.

Sadowski presented the proposed changes during the Sept. 12 Select Board meeting. Medusa Brewing Company CoOwner Keith Sullivan said the proposed changes would have increased the cost to permit their beer garden by 3,650%. However, they were not implemented due to lack of a second during the motion.

In his letter, Sadowski acknowledged that the changes would have resulted in Medusa paying more for its permits.

“However, in any other town that you might set up a beer garden, this would be the structure you would have to adhere to and pay such fees,” he wrote.

Sadowski said his intention was to bring Hudson up-to-date with surrounding communities.

“The one day license is not meant to run a business year in and year out. That is when a full pouring license is issued,” Sadowski said.

What Sadowski proposed

Sadowski said he examined the one-day liquor license regulations of other towns and proposed the changes, so Hudson’s could be up to date and “flow with the surrounding towns.”

Among his changes, Sadowski proposed a $50 fee for a one-day all alcohol per day and a $75 fee for wine and malt per day with the wine and malt being reduced to $50 for nonprofits. He noted there would be a possibility that the Select Board could also waive the all-alcohol fee for a non-profit.

Medusa Brewing Company has three 30-day licenses to operate its beer garden. Sullivan said the company pays $180 to permit the beer garden each season. The proposed changes would cost Medusa $6,750 to permit the garden.

Sullivan noted that Medusa has tried and is interested in permitting the venue with the state as a full-time venue.

Sadowski’s response

In the letter addressed to Sullivan, Sadowski defended his votes in regards to Medusa since he was elected.

In one example, Sadowski said that during the Sep. 27, 2021 Select Board meeting, he addressed Medusa operating without an entertainment permit for one day. During the meeting, Sadowski said Sullivan was notified that he was operating without a license on a Tuesday, then put in a request for an entertainment license, but still operated on that Thursday without a license. According to Sadowski, Sullivan intended to operate for an entire weekend without a entertainment permit, until Executive Assistant Thomas Gregory contacted Sullivan and he moved the events to his Main Street location.

“I voted against your request for a permit because I don’t believe in rewarding those who constantly operate without the permits needed and then ask for forgiveness after the fact,” Sadowski wrote in his letter.

He discussed several of his votes in regards to Medusa.

“All I seek as an elected official is conformance to the applicable provisions of law. I ask that you start to comply with the rules and regulations of the Town of Hudson. Once that happens, I will have no issues,” Sadowski said.

He said he answers to the voters, who put him in his seat on the Select Board and contact him when they have concerns.

“So, if I vote yes or no on an item during a meeting, it is because I feel that it’s the best way the Town should move forward and is not targeting any one business or person,” Sadowski said.

He continued, “I look at my position, a Select Board member, as one that should focus on all the issues in Town and not just a half-mile strip. I will continue to stay my course and vote with my conscience and the support of the residents of my hometown, Hudson.”

To read his full letter, visit https://go.boarddocs.com/ma/hudsonma/Board.nsf/ files/CJHRCP6D5E79/$file/reply%20to%20medusa.pdf.

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