WESTBOROUGH – Westboro Mobil’s license to sell used cars is hanging by a thread.
After an extensive discussion on Oct. 11, the Westborough Select Board decided to continue the suspension of the East Main Street business’ Class II license until Nov. 3, with a public hearing scheduled for Nov. 2 at 6:15 p.m.
In addition, the business will be subject to a spot check by the Register of Motor Vehicles on Oct. 17 to see whether it still fulfills the requirements for the Class II license.
According to Lauren Sparks, attorney for Westboro Mobil owner Jack Azar, they met with the register two weeks ago to come up with a memo of agreement to “make corrective measures.”
License suspended in August
The board has dealt with violations at the station for years. The latest move came in August, when the board issued a 30-day suspension over the number of unregistered vehicles kept at the station.
In September, the suspension was extended voluntarily by Azar because he had just retained a new attorney.
In a recent report filed by the Westborough Police Department, there were two unregistered vehicles at the station, one more than was allowed.
According to Sparks, the two vehicles were not for sale, but there for repairs, and the registration for one of those vehicles had expired.
“I hope the board will consider that he’s done everything possible,” she said. “In extending the suspension, he lost another month of business.”
Town Counsel Brian Riley from KP Law said the options before the Select Board were to restore the license with supervision, continue the suspension or revoke the license.
Chair Ian Johnson said revocation would not be an option that night. He voiced his support to restore the license with conditions.
“If the license is restored, the town will keep a close watch,” he said. “He should recognize the seriousness of the situation. Is he willing to be checked every day?
“It’s your last chance,” Johnson added. “I do want to give you a chance, but if you’re back, it’s revocation.”
Select Board member Patrick Welch said the board would like to see Azar’s business thrive, but he was in favor of continuing the suspension.
“I’d like to give you one more chance, but we’re getting tired of this,” he said.
Others said enough was enough.
“This is a difficult situation we have before us,” said Select Board member Shelby Marshall. “It doesn’t speak to the long history of issues. I’m reluctant to continue the Class 2 license. If we had a restaurant with a liquor license, and there were violations, there would be consequences.”
“To me, the trust is broken,” Marshall said later in the meeting. “For all the hours the town has put in … it’s the gerbil wheel that keeps on spinning.”
“I share your hesitancy,” said Select Board member Allen Edinberg. “I still see vehicles parked on the sidewalk. I am very concerned about the lack of attention to detail.”
Edinberg brought up the station’s log book, which had not been up to date when it was turned over to the board.
“You were untruthful to town staff,” he said. “Why wouldn’t you turn in a valid book?”
Azar blamed pandemic-related staff shortages as to why the book was not updated. Sparks said the log book is now compliant, and she has told Azar to have the book at the station, whether he has a dealership or not.
Ultimately, the Select Board voted 3-1 to continue the suspension with Johnson voting against.