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Kraft Group Seeks Eight Additional Liquor Licenses

Negotiations between neighboring Foxborough and the Kraft Group continue to be a hot topic as Kraft seeks another eight liquor licenses, and the town needs to decide whether the negotiations should be done in public session. What do you think?

The Kraft Group is requesting eight additional liquor licenses for Phase II of Patriot Place in Foxborough. The licenses, it says, are necessary to further develop the shopping, dining and entertainment complex with restaurants, a bowling and entertainment complex and a hotel.

Foxborough is already over its quota for liquor licenses from Phase I of the Patriot Place megaplex, meaning the town will have to request more from the state if an agreement is reached between the Kraft Group and the town.

Foxborough would have to solicit the state for more licenses, say town officials. 

Foxborough town officials must decide if the negotiations between the town and the Kraft Group should be done in open forum or executive session.

Town Counsel Richard Gelerman recommended the dissolution of the new negotiating committee so that negotiation strategy could be discussed among board members in private, but selectman Mark Sullivan said the negotiations should be done in open session so the public is part of the process. 

Town Manager Kevin Paicos said, "Having a negotiation this sensitive in a public meeting is impossible...It is the nature of business that [a company] will not disclose in public certain things that will harm their business interests." 

The board is expected to make a decision on Oct. 30 so that negotiations can take place.  

Medfield: As neighbors, would what would you do? Would you want to see eight more liquor licenses issued? How would that impact Medfield residents? Traffic? Would you want it negotiated in open session? 

GM October 23, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Seems to me that there are two issues here. The first is whether the townspeople would like another hotel, bowling alley, and several more restaurants at Patriot Place or not. That probably calls for an opportunity for public input. The issue of negotiating the specifics of liquor licenses probably, then, needs to be done in closed session, taking the input from the public sessions into account. As a practical matter, I don't think a public negotiating session where anyone who wants to can inject themselves into the conversation is likely to be very effective. There's maybe a third issue that comes before the second issue -- how easy or hard will it be for Foxborough to get the state to approve raising the liquor license quota?

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