A who’s who of top Sandwich public officials came walking out of a 75-minute executive session last Thursday on the sale of 56 acres of town land in South Sandwich.
Among those stepping down from behind the curtain in the second-floor meeting room in town hall were four selectmen, the town manager and assistant town manager, a town attorney, the town planner and the town’s director of assessing.
The gathering also included Paul J. Niedzwiecki, executive director of the Cape Cod Commission.
The closed meeting was held in the wake of a February 4 decision by the Tsakalos Realty Trust to walk away from a plan to buy the town land and incorporate it into a mixed-use development known as South Sandwich Village.
The trust proceeded to float the idea of an olive branch to repair the breakdown.
But yesterday, trust general manager Peter Dubay said that the town had not responded.
“I guess it’s pretty much over,” Mr. Dubay said.
James W. Pierce, chairman of the board of selectmen, confirmed that the town was pushing on in its continuing quest to find a developer for the town land, which sits in a section of South Sandwich known as the “Golden Triangle.”
“We need to get right back on the horse and move ahead,” Mr. Pierce said.
In a statement issued in advance of the executive session—a closed meeting allowed under the state open meeting law to consider the purchase, exchange, lease or value of property if the board chairman declares that an open meeting may hurt the negotiating position of the board—Mr. Pierce said the session would not dwell on the past.
The chairman said the work done on the prior proposal with the Cape Cod Commission, a Barnstable County planning and regulatory agency, would not be wasted.
“Speaking for myself only, although I believe the [board of selectmen] shares my optimism, we should have a new request for proposals incorporating a different method of pre-permitting issued quite soon,” Mr. Pierce said.
“I’m not sure what form that may take,” the selectman said. “That’s why we listen to experts when we make business decisions.”
As for Mr. Dubay, he questioned whether the town will be able to attract another developer for its South Sandwich land, given how he said town officials treated Thomas Tsakalos, a longtime Sandwich businessman and developer.