Nick’s Pizza mask compliance hearing to be continued

Oct 13, 2020

MATTAPOISETT — The Board of Selectmen decided to continue an Oct. 13 public disciplinary hearing to Oct. 16 at 5 p.m. regarding Nick’s Homemade Pizza House after no representative from the restaurant attended the initial hearing. 

The board opened a hearing after numerous complaints were made about employees at Nick’s either not wearing masks or wearing them improperly. Over ten complaints were made between late May and late September. 

Most complaints were anonymous, which led the board to wait on calling for a hearing until substantial complaints came from named residents. 

Board Chair Paul Silva ran through the list of complaints, as well as a list of the town’s correspondence with the restaurant, culminating in Nick’s owner telling Public Health Agent Kayla Davis the restaurant would not “follow the fake mask rule.” 

Selectmen debated whether to continue the hearing when no representative from the restaurant was present. 

Because there was no proof that the restaurant received notice of the hearing, and after hearing legal advice from Lawyer Brian Riley, Vice Chair Jordan Collyer advocated for giving due notice before proceeding. 

“If we don’t have a return receipt, in my humble opinion, that means they don’t know this is going on right now,” Collyer said. 

But for Silva, timeliness was the main issue. 

“We’re allowing this to go on and potentially harm someone in those seven days,” he said. “I just don’t wanna wait a week, frankly.” 

But acting without a representative of the restaurant present could have opened up the board to the argument that no one at Nick’s ever saw the original hearing notice.

“If we found ourselves trying to defend it, it’s always better when you can prove the other side had notice,” Riley said. 

The board settled on a Friday continuation of the hearing, and decided to have a new hearing notice served in person to Nick’s. 

“We wouldn’t have an employee hearing without giving them due notice,” Collyer said.