From the Town Clerk
Hello All ~ Wow, time sure flies when you’re having fun!!! The clerk’s office has been busy processing 2017 census data, dog tag licenses, election nominations, budgets, annual report submissions, and preparing for the upcoming annual town elections. It sure made the time pass quickly! To those of you submitting your census documents and for registering your dogs so promptly ~ thank you. If you have not sent in your census, please forward as soon as possible. Census forms were due January 31st and Dog Licenses are due April 1st.
Upcoming 4th Annual Rehoboth-Seekonk Rabies Clinic
Speaking of dog licenses, Rob Johnson, our Animal Control Officer, Lynn Shaker, and I are thrilled to be a part of the 4th Annual combined Rehoboth-Seekonk Rabies Clinic on Saturday, March 11th from 9 a.m. to Noon at the Seekonk Highway Department – Route 44 & Lake Street. Both Seekonk and Rehoboth Town Clerks will be there along with Animal Control Officers from both towns and Veterinarian, Dr. Truesdale. Rabies shots cost $12 and residents also have the opportunity to renew their dog’s 2017 Dog License at the same time. We will even have dog treats available for our four legged friends. The clinic is open to all animal owners. Cats must be in carriers, dogs on leashes. Massachusetts animal owners must bring either a certificate for a rabies vaccination dated between March and June of last year or a previous Massachusetts three-year rabies certificate from a veterinarian. Our yearly rabies clinics have been a huge success the past three years, and we look forward to holding many more in the years to come. We hope to see you on March 11th.
Dog Licenses For 2017
The 2017 Dog Licenses are now available and are due annually by April 1, 2017. Residents may either purchase their dog’s 2017 Dog License by mail, online at: https://www.invoicecloud.com/rehobothgovsvcs, or in person at the Town Clerk’s Office. The office hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The licensing fees are as follows: Male or female dog $20.00; female-spayed or male-neutered $10.00. If paying by check, please make sure it is made payable to “Town of Rehoboth”. Whether renewing online, via mail, or in person, dog license applications must be accompanied by a current year rabies certificate (with a vaccination date covering the current licensing year) and proof of spay or neuter [if applying for the $10 licensing fee] unless we already have your documentation on file in the Clerk’s Office. If you are unsure, please give our office a call (508-252-6502 x-3110-Laura or x-3109-Lynn), and we can tell you how up-to-date our information is. Dog owners should note that the license(s) will not be returned unless a stamped, self-addressed envelope is included with current postage (71¢ for one dog tag, 93¢ for two dog tags and $1.15 for three dog tags). If no postage is enclosed, we will hold the dog licenses for you at town hall. You may pick them up at your convenience. To date we have already registered 583 dogs this year. Thank you all for renewing your licenses so promptly; we still have 1,500+ registrations to be renewed. We hope to hear from you soon.
Annual Town Election
The Town of Rehoboth Annual Town Election will be held on Monday, April 3, 2017 with the polls in all three precincts open from 7am to 8pm. As with all elections, the election warrant will be posted, with the polling hours, at the normal three posting locations in each of the three precincts. Election warrant press releases are also sent to the local newspapers, Rehobothnow.com and the Rehoboth Reporter to post. In addition, the polling hours for the Annual Town Election will be noted on the front page of the Town Website (www.town.rehoboth.ma.us).
The Democratic Town Committee held their Caucus on Saturday, February 11th at the COA (Senior Center) with the following Democratic Caucus Nominees being placed on the Annual Town Election Ballot: Moderator for one year term – incumbent William J. Cute, Jr.; Planning Board Five-Year term – incumbent Christopher G.F. Cooper, Jr. and Anthony F. Arrigo will be running for the three-year term of Dighton-Rehoboth Regional District School Committee. All three candidates will be listed as Democratic Caucus Nominees on the April 3rd ballot.
The Republican Town Committee held their Caucus on Wednesday, February 15th at the COA (Senior Center) with the following Republican Caucus Nominees to be placed on the Annual Town Election Ballot: Selectman for three year term – incumbent David A. Perry, Jr. and James J. Muri; Tax Collector – incumbent Cheryl A. Gouveia; Assessor for three year term – incumbent Charles “Chuck” R. Procopio ; D-R Regional District School Committee for three year term – Richard S. Barrett and Michael P. Deignan; Planning Board for a one-year term – Michael R. Costello; Park Commission for a five year term – incumbent Lynore McKim and Water Commissioner – incumbent Patricia (Tish) Vadnais for a three-year Water Commissioner position. These candidates will be listed on the April 3rd ballot as Republican Caucus Nominees. In the addition to the above, the Republican Town Committee also endorsed Michael R. Costa for the five-year Planning Board position and incumbent Kathleen J. Conti for the three-year Water Commission at their February 15th Caucus.
This year there were four nomination papers that were certified for “Independent/Unenrolled” or “Non-Designated” candidates. Craig R. Chapman and Antonio A. Oliveira for the three-year Selectman term, Kathleen J. Conti for the three-year Water Commissioner term and John “Jake” David Kramer for the 5-year term for Park Commission . Therefore, the three contested races in the April 3rd election will be Selectmen – two positions available with four candidates running; two School Committee positions available with three candidates running and one Parks Commission position with two candidates running.
In addition to the contested races, we will also have two ballot questions one for the Municipal Government Complex debt exclusion and one non-binding ballot question on the proposed Spectra Energy Compressor Station. The questions will read:
Ballot Question #1:
Shall the Town of Rehoboth be allowed to exempt from the provisions of Proposition Two and One-half, so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to pay costs of constructing, originally equipping and furnishing a Municipal Government Complex Facility, which is proposed to house the Town Offices, Police Department, Fire Department, REMA and Ambulance, on Town owned land at the current site of the Public Safety Facility (334 Anawan Street), including all costs incidental and related thereto?
YES _____ NO _____
Non-Binding Ballot Question #1:
Do you approve of the gas compressor station proposed to be built in Rehoboth by Spectra Energy Algonquin Pipeline Transmission, LLC?
YES _____ NO _____
Upcoming Voter Registration Session
The final date to register to vote in the Annual Town Election is Tuesday, March 14. Prospective voters are reminded that they may register to vote online by going to www.RegisterToVoteMA.com or by visiting the Town Clerk’s Office, picking up a voter registration form at the Rehoboth Post Office, by calling the Town Clerk’s Office to request a Mail-In voter registration form, use the yellow census voter registration/party designation change form, or download a form online @ http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/Voter-reg-mail-in.pdf. As an added convenience, the Town Clerk’s office will be open until 8:00 PM on March 14th to accommodate last minute registrations.
Absentee Ballot Applications
Applications for absentee ballots are now available and may be obtained from the Town Clerk’s Office, at the post office, or online @ http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/absentee_ballot.pdf An absentee ballot may only be obtained by written request and with the voter’s original signature. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot for the Annual Town Election is Friday, March 31st at 5:00 p.m. Even though town offices close at noon on Friday, the Clerk’s office will be open until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 31st to receive absentee ballot applications for the April 3, 2017 election.
Thank You Retired Health Agent ~ Robert Ashton
After almost 15 years of dedicated service as Rehoboth’s Health Agent, Bob has decided to retire from his position and enjoy retirement with his wonderful wife Paula who has just retired herself. Bob began his term as Rehoboth Health Agent on May 28, 2002 and has been a wonderful asset to our town. In addition to Rehoboth Health Agent, Bob served on the Local Emergency Planning Board since 2002, as a Public Information Officer since 2004, Stormwater Management Board & Commission since 2006, Chapter 148A Municipal Hearings Officer since 2011, Public Safety Building Space Needs & Municipal Complex Committee Chairman since 2012 and Records Access Officer in 2017. I would personally like to thank Bob for his time, expertise, friendship and assistance in keeping our town healthy and safe. We will truly miss you and wish you a healthy and happy retirement. Please come back to visit often!
ANNUAL TOWN CENSUS FORMS ARE NOW PAST DUE
The Annual Town Census Forms for year 2017 were mailed to all households in Rehoboth during the first week of January. If you haven’t received your census form, please contact the Town Clerk’s Office. You will notice that this year’s census form also contains information regarding your political party affiliation and voter registration. If there is nothing listed in the last column to the right of your name on the census form, it means you are not registered to vote. If you wish to vote in the upcoming April 3rd election, please either return the yellow voter registration census insert by March 14, 2017, register online at www.RegisterToVoteMA.com or visit us at the clerk’s office. Residents are asked to review the pre-printed census forms, make corrections, and return your 2017 census forms as soon as possible. Please understand that you cannot cross out and change your political party on the census form, please use the yellow insert and return to us. Party changes and registrations must be done through the Town Clerk’s Office with your original signature in order to process a change of designation or to register to vote.
As of February 25th, we still have 472 households in Precinct 1; 511 households in Precinct 2 and 540 households in Precinct 3 that have not yet responded to the annual town census. Please return your census form immediately, if you have not already done so ~ thank you.
It is requested that when you send correspondence to any office at the Town Hall you only include information specific to the department you want to communicate with. As an example, residents might send in their tax payment along with their census form or dog license. Tax payments would go to the Tax Collector whereas census forms or dog licenses would go to the Town Clerk’s Office. By including multiple offices in one envelope it may delay processing your requests or payments. Thank you for your consideration.
Business owners whose business certificate will expire between January through June of 2017 should have received a reminder for renewal. The renewal fee is $50.00 (certificate renewal is good for four years) and checks should be made payable to “The Town of Rehoboth”. You may also renew using a credit/debit card either online (web address below) or at the Town Clerk’s window. Before a new business can be registered within the town, business owners must first contact the Zoning Officer – John Santos at 320 Anawan Street in order to have the location and/or type of business approved. Business license forms and complete process details can be found on the clerk’s website @ http://www.town.rehoboth.ma.us/town-clerk/pages/business-certificates
Town Offices Closed
Did you know that when the decision is made by the Selectmen or Town Administrator to close or delay the opening of town offices, due to weather related circumstances, we alert the public several different ways? (1) We post a notice on the front page of the town website – www.town.rehoboth.ma.us , (2) Post on the local town cable Channel 9, and (3) notify the local news organizations. We are currently investigating ways to have a message available on our phone system also. We will keep you advised when that feature is available. Please check your TV or Computer before you venture out in the poor weather conditions – we want you all to stay safe. You will not be penalized if payments are due and town offices are closed.
Certified Massachusetts Municipal Clerk (CMMC) Certification Test
After becoming Rehoboth’s Town Clerk, I promised the town I would become certified as a Massachusetts Town Clerk and International Town Clerk. Over the past few years I have been attending an International Town Clerk training in New Hampshire at Plymouth University for my CMC certification. This July I will finish that portion of my international certification. For the Massachusetts Certified Town Clerk certification, I was required to be a Town Clerk for three years, take a certification test of 200 questions related to Elections, Vitals, and various other duties of the clerk’s office for a total of 50 points and complete another 50 points worth of educational training in order to become CMMC certified. I am happy to say that I just received notice from the Massachusetts Town Clerks Association that I was awarded the total 50 points for the 200-question certification examination in February. With my Bachelor’s degree, tenure as Rehoboth Town Clerk and other courses taken through the Massachusetts Clerk’s Association, I will be receiving my CMMC title shortly. After my final week of classes in New Hampshire this July I will be almost done with my International Certification as well. I absolutely love my job as Town Clerk and thank the voters of Rehoboth for allowing me to serve the community. I will keep you posted of my progress of becoming both Massachusetts and Internationally Town Clerk Certified.
Finally, if you have any questions on any of the above items please feel free to contact the Town Clerk’s Office at 508-252-6502, X3109 or X3110. Lynn and I wish all residents a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and we hope to see many of you at the upcoming March 11th Rabies Clinic – details above. Please keep warm and safe ~ spring is coming soon ;-) I look forward to speaking with you in April. Please remember to vote on April 3rd 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. – all three precincts will be open. Thank you!
Laura & Lynn