Lt. Governor Karyn Polito Visits Seekonk to Sign Community Compact with Seekonk & Rehoboth
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito visited Seekonk town hall last month to sign a Community Compact agreement with town officials from Seekonk and Rehoboth. Town Administrator Shawn Cadime signed the agreement for Seekonk and Selectman David Perry signed for Rehoboth. The Community Compact was created in an Executive Order signed by Governor Charlie Baker in January 2015 in order to improve the administration’s partnerships with cities and towns in Massachusetts. Nearly three-quarters of the 351 cities and towns have signed the compact with the state thus far. The Community Compact provides grants through three programs: The Best Practice Program, Efficiency and Regionalization Grant Program and the Information Technology Grant Program.
The IT Grant program alone has provided approximately $2 million to 52 municipalities for various projects. “The whole approach is to strengthen local government and provide you with the tools and resources and best practices that you need,” said Polito.
Seekonk Town Administrator Shawn Cadime and Rehoboth Town Administrator Helen Dennen spoke positively about the Community Compact. “It’s refreshing to have the Baker-Polito administration working with local communities. They understand the efforts that are needed at the local level. They do a tremendous job with all the services they have provided and this Community Compact Act is just one handle of that,” said Cadime. “I think it’s a great benefit to the town. It’s going to open up a lot of opportunities for grants,” said Dennen.
Polito congratulated Seekonk on being the 259th town and Rehoboth for being the 260th town to sign the Compact. She said there are over 700 best practice programs underway across the Commonwealth. “The Compact, what I love about it, it’s not just focused on larger cities, it’s focused on all communities,” Polito said. “As a member of the compact, you have programs available to you whether it’s a regionalization and efficiencies grant. We put $2 million into that program. Also the IT Grant program, you can now apply to for technology grants to help you determine the best way to deliver communications to residents. You can set yourself up for success when it comes to a parks grant or a MassWorks grant. You get bonus points because you are part of this larger initiative, the Compact program,” Polito said.
Rehoboth officials said it was a good fit because the town was already working on a few projects that are covered under the Community Compact, including an economic development guide, an open space plan and a plan to protect water resources. “The reason they fit in so nicely is that we were planning these anyway. The funds we receive for this will offset funds we were going to spend anyway and now that money can go somewhere else,” said Selectman Perry.
Seekonk is also working on an economic development guide and open space plan as part of the Compact. Polito congratulated the town leaders and said that Massachusetts has everything that is needed for a strong community, from great schools to jobs. “Overall I feel so positive about what we are accomplishing together here in Massachusetts,” Polito said. “We have bipartisan leadership. We work very closely with our colleagues in the legislature. We peel back those political labels and work on the initiatives that are meaningful to the people we serve,” Polito added.
Cadime also acknowledged the assistance of Rep. Steve Howitt and State Senator James Timilty, who were not able to attend the signing, for their efforts in helping to make the Community Compact possible.