From the Clerk's Office
Hello All ~ Happy New Year ~ I wish you a safe, healthy, happy, peaceful, and prosperous new year. I also hope you all had a wonderful holiday season with family and friends. By now you should have received your 2018 Annual Census forms and dog tag application form. If you do not receive your 2018 census during the first week of January, please contact the Town Clerk’s Office (508) 252-6502 x-3110 or 3109. Like last year, the census mailing also includes a town calendar and town services directory. This is the fifth year the Clerk’s Office has provided a calendar in the census mailer. Over the past few years we have received many compliments on how helpful the calendar was during the year. In fact, residents have already stopped by our office in December to see if the 2018 calendar was available yet. Thank you all for your kind comments and appreciation of the yearly town calendar. Continuing my goal of making town government more accessible to the residents, it is my hope that the calendar provides you with key information right at your fingertips. You will note, the calendar signals residents of upcoming due dates such as real estate tax payments, census forms, and dog licenses, which are highlighted in green; upcoming election and town meeting dates, which are highlighted in blue, and town department holidays that are bolded in red (whole day) and purple (half day). On the reverse side of the calendar, you will also find a directory of the Town of Rehoboth’s departments, employees, and phone numbers. Also, included on the directory side you will find information and websites, which residents may find useful such as transfer station hours, burning permit information, school and library phone numbers, etc. We hope you find the 2018 calendar addition to your census mailing a beneficial and time saving tool ~ Happy New Year and thank you for sending your completed census forms back to us as soon as possible!
THOUGHTS & PRAYERS TO THE BLISS FAMILY
We lost another wonderfully dedicated town resident on December 10, 2017, Imelda “Mel” Bliss served as Rehoboth’s Precinct 1 Warden and/or Election Worker since June 19, 2000 (17+ years). I would personally like to send my condolences to Ed Bliss and family. I truly enjoyed getting to know and work with Mel over the past 4 ½ years, I will sincerely miss her. Elections and Town Meetings just won’t be the same without her smile. My thoughts and prayers are with the Bliss family and all Mel’s friends during this difficult time.
UPCOMING JANUARY 29, 2018 – SPECIAL TOWN MEETING
I would like to remind all town residents that Monday, January 29th, 2018 is our next Special Town Meeting. We will meet at the Dighton-Rehoboth High School Auditorium at 7:00 PM. If you will be 18 years of age or older by January 29, 2018, you may register to vote by the January 19th deadline ~ just in time for Special Town Meeting. Remember your vote is important in the way our town is run and revenue is spent! However, you must be present in order to voice your opinion.
On the Special Town Warrant is: the Fiscal Year 2018 Amended Budget and the D-R Regional High School Roof Debt Exclusion Ballot Vote article. Please come to Special Town Meeting and be a part of the decision-making process of our wonderful town. Hope to see you there.
JANUARY VOTER REGISTRATION FOR SPECIAL TOWN MEETING
We have a special voter registration session during the month of January with extended hours for those who cannot make it to Town Hall during regular business hours. Friday, January 19, from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. is the required voter registration session for the January 29, 2018 Special Town Meeting. If you are unable to make it to town hall, you may also register online @ https://www.sec.state.ma.us/OVR/. If you are not sure if you are registered to vote, you may check your voter status on the Secretary of State’s website at: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/VoterRegistrationSearch/MyVoterRegStatus.aspx.
If your registration indicates your voter status as inactive, please contact the Clerk’s office. Should voters have questions or unable to check their voter registration status online, please call the Town Clerk’s Office at 508 252-6502, Extension 3109 or 3110.
ANNUAL TOWN CENSUS
As mentioned in last month’s article, the Board of Registrars is required to conduct an annual street listing (Census) of residents as of the first of January each year. In addition to the name, address, date of birth, occupation, veteran status with “war era” noted, and number of dogs, the form includes a section for school information required by the school department. Results of the census are used to prove residency for a variety of reasons. The data is used for state college entrance applications, veterans’ benefits, amending and establishing birth records, locating missing persons, establishing precinct lines, predicting future school enrollment, state and federal funding to the town, police and fire protection, updating the voting list, and other legal purposes.
Please review the pre-printed Census Form, make corrections, and return it no later than January 31st. You may choose to return the Census Form via the USPS, utilize Census drop off boxes at Town Hall, Blanding Library, Bristol County Savings Bank, or the Senior Center. Additionally, you can scan in your signed and completed census forms and email them to either LSchwall@town.rehoboth.ma.us or LShaker@town.rehoboth.ma.us.
This year’s census mailer has three inserts in addition to the 2018 Calendar and household census forms. The first insert is the Annual Dog Licensing form (white paper – black print). Please note the 5th Annual Rehoboth-Seekonk Rabies Clinic, which is scheduled for Saturday, March 10th, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 (Noon). For more information please see the bottom of the Dog Licensing Form or under the Dog Licenses and Rabies Clinic sections of this article. The second insert is printed on blue paper with black print. It is a surveillance camera survey and authorization form for our Police Department. The third insert is the 2018 ~ 375th Anniversary Celebration “Calendar of Events”. As you know, Rehoboth will turn 375 years old on October 24, 2018 (when Rehoboth was established) and the 375th Anniversary Committee has planned a year’s worth of fun events to share with you. We hope to see you all at our celebratory events throughout the year. The festivities begin with our first event on Saturday, January 27th at Hillside Country Club for the 375th Anniversary Celebration Ball. For more information on the ball, the flyer is on the back of the Calendar of Events census insert. We look forward to having a wonderful year of celebrating our great town with you all.
Additionally, new residents may receive blank 2018 census forms, which they are asked to complete and return. If you do not receive a Census Form, please contact the Town Clerk’s Office 508-252-6502 X-3110 (Laura) or 3109 (Lynn). Blank Census forms are also available on the town website @ http://www.town.rehoboth.ma.us/town-clerk/pages/census-information
Failure to return the completed form may result in voters being placed on an inactive voting list or being removed from the voting list.
Residents are requested to please send in their census forms as quickly as possible regardless of whether or not they license their dogs at this time. Census forms are due 1-31-18
2018 DOG LICENSES
Speaking of dog licenses, the 2018 Dog Licenses are now available and may be purchased at the Town Clerk’s Office. Again in 2018, residents will also be able to renew their dog licenses online with a Debit/Credit Card or Electronic Check (ACH/EFT) at https://www.invoicecloud.com/rehobothgovsvcs.
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 the office a call 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 (the current postage is 71¢ for one dog tag, 93¢ for two dog tags and 1.15¢ for three dog).
New for 2018, all residents 70-years old or over do not need to pay the $10 or $20 yearly dog licensing fee. I submitted an article at the May 8, 2017 Annual Town Meeting (Article 15) requesting Town Meeting vote to accept MGL CHAPTER 140 SECTION 139(c), which states “No fee shall be charged for a license issued under this section for a service animal as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act or regulations promulgated thereunder. No fee shall be charged for a license for a dog owned by a person aged 70 years or over in a city or town that accepts this provision”. Town meeting did approve the acceptance of MGL Chapter 140 Section 139 (c), which will allow the Town Clerk’s Office to waive dog licensing fees for service animals and for dogs owned by any Rehoboth resident 70 years of age and older. They must provide proof or rabies vaccinations for each dog and proof of their age (70 or older). As per Town Counsel, this does not include Kennel Fees.
2018 – 5TH ANNUAL RABIES CLINIC
Keep them safe . . . inoculate! The 5th Annual Rehoboth-Seekonk $12 Dog and Cat Rabies Clinic is scheduled for Saturday, March 10, 2018 - 9:00 AM ~ 12:00 Noon @ Seekonk Public Works Department Garage (On the Corner of Route 44 & Lake Street). The Rehoboth & Seekonk Town Clerks will be there to renew your 2018 Dog Licenses. If you would like to help us register the residents for their dog and cat rabies shots, please let us know. For more details either on the rabies clinic or helping us staff the event, please call 508-252-6502 X-3110 or 3109 ~ thank you.
THE ANNUAL TOWN ELECTION
The Annual Town Election for the Town of Rehoboth will be held on Monday, April 2, 2018 with the polls open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. – ALL THREE PRECINCTS WILL BE OPEN. Precinct I is the Town Office Building at 148 Peck Street, Precinct II is the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center at 55 Bay State Road, and Precinct III is the South Fire Station at 102 Pleasant Street.
Nomination papers are now available for any registered voter in Rehoboth wishing to run for election on the Town ballot and who chooses not to seek a nomination through their registered party’s caucus process. Nomination papers may be picked up by prospective candidates at the Town Clerk’s office and must be returned, signed by a minimum of 38 registered voters, to the Board of Registrars at the Town Clerk’s Office by 5 p.m. on, or before, Monday, February 12th.
Positions to be elected on the ballot for 2018 are Moderator (one for 1 year), Selectmen (two positions for 3 years), Town Clerk (one for 3 years), Assessor (one for 3 years), School Committee (two for 3 years), Planning Board (two for 5 years), Housing Authority (one for 5 years and potentially another position for a 3-year term. I’m waiting to hear from the State to see if the recently accepted Legislation will require the elimination of one of the currently elected housing authority positions; the 3-year position). We will also have Park Commission (two - one for 5 years and one for 3 years), Stormwater Officer (one for 3 years), Tree Warden (one for 3 years) and Water Commissioner (one for 3 years) positions on the upcoming April 2, 2018 ballot.
The final voter registration date to be eligible to vote in the Annual Town Election is scheduled for Tuesday, March 13th from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Clerk’s Office.
Prospective voters are reminded that they may also register to vote by calling the Town Clerk’s Office to request a Mail-In voter registration form, or register online @ https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr/.
ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATIONS
Applications for absentee ballots are available as of January 2nd and may be obtained from the Town Clerk’s Office. Absentee ballots are obtained by written request only and must have the voter’s original signature. The deadline for filing absentee applications is Friday, March 30th at 5:00 p.m. Absentee ballot request forms are also available online @
http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/absentee_ballot.pdf for an individual request or
http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/absentee_ballot_fam.pdf for a family member.
Any questions regarding voter eligibility or requests for mail-in voter registration forms may be directed to the Town Clerk’s Office.
Business owners whose business certificate will expire during January through June of 2018 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. If you prefer to renew online, you may use the debit/credit card/ ACH/EFT payment method on the town website. However, your signature must be notarized on the business certificate renewal form then scanned and e-mailed to the town clerk’s office. Free notary services are available at the Town Clerk’s office during regular office hours. Debit/Credit Card or Electronic Check (ACH/EFT) transactions may also be processed through the town clerk’s office, in addition to online.
Questions or suggestions regarding any of the above topics may be directed to the Town Clerk’s Office, Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, 508-252-6502, X3109 (Lynn) or X3110 (Laura).
UPDATE ON TOWN CLERK CERTIFICATIONS
As of the submission of my December Reporter article, I had received confirmation of my International Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) certification but was still waiting confirmation of my Massachusetts Town Clerk certification (CMMC). I am pleased to inform you that I received my Massachusetts certification as well on November 30th. I became the 119th out of 351 current City and Town clerks to receive the prestigious designation of Certified Massachusetts Municipal Clerk (CMMC). I am now dual certified (Internationally and State) and able to serve the residents of Rehoboth better with the education I received over the past few years. Thank you all for your kind e-mails, notes and cards ~ they were truly appreciated.
In closing, Lynn and I wish all of our town residents a happy, safe, peaceful, healthy, and prosperous New Year.
Laura & Lynn