From the Town Clerk
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 2019 Annual Census forms and dog tag application form. If you do not receive your 2019 census during the first week of January, please contact the Town Clerk’s Office (508) 252-6502 x-3110 or 3109. The census mailing also includes a town calendar and town services directory. This is the sixth 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 2019 calendar was available yet. Thank you all for your kind comments and appreciation of the yearly town calendar. This year’s calendar features the Rehoboth Minutemen as they marched in the Rehoboth 375th Anniversary Parade. Thank you 375th Anniversary Celebration Photographer, Kevin Hebert, for your photography talents ~ awesome photo! 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 2019 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! Due date is January 31st ~ thank you!
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 four inserts: the household census forms, the 2019 Calendar and, the Annual Dog Licensing form (white paper – black print). Please note the 6th Annual Rehoboth-Seekonk Rabies Clinic, which is scheduled for Saturday, March 9th, 2019 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 fourth insert is printed on green paper with black print. It is a notice from our Town Tax Collector and Treasurer, Cheryl Gouveia, regarding the revised mailing address of our local tax payments. Reminder – Taxes will be due February 1, 2019.
Additionally, new residents may receive blank 2019 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 @
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 1-31-19.
2019 DOG LICENSES
Speaking of dog licenses, the 2019 Dog Licenses are now available and may be purchased at the Town Clerk’s Office. Again in 2019, 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 tags).
Reminder, all residents 70-years old or over do not need to pay the $10 or $20 yearly dog licensing fee. As I’m sure you remember, 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 now permit 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. Proof of rabies vaccinations for each dog and proof of the dog owner’s age (70 or older) is required. As per Town Counsel, this does not include Kennel Fees.
2019 – 6TH ANNUAL RABIES CLINIC
Keep them safe . . . inoculate! The 6th Annual Rehoboth-Seekonk $12 Dog and Cat Rabies Clinic is scheduled for Saturday, March 9, 2019 - 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 2019 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 1, 2019 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. If you are not sure of your voting Precinct, please check your census form this year – it is listed on the top right of your 2019 Census document.
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 50 registered voters. The required number of voter signatures on town election nomination papers is up from 38 voters due to the 11-6-18 Gubernatorial Election Turnout. For a detailed explanation, please see my article in the December issue of the Reporter, thank you. All signed and completed nomination papers are due back to the Board of Registrars at the Town Clerk’s Office by 5 p.m. on, or before, Monday, February 11th.
Positions to be elected on the ballot for 2019 are Moderator (one for 1 year), Selectmen (one position for 3 years), Treasurer (one for 3 years), Assessor (one for 3 years), School Committee (one for 3 years), Constable (three for 3 years), Planning Board (one for 5 years), Park Commission (one for 5 years), Housing Authority (three positions; one for 5 years, one for 4 years, and one for 2 years), and Water Commissioner (two for 3 years and one for 1 year).
The final voter registration date, to be eligible to vote in the Annual Town Election, is scheduled for Tuesday, March 12th 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 online at www.RegisterToVoteMA.com, by calling the Town Clerk’s Office to request a Mail-In voter registration form, or download a form @ http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/Voter-reg-mail-in.pdf.
ABSENTEE BALLOT REQUESTS
Applications for absentee ballots are available as of January 2nd and may be obtained from the Town Clerk’s Office or online @ https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/absentee/English-Absentee-Ballot-Application.pdf. An absentee ballot may only be obtained by written request and with the voter’s original signature. Filing deadline for an absentee ballot request for the April 1, 2019 Annual Town Election is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 29, 2019.
Business owners whose business certificate will expire during January through June of 2019 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).
THOUGHTS & PRAYERS TO THE DYER FAMILY
We lost another wonderful town resident on December 23, 2018, Jean Dyer. I understand funeral arrangements were kept private. As a result, I would personally like to send my condolences to E. Otis Dyer and family. My thoughts and prayers are with the Dyer family and all Jean’s friends during this difficult time.
UPDATE ON TOWN CLERK’S KNEE SURGERY
Thank you all for kind words, thoughts and prayers for my knee surgery ~ they worked. Thank you also Dr. Joe Lifrak, Joan Wildenhain, NP (both Rehoboth residents) and their surgical team for their surgical expertise! I was up and walking a few hours after knee replacement surgery; even doing stairs with my new knee the day after surgery. Pain was minimal and only lasted a day or two. My two-day stay at Charlton hospital was incredible. The facility was clean, cheery and staff absolutely amazing. Everyone was so helpful and caring; from the valet, meal staff, nursing staff, doctors, physical therapist and occupational therapists, everyone could not have been nicer! They were all caring, personable and thoughtful ~ thank you all.
I had my post-op visit today (12/27/18) and am pleased to say I have 110-degree knee bend and 0-degree flat after surgery and three weeks of in-home physical therapy (Thank you Sandy, Maria, Matt & Ryan). I have graduated from a walker, to two crutches, to one crutch, to now only a cane. I have also transitioned from in-home physical therapy to outpatient physical at Rehoboth’s own “Personal Best”. I look forward to working with Chris and staff at Personal Best beginning the first week of January, 2019.
Thanks to the dedicated service of Lynn Shaker, Assistant Town Clerk, the Clerk’s Office remained open and operated flawlessly during my absence ~ Thank you Lynn for your time and dedication! Thanks to technology I have also been working from home since leaving the hospital and plan on starting back to Town Hall (part-time) beginning sometime during the week of January 7th, depending on my Physical Therapy schedule.
It is truly amazing the mobility and strength I now have in my knee since the replacement surgery on December 3rd. Thank you again Dr. Joe Lifrak, Joanie (Jo-knee) Wildenhain and staff for eliminating my constant knee pain, limp and for giving me great knee mobility and minimal scarring. It has been years since I have walked without constant knee pain ~ thank you. I am truly amazed and grateful for the entire surgical and recovery experience. Thank you all again for your well wishes and thank you Lynn for seeing the needs of the residents were taken care of in my absence. I look forward to seeing you all again soon!
In closing, Lynn and I wish all of our town residents a happy, safe, peaceful, healthy, and prosperous New Year.
Laura & Lynn