From the Town Clerk
Hello All ~ Happy July. I can’t believe we are more than half way through 2019. I also can’t believe six full years have passed since I became your Town Clerk. I have to say . . . time sure does fly when you are having fun!!! I am definitely having fun and absolutely love being your Town Clerk. Thank you for another exciting, interesting, challenging, and informative year!
UPCOMING JULY 16, 2019 SPECIAL TOWN MEETING
By the time you receive the July issue of the Rehoboth Reporter, you should have received a warrant in the mail for another Special Town Meeting, which is scheduled for Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the DRRHS Auditorium. Why was it called? The Dighton-Rehoboth School Committee voted an assessment on Tuesday, June 4th and notified the Board of Selectmen on Wednesday, June 5th of their voted assessment. The Town of Rehoboth is required by law to hold a Special Town Meeting within 45 days of the DRRSC's vote. The Board of Selectmen scheduled the July 16 Special Town Meeting at the June 17 Board of Selectmen's meeting. For those of you who question why the meeting posted in the middle of July when people are on vacation, we are required by law to (1) hold this special town meeting within 45 days of the school committee vote as mentioned above and (2) we must follow a strict timeline guideline provided by the State for preparing and mailing the Special Town Meeting warrant to every household, along with posting the warrant around town and holding a final voter registration session. Due to the July 4th holiday and Moderator’s schedule, and our desire to schedule at a time that is not around the July 4th weekend, this was the only date available prior to the 45-day deadline.
Another question raised, was “is there absentee voting for Town Meeting”. Unfortunately, we are not permitted by law to allow absentee voting at Town Meetings. As you know, Town Meeting is the purest form of government, where all registered voters are permitted to ask questions, raise concerns, and advocate for their position on town meeting floor. You must be in attendance to hear the discussion and cast your vote. As a result, if you are able, we look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday, July 16th at the D-R High School Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. The Board of Selectmen chose a date, within the confines of the 45-day mandated period, that would provide the greatest opportunity of voter turnout based on the time of year.
If you are not registered to vote and would like to vote in the July 16th Special Town Meeting, you must register to vote no later than Friday, July 5th at 8:00 p.m.; the final voter registration session as required by Massachusetts General Law. As I am still out on surgical leave until July 15th; the Rehoboth Police Department has generously agreed to be available for extended voter registration hours on July 5th (from 12:15 p.m.-8:00 p.m.; when Town Offices are closed) so the Assistant Town Clerk and Registrars do not need to work on a holiday weekend, in an empty building. As a result, you may either register to vote online at www.registertovotema.com anytime from now until 8:00 p.m. on July 5th or come to the Clerk’s Office during regular work hours (Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. [office closed Thursday, July 4th] and Fridays 8:00 a.m.-12:00 Noon). If you are not sure if you are registered to vote, please look up your voter status on the Secretary of State’s website at:
Simply enter your first and last name, your date of birth, and zip code. Check the “I understand” box and then click on “search”. Your voter information will be displayed. You will see whether your voter registration is active, note your party affiliation, and confirm your voting precinct. As an additional reference, there is a list of elected officials and additional election resources for you to review. If your registration indicates your voter status as inactive, please contact the Clerk’s office prior to the July 5th, the last day to register to vote at the 7-16-19 Special Town Meeting. Thank you!
Also, the Board of Selectmen, in conjunction with the Finance Committee, will be holding an informational session for the upcoming Special Town Meeting on Wednesday, 7-10-2019 @ 7:00 p.m. at the Rehoboth Senior Center/Council on Aging – 55 Bay State Road. Should you have any questions, please attend the July 10th informational session so you will have answered what you need for the upcoming Special Town Meeting. If you are unable to attend, the meeting will be streamed live on www.RehobothTV.org or may be viewed after the meeting concludes on the website’s “OnDemand” tab under “Town Meetings” then “7-10-2019 Pre-Town Meeting”. If you are interested in reviewing prior School Committee meetings on the matter, they are also available on the “OnDemand” tab under D-R School Committee. Thank you for taking the time to be an informed voter.
CALLING ALL INTERESTED ELECTION WORKERS
The upcoming 2020 Election year is shaping up to be quite busy. Presidential Primary in March, Annual Town Meeting in April, State Primary in September and Presidential and State Election in November. Would you like to be an Election Worker? For those interested, I have placed my election worker training PowerPoint and handout materials on the Town Clerk’s page of the town website if you would like to review. Go to: https://www.town.rehoboth.ma.us/town-clerk/pages/election-worker-training-resources and if, after reviewing the materials you would like to become an election worker, please fill out a talent bank form (available on the town’s website @ https://www.town.rehoboth.ma.us/sites/rehobothma/files/uploads/talent_bank_form-revised.pdf and become a part of our wonderful team. Elections usually require 15 hours of your time (6:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.); Town Meetings 4-5 hours (6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.) of your time. We will be holding an election training workshop sometime in the fall for all election workers so if you are interested, please fill out a talent bank form and send it in to the Board of Selectmen’s Office. More details on the upcoming 2019 Election training to follow in my August or September Reporter article.
NON-RESPONDENTS TO ANNUAL TOWN CENSUS
If you have not responded to the census, your voter status will change to inactive unless you return the signed confirmation card you received stating that you still live in the Town of Rehoboth. Individuals that are on the Inactive List (those who do not return our acknowledgement card or who have not answered our annual town census) will need to provide proof of continuous residency before being allowed to vote in any federal, state, or town election and/or town meeting. We still have 274 households that have not responded to our 2019 town census. That is 100 more non-respondents than last year. Non-Respondent Households in Precinct I = 93, Precinct II = 88 and Precinct III = 93.
All dog licenses were due and payable by April 1st. Unfortunately a $15.00 late fee was assessed for any licenses that were not renewed by June 1st. We still have 243 dogs that are unlicensed for this year. Total licensed dogs so far in 2019 is 1940 as of June 24, 2019. A non-criminal citation with an additional charge of $25.00 will be issued for any dogs that are not licensed by July 15th, so please, come in and license your dog(s) to avoid any further late charges. If your dog has a valid rabies vaccine, you may also register your dog online at:
https://www.invoicecloud.com/rehobothgovsvcs 24/7. Thanks so much.
We received the Annual Street Listings based on the 2019 Census data we gathered this year. If you would like a copy, there is a $15.00 charge. You may purchase at town hall or online at https://www.invoicecloud.com/rehobothgovsvcs and click on Street Listings.
Business owners are reminded that the application fee for a business certificate and/or business certificate renewal is $50.00 and that your certificate is valid for four years. New business owners must first go to Building Inspector/Zoning Officer, to complete a sign off sheet and then to the Town Clerk’s Office as your final step to be issued a Business Certificate. Information and forms are on the Town Clerk’s website:
TOWN CLERK KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY UPDATE
Thank you all for kind words, thoughts and prayers for my second total knee replacement surgery ~ they definitely worked and I am now a new woman without a limp! For those of you who did not know, I delayed my two total knee replacement surgeries for two years due to the Town Clerk’s Office schedule, town meetings and election schedules. My first total knee replacement (12/3/2018) resulted in absolutely no pain after surgery and after the conclusion of my physical therapy sessions experienced a 130-degree knee bend; doctors and therapists were hoping for 120 degrees.
Six months later, to the day (6-3-19), I went in for my second total knee replacement surgery at Charlton Memorial Hospital. A huge thank you to Dr. Joseph Lifrak and Joan Wildenhain, NP, (both of South Coast Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine in Swansea and Rehoboth residents) along with their surgical and office teams for their surgical and medical expertise! I was up and walking a few hours after knee replacement surgery; even doing stairs with my new knee the day after surgery.
After initially paying the price for trying to do “too much, too soon” I started my outpatient physical therapy on Monday, June 17th with Personal Best Physical Therapy in Rehoboth. Thank you Chris Titcomb (Rehoboth resident as well and owner of Personal Best Therapy) and staff for your time and expertise. I was in quite a bit of pain leading up to the two surgeries, but after surgery and therapy sessions I am moving into the pain free category very quickly!!! Thank you everyone at South Coast Orthopedics and Personal Best Therapy for your expertise and welcoming environments. Thanks to you I no longer limp and am focusing on getting at least 130-degree knee bend on my second knee within the next week or two. As of my PT appointment today, June 24, 2019, I am up to a 125-degree knee bend and able to walk, without the cane, at home. Having gone through bone-on-bone knee replacement on both knees, I highly recommend the surgery and physical therapy to anyone else in my situation. I feel like a new person!
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, even prepared for an entire Special Town Meeting from home and plan on starting back to Town Hall fulltime beginning July 15th.
It is truly amazing the mobility and strength I now have in my knees since the replacement surgery on December 3rd and June 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. Thank you, Chris, and the Personal Best staff for helping me regain my strength and mobility after surgery. It has been years since I have walked without constant knee pain ~ thank you all. 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 you all a wonderful 4th of July and a happy, healthy, safe, and memorable summer! We hope to see you all at the upcoming Special Town Meeting on Tuesday, July 16th and I look forward to chatting with you again in August.
Laura & Lynn