January 21, 2021

From the Town Clerk

Posted

Hello All ~ Happy New Year ~ Another holiday that came and was celebrated in a very different way during the Coronavirus pandemic.  Prayerfully, with the newly authorized and administered vaccines, 2021 will be a year of hope and health.  Hoping life as we knew it, prior to the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic, will soon be returned.  I wish you all a safe, HEALTHY, happy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year.  By now you should have received your 2021 Annual Census forms and dog tag application form.  If you did not receive your 2021 census during the first week of January, please contact the Town Clerk’s Office (508) 252-6502 x-3109, 3112 or 3110.  The 2021 census mailing includes a 2021 town calendar and town services directory.  This is the eighth 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 has been during the year.  In fact, residents have already called our office to see if the 2021 calendar was available yet.   If you would like another copy of the calendar, please let us know; we will gladly share an extra copy, while supplies last.  Thank you all for your kind comments and appreciation of the yearly town calendar.  We hope you find the 2021 Town 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!

This year’s calendar features the “Church in the Village” ~ the Rehoboth Congregational Church (RCC).  Did you know the Congregational Church will be celebrating their 300th Anniversary in 2021?  The church organized on November 29, 1721 and will be celebrating their anniversary with special events throughout 2021.  You may view the RCC’s 300th Anniversary Calendar of Events @ www.RehobothCongregational.org/300th  As time permits, please take a few moments to read the information on the 2021 Calendar regarding the history of the Rehoboth Congregational Church.  The Church in the Village is truly one of Rehoboth’s treasures!  Thank you, Photographer Tom Davis for the gorgeous photo he shared with us this year!  Thank you also, Helen Davis for the wonderful historical excerpt you will find on this year’s 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 license renewals, tentative rabies clinic date (depending on the pandemic situation), 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 of the calendar, 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. 

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 remember to add your alternative phone number and e-mail to the census forms so we may contact you if needed ~ thank you!

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 or utilize Census drop off box at Town Hall.  Due to the Pandemic and COA fire, we have eliminated the drop off boxes at the Blanding Library, Bristol County Savings Bank, and the Senior Center this year.  We will bring them back in 2022, after the pandemic is over and State of Emergency is lifted.  Additionally, you can scan in your signed and completed census forms and email them to TownClerk@RehobothMA.gov .

This year’s census mailer has four inserts:  the household census forms, the 2021 Calendar, and the Annual Dog Licensing form.  Please note the Annual Rehoboth-Seekonk Rabies Clinic, which is scheduled for Saturday, March 20th, 2021 from 2:00 PM. to 4:00 PM.   Please note the Rabies clinic will be offered this year at the Rehoboth Animal Shelter; behind Town Hall (148 Peck Street).  The date (3-20-2021) is “tentative” and may be rescheduled to a later time if the COVID positive numbers remain high in Rehoboth. For more information, please see the bottom of the Dog Licensing Form or under the Dog Licenses and Rabies Clinic sections of this article.  Updated information will be shared on the Town Website at www.RehobothMA.gov The fourth insert is a single-sided document, which details important information from Rehoboth Ambulance Committee.  Additionally, new residents may receive blank 2021 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-3112 (Odete), 3109 (Lynn) or 3110 (Laura).  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 1-31-21

2021 DOG LICENSES
The 2021 Dog Licenses are now available and may be purchased through the Town Clerk’s Office.  Again in 2021, 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 through the outside drop box (town offices remain closed to the public due to the COVID-19 Pandemic), 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 or four 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 permits 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.

2021 – ANNUAL RABIES CLINIC
Keep them safe . . . inoculate!  The Annual Rehoboth-Seekonk  $12 Dog and Cat Rabies Clinic is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, March 20, 2021 - 2:00 PM ~ 4:00 PM.  This year the Rehoboth rabies clinic will be held at the Rehoboth Animal Shelter (148 Peck Street) rather than the Seekonk Public Works Department Garage.  The Rehoboth Town Clerk’s Office Staff will be there to renew your 2021 Dog Licenses.  If you would like to help us register the residents for their dog and cat rabies shots, please let us know.  Please be aware, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the State group gathering guidelines, the 2021 Rabies Clinic may need to be delayed.  Please check the Town Website for up-to-date Rabies Clinic information.  For more details either on the rabies clinic or helping us staff the event, please call 508-252-6502 X-3112, 3109 or 3110 ~ thank you.

 THE ANNUAL TOWN ELECTION
The Annual Town Election for the Town of Rehoboth will be held on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 with the polls open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Polling Location to be determined based on the current Pandemic, State of Emergency, and State Social Distancing protocols.  Details will be communicated as we get closer to the election.  As always, the Town Website will have updated polling information when available.

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, by appointment, at the Town Clerk’s office and must be returned, signed by a minimum of 50 registered voters.  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, Tuesday, February 16th.

Positions to be elected on the ballot for 2021 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 (one for 5 years), Park Commission (one for 5 years), Housing Authority (one for 5 years), Storm Water Officer (one for 3 years), Tree Warden (one for 3 years) and Water Commissioner (one for 3 years).

When the Democratic and Republican Town Committees decide on a definitive date and location for their Annual Town Election Caucuses, I will print that information in my February Rehoboth Reporter article.

The final voter registration date, to be eligible to vote in the Annual Town Election, is scheduled for Wednesday, March 17th 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 4th 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 6, 2021 Annual Town Election is 12:00 p.m. on April 5, 2021. Completed ballot requests/applications must be returned to the Town Clerk’s Office no later than Noon on Monday, April 5, 2021.  All absentee ballots must be returned to the Town Clerk’s Office/outside Ballot Drop Box by no later than 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. 

BUSINESS CERTIFICATES
Business owners whose business certificate will expire during January through June of 2021 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, by appointment only (508-252-6502), due to Town Offices being closed to the public.  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), X3112 (Odete) or X3110 (Laura).

In closing, Lynn, Odete and I wish all of our town residents a happy, safe, peaceful, healthy, and prosperous New Year.  Please all stay healthy and prayerfully our 2021 will be a happier and healthier year.  Final reminders, Town Offices will be closed on Monday, January 18th in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Real Estate Taxes are due February 1, 2021 ~ thank you.  Please stay safe and I look forward to talking with you in February. 

Sincerely,
Laura, Lynn and Odete

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