October 22, 2018

MY TWO CENTS

Posted

The decision to not seek re-election for the position of Selectman was not an easy decision. Due to my current work demands, it is difficult to devote the time and energy that is needed to serve the town residents. I am not one to rubber stamp anything and I don’t want to do things half a$$.

Monday, March 26th was my last Selectman meeting. To say I was overwhelmed with the number of people that came to the meeting would be an understatement. As we ended our executive session, Skip asked to speak to me while my other Selectman left the room, he told me “all these people are here tonight are for you”….as I walked out, I was shocked…shaking and couldn’t believe it! Those that have supported me, helped me over the last 12 years were there…..Manny & Judy Sarraiva, Chuck Procoppio, Kathy Conti, Mike and Pat O’Hern, Kevin & Collen McBride, Liz Doyle, Bill Cute, Jen & Derek Rousseau, Mike Costello, Mike & Sue McBride ( and the rest of the finance committee), Rob Johnson, Chief Trombetta, Chief Barresi, Sgt Ramos, Lt. Medeiros, Laura Schwall….if I missed anyone, I’m sorry….I wasn’t seeing clearly in the moment…all I saw was a room full of some many people! Many got up and said a few words….it was hard not to be overwhelmed! Steve Howitt started with a citation from the State, the Sheriff Tom Hodgson, then my board of Selectman…all thanking me for serving and singing my praises....holy moly, I wonder if I got a glimpse of my eulogy! Joe Tito phoned in from California…and many text messages from town employees who could not make the meeting. I was shocked! I would not have endured for 12 years without the support of so many people.

There are so many people who volunteer their time and energy to make Rehoboth the kind of community we all were attracted to when deciding to move into town. They do this all without any compensation. From Planning Board, Conservation, Board of Health, IT Committee, COA Board to Finance Committee all working hard for all of you and many who supported me over the last 12 years…thank you!

I’d like to think I played a role in appointing the best of the best to the various committee’s in town as well as hiring the best manager for such positions as, Highway Superintendent, Police Chief, Fire Chief, Town Clerk (appointed the vacancy), Health Agent, Veterans Agent, Town Administrator and Town Accountant. Thank you! A special thank you to Helen Dennen who was a tremendous help and support to me during the crazy times…I’ll be forever thankful.

I’m proud that I played a role in instituting a capital plan to insure we give all our managers the necessary tools to get the job done as well as begin planning to address the many capital needs in this town. The decision to not seek re-election is bittersweet. There is still some unfinished business…such as addressing the public safety building and town hall and the DR Regional Agreement.

I would like to thank my fellow Selectman over the last 6 years. Thank you to Mike Costello and Joe Tito who stepped up and ran for office during the crazy times. Their efforts turned this town around and has resulted in a better Rehoboth. To my fellow selectman….this board is one of the best boards that I’ve seen in my 16 years as a resident of Rehoboth and very proud to have served with all of you….Jim Muri, Skip Vadnais, Gerry Schwall and Dave Perry. A special thank you to Skip Vadnais who helped “calm” me down during the earlier years. If you’ve watched the board of Selectman you know that I can be very passionate and get frustrated at the pace of government. Thank you Skip for your guidance and calming influence over the years. I’m confident that this board will finish what has been started….addressing the public safety building, town hall and DR Regional Agreement.

To all my friends ( and apparently I have many!!!), thank you for all your support over the last 12 years. I could not have served without all of your support! I was very lucky and grateful to have had such wide support over the years.

Thank you to the voters, it was my honor to serve you.

Election Results Summary

The results are in….with 19% voter turnout, incumbent Gerry Schwall and former Selectman and current Highway Superintendent Mike Costello were elected to the Board of Selectman….both were within 50 votes of each other.   The voters re-elected Kathy Cooper to the Dighton Rehoboth School Committee and former school committee member and current finance committee member George Solas.  Mike Deignan was a close 3rd place with 21 votes separating him and George Solas.   

 

The debt exclusion vote to repair or replace the Dighton Rehoboth High School roof was overwhelmingly approved by the voters.   For a complete list of the winners as well as the number of votes, please go to the town’s website under “news”.

There were several elected position on the ballot, but only two contested races.  Typically, but not always, contested races are a result of voters looking for change…maybe a hot topic or major issue that needs to be addressed.   I would say that is true for both Selectman races and Dighton Rehoboth School Committee positions.   There were 5 candidates for Selectman, for two open positions.  They are Incumbent Gerry Schwall seeking a second term, former Selectman and current highway superintendent, Mike Costello; Antonio Oliveira (ran last year for Selectman) and Craig Chapman, who also threw his hat into the ring last year, only to withdraw after the ballot had been printed; and newcomer Jonathan Clark.

There were 4 candidates for School Committee, for two positions as well.  Both incumbents, Kathy Cooper and David Katseff sought re-election; Mike Deignan, Finance Committee Chairman and George Solas (former school committee member and current member of the finance committee) round out the four candidates. At last month’s Meet the Candidate, sponsored by the RBA, the discussion regarding the inequity in the Dighton Rehoboth Regional agreement resulted in a heated discussion by all candidates.

The vote to exempt proposition 2 ½ with a debt exclusion to repair or replace the Dighton Rehoboth High School roof was overwhelmingly passed.  At special town meeting, town meeting voted to expend funds 3Million to replace or repair the school roof.  The election vote asked the voters to fund it thru a debt exclusion.  The vote to repair and replace already passed at town meeting. 

For Selectman, the big issue is what to do with the Town Hall and Public Safety Building.  Both buildings have major issues that need to be addressed….both have far outlived their usefulness.  All candidates have expressed an interest in moving forward with new buildings that better suit the town’s needs.  The big issue is how to pay for it. 

Uncontested races:
Incumbent Bill Cute once again ran for  Moderator; Incumbent Town Clerk, Laura Schwall, Incumbent Assessor Susan Taylor.   Planning Board had 3 positions (two 5 term positions & 1 4 year position due to a resignation).  Incumbent Tomas E. Ennis sought re-election to the 5 year term, as well as newcomer and water commission member Patricia Vadnais.  Kenneth Abrams sought election to the Park Commission as well as George Cardono (2 positions available).  Incumbent and current Selectman sought re-election as Stormwater Officer.   Incumbent & current Animal Control Office, Rob Johnson ran for Tree Warden and incumbent Thomas Nicholson ran for re-election as Water Commissioner.  Obviously, all won their respective seats.

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