Voters Approve Temporary Tax Increase for School Projects
Voters approved both ballot questions in the special election on June 10. Question #1, which asked voters to approve the design, construction and furnishing of a 10-classroom addition to Aitken Elementary School, was approved 633 to 363. Questions #2, which asked voters to approve a new air-conditioning system at Aitken, was a closer vote, with 555 in favor and 431 against. The projects will be funded through a debt exclusion, or temporary override, of the state’s Proposition 2 ½ tax-limiting law. The expected annual tax increase for a home valued at $318,000 is $129. Voters at the annual town meeting on May 13 had approved the projects. The turnout was 997, or 9.5 percent, of the town’s 10,480 registered voters.
Seekonk Police Chief Resigns
Police Chief Frank John resigned after being on administrative leave for several months for circumstances that were not publicly announced, according to a Sun Chronicle article. John was appointed Police Chief in September 2018. He replaced Craig Mace, who served the department for more than 30 years, with five as chief. In March, John was placed on administrative leave and an investigation was conducted. Town officials said it was a personnel matter and did not comment further. John’s official resignation date is July 31. He served the department since 1987. Deputy Police Chief David Enos will continue to oversee daily operations of the police department.
Seekonk is Among 65 Towns to Receive a State Grant to Combat Climate Change
Seekonk is receiving a grant for $27,000 from the Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program for a climate change project. The Baker-Polito Administration has awarded $12 million in grants to municipalities across the state. Of these funds, $1.7 million was awarded to 65 communities, including Seekonk, to pursue a community-led planning process to identify vulnerabilities to climate change and develop action plans, according to a press release from the Governor’s office. The remaining $10.3 million was awarded to 34 communities, including Rehoboth, that have completed the planning process and are ready to implement projects to build local resilience to climate change impacts. 71 percent of communities have received MVP Planning Grants, which officials say underscores the “real need” for climate resilience projects.
Garabian Wins Shot-Put Title
Cameron Garabian, recent graduate of Seekonk High School, won her first outdoor New England shot put title at the New England Interscholastic Track and Field Championship last month, according to a Sun Chronicle article. She achieved her personal best with a 47-foot throw. She also placed third in the discus with 127 feet.