April 17, 2021

Seekonk Voters Delay Charter Changes

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Voters at the 3/27 town meeting, which had been delayed multiple times due to fears of Covid-19, opted to postpone changes to the Home Rule Charter.

Those in favor of postponement stated there hadn’t been sufficient time to review the modifications.

“The Charter Review Committee, which was appointed by the Board of Selectmen, have not had the opportunity to publicly present their recommendations,” said Doreen Taylor, a former selectwoman.

“To indefinitely postpone it and ignore it and ignore the work that went on for years to review this charter, it’s just absolutely ludicrous to blow off the amount of time put into this charter study,” said John Alves, a member of the Charter Review Committee.

Voters approved $500,000 to fund the construction of an ADA compliant sidewalk, new curbing, and wooden guardrail along Arcade Avenue near the Senior Center. The funding also provides for the installation of a pedestrian light at the intersection of Ledge Road and Arcade Avenue.

Town Administrator Shawn Cadime noted families and children use the sidewalks and trails along Arcade, adding safety was a priority.

Selectman David Viera said a light was “long overdue.”

An article calling for an appropriation of $144, 310 to fund the purchase and equipping of a Trackless Machine to be used by the Department of Public Works was indefinitely postponed.

Also approved was a voter petition article calling for the lease of the former town landfill off Fall River Avenue (Route 114A) for a solar power facility.

Other items which were approved:

• An article authorizing the town treasurer to borrow up to $350,000 for the cost of renovating or reconstructing the age 18 – 22 Transition Program at Seekonk High School

• Appropriation of $50,000 for repairs and upgrades to the Public Safety building on Taunton Avenue.

• The appropriation of $157,000 to fund the purchase and installation of guardrails, paving, landscaping and other site work at the Town Hall playground.

• The appropriation of $83,000 to fund the purchase and installation of an emergency reporting system which will replace the discontinued Vision 21 system.

• The appropriation of $48,000 to fund the purchase and installation of irrigation wells and irrigation control panels for the Water Lane athletic fields.

• The transfer of $500,000 from

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Doreen Taylor

The purpose for the request to delay the Charter Amendments was basically due to the fact the Committee brought together to do the work submitted their plan one year ago. Through the Covid Nightmare and the lack of in person meetings, the Board of Selectmen made changes. The Community at large did not have an opportunity to speak properly and share input to the document we consider our Town Constitution.

Please keep in mind the thought is to have a work session with the Board of Selectmen for the sole purpose of discussing the Charter and Amendments. The delay is not an attempt to keep it on the back burner for another year. At the very least, let

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