Election Tally - Town Clerk's Office
Hello All ~ The weather is warming up, flowers blooming, birds singing ~ Happy Spring! Thank you for the honor of being elected as your Town Clerk for another three-year term. I must say the past five years have flown by and I have thoroughly enjoyed every day of my job. Thank you for the opportunity to serve another three years and I look forward to making town government even more accessible to all our residents. March was a crazy busy month in the Town Clerk’s office. During the month of March we processed thousands of Census forms and dog licenses, while also preparing for the April 2nd Annual Town Election, working on the Town Clerk’s portion of the 2017 Annual Report and completing the Town Clerk’s 2019 fiscal year budgets.
ANNUAL TOWN ELECTION
The Rehoboth Reporter was kind enough to extend my submission deadline for the April Reporter so we could include the results of our Monday, April 2, 2018 Annual Town Election. All three precincts were open with the polls open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. We had 19% of our voting population (8,699) turn out to have their voices heard. That was 11% less than our 30% participation in last year’s Annual Town Election. We also had two contested races. As most of you already know, the following candidates appeared on the Annual Town Election Ballot:
Moderator (one for 1 year), Selectmen (two for 3 years), Town Clerk (one for 3 years), Assessor (one for 3 years), D-R School Committee (two for 3 years), Housing Authority (one for 5-years and one for 3-years), Planning Board (two for 5-years and one for 4-years), Park Commission (one for 5 years and one for 3-years), Storm Water Officer (one for 3-years), Tree Warden (one for 3-years) and Water Commissioner (one for 3-years). The results are as follows:
ELECTED AND APPOINTED TOWN OFFICIALS
A reminder to our elected and appointed town officials; you should be aware that no action can be taken by you in your position until you have taken the Oath of Office. Also, should you ever have reason to resign from your position; your resignation should be directed to the Town Clerk as per MGL c41, s109. Thank you!
5TH ANNUAL RABIES CLINIC – A SUCCESS!
We held our fourth annual Rehoboth/Seekonk Rabies Clinic on Saturday, March 10th from 9:00 a.m. to Noon. Residents of both towns were able to have their dogs and cats vaccinated for $12.00 each and renew their dog licenses at the same time. In addition to the vaccinations, Rehoboth residents were also able to renew their dog’s license. The first year we registered 25 dogs at the rabies clinic, in the second year we issued 48 dog tags, third year 65 dogs, fourth year 66 and this year we vaccinated 69 animals, registered 73 dogs, one Kennel and collected one late fee at the clinic. In 2017 we accepted $830 in dog license registrations and in 2018 $870, an increase of $40. It was interesting to see several residents came to the clinic just to register their dogs this year, since it was closer and more convenient than driving up to town hall. It was really nice to hear from the residents how much they appreciated Lynn, her son Logan and I spending our Saturday morning at the clinic so they could get their animals vaccinated and dogs registered well before the April 1st deadline. Lynn and I thoroughly enjoyed working with Florice Craig-Seekonk Town Clerk, Lorraine Sorel-Seekonk Assistant Town Clerk, Logan Shaker, the Save-A-Pet Volunteers including Retired Seekonk Town Clerk Jan Parker, Seekonk and Rehoboth Animal Control Officers, Sharon and Rob and Assistant Animal Control Officers, the Johnson family volunteers, Cynthia Lee, Seekonk Highway staff, Dr. Trusdale, and his office staff. Next year the rabies clinic will be scheduled around the same time (probably March 9, 2019) so mark your calendars, more information will be in your 2019 Census mailer.
ANNUAL TOWN MEETING
Rehoboth voters are advised that the date for the Annual Town Meeting, and a Special Town Meeting preceding the Annual, has been scheduled by the Board of Selectmen for Monday, May 14th, at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School Auditorium and will likely take two evenings, if not three. The Special Town Meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. with the Annual Town Meeting following immediately after at 7:30 p.m. A tentative second town meeting date has been scheduled for the following Monday, May 21st. If a third session is needed, we will hold that town meeting on Tuesday, May 29th. I urge all voters to come out to our Special and Annual Town Meeting and let your voice be heard. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!
UPCOMING VOTER REGISTRATION SESSION
The final Voter Registration date to be eligible to participate in the Special and Annual Town Meeting has been scheduled for Friday, May 4th from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Rehoboth Town Clerk’s Office. Prospective voters are reminded that they may also register to vote online by going to www.RegisterToVoteMA.com or by visiting the Town Clerk’s Office, picking up a voter registration form at the Rehoboth Post Office, by calling the Town Clerk’s Office to request a Mail-In voter registration form, or download a form online @ http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/Voter-reg-mail-in.pdf.
2018 DOG LICENSES ARE NOW PAST DUE
As mentioned earlier, 2018 Dog licenses were due April 1, 2018. You may purchase your dog’s license at the Town Clerk’s Office Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., licenses may also be purchased online @ https://www.invoicecloud.com/rehobothgovsvcs, or by mail (if paying by mail, checks should be made payable to the “Town of Rehoboth” ). The licensing fees are as follows: Male or female dog $20.00; spayed or neutered dogs $10.00. Whether renewing online, via mail, or in person, 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 our 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 with postage (71¢ for one dog tag, 93¢ for two dog tags and 1.15¢ for three dog tags).
Please renew your dog licenses as soon as possible to avoid any further late fees coming in June ~ thank you. To date we registered 1,248 dogs and still have over 975 to register. Remember, in addition to being a legal requirement, registering your dog assures the prevention of rabies, and provides easy identification to return lost dogs to their owners because they are now in our database.
ANNUAL TOWN CENSUS FORMS ARE NOW PAST DUE
Our Annual Town Census Forms for year 2018 were mailed to all households in Rehoboth during the first week of January. If you did not receive your census form, please contact the Town Clerk’s Office. Residents were asked to review the pre-printed forms, make corrections, and return them by the January 31, 2018 deadline. As of April 3rd we have 249 households in Precinct 1, 260 households in Precinct 2, and 347 households in Precinct 3 that have not yet returned their annual town census. If you haven’t returned your 2018 census form, please send it to the clerk’s office as soon as possible. I would personally like to thank the 4,158 households that have already returned their census forms. We are still waiting for 856 residents to return their forms. Also, as a reminder, failure to return the completed form may result in voters being placed on an inactive voting list and as per State requirements, after four years of inactivity you will be removed from the voting list.
Residents that have not returned their census forms may have received a “reminder” call from one of our Registrars, either Jennifer Moitoso or Helene Vitale. I would personally like to thank Lynn Shaker, Assistant Town Clerk, and all three Registrars, Kathleen Conti, Jennifer Moitoso, and Helen Vitale for working so diligently on this year’s census forms. With 12,662 residents, as of 4/3/2018 (up 117 from last year), this task would be unmanageable without their help ~ thank you all; I would be lost without all your hard work and dedication to the 2018 census project ~ thank you!
Speaking of the number of residents in Rehoboth, our population has fluctuated over the past few years. Total Rehoboth Population in 2013 was 12,060; 2014 was 12,175; 12,008 in 2015; 12,219 in 2016, 12,568 in 2017 and to date (4/3/2018), the 2018 census population is 12,662 (up 94 from last year). When the yearly census forms were received in January, residents were asked to please make sure all occupants living at their home were listed on the census; children and elders included. Doing a quick scan of the census records I noticed there are several children who were born to families living in Rehoboth; however, they have not been added to the family census documents. If children are born in Rhode Island (Woman’s and Infants, Rhode Island Hospital, etc.) that data is not shared with the Massachusetts town of residence. Therefore, the newborns can only be added when the parents update their yearly census forms. For your information, the data collected on the census forms is strictly confidential. In addition to confidentiality, children under the age of 16 do not appear on any report distributed from this office (with the exception of the school district which keeps that same information confidential as well).
Additionally, the D-R School District uses the census data we collect to predict the future student enrollment numbers. It is very important that all residents living in Rehoboth be accounted for on the yearly census forms. Lynn and I have also noticed that several families have moved out of Rehoboth, new families move in to those same homes; however, the new families have not filled out a census form when they move in to town. If you are new to Rehoboth and have not received a census form, please contact us or check our website for a census form - http://www.town.rehoboth.ma.us/town-clerk/pages/census-information. If you have already submitted your 2018 census data to our office and would like to update your 2018 census information with additional individuals living at your residence, please give us a call at 508-252-6502 X-3109 or X3110 or drop us an e-mail LSchwall@town.rehoboth.ma.us or LShaker@town.rehoboth.ma.us. Thank you for helping us maintain an accurate database of Rehoboth residents. This data will not only help the Clerk’s department, but all departments/committees trying to secure grants based on population figures, and the schools which are able to accurately predict and budget for future enrollment. We appreciate your help and look forward to hearing from you soon.
REMEMBERING MILDRED “MILLIE” J. HATTEN
(Last Month Millie’s section did not fully print in the Reporter ~ Please see the full article below.)
I am sad to say we lost a very dear lady on December 30, 2017 at the age of 90 years old. Millie was dedicated to the Town of Rehoboth serving almost 21 years as Rehoboth’s Town Accountant from 1974-1995, another 21 years as a Precinct 3 election worker 1995-2016, Computer Committee 1984-1994 and Finance Committee from 1999-2003. I truly enjoyed working with Millie ~ she was a lovely lady and will be truly missed. I know Millie is happy to be reunited with her husband Peter whom she missed dearly.
It is requested that when you send correspondence to any office at the Town Hall you only include information specific to the department you want to communicate with. As an example, residents might send in their tax payment along with their census form or dog license. Tax payments would go to the Tax Collector whereas census forms or dog licenses would go to the Town Clerk’s Office. By including multiple offices in one envelop it may delay processing your requests or payments. Thank you for your consideration.
Business owners whose business certificate will expire during January through June of 2018 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 have any questions on any of the above items please feel free to contact the Town Clerk’s Office at 508-252-6502, X3109 or X3110.
In closing, Thank you again for your support and for electing me for another three years as your Town Clerk. Lynn and I would like to thank the voters of Rehoboth for coming out and participating in the April 2, 2018 Annual Town Election. As you know, I personally believe, voting is a tremendous gift and your vote is so important in deciding the forward motion of our town government. As President Roosevelt so eloquently stated: “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Lynn and I also hope you had a wonderful Easter and/or Passover and have a most enjoyable Earth Day, and Arbor Day. Thank you all for taking the time to read my monthly updates and thank you also, Rehoboth Reporter, for faithfully publishing my article every month. We wish you all a most enjoyable April and as a friendly reminder, taxes are due Monday, May 1st, annual Excise Taxes were due April 2, 2018, yearly dog licenses were due April 1, 2018, and Annual Census forms were due January 31, 2018. I look forward to chatting with you again in May and hopefully seeing you at our Annual Town Meeting on Monday, May 14th. I/we hope you all enjoy the beautiful spring weather.
Laura & Lynn