From the Town Clerk
Hello All ~ The weather is warming up, flowers blooming, birds singing ~ Happy Spring! 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 1st Annual Town Election, working on the Town Clerk’s portion of the 2018 Annual Report and completing the Town Clerk’s 2020 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 1, 2019 Annual Town Election. All three precincts were open with the polls open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. We unfortunately only had 9% (719) of our voting population (8,144) turn out to have their voices heard. That was 10% less than our 19% participation in last year’s Annual Town Election. We only had one contested race; Parks Commission, with incumbent Kathleen Amaral being elected. As most of you already know, the following candidates appeared on the Annual Town Election Ballot:
Positions that were elected on the April 1, 2019 ballot were Moderator (one for 1 year), Selectmen (one position for 3 years), Treasurer (one for 3 years), Assessor (one for 3 years), School Committee (one for 3 years), Constable (three for 3 years), Planning Board (one for 5 years), Park Commission (one for 5 years), Housing Authority (three positions; one for 5 years, one for 4 years, and one for 2 years), and Water Commissioner (two for 3 years and one for 1 year). We also had one ballot question, which read as follows:
NON BINDING BALLOT QUESTION #1:
Do you approve of natural gas companies being allowed to extend gas lines within the Town of Rehoboth to provide the availability of natural gas service to residential and business addresses within the Town?
____ Yes ____ No
Attached please find the April 1, 2019 Election Results
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. If you are a registered voter, please voice your opinion at every election and town meeting. 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.
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!
6TH ANNUAL RABIES CLINIC – ANOTHER SUCCESS!
We held our sixth annual Rehoboth/Seekonk Rabies Clinic on Saturday, March 9th 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, fifth year 73 dogs, and this year 47. At the clinic, we accepted $520 in dog license registrations. It was interesting to see several residents come 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, Bonnie Johnson, 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 7, 2020 or March 14, 2020) so please, tentatively, mark your calendars, more information will be in your 2020 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 13th, 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 20th. If a third session is needed, we will hold that town meeting on Tuesday, May 28th. 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 3rd 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.
2019 DOG LICENSES ARE NOW PAST DUE
As mentioned earlier, 2019 Dog licenses were due April 1, 2019. You may license your dog(s) 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 obtained 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 1,284 dogs and still have over 927 to register. Remember, in addition to being a legal requirement, registering your dog assures the prevention of rabies, and provides easy identification to reunite lost dogs with their owners because they are now in our database.
ANNUAL TOWN CENSUS FORMS ARE NOW PAST DUE
Our Annual Town Census Forms for year 2019 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, 2019 deadline. As of April 1st we have 412 households in Precinct 1, 277 households in Precinct 2, and 142 households in Precinct 3 that have not yet returned their annual town census. If you haven’t returned your 2019 census form, please send it to the clerk’s office as soon as possible. I would personally like to thank the 4,145 households that have already returned their census forms. We are still waiting for 831 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 12,725 residents, as of 4/2/2019 (up 61 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 2019 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 (4/1/2019), the 2019 census population is 12,725. 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 2019 census data to our office and would like to update your 2019 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.
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 envelope 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 2019 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, Lynn and I hope you have a wonderful Patriot’s Day, Easter and/or Passover, 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 3, 2019, yearly dog licenses were due April 1, 2019, and Annual Census forms were due January 31, 2019. I look forward to chatting with you again in May and hopefully seeing you at our Annual Town Meeting on Monday, May 13th. I/we hope you all enjoy the beautiful spring weather.