From the Town Clerk
Hello All – I hope you all had a most enjoyable Memorial Day. I would like to take a moment to pause and remember all the brave men and women, and their families, who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our nation. Thank you for protecting the freedoms that we enjoy today. I would also like to thank Jake Kramer, Rehoboth’s Veterans Agent, for the many hours he spent preparing for the Memorial Day Parade – great job Jake! Thoughts and Prayers also go out to the Saunders family as the, May 27, 2019 Memorial Day Parade was dedicated to LTC William C. Saunders. As many of you may know, Bill & Ginny Saunders unfortunately both passed away in 2018.
The month of May was another busy month in the Town Clerk’s office, Special and Annual Town Meetings, Census finalized and reports printed, Street Listings sent to printers, Town Clerk’s portion of the Annual Report completed, reminder letters sent out to delinquent dog owners, business certificate renewals mailed, voter inactivation cards sent for those that did not return their 2019 census forms and much, much more.
STREET LISTINGS HAVE ARRIVED
Printed copies of the 2019 Street Listings are now available at Town Hall (148 Peck Street - Town Clerk's Office; office hours are Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.; Friday 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 Noon) the cost is $15/copy.
SPECIAL AND ANNUAL TOWN MEETING
The Special Town Meeting and Annual Town Meeting commenced on Monday, May 13th, at the Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School convening at 7:12 p.m. with 158 registered voters in attendance for the Special Town Meeting, which dissolved at 8:03 p.m. At 8:12 p.m., 458 registered voters were present for the Annual Town Meeting (ATM). Through the night the attendance grew to 471 voters out of a total of 8,568 active registered voters as of May 3, 2019 (last day to officially register for the May 13, 2019 Town Meeting). The first session of the May 13, 2019 Annual Town meeting adjourned at 10:37 p.m. after voting on Articles 1, 2 and 4. The adjourned session of the May 13, 2019 ATM reconvened on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 7:03 p.m. at the D-R Regional High School Auditorium with 469 voters present and grew to a total of 699 voters present for the completion of our Annual Town Meeting. Voter turnout was record breaking!!!
We also introduced a new type of technology for voter check-in called the PollPad. PollPads are used to check in voters on an iPad instead of the paper voter lists, which the election workers would need to flip through. PollPads allow the voter check-in process to move along more expeditiously. We used the Poll Pads previously at the Gubernatorial Election in November and Annual Town Meeting in April, but we were required by the State to use them in tandem with the Poll Pads. To speed up the check-in process at Town Meeting, we were allowed by the State to use only the Poll Pads (iPads) at the first and second sessions of Annual Town Meeting without the paper voter list. I purchased the original three Poll Pads with grant money I received from the State for our first session of Early Voting in 2016 (Presidential Election). The second set of Poll Pads were just purchased on May 14th with grant money we received from the State for the second session of Early Voting 2018 (Gubernatorial Election). With a turnout of 471 voters at the 5/13/19 Special & Annual Town Meeting, through the use of the PollPads, our election workers processed 413 of the 471 voters in a 60-minute timeframe (approximately 7 voters per minute at a rate of 8.7 seconds/voter) an awesome job by all. When Town Meeting ended with the $558,000 amendment from stabilization still to vote, I knew both sides of the vote would come out in force, so I expedited the purchase of three additional Poll Pads to handle the increased voter turnout. I was right, voters came out from both sides of the argument to have their voices heard and vote counted, it was a packed auditorium! With 6 Poll Pads working constantly, during our historic voter turnout on Tuesday, May 28th, 527 of the 600 voters were processed during the timeframe of 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. at a rate of approximately 9 voters per minute at a rate of 6.7 seconds/voter. I can’t thank my election workers, constables and LHS Associates (Poll Pad vendor) enough for seeing that all voters were seated in the auditorium ready to vote by 7:15 p.m. Thank you all!!!
Below please find a brief summary of the Warrant Articles voted on at the
May Special and Annual Town Meeting sessions.
Brief Outline of the Votes that Took Place at the
5/13/19 and 5/28/19 Special and Annual Town Meetings
Special & Annual Town Meeting – Monday, May 13, 2019 @ 7:00 p.m.
Is Available to View Online @ https://www.rehobothtv.org/ondemandPlayer?ShowID=3349
Article Number Vote
SPECIAL TOWN MEETING: Special Town Meeting-Convened @7:12 p.m.
Article #1–Fiscal Year 2019 Amended Budget Unanimously Approved @ 7:20 p.m.
Article #2-Bond Anticipation Note Payment Majority Approved @ 7:24 p.m.
Article #3-$150,000 CPC Funds for Purchase of 48 Danforth Street Unanimously Approved @ 7:26 p.m.
Article #4-Preservation of
Historical Documents Unanimously Approved @ 7:27 p.m.
Article #5-Amendment to Chapter E Zoning Bylaw Marijuana Establishments Amendment, which failed, was made to the first paragraph by taking out “in the Highway Business Overlay District and the Industrial District” and replace it with “only on Fall River Avenue”,
which failed at 7:39 p.m.
Article 5 was approved as written in the Warrant (no amendments) by a vote of
291-YES and 93-NO – 2/3rds vote was received at 7:54 p.m.
Article #6 – Other Post-Employment Benefits Majority Approved @ 7:54 p.m.
Article #7-$50,000 to Fund Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) Majority Approved @ 7:58 p.m.
Article #8 – General Bylaws Amendment to Chapter A-Authorized Revolving Accounts Unanimously Approved @ 7:59 p.m.
Article #9-General Bylaws Amendment to Chapter A-Authorized Revolving Accounts Unanimously Approved @ 8:00 p.m.
Article-10-Authorize Town Events Committee Expenditure for Revolving Acct. Majority Approved @ 8:00 p.m.
Article-11-Authorization to Pay Bills of a Prior Fiscal Year Unanimously Approved @ 8:01 p.m.
Article-12-Transact Other Business No Further Business Adjourned @ 8:03 p.m.
May 13, 2019 Annual Town Meeting – Convened @ 8:12 p.m.
Town Meeting came to order at 8:12 p.m., adjourned at 8:16 p.m. for the Water District Report and Reconvened Annual Town Meeting @ 8:18 p.m. after Water Commissioner, Joe Nunes, read the report. The report was given to the Town Clerk for filing in the town meeting records.
Article #1 – Annual Town Surplus Equipment Auction Authorization: Unanimously Approved at 8:28 p.m.
Article #4 – FY2020 B-P Technical High School Budget: Article 4 – was requested by Jim Clark–Bristol-Plymouth School Committee Member and Rehoboth resident to advance Article 4 (BP School Budget Article) up before Article 2 (Town Government Budget Article) in order. The motion was approved and received FY20 Budget approval with a Majority voice vote at 8:34 p.m.
Article #2 – FY2020 Town Budget: A few lines held, discussed, and Article 2 was Unanimously Approved at 9:23 p.m.
Article #3-FY2020 DRRSD Budget and Assessment: An amendment was made by School Committee Member, Dr. Anthony Arrigo, which was not voted on prior to adjournment of 5/13/19 meeting was to amend the Operating Assessment to $18,723,605 from Finance Committee’s Recommendation of $18,164,807 and a Total Assessment of $19,529,656 from Finance Committee’s recommendation of $18,970,859. With funding $18,970,859 (appropriate from taxation) as recommended by the Finance Committee and $558,797 from Town Stabilization. The question was called – a vote taken to “call the question”, which received a hand-counted vote of YES=221 & NO= 111 a required 2/3rds majority vote to call the question was not achieved. The Moderator adjourned Town Meeting to Tuesday, May 28, 2019 @ 7:00 p.m. – DRRHS Auditorium.
The 5-13-2019 Annual Town Meeting adjourned at 10:37 p.m.
The Second Session of the 5-13-2019 Annual Town Meeting came to order at 7:03 p.m. on
Monday, May 28, 2019, Town Meeting adjourned, same night, at 9:22 p.m.
Second Session Annual Town Meeting Continued – Tuesday, May 28, 2019 @ 7:03 p.m.
Is Available to View Online @ https://www.rehobothtv.org/ondemandPlayer?ShowID=3356
Happy 100th Birthday - Sara H. Kanarian
As a result of Sara’s momentous birthday, The Board of Selectmen declared Tuesday, May 28, 2019 as Sara Kanarian Day. As a result, the Moderator read a wonderful Proclamation written by the Board of Selectmen in Mrs. Kanarian’s honor. For those of you who did not know, Mrs. Kanarian, Sara taught second grade in Palmer River from 1962-1969 and became D.L. Beckwith Middle School’s first Librarian when the newly built school opened in September of 1969. Mrs. Kanarian was the DLB Librarian until she retired in June of 1980. Mrs. Kanarian’s longevity of life is a blessing for our community, which benefits from her knowledge, creativity and experience which she brings to all. Mrs. Kanarian, you are wished many more healthy and happy birthdays.
ATM – Article 3 (Continued – Second Session 5-28-2019) - Fiscal Year 2020 Dighton Rehoboth Regional School District Budget and Assessment – We had not voted on Dr. Arrigo’s amendment for an additional $558,797 from the Town’s Stabilization Account (where we left off at the 5/13/2019 adjourned ATM). The Moderator’s 5/13/19 decision to allow the amendment was appealed and Town Meeting voted to overturn the Moderator’s decision resulting in the original motion being moved forward. The original motion that was read is: “BE IT MOVED: That the Town accept the Report of the Finance Committee for the FY2020 Budget and appropriate, from taxation, the sum of $18,970,859 as set forth therein to defray the expenses of the Dighton Rehoboth Regional School District for the ensuing fiscal year as specified in the warrant”, which passed by Majority Vote at 8:15 p.m.
ATM – Article 5 - Fiscal Year 2020 Bristol County Agricultural High School Budget – Received a majority voice vote of approval @ 8:24 p.m.
ATM – Article 6 – Community Preservation Budget & Appropriation of Monies from Community Preservation Fund Annual Reviews – Due to the Danforth Street property ($150,000) and Microfilm ($21,000) Special Town Meeting articles being approved on 5/13/2019, the FY2020 appropriations total changed slightly from the total printed in the ATM warrant under Article 6 Comments. The new total is calculated as $596,919 (printed in warrant) - $150,000 (STM-Article 3) - $21,000 (STM-Article 4) = net total of $425,919 that will be available for appropriations after the fiscal year 2020 tax rate is set. Voted Unanimously at 8:28 p.m. to approve.
ATM – Article 7 – Amendment to General Bylaws-Chapter A; Article 1; Sec. 2 – This article changed the Town’s Monday Town Meetings and Elections to Tuesdays, which aligns with the State and Federal Election schedule. This was prompted due to low voter turnout on Mondays as people think elections are on Tuesdays. Article 7 was approved by majority voice vote at 8:30 p.m.
ATM – Article 8 – Amendment to Chapter E Zoning Bylaw Article 2.0 – There was a discussion and amendment to reduce the 10,000-gallon figure as printed in the warrant to 5,000; however, the amendment failed and Article 8 was approved by majority vote at 8:40 p.m., as printed in the warrant
ATM – Article 9 – Amendment to Chapter E Zoning Bylaw Article 4.0 - Chairman of the Planning Board, Chris Cooper, notified the assembly that the Planning Board’s recommendation on this article is for approval. The town voted unanimously to approve at 8:42 p.m.
ATM – Article 10 – Chapter “O” – Stretch Energy Code – Dr. Carolyn Panofsky gave an overview of the Green Energy Committee’s interest in adding the Building Stretch Code to our current Bylaws. There being no discussion after Dr. Panofsky’s presentation, the Moderator called for a majority voice vote, which was approved at 8:46 p.m.
ATM – Article 11 – Street Acceptances – With some minor edits to the Assessor’s Map numbers for Linden Lane (from Map 19 to Maps 21, 22, 27), Willow Way (from Map 19 to Maps 21 & 22) and Primrose Lane (from Map 19 to Maps 21 & 22) the article was voted unanimously to approve at 8:56 p.m.
ATM – Article 12 – Amendment to General Bylaws – Chapter J; Article II – Several changes were offered in the form of an amendment to the printed warrant Article 12 on town meeting floor by Selectman, Dave Perry. Mr. Perry renamed Article II – Utility Installer Licensing. In Section 1 he added “obtaining a Utility Installer License issued yearly by the Board of Selectmen” after the end of the second sentence; took out the words “obtaining a” and replaced with the following new sentence “A Street Opening Permit issued by the Highway Superintendent is required for each occurrence. Also removed, from the previous sentence, “to do so from the Board of Selectmen”. Last sentence in that section ends after the word “application”, thus removing “within a reasonable time after completion, utilities fully shall restore streets to the same condition that the streets were in prior to being opened. Sections 2 and 3 were deleted and section 4 was renumbered Section 2. Board of Selectmen in the new Section 2 was replaced by Highway Superintendent in two places and the section concludes after “liability coverage subject to statuary limits”, removing the last sentence and removing Section 5 in its entirety. The edits were approved and Article 12 was unanimously approved at 9:02 p.m.
ATM – Article 13 – Authorize Revolving Accounts - Unanimously approved at 9:04 p.m.
ATM – Article 14 – Acceptance of Board of Health Transfer Station Financial Report - Unanimously approved at 9:06 p.m.
ATM – Article 15 – Board of Health Transfer Station Offset Receipts - Unanimously approved at 9:07 p.m.
ATM – Article 16 – Acceptance of Reports – Scott Meagher, Chief of Rehoboth Ambulance gave the Ambulance report and received a standing ovation upon completion of his report. The Ambulance report was unanimously approved at 9:12 p.m.; Whitney Pape, Blanding Library Librarian gave the Blanding Library Report, which was unanimously approved at 9:18 p.m. No one was available to read the Housing Authority Report. The Moderator asked that the Rehoboth Housing Authority file their report with the Town Clerk as soon as possible.
ATM – Article 17 – Transact Other Business as May Legally Come Before Said Meeting -The Moderator took time to Congratulate “future parents” Anna and Mike Deignan who are awaiting the arrival of their beautiful baby girl anytime now. The Moderator also read the following announcements:
• Update from the Rehoboth 375th Committee – After a successful 375th Golf Tournament on May 18th, the final balance to refund the Town of Rehoboth for their $50,000 loan is $2,981.00. That balance due will be paid to the Town of Rehoboth after the 2nd Annual Taste of Rehoboth event concludes, which is scheduled for Tuesday, June 4th .
• 2nd Annual Taste of Rehoboth will be held on Tuesday, June 4th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Francis Farm. Tickets are available for purchase until May 29th at a cost of $20 per ticket and after May 29th the tickets will be $25 each.
• Free workshop on “Stop the Bleed Training” – Monday, June 17, 2019 at the Rehoboth Fire Station #3 – 104 Pleasant Street from 6:00-8:30 p.m. To register or for any questions, please contact Jaime Conlon, RN Town of Rehoboth Public Health Nurse at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-252-5947 X-3127.
• Be a Census Taker – Apply online at www.2020census.gov/jobs . The 2020 Census jobs provide – Great Pay – Flexible Hours – Weekly Pay and Paid Training.
There being no further business, the Moderator requested a majority voice vote to dissolve, which received unanimous approval. The May 2019 Annual Town Meeting dissolved at 9:22 p.m.
The Moderator and I would like to thank Boy Scout Troop 13 for collecting canned goods and cash donations for the Rehoboth Food Pantry during town meeting and for leading the 5-13-19 town meeting session in the Pledge of Allegiance. In addition, we thank the 471-voters who came out to the May 13, 2019 Special and Annual Town Meetings and the 699 voters who came out for the second session of Town Meeting on May 28, 2019 (thank you all!). I would personally like to thank all those individuals who helped Mr. Cute and I put together and run our town meetings. First of all, thank you Lynn Shaker, Assistant Town Clerk, for preparing the voter lists, and supply bags/materials for town meeting. Thanks go out to Derek Rousseau and Richard Barrett for setting up, filming, and streaming “live” Town Meeting along with promoting the town meeting sessions on Rehobothtv.org and the bulletin board on our local cable channel 9. Thank you to our dedicated election workers and constables for working town meeting. Thank you also to our dedicated, helpful, tellers: Cheryl Gouveia, Linda Greaves, Nancy Muri, Wendy Cute, Jennifer Rousseau, and Susan Taylor. – thank you all. Thanks Cheryl, Nancy, Jenn, and Frank for helping break down the Town Meeting materials, we were done in record time! Thank you to the high school custodial staff for setting up and taking down all the tables/seating sections/meeting areas, etc. in the auditorium and foyer of the high school also. Thank you, Pat Duczkowski, from the High School’s IT Department, for helping us get the new voter check-in PollPads set up on the school’s secure wifi network. Finally, a huge thank you to my daughter Jenn and husband Gerry for always being there, at every town meeting session, to help with set up and take down. Without the help of every individual mentioned, town meeting would not be able to take place as efficiently as it does. Thank you all for your continued support.
DOG LICENSES WERE DUE APRIL 1, 2019 – 60-DAY GRACE PERIOD IS ENDING
All dog licenses were due and payable by April 1st. After a 60-day grace period, delinquent dog owners will be assessed a $15.00 late fee, per dog, for any licenses that have not been renewed by June 1st. To date we still have 414-dogs that remain unlicensed. Lynn and I have really tried to help the dog owners remember to register their dogs before we were required to charge late fees. We mailed a renewal form in the January census with a return envelope, we held a $12.00 rabies clinic in March, we sent out reminder postcards in March and a reminder letter in May. We even implemented an online payment service so dog owners could renew online if their dogs are current with their rabies shots. Dog owners who have not registered their dogs also received a postcard in May reminding them of the upcoming late fee deadlines. In addition, a press release was sent to the local newspapers in April, and the town website has also publicized the deadlines under “News and Announcements”, we e-mailed all residents who signed up for e-mail notifications that the June 1st deadline was approaching. We also had a message displaying on the “Bulletin Board” scroll on Cable Channel 9 at RehobothTV.org. If you are one of the 414 dog owners who still need to register their dogs, unfortunately you will be assessed an additional $15.00 per unlicensed dog if the license is not renewed by June 1. We are truly sorry for the added expense; however, it is required by Mass General Law and our Town Bylaws and it is unfair to those who registered within the prescribed timeframe if we don’t assess the late fee. Please register your dog before the next deadline (July 15, 2019) to avoid an additional $25.00 late fee and a non-criminal citation. Thank you.
WEBSITE – SUBSCRIBE TO NEWS & URGENT ALERTS
Just a reminder . . . to keep up to date on all the election and town meeting changes, please register online to receive reminders of upcoming Town events. All residents, who subscribed to News & Alerts on the town website, know what is going on in Rehoboth . . . So, Please Don’t Be Left Out . . . Please Sign Up for “Subscribe to News & Alerts” on the town website. Here are the step-by-step directions:
Step 1: Go to our Town Website @ www.town.rehoboth.ma.us & Click on “Subscribe to News” in the “Citizen Action Center (left side of home page).
Step 2: Enter your e-mail address – confirm e-mail address & choose alerts and/or documents you would like to receive via e-mail.
Step 3: Enter the “Re-Capta” code and click on the “Subscribe Me” on the bottom of the page.
You will receive notification of upcoming news, events, meetings, elections, and alerts based on what you select to receive. If you would like to view the step by step visual directions for subscribing to the website’s News and Urgent Alerts, please go to: http://www.town.rehoboth.ma.us/town-clerk/pages/subscribe-news-step-step-directions
THE 2019 CENSUS POPULATION HAS BEEN SET
As of April 17, 2019 the new 2019 population figure is set at 12,745. Our population has consistently been over the 12,000 figure over the past ten years (2010=12,237; 2011=12,017; 2012=12,076; 2013=12,060; 2014=12,175; 2015=12,008; 2016=12,219; 2017=12,568 2018=12,664 and now 2019=12,745). Thank you to all the residents who returned their census forms, thank you Lynn and Registrars (Helene, Jenn, and Kathy) for helping me process and file the census forms and for the numerous phone calls made to encourage residents to return their census forms.
NON-RESPONDENTS TO ANNUAL TOWN CENSUS
As of June 1st, if you have not responded to the 2019 census your voter status will be changed to inactive, as per State mandate. We are required to mail voter inactivation cards to each non-respondent, which have already been sent out. Unless you return the voter inactivation card with confirmation that you still live in the Town of Rehoboth you will be placed on the voter inactive list. Individuals who are on the Inactive List (those who have not completed the annual town census or returned the acknowledgment card) will need to provide proof of continuous residency before being allowed to vote in any state or town election and/or town meeting. We still have 287 households that have not responded to our town census. The number of Non-Respondents in Precinct I are 100, Precinct II – 93 and Precinct III – 94.
Business owners are reminded that the application fee for a business certificate and/or business certificate renewal is $50.00 and that your certificate is valid for four years. New business owners must first go to Building Inspector/Zoning Officer, to complete a sign off sheet and then to the Town Clerk’s Office, as your final step, to be issued a Business Certificate. For more information, please go to the Town Clerk’s website and choose Business Certificates:
THANK YOU AND CONGRATULATIONS
I wanted to let you know that several wonderful Rehoboth Residents were awarded the honor of several 2019 Rehoboth Lions “Citizen’s Recognition Awards” on Wednesday, May 8th at the Venus deMilo. The Award Winners are:
• Bernie DeRoche – Joseph DeRoche-Outstanding Service Award
• Caroline Enos and Andrew Gagnon – Outstanding Youth Award
• Carol Chencus – Public Servant Award
• Educator of the Year – Christina Mitnik
• The Randall P. Silveira – Public Safety Award – Daniel Noons (Rehoboth Fire)
• Senior Citizen of the Year Award – Stephen Silva, Sr.
• Community Service Award – Connie Wenzel Jordan
• Good Neighbor Award – Sara & William Vigneau, Jr. and Glen Hurrell
Wow, do we have an amazing town with so many dedicated individuals. The Rehoboth Lion’s 18th Annual Recognition Night is such a wonderful way to honor those who go above and beyond for our Great Town. Thank you, Russ Latham and the members of the Rehoboth Lions, for recognizing these wonderful individuals. To all residents, please be thinking of who you could nominate for the 19th Annual Citizen’s Recognition Awards next year. Applications will be available late March, early April 2020.
Town Clerk – Out for Second Knee Replacement Surgery
After delaying my total knee replacement surgery for two years, scheduling my surgery around elections and town meetings and after the successful and wonderful experience I had with my first knee replacement surgery in December (Thanks to Dr. Joe Lifrak, Joan Wildenhain, NP of Southcoast Orthopedic Surgery along with Chris Titcom, of Personal Best Physical Therapy; all three who reside in our wonderful Town of Rehoboth!!) I’m getting my second knee replaced in early June. I will be out of the office until the middle of July but will be working from home if you need me. Just send me an e-mail and I will get back to you as soon as I am able. I wish you all a safe and wonderful summer and 4th of July!!!
In closing, during the month of June, Lynn and I wish all the Fathers a Happy Father’s Day. Please remember to fly your American Flag on June 14th in honor of Flag Day, and as Summer begins on June 21st, we wish you all a happy, healthy, safe, and memorable Summer !