From the Town Clerk
Hello All ~ Happy New Year ~ I wish you a safe, healthy, happy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year. I also hope you all had a wonderful holiday season with family and friends. By now you should have received your 2020 Annual Census forms and dog tag application form. If you did not receive your 2020 census during the first week of January, please contact the Town Clerk’s Office (508) 252-6502 x-3110 or 3109. The census mailing also includes a town calendar and town services directory. This is the seventh year the Clerk’s Office has provided a calendar in the census mailer. Over the past few years we have received many compliments on how helpful the calendar was during the year. In fact, residents have already stopped by our office in December to see if the 2020 calendar was available yet. Thank you all for your kind comments and appreciation of the yearly town calendar. We hope you find the 2020 Town calendar addition to your census mailing a beneficial and time saving tool ~ Happy New Year and thank you for sending your completed census forms back to us as soon as possible! Due date is January 31st ~ thank you!
This year’s calendar features the Hornbine School. Did you know the Hornbine School will be 175 years old in 2020? Construction of Hornbine started in 1845. As time permits, please take a few moments to read the information on the 2020 Calendar regarding the Hornbine School. The Hornbine School is truly one of Rehoboth’s treasures! Thank you, Photographer and Retired 3rd Grade-Palmer River Elementary School teacher, David R. Downs for the gorgeous photo he shared with us this year!
Continuing my goal of making town government more accessible to the residents, it is my hope that the calendar provides you with key information right at your fingertips. You will note, the calendar signals residents of upcoming due dates such as real estate tax payments, census forms, and dog licenses, which are highlighted in green; upcoming election and town meeting dates, which are highlighted in blue, and town department holidays that are bolded in red (whole day) and purple (half day). On the reverse side of the calendar, you will also find a directory of the Town of Rehoboth’s departments, employees, and phone numbers. Also, included on the directory side you will find information and websites, which residents may find useful such as transfer station hours, burning permit information, school and library phone numbers, etc. On the bottom-back section of the calendar, please check out the new Rehoboth-Town Events Calendar website @ www.YourRehoboth.com . With the talents of Connie Wenzel-Jordan, who will be maintaining the website, residents will again be able to look at one site to determine all upcoming Rehoboth events. Thank you, Town Events Committee and Connie Wenzel-Jordan, for all your time and effort to create a website where all residents can go to see “what’s going on in Rehoboth”. I am so excited to see the new YourRehoboth.com website in action.
ANNUAL TOWN CENSUS
As mentioned in last month’s article, the Board of Registrars is required to conduct an annual street listing (Census) of residents as of the first of January each year. In addition to the name, address, date of birth, occupation, veteran status with “war era” noted, and number of dogs, the form includes a section for school information required by the school department. Results of the census are used to prove residency for a variety of reasons. The data is used for state college entrance applications, veterans’ benefits, amending and establishing birth records, locating missing persons, establishing precinct lines, predicting future school enrollment, state and federal funding to the town, police and fire protection, updating the voting list, and other legal purposes.
Please review the pre-printed Census Form, make corrections, and return it no later than January 31st. You may choose to return the Census Form via the USPS, utilize Census drop off boxes at Town Hall, Blanding Library, Bristol County Savings Bank, or the Senior Center. Additionally, you can scan in your signed and completed census forms and email them to TownClerk@RehobothMA.gov .
This year’s census mailer has four inserts: the household census forms, the 2020 Calendar, and the Annual Dog Licensing form (white paper – black print). Please note the 7th Annual Rehoboth-Seekonk Rabies Clinic, which is scheduled for Saturday, March 14th, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 (Noon). For more information please see the bottom of the Dog Licensing Form or under the Dog Licenses and Rabies Clinic sections of this article. The fourth insert is a two-sided document which explains the difference between the 2020 Town Census and 2020 United States Federal Census on the front and important 2020 election information on the back. Please note it is very important to return both the Town and the Federal census documents in 2020 ~ thank you!
Additionally, new residents may receive blank 2020 census forms, which they are asked to complete and return. If you do not receive a Census Form, please contact the Town Clerk’s Office 508-252-6502 X-3110 (Laura) or 3109 (Lynn). Blank Census forms are also available on the town website @
Failure to return the completed form may result in voters being placed on an inactive voting list or being removed from the voting list.
Residents are requested to please send in their census forms as quickly as possible regardless of whether or not they license their dogs at this time. Census forms are due 1-31-2020
2020 U.S. CENSUS
As mentioned earlier, this year, in addition to the Rehoboth Annual Town Census, there will be a Federal Census mailed to you in March by the U.S. Census Bureau. The Federal Census is performed every 10 years. The 2020 United States Census is separate from the “annual street listing” or Rehoboth Official Town Census, which you will receive the first week of January 2020. The 2020 Town of Rehoboth Yearly Census is used to confirm your residency and keep your voter registration status up to date.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO RETURN BOTH YOUR 2020 TOWN OF REHOBOTH CENSUS AND THE UNITED STATES CENSUS IN 2020.
The 2020 US Census count will be used to ensure that Rehoboth and Massachusetts receive their fair share of federal money and political representation for the next 10 years. Representation in the United States Congress and the Electoral College is based on United State Census responses.
2020 DOG LICENSES
The 2020 Dog Licenses are now available and may be purchased at the Town Clerk’s Office. Again in 2020, residents will also be able to renew their dog licenses online with a Debit/Credit Card or Electronic Check (ACH/EFT) at https://www.invoicecloud.com/rehobothgovsvcs .
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 the 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 (the current postage is 71¢ for one dog tag, 93¢ for two dog tags and 1.15¢ for three or four dog tags).
Reminder, all residents 70-years old or over do not need to pay the $10 or $20 yearly dog licensing fee. As I’m sure you remember, I submitted an article at the May 8, 2017 Annual Town Meeting (Article 15) requesting Town Meeting vote to accept MGL CHAPTER 140 SECTION 139(c), which states “No fee shall be charged for a license issued under this section for a service animal as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act or regulations promulgated thereunder. No fee shall be charged for a license for a dog owned by a person aged 70 years or over in a city or town that accepts this provision”. Town meeting did approve the acceptance of MGL Chapter 140 Section 139 (c), which permits the Town Clerk’s Office to waive dog licensing fees for service animals and for dogs owned by any Rehoboth resident 70 years of age and older. Proof of rabies vaccinations for each dog and proof of the dog owner’s age (70 or older) is required. As per Town Counsel, this does not include Kennel Fees.
2020 – 7TH ANNUAL RABIES CLINIC
Keep them safe . . . inoculate! The 7th Annual Rehoboth-Seekonk $12 Dog and Cat Rabies Clinic is scheduled for Saturday, March 14, 2020 - 9:00 AM ~ 12:00 Noon @ Seekonk Public Works Department Garage (On the Corner of Route 44 & Lake Street). The Rehoboth & Seekonk Town Clerks will be there to renew your 2020 Dog Licenses. If you would like to help us register the residents for their dog and cat rabies shots, please let us know. For more details either on the rabies clinic or helping us staff the event, please call 508-252-6502 X-3110 or 3109 ~ thank you.
THE ANNUAL TOWN ELECTION
The Annual Town Election for the Town of Rehoboth will be held on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 with the polls open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. – ALL THREE PRECINCTS WILL BE OPEN. Precinct I is the Town Office Building at 148 Peck Street, Precinct II is the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center at 55 Bay State Road, and Precinct III is the South Fire Station at 102 Pleasant Street. If you are not sure of your voting Precinct, please check your census form this year – it is listed on the top right of your 2020 Census document.
Nomination papers are now available for any registered voter in Rehoboth wishing to run for election on the Town ballot and who chooses not to seek a nomination through their registered party’s caucus process. Nomination papers may be picked up by prospective candidates at the Town Clerk’s office and must be returned, signed by a minimum of 50 registered voters. All signed and completed nomination papers are due back to the Board of Registrars at the Town Clerk’s Office by 5 p.m. on, or before, Tuesday, February 18th.
Positions to be elected on the ballot for 2020 are Moderator (one for 1 year), Selectmen (two positions for 3 years), Tax Collector (one for 3 years), Assessor (one for 3 years), School Committee (two for 3 years), Planning Board (one for 5 years), Park Commission (one for 5 years), Housing Authority (one for 5 years), and Water Commissioner (two for 3 years).
The Democratic Town Committee will hold their 2020 Caucus at the Blanding Public Library (Goff Hall) at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 22, 2020. The Republican Town Committee will hold their 2020 Caucus at the COA-Senior Center on Thursday, February 20th at 7:30 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the Republican Town Committee has also scheduled an inclement weather date of Tuesday, February 25th.
The final voter registration date, to be eligible to vote in the Annual Town Election, is scheduled for Wednesday, March 18th from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Clerk’s Office.
Prospective voters are reminded that they may also register to vote online at www.RegisterToVoteMA.com , by calling the Town Clerk’s Office to request a Mail-In voter registration form, or download a form @ http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/Voter-reg-mail-in.pdf
ABSENTEE BALLOT REQUESTS
Applications for absentee ballots are available as of January 2nd and may be obtained from the Town Clerk’s Office or online @ https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/absentee/English-Absentee-Ballot-Application.pdf . An absentee ballot may only be obtained by written request and with the voter’s original signature. Filing deadline for an absentee ballot request for the April 7, 2020 Annual Town Election is 12:00 p.m. Completed ballot requests must be returned to the Town Clerk’s Office by Noon on Monday, April 6, 2020. All absentee ballots must be returned to the Town Clerk’s Office by no later than 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.
Business owners whose business certificate will expire during January through June of 2020 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 prefer to renew online, you may use the debit/credit card/ ACH/EFT payment method on the town website. However, your signature must be notarized on the business certificate renewal form then scanned and e-mailed to the Town Clerk’s office. Free notary services are available at the Town Clerk’s office during regular office hours. Debit/Credit Card or Electronic Check (ACH/EFT) transactions may also be processed through the town clerk’s office, in addition to online.
Questions or suggestions regarding any of the above topics may be directed to the Town Clerk’s Office, Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, 508-252-6502, X3109 (Lynn) or X3110 (Laura).
In closing, Lynn and I wish all of our town residents a happy, safe, peaceful, healthy, and prosperous New Year.