From the Town Clerk
~HAPPY HOLIDAYS ~ from the Town Clerk’s office. December is here and with that comes the hustle and bustle of the season. We hope everyone can take the time to slow down and enjoy those special holiday moments, with family and friends.
The Annual Fall Town meeting was held on November 8, 2021. I am pleased to say that the introduction to the new electronic voting system was met with great success. Almost everyone we spoke to after the meeting said they really liked the way the system worked. It was easy, fast and accurate. They now have the confidence that their vote counted. The town clerk’s office is proud to have been instrumental in the enhancements made to Seekonk’s town meeting voting process.
Below you will find an outline of town meeting results. If you want to read the minutes in their entirety you can find them on the town web-site www.seekon-ma.gov under the department heading Town Clerk.
Annual Fall Town Meeting news
Seekonk held its Fall Town Meeting at Seekonk High School, 261 Arcade Ave. Monday November 8, 2021.
Town Clerk called the meeting to order at 7:06PM
Town Moderator went on to describe the new Electronic Voting System and presented a Power Point presentation and test questions for the audience. This was done to familiarize everyone with the new voting system. It was a success and the meeting continued.
A motion was made to allow the Town Moderator to declare a 2/3 vote on articles requiring that vote. Motion passed.
A motion was made to allow non-residents to speak at the meeting. Motion passed.
A motion was made to allow the Town Moderator to proceed with all articles, even those that affect him personally. Motion passed.
Article 1 - To receive town officers or town committee reports. A report was given by Jacqueline Proulx, Chairman of the Aitken School Expansion Building Committee. A report was made by Jim Tusino, Chairman of the Housing Authority. Motion passed.
Article 2- To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, transfer from available funds in the treasury or transfer from designated funds that have been reserved for appropriation the sums detailed below in accordance with the Financial Policies of the Town of Seekonk adopted by the Board of Selectmen, April 2021, or take any other action relative thereto.
- The sum of $451,664.00 from Free Cash to the Stabilization Fund
- The sum of $451,664.00 from Free Cash to the Municipal Capital Stabilization Fund.
- The sum of $451,664.00 from Free Cash to the Building & Infrastructure Stabilization Fund
The sum of $451,664.00 from Free Cash to the Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) Trust. Motion passed.
Article 3- To see if the Town will vote to amend the Zoning Bylaws of the Town of Seekonk, Massachusetts by inserting a new section as follows: 4.2.6 Prohibited Uses.
Article 4- Motion was made that the Town appropriate the sum of $93,077.00 from the Special Education Stabilization Fund for the construction expense for the 18- to 22-year-old Transition Program, including site preparation, demolition and all other incidental and related expenses, to be expended under the direction of the School Committee.
Motion failed by a 2/3 majority.
Article 5- To see if the Town will vote to accept the layout of the public ways known as Hidden Hills Drive as described in the warrant and authorize the Board of Selectmen to acquire by gift, purchase or eminent domain an interest in said may be necessary or appropriate to create such public way. Motion passed.
Article 6 – To see if the Town will vote to appropriate from free cash the sum of $220,000.00 for the engineering, septic design, and replacement of the failed system at Seekonk Town Hall, 100 Peck Street, including but not limited to replacement of the storage tank and leaching field, and all other incidental and related expenses, to be expended. Motion passed.
Article 7- To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, transfer from Free Cash or available funds in the treasury, including funds reserved for appropriation, the sum of $55,000 to fund the cost elements of the collective bargaining agreement between the Town and the Seekonk Communications and Clerical Union, for a term beginning July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2022. Motion passed.
Article 8- To see if the Town will vote to reduce the number of residents appointed to the DPW Building Committee from seven (9) to (5) consisting of five residents, two to be appointed by the Town Moderator, and three to be appointed by the Board of Selectmen for the purpose of overseeing the construction of a new DPW facility at 351 Fall River Ave, under the direction of the Board of Selectmen, to include but not be limited to, planning and design for the completion of the building, development of appropriate designs, schematics, specifications, cost estimates, oversight of expenditures, and any other documentation required to construct and furnish such facility, or to take any other actions related thereto. Motion passed.
Article 9-. To see if the Town will vote to appropriate $2,000,000 for the purchase of a parcel of land for active and passive recreation, open space and historic preservation purposes located on Elm Street and Lincoln Street in Seekonk, consisting of approximately 40.12 acres of undeveloped land identified as all of Lots 10, 51, 54, and 55 on Seekonk Assessor Map 16 and for all costs incidental and related thereto, and to meet said appropriation, to transfer the sum of $1,692,389 from the Community Preservation Fund Undesignated Reserve and the sum of $307,611 from the Community Preservation Fund Historic Reserve; and to authorize the Board of Selectmen to acquire the fee or lesser interest in said land and any related easements by gift, purchase, eminent domain or otherwise for conservation and passive recreation purposes, with the Seekonk Conservation Commission having the care, custody and control of said land under the provisions of MGL Ch. 40, Section 8C; and to authorize the Conservation Commission and the Board of Selectmen to submit on behalf of the Town any and all applications deemed necessary for grants and/or reimbursements from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, or the United States, under the LAND grant program under MGL Ch.132A, §11, any other state or federal programs including those in aid of conservation land acquisition and/or any others in any way connected with the scope of this Article; said gifts or grants to be deposited in the Community Preservation Fund as required by G.L. c.44B, §7; and that the Board of Selectmen be authorized to grant a perpetual conservation restriction on said parcel of land meeting the requirements of M.G.L. Chapter 44B, §12 and M.G.L. Chapter 184, §§ 31-33, and to further authorize said board and commission to enter into all agreements and execute any and all instruments as may be necessary to affect said purchase, or take any other action relative thereto. Motion passed with a 2/3 majority.
Article 10- To see if the Town will vote, pursuant to G.L. c.43B, §10(a), to amend the Town Charter as set forth in a document attached to this warrant as “Appendix A”, and as on file with the Town Clerk and posted on the website at www.seekonk-ma.gov, with text to be deleted indicated by strikethrough and proposed new language inserted shown in red, and with explanations, not intended to be part of the Charter shown in bold italics and preceded by the word “NOTE:”, or take any other action relative thereto. (3) Motions were made to strike changes in Sec 3. Action on all motions failed.
Motion (4) was made to indefinitely postpone entire article 10. Motion passed with a 2/3 majority. Article 10 indefinitely postponed.
Meeting adjourned at 10:05PM.
Annual renewal to receive absentee ballots for 2022
Applications for absentee ballots to be sent to you for all elections this year will be available January 1, 2022 either at the Town Clerk’s office or online at the www.seekonk-ma.gov under the Town Clerk heading. You can also call us at 508-336-2920, we will be glad to take your information over the phone and send you an application.
Nomination papers for offices up for election for the Town election will be available December 15, 2021 in the Town Clerk’s office. Deadline to submit nomination papers to the Town Clerk is Monday February 28, 2022 at 5PM.
You must obtain a minimum of 50 signatures from voters registered in Seekonk. A street address) not a P.O. box is required from each person signing your papers. Please make sure the signatures are legible otherwise we can’t count them.
The 2022 ANNUAL TOWN CENSUS/STREET LIST will be mailed to all households due to arrive by mid-January. Please update the information provided by adding, deleting, or making changes directly on the form. Please sign and return the census within 30 days. You CANNOT REGISTAR TO VOTE ON THIS FORM. If you don’t have a party designation next to your name you can register to vote by either going on line to www.sec.state.ma.us or coming into the Town Clerks office. There are multiple ways to return your census: mail it back to the Town Clerk with the provided envelope or drop it off at the following locations: Town Clerk’s Office, Town Hall drop box (outside Town Hall’s front door), Seekonk Sr. Center (540 Arcade Ave.), Seekonk Public Library, or you can scan it and email it to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Many people ask why the State wants this information. The data collected from the census is used to prove residency, update the town’s voter rolls, veterans’ benefits, birth records, locating missing persons, predicting future school enrollment, establishing precinct lines, state and federal funding for the town, police and fire. It is important to respond in a timely manner, failure to respond to the census mailing may result in the removal from the active voting list and in removal from the voter registration rolls. (MGL CH. 51 Sec. 4c) A dog license form is included in your census mailing. Please remember DOG TAGS EXPIRE ON MARCH 31. You can come to the Town Clerk's office to renew your dog's license, or you can mail the form in, with a check and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Please send a self-addressed envelope and stamp for each dog you are requesting a license for. We will send the dog tag(s) back to you in the mail. Just a reminder that it is a Massachusetts general law that dogs be licensed annually, with proof of a current rabies vaccination. Failure to comply may result in a by-law citation fee.
~Lastly ~ A big thanks goes out to the Administrator’s office, Christina Testa and Kristen L’Heureux, BOS, along with DPW and all others behind the scenes, for really stepping up and making the Annual Tree Lighting into a much larger holiday festival. It’s certain to become a family tradition for years to come.
Also, thanks to the Rehoboth Garden Club for the beautiful holiday wreaths they donated to the Seekonk Town Hall. They make the Town Hall front doors welcoming to all this Holiday Season.
As we head into a new year, Lorraine and I hope everyone has a happy, healthy and safe Holiday Season.
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