June 26, 2017

Rehoboth Says No to Municipal Complex

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Rehoboth voters turned down the proposed municipal complex in the April 3 election, leaving many town officials and employees very disappointed.

The ballot question requesting a temporary tax increase, or debt exclusion override, of the state’s Proposition 2 ½ tax limiting law failed by 124 votes, with 1305 against and 1181 in favor. The facility would include space for the town hall, police and fire departments, Rehoboth emergency management agency and the ambulance service. It was planned to be built on the site of the current public safety headquarters at 334 Anawan St. Selectman Gerry Schwall said that the town buildings are still “sick” and the problems will now need to be addressed in another way.

On the second non-binding ballot question, the town voted overwhelmingly against the proposed gas compressor station that is part of Spectra Energy’s Access Northeast gas pipeline project. The vote was 224 in favor and 2,261 against.  Selectmen decided to put the question on the ballot to find out residents’ opinion of the compressor station. The board had not yet taken a position on the station because they had heard opinions both for and against the project. This vote indicates that residents don’t want the compressor station in their backyards.

In the race for two seats on the board of selectmen, incumbent selectman David Perry and planning board member James Muri won over local businessman Antonio Oliveira. Perry received 1401 votes; Muri 1243 and Oliveira 774. Craig Chapman, the North Attleboro police officer who withdrew from the race a few weeks ago but whose name was still on the ballot, had 578 votes.

After the race, both Perry and Muri expressed their disappointment that the municipal complex failed.

In the Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School Committee race, incumbent Richard Barrett who has served several terms and was appointed to fill a vacancy last August, won reelection. He received the most votes: 1,473.

It was a very close contest for the other seat on the school committee. Newcomer Anthony Arrigo, an associate professor of English at UMass Dartmouth, defeated Michael Deignan, chairman of the finance committee by three votes with Arrigo receiving 1,190 and Deignan 1,187.

In the race for one seat on the park commission, incumbent Lynore McKim won reelection to her second term with 1,146 votes over Veterans Officer John “Jake” Kramer, who received 908 votes.

There were also a number of uncontested races, as follows:
William Cute, Jr. ran unopposed for a one-year term as moderator, a position he has served in for ten years.
Cheryl Gouveia ran unopposed for a three-year term as tax collector, a position she had held for more than 20 years.
Charles Procopio ran unopposed for a three-year seat on the board of assessors.
Christopher Cooper, Jr. ran unopposed for a five-year seat on the planning board.
Michael Costello ran unopposed for a one-year seat on the planning board.
Kathleen Conti ran unopposed for a three-year seat on the water commission.
Patricia “Tish” Vadnais ran unopposed for a three-year seat on the water commission.
There was no official candidate for one five-year seat on the planning board and write-ins were still being confirmed at press time.

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