July 22, 2024

From the Clerk's Office

Posted

Hello All ~ Happy July.  I can’t believe we are more than half way through 2024.  I also can’t believe eleven full years have passed since I became your Town Clerk.  Thank you for another exciting, interesting, challenging, and informative year! 

STREET LISTINGS
We received the Annual Street Listings based on the 2024 Census data we gathered this year.  If you would like a copy, there is a $15.00 charge.  You may purchase at town hall or online at https://www.invoicecloud.com/rehobothgovsvcs and click on Street Listings.

NON-RESPONDENTS TO THE 2024 REHOBOTH ANNUAL TOWN CENSUS
As per Massachusetts General Law, if you have not responded to the yearly census, your voter status must legally change to inactive as of the first Monday in June.  Therefore, the Clerk’s Office sent out 2,063 voter confirmation cards last month to reinstate those voters who did not return their 2024 Census.  We are required by law to either receive your yearly signed census or the recently mailed confirmation card must be completed, signed (very important) and returned to us in order to reactive your “active” voting status.  We did place return postage on the return confirmation card.  Please either mail (postage stamp is already on the reply card) or drop off your signed confirmation card at the Town Hall drop box, or our office, as soon as possible so we may reactivate your voting status.  Please note, unless you returned your yearly census or the signed confirmation card you received stating you still live in the Town of Rehoboth, you will need to provide proof of continuous residency before being allowed to vote in any federal, state, or town election and/or town meeting.  Last year we mailed 1,991 voter confirmation/inactivation cards to those Rehoboth voters who did not complete their Annual Town Census.  Unfortunately, we increased that number this year by an additional 72; total of 2,063 voters who did not return their 2024 Census.   Please remember, we have the Presidential Election in November; therefore, you will want to make sure your voting status is “active” when you show up at the polls or town meeting.  For those individuals who feel the confirmation cards are a waste of Town money, please know we are required to send them by law.  Those cards are only sent after two 2nd request census forms are mailed and our Board of Registrars called your home informing you we did not receive your yearly Census due by January 31st.  If you don’t want to receive a voter confirmation/inactivation card in the future, simply return your completed yearly census by January 31, each year.  Thank you.

BUSINESS CERTIFICATES
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.  If your business license is expiring within the next six months, you should have received your renewal letters and applications during the month of June.  Please send in your notarized business certificate renewal, along with payment or stop by so we can notarize your signature and provide you with an updated business certificate.  Thank you and we wish you well with your business.

DOG LICENSES
All dog licenses were due and payable by April 1st.  Unfortunately, a $15.00 late fee was assessed for any licenses that were not renewed by June 1st, after a 60-day grace period.  We still have 423 dogs that are unlicensed for this year, which is down 177 from last year.  Total licensed dogs so far in 2024 is 1,876 as of July 1, 2024. Please Note:  A non-criminal citation with an additional charge of $25.00 will be issued for any dogs that are not licensed by July 15th, so please, license your dog(s) to avoid any further late charges.  If you were one of the 423 dog owners who received reminder postcards last month, please renew your dog’s license before the added expense of $25 is added to their dog’s license fee.  If your dog has a valid rabies vaccine, you may register your dog online at www.RehobothMA.gov – click on “Online Payments” or go directly to: https://permiteyes.us/rehoboth/publichome.php

to renew your dog(s) 2023 license.  If you prefer to pay in person or drop off your payment in the drop box at Town Hall, 340 Anawan Street, that is also an option.  If, unfortunately, your dog has moved or passed away, please let us know by phone 508-252-6502 X-3112 or X-3109, email TownClerk@RehobothMA.gov or by checking the Permiteyes website listed above and check off the box moved/deceased to update our database; we are so sorry for your loss.  Thanks so much.

JUNE 4, 2024 ANNUAL TOWN MEETING UPDATE

Rehoboth June 4, 2024 Annual Town Meeting (ATM)

Francis Farm Community Complex - Museum Building

7:00 PM ~ 8:39 PM

(To refer to the 6-4-2024 ATM Warrant, please go to:

https://www.rehobothma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif4911/f/pages/rehoboth_june_4_2024_warrant_da_5-15-24_final_copy.pdf )

Article Number

Vote

ANNUAL TOWN MEETING:

Town Meeting-Convened @ 7:00 p.m.

Article # 1

Annual Town Surplus Equipment Auction Authorization

Voted by 2/3rds vote to authorize the disposal of surplus Town equipment and materials from any Town departments by bid, auction or scrap pursuant to Massachusetts General Law Chapter 30B, or by donation or other disposition pursuant to applicable laws.

Article #2

Set Salaries and Compensation of

Elected Officials

Voted by 2/3rds vote as printed in the Warrant

Article #3

Board of Health Transfer Station

Offset Receipts

Voted by 2/3rds vote to reauthorize an “Offset Receipts” account for the solid waste handling facility and recycling area and its operation.  The fiscal year 2025 expenditures shall be limited to $152,400.00.

Article #4

Reauthorize Revolving Accounts Expenditures

Voted by 2/3rds vote to authorize the total expenditure limits for the revolving funds as printed in the warrant.

Article # 5

Community Preservation Budget & Appropriation of Monies from Community Preservation Fund Annual Revenues

Voted by 2/3rds vote to approve the Community Preservation Budget & Appropriation of Monies from Community Preservation Fund Annual Revenues as printed in the warrant.

Article #6

Acceptance of Report

Approved by 2/3rds vote - as Printed in the Warrant

Article #7

General Bylaw-Adopt Renumbering and Recaptioning of the General Bylaws

Voted by 2/3rds vote to renumber and recaption the General Bylaws of the Town by (a) assigning a chapter/article number to each of the General Bylaws; (b) renumbering each section of each bylaw accordingly; (c) inserting chapter, article, section and subsection titles; and (d) updating internal references to reflect the new numbering system, all as set forth in the Final Draft of the Code of the Town of Rehoboth, dated April 2024, on file with the Town Clerk.

Article #8

Zoning Bylaw-Adopt Renumbering and Recaptioning of the Zoning Bylaws

Voted by 2/3rds vote to renumber and recaption the Zoning Bylaw of the Town by (a) designating the Zoning Bylaw as Chapter 270 of the Code of the Town of Rehoboth; (b) renumbering each section and subsection of the bylaw accordingly; (c) inserting article, section and subsection titles; and (d) updating internal references to reflect the new numbering system, all as set forth in the Final Draft of the Code of the Town of Rehoboth dated April 2024, on file with the Town Clerk.

Meridia Electronic EZ-Vote 5 Keypad Count:

*2/3rds Vote Received-Zoning Bylaw Amendments-

YES = 144              NO = 6                TOTAL = 250

Article #9

Fiscal Year 2025 Town Budget Recommendations from the Finance Committee – Acceptance of Report

Voted unanimously to receive the report of the Finance Committee, and to raise from taxation the amount of $14,125,713 and transfer from free cash the amount of $47,573 for a total of $14,173,286 as described in the Report of the Finance Committee to defray the expenses of Town government and for the ensuing fiscal year and to make all appropriations therefore.

Article #10

Fiscal Year 2025 Dighton Rehoboth Regional School Budget

Voted unanimously, to receive the report of the Finance Committee, and to raise from taxation, the sum of $22,824,650, and transfer from free cash the amount of $77,619 for a total of $22,902,269 as described in the Report of the Finance Committee, to pay the assessments of the Dighton/Rehoboth Regional School System, for the ensuing fiscal year and to make all appropriations therefore.

 

Article #11

Fiscal Year 2025 Bristol Plymouth Regional Technical High School Budget

Voted unanimously, to receive the report of the Finance Committee, and to raise from taxation, the sum of $985,753, and transfer from free cash the amount of $123,393 for a total of $1,109,146 as described in the Report of the Finance Committee, to defray the expenses of Bristol Plymouth Regional Technical High School for the ensuing fiscal year and to make all appropriations therefore.

 

Article #12

Fiscal Year 2025 Bristol County Agricultural High School Budget

Voted unanimously, to receive the report of the Finance Committee, and to raise from taxation, the sum of $140,595, and transfer from free cash the amount of $209,288.10 for a total of $349,883.10 as described in the Report of the Finance Committee, to defray the expenses for Bristol County Agricultural High School for the ensuing fiscal year and to make all appropriations therefore.

Article #13

Contribute to Capital Stabilization Fund

Voted by majority vote to receive the report of the Finance Committee, and to transfer from free cash the amount of $750,000 into the town’s capital stabilization fund to ensure funds are available for future capital needs in the Town.

Article #14

Cannabis Stabilization Fund

Voted by majority vote to receive the report of the Finance Committee, and to transfer from free cash the amount of $342,430 into the Town’s FY22 Stabilization Cannabis Fund.

Article #15

PEG Access and Cable Fund Pursuant to MGL C.44 S. 53F 3/4

Voted unanimously to approve the appropriation, pursuant to MGL Chapter 44, Sec. 53F¾, the amount of $330,000 from the PEG Access and Cable Fund for the operation and capital budget for the PEG and Cable Access Department

Article #16

Fiscal Year 2025 – Capital Budget - Town

Voted unanimously, as amended, to appropriate from free cash, the amount of $359,523* for the purpose of funding FY25 Capital Improvements, as listed in the Warrant.

*Typo in warrant noted and corrected at the 6-4-2024 Annual Town Meeting

Article #17

Fiscal Year 2025 Capital Budget – Police Radio Upgrade

Voted unanimously, to table Article 17 for purposes of defeat – received ARPA grant for upgrade.

Article #18

Fiscal Year 2025 Capital Budget – Ambulance Services

Voted by majority vote, to appropriate from free cash, the amount of $200,000 for the purpose of funding or supporting ambulance services for the Town.

Article #19

Fiscal Year 2025 Capital Budget –

Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School Committee

Voted unanimously, to appropriate from free cash, the amount of $45,000 for the purpose of reimbursing the actual cost, upon completion and inspection of a phone system upgrade – E911 for Beckwith Middle School and Palmer River Elementary School and proportionate share of the Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School.

Article #20

Transfer $30,000 for the FY2025 Certification of Values

Voted by majority vote to allow the Board of Assessors to transfer from overlay surplus the sum of $30,000 for the contracting of the fy2025 revaluing and certifying assessed valuation of the town as mandated by the State of Massachusetts to comply with Proposition 2 ½.

Article #21

CPC Funds from the Open Space and Recreational Funds for Related Purchase of an All-Ages Playground

Voted unanimously to approve the expenditure of $300,000 from the town’s open space and recreational community preservation funds, for the purchase of an all-ages playground system.  This purchase will support passive recreational use, located at Francis Farm.

Article #22

Palmer River Church Yard – Lake Family Lot

Voted unanimously to approve the expenditure of $3,350 from the Town’s historical preservation-community preservation funds, service of Oak Hill Engineering to survey and record the cemetery lot at Palmer River Churchyard, known as Lake Family lot. 

Article #23

Meeting House Memorial Garden –

Lake Family Lot

Voted unanimously to table Article 23 for further review.

Article #24

Amendment of Land Purchase Voted on Warrant Article 17 of the Fiscal Year 2024 CPC Purchase of 44 Bliss Street from the May 9, 2023 Warrant

Voted by majority vote, as amended*, to supplement prior approval of Article 17 of the May 9, 2023 Town Meeting to include the authorization for the board of selectmen to accept, acquire, purchase or take by eminent domain or otherwise acquire, 14 acres off bliss street, lot 1, for preservation a passive recreational use.

*Amendment:  removal of language “or take by eminent domain”, which was approved by majority vote, per Moderator.

Article #25

Amendment of Land Purchase Voted on Warrant 16 of the Fiscal Year 2024 CPC Purchase of 165 Fairview Avenue from the May 9, 2023 Warrant

Voted by majority vote, as amended*, to supplement prior approval of Article 16 of the May 9, 2023 Town Meeting to include the authorization for the board of selectmen to accept, acquire, purchase or take by eminent domain or otherwise acquire, 34 acres off 165 Fairview Avenue, part of map 57, lot 31, for preservation a passive recreational use.

*Amendment:  removal of language “or take by eminent domain”, which was approved by majority vote, per Moderator

Article #26

Ratify Vote on Agreement between TOR and South Fire Station Association Warrant Article 7 of the Fiscal Year 2024 Special Town Meeting

Voted by 2/3rds vote, as declared by Moderator, to ratify and supplement prior approval of Article 7 of the November 7, 2023 Special Town Meeting to include the authorization of the Board of Selectmen to convey the entire property located off Martin Street having a parcel ID as 9/27, and further that the Board of Selectmen shall be authorized to enter into any and all agreements necessary to effectuate the same.

Article #27

Street Acceptances:  O’Hern Way

and Dublin Road

Voted by two-thirds vote, as declared by the Moderator, to accept as town public ways O’Hern Way and Dublin Road, as described in the warrant and to authorize the Board of Selectmen to accept or take by eminent domain deeds or easements to use such public way for all purposes for which public ways are used in the Town of Rehoboth and further to acquire related drainage, utility and other related easements, as may be necessary. Further, to authorize the transfer from free cash of $1500 to pay for title and other expenses that may arise.

Article #28

Street Acceptances:  Skyla Way

and Kaylee Drive

Voted by two-thirds vote, as declared by the Moderator, to accept as town public ways Skyla Way and Kaylee Drive as described in the warrant and to authorize the Board of Selectmen to accept or take by eminent domain deeds or easements to use such public way for all purposes for which public ways are used in the Town of Rehoboth and further to acquire related drainage, utility and other related easements, as may be necessary. Further, to authorize the transfer from free cash of $1500 to pay for title and other expenses that may arise.

Article #29

Street Acceptances:  Linden Lane, Willow Way and Primrose Lane

Voted by two-thirds vote, as declared by the Moderator, to accept as town public ways Linden Lane, Willow Way and Primrose Lane as described in the warrant and to authorize the Board of Selectmen to accept or take by eminent domain deeds or easements to use such public way for all purposes for which public ways are used in the Town of Rehoboth and further to acquire related drainage, utility and other related easements, as may be necessary. Further, to authorize the transfer from free cash of $1500 to pay for title and other expenses that may arise.

 

Article #30

Rehoboth Zoning Bylaw Amendment to Article 2.0 Definitions and

Article 4.0 Use Regulations

Voted by two-thirds vote, as declared by the Moderator, to table Article 30 based on advice of Town Counsel.

Article #31

General Bylaws – Adopt Bylaw – Sale of Tax Title Properties

Voted unanimously, as amended*, to amend the Town’s General Bylaws by adding a new Section 5 to Chapter F, General Provisions, Article I – As listed in the Warrant.

*Added Cemetery and Park Commissions to paragraph 4

Article #32

Transact Other Business as May Legally Come Before Said Meeting

Voted unanimously to dissolve the June 4, 2024

Annual Town Meeting at 8:39 PM.

MASSACHUSETTS TOWN CLERK’S ASSOCIATION – MTCA CLASSES – JUNE 5-7

Well, Jenn, Kerrie and I have certainly been busy taking classes in Plymouth and advocating for future elections at the State House this month.  On Wednesday, June 5th through Friday, June 7th the Town Clerk’s Office attended a 3-day workshop learning how to better serve the public through the expertise of several State Officials.  The Massachusetts City and Town Clerk’s Association held its Summer 2024 Conference where Jenn, Kerrie and I were able to take the following courses: 

Election Potpourri – Presenter – Michelle Tassinari – Director and Legal Counsel, Elections Division of the Commonwealth.  This session was very helpful to all City and Town Clerks as we learned of the numerous updates in our roles as Chief Election Official. Michelle presented a segment on “What We Learned from the Presidential Primary”, as well as a review of early voting, inactive voters, provisional voters, and UOCAVA ballots. We also learned about several new changes being made to the current Voter Resident Information System (VRIS) enabling us to be better prepared for the State Primary and Presidential Election.  As an aside, your Rehoboth Town Clerk’s Office is currently testing the new VRIS computer program for the Commonwealth, which will be launched at the end of 2024.  We are among only a handful of Cities/Towns who have the honor of being asked to test the new program.  We have been working with the State on this project since 2022.

Vitals / VIP/MAVRIC – Presenter Alex Foreman, Director of Massachusetts Department of Public Health – Registry of Vital Records and Statistics.  The Commonwealth also introduced a new Vitals computer program for all Board of Health and City/Town Clerk’s offices during the month of May.  An overview of the Massachusetts Vital Records Information Collaborative (MAVRIC) - the new electronic death registration system was presented we also participated in a “sandbox” environment so we could test the new system prior to actually processing Burial Permits and Death Certificates. MAVRIC offers a more streamlined processes, enhanced features, reduced reliance on paper, and it will replace the existing Vitals Information Partnership (VIP) system. August is the launch date for the old VIP program to be removed and replaced with the MAVRIC module.  This hands-on opportunity was a great way to work through what is involved with working in MAVRIC. Wish us luck.

Open Meeting Law – Presenter – KP Law - This course offered a review of the Open Meeting Law to include the statutory open meeting posting requirements, minutes, and exemptions. Discussion also included information regarding executive sessions, using social media, open meeting law complaints and any updates on new changes to the Open Meeting Law.  We will be sharing what we learned in this class with Department Heads and Rehoboth’s Boards & Committees.  Very helpful information presented.

Election Day Incident Plan – Presenters Mike Ste. Marie, Election Security Partnership (ESP) Program Manager, Michelle Tassinari, Director and Legal Counsel, Elections Division of the Commonwealth and Keryn Cadogan, Chief Information Officer, Secretary of State’s Office - We joined the ESP Team for a table top exercise on preparing an Election Incident Plan. This plan covered different scenarios, that could happen on Election Day, and provided solutions and best practices to follow. This class was awesome and will better prepare us should an unfortunate event occur on Election Day. All participants left with a plan that can be used on Election Day.  Very informative class!

Public Records – Presenter:  Senior Attorney Jeff Gottfredsen of the Public Records Division – Attorney Gottfredsen, discussed public records access, requests for records, and the appeals process, covering issues commonly encountered by Town/City Clerks. Specific topics included: timelines for responding to requests, what must be included in the response, when fees may be assessed, petitions to the Supervisor of Records regarding fees and time extensions, what is a “public record,” and common exemptions that permit redaction and withholding of records. Digital Archivist Elizabeth O’Connell was also present and discussed using digitization to enhance our records management program. The Secretary of the State’s Office is responsible for securing, preserving and managing digital records at the State level. As such, Ms. O’Connell discussed the importance of digitization of many of the records City and Town Clerks maintains in our offices. The class included taking intellectual control of records, prepping for digitization, best practices, file-naming conventions, maintenance of digital files, and how digital records are treated by law.

Recount/Audit – Presenter: Lauren Goldberg – Managing Attorney – KP Law – Lauren walked us through a recount, how to prepare, and what to expect.  Since this is a Presidential Election year,  Lauren also provided a strong foundation for any possible Election Audits, which our Town may be chosen for after the Presidential Election. I am happy to say, during the 2020 Election Rehoboth was randomly chosen for a State Audit, as per MGL, and Rehoboth’s totals balanced to the numbers certified.   

All the classes were informative and helpful to the Town Clerk’s Office.  What an awesome experience. We will share the helpful information we learned with other Departments, Boards and Committees.

In closing, Kerrie, Jenn and I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July and wish you a happy, healthy, safe, and memorable summer!  Please stay healthy and safe!!  I look forward to chatting with you again in August.  Speaking of August, please do not forget taxes are due Thursday, August 1st .

Sincerely,
Laura

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