July 12, 2024

From the Town Clerk

Posted

Hello All – Another month has quickly flown by. I hope you have been enjoying your summer and staying healthy and safe.  As the summer draws to a close, I also hope you had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend! 

2023 DOG TAGS – NOW PAST DUE
I am pleased we have registered 1,908 dogs so far this year, unfortunately, we still have 350+ dogs that remain unlicensed; 78 less than in 2022.  After several reminders from our office to dog owners (January Census mailer; reminder letters in March prior to the annual rabies clinic and April 1st license renewal deadline; postcard reminders in May; monthly reminders in the Rehoboth Reporter since January, a 60-day grace period, reminder phone calls from our Animal Control Officer in August, and final reminder letters sent to each dog owner on August 30th), a current $10 dog license (spayed/neutered) is now $25 to renew ($10 + $15 Late Fee); and will soon to be $60.  Regrettably, if we do not receive payment for your dog’s 2023 Dog License Renewal by September 15th, we will be required, by law, to start the non-criminal citation process, which will incur an additional fee of $25.00 or more, plus certified mailing costs resulting in a $10 dog license now being a minimum of $60.00.  Please do not let this happen to you.  If you are over 70 years old, registration fees are waived; however, you still must keep your dog’s rabies vaccinations current and register your dog every year. 

Please renew your dog’s license now.  You may pay by mail, at Town Clerk’s Office, or online @ https://permiteyes.us/rehoboth/publichome.php . We also have the drop box outside of the Town Hall (340 Anawan Street-Route 118) for after-hours drop-offs.

If you no longer have your dog, please call 508-252-6502 Ext. 3109 or Ext. 3112 or you may email TownClerk@RehobothMA.gov to update our records.  Please license your dog as soon as possible to avoid further action involving the Animal Control Officer.  In addition to the above listed late fees, the State authorizes all Animal Control Officers to fine delinquent dog owners $50/day until they renew their dog’s yearly licenses.  Please do not let that happen to you.  Thanks so much for renewing your dog’s 2023 license by September 15th.  Yearly dog licensing ensures all dogs in Rehoboth have updated rabies vaccinations.  This process is in place to protect us all.

TOWN OF REHOBOTH WEBSITE – NOW ADA ACCESSIBLE
On Wednesday, August 9th Selectman Solas, Kerrie, Jenn and I had a follow-up call with Civic Plus (our website provider) regarding bringing our Town website in compliance with the March 18, 2022 DOJ standards (ADA compliance and WCAG guidelines) and accessible to all forms of assistive technologies.  I am pleased to announce, after the August 21st vote of the Board of Selectmen to add the Civic Plus “AudioEye” program to our town website, Rehoboth’s website is now accessible to All!!  Please check out the new features at our Town Website: www.RehobothMA.gov

On the bottom right side of each page of our website you will see the ADA compliance image (see above).

If you click on the icon, anyone visiting our website can change the view of the webpage to make it easily viewable (the size of the cursor, text size-spacing-font, change the contrast or colors, even choose “guide” or “window” for ease of reading longer website content).  Below is an image of the selection screen you can choose once you click on the icon above:

Please try it out . . . I personally found it helpful by increasing the text, changing the contrast based on surrounding lighting in the room and my favorite was “guide” and/or “window” while reading longer text.  Thank you all involved in making Rehoboth’s website accessible to all!!  Thank you Civic Plus, Jenn & Kerrie (Town Clerk’s Office), Selectman Solas, the Board of Selectmen and Selectmen’s Office staff, along with the Rehoboth IT Committee and chairperson Anna Deignan!  Together we all made this wonderful feature happen quickly - thank you all!

2023 STREET LISTINGS ARE AVAILABLE
If you would like a copy of the 2023 Street Listings, there is a charge of $15.00.  Please feel free to stop by town hall and pick up your copy, while supplies last.  You may order one online @ https://www.invoicecloud.com/rehobothgovsvcs; request a copy by mail, drop box outside of Town Hall-340 Anawan Street or visit us at the Clerk’s Office.  If paying by check, please make your check payable to:  The Town of Rehoboth ~ thank you. 

UPCOMING FALL TOWN MEETING – TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2023
At the August 21st Board of Selectmen Meeting, it was voted to open the Fall Town Meeting Warrant on 8/21/23 and close the warrant on Monday, September 11, 2023. This year’s meeting is scheduled to be held at Francis Farm, Museum Building, on Tuesday, November 7th, as printed on the 2023 Census Calendar.  Please Note: If you viewed the 8-21-2023 Selectmen’s meeting, this date has been changed from what was voted during that meeting. The Board will vote this change (11-7-2023) at their upcoming September 11, 2023 meeting. All warrant articles for the 11-7-2023 Fall Town Meeting warrant are due to the Office of the Selectmen by Monday, September 11th no later than 12:00 noon ~ Thank you and we look forward to seeing you in November.  More details to come as the meeting gets closer.

ATTORNEY GENERAL APPROVED GENERAL BYLAW AMENDMENT
The Attorney General opined regarding our May 9, 2023 Annual Town Meeting (ATM) Bylaw Amendments on Wednesday, August 9, 2023.  They approved articles 10, 28, 32 and 33 and requested a 90-day extension on Article 27, which Town Counsel has accepted.  For those who may not remember, Article 27 from the 5-9-23 ATM was the Helicopter Landing License submitted by the Board of Selectmen.  Town Counsel is working with the AG’s Office and we should have an answer soon.  I will keep you posted.  Once received, we will post and update our bylaws.

GENERAL CODE – BYLAW CODIFICATION UPDATE
Speaking of our bylaws, as you know, Rehoboth is in the process of codifying our bylaws through General Code.  This is a process of making our bylaws more easily accessible to everyone; a process which I have been wishing to implement since I became your Town Clerk over ten years ago. If you would like to see what the finished process will look like, please view Swansea’s codified “e-code 360” bylaws::

General Bylaws:  https://ecode360.com/SW3945

Zoning Bylaws:  https://ecode360.com/34393893

As of today, all Department Heads and Committee Chairs received the first phase of the Codification project to review on July 7th. Conservation, Planning and Dr. Panofsky were extremely helpful with the “Organizational Analysis & Table of Contents” review process, thank you all. I compiled all responses and submitted them to General Code by the July 21, 2023 deadline. In addition to General Code, the Selectmen, Town Administrator and Finance Director received a copy of the first phase of the submission as well.

We requested a Red-Lined document of the proposed changes be sent to us for the next phase of the project. General Code is now preparing the “Manuscript and Editorial/Legal Analysis” of our bylaws, which is due back to us by September 29, 2023. We will have 45-days to review the document and respond to General Code by December 1st.  As you know from my previous article regarding the General Code Codification process, this process would normally cost the Town just under $10,000 to complete; however, the Town of Rehoboth was fortunate to be the first city/town in Massachusetts to qualify to have this codification project funded by ARPA funds; therefore, no cost to the Town.  I am so excited to be starting the codification process.  I will update you of the next steps once we receive the redlined documents back from General Code at the end of the month.  Thank you all for making this happen!  A win-win for us all.

In closing, Jenn, Kerrie and I wish you all a safe, happy, most enjoyable September.  Good luck to those students, teachers and administrators beginning the 2023-2024 school year. We hope all Rehoboth residents stay healthy and safe.  Please enjoy the beautiful fall weather that should be coming soon.

Thank You ~ Laura

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