August 1, 2021

From the Town Clerk

Posted

After several postponements, we finally had our Spring Town Meeting on June 7, 2021. Thanks to all the citizens of Seekonk who came out to participate, what a great turnout. It was a long, hot night with 26 warrant articles to act on. It certainly helped having the Covid-19 restrictions lifted by the State a few days prior to the meeting. We have had positive feedback on our new check-in system coming in through the pool entrance and separating the lines for the precincts. It really made things run smoother and faster and we were able to get started on time. I would like to thank the following people/departments who really helped in coordinating the set-up of Town Meeting. The teamwork of all these department coming together created a successful night. DPW, Seekonk HS maintenance, Cable 9, Town Administrator’s office, Assistant Town Clerk, Board of Health, Police and Fire Departments, Town Hall Dept. Heads and employees, poll workers, registrars, and everyone else who helped. Thank you all.

I have outlined the results of the meeting. The official minutes can be found on the Town website www.seekonk-ma.gov under the Town Clerk’s page.

Turn-out numbers by precinct: Precinct 1- 75; Precinct 2- 116; Precinct 3- 87;

Precinct 4- 110   Total:  388

Special Town Election August 30, 2021

At the Annual Town Meeting June 7, 2021, the Town voted with a 2/3 majority to go to ballot to appropriate $2,700,000.00 to fund the construction and renovation of the Seekonk Connolly Field and the Mooney Track. The date for the Special Town Election is August 30, 2021, 7am to 8pm at the Seekonk Senior High School 261 Arcade Ave.

The last day to register to vote for this election will be August 11, 2021.

If you are going to be away, or can’t make the election, please apply for an Absentee/Early Voting Ballot. To receive a ballot, you must first fill out an application. The application is on our website, on the Town Clerk page, under the heading “Downloadable Forms”.  Please print the form, fill it out and either drop if off in the drop-box outside Town Hall, bring it into the Town Clerk’s office, or mail it to Attn:  Town Clerk, 100 Peck St. Seekonk, MA 02771. For all voter information please do not hesitate to call us at: 508-336-2920 and we will be glad to help you.  

The Ballot question will read: 
" Shall the Town of Seekonk be allowed to exempt from the provisions of proposition two and one-half, so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to fund the construction and renovation of the Seekonk Connolly Field and Mooney Track, including furnishings and equipment, which project costs shall include, but not be limited to, demolition, landscaping, paving, utility and other site improvements related to the project, associated architectural, engineering and other professional and legal expenses and fees, and all other costs incidental or related thereto?             Yes or No

New Fiscal Year

July 1, 2021 starts a new fiscal year for the Town and with that comes new appointments and re-appointments to Boards, Committees and Commissions. I have outlined below a few important Open Meeting Law points to know if you are sitting on a board, committee or commission. A full version of this can be found on the Town website under the Town Clerk’s page.  

Posting a Meeting Notice

Meeting postings and agendas must be posted with the Town Clerk AT LEAST 48 hours PRIOR to a meeting, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and Legal Holidays (weekends and holidays cannot be counted as part of the 48-hour notification period).

The Open Meeting Law requires 24 hours, 7 days a week access to meeting schedules and agendas. The Town Clerk’s office must process and post each meeting in both locations - Town Hall bulletin board & Town of Seekonk web-site in order to comply with Open Meeting Law.

The Official Town of Seekonk Meeting Notice can be found on the Town’s website under Town Clerk - Downloadable Forms, or you may come to The Town Clerk’s office and get one for your files. This meeting notice is to be used for all meeting postings. The requirements on this posting are:

Name of the Committee.

Date of the Meeting.

Meeting room.

Address of the location of the building where meeting is being held.

A brief description of topics to be discussed along with a full agenda attached.

A committee may use any of the following methods to communicate a posting to the Town Clerk’s office, however email is preferred.

Email to BOTH the Town Clerk and Asst. Town Clerk –

fcraig@seekonk-ma.gov & lsorel@seekonk-ma.gov

Fax: 508- 336-0764

In person, Town Clerk’s office, Town Hall, 100 Peck St. Seekonk, MA.

Please note; that the ownership for making sure the Town Clerk’s office has received a posting is the responsibility of the person posting the meeting, not the Town Clerk’s office. The Town Clerk’s office checks emails regularly and it is important to email posting to both the Town Clerk and the Asst. Town Clerk.

If a committee is down to the wire to comply with the 48-hour notice, please call the Town Clerk’s office at 508-336-2920 to inform us that you have emailed the posting so we can assist you with compliance.

To verify that we have received your email and the meeting has been posted go to the town’s website and check the calendar on the home page to see if the meeting is listed on the date you specified.

When hand delivering your postings, please provide the Town Clerk’s office with four (4) copies of the Meeting notice and two (2) copies of the agenda. One is for our files, one for your records, one will be posted on the bulletin board at Town Hall and one for Cable 9.

Meeting Postings & Agendas must be received within 30 minutes of the office closing.

Town Hall Office Hours:

Monday, Tuesday Thursday        8:30am - 4:30pm

Wednesday                                       8:30am - 7:00pm

Friday                                                   8:30am - 12:00pm

Any Holiday which Town Hall is closed, is NOT included in the 48 hours required.

Please note any meeting not posted within these guidelines will NOT be in compliance with the open meeting law and the committee should not meet. The Town Clerk’s office will post the meeting but the posting will clearly be marked as NOT IN COMPLIANCE with the open meeting law.

Meeting Agenda Requirements

Meeting Agendas must contain the following information:

Name of Committee

Date and day of the week and starting time of meeting

Location of meeting

Body of the Agenda: List of Topics the Chair reasonably anticipates to be discussed. It must be a specific itemized list so the public will understand what will be discussed and which items a vote is anticipated to be taken.

Old Business and New Business may be listed on the agenda. This is NOT for items to be voted on, or may be controversial. It simply allows for conversation on old or new items not specifically listed on the agenda.

Agendas may include items to inform the public that certain matters be discussed that arise after the meeting notice was posted. Such items may be listed as;” Other- Topics not reasonably anticipated 48 hours in advance of meeting”. Again, this is NOT for items to be voted on.

If Chairs anticipate an Executive Session might be needed, that should be included on the agenda.

Meeting Minutes – per MGL Ch. 66 & 6

 State law requires all public bodies (committees, commissions, boards, sub-committees and ad-hoc committees) to keep accurate written records of its public meetings.

Importance of the Record
Many matters before boards and committees are reviewable by a court, on an appeal. In many of these matters, the appeal is based on the record developed before the board or committee. Thus, it is important to adequately develop a record that will accurately reflect what went on during the meeting and, most importantly, support the decisions and actions of the board or committee.

Meeting Minutes, as set forth by law, must include the following:

Date, time and place of meeting.

List of members present and absent.

Any actions taken at the meeting (including going into executive session w/roll call vote).

A summary of the discussions on each subject.

Exact wording of all motions, including who made and seconded the motion.

The decisions made and actions taken, including a record of all votes.

A list of documents and other exhibits used by the body at the meeting.

Once minutes are approved by vote of the public body;

The person who recorded the minutes and the committee chairman should sign the minutes and indicate the date of the meeting at which the minutes were accepted.

Minutes are public and permanent records. Departments must keep a file of all the minutes and must be able to provide an original approved and signed copy of the minutes upon request. The Public records Law advises that the approved minutes should be posted on the town’s website.

Census 2021 Update
Thanks to everyone who has sent in their census update postcards it is very important to keep our Town Census and voter rolls up-to-date. If you have received a postcard, please mail it back to us as soon as you can.

Lorraine and I hope everyone had a fun and safe Fourth of July. Enjoy the summer weather and remember the Town Clerk’s office welcomes inquiries from all citizens seeking assistance to services provided by the Town of Seekonk.

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