Longtime Secretary for the Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals Maria Cananzey is retiring after 23 years of service to the town. She will be retiring in five weeks, according to Town Inspector Andy Bobola, who made the announcement at the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen’s regular meeting on Tuesday, October 23 at Town Hall.
“It’s going to be a very difficult pair of shoes to fill,” said Bobola. “She’s been an absolute asset to the town. Everything she does is first class.”
The town placed an ad to the union to see if there was any interest for Cananzey’s position, however they didn’t receive any replies. The town will now place an ad in local newspapers with the hopes of filling the position as soon as possible in order to sufficiently train the new employee.
“Maria’s job is one of the more demanding clerical assistant jobs in the building,” said Selectman Jordan Collyer.
Town Administrator Michael Gagne said the candidates applying for Cananzey’s job will be tested to see their proficiency in a variety of computer programs such as Microsoft Office, Excel and Word.
In other news, Highway Surveyor Barry Denham expressed the need for another employee in his department. Currently, he has four full-time staff members, and according to him, that is not enough help to continue the level of service they are providing to the town.
“It’s extremely difficult to cover all the bases with the help we have,” Denham said.
The Selectmen recognized the excellent work Denham has done with the Highway Department and trust his need for another employee.
“No one likes to talk about adding full-time positions because it’s a budgetary matter,” said Collyer. “One thing I can say since Barry has come on board is that he’s done a phenomenal job and the resources are managed very well. I have no problem hiring a part-time or full-time person to help Barry with what he needs.”
Collyer assured Denham that he would look at salary numbers to bring another employee on board for the Highway Department and get back to him.
Denham also told the Board that the road repairs following the summer are very minimal, and heading into the winter, the department is well prepared with both a dump truck and plow to help sand and clear the roads.
“This has been a good summer,” he said. “The roads are in very good condition and there are only a few that actually need grading.”
Library Director Susan Pizzolato expressed the desire to keep the library open additional evenings during the week in order to provide ample meeting space for groups and nonprofit organizations who need the space to convene. She proposed keeping the library open later on both Thursdays and Sundays.
“By adding just six hours a week, that gives us a lot more opportunity to hold meetings in the library,” she said. “It would be great to offer the community some additional hours in their library.”
The Board agreed it was a good idea to entertain the idea, and encouraged Pizzolato to see if her staff could accommodate the new hours.
“We use the library a lot, it’s a great resource,” said Selectman Tyler Macallister.
Harbormaster Horace Field met with the Board to discuss an alternative plan to replace the float at Barstow Wharf. The float, which was installed in 1958, needs to be replaced before next summer. In order to replace it, it would cost the town $25,000. However, they would receive nothing in return to make back the money.
Field proposed spending $34,000 for a more expensive float that would hold between 20 – 25 dinghy spots for residents. Charging $100 per spot, the town would receive $2,500 annually, and would make back the money from the purchase in less than a ten-year period, according to Field.
“I think he makes a pretty good argument here,” said Gagne.
Field will work with the Selectmen to put the project out to bid in a couple weeks.
Gagne informed the Board that the public restrooms at Ned’s Point, the Town Beach and Shipyard Park need to be replaced because they no longer meet the state’s requirements for accessibility.
“They are woefully out of compliance,” he said.
The ramps are not high enough to give wheelchairs enough space to get into the doorway. Additionally, the doorways are not wide enough to fit a chair, the turning radius inside the restroom is too small and the partitioning of the handicap stall is not adequate for the wheelchairs.
Gagne suggested starting with the Town Beach House since that facility is in the worst shape.
Gagne also updated the Board on the repairs to Town Hall. He said that the roof of the building has been replaced, however, the gutter and the downspout system have yet to be fixed, and it is creating a severe mildew problem at the building. The gutters have rotted at their joints, and Gagne is concerned some animals have made their way into the hall’s attic space.
The town will move forward with the rest of the improvements to the hall as soon as possible.
The Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen will meet again on Tuesday, November 13 at 7:00 pm at Mattapoisett Town Hall.
By Katy Fitzpatrick