Mattapoisett’s Board of Selectmen moved quickly through a short agenda that was long on good wishes, aspirations and creative marketing opportunities.
First up was the distribution of Certificates of Appreciation to Judy Anthony and Kathy DeMello for their dedication and good works with the Council on Aging.
Next came Paul Wildnauer from Greatscapes with a proposal from the Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association for the town’s participation in a statewide campaign titled “Don’t Just Stand There … Plant Something,” slated for May 15. This program, which is a joint initiative with the Massachusetts Flower Growers Association, is to help nurseries partner more closely with their communities, providing professional services and plants for public beautification projects. The Board was delighted at the opportunity to have a public location of the town’s choosing freshened up with new plantings. It was suggested that the sign near the industrial park would be an ideal location. The Selectmen’s office will publicize the volunteer opportunity to the citizens and also reach out to local organizations that are looking for these types of projects.
Town Administrator Mike Gagne then gave his report. Gagne said that the town had been approached by a television production company to produce a 30-minute show about Mattapoisett. The final product would air over several cable stations for approximately 20 time slots. After some discussion about the benefits such marketing programs could generate for Mattapoisett, Chairman Jordan Collyer noted that the $20,000 commitment required by the town was difficult to accept.
This led to a lively discussion about what could be done in-town versus using outside services to help market the virtues of Mattapoisett and the harbor resource to a wider audience. Such diverse ideas as producing mobile applications, a website for Mattapoisett Harbor, and video clips for websites were all inspired thoughts. Collyer also said that although the town had previously contacted the producers of “Chronicle” about using the Tri-Town area would prove more attractive than just one community. The Fox program “Zip Trip” had been a big success in the past and maybe they could be invited to return. Several of the ideas will be taken up for greater exploration. The Board held that it is necessary to help promote the use of the harbor as a destination point not unlike Martha’s Vineyard.
Gagne then addressed his second item: an article for Town Meeting regarding analysis of future facility needs. With a capital needs assessment and master plan done, Gagne offered that the possibility of soliciting expert and professional volunteers from town to help craft the use assessment for the public’s review might work well. It was noted that the voters might feel more comfortable with ideas fully fleshed out by fellow townspeople whose knowledge in construction, building materials, engineering and facility use could be key to moving needed projects closer to real development. All agreed that getting experts on board to suggest ways that projects can be done — such as a new Town Hall or Fire Department — is a different approach than what has previously been used.
Collyer commented that a “full vetting of ideas” was necessary.
“It is critical to get the right people involved,” Selectman Paul Silva said.
The Board then heard from Kathleen LeClair and Kelly Weglowski of Healing Little Hearts for an upcoming road race proposed in town. LeClair and Weglowski said that the group organizes fundraising activities for research done at Boston Children’s Hospital on congenital heart defects.
Mattapoisett Police Chief Mary Lyons explained the necessity of the race taking place in October due to the number of activities planned between May and September. The race will be scheduled sometime between October 12 and 14 to coincide with Columbus Day. The Selectmen’s office will assist the planners with coordinating Department of Public Works and insurance paperwork. This will be the first time the group has brought this activity to Mattapoisett, where they trust participation will be strong. Their request was approved.
The Selectmen then went into Executive Session. Their next meeting is slated for April 9 at 7:00 pm.
By Marilou Newell