During his report to the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen on June 10, Town Administrator Michael Gagne discussed the upcoming Tri-Town Selectmen’s Meeting scheduled for June 19 at 7:00 pm in ORRHS. Gagne said that he recently had conversations with Superintendent Doug White regarding the prudent use of excess and deficiency funds rather than for operating expenses and had been encouraged that things were moving in the right direction. He said that the Tri-Town selectmen’s involvement moving forward with ORR financial matters would be beneficial. White indicated to Gagne that he is looking to put together a reserve fund for unforeseen emergencies and capitol planning building needs. Gagne also said that the town’s investment firm, Bartholomew and Company (located in Worcester), had offered to assist the school department with OPEB planning.
Gagne also asked the board to vote on the appointment of Jill Simmons as reserve police officer on the waterfront and F. Mitchell Suzan as special reserve officer for details only.
Elsewhere on the agenda the board reorganized, voting Tyler Macallister as Clerk, Jordan Collyer as Vice Chairman, and Paul Silva as Chairman.
Michael King came before the board requesting permission to discuss his farming enterprise with the Board of Health. As an appointed member of the Conservation Commission, King needed the board’s permission according to state ethics rules. He received approval.
Special one-day liquor licenses were approved for the YMCA for several upcoming charity events. These events are primarily for the purpose of raising funds to help subsidize camping tuition for children with financial hardship.
The selectmen voted approval for the MS Bike Charity Ride to move through six miles of Mattapoisett on June 21, which also received an affirmative response from Police Chief Mary Lyons.
Town Clerk Catherine Hueberger came before the board to discuss the possibility of extending voting hours during local elections. Both she and Gagne had heard from the public that opening the polls at 8:00 am for local elections would be beneficial. She estimated the increased expense at $400. The selectmen tabled the decision until the September meeting to give them ample opportunity to discuss the time change with Old Hammondtown School’s administration.
Allen Decker of the Buzzards Bay Coalition met with the board to discuss the approval of a conservation restriction on town property adjacent to Nasketucket Reservation. He said that the sale of the conservation restriction to the state for $180,000 will help the town with the purchase price for the 27 acres site. Decker said that ultimately it is hoped that this parcel – along with the larger reservation – will tie into the bike path, giving greater and easier access to this natural recreational area.
Selectman Paul Silva thanked the coalition through Decker for “The Bogs” recreational area saying it is a wonderful location for people to allow their dogs to run off leash.
The board also voted on annual reappointments of those sitting on numerous boards and commissions doing the work of the town mostly on a voluntary basis. A list of those appointments is available at the selectmen’s office.
On the subject of voluntarism, the Selectmen are seeking to fill several open seats on the Historical Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals. When asked what sort of qualification the board would be looking for, particularly for the open seats on the ZBA, Silva said, “…dedicated people, willing to participate at meetings on a regular basis, people who care about the community…” He indicated that it would be ‘on the job training,’ humorously interjecting “like being a Selectman.”
Earlier in the evening and prior to the beginning of the meeting, Melody Pacheco, Secretary to the Board of Selectmen, said that around 4:00 pm the Town Hall’s computer network system was attacked by a virus that had inadvertently been introduced into the system via an encrypted email from one of the town’s banking partners. At this writing, resolution of this problem remains unknown.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen is July 15 at 7:00 pm in Town Hall.
By Marilou Newell