Enforcement Order Heads Toward Legal Action

The Rochester Conservation Commission met May 19 to discuss a year-long issue with Dustin and Travis Lalli, the owners of a property under an Enforcement Order since March.

The Lallis were invited to the May 19 meeting to discuss two letters of complaint about their property, the first in May of 2014 and the second in April of this year. Through email correspondence, the Lallis replied to Conservation Agent Laurell Farinon saying they were unable to attend.

The commission discussed the next steps to be taken in the dispute and decided to authorize Farinon to send a letter to the Lallis, which would advise that if the requested information was not supplied by June 16, ConCom would approach town counsel about legal action.

“We typically do not go this route,” Farinon said after the meeting. “We don’t like to issue Enforcement Orders.”

The dispute began following an unsigned complaint to the commission in May 2014. The letter alleged that the owners of the property had cut down trees and dug ditches in violation of Town bylaws.

A visit to the site verified these claims, and the commission sent a letter of violation asking the owners to provide a wetlands delineation and restoration plan to correct these issues. No such plan was ever submitted, so the commission went to the next step, issuing an Enforcement Order.

“We’ve been at this for a long time, working with them, looking at the property … giving them extensions, asking for [the plan],” Farinon said.

She explained how the process typically goes.

“If you had something on your property, we’d issue a Notice of Violation, which is just a letter that sounds important asking you to please correct it. Nine times out of 10, people do that,” she said. “[The Lallis] have been non-responsive and have not provided the requested information to the commission despite repeated requests.”

This latest letter of complaint, which was also unsigned, reports several new violations that have not yet been verified by the commission and will require further site visits. The anonymous sender alleged that he or she heard gunshots in the area and, upon further inspection, found additional tree cutting, a possible pump next to a body of water, makeshift buildings, a horse corral, fire pit, mud bogging, and a jet ski in the water.

The commission had intended to show the letter to the Lallis at the Tuesday night meeting.

Other actions taken at the meeting include a request for approval by Rochester resident Rebecca Davenport. Davenport submitted changes to a property plan. The commission reviewed the changes, found that they did not constitute major revisions, and approved them.

The commission also discussed the Open Space Plan, which is currently in development. The commission plans to submit a survey to the residents of Rochester to get their opinions on what changes or lack thereof they would like to see in the plan.

Additionally, the commission reviewed an application to the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program for a grant of $8,500 dollars to survey land as part of the Haskell Woods Land Preservation Project. The survey would look at possible access routes to the area so that the Land Trust could decide where and how much land they should buy.

The commission extended a thank you to Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School senior Amy Hill for taking the lead on a digital revision of the Town’s Explore Rochester trail maps. The commission would also like to thank her teacher, Kathy Peterson of the Graphic Communication and Design program.

The next meeting of the Rochester Conservation Commission is scheduled for June 2 at 7:00 pm at the Rochester Town Hall.

By Andrew Roiter

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Scant Voter Turnout

Without a single contested race or a question on the ballot that inspired much in the way of interest, Mattapoisett’s local election saw 218 voters during the extended hours the polls were open on May 19. At the request of the Board of Selectmen, Town Clerk Catherine Heuberger and her team manned the polls at Old Hammondtown School from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, one hour earlier than in previous years.

Heuberger confirmed that there are 4,690 registered voters in Mattapoisett. Usual voter turnout tops out at about half of that. She said in uncontested races 2 to 3 percent is about normal. On ballots where some level of decision-making has been required such as town elections in the prior three years, the polls saw up to a 14% turnout.

On the ballot question asking voters whether or not to exempt the town from the provisions of Proposition 2 ½ for bonds to finance ongoing roadway repairs throughout the village neighborhood, 126 voters agreed while 50 voters disagreed, and 42 voters left the space blank.

The uncontested elected offices found Selectman Paul Silva receiving 156 votes with three unsuccessful write-in votes. Assessor Leonard Coppola received 161 votes, and James Muse for the Mattapoisett School Committee received 158 votes.

The Public Library trustees are William Asci, receiving 156 votes and Amy Ligmitz-Harken, 142. John Eklund, Mattapoisett’s long-time moderator will return to his gavel with 166 votes. Al Meninno, Jr received 155 as a commissioner on the Water/Sewer Commission.

Barry Denham, who received praise for the handling of snow removal and related winter storm issues for the 2014/2015 winter as highway surveyor received 173 votes with four write-ins. Russell Bailey received 155 votes for a three-year post on the Board of Health, while Ken Dawicki received 163 votes for a one-year stint on the Board of Health.

Nathan Ketchel, who sought to fill one of two open slots on the Planning Board, received 150 votes for a five-year seat at the table. Suzanne Kennedy received 154 votes for a two-year position with the Mattapoisett Housing Authority, and last on the ballot were William Hall and Michelle Hughes receiving 158 and 162 votes respectively for two-year posts on the Community Preservation Committee.

By Marilou Newell

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Free Movie: Last Tuesday of the Month

The Imitation Game (PG-13 1hr. 54min.) is being shown at the Mattapoisett CoA Senior Center, Center School, 17 Barstow St., on Tuesday, May 26 at 12:00 noon. The free movie is sponsored by the Friends of the Mattapoisett CoA.

In The Imitation Game, Alan Turing, a pioneer of computers, leads a group of scholars to crack the codes of Germany’s WWII Enigma machine. A genius under nail-biting pressure helps to save millions of lives. And he is ultimately convicted for the crime of homosexuality.

You get two pizza slices for only $2 prepaid. Pay for your pizza at the CoA Senior Center by Monday, May 25. Also call the Senior Center at 508-758-4110 to reserve your seat – we need to know how many chairs to set up.

Mattapoisett REC

Summer Youth Program: Summer Musical Theatre – Sing, dance, and audition to act in a production of Frozen! During this one week course, students will learn the basics of putting together a theatre production and how to take part in a musical theatre performance. They will then audition for a role in Frozen and participate in the performance on the final day of the course. Class is open to boys and girls ages 5-13 and runs July 13 – July 17 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm in the OHS Cafetorium. To register, visit www.mattapoisett.net, go to MATT REC then Summer Musical Theatre.

Summer Adult Fitness Opportunity: Adult Boot Camp – Get fit and have fun in a one-hour workout designed for men and women of all fitness levels. The sessions will address all areas of fitness including cardio, muscular endurance, weight loss, strength, agility, balance and flexibility. Join the group and workout in a supportive non-intimidating environment. Instructor Chad Cabeceiras has a Masters degree in Physical Education, Exercise Science and Biomechanics. Chad is a certified trainer who has designed and implemented multiple fitness programs and boot camps over the past 15 years. Program starts June 1 and runs through July 24. Register for 3X per week, 2X a week, or Drop in at www.mattapoisett.net, go to MATT REC then Adult Boot Camp.

Silvershell Summer Program

Marion Recreation is pleased to announce that registration is now open for the Silvershell Summer Program. The program is open to all boys and girls entering Grades 1-6. You do not need to be a Marion resident to participate. Every week we will be venturing on a field trip corresponding with the theme of the week. Join us for Pirate Week, Shark Week, Bubble Week, Sports Week, just to name a few. The program is a two-week minimum. Weeks do not need to be consecutive! Cost is $325 for two weeks per child. Once you have enrolled for two weeks, additional weeks may be added at $162.50 per child. Take 10% off your second child! Early drop off and late pick up are available for an additional nominal charge. If you are enrolling three or more children, please contact Marion Recreation for more details. The first day will be June 22 and the program will run for eight weeks until August 14. For more information, visit www.marionrecreation.com, call Marion Recreation at 774-217-8355 or email info@marionrecreation.com.

Marion Recreation Sailing Program

Marion Recreation is offering Sailing Lessons on Sippican Harbor! The program will teach basic sailing skills including boat handling, how to identify parts of the boat, boating terms and basic knots. Classes will be tailored to fit the needs of those enrolled. Personal flotation devices will be provided. Adults are welcome, too! The one-week sessions begin the week of June22. Lessons are held Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, leaving from Island Wharf. The cost for up to three people in a session is $225. For a complete list of dates and times, please visit www.marionrecreation.com. For more information, please contact Marion Recreation at 774-217-8355 or info@marionrecreation.com. Space is limited; please register early for the best availability.

Marion Council on Aging

A new Tai Chi class will begin on Tuesday, May 19 from 4:00 – 5:30 pm. This will run for eight weeks for a cost of $30. Space is limited. Please call the COA office at 508 748-3570 for more information.

Join the van on June 29 to the Jewelry Exchange in Sudbury and/or August 10 for a visit to Frugal Fannies, fashion and shoe warehouse, in Westwood. Space is limited, so please call early to reserve your spot.

Selectmen Review Draft Warrant, Call for Special

Members of the Rochester Board of Selectmen say this year’s draft Annual Town Meeting warrant is heftier than average with 26 articles. That is, until May 12 when selectmen pulled several articles off and more may follow.

First to go was draft Article 16, which would have appropriated a sum not to exceed $60,000 over the next five fiscal years from the Council on Aging expense lease line item to lease a 2015 14-passenger non-handicapped-accessible minibus. The bus would have replaced the current 2007 minibus used to transport Rochester seniors.

Town Administrator Michael McCue said a vote was taken by another town entity to hold off on the article until further notice.

Selectmen also removed draft Article 19 to fund a generator for the Senior Center.

McCue said draft Article 20 may ultimately be removed and put into the IT budget to fund the first year of a five-year lease to replace the computer system at Town Hall.

Draft Article 21 to fund a company to codify the Town bylaws will likely remain on the warrant, despite the Planning Board’s disinterest in paying the amount quoted from the only company that responded with an offer.

That amount is featured in the draft warrant as $9,900, and McCue suggested leaving it at that in case another company can be found to perform the task at a lower rate.

“We would never exceed that amount,” said McCue if another company was found to codify the municipal code. And since an article amount can be decreased on the Town Meeting floor but not increased, said McCue, it is wise to keep the $9,900 as a placeholder. If no other company is found, McCue said, then the article could simply be passed over at Town Meeting.

The board called for a Special Town Meeting, mostly to deal with financial issues such as the over-expended snow and ice removal budget. The Special will be held the same night as the Annual on June 8 at Rochester Memorial School.

Also on the draft warrant, but not discussed in great detail, is an article pertaining to assessors employment that Selectman Bradford Morse was uncomfortable discussing that evening.

The article would allow an elected member of the Board of Assessors to hold an appointed position within the town that reports to the Board of Assessors. It reads: “In smaller municipalities, there are frequently times when positions that require certain knowledge and expertise may need to be held by the same person.”

The impetus for this article is the recent election of member of the Board of Assessors Debra Lalli, said McCue, who is already an appointed clerk that reports to the Board of Assessors. McCue said the potential appearance of a conflict of interest could be in the allocation of salaries. The Board of Assessors approves the salaries of its own office’s appointed positions.

The article continues, “Allowing this situation would not exempt the individual from other applicable conflict of interest and ethics laws, it would merely permit them to hold both positions.”

The matter will be discussed further at the next Rochester Board of Selectmen meeting scheduled for May 18 at 6:30 pm at the Rochester Town Hall.

By Jean Perry

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Tri-Town Early Childhood Program

The Tri-Town Early Childhood Program, located at Old Rochester Regional High School, is accepting applications for the 2015-2016 school year. The preschool program serves three and four-year-olds and follows the school calendar. It is unique in that it provides a high quality early childhood education opportunity to preschoolers, while also offering high school students a chance to learn about working in the field of early childhood education. A licensed early childhood teacher and a rotation of high school students staff the classroom.

A limited number of spaces are available. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. The enrollment policy is based on a balance of three and four-year-olds, a balance of boys and girls, and a balance among residents of the three member towns.

For an application or for more information, visit our website at wwworrhsprek.weebly.com or contact Aimee Fox at 508-758-3745, extension 1612.

John G. Perry

John G. Perry, 80, of Marion died May 17, 2015 at home after a courageous battle with cancer while surrounded by his loving family. He was the husband of Claudette D. (Sirois) Perry and the son of the late Jerry and Roseanne (Leger) Perry.

He was born in Marion and lived there all of his life. He was a veteran of the Korean War serving in the Army.

Mr. Perry worked as union laborer for local 385 in New Bedford for many years before retiring.

He was a communicant of St. Anthony’s Church in Mattapoisett, a member of the Marion Social Club and the Benjamin D. Cushing VFW Post 2425. He enjoyed gardening, masonry and building stonewalls.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Claudette D. (Sirois) Perry; a son, John G. Perry Jr. and his wife Cynthia of Fairhaven; a daughter, Debra Ann Perry of Dartmouth; a sister, Adeline Boys of Wareham; 2 grandchildren; 2 great grandchildren.

His funeral will be held at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 from the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 2599 Cranberry Hwy., Wareham, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. in St. Rita’s Church, Front St., Marion. Burial will follow in Evergreen Cemetery.

Visiting hours are from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home.

Donations in his memory may be made to Southcoast Hospice, 200 Mill Rd., Fairhaven, MA 02719 or to the Marion Social Club, 44 Pumping Station Road, Marion, MA 02738.