Second Precinct Won’t Change Voting

It’s official, well nearly official that Mattapoisett has become a two-precinct town – again.

            During its December 14 meeting, the Mattapoisett Select Board met with Town Clerk Catherine Heuberger to approve the precincts’ layout. The deadline for submitting the required paperwork to the state officials was December 15, causing Heuberger to say, “I’ll be running up to Boston tomorrow.”

            Regarding what voters can expect when going to the polls, Heuberger said little would change; there would be one polling location, Old Hammondtown School, and voting will be held at the same time for both precincts. Check-in will be slightly modified with tables for each precinct.

            But this isn’t the first time Mattapoisett’s population count required more than one precinct. “Between 2000 and 2010 there were two,” Heuberger stated. “I don’t think this is going away, but it comes down to the state.”

            When her office was first notified by state election officials that the town’s population had sufficiently grown to the point of needing two precincts, Heuberger sought to have the town remain a single precinct but was advised two would be required. A new voting machine has been purchased, she said.

            So what are the two precincts? “Most of the village and most of the area east of North Street,” will be one precinct, Heuberger said, and “most of everything west of North Street,” will be the other precinct. North Street is not a strict line of demarcation, however. A map of the precincts is available on the town’s website,

            Earlier in the meeting, Tri-Town Veterans Agent Chris Gerrior presented 38-year VFW Florence Eastman Post 280 member and Veteran George Randall with a letter of appreciation and a small gift. In acknowledging Randall’s military record, Gerrior said, “This is a chance for town leadership and the town as a whole to know the veterans in their community and to know what veterans do in their community.” He said he wants to rekindle this tradition.

            Gerrior said Randall is the “most senior” member of the Legion and well known for his renditions of the Gettysburg Address. “But before he was those things, he was a Machinist Mate Third Class in the United States Navy serving aboard the USS Robert H. McCard.” The vessel was a destroyer of the type nicknamed “tin cans.” Randall served from 1950 to 1954. “After the Navy, George then returned back home and worked on the family farm.”

            Gerrior also noted Randall’s service to the town as a selectman. Before closing out the brief ceremony, Gerrior handed Randall his Tin Can Sailor vest that Gerrior noted had been sewn “by Mrs. Gaspar.”

            Other matters handled on this night included the issuance of various licenses. The Select Board approved permits and or licenses for four liquor stores, a lodging business, eight automobile dealerships and 13 common victualers (food, all alcohol and entertainment for nearly all.)

            The board also appointed Van Cantor and Eric Beauregard to the Marine Advisory Board.

            A group of unidentified residents of Green Bough Drive were in attendance and asked the board to help them get roadway services returned to their private road. They said that for the past 30 years the town had been maintaining the road but since Barry Denham’s retirement nothing has been done. They said they had never wanted a private road. Town Administrator Mike Lorenco said he would research the matter with the Planning Board and explained that there was a process for having a roadway accepted as a town way.

            Select Board member Tyler Macallister told the group that there are costs associated with having the town maintain a private road, primarily materials, with the town providing the labor and equipment. Lorenco said their application for roadway maintenance would be taken up at the next board meeting.

            The annual holiday tree lighting is planned for Shipyard Park on Saturday, December 18, at 5:00 pm. There will also be a swearing in ceremony on December 16 at 5:00 pm in the new fire station for incoming Police Chief Jason King.

            The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Select Board is scheduled for Tuesday, December 28, at 6:30 pm.

Mattapoisett Select Board

By Marilou Newell

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