Topics: Board of Selectmen News

Selectman Jannell Brown Acquitted Of Assault

By: Alan Pollock

ORLEANS — An Orleans District Court judge last week found Harwich Selectman Jannell Brown not guilty of a single count of domestic assault and battery following a July 18 incident. The misdemeanor assault charge stemmed from an argument in which her accuser called police to report that Brown was refusing to give him his car keys and had slapped him in the face. Brown described the man as her former domestic ...

HARWICH — Grasping municipal finance can be like learning a foreign language. That's the sentiment of Carol Coppola, the town's prospective finance director/town accountant, who said she's eager to make the budgetary process easier for people to understand. By unanimous vote of selectmen Monday, and pending successful salary negotiations, Coppola will take the town's top finance job in about a month. Copp...

Selectmen Consider Rolling Out Retail Marijuana Provisions

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Selectmen began rolling out a plan to address the ballot question that was approved in November allowing the use of recreational marijuana and the sale of pot through retail stores. Town Administrator Christopher Clark said legal matters relating to the use and sale of marijuana were discussed at the recent Massachusetts Municipal Association conference. The town of West Bridgewater approved a tempor...

HARWICH — Robert Widegren, who served on the board of selectmen and the planning board, along with many civic organizations, has died at the age of 87. The board of selectmen held a moment of silence in Mr. Widegren's honor Monday. Mr. Widegren came to Cape Cod in 1972, continuing his career with New England Telephone, later known as NYNEX. But he's best known for his contributions to town government and ...

Selectmen Brush Up On Open Meeting Law

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Saying Selectman Amanda Love clearly didn't intend to circumvent the Open Meeting Law with a Jan. 9 email she sent to fellow board members and to the press, selectmen nonetheless acknowledged the apparent violation and underwent a short refresher course from town counsel Tuesday. The Cape Cod Chronicle filed a complaint with the board about the email, which urged board members to consider promoting...

Can Chatham Ban Pot Shops?

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Lawmakers on Beacon Hill are joining with Governor Charlie Baker to delay the implementation of a voter-approved law legalizing marijuana sales. Local officials are using that extra time to consider ways to keep pot retailers from opening shop in town. While voters across the state approved the law by a 54 to 46 percent margin, Selectman Dean Nicastro said that more than 57 percent of Chatham voter...

Irregularities Cited In CPC's Vote

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Recreation is the big winner when it comes to accessing Community Preservation Act funds in town meeting this spring. The community preservation committee last week recommended only four articles for the warrant and three are for recreation purposes. The committee met last Thursday night in a session that is questionably compliant with the Open Meeting Law. New Business on the posting of the meeting ...

Passed Over Again, Clark Hunkers Down In Harwich

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Town Administrator Christopher Clark said on Tuesday he plans to remain in town and direct his attention to getting ready for the upcoming town meeting in May. Clark made the statement after learning late Monday night he was not selected for the town administrator's position in Millis, where he was one of three finalists. The Millis board of selectmen voted unanimously to offer the job to Michael Guz...

Selectmen Hughes And Lamantia Calling It Quits

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — It could be an interesting election season with two long-serving members of the board of selectmen stating they will not be candidates for re-election. Their decisions come at a time when the remaining three members of the board will have had a total of five years' experience. Selectman Peter Hughes has served for 15 years as a member of the board. He served three terms in the late 1990s and early 20...

CHATHAM — Acknowledging that it doesn't replace the state Open Meeting Law, a split board of selectmen last week adopted a policy encouraging the chairmen of town committees to allow public comment at their meetings whenever possible. Drafted by resident Norman Pacun and amended by selectmen, the statement acknowledges the Open Meeting Law and the need both for public participation in government and for orde...

CHATHAM – A proposal to only allow registered voters to make agenda requests at selectmen's meetings was rebuffed by a majority of the board last week. Selectmen voted 3-2 to embrace inclusion and continue with the long-standing policy of allowing anyone to make an agenda request under the “Public Announcements and Agenda Requests” segment of the board's regular weekly meetings. “To exclude voices in politi...

Consortium Seeks To Purchase Eldredge Garage Land

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — A consortium of business owners and residents has signed a purchase and sale agreement for the Eldredge Garage property at 365 Main St., which the town had eyed for public parking. Board of Selectmen Chairman Jeffrey Dykens said the coalition aims to purchase the two parcels of land with the goal of cleaning up any environmental contamination there so that it may ultimately be suitable for purchase...

CHATHAM – Based on spending approved at the May annual town meeting, town officials estimated that the tax rate would increase by about 16 cents. But after factoring in new growth, revised property values and increased local revenue, the rate increased by just one cent. As they do every year, selectmen last week voted to retain a single tax rate for all property classifications. Later in the week the state dep...

Selectmen Ponder Meeting Decorum

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — In the past year, several town committee meetings have spawned heated debate; one prompted the chairman to call police, and in another, a shouting match devolved into a brief fistfight. In response, it might be time for board and committee chairmen to come together for training on how to encourage proper decorum in meetings. That was the perspective of selectmen, who discussed meeting decorum Tuesd...

Charter Issues Continue To Brew In Harwich

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Voters in the May town meeting turned aside an article seeking to establish a charter enforcement commission. But Sandra Hall, sponsor of the article, continues to see the need for oversight of the town's constitution. Hall was the chair of the original charter commission that shaped the Harwich Home Rule Charter adopted in 1987. She also served for four terms on the board of selectmen. While there h...

Effort To Revive Eldredge Garage Purchase

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – The Eldredge Garage property on Main Street may be the last, best hope to get additional public parking in downtown Chatham. “This is it,” said business owner Sandy Wycoff, referring to the land at 365 Main St. Earlier this summer, selectmen decided to pass after holding preliminary talks with the Eldredge family on possible town purchase of the property. Wycoff is rallying merchants and residents...