Letters to the Editor, May 3

Board Can Use New Blood

Editor:

As we approach the upcoming election in Harwich, we would suggest serious consideration for Tom Sherry for selectman. Though new to the political scene, he is a fine, hardworking, sincere man. Tom is interested in the future of this beautiful town and its people. An undeniable asset is Tom’s willingness to listen to his constituents. He has a calm, patient demeanor and will weigh all thoughts before making a statement or decision. Some “new blood” might be just what our board of selectmen can use to keep our town moving forward in a progressive, thoughtful and positive way.

Kathy and Fred Munday

Harwich

 

Candidates Works For All

Editor:
The upcoming election on May 17 is critical to the financial stability and healthy future of Chatham. We are at a turning point. We are up against excessive government spending over our lifetime, unless we bring Seth Taylor back in office. He has been a careful, analytical defender of property rights and conservative budget spending.
Seth has the high level of intelligence required to understand complex issues that face our town. As a past selectman, he testified before a congressional subcommittee concerning the Monomoy battle with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He has the negotiating ability and corporate knowledge that his proponents lack with an impressive 25 year career in the U.S. government, as a federal investigator with Treasury and Homeland Security departments.
As a former BOS member, Seth requested more funding for OPED, a $16 million debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay down. What may seem like an attractive tax rate at present will become excessive in future if we lose Seth's responsible fiscal foresight.
He has been the most open and transparent selectman in recent history. He is an independent, courageous defender of our town and he asks nothing in return except the privilege of serving a community that he loves and respects.
Seth researches and develops viable solutions to problems. His approach: don't criticize, find reasonable resolutions incorporating ideas from all citizens. He works for us, not for himself, reading volumes of research and government data before each BOS meeting. He prepares in depth to discuss major issues which will sculpt the future of Chatham. I support Seth Taylor for selectman.

Anne Timpson
Chatham

 

Candidate Committed To Town

Editor:
Peter Cocolis is a neighbor, a friend, a caring and intelligent citizen and a man who has demonstrated many times his leadership capacity through local organizations and town boards. Citizenship and commitment to others has been the hallmark of Peter's life.
He has served both his country and community, gaining a wealth of experience dealing with difficult and complex issues.
We strongly endorse his candidacy for the office of Chatham Selectman.

Bev and Bill Cullinane
Chatham

Back Local Businesses

Editor:

As we move into the second half of the construction on Main Street in Orleans I would like to thank the residents of Orleans and out-of-town customers who have braved excavators, rollers, backhoes and more to support our local businesses.

I feel grateful to work in a town with a vibrant town center and an entrepreneurial spirit. It is through the support of the community that our small businesses can continue making our town vibrant and useful. While it may be inconvenient for us to move about on Main Street, I ask you to continue looking toward our local shops first. Personally, I find that when I spent my money locally, I spent it wisely. I enjoy chatting with the people who know me by name, my interests and provide me with great customer service.

During this time of construction please remember that our small businesses are the ones who support and sponsor our local teams, community groups, and nonprofits when we ask for money, goods and services for fundraising.

Thank you for valuing our small, independent shops in Orleans.

Noëlle Pina, executive director
Orleans Chamber of Commerce

 

Benefits Of Assistive Technology

Editor:

Town meetings are democracy in action.  Participation in democracy may be time consuming and sometimes frustrating, but it is vital for the functioning of our communities, both local and national.  Harwich, and many other towns, makes participation easier for people with hearing loss or a need for visual comprehension by providing live captions of the proceedings in large text on the front wall.  It's called CART, Computer Assisted Real-time Transmission, and it's done by an accomplished transcriber.  It costs money, and it's not a breeze to set up, but it's a service that the town provides so that everyone can participate equally in this important responsibility that goes with citizenship.

A shoutout to the Brooks Free Library for providing another type of hearing assistance at all its public functions. The library FM system in the meeting room is well advertised and easily available at all functions.  The receiver works very well with or without hearing aids.

Studies have shown that participation in a community increases physical and mental wellbeing.  Please take advantage of these assistive devices, while showing the providers that you support and appreciate their services.  We all benefit when everyone participates

Bobbie McDonnell

Harwich Port

 

Hands-on Candidate

Editor:

I am writing this note to tell the people of Harwich a little more about our candidate for selectman, Tom Sherry. Tom is not only a neighbor and a friend but a true friend of the town and people of Harwich. During our stormy winter weather and subsequent loss of power Tom and his wife Dolores went door to door in our neighborhood asking if anyone needed help, or warmth or something warm to eat.  It was a very honest and generous offer which was much appreciated.
Tom is a man of honor and integrity with a hands -on approach.  He values our town and its inhabitants by getting out and doing what is needed.  
I will be voting for Tom Sherry because I trust him to make good and sensible decisions for our town of Harwich.


Maureen McElligott

Harwich

 

Pet Cremation Options


Editor:

I still support the pet cemetery as public service for people who may not have a place to bury a beloved pet. The town of Harwich does not need to enter the crematorium business. Although many Cape Cod animal hospitals use an off Cape company, several local veterinarians who provide house calls, including euthanasia, offer the service to bring the deceased pet to the Animal Rescue League in Brewster for on-site private or general cremation. I have done this, and have known the staff there for over 30 years to be very caring and professional. This week I stopped by and reaffirmed that besides veterinarians, any pet owner whose pet may have passed away at home can call and arrange for cremation. This is a valuable local service already in place, and the funds go to the ARL, a huge proponent of animal adoption and protection.
Sally Mahoney, D.V.M.

Harwich

 

Candidate Responds To Critic

Editor:

After having mourned for three days at the news that I did not receive the coveted endorsement of George Myers in the race for Chatham selectman, I would like to inform the public not to worry.  I am going to pull through. Despite this catastrophic setback, this near kill shot by George to scuttle my efforts to volunteer my time for the public good, I am not giving up the race.  I came to the realization that this flare up was just, well, George Myers being George Myers: throwing rocks at me from Florida. 

All jesting aside, George Myers did send me an email excoriating the shellfish advisory committee and its members for voting to approve the draft waterways regulations.  I’m not exactly sure what he was disgruntled
about, but it appears to be a common occurrence with him.  The SAC has a very straightforward mission statement, written in clear English, and if George and his buddies would take the time to actually read it, there would probably be no confusion about the committee’s vote.  Indeed, had he come to the meeting, I’m confident that he would have completely supported the SACs vote to protect the environment rather than berate us for it.  However, requesting his attendance may be asking a bit too much.

Despite George’s mean spirited, gratuitous, and sadistic attacks on me, I will continue to support his efforts to be heard.  I know that he appreciates this and I believe that he would, if he were permitted, wholeheartedly support my candidacy. 

Jamie Bassett

Chatham

 

Varied Background Recommends Candidate


Editor:

Most people know Jamie Bassett as an easy-going, witty and dedicated shellfisherman. A lifelong Chatham resident, he now serves as the chairman of the shellfish advisory committee. Having worked with Jamie in a non-fishing sales capacity for seven years, I know him as a savvy, driven, resourceful and multilingual business person.
Some know that after graduating from Colby College he traveled to more countries than many of us will visit in our lifetime, taking up temporary residence in at least three that I am aware of...all prior to his 40th birthday. Few would know that he has traded quips with the managing director of a $100M French outdoor conglomerate over a business lunch or negotiated millions in business with the notoriously shrewd buyers for the largest photo electronics retailer in North America.
I am fortunate enough to have known both and feel compelled to share these few resume highlights as a precaution to those who might have dismissed my friend as something less interesting or worse less qualified than he truly is. To the contrary, Jamie has a keen intellect and would take a practical, pragmatic approach to this position. Further, I believe his larger than life personality would add an approachable and refreshingly lively voice to the current board, perhaps more in sync with many young working families in Chatham.

Jeff Woods

Sarasota, Fla.

 

An Independent Voice On Board

Editor:

I believe that there are more things about Chatham that unite us than divide us. Cory Metters and Dean Nicastro, both running for a second three-year term as selectmen, exemplify that view and have demonstrated civility, respect and transparency toward one another and the public. That attitude has enabled them to get things done.

Peter Cocolis, running for the one-year term, has demonstrated many times that he too can unite us to find solutions. As current chair of the planning board, Peter has demonstrated admirable leadership skills resulting in preservation of the historic character of South Chatham and containing sprawl along Route 28. As a member and former chair of the energy committee, he led the way to protect the environment by supporting clean energy thru the development of the solar farm and LED street lights.  This work has resulted in a savings to the town of over $200,000 per year.

Peter will be a new and independent voice on the board of selectman but one that will be able to work effectively with Cory Metters and Dean Nicastro.  Voting for the three of them on May 17 will ensure that Chatham moves forward in a positive manner, continuing that culture of uniting us.

Deborah Aikman

Chatham

 

Vote Original Harbor Plan

Editor:

This proposed Saquatucket Harbor design plan was presented to the public at the 2017 Harwich Town Meeting; the plans were discussed and enthusiastically approved. The emphasis at the time was that the design plan was not only for the boaters in mind, but the goal was that the new marina and landside were also for all the Harwich taxpayer and visitors to use and enjoy.

The taxpayers are not being asked for more funding. Harwich voters are being asked to allow the use of a second Seaport grant to complete the Saquatucket landside project as designed! Please understand that this Seaport grant was explicitly designated for the Saquatucket Harbor landside project as presented and approved by the 2017 Harwich Town Meeting.

During the planning process, engineering, conservation and the board health departments incorporated current and new regulatory requirements and changes that increase the cost. As far as the concept of the town of Harwich providing locations for both for-profit and non-profit business, that is already a commonly accepted occurrence.

Your approval of 2018 town meeting arrant Article 30 is essential because it allows these Saquatucket landside projects to be completed this year as initially presented.

On behalf of the two Harwich harbor committees which voted unanimously in favor of using the additional Seaport grant funding to complete the Saquatucket landside project. We are asking that you, without any changes or amendments, to please once again vote in favor of this article.

Matt Hart

Harwich

 

Candidate Doesn't Show Leadership

Editor:

I’d like to share an experience that happened at the planning board meeting I attended on Feb. 27th. By the way, this meeting is archived and can be viewed on the web for anyone interested.

There was a discussion about the ADUs and Elaine Gibbs got up to speak. She made her statements at 1:31 -1:48 and then was questioned for the next 23 minutes. Ms. Gibbs pointed out several current flaws with the proposed bylaw regarding the ADUs. Mr. Geagan rudely interrupted her several times and spoke over her. He was not willing to listen to her valid points at all. He just ranted on and on. Mr. Farber was the only one that treated her decently. The rest of them should be ashamed of themselves. Chairman Cocolis sat there and never uttered a word to stop the rants. It was totally unprofessional on all parts, but yet for a chairman to just sit there while a town resident is being attacked by members of the board he oversees is not leadership. It was very disturbing to me to sit in an audience and watch a board acting this way. It is clear that those who disagree with the planning board’s position under Mr. Cocolis’ leadership are subject to public excoriation. It should not be acceptable or tolerated. I wouldn’t call this leadership at all.

Oh, and by the way, I am a registered voter in this town and I plan on voting for Jamie Bassett.

Judy Patterson

West Chatham

 

Wrong To Criticize League

Editor:

It is one thing when two candidates for Chatham selectman get together and boycott The League of Woman Voters' debate, forcing a cancellation. It's something else when a candidate blames the League for his refusal to debate, telling The Chronicle last week he "questions the League's non-partisan status." Why smear Chatham women like that, publicly questioning the League of Woman Voters' integrity without offering any evidence to back up the claim?

I'm from the old school. I push back when candidates don't level with me. Polarizing behavior of this sort – shifting blame to an innocent party – divides our community. Assault on the most basic civilized order, a candidates' debate, sponsored by a respected woman's organization with impeccable credentials and track record of fairness, undermines our freedom. It especially is an insult to woman voters. Push-back from voters is the cure when faced with indifference from candidates for elected office.

I intend to vote for Peter Cocolis, Cory Metters, Dean Nicastro, the three candidates for Chatham selectman who accepted The League of Woman Voters' invitation to debate but were denied that opportunity. My vote is a vote of confidence for them and the Woman's League.

Rick Leavitt

Chatham

 

Ford Shows Commitment

Editor:

I am writing to ask you to consider voting for Pat Ford's reelection to the Chatham Housing Authority. Pat has a strong commitment to helping others, as illustrated by her many years on the Barnstable County Human Rights Committee, her current membership on the town of Chatham Disabilities Committee, and her ongoing participation on the Chatham Housing Authority.

Bill Bystrom

Chatham

 
Orleans Center Needs Zoning That Fits

Editor:

Voters at town meeting can take a big step toward finally realizing a long-held vision for the center of Orleans. A proposed zoning amendment (Article 44) would substantially reduce the lot size required to develop new housing in the Village Center.
Last May, town meeting passed important zoning amendments that lowered the minimum lot size for development in the Orleans Limited Business, General Business, and Village Center zones—aka the “downtown” area. This was intended to encourage apartment development: up to 1,050 new units could be added in this greater downtown area. It was a good step in town planning, promising to expand housing stock for younger and working families.
But the Village Center is not the same as “downtown.” It soon became clear that last year’s amendment didn’t go far enough to truly benefit the village core, because lot sizes there are typically much smaller than the ordinance required, greatly restricting the number of units that could be built. Rather, it favored the fringes of downtown, where larger lots can support more units.
Orleans Center needs zoning designed to fit. The chief economic development officer of the Cape Cod Commission told the Orleans Planning Board in 2016 that the town would not achieve a vibrant village core if zoning remains the same for all the downtown districts. Recognizing this, the planning board drafted the new amendment in Article 44, which provides further zoning relief for just the Village Center to promote new housing there. It would permit adding 109 residential units to the Village Center (including 11 units that qualify as affordable).
This action is supported by proven, sound planning practice and nearby evidence. It’s axiomatic that zoning relief should concentrate on where greater density will count the most. Densely developed village centers such as Chatham, Provincetown, Falmouth, and recently Harwich Port are destinations with thriving retail foot traffic; people want to go there to shop, dine, view art, hear music, and socialize. Housing is an essential component for a successful village center; it supports retail activity in the shoulder and winter months and gives seasonal visitors more reasons to congregate in the center.

Greg DeLory
South Orleans

 

No Place For Partisan Tactics

Editor:

Keep Chatham the town we all love. The board of selectman should be collegial and unbiased. Partisan and confrontational practices have no place here. Peter Cocolis would be a good addition to the panel that is in place today. His experience shows that he would be an asset to the town board.

Bernard and Elaine Pfeifer

Chatham

 

Kudos To Harbormaster Dept.

Editor:

As we enter a new boating season in Chatham, a moment should be taken to thank the entire Chatham harbormaster team for the incredible job they do.  The waterways in and around Chatham present very unique challenges compared to other areas in Massachusetts.  Last year boaters faced continuous changes throughout the entire season.  After a tough winter and spring, it looks like this year will be just as demanding.  Without the Chatham harbormaster and his team making daily adjustments to navigation aids and providing expert advice, boating in the area would be near impossible.

Stuart Smith and his team make a huge difference.  Their hard work and ongoing activities to keep boaters safe, never stops.  Susan Rocanello is that rare administrative professional who runs a tight ship, but is always available and helpful with questions.

Boaters in Chatham are exceptionally well served by the entire Harbormaster team.

Bob Mudge

Chatham and Mendham, N.J.   

 

Fair-minded Candidate For BOS

Editor:

I am writing to support Cory Metters who is running for re-election to the Chatham Board of Selectmen.

Mr. Metters is a born and bred Chatham native who is uniquely qualified to serve on the BOS.  He attended Chatham schools, worked as a teenager in local businesses, and after college, returned to Chatham to start a business of his own.

He and his wife Rebecca have four young boys all of whom are enrolled in Monomoy Regional Schools. Mr. Metters' experiences allow him to relate to all sides of an issue. If you have been attending BOS meetings or watching them on Channel 18 you no doubt have been impressed by Chairman Metters' leadership.  He exhibits respect for all points of views, sets a tone for civil debate, and is the consummate professional.

Mr. Metters has proven to be a hard-working,  honest, and fair-minded BOS member.

Charles Horan

Chatham

 

McManus Has Leadership History

Editor:

In the coming Harwich election I'm supporting Ed McManus for selectman. Since arriving in Harwich 18 years ago, Ed has been relentless in giving of his time, his talent, his experience and his knowledge for the sole purpose of doing the best for our town. A volunteer with the Cranberry Festival since his second week in town, eight years ago, when the festival was in financial collapse, he fought to keep it afloat and bring it back to the festival it is today.

As a selectman inheriting a budget melt down in 2005, he initiated an operations review task force to study problems facing the town. Implementing many of those recommendations on financial policy has kept the town on a steady course, with a growing rainy day fund and a higher bond rating.

As co-chair of the Monomoy High School building committee he shepherded the project to completion on time and under budget with greatly reduced bonding costs. It is a facility that we are all proud of and shows both new comers and old-timers our commitment to youth.  As vice-president of the board of Outer Cape Health Services, Ed pushed to bring their new clinic to Harwich Port, increasing access to medical services and bring 70 well paying jobs to spur economic development. 

Ed will bring this same commitment of energy and experience to the complex projects facing our town.

John Bangert

Harwich

 

Fair, Courteous Representation

Editor:
Jamie Bassett will make an excellent addition to the board of selectmen. Born and bred in Chatham, self-employed and sophisticated in the ways of fiscal responsibility, he has proven himself to be a leader as chairman of the shellfish advisory committee, where he is always fair and courteous, while constantly working to preserve and protect Chatham's environment and natural resources. Jamie's diplomacy, sense of humor and intelligence has served Chatham citizens from every walk of life, young and old, working and retired.
Jamie supports honest, accountable and respectful town government, preservation of Chatham's cultural heritage, carefully managed development, equitable treatment for all, committee diversity and small business in town.
If elected, Jamie will be non-partisan and beholden to no private interest groups. He will be articulate and knowledgeable in continuing our fight to maintain and preserve our waterfront and Monomoy shores, As a member of the charter review committee, he helped to review what is essentially Chatham's Constitution, providing, as always, thoughtful, practical, reasoned analysis.
Jamie is a seasoned member of SCA and has worked in coordination with many committees and boards to protect our endangered waterfront. One of his greatest strengths is his willingness to listen, to allow open and uncurtailed public input at all SCA meetings. As a selectman, he will continue this approach to democratic transparent government.

Jeff Fuglestad
Chatham