Barnstable This Morning

I joined “Barnstable This Morning” host Sarah Colvin on Monday’s program and began our segment talking about the Government Finance Officer’s Association’s “Distinguished Budget Presentation Award,” which Barnstable has now received for fifteen consecutive years. We also discussed recent meetings, including one with the Steamship Authority leadership and another with Three Bays Preservation, the sudden closure of Island Air, and the wonderful “Judy’s Night” celebration, held in honor of Judy Walden Scarafile, who this year retired as the leader of the Cape Cod Baseball League. View the interview: Town Website  YouTube


Island Air Suspends Operations

The news that Island Air was shutting down operations at the Barnstable Municipal Airport and filing for bankruptcy was a surprise. It is always tough when a local business closes abruptly and local employees find themselves suddenly out of work. There will be an impact on our local economy, as well as the airport’s finances. Management has taken steps to address the loss of revenue previously generated by Island Air and is reducing expenses to prevent a year-end deficit budget. To fill the service void, at least in terms of passenger service, Cape Air has added twelve round-trip flights per week to its Hyannis-Nantucket route, and Rectrix, located at the Barnstable Municipal Airport, is working to begin a new commuter air service for the islands next year.


Distinguished Budget Presentation Award

Barnstable has received the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. The award demonstrates the commitment of the Town’s governing body and staff to meet the highest principles of governmental budgeting. Both Finance Director Mark Milne and I received a Certificate of Recognition for Budget Presentation for being the individuals designated as primarily responsible for Barnstable having achieved the award. I am proud of our budget team and finance department for getting this national recognition.


Open Budget Grant

The Commonwealth has awarded Barnstable a $5,000 grant under our Community Compact Open Budget Best Practice. The finance department has been developing the web-based open budget with the firm of Socrata. The grant will be used to off-set development costs of producing the Open Budget web-site. This is the first grant we have received under our Community Compact agreement with the Commonwealth.


Barnstable School Committee Names New Superintendent

The Barnstable School Committee has selected Meg Mayo-Brown as the Superintendent of Schools for Barnstable. Mayo-Brown leaves a position as Superintendent of Schools in Fall River, where she had much success. Contract negotiations for Mayo-Brown were concluded by the school committee on Wednesday evening. Mayo-Brown will begin leading the Barnstable School District on July 1, 2016.


Barnstable Outer Harbor Dredging to Begin

The county dredge is expected to arrive in Barnstable next week. Work to dredge Barnstable Outer Harbor is scheduled to begin the week of December 21st and should be finished by January 15, 2016. The harbor and ramps will remain open to the public. The dredged sand will be de-watered at Blish Point, and used to nourish Sandy Neck to help protect the fragile dune in front of the parking lot. Sand from the dredging project will also be used to nourish a portion of Sandy Neck near the cottage colony.


Economic Development Secretary Promotes Shopping Local

As part of a statewide trip, Housing and Economic Secretary Jay Ash made a stop at “Just Picked Gifts” on Yarmouth Road in Hyannis on Thursday December 17, 2015 to meet with local officials and to promote the importance of shopping locally during the holiday season. Assistant Town Manager Mark Ells, State Representative Brian Mannal, Barnstable Economic Development Specialist Mike Trovato, Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District Executive Director Elizabeth Wurfbain, and Ellen Brady of the Hyannis Area Chamber of Commerce joined me to talk with Ash about the challenges our local businesses face, and the work that is being done to assist them.



Union Contract Negotiations

This week we began initial contract negotiation meetings with both our municipal and school unions. The first order of business was to set ground rules. The rules we agreed to cover how proposals will be submitted, the number of planned sessions, and how consensus will be reached by the two parties on a proposal. The first formal bargaining sessions will be held in early January.


Judy’s Night

I was pleased to be part of a crowd of over 180 people who attended Judy Walden Scarafile's Retirement Party last Saturday night.  Judy was feted for her 45 years of service to the Cape Cod Baseball League, 24 years as President.  Former Cape League players who went to the Majors were represented by Lou Merloni who served as Master of Ceremonies and Ron Darling.  Congressman Bill Keating was on hand to present Judy with a Congressional Record as well as citations from the Massachusetts House and Senate. There was a wide range of speakers, but what struck me were the organizations outside of baseball (The American Red Cross, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity, St. Mary's Church, The Needy Fund and more) that have benefited from Judy's energy over the years.  Brad Pfeifer, President of the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, asked me to join him when it was announced that the field at McKeon Park has been officially named "Judy Walden Scarafile Field".  I again offer my congratulations to Judy and her husband Peter. 


Barnstable Cultural Districts Receive State Grant Funds

The Massachusetts Cultural Council has awarded grants of $5,000 each to the Barnstable Village Cultural District and the Hyannis HyArts cultural district. Barnstable Village will use its funds to create the “Art Meets Nature” project, and Hy-Arts funding will provide a new marketing brochure.  In the “Art Meets Nature” frame project, creative frames submitted by local artists will be placed in the two cultural districts. Signage will invite visitors to reflect and be inspired with the beauty around, and then use social media to share their experiences.  The project is designed to inspire visitors to think about and react to our local environment, while having fun and creating memories.  The new comprehensive marketing brochure will highlight the town's two cultural districts through user-friendly maps, public transportation information, and a guide to all of the cultural assets, arts offerings and organizations in the districts as well as in all seven villages.  Grant funding will support the design, printing, and distribution of the new brochure.  


Local Firefighters Donate Funds for Barnstable Students

The Centerville-Osterville-Marstons Mills Firefighters, the Barnstable Firefighters and the West Barnstable Firefighters participated in the annual “Homeless for the Holidays” charity event recently and they raised money which will be given to the students in our schools. The Lombard Trust Fund was given the money ($2,750.00) which will now be passed on to the school children of the Town of Barnstable.  Trustee of the Lombard Trust Fund, retired Justice Joseph Reardon, noted that he was very pleased that in keeping with the wishes of Parker Lombard,  the Lombard Trust will be able to distribute additional money to help our students in Barnstable.




Assistant Town Manager’s Report

  • On Wednesday, December 9, 2015, Assistant Town Manager Mark Ells attended the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority (CCRTA) Advisory Board meeting.  CCRTA Administrator Tom Cahir reported on their progress on the Transit Oriented Development project, noting parking needs in and around the downtown Hyannis area. In the short term, the CCRTA’s efforts are focused on parking agreements with ferry services.  Long term efforts include work to secure funding for design and construction of a parking garage.
  • Assistant Town Manager Ells attended the Board of Governing meeting of the Cape Cod Water Protection Collaborative.  The Board voted on the proposed Fiscal 2017 budget, and discussed planned procurement for the water quality monitoring program and planned improvements to the Collaborative website.
  • On Thursday December 10, 2015, Assistant Town Manager Ells attended the Barnstable County Human Rights Commission’s International Human Rights Day Breakfast, held in the Terrace Room at the Hyannis Golf Club.  The Barnstable County Human Rights Commission and its Town Representative Council are a community resource for businesses, non-profits, agencies and individuals providing training on equal opportunity law to promote civil rights awareness and cultural diversity.
  • On Friday December 11, 2015, Assistant Town Manager Ells was a guest speaker at the Cape & Islands Selectman and Councilor meeting.  The panel discussion focused on homelessness on Cape Cod, specifically Main Street Hyannis.  Ells provided statistics on the growing challenges associated with this issue in Hyannis and asked the leadership from all Cape Cod communities to engage in an active dialog to address this challenge.
  • On Friday December 11, 2015, Assistant Town Manager Ells attended the Business Administration Advisory meeting at Cape Cod Community College, actively participating in the discussion on college marketing initiatives focused on improving the college’s financial situation and declining enrollment.
  • On Monday December 14, 2015, Assistant Town Manager Ells attended the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority Multi-Modal Committee meeting to provide a parking update regarding the Downtown Hyannis Area Parking Implementation Strategy which is under development by the Town. Ells also provided information on a proposed parking overlay district in Hyannis, referred by Town Council to the Planning Board.
  • On Tuesday December 15, 2015 Assistant Town Manager Ells met with Hyannis Area Chamber of Commerce (HACC) President Jessica Sylver and Chamber Board of Directors members Sheryl Walsh and Chris Kehoe. HACC had their monthly meeting which included discussions regarding homeless issues on Main Street Hyannis, parking planning in downtown Hyannis, and status of e-permitting efforts by the Town

Senior Center Luncheon

The new parking lot extension was paved and ready for the sold out Holiday Luncheon held last Friday at the Senior Center. There was a wonderful buffet, great music, and lots of holiday cheer. I talked about past favorite Christmas gifts with many of the guests. There were some fun stories and memories of past holiday gatherings. We also made some new memories. Lots of optimism for a healthy and happy 2016!



Barnstable Employees Collect 276 Toys for Cape Cod Children

Hundreds of Cape Cod children will find gifts beneath the tree this Christmas, thanks in part to the efforts of Barnstable municipal employees. Together, the Barnstable Municipal Employees Association (BMEA) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Association (AFCME), as coordinated by dedicated volunteers John Lovell, Ken Mattoon and Theresa Santos, collected 276 toys which were donated to Toys for Tots for distribution to children and teenagers on Cape Cod. We thank our employees for their dedication and selflessness during the holiday season.




Inside Barnstable Town Government

The twenty-second session of Inside Barnstable Town Government: A Citizens Leadership Academy will begin on Tuesday, February 2, 2016. The academy is an eleven week commitment, with the goal of educating the citizens of Barnstable about the operations of Town government, while also obtaining valuable feedback and participation from those citizens participating in the Academy. Co-facilitated by former teacher Susan French and retired Barnstable Police Sergeant Arthur Caido, the program is designed to advance understanding of and participation in civic affairs, as well as to increase awareness of the challenges facing municipal government. Classes are held Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 9:00 PM in various locations around town. The Academy also includes a bus tour of the seven villages. Classes are conducted by Town staff and provide interactive learning experiences, group discussions and site tours. The program is free of charge and is open to anyone who lives or works in the Town of Barnstable. Class size is limited – register early to avoid the waiting list. Applications are available in the Town Manager’s office at Town Hall, 367 Main Street, Hyannis, or online. For further information, please call 508-862-4610.

Click here for an application.



Poll Workers Needed

Town Clerk Ann Quirk is in search of poll workers for various elections. Workers will assist with a variety of duties, including voter check-in and check-out. Workers are especially needed for the Presidential Primary election in March. Poll workers will ascertain the ballot given to the voter. This year, there will be 4 different ballots, one each for the Democrat, Republican, Green Rainbow, and United Independent Party. If you are interested in becoming a poll worker, contact Town Clerk Ann Quirk at 508-862-4044.



Last week, we asked: What year did the Steamship Authority begin operating out of Hyannis? Nantucket Town Manager Libby Gibson wrote in with a guess of 1973, but according to our Town records, service began in 1972.


This week’s question: Which national budget recognition has Barnstable now received for fifteen consecutive years?  Email your answer here.  



Barnstable This Morning

Week in Review

December 14-18, 2015


Monday December 14, 2015


Town Manager Tom Lynch Energy Coordinator Richard Elrick discussed issues on the table at the Paris climate talks, and a local conference focused on climate issues on Cape Cod.  Interim Superintendent of Schools Bill Butler revealed the chosen candidate in the Superintendent Search, Meg Mayo-Brown of Fall River.


Tuesday December 15, 2015


Chief of Police Paul MacDonald talked with us about a large number of recent drunk-driving arrests, and plans to clear out homeless camps in Hyannis. Our Community Profile segment featured the Rev. Dr. John Terry of the Federated Church of Hyannis, who discussed the upcoming Longest Night of the Year and Homeless Persons Memorial, that will take place on Monday, December 21st in downtown Hyannis.  1st Barnstable State Representative Tim Whelan discussed the recent passage of a law related to the trafficking of the dangerous substance Fentanyl.  Director of Public Works Dan Santos shared information on how the department is preparing for snow and ice season.


Wednesday December 16, 2015


Our Business Barnstable segment led off the program on Wednesday. Cape and Islands Workforce Investment Board Executive Director David Augustinho talked with us about a shortage of seasonal workers here on Cape Cod.  Next, we learned about Inside Barnstable Town Government: A Citizens Leadership Academy with co-facilitators Sue French and Retired Sgt. Arthur Caiado. Assistant Director of Senior Services Donna Burns talked with us about the important Adult Supportive Day Program. We wrapped Wednesday’s show with Director of Finance Mark Milne, who had further information about the Government Finance Officer’s Association’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award.


Thursday December 17, 2015


We debuted a new segment on Thursday morning, our Board Committee Commission Roundup, in which Sara Mannal reviewed the action that took place in the week’s various board, committee and commission meetings.  Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority Administrator Tom Cahir talked with us about the RTA’s plans to increase communication to residents.  2nd Barnstable State Representative Brian Mannal talked with us about a bill he’s co-sponsoring related to the opiate addiction crisis. Town Council President Jessica Rapp Grassetti detailed the orders of the day for the evening’s Town Council meeting.


Friday December 18, 2015


This week’s Arts & Culture segment brought us to the Cape Cod Maritime Museum, where we learned all about the Museum’s new scrimshaw exhibit. Next,we visited the Hyannis Youth and Community Center to visit with Director of Leisure Services Patti Machado, who discussed beach parking permits. HYCC General Manager Joe Izzo had information about the Holiday Family Skate that will happen on Friday night, and extra public skating hours during winter break. We brought our viewers out to Sandy Neck to talk with Natural Resource Officer Sean Kortis about the diamondback terrapin head start program.  Assistant Harbormaster Derek Lawson shared important information about mooring renewals.



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