Barnstable This Morning

On this Monday’s episode of “Barnstable This Morning”, I joined host Sarah Colvin to discuss the recent Cape meeting regarding the Chapter 70 School Foundation Budget Commission review.  On Saturday, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Czajkowski and Finance Director Mark Milne testified in front of the Foundation Budget Review Commission at a meeting at Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School in Dennis. Our presentations higlighted the strong partnership between the Town and our Schools, and provided an opportunity for us to demonstrate our need for state funding for our school programs.

View the interview: Town Website  YouTube


Senior Managers’ Meeting

The Senior Managers met this Thursday, and we discussed past action at Town Council meetings and the upcoming council agenda for the February 26th meeting.  I thanked the managers for their efforts in preparing Capital Improvement Plan requests and the Decision Package funding requests for the FY 2016 Operating Budget.  My budget team is sorting through the requests and making budget choices on funding priorities for the next fiscal year.


Cape Cod Managers’ Meeting

This month at the Cape Managers’ meeting in Sandwich we heard from the Emergency Management Department at Barnstable County, including a discusison on the Barnstable County Regional Sheltering Plan.  A regional shelter is located in our town at the Barnstable Intermediate School on Route 28 in Hyannis.  Barnstable Police Chief Paul MacDonald works with the County during significant weather events to determine when and if the shelter will open.  We also discussed plans for the Mass Municipal Association / Suffolk University Leadership Certificate Program scheduled for this fall.  Barnstable is hosting this certificate and graduate school credit program for public employees.


Osterville Bay School Update

Town Councilor James Crocker and members of the Osterville Village Association (OVA) met with staff to discuss design plans for the field at the Osterville Bay School. The town has conducted an extensive study of the two buildings on the site.  The OVA, after studying all the alternatives, has voted to support the demolition of both buildings. A conceptual design plan for the proposed athletic fields, playground and park area is being prepared. A replacement community building is included in the design plans. John Crow, President of the OVA, is committed to working with the Town to hold public meetings to inform the community and gather public input.


Building Commissioner Appointed to Cape Cod Commission Committee

I am pleased to announce I have appointed Building Commissioner Tom Perry to a Cape Cod Commission ad-hoc advisory committee, charged with following the National Grid natural gas moratorium and replacement line project.  The committee is comprised of representatives from the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, Cape Light Compact, the Cape Cod Association of Realtors, Cape Cod Homebuilders and Remodelers, the Cape Cod Commission, and representatives from impacted towns. Cape Cod Commission Deputy Director Kristy Senatori tells us that initial goals of the committee include assisting communities directly impacted by the natural gas moratorium, helping to expedite the permitting process, and facilitating communication. The committee is scheduled to meet again on Friday, March 6.


Council On Aging: Budget Discussion

On Thursday, February 12th, Assistant Town Manager Mark Ells, Community Services Director Lynne Poyant and I met with Council on Aging President Paul Curley and Gary Sylvester, President of the Friends of the Barnstable Council on Aging, to discuss budget considerations and the critical need for outreach services for the Division of Senior Services.  I am always pleased to meet with folks like Paul and Gary who put in many volunteers hours for the betterment of the Town. 


Fee Hearing

 On February 5, Director of Finance Mark Milne and I held a public hearing regarding proposed fee increases for Recreation, the Water Pollution Control facility, and the Hyannis Water System. Community Services Director Lynne Poyant and Director of Leisure Services Patti Machado gave a presentaton on proposed recreation fee increases, mostly impacting building and facility use. Director of Public Works Dan Santos proposed modest sewer fee increases, and along with Water Supply Division Supervisor Hans Keijser, discussed service fee increases for the Hyannis Water System.  I have taken increases under advisement, approved changes will be posted on the Town’s website once a decision has been made.


Bond Sale and Bond Rating Results in Savings of $2 Million

Town Treasurer Debra Blanchette announced that the Town of Barnstable received competitive bids from bond underwriters on Wednesday, February 4 for a $22,905,000, 20 year new money and refunding bond issue.  Morgan Stanley & Co., LLC purchased the Bonds at an average interest rate of 1.79%.  The Town received seven (7) bids on the Bonds.  Bond proceeds will be used to refinance bonds as well as provide new financing for a number of municipal purposes.  The refinancing will generate a total savings of $2,123,890 over the remaining life of the bonds.  Prior to the sale, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Group, a municipal bond credit rating agency, affirmed the Town’s AAA underlying bond rating, the highest attainable.  The rating agency cited the Town’s strong economy, budgetary flexibility, liquidity and management practices and policies as positive credit factors.


Update: Day Center Steering Committee

This week, the Town of Barnstable hosted the quarterly meeting of the Day Center Steering Committee. The group met this Tuesday in the Hearing Room. I was pleased to welcome the group to Town Hall.  Town Council President Jessica Rapp Grassetti, Vice President Ann Canedy and Town Councilor Jen Cullum were in attendance. The mission of the Day Center program is to end the cycle of homelessness on Cape Cod by helping individuals achieve self-sufficiency while enhancing public safety, economic health and quality of life in our community.  The Day Center opened in May 2014, and since then, more than 300 individuals have been served. At this week’s meeting, the Committee reviewed goals for the coming year, which include increasing to two full time case managers, serve a total of four hundred individual clients, search for a new site or renovate the existing site, and improve outreach. We applaud the work of Day Center Committee Chair Elizabeth Wurfbain and all involved. Assistant Town Manager Mark Ells plays a key role working with the Day Center group, communicating the needs and concerns of our Town.


JFK Memorial Trust Fund Committee Annual Meeting

This week the John F. Kennedy Memorial Trust Fund Committee held their Annual Meeting on Tuesday, February 10th.  The Committee heard reports from Treasurer Debra Blanchette on the status of the fund, Leisure Services Director Patti Machado on the sailing program and Memorial operations and Structures & Grounds Supervisor Steve Sundelin on the recommended maintenance program for 2015.  Funds approved were $3,550 for the JFK Sailing Program, $14,400 for hats to resell, $8,802 for maintenance items and $2,500 for the annual scholarship. Gino Angelone, longtime Memorial staffer, was also on hand to provide his observations of the past year at the Memorial.  The Committee is looking forward to its annual Memorial Day event, slated for Monday, May 25th, 2015 at 12:15 pm and the Flag Day Program which will be held at Barnstable Community Horace Mann Charter Public School.


Water Quality & Oyster Propagation Proposal

 This Wednesday, Assistant Town Manager Mark Ells met with Citizens Advisory Committee chair Phil Boudreau, Lindsey Counsell and Mike Moynihan of Three Bays Preservation and staff to discuss the potential for a pilot program for oyster propagation, focusing on water quality improvement.  The pilot program would be a public/private partnership involving seeding a specific area with oysters, followed by a sampling program to determine water quality impacts.


Energy Rates for Barnstable Stay Stable

Chief Procurement Officer David Anthony reports to us that utility and fuel costs for Barnstable for Fiscal 2016 will be at or below the FY15 budget levels. The Town was recently able to enter into a fixed price contract with no cost increase for 24 months for the entire electric load for the Town of Barnstable’s operations at no cost increase. Natural Gas needs for the next two years are locked into a price that is just below the expiring contract.  Gasoline and diesel is bid out through a cooperative Barnstable County Bid on an annual basis. Given the pricing at the pumps, it is anticipated that the Town and Schools will receive a very favorable fixed price for next year’s transportation fuel costs. Bids will be opened the last week of February.


Drug Prevention Youth Summit scheduled in March

The “Seventh Grade Youth Summit” will take place at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center on March 19th and 20th, 2015. The Barnstable Youth Commission, a group of Barnstable High School students, have created an exciting drug prevention forum, intended to help seventh graders adjust to the adult culture of high school and establish judgment free lines of communication with students and faculty.  The event will begin with an introduction for the public and for parents, including a discussion on how to talk to your teenager about drugs, and a conference style meeting with groups that are working on the issue in Barnstable.  Friday, March 20 is designed specifically for the 7th graders, and will include peer mentoring, breakout sessions, and a screening of a local documentary on substance abuse.  Town Councilor Jen Cullum, who serves as liaison to the Barnstable Youth Commission, has been working hard with the group and is excited to have our community leaders involved with the Summit.


Foundation Budget Review Committee Testimony

Last Saturday, I attended a hearing of the legislative Chapter 70 Foundation Budget Review Commission. Finance Director Mark Milne, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Czajkowski, and I all testified before the Commission. We focused first on the financial implications, educational issues second, and our consolidated financial operations third.  My presentation focused on our innovative approach to school and municipal financing, which proved to be an effective way to express a. best practices to the Commission. Along with my colleagues I feel Barnstable was well represented and prepared for this legislative commission hearing. We discussed the process and next steps with Cape and Islands State Senator Dan Wolf, and State Representatives Brian Mannal, Tim Whelan and Tim Madden, who were all in attendance.



Women’s Hockey East Returns to Hyannis

The exciting Women’s Hockey East tournament will return to Barnstable in March. The top teams in the Women’s Hockey East conference will battle it out for the championship on the ice at our very own Hyannis Youth and Community Center. The semi-finals will take place on March 7, and the championship game will be held on Sunday, March 8, 2015. Tickets for this exciting weekend are available now, at a price of $10 per day. Groups of ten or more will receive a 50% discount if tickets are purchased before February 23. Contact Joe Izzo at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center for more.



Connect Online: See Click Fix

Did you know that if you notice a streetlight out, have concerns about a pothole, missing sign, or other Public Works related concern or issue, that reporting it to our Department of Public Works is as simple as See, Click, Fix? Connect online or download the free app, and send pictures, report problems, and receive answers. Issues reported go directly to the Department of Public Works.       Learn more at:




Last week’s trivia questionn: : Last week, we asked: During Thursday night’s Town Council meeting, Town Manager Tom Lynch mentioned the number of new Facebook fans that “liked” the Town of Barnstable in the past week. What is that number? This time none of our e-news readers got the answer.    In the Town Manager’s update to Town Councilors on February 5, Tom Lynch revealed during the storm, our Facebook fan base jumped by 774 likes, and the posts reached more than 72,000 people during the storm. Join us: Visit the Town of Barnstable on Facebook here.

This week’s trivia question:  Q: In bitter cold temperatures should you wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing, or a single layer of heavy clothing? Email your answer here


Barnstable This Morning is our daily live news program that includes up to date newscasts, important community information, and interviews with Town leaders. Tune in every weekday morning at 7:00 AM on Barnstable (Comcast) Channel 18.



Barnstable This Morning

Week in Review

February 9 – 13, 2015


Monday, February 9, 2015


Town Manager Tom Lynch began our week with a discussion on the Foundation Budget Review Commission. A meeting was held in Yarmouth over the weekend as part of the State’s review of the funding formula for school budgets.  We continued that conversation with our next guest, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary CzajkowskiEnergy Coordinator Richard Elrick stopped by to provide an update on renewable energy projects and provide some tips for saving energy during the cold months.  Cape Cod Community College Communications Director Michael Gross talked with us about an upcoming open house and tour, and information sessions about the Early College program for Bourne high school students.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Chief of Police Paul MacDonald led off Tuesday with an update on storm related issues and details on a number of drug-related arrests over the past week.  Our Boards, Committees and Commissions segment this week featured Recreation Commission Chair Kevin Turner.  We welcomed a brand new guest to Barnstable This Morning, newly elected First Barnstable State Representative Tim Whelan. Representative Whelan talked to us about his career with the Massachusetts State Police, his move to the Cape, and the reason he wanted to run for office. Representative Whelan will appear on the program every other Tuesday morning at 7:40 AM.  Finally, we talked with Director of Public Works Dan Santos, who gave us the latest on snow removal operations in town.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015


We began Wednesday’s program with our Business Barnstable segment. This week’s guest, Barnstable County Register of Deeds Jack Meade, filled us in on the latest real estate numbers for Barnstable County.  Next, Director of Growth Management Jo Anne Miller Buntich reviewed the results of a recent housing study conducted in Barnstable.  Director of Senior Services Madeline Noonan appeared on our program to discuss the recent Aging Mastery Program and to provide some winter safety tips for seniors.  Finance Director Mark Milne outlined a recent bond sale that will result in 2 million dollars in savings for the Town of Barnstable.


Thursday, February 12, 2015


Our show began with Heather Arrascue and Marie Younger Blackburn, who discussed the upcoming Driven Women conference.  Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority Administrator Tom Cahir reviewed the impact of the storm on the RTA.  Second Barnstable State Rep Brian Mannal talked to us about a forum on substance abuse he attended in Yarmouth. We continued our conversations with Barnstable Town Councilors. This week, we talked with Precinct 2 Councilor Eric Steinhilber.


Friday, February 13, 2015


For our Arts and Culture segment, Arts Correspondent Melissa Chartrand visited Barnstable High School to meet Matt Kemp, the new Director of Art and Applied Technology at Barnstable High School. We headed over to the Hyannis Youth and Community Center, for a chat with Director of Leisure Services Patti Machado about the boatbuilding class at the Cape Cod Maritime Museum and the upcoming Youth Summit. HYCC General Manager Joe Izzo shared news about a number of hockey games at the HYCC this weekend and activities to keep the kids busy during next week’s School Vacation.  Natural Resource Officer Chris Nappi talked to us about Sandy Neck seabird strandings, beach conditions, and a dune nourishment project. 

Thank you to all for reading eNews and responding to our trivia!