Barnstable This Morning

I joined “Barnstable This Morning” host Sarah Colvin on Monday January 11th, 2016 to discuss my upcoming six month calendar action plan. There are two major budget documents, the capital plan and the operating, which must be prepared and submitted to the town council by March 17th and May 5th, respectively. Union negotiations, fee hearings, implementing ePermitting, Community Compact projects, and streetscape planning are all on the agenda. I know how quickly the time will pass and wanted Councilors to be aware of items that I believe need to be addressed before my contract expires.  View the interview: Town Website   YouTube


Stay Informed During a Storm

Weather forecasts are calling for some wintry weather this weekend, with snow and wind expected to arrive on Saturday. We are continuing to watch the forecast, and Barnstable is prepared! In the event of a winter storm, the Town will re-activate the Storm Alert feature on our website. The Department of Public Works will share actual road plowing activities. Also available to residents is a new storm information line that can be accessed by dialing 508-862-INFO (4636), which will be updated with the same information from the DPW. Our Town’s social media sites on Facebook and Twitter will also be updated during any storm event. The Department of Public Works has issued a new brochure that details response to snow and ice events in town. Click here to view the brochure.


Ten Year Financial Forecast Released

Our Finance Department produces an annual ten year forecast. The objective is to assist town leaders in strategic planning by taking an in-depth look at the Town’s current financial condition, revenue and expenditure trends over the past ten years and projections for the next decade. This is a forecast and is not meant as a spending plan. While we are looking ten years out, decisions made locally and at the state level could substantially impact data assumptions projected in the ten year forecast.

Click here to read the Ten-Year Forecast.



Joint Meeting of Town Council/School Committee

Finance Director Mark Milne presented “A Review of the Financial Condition of the Town” at the Annual Joint Meeting of the Town Council and School Committee. Revenues and expenditures, general fund balances, and enterprise accounts were all included in the power point presentation.


LIVE: Open Budget Website

On Thursday night, Finance Director Mark Milne demonstrated the Town’s new Open Budget Website to Town Council. This effort was one of our Best Practices selected under the Community Compact agreement that we signed with the Commonwealth. The site, which allows users to closely examine the Town’s revenues and expenditures, is now live. Click here to view the Open Budget website. A link to the site is available at the Town’s website, Home page (see icon in upper right hand corner).


Annual Report Award

The Town of Barnstable is being recognized with an award certificate for placing among the top three municipalities in Category 1 of the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s (MMA) Annual Town Report contest. The MMA believes, as do we, that Town Reports serve to communicate important information to town residents and to promote an understanding of and involvement in local government. I want to thank staff in the Town Manager’s office: Sarah Colvin, Shirlee Oakley, and Linda Wheelden who work so hard to prepare this report. The award certificate will be presented Saturday, January 23, 2016, at the President’s Reception and Awards Ceremony as part of the MMA’s 2016 Annual Meeting. Click here to read the Fiscal 2014 Annual Report.  


Opioid Abuse Film Screening

Over thirty community and school leaders gathered at the Barnstable Police Department on January 12, 2016 for a screening of a film funded by the Lyndon Paul Lorusso Charitable Foundation aimed at educating young people on the dangers of prescription painkillers and heroin. The film, “Not Yet”, is a well-packaged look at the destructive road of drug addiction. There was a lively discussion regarding the impact the film might have in the fight against drug abuse. This prevention tool will be available to schools and community groups.


Stanton Foundation Provides Funds for Future Barnstable Dog Park

I was very pleased to announce to the Town Council that we were successful with our funding request for a new Barnstable Dog Park. The Stanton Foundation sent the Town a check for $24,854 which will cover 100% of the design costs. This grant will move the project from a conceptual design to bid-ready documents for a contractor. The foundation will also fund the majority of the construction costs of the park. This project is one of the objectives I am hoping to have completed by the end of June. I want to thank the Department of Public Works and the Committee for Barnstable Dog Parks for their efforts to make this park a reality.


Ground Breaking for Modular Classroom Projects

Work on Phase Two and Three of the modular classroom project at Hyannis West Elementary School and Barnstable West Barnstable Elementary School is underway. On Tuesday January 19, 2016, I attended a groundbreaking ceremony held at Barnstable West Barnstable. Once complete, the new modular buildings will be used for special services, computer labs, libraries and music classes. Interim Superintendent of Schools Bill Butler and Town Councilor John Flores spoke of the need for the new classroom space at Tuesday’s ceremony. Work on the modular classrooms is expected to be complete this spring. Phase 1 of the project, the Enoch Cobb Early Learning Center, opened its doors at Hyannis West Elementary School last September.


Oyster Propagation Talks with Three Bays Preservation

On Wednesday, Assistant Town Manager Mark Ells attended a meeting hosted by Three Bays Preservation to discuss a proposed oyster propagation project in North Bay.  Representatives of Three Bays, the Division of Marine Fisheries, the Town of Barnstable Division of Marine and Environmental Affairs and Cape Cod Oyster were in attendance.  The proposal’s objectives consider the environmental, regulatory and economic factors of expanding the Town’s aquaculture program.


Inside Barnstable Town Government

The twenty-third session of Inside Barnstable Town Government: A Citizens Leadership Academy will begin at Town Hall on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016. Again, the class is full. This popular course gives participants an in-depth look at the inner workings of Town government. Classes are held in various locations around town, and the course includes a bus tour of all seven villages. I look forward to welcoming the Class of 2016 and watching them progress as they learn more about our Town. 


Barnstable Harbor Dredging

The Barnstable Outer Channel Dredge Project is underway.  The State boat ramp at Blish Point will be used for dewatering operations with limited access available to the State boat ramp.  The dredging should be completed by January 31, 2016. Contractors will utilize the State boat ramp parking area until February 5, 2016.  There will be limited access to Millway beach throughout this period when heavy equipment is in operation in the area.  The Town boat ramp at Millway will remain fully available for use by residents.


The Barnstable Inner Harbor bulkhead will also undergo scraping and recoating work for the next several months.  With no floats in the Town marina, there should be no disruption to the public in the off-season.






This week’s question:  What is the newest way town residents can receive information during a winter storm event?  Email your answer here.  


Barnstable This Morning

Week in Review

January 19-22, 2016


Tuesday January 19, 2016


Chief of Police Paul MacDonald was our first guest on Tuesday. Chief MacDonald discussed how the cold weather has a positive impact, in that crime is down when the mercury dips. Chief MacDonald also shared information about a bomb threat at the high school last Friday, and a dangerous hazmat situation that police helped to mitigate on Monday morning.  Next, our Community Profile segment featured Town Clerk Ann Quirk, who brought us inside the vault to discuss an effort to preserve important town documents.  Assistant Town Manager Mark Ells talked with us about the West Barnstable shooting range.  Director of Public Works Dan Santos


Wednesday January 20, 20166


Our Business Barnstable segment this week featured Barnstable County Register of Deeds Jack Meade, who reviewed the 2015 recording statistics for Barnstable County.  We took an inside look at Inside Barnstable Town Government with Co-Facilitators Sue French and Arthur Caiado. The 23rd session will begin in February.  Consumer Affairs Supervisor Elizabeth Hartsgrove joined us live in studio for a review of the successful Gateway Greeters program and a plan to enhance the program through the Bismore Park Welcome Center. Hartsgrove also shared information about work she’s doing to organize the Town’s licensing rules and regulations.  Director of Finance Mark Milne talked with us about this Thursday’s joint financial presentation with the Town Council and School Committee, and a debut of the Open Budget software that will allow residents to take a close look at municipal revenue and expenditures.


Thursday January 21, 2016


Barnstable School Committee Chair Margeaux Weber joined us in-studio Thursday morning to review current School Committee issues and efforts.  Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority Administrator Tom Cahir talked with us about a recent Mass Department of Transportation emergency drill, and the success of the Hyannis loop.  2nd Barnstable State Representative Brian Mannal talked with us about H3944, an act relative to substance use, treatment, education and prevention.  Town Council President Jessica Rapp Grassetti rounded out our program with a preview of the evening’s Town Council meeting.


Friday January 22, 2016


Arts & Culture Correspondent Melissa Chartrand met with Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Creative Economy Project Manager Ben Hughes at the Guyer Barn to learn about the Chamber’s Arts App. We visited the Hyannis Youth and Community Center to meet with General Manager Joe Izzo, who had information about the upcoming ice hockey tournament that will pit the Barnstable Police Department against the Barnstable County Sheriff’s office to raise money to help Barnstable Police Patrolman Dennis Stampfl, who is battling Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The tournament will be held at the HYCC on January 31, 2016 at 6:30 PM. Director of Leisure Services Patti Machado discussed the successful boatbuilding class, held in partnership with the Cape Cod Maritime Museum. Assistant Harbormaster Eric Shufelt had important information about cold water, along with reminders about mooring renewal deadlines.