Barnstable This Morning

On Monday morning’s “Barnstable This Morning”, I talked with Len Gobeil about our Fiscal Year 2016 Capital Improvements Plan. There are 43 proposals for the Town Council to consider. The various enterprise funds have 23 requests totaling $12,252,500. The General Fund, including schools, has 20 proposals totaling $15,163,700. The total Capital Budget is $27,416,200. The CIP covers infrastructure need, water quality projects, municipal facilties and school facilities. I covered projects in our Enterprise Accounts. Enterprise accounts fund their operations and capital needs through a fee based structure. These projects are paid for by the users of the service as opposed to general tax renvenues. 


Seventh Grade Youth Summit A Success

Our town continues to battle issues relating to substance abuse.  Prevention, especially at a young age, is necessary to keep our community safe and healthy. Last Thursday and Friday, the Barnstable Youth Commission organized a Youth Summit designed to encourage students to avoid the use of drugs and alcohol. Thursday night’s session was geared towards parents and the general public, and I attended along with all thirteen Town Councilors, and several other town leaders. Prevention Specialist Brenda Conlan spoke with humor and honesty about how to talk to teenagers about drugs. On Friday, more than 400 Barnstable 7th graders traveled to the Hyannis Youth and Community Center to participate in a wide range of activities to help them avoid using drugs and alcohol while preparing to enter high school next year. The Improbable Players, a Boston-based acting group, helped students act out scenarios highlighting the negative impacts drugs and alcohol can have. Organizations from across Cape Cod were also on hand to talk about their services, including the YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Calmer Choice of Cape Cod.



Cape Cod Maritime Museum Opens for 2015 Season

On Thursday, March 19th the Cape Cod Maritime Museum held a special opening reception for the 2015 season. The Museum has several new exhibits, including a gallery full of maritime art and sculpture, and a brand new scrimshaw exhibit. The Museum, located at 135 South Street in Hyannis, is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Sunday from 12:00 to 4:00.



Plumbing Inspector Ed Jenkins Retires

Plumbing inspector Ed Jenkins began work for the Town of Barnstable in 1975, and has now retired following nearly forty years of service. This Wednesday afternoon, I attended a retirement luncheon for Ed at 200 Main Street. Ed’s colleagues both past and present joined in celebration. I am impressed by Ed’s positive attitude over the years, and his strong work ethic of doing his job to the best of his ability, without expecting praise or accolades in return.   Ed is a humble and respected professional, well-respected in the industry and community for his wealth of knowledge and his giving spirit.  In addition, the Cape Cod Plumbing and Gasfitters Association created the Edward L Jenkins Award for Excellence, a new lifetime achievement award in Ed’s honor. Above photo by Alan Belanich for The Barnstable Patriot




Winter Recovery Assistance Program

This winter was tough on all of us, and had a significant impact on our roadways. This Monday, I signed a one-time contract with MassDOT for $302,811 in state funding under the Winter Recovery Assistance Program (WRAP). The Governor approved $30 million in direct local aid to cities and towns to deal with roadway repairs resulting from this year’s harsh winter. Barnstable appreciates this funding to assist us with immediate and necessary repairs to our roads.


Autism Awareness Campaign

Barnstable is Lighting it Up Blue in honor of Autism Awareness Month this April.  CapeAbillities Executive Director & President Rosalie Edes joined me and Director of Public Works Dan Santos in the Town Hall lobby on Thursday morning to install two blue light bulbs that will be lit during the month of April in honor of National Autism Awareness month. CapeAbilities is an organization dedicated to serving individuals with disabilities on Cape Cod by educating, counseling and providing residential, therapeutic, social and employment supports that empower them to achieve meaningful and valued roles in the community.



Town Council Agenda Setting Meeting

At this week’s Town Council agenda setting meeting, we discussed the upcoming Capital Budget agenda items. There will be forty-three items up for approval. I will be making a presentation at the April 2nd, 2015 Town Counci meeting that will outline the reasons for preparing a capital budget separate from the operating budget, our planning and review process, a summary of the proposed plan for Fiscal 2016, an overview of how the budget book is structured, and the financing of enterprise and general fund projects. The Land Acquisition and Preservation Committee will also make a presentation at the upcoming Council meeting.


Barnstable High School Recognized for BioTech

The Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation (MassBioEd Foundation) has named Barnstable High School this year’s Joshua Boger Innovative School of the Year.  In 2013, Barnstable was selected as a MassBioEd Foundation BioTeach school, and since then, BHS has established a goal to bring biotechnology to all its students, and has done so by creating a forensics and biotechnology class, and a pathology and biotechnology class.  The award was presented at the MassBio annual meeting this Thursday, March 26th, in Cambridge. BHS science teachers Beth Anderson and Valerie Lahteine and students Sabrina Doherty and Ben Griffen represented Barnstable to receive the award. 


Erosion Control Meeting

The Coastal Erosion Commission held a meeting at Town Hall this week to discuss a draft report on coastal erosion. The report is designed to investigate and document the levels and impacts of coastal erosion, and to develop strategies and recommendations to reduce, minimize, or eliminate the magnitude and frequency of coastal erosion and its adverse impacts on property, infrastructure, public safety, and beaches and dunes. The public hearing, held on Wednesday evening, was well attended. Town Councilors Ann Canedy and Philip Wallace were present, along with town staff Roger Parsons, Dan Horn, and Nina Coleman. Rich French of the Sandy Neck Advisory Board attended, and consultant Christine Player.

 Click here to read the report. 


Sturgis Library Community Discussion

As I noted in my intro letter the Sturgis Library event brought together State Senator Dan Wolf, business leaders Tony Shepley, Beth Marcus of Cape Cod Beer, Wendy Northcross from the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, Anne Van Vleck of CCYP, Marilyn Fuller of the Barnstable Historical Society, Sturgis Library Board of Trustees President Ted Lowrie, and Sturgis Library Director Lucy Loomis. Our own Barnstable This Morning host, Sarah Colvin, was the moderator. We had a lively discussion about the challenges we face on Cape Cod, and how our libraries as community centers can help bring organizations together as we work to improve and enhance the quality of life on Cape Cod. If you haven’t been to your local library in a while, you would be surprised to see how many interesting programs our village libraries are sponsoring each week.



Cape Cod Municipal Health Group

The Cape Cod Municipal Health Group (CCMHG) sponsored a “Meeting with Managers” to discuss future directions for the CCMHG. The CCMHG is one of the largest municipal joint purchase groups in Massachusetts. The group provides health benefits to an estimated 8% of Cape Cod employees. The CCMHG Steering Committee explained cost-saving programs in place, the rate history of the group, challenges ahead, potential design plan changes, and options the steering committee has under discussion. Health care remains one of our most difficult budget line items to control and the challenge of keeping rates affordable in an atmosphere of increased costs for health care services is a difficult one. Over fifty managers attended this informational session held at the Cape Cod Technical High School.


Mass Municipal Association/Suffolk University Leadership Certificate Program

Professors, former students and I discussed the MMA/Suffolk University Certificate Program with potential students from across the Cape. The informational session covered the graduate level college courses to be offered and the value of participating in the program. Sarah Colvin, a successful graduate of the program, answered many questions from the potential applicants. Some of the questions included: How hard were the courses? Has attending this program helped you do your job better. What is the study time commitment?




Last week’s trivia question: Last week, we asked: Q: It has been a hard winter, and as spring is arriving so is one more visit from winter. On the Cape, we know that winter can linger until all of a sudden, summer arrives! But after all of this snow, we deserve a real Spring this year. What are you looking forward to the most this spring?   We heard everything from snow melting to warm weather, but response from our friend Van Northcross was our favorite – Van wrote in to say he is looking forward to open burning season, something I think we can all be looking forward to as the snow continues to melt and reveal branches and twigs all across our soon-to-be green yards.


This week’s trivia question:   The Fiscal 2016 Capital Budget will be presented to Town Council next week. What is the difference between the capital budget and the operating budget?   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

March 23-27, 2015


Monday, March 23, 2015


Town Manager Tom Lynch joined us live in studio to discuss the FY16 Capital Improvement Plan.  Next, we aired a special student-produced segment on substance abuse, courtesy of our sister station, B2B Barnstable High School Channel 22.  Cape Libraries Automated Materials Sharing Executive Director Gayle Simundza joined us for our Library segment to tell us all about the benefits of the CLAMS system. Recreation Program Coordinator Melanie Mimmo talked with us about this weekend’s Easter Egg hunt.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Chief of Police Paul MacDonald provided us with the weekly crime update, which included the rescue of an attempted suicide, a donation from Cops for Kids with Cancer, and details on a recent drug arrest.  For our Community Profile segment, we welcomed Cape Cod Council of Churches Executive Director Diane Casey Lee.  Naturalist Phil Kyle joined us in-studio to talk about the Barnstable Harbor Eco Tours.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Our Business Barnstable segment began Friday’s show. This week’s guest was Hyannis Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Jessica Sylver, who previewed a slew of upcoming events for the spring, summer, and fall.  Cape Cod Commission Executive Director Paul Niedzwiecki appeared in-studio to discuss the 208 Water Quality Plan Update, and the next steps towards implementation.  Senior Services Activities Coordinator Susan Griffin previewed a plethora of planned events at the Senior Center. Director of Finance Mark Milne talked with us about the financing aspects of the Capital Improvement Plan.


Thursday, March 26, 2015


Len Gobeil’s Sports Segment returned on Thursday with a preview of spring sports with Athletic Director Scott Thomas. Cape Cod Commission Director of Technical Services Glenn Cannon talked to us about a new study outlining the potential impacts of climate change on regional transportation infrastructure.  Our Town Councilor interviews continued with Precinct 5 Councilor James Crocker. Finally, 2nd Barnstable State Rep Brian Mannal talked with us about his committee assignments and the work he is hoping to accomplish.


Friday, March 27, 2015


Friday’s program began with our Arts & Culture segment, which this week featured multi-talented artist Lauren Wolk. Over at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center, we visited with Director of Leisure Services Patti Machado, who filled us in on upcoming lifeguard training, and GM Joe Izzo, who previewed this weekend’s skating show. Sandy Neck Beach Park Manager Nina Coleman stopped by the studio to share insights into a new study on coastal erosion in Massachusetts.