Barnstable This Morning

Assistant Town Manager Mark Ells joined “Barnstable This Morning” host Sarah Colvin on Monday’s program. He discussed the ways in which oysters, natural filter-feeders, can be used to help deal with the region’s water quality issues.

View the interview: Town Website  YouTube


Update from Barnstable Public Schools

I met with Barnstable Interim Superintendent of Schools Bill Butler on Monday. He told me that the superintendent search committee members met last week, including Saturday, and narrowed the field of candidates to three. The committee met on Tuesday and recommended three individuals to the school committee. The finalists are: Sara Ahern, current Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Holliston, MA; Kathleen Burnham, current Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Wilmington, MA; and Meg Mayo-Brown, current Superintendent of Schools in Fall River, MA.  The school committee will set up an interview schedule when they meet in December, and are hoping to make an appointment by January.  Bill and I also discussed a draft of the School Department’s capital requests for Fiscal Year 2017. These requests will be formally submitted the last week of November.


Board of Health: Needle Exchange Issue

Despite the week-long effort to iron out a compromise on the needle exchange issue, the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod went to court on Tuesday seeking to lift the cease and desist order issued by the Town Department of Public Health. The AIDS Support Group is operating a needle exchange program on South Street in Hyannis. Barnstable Superior Court Judge Raymond Veary Jr. issued a Temporary Restraining Order to the AIDS Support Group which allows them to continue handing out needles. The judge will decide on a Preliminary Injunction on Friday, November 20th.


Fee Hearing

Tuesday morning, I held public fee hearings on several Community Services programs including Sandy Neck, Barnstable Golf, Marine and Environmental Affairs, and Recreation. There was an explanation and public hearing on each of the fee adjustments. Recreation is proposing an increase in the resident beach sticker fee from $35.00 to $40.00. The $5.00 increase will cover mandated minimum wage increases and provide funding to meet capital improvements at the Craigville Bathhouse. A full list of proposed fee changes can be found here. You can click here to view the fee hearing.


Youth Commission

Community Services Director Lynne Poyant and I met with Brendan Clark, Chair of the Barnstable Youth Commision, to discuss plans for the Second Annual 7th Grade Youth Summit and Community Prevention Forum. Last year’s inaugural event was very successful and well received by students, parents and community leaders. The forum is focused on preventing substance abuse. This year’s forum is planned for March 17th and 18th. Details on location and schedule of events will be released soon.


New Lieutenants Sworn-in

Three new lieutenants were sworn-in on Thursday at a ceremony at the Barnstable Police Department. Lieutenants Jean B. Challies, Mark J. Cabral, and Mark R. Mellyn were introduced by Chief Paul MacDonald. Town Clerk Ann Quirk conducted the swearing-in ceremony. The Chief spoke to the skills, training, and leadership qualities each of these individuals will bring to the job and the Department. I was impressed with the quality of all six candidates vying for the open lieutenant promotions which bodes well for the future leaders of the Barnstable Police Department.



Volunteer Appreciation Day 2015

One hundred twelve volunteers were recognized by the Marine and Environmental Affairs division on Thursday afternoon. Shellfish, herring run, coastal sweep and Clam Crawl volunteers put in 303 hours, assisting with shellfish propagation, clamming classes for kids, adult clamming classes, and so much more. Volunteer Bob Parsons won the Golden Herring Award for time spent counting herring. Congratulations to all of our hardworking volunteers!



Cape Managers Meeting

The November Cape Managers Meeting was held in Sandwich. Each of the Cape and Island towns shared issues they are dealing with ranging from erosion control, wage negotiations, economic development, snow and ice preparation, and municipal health care costs.


Senior Services Visioning Session

On Thursday afternoon, Assistant Town Manager Mark Ells, Town Council President Jessica Rapp Grassetti and Town Councilor Sara Cushing participated in a Visioning Session held at the Barnstable Senior Center.  Facilitated by former Cape Cod Community College President Kathy Schatzberg, the Visioning Session was the continuation of work started with the recent UMASS Boston Gerontology Institute's Needs Assessment.  Over 70 people attended the session, providing input on topics including transportation, housing, public information, and support services. We were pleased to have Barnstable Youth Commission Chair Brendan Clark and Youth Commissioner Carrie Osborn join in the conversation. A staff visioning session will be held next week. 



Reminder: Vessel Storage Deadline Approaches

The Harbormaster’s office reminds residents that no vessel shall be stored or placed on any Town property between November 15 and April 15 without written permission from the Harbormaster. Any vessel placed or remaining between those dates shall be considered abandoned property and will be removed by the Town. The Town of Barnstable shall not be responsible for damage to or theft neither of any vessel placed nor for loss of property considered abandoned under this Town’s regulation. Questions? Contact the Harbormaster at 508-790-6273.


Reminder: Financial Overview Report Available

The Comprehensive Financial Advisory Committee (CFAC) has prepared a Financial Overview Report for the current fiscal year, which began on July 1, 2015. Using the information from hundreds of pages of complex budget information, CFAC prepared a concise, easy to read Financial Overview Report.

In this well-organized brochure, one will find information on our government structure, property taxes, the fire and water districts, general fund resources and general fund budget, the capital budget, enterprise funds, public education budget, and other statistics. We thank CFAC for the work that went into preparing this booklet.  It is the intention of the committee to update this booklet each fiscal year.  Click here to view the report online.


Barnstable DPW Increases Pay Rates for Snow & Ice Contractors

The Town of Barnstable is seeking experienced snow plow contractors with equipment from ¾ ton four-wheel drive trucks to ten wheelers, dump trucks, large trucks, skid steers and other equipment to assist during winter snow and ice operations.  Pay rates have been increased to match those paid by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Apply in person at the Town of Barnstable Highway Division office, 382 Falmouth Road, Hyannis MA 02601. Call Joe Marshall at 508-790-6330 for further information. Contractor information and an application can be found online, click here to view the paperwork. Drivers must be experienced and own their own equipment.


Community Development Block Grant Funds: Deadline Approaching

Community Development Block Grant funds are available for façade and sign improvements for commercial businesses located in downtown Hyannis in the designated program areas.  Applications will be accepted in the Town of Barnstable Growth Management Department until 3:00 PM on Monday, November 16, 2015. Full information, eligibility requirements, and instructions on how to apply can be found online at


West Barnstable Shooting Range: Share Your Thoughts

Since December 11, 2012, the West Barnstable shooting range has been closed due to insurance issues. The closure brought to light a number of environmental and policy issues that must be rectified. Town Council has suggested we survey our citizens regarding the future of the West Barnstable shooting range. We are reaching out for a broader discussion on options at the facility.   A poll and a discussion topic have been posted online at We invite you to share your thoughts.


Click here to answer the poll   Click here to add your comments





Last week, we asked: Who is the top employer in the Town of Barnstable? As indicated in the new Financial Overview Report, Cape Cod Healthcare is indeed the top employer in the Town of Barnstable. Kudos to many of our astute eNews readers who wrote in with the correct answer.


This week’s question: Today is Friday the 13th. Are you superstitious or do you have any superstitions? Email your answer here.  



Barnstable This Morning

Week in Review

November 9-13, 2015


Monday November 9, 2015


Assistant Town Manager Mark Ells joined us on Monday for a discussion on the oysters and their connection to clean water.  Next, we learned about bus safety for our biweekly Schools segment. Interim Superintendent of Schools Bill Butler stopped by to share information about the joint Massachusetts Association of School Committees and Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents conference held in Hyannis recently.  Cape Cod Community College President Dr. John Cox was live in studio to discuss the College’s new air frame and power plant maintenance program.


Tuesday November 10, 2015


Chief of Police Paul MacDonald talked with us Tuesday morning about concerns over allowing a needle exchange to continue to operate in downtown Hyannis.  Our Community Profile segment featured Special Projects Coordinator Len Gobeil, who talked with us about his work highlighting our Town’s veterans.  1st Barnstable State Representative Tim Whelan talked with us about a push to pass several opioid-related pieces of legislation. Representative Whelan also talked about efforts to help our local veterans.  Director of Public Works Dan Santos reviewed the Snow and Ice presentation he made before Town Council last week, and again made the call for snow and ice contractors.


Thursday November 12, 2015


Barnstable High School teacher and author Mick Carlon joined us Thursday morning to talk about his new book, “Girl Singer”, which is out now.  Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority Administrator Tom Cahir talked with us about the connection between regional transportation and economic development.  2nd Barnstable State Representative Brian Mannal shared concerns over allowing a needle exchange to continue operations in downtown Hyannis.  We continued our conversations with our various Board, Committee and Commission chairs. This week, newly elected Council on Aging Chair Taylor Cobb stopped by to discuss the work of the COA and his reasons for getting involved.


Friday November 13, 2015


Our Fun Friday began with our weekly Arts & Culture segment. This week, we traveled to the Cotuit Center for the Arts to learn more about The Key Idea from coordinator Lenore Lyons. Next, Recreation Division Program Coordinator John Gleason talked to us about the popular Turkey Shoot basketball event. Hyannis Youth and Community Center General Manager Joe Izzo highlighted winter activities at the HYCC.  Finally, we talked with Natural Resource Officer Amy Croteau about the importance of volunteers.



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