Written by Jessica Rapp Grassetti
This Memorial Day it was a great honor to walk in the Centerville Parade. What a grand tradition of remembering our soldiers and families by coming together to march as a community. We enjoyed the sounds of the BHS Band, bugles, soulful bagpipes and drums as we marched from the South Congregational Church with a stop at Monument Square to pledge allegiance and reflect, and ended at the Old Beechwood Cemetery. I was moved by the decorated and uniformed Veterans, Police and Boy and Girl Scouts who ceremoniously lead us in paying tribute to our unsung and decorated heroes with reverence and respect for the American Flag code. The costumed Colonialist women and Military Minutemen also marched and would periodically pause to fire off a traditional musket salute paying homage to the brave soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice at the birth of our great nation. This wonderful parade filled with friends and families, provides us with a meaningful tradition to remember because we must never forget.
Ropes Beach and the Boat Ramp is the area in Cotuit receiving the most complaints over pedestrian and vehicular safety and accessibility. Especially during peak season, the congestion along this narrow way has resulted in frequent accidents and causes spirited competition for the few available parking spots. Last season a change in the location of permissible trailer parking allowed for some relief, however, the boat ramp and the road area directly above the ramp remains a challenge. Recently the Town’s Engineer, Roger Parsons, spoke at a Civic Association meeting and stated that Old Shore Road is barely wide enough for a one way let alone a two way road with one side of parking. To seek relief, he and the Department of Public Works Director, Dan Santos, recommended that the road be turned into a one-way. On May 12, the Town Manager approved the change and signed the paperwork necessary to make Old Shore Road in Cotuit a one-way. On May 16 the change or amendment to the Town of Barnstable Traffic, Pedestrian and Tow-Away Zone Regulations was legally advertised and the DPW instructed to adjust all existing signage to reflect this significant change. Keeping on Old Shore Road, the Harbormaster recently applied warning stickers on all of the non-permitted “structures” erected on the beach used for vessel storage and on Tuesday the Waterways Committee discussed a timeline and plan to address the in-season boat storage on Town Property. The Committee will be coming up with a recommendation on how to keep in check the ever growing number of “vessels” that appear along this small stretch of grassy beach after April 15. There have been lots of suggestions from limiting the size of vessels to installing a temporary dingy dock. Whatever is decided, I’m sure this topic will continue to spark fervent discussion and debate.
With the exception of the Town Council’s first scheduled meeting of 2014, which was cancelled due to a Nor’easter, the Council has conducted ten regular meetings, a trash hauler workshop, several executive sessions and numerous adhoc and sub-committee meetings. April and May included approving a $15.2 million capital improvement budget for FY’15, the first of a five-year $129 million budget plan that will focus on improving our current infrastructure. In the next few weeks the Council will be presented with an operating budget in excess of $160 million dollars that will require approval by the current fiscal year’s end, June 30. It’s an honor to continue to serve alongside my fellow Councilors who are committed to the duties and responsibilities of their Town and respective Precincts. Together we have questioned, held thoughtful debate and most importantly, strived to create an atmosphere where the Citizens play a more meaningful role in Town governance.
Please take the opportunity to stop by and discuss any Village or Town issue with me at the Cotuit Library on the second Wednesday of every month from 3-5pm, with no appointment necessary. The next scheduled meeting is June 11 or you may reach me at 508-360-2504 or the Town Council office, 508-862-4738. My email is Precinct7@comcast.net or you may follow my blog at http://www.BarnstablePrecinct7.com for updated information. I welcome your questions and concerns and look forward to hearing from you. Your Town Councilor, Jessica.