Councilor Column

Written by Jessica Rapp Grassetti

According to the Town Charter the Council’s summer meetings are reduced to one in July and August allowing time for family and vacationing. However, preparing for the future business of the Council will be my focus in the upcoming months.

The Council will soon be required to set in motion the process of selecting a new Town Manager. This process is arguably one of the most important and time-consuming functions of this elected body. Towards that end, I will be establishing a committee to review and update the Town Manager’s job description, an integral part of the selection process and one that is long overdue. Further, the committee will also create a timeline for the selection process to begin; such that an orderly transition can occur in July of 2016. It is imperative that meaningful dialogue and broad based citizen input be part of our Town Manager search and selection.

A televised workshop on recycling and trash has been set for July 24th, 6pm. At that time the Staff will give their recommendations to increase recycling and reduce trash. The Citizen’s Financial Advisory Committee will be updating the math associated with recycling and the Town’s Renewable Energy Commission will have an opportunity to share their recommendations as well. We will learn of the costs associated with any proposed programmatic changes at the Transfer Station, and to changes to the hauler regulations. A “Pay as You Throw” scenario would affect only one-third of the residents as the remaining two-thirds use private haulers. This is a significant issue in that haulers are not regulated with regards to recycling and currently there is no accounting as to whether or not recycling is occurring. Many Councilors are of the feeling that this issue has to be resolved as part of a global trash solution. I welcome any and all public input on this matter, as currently there has been little or no support from my Precinct for “Pay as You Throw”. Taking into account that a negotiated contract to haul the Transfer Station’s waste and recyclables is about to be executed there are many moving parts to the “trash talk” and we will have important decisions to make.

Along with our two regular meetings on the 4th and 18th of September the full Council will participate in a half-day strategic planning session led by an independent facilitator. This worthwhile brainstorming retreat will afford the Council the opportunity to develop and clarify priorities and objectives with a focus on constituent feedback in establishing the future direction of the Town of Barnstable.

Please take the opportunity to stop by and discuss any Village or Town issue on the second Wednesday of every month from 3-5pm at the Cotuit Library. The next scheduled meeting is August 13. I can be reached at my cell (508)360-2504 or the Town Council office, (508)862-4738. Email or follow my blog at for updated information. I welcome your questions and concerns and look forward to hearing from you. Your Town Councilor, Jessica.