PLYMPTON — The Plympton Board of Selectmen got off to an early start at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19, when they welcomed new Fire Chief Stephen Silva, of Plympton, as head of the force. Area fire chiefs, family members, and Plympton Fire Department members were on hand to congratulate him.
The board next moved into a dog hearing, their first in many months, involving a dog named Mandy, a female brindle Plott hound, owned by Daniel Gazzola, who according to Animal Control Officer Griffin Webb, attacked another dog owned by Robert and Carol Quindley. Gazzola and Quindleys are neighbors on County Road.
Webb read his report into the record. “Quindley … stated that both of his dogs were outside in a completely enclosed fence attached to the house. He said that his neighbors dog ‘Mandy’ then got into an altercation with Mr. Quindley’s dog ‘[P]earl’ … resulting in a bite wound …”
Robert Quindley also testified before the board regarding the incident, stating that the attack went on for 15 minutes after Mandy jumped his fence, and that he was struggling to protect his dog, Pearl, with a stick the entire time.
Eventually, according to the report, Gazzola, the owner of the aggressor dog, removed her from the scene and was not present when Webb arrived.
Quindley rushed his dog to a veterinarian for treatment, he said.
Webb, at the suggestion of Selectmen at their last meeting, put Mandy under quarantine because she was not up to date on her rabies vaccine– or town license– and further placed the dog under a 14-day muzzle order before the hearing took place.
Webb described Gazzola as cooperative throughout the process, although he did not attend the hearing, which he was not required to do. Webb also said that Mandy was not aggressive to him, but that there was not another dog around at the time to “test” her behavior around other dogs.
Selectmen largely took Webb’s recommendation and ordered that Mandy be under the direct supervision of her owner at all times while outside her home, including on their property.
If she isn’t on a leash or a proper run, then she must be muzzled, according to the board’s order.
“Muzzles are tough,” said Webb. “I don’t want to see the dog muzzled outside for the rest of its life.”
But the board felt the need to protect the town, they said, and the dog can be unmuzzled if it is on a leash or run.
“I’m not up for another encounter,” said Quindley. His wife, Carol, agreed. “I just hope this works,” she said.
“So do we,” said Joy.
Later, Scott Ripley, Highway Surveyor, came before the board regarding speed limits, this time stating that it was unlikely the town would be able to set a blanket speed limit across the whole town, unless otherwise posted, as towns that choose this method of enforcement must be determined by the state to be high density.
Citing “town’s rights,” Selectman Mark Russo asked for permission from his colleagues to spend about a half-hour with Town Counsel to explore the issue further, and they agreed.
As the Express has previously reported, the state is changing some speed limits in Plympton and are replacing signs for free as part of a regional grant program with the new speed limits.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) sets these speed limits, not municipalities, according to their own rules and regulations.
This has upset some residents who have said they feel the speed limits are too high.
Finally, the Board of Assessors came before selectmen to hold the annual tax classification hearing. It was not attended by any residents.
At the recommendation of the Assessors, Selectmen adopted a singular rate across all classes of property for fiscal year 2019: “residential, commercial, industrial and personal property at their full and fair cash value of the tax levy, resulting in a single tax rate.”
The actual rate will be set after it is certified by the state, according to Wendy Jones, assistant assessor.