Selectmen Chair Christine Joy and liaison to the Plympton Housing Production Plan Committee, said the committee is seeking new ways to increase citizen engagement.
The Plympton Housing Production Plan Committee’s primary focus is creating a development plan for the production of homes. Joy said it will “serve as a roadmap for expanding the diversity of residence options in town.”
Plympton was awarded a grant from the Old Colony Planning Council to create a housing production plan with the Council’s assistance. The state has specific guidelines for housing production plans that ensure affordable housing for moderate and low-income residents.
The committee is looking for ways to get the community involved in these decisions. Joy said, “The recently formed Plympton Housing Production Plan Committee (HPPC), is rolling up its sleeves to deliver its plan to the state by the end of 2017, but it hopes that all adult residents will participate in the process through any or all of the following: complete the Housing Production Plan Survey, attend the informational session, ask questions, and/or make suggestions.”
The survey is available until Tuesday, October 31, 2017. It can be accessed online at www.surveymonkey.com.plymptonHPP.
The committee will host a question and answer session with the help of Old Colony Planning Council, on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at the Town House to discuss current and future housing needs and trends in Plympton, the survey results, goals, key strategies for meeting these needs, and how they can be incorporated into the housing production plan.
Plympton Celebrates Call Fire Fighter George Colby’s Retirement
The Plympton Board of Selectmen at their meeting on Monday, hosted a retirement ceremony for Call Fire Fighter George Colbert.
Plympton’s fire department as well as State Representative Thomas Calter attended and presented Colby with a pin for his 40 plus years of service as a call firefighter. Colby’s wife Sandi brought coffee and baked cookies for a short celebration at the Selectmen’s meeting.
Representative Calter described Colby as, “One-part firefighter, one-part medic, and one-part counsel.” He said the bill to recognize Colby’s service passed unanimously in the Massachusetts Houseof Representatives.
Fire Chief Warren Borsari expressed his admiration for the service and dedication Colby gave to Plympton over the past four decades. Chief Borsari said he still anticipates Colby remaining involved with the department in some capacity.
Helping train new firefighters was one area in particular where Borsari sees Colby being a valuable resource. Borsari said that there’s a lot of new firefighters with not a lot of experience in this area, especially Plympton and Halifax. He said having someone with Colby’s experience is a wonderful thing.
In particular, Borsari was impressed that these years were spent as a call firefighter. Borsari said, “To be a call firefighter stands above all else (in the fire department) in my opinion.”
In his retirement, Colby says he plans to travel and ride his motorcycle as much as he can. Colby is the state representative for the Red Knights Motorcycle Club, a group composed of firefighters and their families.
Over the years, Colby traveled the United States on his motorcycle multiple times. He plans to take his wife to many of the places he’s visited on his many trips.
Asked about his retirement, Colby said, “It will be different, but I will never be far from a scanner.”
First Town Administrator Named
The Plympton Board of Selectmen announced the hiring of Elizabeth Dennehy as the community’s first Town Administrator.
Dennehy has more than 10 years of experience in municipal government, including serving as the Community Development Director in Walpole and as Planning Director and Environmental Affairs Officer in Fall River.
“We are excited to welcome Elizabeth Dennehy as Plympton’s first Town Administrator, “said Selectmen Chair Christine Joy. “Her skills, experience, and local knowledge will prove beneficial to the Plympton municipal team and will help us to achieve continued success for the community.”
Dennehy, of Raynham, was one of two finalists for the position. The second finalist, Joshua Garcia of Holyoke, currently works for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, where he serves as a manager of municipal services focusing on smaller-population communities.
“We were highly impressed with the qualifications of both finalists,” Chairman Joy said. “It was a difficult decision for the board.”
There was a total of 38 applicants for the position. The Board of Selectmen were supported in the search by a seven-member Town Administrator Screening Committee and by Community Paradigm Associates, a municipal consulting firm that focuses on assisting communities with such services as executive recruiting, strategic planning, municipal finance, economic development, and leadership training.
Selectmen Clerk Mark Russo expressed satisfaction with the job done by the consulting firm they used. Russo said, “Community Paradigm did a really wonderful job.”
• Boy Scout Frankie Perfetuo of Troop 53 came before the Board of Selectmen to follow-up on his Eagle Scout project. Perfetuo is building two benches for the Town Green, made from recycled materials and will face the street near the Gazebo.
• Selectmen made a formal recommendation that all boards and committees change the way they use acronyms in their public documents. Selectman John Traynor said boards should stop using acronyms, particularly when first introducing something. He said that most residents probably don’t know what the acronym means, so the Board prefers that the word be spelled out first with the acronym in parentheses before the acronym is used in the rest of the document.
• The next meeting of the Plympton Board of Selectmen is Monday, Oct. 30. Open session starts at 6 p.m.