Meetings are held remotely. From wellfleet-ma.gov, hover over a date on the calendar on the right of the screen and click on the meeting you’re interested in to open its agenda and find information about how to view and take part remotely.
Thursday, May 6
- Housing Authority, 10 a.m.
- Historical Commission, 10 a.m.
Friday, May 7
- Bike and Walkways Committee, 10 a.m.
- Select Board with executive session, 6 p.m.
Monday, May 10
- Energy and Climate Committee, 7 a.m.
- Dredging Task Force, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, May 11
- Cultural Council Meeting, 4:30 p.m.
- School Committee, 4:30 p.m.
As it grapples with the fallout from years of financial malpractice in town hall, the looming results of an audit, and the departure of its accountant and administrator — in short, a storm of human error and dysfunction — the select board turned its attention on April 29 to a less frustrating species: dogs.
“Ninety percent of towns in Massachusetts have a dog poop violation and a barking dog violation,” Eastham and Wellfleet animal control officer Desmond Keogh told the board. “Wellfleet does not have either of them.”
After an hourlong debate, the board voted unanimously to spend another week editing a six-page animal control bylaw that Keogh and board member Helen Miranda Wilson, who helped draft it, say will arm law enforcement with appropriate power over pet-related peeves.
The new bylaw clauses are “the tools we need,” said Keogh. “If I see someone whose dog poops and they don’t pick it up, I’ve got no tools to stop something like that. The same with barking.”
Along with regulating kennels, euthanasia, and parked cars, the bylaw orders all dogs within the town territorial limits to be “restrained by a leash unless confined to the property of their owners.” It also makes it unlawful to not immediately remove and dispose of all solid wastes produced by said dog on any property other than the dog owner’s, and to allow one’s dog to “annoy another person’s reasonable right to peace or privacy by making loud or other continuing noise for fifteen minutes.”
The initial version of the bylaw included a strict fine structure from $50 to $500 based on the offense’s frequency and severity. Board member Ryan Curley — who emerged as the bylaw-championing Wilson’s foil — called that upper limit unnecessarily harsh. His efforts got the bylaw sent back to the drawing board for a gentler fee system.
“Ryan — no,” snapped Wilson. “Nobody’s going to go to five hundred dollars except that guy on Nauset Road.”
“Don’t defame people,” said board chair Mike DeVasto. —Josephine de La Bruyère