Meetings are held remotely. Go to eastham-ma.gov/calendar-by-event-type/16 and click on the meeting you’re interested in to read its agenda. That document will provide information about how to view and take part remotely.
Monday, Aug. 31
- Eastham 400 Commemoration Committee, 10:30 a.m.
- Select Board, 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 1
- State Primary Election, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- T-Time Development Committee, 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 2
- Board of Assessors, 11 a.m.
- Cape Cod Regional Governmental Assembly of Delegates Public Hearing, 4:30 p.m.
- Community Preservation Act Committee, 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 3
- Zoning Board of Appeals, 5 p.m.
No Residential Exemption This Year
While Eastham’s select board agreed at their Aug. 17 joint meeting with the board of assessors not to adopt a residential tax exemption this year, the board will give the exemption another look for 2022 as a means to assist Eastham residents struggling economically as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s not the best tool,” Chair Jamie Rivers said of the exemption Saturday. Establishing the exemption for this year would have resulted in additional costs, as it would have delayed the issuance of tax bills, resulting in more borrowing.
The select board will schedule discussion of the exemption for tax year 2022 later this year and will continue look for new tools to help Eastham families, said Rivers. “If we have to use it, we will,” she said Saturday.
Both Aimee Eckman and Rivers spoke in favor of the family support package as a preferred means to assist local families financially.
“We have to pull out more tools as we move through a year that has been so challenging for so many families and now moving into a school year where parents are going to find it even harder to work full time,” said Rivers.
The family support package will be Article 8 on the draft warrant for next month’s town meeting.
Warrant Articles Approved Again
The select board voted Aug. 17 to approve the entirety of the draft town meeting warrant with few changes to the similarly approved warrant put before them last April. Six articles from the April warrant were dropped, the most notable being the Nauset Regional High School building project.
A special pre-town meeting discussion of articles is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 10, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Eastham 400 Plus
Funding for the 400 Commemorative Committee survived a motion to shift $5,000 of its $10,000 request to the T-Time Development Committee. The two committees share Article 11, which asks for $20,000 for the T-Time project and $10,000 for the 400 Committee.
The shift was recommended by the finance committee as the T-Time committee would face greater needs, said board chair Jamie Rivers.
Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe described the 400 committee’s work so far as “exceptional,” but expressed concerns over its growing budget. “It just seems we agreed on a budget and the budget got larger. It should be wrapping up at this point and not escalating even more.”
400 Committee vice chair Tom Ryan noted that, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, other towns including Plymouth and Provincetown had extended their commemorations a year.
“I think we really have to be part of that, to have the voice of Eastham and the benefits to Eastham be extended,” said Ryan.
Board member Aimee Eckman suggested the board recommend the full request.
“I think they did submit a pretty solid budget as to how they’ve been spending their money and what they plan to spend it on,” she said.
The board voted unanimously to support the $10,000 request.
Single Use Water Bottle Ban
The board voted to recommend a petitioned article prohibiting the sale of single-use plastic water bottles in Eastham, with the caveat that the ban would be rescinded before its Sept. 21, 2021 effective date should surrounding towns reject the proposal.
“I would like to see Eastham in line with its neighbors on something like this,” said chair Jamie Rivers. “For us to step out of line and to make it more difficult for the towns around us would be doing a disservice to the movement.”
The finance committee had voted unanimously not to recommend the article out of concern that should the ban pass in Eastham but not surrounding towns shoppers would just purchase the bottles in those towns, board member Arthur Autorino noted.
According to board member Aimee Eckman, the ban had already passed in Orleans. —Linda Culhane