Town Council Meeting – Thursday, February 15, 2024

The February 15, 2024 Meeting of the Barnstable Town Council was conducted in person. The public was able to attend in person or participate remotely in Public Comment or during a Public Hearing via Zoom. The public was able to view the meeting on Barnstable Government Access Xfinity Channel 8 or 1070 or in High Definition on Xfinity Channel 1072 or via the live stream through the Town website. Town Council President Felicia Penn called the meeting to order and Town Clerk Ann Quirk took the Roll Call. Next Vice President Craig Tamash introduced Kevin Vogeli, was active duty in the Marine Corps for 10 years and served as a Marine Sergeant at bases on both coasts. He is a long time Barnstable resident and is a current Veteran Service Officer and case manages all of the Barnstable Chapter 115 veteran’s benefits, to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

President Penn recognized Town Councilor Matthew Levesque who offered a Moment of Silence for Nancy Clark, a 20-year member of the Historic Commission and a resident of Marstons Mills who recently passed. Nancy was a talented musician and music teacher and a world-renowned philatelist (a person who studies and collects postage stamps). She was a neighbor and a servant in our community.

Next was Public Comment which was followed by Council Response to Public Comment.

President Penn announced that Mr. Ells’s Town Manager Communications for the period of February 1-13, 2024 had been pre-recorded and was shown on our Government Access Channel prior to the meeting. The recorded version of Mr. Ells’s Town Manager Communications may be viewed here and the itemized list is shared below:

  1. The Town Clerk’s office will be open on Saturday, February 24th from 8:30 AM to 5 PM for Voter Registration only. Early Voting in person begins on Saturday, February 24th from 8 AM until Noon at 200 Main Street, Hyannis. The full Election Calendar may be viewed under the IN THE NEWS section of the Town’s website.


  1. We are proceeding with the budget action calendar for FY 2025. We have completed the review of the CIP Taskforce ranking on capital projects submitted for FY25.  As per the budget action calendar we plan to submit the recommended FY25 Capital Budget to Town Council on Monday, March 4, 2024.  Departments have prepared FY 2025 proposed changes to fiscal years fees and submitted to the Town Manager for a public hearing on Tuesday, March 19, 2024.  For information on our fiscal year budgets please view the Town’s Open Budget website at


  1. Governor Maura Healey signed an Executive Order creating the Commission on Clean Energy Infrastructure Siting and Permitting(CEISP) in an effort to meet the emissions limits outlined in the Clean Energy and Climate Plans (CECP), Massachusetts will need to site a significant amount of new energy infrastructure, including new solar and wind generation, storage, transmission, and distribution infrastructure. The CEISP is a Commission that is described as one that will bring together stakeholders to swiftly remove barriers to responsible clean energy infrastructure development.  The CEISP will be tasked with reducing permitting timelines, ensuring communities have input in the siting and permitting of clean energy infrastructure, and ensuring that the benefits of the clean energy transition are shared equitably.  The Commission is chaired by Secretary Rebecca Tepper of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.  The Secretary will order every relevant agency housed within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to evaluate existing permitting processes impacting energy infrastructure and identify potential areas of improvement. The Commission will also be instructed to make recommendations on administrative, regulatory, and legislative changes to existing permitting and siting procedures by Spring 2024.  Barnstable has requested a seat on the Committee but it does not appear that we shall receive that appointment.  We were informed on February 1, 2024 that the Commission has only had internal meetings as they get themselves organized. They are working to get something for the public to engage with very soon. It was suggested that we direct any comments through the appointed representatives from Massachusetts Municipal Association, Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions, or the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission.  We are preparing a letter to all of the above and copying the Governor and Cape Legislative Delegation requesting adequate time to review and provide input on any proposed recommendations.  We will keep you advised of our progress on this effort.


  1. On January 18, 2024 the Executive Committee of the Cape Cod and Islands Water Protection Fund (CCIWTF) Management Board voted to endorse the (four letters attached) strategy for meeting the Funds financial needs. Letters have been sent to the State Treasurer, Secretery of Administration and Finance, and the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection requesting consideration of the proposed strategy referenced in each letter.  A separate letter was sent to Chairs of the Joint Committee on Housing to support the proposed strategy as well as the need for wastewater infrastructure and housing are directly linked.  We are preparing a letter for Town Council consideration regarding the attached strategy as the principle subsidy provided by the CCIWTF is an opportunity for Barnstable to receive a larger subsidy from the CCIWPF toward the cost of wastewater infrastructure.  We will keep you advised of our progress on this matter.


The attachments Mr. Ells refers in this item have been posted to the Town Manager’s webpage:






  1. I was recently asked the question, “Is Barnstable a pollinator friendly community?” I responded as follows:  Through the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, communities across the country are committing to creating habitat for the monarch butterfly (and other pollinators) in addition to coordinating educational outreach to inform members of their community of the importance of pollinators and how to make a difference.  The Town of Barnstable officially took the pledge to become a Mayors’ Monarch community in March of 2023. Each year, the Town must commit to implementing at least (3) Action Items.  Below are the actions that the Town has implemented to date.


  1. Add or maintain native milkweed and nectar producing plants in community gardens. The Planning and Development Department, in coordination with the Town’s Structures & Grounds Division, coordinated to identify locations to enhance existing gardens, on Town-owned properties, with pollinator species. A Planting Plan was developed and implemented to improve garden beds within Aselton Park with pollinator species to replace invasive vegetation.


  1. Engage with community garden groups and urge them to plant native milkweeds and nectar-producing plants.
    1. Our Conservation Division developed the attached pamphlet entitled Help Support Monarch Butterfly Conservation in Barnstable which defines the Town’s commitment to the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, current threats to the monarch butterfly, and suggested native plant species to be incorporated within pollinator gardens. Staff distributed the pamphlet to local garden groups. The pamphlet is also posted on Conservation’s website.


  1. Engage with developers, planners, and landscape architects to identify opportunities to create monarch habitat.
  • Our Conservation Division additionally distributed the attached pamphlet to consultants, Engineers, Landscape Architects and local landscape companies to prioritize incorporation of pollinator gardens. Of note, staff noted that at least three consultants started to incorporate pollinator gardens into their Landscape Plans.


Related, but not specifically for pollinators: Barnstable is recognized as a Tree City and we are hosting annual events.  Plus the “Greening the Gateway” project (to plant 2400 trees in Hyannis’ environmental justice areas) is well underway:  Funding to plant 2,400 trees has been provided through the State’s Greening the Gateway Cities Grant Program with a goal of covering 5% of the Town’s Planting Zone in new tree canopy over the next three years through summer 2026. The 966-acre Planting Zone includes residential homes and businesses located in Hyannis, south of Route 28/Falmouth Road and north of West Main Street, including the neighborhoods north of downtown Hyannis and west of Sea Street.


Each of these efforts support quality habitat, biodiversity, protect our water and natural resources in Barnstable.


  1. Kelly Collopy, Communications Manager for the Public Works Department, will provide an update on Water Resource Management planning including the Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan. Ms. Collopy’s PowerPoint presentation may be viewed here.


President Penn asked Town Manager Mark Ells to provide further information relative to the Governor’s Commission on Clean Energy Infrastructure Siting and Permitting as well as bringing additional funds to the Cape Cod and Islands Water Protection Fund and asking the Housing Bond Bill to consider supporting infrastructure projects that can be linked directly to housing.


The Council voted to approve Public Session Minutes:  February 1, 2024.


Next was Communications from elected officials, boards, committees, and staff, commission reports, correspondence and announcements.


Town Councilor Gordon Starr asked Town Clerk Ann Quirk to provide an explanation of the Presidential Primary ballots and Early Voting.


President’s Comments

  • A Special Meeting will be held on Thursday, February 29th at 6 PM. It will be in a workshop format regarding historical and ongoing efforts to protect the Town’s water resources. This workshop will focus on drinking water resources. There will be subsequent workshops that will address wastewater, surface and coastal resources, PFAS and other contaminants. DPW Director Dan Santos will be making a presentation. The Water District Commissioners have been invited to each make a presentation defining their infrastructure, capacity, future needs and water protection efforts. Important to know for the public: no public will be admitted to the room because we don’t have enough capacity to hold everybody. The Public can submit their questions in advance by noon on Wednesday, February 28th to The Town Council will read them on the public’s behalf. Please keep submissions in the form of a question versus statements. The public may watch the broadcast live on Channel 8 or 1070 or high-definition channel 1072. You may also stream on the Town’s website. Town Councilors should submit their questions in advance to Mr. Santos by February 26th. Hoping for an active Question & Answer session as this is an educational session for the Town Council.
  • There is an opening for a Barnstable delegate to the Port Council to the Steamship Authority. If you are interested in serving a two-year term, please forward a letter of interest to Cynthia Lovell, Town Council Administrator.
  • Another opening is the Town’s representative to the Cape Cod Commission. This position serves at the will of the Town Manager. There is no set term. The position is currently filled, but the current term ends at the end of April. Please send a letter of interest to Town Manager Mark Ells.
  • Hoping to have the Town Council subcommittees at least be formed by the end of March.
  • Town Offices and facilities are closed on Monday, February 19th for Presidents Day.


Orders of the Day.



AGENDA ITEM 2024-095 Supplemental Appropriation Order in the amount of $45,000 for the purpose of paying operating expenses of the Legal Department for the services of the law firm of Anderson & Kreiger, which is serving as outside counsel to the Town with respect to Park City Wind LLC’s proposed offshore renewable wind project in the Town.

Presented by Town Attorney Karen Nober.  The item was approved.



AGENDA ITEM 2024-096 Appropriation Order in the amount of $500,000 to fund disposal costs of the Solid Waste Division of the Department of Public Works was referred to a Public Hearing on 03/07/2024.


AGENDA ITEM 2024-097 Authorization to expend a Fiscal Year 2024 Municipal Road Safety Grant in the amount of $60,000 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.

Presented by Barnstable Police Chief Jean Challies.  The item was approved.


AGENDA ITEM 2024-098 Authorization to expend a Federal Fiscal Year 2024 Byrne Justice Assistance Grant in the amount of $40,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice through the Massachusetts State Police Department for costs incurred in State Fiscal Year 2024.

Presented by Barnstable Police Chief Jean Challies.  The item was approved.


AGENDA ITEM 2024-099 Amending the Code of the Town of Barnstable, Part I General Ordinances, Chapter 1 General Provisions, Article I Noncriminal Enforcement of Violations was referred to a Public Hearing on 03/07/2024.


AGENDA ITEM 2024-161 Supplemental Appropriation Order for Fiscal Year 2024 Barnstable Police Department in the amount of $35,000 to fund consulting services and overtime costs for the purpose of exploring the removal of the Barnstable Police Department from Civil Service was referred to a Public Hearing on 03/07/2024.


AGENDA ITEM 2024-162 Resolve approving a remote participation policy for Town Council meetings.

Town Councilor Kristen Terkelsen offered an amendment that the Town Council President has the discretion to waive the policy under special circumstances. The amendment was approved.

Presented by Town Attorney Karen Nober.  The item as amended was approved.


AGENDA ITEM 2024-163 Resolve suspending appointments to certain committees of the Town.

Presented by Town Attorney Karen Nober.  The item was approved.


AGENDA ITEM 2024-164 Resolve approving a letter to the Cape Cod Commission regarding the draft Regional Housing Strategy.

Presented by Assistant Planning & Development Director Jim Kupfer.  The item was approved.


AGENDA ITEM 2024-165 Resolve authorizing the use of a Consent Agenda at Town Council meetings.

Presented by Town Attorney Karen Nober.  The item was approved.


A Special Town Council Meeting will be held on Thursday, February 29, 2024. The next regularly scheduled Town Council Meeting will be held on Thursday, March 7, 2024. The public is able to view through Xfinity High Definition Channel 1072 (or Xfinity Channel 8 or 1070) or Live Streaming on the Town of Barnstable’s website.  Real-time public comment may be addressed to the Barnstable Town Council utilizing the Zoom video link or telephone number and access meeting code which will be included on the Agenda.  Written Comments may be submitted to:  The meeting Agenda will be available on the Town of Barnstable’s website (