News & Views
Photo of Sandwich Village by Joe Janis
We hope that you are well. On June lst we continued the process of exploring potential COVID-19 driven Town budget reductions (reduction in paving expense, workforce, etc.). We will proceed thoughtfully and will not compromise essential services.
On Sunday, May 31, we honored Police Chief Wyman with a drive-by celebration in appreciation of his 20 years of exemplary service to our Town. Thank you to the many town residents, family members, and law enforcement colleagues from across the state – and beyond - who showed up with signs, balloons, cards, and heartfelt praise. You might have heard the full Fire Department and Law Enforcement sendoff escort. We are deeply grateful for his years of proactive leadership and deep commitment to the very best principles of community policing.
On Monday, we held swearing in ceremonies for our new Police Sergeant, Karl Koch (pronounced “cook”), and the promotion of Staff Sgt. Shawn Varney to Chief. We truly appreciate the tremendous community affirmation in support of Police Chief Varney.
We are finalizing our plans for our beaches and summer recreation. This has required more study and taken longer than any of us would wish, thank you for your understanding.
Roads, road drainage, and the Transfer Station continue to occupy much of our time. We approved the $2+ million yearly Tax Anticipation Note (TAN) that provides us with necessary working capital until property taxes are collected. Each week the Selectmen report on what the residents have shared with them so that we can provide community responsive leadership.
Please support our local businesses and nonprofits as we look to get our local economy back into gear. We will all need to pitch in, work together, and observe safe protocols. Respectfully, Joanne Haight, Leo Dwyer, Todd Horn, Board of Selectmen
The Sandwich Selectmen write: Hello all: Thank you to all residents who participated in the recreational spaces survey! It is great to hear how committed this community is to using public spaces in a safe and fair manner. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be implementing modifications to beach policies this year with the understanding that we must remain flexible in this time of ever-changing circumstances. All policies are subject to change, however we understand residents are eager to begin summer planning. Community cooperation is essential to ensuring effective policies and is greatly appreciated in advance!
Please wear a mask when moving to and from vehicles and maintain distance from anyone that is not in your household (per CDC guidelines). Please do not come to the beach if you or a member of your household is sick. As we seek to keep facilities accessible to all residents, please be mindful of the large at-risk sector of our population.
No Lifeguards on Duty: swim at your own risk at all times! No inflatables, but lifejackets and foam noodles are allowed. There will be no picnic tables and no swim raft, but we will have swim lines. There will be no swim lessons this summer.
The Beach parking area will be for beachgoers only. Please use roadside parking or the trailer lot across the street from the beach for boat use including rooftop launches (kayaks, canoes, etc.) Beach games will not be allowed (spikeball, frisbee, bocce, football, Kan Jam etc.)
As always, facility stickers and/or guest passes are required for use of the town beaches. Parking policies will be strictly enforced. Beginning June 17th, Beach Attendants will staff the town beach at Squam 7 days a week 10:00 am - 5:30 pm to assist in implementing the following procedures. The Beach will be open regular hours 7:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Upon arrival, beachgoers will give their name and the number of people in their vehicle to the beach attendants. Attendants will note the arrival time, and assign the group a number. Beach goers will have a two-hour time limit when beach is at capacity. If the beach reaches capacity, an attendant will give group members a fifteen-minute notice. Attendants will determine capacity based upon parking and discretion, taking into consideration beach space and CDC guidelines. If the beach does not reach capacity in two hours, beachgoers may stay until capacity is reached. However, if capacity is reached, the time limit will be counted as when beachgoers arrived, not when the beach reached capacity. Beachgoers may attempt to return two hours after they leave.
Any beachgoers who biked, walked, or are dropped off will abide time limits. Drop-offs and walk/bike-ins will not be allowed when beach is at capacity.
We ask that folks follow CDC guidelines for social distancing at the Potholes and Bearcamp Pond. Please limit visitation duration and do not attempt to enter when these parking areas are full.
As these policies are subject to change, full cooperation is key to assessing whether future modifications to beach policies are necessary. We are eager to facilitate the enjoyment of sunshine and our local facilities during these difficult times.
If you have any question or comments, please direct them to Sandwich Parks and Recreation Director Ole Anderson at: email@example.com
As you can imagine, our response to COVID-19 dominated our weekly meeting on Monday the 11th. With the professional insights of Dr. Paul Simmons – the Town’s medical advisor - and other local and state resources, we are working our way through a time of uncertainty and anxiety. Balancing public health, economic welfare, tradition, routine town business, and all that we hope for each summer is tricky.
The biggest take-away was that we need your understanding and support as we apply the best judgment of our state and local leaders. We appreciate the flexibility and open-minded, open-hearted spirit of our community.
We will communicate regularly, understanding that we might have to change direction on some policies as circumstances shift. We are developing a survey to learn more about what our residents hope for this summer. Managing expectations will be a challenge as we will likely face significant budget challenges.
We also have a heavy load of normal Town business to address as each Town Committee works through modified protocols of distancing and Zoom meetings. Thank you to our many extraordinary volunteers upon whom we rely. Your service is what makes our thriving community possible.
Our meetings, agendas, and minutes are all public and can be found on the Town’s website.
We observed all recommended protocols (masks, distancing, limit of ten) and met in person upstairs in Town Hall this week but will return to virtual meetings on May 18th. We, also, remain flexible!
In addition to our usual department and committee business, we worked to complete the hiring process and plan a smooth transition as Chief Doug Wyman retires on May 31st.
The Town’s recreational facilities currently remain open. We need your help and support here: please maintain social distancing and appropriate hygiene (hand washing/sanitizer, etc.) Currently, we are not recommending having the swim raft in the water nor will picnic tables be placed on the beach as both compromise social distancing. We continue to research what makes the most sense for typical summer activities and events including Old Home Week. We will keep you posted and appreciate your patience! These are difficult and complex decisions.
Courtney Delaney, the Town’s new Administrative Assistant, started her training with both Jennifer Wright and Cathy Graham. We are excited to have her on our team.
Please do not hesitate to contact us or the Selectmen’s Office if you have any concerns or questions. 284-7701 firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay safe and stay well, Respectfully, Joanne Haight, Leo Dwyer, Todd Horn, Sandwich Board of Selectmen
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