Mattapoisett Select Board hits stalemate on roadway project committee

Jul 9, 2024

MATTAPOISETT — An impasse between members of the Mattapoisett Select Board prevented further action from being taken regarding a proposed committee to oversee a $16 million road improvement project.

The committee — approved by voters at town meeting in May — would review and make recommendations for a project to reconstruct and renovate the Main, Water, Beacon and Marion roadways in Mattapoisett Village. The project is planned to be financed entirely by state and federal funds.

At a Tuesday, July 9 meeting, Mattapoisett Select Board member Tyler Macallister said forming the committee would be a “mistake” and he was not in favor of creating it.

“The [Massachusetts Department of Transportation] controls what we do, and I’m of the strong opinion that anything we do to jeopardize this, we’re going to wind up being the town that is looked as the one that had the opportunity to build the road, have it financed and lost that opportunity,” he said.

Mattapoisett Select Board member Jodi Bauer said she felt the committee needed three members and that there was no need for five or seven.

Her motion to form the board with three appointed members was not seconded by fellow Select Board members Jordan Collyer or Macallister. 

A majority — at least two of the three members — is required to pass any motions or actions. 

Collyer said he wanted five people on the committee.

“I think in order to get representation by qualified individuals that will suit the needs for the committee and then still have members at large, citizens at large, I think five is the lowest you can go but I don’t think seven makes any sense,” Collyer said.

The committee cannot have four members, according to the Select Board.

Town officials have previously expressed there being no imminent rush to form the committee, which was repeated at the July 9 meeting.

“I don't think there’s a real need to create this committee — like — tonight,” Bauer said.

Mattapoisett resident Robbin Peach said the number of committee members “should be decided soon.”

“It seems like there should be an opportunity to come to some middle ground and negotiate this,” Peach said.

Mattapoisett resident Mark Hess said constituents had “made it clear” that they wanted the committee.

“The quicker we get started, the better, in terms of having that input,” Hess said.

The project the proposed committee would oversee has generated extended public discussion in part because it would likely require the removal of more than 25 trees along village streets.

It was not immediately clear how the deadlock on the committee’s size would be resolved in coming meetings of the Select Board.