Plymouth County: Commission soon to be abolished, county seeks increased refund from state

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The Plymouth County Sub-Committee on Government Structure presented their nine-point report to the Charter Committee Tuesday night. First on the list was to abolish the County Commission and replace the authoritative three person board with a five member County Executive Council. Commissioner Sandra Wright, whose term does not expire until 2014, will transition to a councilor-at-large. All other vacant positions will be elected.

It was also proposed that the county advisory board allow any community member to join the board rather than limiting spots to selectmen or councilors. Dan Pallotta from Hanover explained the sub-committee’s reasoning, “The Advisory Board on County Expenditures, which I Chair, would remain the same with the exception that it would no longer have to be a selectman or councilor. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for selectmen to go to a 100,000 things. We thought it would be best if the selectmen appointed someone whose heart and soul would be in the county and they would be excited about serving the county.”

Charter committee members expressed concerns about the government committee’s report that there was not enough explanation about elected and appointed officials roles and responsibilities. The decision to accept the first draft of the report was postponed until the next Plymouth County Charter Committee meeting in early January.

The Sub-Committee on Short and Long Term Financing presented a report that proposed increasing county revenue distribution, from the state, to 42.5%. Plymouth County could receive nearly half of all income from recording fees, state stamps, and deeds excise tax.

Chair of the sub-committee Richard Zaccaro explained why a 30% increase in distribution is necessary, “The county currently only receives 10.625%. So it’s quite a disproportionate percentage of revenues they’re getting when they’re generating all the work and paying for it out of county budget.”

The Plymouth County Charter Committee voted to send the first draft of the report proposal to an attorney for legal review. The sub-committee also proposed to create a stabilization fund and eliminate restrictions on the capital improvement fund.

About Trisha McNeilly

With a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston under her belt, Trisha McNeilly joins us full-time as a general assignment and breaking news reporter having previously interned for WBZ-1030 AM in Boston. A South Shore resident her whole life, McNeilly grew up in Pembroke and is 22-years old.