Plymouth County: Second chance to approve County’s first charter

The Plimoth Colony, “The Old Colony,” was established in 1620 with the signing of the Mayflower Compact. The King of England merged it with the Massachusetts Colony 71 years later. Its successor, Plymouth County, has never had a charter– a governing document.

Plymouth County Commissioners charged a new group, the Plymouth County Charter Commission, to write a charter, and now it has. It needs the approval of the state legislature to go into effect, and for a second time, the commission has had the bill filed.

The Charter Commission met Tuesday night in Hanover Town Hall.  They heard from County Treasurer, and former state representative, Tom O’Brien on the status of the bill. Two versions exist and have been sent to committee for a public hearing by the end of the month. The commission charged O’Brien with asking his former colleagues to merge the two bills.

The commission heard a report from Chairman of Plymouth County Commissioners, Dan Palotta, on six bills his commission filed. They all would bring money now moved from the county to the state, back to the county.

This time, the charter commission has a plan to promote its petition to the legislature to strengthen county government in the style of the Cape Cod Commission.

Did the Pilgrims land in Plymouth in 1620? Cape Codders will quickly tell Plymouthians, the Mayflower venturers landed first in Provincetown. There, they wrote the Mayflower Compact. On a clear day in Manomet, the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown shines on the horizon. The example set by the Cape Cod Commission has informed a revitalized regional government in the “Old Colony.” Will Massachusetts accept it?

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About Charles Mathewson

Charles Mathewson worked in print journalism for more than two decades as a reporter and editor, and has won several regional and national awards. He resides in Plymouth where he writes fiction and paints, when not producing award-winning news as a reporter for WATD.