Plymouth: Sheriff Calls County Legal Tactics A Money Grab

Published October 29, 2008: the Old Colony Memorial photo caption, L to R, is: Friends of the Farm representative Sam Bartlett, Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph McDonald Jr., Plymouth Town Manager Mark Sylvia, Selectman Chairman Dick Quintal,Plymouth County Treasurer Tom O’Brien, and Plymouth County Commission Chairman Jeffrey Welch, celebrate the signing of the conservation restriction on the Plymouth County farm Friday.

Published October 29, 2008: By the Old Colony Memorial. L to R: Friends of the Farm representative Sam Bartlett, Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph McDonald Jr., Plymouth Town Manager Mark Sylvia, Selectman
Chairman Dick Quintal,Plymouth County Treasurer Tom O’Brien, and Plymouth County Commission Chairman Jeffrey Welch, celebrate the signing of the conservation restriction on the Plymouth County Farm.

 

In Plymouth, at the end of the month, if the County Commissioners have their way, forget a family outing at the County Farm. The Commissioners have issued a notice to Sheriff McDonald to cease and desist use of the 90 acre farm, by the public, as of 11:59 PM, June 30th.

Sheriff Joseph McDonald says that what the County has done is similar to an eviction notice:

“What they’ve essentially done here is said that although we can continue to occupy the premises, we can no longer operate it as a public resource. They are seeking to have us block the public from entering upon those premises. This is, in my opinion, a direct violation of the conservation restriction.”

A conservation restriction that resulted in a substantial payment to the County:

“Plymouth paid $300,000 in Community Preservation Funds to the County. That money was paid to the County in return for the Conservation Restriction that is recorded at the Plymouth County Registry of Deeds.

The Conservation Restriction preserves the farm…

“… in perpetuity as open space, grants public access and allows us to continue to operate the correctional farm.”

The Sheriff says that in addition to the notice to quit, the County wants more.

“They have been negotiating with us for several months about getting us to execute a lease with them and pay them rent, for what purpose I’m not sure, you know, we’ve been operating a correctional farm over there for the last 100 years and all of a sudden now they are concerned about getting rent from us going forward, but also about getting back rent from us. This is—this is a money grab is what this is.”

About Bobbi Clark

Bobbi Clark is a Plymouth area reporter at WATD. She began her career in radio as a producer at a news/talk radio station in Chicago. From there she went to WMAQ-TV, the NBC owned and operated television station in Chicago, As a producer there, she won 5 Emmy Awards for production of special programming. Bobbi is a graduate of Emerson College, with a degree in Writing, Publishing and Literature.