With the possible exception of the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, the most popular topic of conversation in Mashpee recently has undoubtedly been the Department of Public Works 2013-2014 “No Plow List.”
Released two weeks ago, the list initially included 150 roadways in town that were cited for having overhanging brush, potholes, missing street signs, or speed bumps. Today, the list stands at 141 streets, meaning that only nine of the original 150 have passed muster for plowing this winter, and have been removed from the list.
DPW Director Catherine E. Laurent said that the department has heard from representatives from nearly half of the streets on the list, inquiring about what exactly needs to be trimmed or removed, or requesting a re-inspection of their respective streets. She said that the DPW is responding to information and re-inspection requests as promptly as possible.
A particular source of frustration this year has come from year-round residents of primarily seasonal neighborhoods, where most homeowners have returned home, not to return until Memorial Day.
Timothy P. Cunningham, a resident of Tuspaquin Road, a small private non-association street near Johns Pond, said that his street makes the list yearly, this year for overhanging brush and a pothole—a small pothole he claims was caused by a DPW plow last winter. “This is getting crazy. We pay our taxes like everyone else but are being punished because we live on a private road. We’ve been on the no plow list ever since Catherine Laurent took over the DPW. It never happened before,” he said, adding that every year he calls the DPW to re-check the street and they tell him there are no problems.
Ms. Laurent said that an updated “No Plow List” will be issued in the next few weeks.
Selectman Michael R. Richardson, who also serves as executive director of The Peninsula Council, the New Seabury homeowner’s association, agrees with many residents that the town is extremely aggressive with the “No Plow List,” but he does not think it can do anything different.
“Every community association and association leader should start thinking about this before the summer people head home. Right after Labor Day, I work with New Seabury maintenance and start looking at the condition of the streets with the no plow list in mind. If we have any questions about possible issues, I call Catherine Laurent, and the DPW comes out the next day to work with us and tell us what needs to be done,” Mr. Richardson said.