HARWICH DISABILITY RIGHTS COMMITTEE
TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2012 MEETING 2:00 PM
HEARING ROOM B, TOWN HALL
This is a scent free meeting. Please refrain from wearing scented products.
1. ESTABLISH QUORUM: 4 voting members present
2. CALL MEETING TO ORDER: 2:00PM
3. THOSE PRESENT: Carla Burke, Joe Johnson, Jean Ann McLaughlin, Paul Erickson, Selectman Liaison Larry Ballantine, Harwich Building Commissioner Geoff Larson
4. EXCUSED ABSENCES: n/a
5. UNEXCUSED ABSENCES: n/a
6. WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS:
7. APPROVE MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING: December 13, 2011 Tabled
1. Town of Harwich self assessment of ADA accessibility of Town Facilities,
Programs, Services and Employment Opportunities
2. ADA Coordinator position
It was reported that the Assistant Town Administrator has accepted a position in another community. It was suggested that the job description for her replacement may be changed to include the responsibility as ADA Coordinator.
3. AutoMark voting machine: publicity and training no discussion
4. Review of HDRC scent free meeting policy and Harwich’s Public Notice of Non-
The Committee discussed the concern that the Harwich Public Notice of Non-discrimination time requirement for requesting an accommodation conflicts with the State Open Meeting Law minimum time requirement for posting public meeting notices. The Harwich Public Notice states that a person who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication, or a modification of policies or procedure to participate in a program, service, or activity of the Town, should contact the Department Head as soon as possible, but no later than 72 hours before the scheduled event. The Open Meeting Law requires, except in cases of emergency, a public body must provide the public with notice of its meeting 48 hours in advance, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. This conflict does not provide an individual
adequate notice to request an accommodation at a public meeting. Two solutions were discussed. One, the Selectmen could change the time requirement in the Public Notice of Non-discrimination or two, the Selectmen could change its current policy on the time required to post public meetings. A motion was made and seconded to recommend that the Selectmen amend its policy to require meetings be posted on Wednesday instead of Thursday of the week previous to the scheduled meeting. Discussion included the problem that adequate time would not be provided for Monday meetings. An alternative solution would be to recommend that the Selectmen amend the time requirement for requesting an accommodation in the Harwich Public Notice of Non-discrimination. Discussion included the problem that adequate time may not be provided to arrange for a reasonable accommodation. Time restraints prohibited action on the motion. Discussion will continue next month.
5. Main Street crosswalks **
6. Disability parking bylaw **
Geoff Larson offered his comments regarding the Town’s bylaw governing parking for persons with disabilities. He advised the Committee that he preferred the enforcement controls available in the State Building Code over the enforcement of town bylaws. One area of conflict is the minimum number of
Required parking spaces for persons with disabilities. A draft of a Town Meeting article developed with assistance from the Planning Department, which includes language changes to the Town’s parking for persons with disabilities bylaw was discussed.
1. Route 28 crosswalk **
Paul reported that he met with State Highway officials concerning the construction of
curb cuts that access the sidewalk crossing the new driveway at 530 Route 28 in
Harwichport. He discussed a solution that would lengthen the ramp on the sidewalk
that would allow the landing area to be located within the sidewalk and provide a
straight path of travel. The current curb cut is angled away from the straight line of
travel and directs persons into Route 28. He suggested that he should review the
proposal with the Town Engineer. The Committee supported the solution if the Town
Engineer agreed with it.
NEXT MEETING: February 14, 2012
*Per the Attorney General’s Office: The Committee may hold an open session for topics not reasonably anticipated by the Chair 48 hours in advance of the meeting following “New Business”
** Discussion material is posted with the minutes on the Town of Harwich website.
Paul Erickson, Secretary