Problem properties targeted with adoption of fine bylaw

By Matthew Bernat | Oct 23, 2017

Voters at Monday's Town Meeting unanimously adopted Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40U, which allows the town additional control over collecting fines for non-criminal offenses, such as bylaw violations related to snow and ice removal, housing and sanitation.

Board of Selectmen Chair Peter Teitelbaum said his board often hears complaints from residents who say the town isn’t doing enough when it comes to cleaning up problem properties.

“This would short circuit that process to some extent,” said Teitelbaum. “It would allow us to tag these fines onto property taxes, essentially creating a lien.”

Town Administrator Derek Sullivan agreed, adding that it’s “another tool in the town’s tool box to help clean up the town.”

Sullivan said that without the law collecting those fines can be difficult in some cases.

“If they thumb their nose at the town this gives us the ability to add the fine to the tax bill of those scofflaws,” said Sullivan.

Comments (9)
Posted by: Phredzzz | Oct 24, 2017 08:46

Does anyone know if this Bylaw will include Fines for Junk Cars, Boats, Storage-containers, Etc. Etc. ? We have plenty of property owners who have numerous Junkers parked illegally on Town property in front of thier homes. It would be nice if our Town officials would get off thier Duffs and do something useful, like Tow those Junkers and Fine the owners. There; another problem solved and NO Expert Consultants were required!

Posted by: bob | Oct 24, 2017 10:08

Great points, but don't or should I  say .will this be asset to people who sit on town boards,,,

Posted by: Phredzzz | Oct 24, 2017 11:02

Hmmmm, are you saying that Wareham Town Officials could have ulterior motives to enact a Bylaw where they might benefit? Or maybe a friend of a friend of a friend might recieve some financial gain from being part of the so-called Insider connected people? Anything is possible, but I cant see something like that happening in our wonderful and upstanding town of Wareham, so says the nieve and mentally deficient Mr. Phredzzz!   hee, hee, hee, Aoooga!

Posted by: WWreader | Oct 24, 2017 13:50

How could any town official possibly benefit in any way by adopting this law? Why don't you read the law before making such ridiculous comments. Or better yet, go to town meeting and get an explanation.

Posted by: Andrea Smith | Oct 24, 2017 14:19

For those who would like to better understand Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40U, adopted by Monday night's Town Meeting:


or if link doesn't work, do an online search for:


Chapter 40U Massachusetts General Court

Posted by: Phredzzz | Oct 25, 2017 09:25

Oh, one more thing; a 85 year old lady living somewhere near Toronto was fined for a Snow and Ice Bylaw violation. She had a couple dollars, so she challenged the Fine on the basis of some crazy thing now called a Mother Nature defense. She fought because the street near her house was flooded for 3 days after a snowstorm and when it thawed there was no drainage due to a lack of maintenance of blocked Stormdrains. Her argument was; if the Town could Sue her for a lack of Snow removal, then she could Sue the Town for a lack of Maintenance of the Stormdrains. It  worked and the Town recinded her Snow removal Fine, paid her Court costs, and are no longer Fining Residents for those dang Mother Nature type of issues. Dont you just Love it when governments overreach and the little guy or gal Wins one!

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Oct 25, 2017 11:56

Just look back in time to the ill-fated, currently overgrown, 6 acre Swifts Beach debacle.  The little gal certainly won one there.  She laughed her way to the bank and is still laughing.  For those that don't recall: Our town government botched an eminent domain purchase of her property.   Open space funds were misused to pay her a pittance based on town assessed tax value.  This all was primarily due to the personal interest of one member of our town government.  She took the money and went away.  She got her ducks in a row and came back swinging.  Ended up suing for fair market value. The town lost and had to pay her over $2 Million Dollars!


Now, just take a gander down Swifts.  The property was quickly blocked off and has been growing weeds ever since. It's an eyesore! Another eyesore.  How can Wareham be expected to enforce the upkeep of property when they don't even take care of their own! How's that supposed to work?  A crying shame that we have a beautiful town owned beach front parcel that cost over 2 million just sitting, rotting, and looking awful for all the abutters and visitors to see.  It's embarrassing!

Posted by: Phredzzz | Oct 25, 2017 12:24

Love it WBTS: Our latest one of many entertaining Yuk's is the purchase and placement of over $2,000 Hi-tech Trashcan/Compactors. The argument for, is that Wareham doesnt have any money to empty $100 Trash Containers which the Town already owned. yes, one can eassily calculate the fact that the Compactors will not have to be emptied as often, but $2,000 for a Trash - receptacle?  Come on, lets be realistic.  Would any reasonable person take that kind of money out of thier own wallet and buy a Hi-tech Trashcan ? I think we could find a better place for the money;  Maybe at our schools, police or fire stations.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Oct 25, 2017 12:38

Oh yea, those jazzy trash cans.  Just wait until freezing temperatures, limited sunlight, and snow/ice starts to fly.  Batteries & mechanisms don't perform well in the cold; compounded by limited sunlight with snow/ice blocking the solar panels will prevent charging and may kill the battery.  Ought to be interesting.  Maybe I'll eat crow.  Maybe I'll see trash overflowing when they quit.  We'll see.

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