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Humarock residents, Scituate officials find common ground

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  October 10, 2013 05:26 PM

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A Humarock resident group and Scituate officials have come to a mutual understanding following a Wednesday night meeting, both saying they have high hopes for how the two groups will interact and problem solve moving forward.

“It was better than we expected,” said Tom Hughes, a member of the Humarock Civic Committee, comprised of the Humarock Beach and Crewman Association and the South Humarock Civic Association. “We had to get over some of the past issues with the bonfires and all that stiff, which came up later on, but we were there to try to work with the town and try to get things done…without making it accusatory.”

The meeting was mainly informational, said Selectman Tony Vegnani, who met with the seven members of the group alongside other selectmen, several department heads, and the town administrator.

“A lot of it was educational and just procedurally explain how to them things work,” he said.

According to Vegnani, conversations mainly revolved around safety and public works issues.

The police chief explained how Humarock was covered and how policing changes from the summer to the fall. A representative of the fire department also explained how coverage is provided.

Plans were also created to put a solar-powered speedometer in Humarock to address speeding issues.

Issues concerning roads, sidewalks, and plowing were also hashed out, alongside general conversations of how the town operates, when budgets are made, and how residents can make an impact.

“Telling them, like any other section of town, the process to go about to get things done,” Vegnani said. “If you think a certain area needs a sidewalk, there is a sidewalk committee. Here’s how you get involved, put your name in the cue, and get it assessed. [We were] pointing them in those directions.”

The conversation left many optimistic for the future, Hughes said. Already Hughes has visions of developing a plan for a breach of the South River.

Others have high hopes for addressing seawall issues, public drunkenness, even things as simple as street and parking signage.

“It was very productive. It wasn’t a love fest, but it was very much a way of opening communications. We [think it will] be a positive relationship for the future,” Hughes said.

The new mentality between the two groups is a stark difference from years past, when factions of residents protested in anger about July Forth bonfire regulations, or the upkeep and maintenance of public roads.

A few had talked of succession from Scituate, which became disconnected to Humarock during the storm of 1898, and many had referred to their relationship to the town as that of a stepchild.

“The stepchild stuff, I’ve heard that. But it’s a two way street and that’s the way our group feels,” Hughes said. “It’s not time to do battle with the town, it’s time to figure out how to work out these issues, and we’re willing to spend some time, effort and due diligence to work with them on that.”

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