Commission on Disabilities

ChairmanJane Perry
Vice/ChairmanEric Ericson
LocationTown Hall
59 Town Hall Sq.
Falmouth, MA 02540
E-Mail Address
Meeting Schedule3rd Thursday of month, 5:00pm to 7:00pm Town Hall Civil Defense Room
Agenda from 10/28/2014
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The Falmouth Commission on Disabilities meets each month on the 3rd
Thursday at 5 PM in the Civil Defense Meeting Room at Town Hall.
Jim Manning and Robin Manning were reappointed to another three-year
term, along with our newest member, Erick Erickson. Ernie Mayberry,
former Chairperson, resigned in November. Jane Perry was elected
Chairperson. Jim Manning continues as our Secretary. His technical
skills, as well as his posting minutes in a timely manner, are
superb. George Spivey, ADA Coordinator, serves as our liaison to
town departments and staff. We have met 10 times this year.
Attendance averages 90% with no member missing more two meetings.
Our members include Jane Perry, George Spivey, Jim Manning, Eric
Erickson, Brenda Floyd, Robin Manning, Frances Silverstein, and
Robert Szulkin. We still have one vacant seat on the Commission.
The public is always welcome at our meetings. The Commission would
like to thank the Town Manager, Selectmen, elected officials, town
departments, boards, committees, commissions, and staff for their
support and assistance for the disabled community.

At the April Special Town Meeting, Article 2, Handicapped Parking Bylaw
240-108.1.B, was amended by the Planning Board and passed. The
community will have to comply with disability standards set by both
the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and the Massachusetts
Architectural Access Board (AAB). The Commission continues to
advocate for van-accessible parking spaces. Sergeants Sean Doyle and
Christopher Hamilton regularly attend our meetings to update us on
handicapped parking violations. Building Commission Eladio
Gore and Zoning Enforcement Office Ollie Fitzpatrick continue to
monitor and seek compliance with handicapped parking regulations at
the Colonial Plaza and the West Falmouth Market. The Colonial Plaza
needs to have permanent parking signage. The West Falmouth Market
needs to install a van-accessible space close to the front door.

The Department of Public Works resurfaced the sidewalk along Main Street from Gifford Street
to the Shore Street Extension. We would like to have other areas on Main Street resurfaced.
The blue stone that was installed during the Main Street Revitalization Project has cracked in several places, which is a safety hazard. The Waste Management
Facility now has two van-accessible spaces near the Swap Shop
drip-off site. The new Lawrence School parking plan included seven
van-accessible spaces. Three spaces are near the auditorium; three
spaces are near the gymnasium; and one space faces the playing field.
A five-foot sidewalk was installed at the Mullen-Hall School,
allowing mobility devices to pass in both directions safely. The
four, van-accessible spaces have been combined into one,
van-accessible space, close to the sidewalk, with one, regular,
accessible, parking space. The Parks Department is currently
installing an accessible pathway, cooking grill with a protective,
overhead cover, and a picnic table near the Pavilion at Goodwill

The Eastern Bank on Main Street has constructed an accessible pathway to
their outside ATM. The Bank of America on Davis Straits has modified
a teller window to accommodate a person using a wheelchair and
redesigned its parking lot to provide two, very convenient,
van-accessible parking spaces. The ATM is audible via headphones and
offers Braille for the visually impaired. The Beach Committee and
the Barnstable County Sheriffís Workforce Staff installed a ramp at
Old Silver Beach near the concession stand and bath house. The SMILE
organization donated a ďMobi Surf Chair,Ē which is stored at the
Surf Drive Bathhouse,.

Jane Perry attended several seminars, representing the Commission on
Disabilities which included the Open Meeting Law, Conflict of
Interest Law, Recordkeeping Law, Community Access Monitoring
Training, Complete Streets, and the 25% design hearings on the Jones
Road and Davisville intersections.



The Falmouth Commission on Disabilities meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 7 PM at Falmouth Town Hall in the Civil Defense Meeting Room . Our meetings are open to the public and all are welcome to attend. We would like to thank the Town Manager, elected and appointed town officials and staff for the continued support they have given to the people with disabilities of the town.

We have met 9 times over the past year. The January and March meeting was cancelled due to hazardous weather conditions. One of our members, The Chair Jay Kingwill, was ill for several months, and passed away peacefully March this year. Otherwise, attendance averaged 90%, and no member missed more than three meetings.

Ernest Mayberry, Roberta and James Manning was appointed to a second three-year term by the Selectmen, and at the July meeting Ernest Mayberry was elected Chair, Bob Parker remained as Vice-Chair, and Jim Manning continued as Secretary. Due to Jimís technical skill, the minutes continue to be posted in a timely fashion each month after they are approved.

During the past year, the Commission worked with members of town government and other local agencies and groups on access and other issues of concern to town residents with disabilities. Several town officials have attended our meetings from time to time. During the past year, these have included Peter McConarty, Brian Dale, Don Hoffer, Betty Lynch, Margaret Russell and several other members from the 300 Club came several times. We have also been visited by members of the Mashpee Commission on Disabilities.

As we said last year, we have combined our database of residents with disabilities with the list compiled by the Senior Center, and this list is integrated into the system maintained by the LEPC at the Fire Station. This has been put on the Fire Departmentís hard drive, and the Senior Center has volunteers who update the list.

At the August 2008 meeting the Commission voted to increase its membership to 9 members. This is in keeping with our bylaws and MGL 40, Chapter 8J. The question was put to the April Town Meeting, Article 46, and approved.

At this writing, H4646, the bill that is intended to bring the AAB regulations on parking lots with less than 15 spaces in line with the ADA requirements that such lots have a handicapped space, has not passed the House. It has gotten to the Ways and Means Committee, but so far thatís it.

We have still gotten nowhere working with the post office and parking. As youíve no doubt noticed, theyíve spent a lot of taxpayer money on putting barriers at the two entrances to the parking area. Currently it appears that it is a dead issue.

We have continued to monitor parking in problem spots. Examples Mall, Plaza and other spots around town.

Since last year the Traffic Advisory Committee approved our recommendations for three handicap spots on Main Street. The Town Manager promptly request the DPW to place the necessary signs at these locations. It was done in a timely manner. Our thanks to Sgt. DeCosta, Selectman Flynn and the rest of the Committee.

The Commission is starting to work on trying to get improvements for the disabled at several intersections , we now have a viable wheelchair crossing in three directions at the Davisville intersection.

We still have not been able to persuade the powers-that-be of the importance of having both CART and sign interpreters at Town Meeting. This would cost the town a maximum of approximately $7,200 if both Town Meetings were three days, and proportionally less if they are two days. The two applications serve different constituencies, and would serve our citizens well. We will keep trying.

We have worked extensively with the DPW, especially Mr. Dale and Mr. McConarty, this year. In the fall we contributed money to create a handicap area to the right of Gus Canty, where handicap vehicles can park and people can see the game, and where people using wheelchairs can access a special viewing area that was created. We also have contributed money to create an area at the Depot Avenue parking lot that created a hard surface for four vehicles and a graduated ramp, so handicap drivers can use a wheelchair when they park there (wheelchairs donít do well on a dirt surface). And, in our most extensive project, we have partnered with the Falmouth Commodores to create a walkway from the special handicap parking area at Fuller Field to the bleachers. This project has since been completed and is working well.

Finally, we have submitted to Mr. Calise and Mr. Whritenour a list of the most egregious places where there are access problems for people with disabilities, such as no curb cut, poles in the middle of sidewalks, etc.

Ernie Mayberry worked diligently with Rite-Aid, and succeeded in getting them to install two van-accessible spaces with a ramp between in front of the store.

Jim Manning used his expertise on the computer to design our beautiful new stationery, as well as calling cards for each Commission member.

With the kind assistance of Leslie Morrissey, Lynne Carreiro, and Sallie Giffen, as well as Assistant Town Manager Heather Harper, we have been able to accomplish a number of changes at the new library that are beneficial to people with disabilities. We requested that they install a curb on the lower slope leading down from the Main Street entrance to prevent the possibility that a wheelchair might tip over the edge. We asked that they bevel the edges of the marble thresholds. We asked for a differentiation in the marking of the main stairs to assist people with poor vision. We asked for a couple of handicap parking spaces by the Katherine Lee Bates entrance, and one new one in the Peg Noonan parking area . And finally, we asked for self-opening doors at the main entrances. All these improvements were cheerfully done, and we are most appreciative.

We also met with Marc Dupuis to review the new high school provisions for people with disabilities, and came away most satisfied.

Our thanks as always to those who help us, especially Tom Mountford, the parking patrol, Don Hoffer, the DPW and the library, and especially George Spivey, our ADA Coordinator.

Respectfully Submitted,


Thank you on behalf of the Commission on Disabilities for inviting me to speak to you tonight, and thank you for your continuing support. As I mentioned last year, the work we are engaged in never stops, but its ultimate rewards are both humbling and greatly satisfying.

A few observations, if I may.

We still have not been able to persuade the town budget makers of the importance of having both ASL and the CART interpreters at Town Meetings. The budget has been $4,000, while the cost to the town would be a maximum of about $7,200 IF both Town Meetings go three nights, but roughly $1200 less for each session that is only two nights. I have been told by many people that they derive great value out of having the CART system available.

We are all extremely happy that the DPW got the signs for the handicapped parking on main street before the summer traffic makes it more difficult for us to park.

The Commission is extremely indebted to Brian Dale and his crew, Rocky, Sean and the others, for their assistance, at the ballpark, at Depot Avenue, and the beautiful safety edge at the library.

I want to draw your attention, and the attention of the viewers to People, whatís out there to help with cooking, dressing, threading needles, using the computer, and so on. This is a terrific opportunity not just for people with disabilities, but for anyone who has trouble with everyday challenges.

We have suggested to Mr. Whritenour, and want to suggest to you, that there should be an ordinance requiring owners who re-stripe parking lots to obtain a permit. The money that they might pay, if any, would be far less than they would have to pay to re-stripe if they did it wrong. I specifically make reference to the Christmas Tree Shop, which had to re-stripe, and the two lots at the end of Queens Buyway, both of which were recently re-striped contrary to the requirements of the AAB and will have to be corrected. They have since been corrected.

Finally, I want to draw your attention to the list of problems we gave to Engineering and the Town Manager (I know they have marked the sidewalk going into Peg Noonan parking). I understand that the utilities are obligated to move poles that interfere with the sidewalk; the problem seems to be getting them to fulfill that obligation. Itís not just that people using wheelchairs or with visual challenges are impacted, the DPW canít plow these sidewalks, which then creates dangers for both people with and without disabilities. Surely there must be some way to compel the utilities to get together and correct these problem poles. Some of them have since been removed.

Once again, thank you for the opportunity to address you, and for the ability to serve the people with disabilities in Falmouth.

Ernest Mayberry, Chair
Jane Perry, Vice-Chair
James Manning, Secretary
Frances Silverstein
Robin Manning
Brenda Thompson
Jane Perry
Betty Lynch
George Spivey, ADA Coordinator