Push on for more access to public records

On May 28, 2015, I was privileged to testify before the Massachusetts Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight on two bills that aim to improve the state’s public records laws.

Read the story here: Push on for more access to public records.

Read my submitted comments here: Sean Driscoll public records testimony.

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Cash-strapped municipalities eye nonprofit groups

Cash-strapped municipalities eye nonprofit groups - News - capecodtimes.com - Hyannis, MA
In 2015, Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole paid about $145,000 to Falmouth under a PILOT agreement; its total tax bill would have been $1.1 million without its tax exemption. Joel Bissell/Cape Cod Time file

 

Heritage Museums & Gardens is worth $27 million yet doesn’t pay a dime in property taxes to its host town of Sandwich. Neither does Cape Cod Hospital pay Barnstable, nor does the 300 Committee pay Falmouth.

That’s because the institutions, like hundreds of others on the Cape and Islands, are nonprofit and aren’t required to pay tax on their property. Millions of potential tax dollars are lost to local cities and towns each year on the nearly $145 billion in untaxable land here, even though in many cases the organizations benefit from town services such as police, fire and road maintenance. Read more.

Children of Woods Hole scientists explore Cape Cod

When Natalie Boelman had the chance to spend a summer at the Marine Biological Laboratory working at the Ecosystems Center, it was a no-brainer. It meant discussing the ecological puzzles of the Alaskan tundra with mentors and collaborators just a few doors away instead of having them spread across the country.

That’s what got her to Woods Hole. What keeps the scientist coming back each year from her home base at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York City is swimming with her children in the ocean, walking them to their summer camp in the morning and back home at night and dining as a family at the picnic table just steps away from their back door. Read more.