There was a time when the phrase Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) and the word express would never be used in the same sentence. We've come a long way, though, from the interminable lines and grumpy employees that were a staple of the Hyannis Registry years ago. In recent years, the RMV location behind McMenamy's has been a place where you might still find a wait, but friendly faces like Falmouthites Judy Roderick and Liz Williams have always made my trips there a little easier. Alas, this location became the victim of state budget cuts and has been on the RMV's closure list, until the announcement this week that an express branch will be opening up at the Edward Marks, Jr. Building (formerly the Poor House/Artists Guild) on Main Street. The moniker of "express" shouldn't raise hopes of a lack of lines, it simply means that license renewals and the like will be the featured fare at this new location. License tests will be offered in Plymouth and beyond. Kudos to the Town for offering free space to keep this convenience to residents in Falmouth where it belongs, and kudos to Registrar Rachel Kaprelian for understanding the importance of such a facility in our community. The Cape has been an important part of the focus for the new Registrar in her year or so in office; she was here just a few months ago helping kick off the auction of the low-number Cape & Islands plates. She is a welcome part of the culture change that is ongoing at the Executive Office of Transportation largely due to the vision of a new leadership team who "get it" when in comes to the needs of local governments and citizens.
Speaking of the RMV and understanding local governments, freshman State Rep. Tim Madden also deserves high honors on one of his first big tests as a deliverer of constituent services. During his campaign and early days in office, I was liberal with my skepticism on how a Representative from Nantucket could, or more importantly would pay attention and work on behalf of his mainland constituents. His participation in the sockdolager of an idea to locate the RMV express office in downtown Falmouth shows that not only is he paying attention to the needs of his Falmouthite folks, he is working hard on their behalf. He has been visible at local events, responsive to inquiries, and has even made a couple of appearances before the Selectmen. Nice job, Tim. See you at the Christmas parade!
While I'm spreading kudos and good news, here's an "attaboy" for going out to the Falmouth Rotary Club and the Falmouth Young Professionals organization for taking a cross-generational approach to their charity work and beginning to raise money and support events together The Rotary's 9th annual craft fair last weekend at Falmouth Harbor was a success. Young professionals assisted in the security; the savings will directly benefit scholarships for Falmouth youth. What a great example of cooperation for the common good.
And finally, speaking of cooperation for the common good, or lack thereof, the fatuous debate on Town Manager Bob Whritenour's travel to the International City Managers conference needs to end. While Selectman Brent Putnam and others concern themselves with the "should he" or "shouldn't he" of previously agreed upon professional development, our budget woes, sewer issues, and other thorny debates continue to languish from lack of attention and cooperation from the fab five in the corner conference room. Let's focus on the solutions, guys.
Maybe Tim Madden, Rachel Kaprelian, the Falmouth Rotary Club and the Falmouth Young professionals could all team up and take on the project of what to do about the sniping in Town Hall...
This column is reprinted from the Falmouth Enterprise.