Campaign for Re-election

Hav­ing served four years as your rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the Barn­sta­ble Town Coun­cil, we have accom­plished a lot togeth­er. I would like to con­tin­ue to do so; there­fore, I am announc­ing my cam­paign for re-election.

I want to acknowl­edge every one of you who has joined in our work of improv­ing our vil­lage and town as a whole,  I have learned so much from you, work­ing togeth­er to solve prob­lems and div­ing deeply in crit­i­cal issues. l have also learned much about how our town gov­ern­ment works and I have built up rela­tion­ships with the town staff and the Town Councilors.

There are less than two months between now and the elec­tion. I am ask­ing, in any way you can, for your sup­port and vote so I can con­tin­ue to rep­re­sent the res­i­dents of Barn­sta­ble Vil­lage and Cummaquid.

Intro­duce me to a neigh­bor
Con­tribute finan­cial­ly
Put up a sign in front of your house(let me know)
Write a let­ter to the edi­tor
Share this newslet­ter and look at my website

I would like con­tin­ue to build upon the accom­plish­ments and the work we have done to date.

For a more com­plete look at the issues, please vis­it my web­site at

Reach out to me with with any ques­tions, con­cerns, ideas by email, a text, a phone call or vis­it me dur­ing my office hours on Wednes­days, 3–5pm at Stur­gis Library.

I look for­ward to see­ing you around our won­der­ful com­mu­ni­ty as we to con­tin­ue to make things bet­ter, pre­serve what we love, improve what we can, and pre­pare for the future.

Gor­don Starr

Newsletter: May 16 2023

6A Sidewalks

I love this time of year as I can work out­side with­out bugs.  But that will change soon as I found mos­qui­to lar­vae swim­ming in some stand­ing water.  So now is the time to emp­ty any buck­ets or any cran­ny where water can accu­mu­late.
I do not try to be a com­pre­hen­sive cal­en­dar of events, but if I am sent news I will try and get it out. 
Thanks to every­one who vot­ed in the Barn­sta­ble Fire Dis­trict Elec­tion and also thanks to those of you were able to attend the Dis­trict Annu­al Meet­ing.  
Stay in Touch.
 Route 6A Side­walks                                                       May 16, 2023 This is a com­pi­la­tion of the progress made along route 6A and the work pro­posed by the Mass Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion (DOT). Improve­ments are hap­pen­ing, the long process nec­es­sary for all trans­porta­tion projects, is mov­ing for­ward. First, you may not have noticed, but the cen­ter and edge lines along the road­way have been repaint­ed and some reflec­tors have been added, most­ly along curves in the road.  This should make it eas­i­er for many of us dri­ving at night.  This is an exam­ple of main­te­nance under­tak­en by a gov­ern­ment enti­ty, which most­ly goes unno­ticed and unap­pre­ci­at­ed. Sec­ond, and I quote DOT, “…we are plan­ning to install a cross­walk and RRFB (Rec­tan­gu­lar Rapid Flash­ing Bea­con) across Route 6A at Har­ris Mead­ow Lane.  We have the final design ready and will pri­or­i­tize with our con­trac­tor for instal­la­tion hope­ful­ly before school gets out in June.  One poten­tial issue could be obtain­ing the RRFB itself, as we are expe­ri­enc­ing sup­ply chain issues with equip­ment of that type.  We should have a bet­ter idea on a time­line for instal­la­tion short­ly.     I have talked to the Dis­trict 5 Oper­a­tions Engi­neer and they are still work­ing hard to get this done by June 1, or ear­ly sum­mer. Also antic­i­pat­ed is a crew to scrape and clean the exist­ing side­walks this spring.  I point­ed out that there must be wider side­walks under­neath the present path and they should instruct their con­trac­tor to find the edges of the side­walk that exists under the over­grown sec­tions. I have been in con­tact with Kip Dig­gs, and Mr. San­tos (DPW) who sup­port the con­struc­tion project, and the admin­is­tra­tors at the DOT Dis­trict 5 office in Taunton.  Every­one is work­ing hard to move this for­ward. Here is the lat­est report from Bill Tra­vers at DOT:   “With respect to the side­walks along Route 6A, as I’m sure you are aware we are mov­ing for­ward with the design of the side­walk between Old Jail Lane and Route 132.  We are in the process of secur­ing a con­sul­tant to do the design, and the first step will be for them to obtain the field sur­vey.  This should begin lat­er this sum­mer.  Once a sur­vey is obtained, the design­er will then devel­op con­cepts for the side­walk along the cor­ri­dor.  We will be meet­ing with the town and oth­er key stake­hold­ers in the devel­op­ment of the design, and we will also be doing pub­lic out­reach meet­ings.  The project will like­ly have impacts to trees, walls, shrubs, fences, etc. along the road in order to build a com­pli­ant side­walk.  The sup­port of local offi­cials will be cru­cial to obtain fund­ing and advance the project for adver­tis­ing and con­struc­tion.” Bill said he was around when the sec­tion of the side­walk east of the vil­lage was rebuilt and that sec­tion was much less com­plex in terms of lay­out and obstruc­tions. Once this project is shov­el-ready we will need every­one to add their voic­es to the  urgency of  this rebuild.  If you want to express your con­cern and relay your sto­ries now you can do so.  Email Bill Tra­vers at DOT

Newsletter: March 13 2023

Barn­sta­ble Vil­lage Asso­ci­a­tion Com­mu­ni­ty Meeting

Last Tues­day night about 30 res­i­dents of Cum­maquid and Barn­sta­ble Vil­lage met at St.Mary’s Church.  We had a live­ly, and infor­ma­tive dis­cus­sion about all sorts of top­ics. I rec­om­mend you come join in for the next com­mu­ni­ty dis­cus­sion with your ideas, com­ments and ques­tions.  I will do my best to sum­ma­rize the high­lights. 
#  Annu­al Board of Direc­tor elec­tions
#  Fire Chief, Chris Beale
#  Precinct 1 Updates from Town Coun­selor Gor­don Starr
#  Intro­duc­tion of the new Water Depart­ment Super­in­ten­dent, Sean Ander­son, and update of the PFAS water fil­tra­tion plant design and con­struct process.
#  Cyn­this Cole @ Com­post­ing food waste

Water Dis­trict: 
I have to start with the last item, as some might not read to the end and this is impor­tant.  Sean Ander­son is the new Super­in­ten­dent at the Barn­sta­ble Water Dis­trict.  Sean came to us from The Sci­t­u­ate Water Depart­ment and he lives with his fam­i­ly in Cen­ter­ville.  We all know that we need a new water fil­tra­tion sys­tem to assure that the PFOs are removed from our water sup­ply and the Dis­trict has been design­ing this plant. Sean looked over the plans and thought that the fil­tra­tion plant might be larg­er than it need­ed to be so he request­ed a peer review from an engi­neer­ing firm.  Basi­cal­ly they report­ed that the plant was over designed and that the job could be done with a small­er build­ing.
Who ever gets to intro­duce your­self to the vil­lage and say, :“I am Sean, your new Water Super­in­ten­dent, and am going to save you about 10 mil­lion dol­lars.“
Thank you Sean, Fan­tas­tic news.
There will be a spe­cial meet­ing of the Water Dis­trict on March 22 where res­i­dents will decide whether or not to vote mon­ey for the plant redesign. (Spend­ing mon­ey to save mon­ey)
Here is the meet­ing info and war­rant:

Fire Chief:
Chris Beale, our new Fire Chief, intro­duced him­self to the 2–3 peo­ple in the room who did not know him. He explained the 911 sys­tem and how those calls are rout­ed.  The plan in the future is to devel­op a coun­ty region­al dis­patch cen­ter. 
Chris also men­tioned that his crew will help res­i­dents put in lock box­es on the side of their house.  This box would be avail­able for fire and res­cue per­son­nel dur­ing emer­gen­cies (well­ness checks and 911 calls) so they can enter your house with­out hav­ing to break in.
Out­door burn­ing ends on May first.  

Coun­cilor Starr:

Blish Point Ramp:  Last month the Town Coun­cil accept­ed a grant from the Mass. Depart­ment of Fish and Game: Divi­sion of Marine Fish­eries in the amount of $25,000 for repairs to the ramp.  These will take place ear­ly in the spring. The state owns the ramp, but the town main­tains it.  There are plans to rebuild the ramp in five years.
Scud­ders Lane Ramp:  The Town DPW has held a num­ber of meet­ings with stake­hold­ers and they are work­ing on the 90% design.  As soon as this is done there will be anoth­er meet­ing to bring it to res­i­dents.
Com­merce Road Side­walks:  The Town has hired engi­neers to sur­vey, design and per­mit the side­walk from George Street to Route 6A.  The side­walks will be done at the same time as the road is raised at the east­ern end and the cul­vert widened.  Rais­ing the road is nec­es­sary to allow res­i­dents access dur­ing extreme­ly high tides and storms. Doing these togeth­er is nec­es­sary, but it makes the whole project more expen­sive.  By get­ting it up to the shov­el-ready stage we can look to grants to make this hap­pen.
6A Side­walks: A cross­walk is being designed and the Depart­ment of Transportation(MA) hopes to have it installed pri­or to the shut down of con­struc­tion work for the sum­mer on Cape Cod.  Also, I got this report in late Jan­u­ary from DOT: “a project was approved for the instal­la­tion of a side­walk on Route 6A from Old Jail Lane to Route 132.  The next step will be for the project to advance to pre­lim­i­nary design.  Fund­ing will also need to be iden­ti­fied and the project pro­grammed for adver­tis­ing.  Mass­DOT will be reach­ing out to the Town, Cape Cod Com­mis­sion and Old Kings High­way to coor­di­nate as the project pro­gress­es.“
This does not mean it is a done deal.  If you want to make a com­ment to the state, you can email:>

Barn­sta­ble Vil­lage Asso­ci­a­tion:
The BVA vot­ed in a strong Board of Direc­tors, but that being said, there are many oppor­tu­ni­ties and needs for vol­un­teers for the sum­mer con­certs, vil­lage clean-ups and the Fourth of July Parade.  Think about join­ing in for an hour or two.
Check in and join this group as it ties us all togeth­er.

Food Waste:
Cyn­thia Cole talked about the impor­tance of recy­cling food waste.  It is a heavy com­po­nent of house­hold waste and there­fore rais­es the cost of waste dis­pos­al. If it ends up in a land­fill, it pro­duces lots of methane gas. Eco­log­i­cal­ly it should be treat­ed as a resource and reused in our gar­dens or dropped off at the Trans­fer Sta­tion so that it can be com­mer­cial­ly com­post­ed.  Cyn­thia gave out coun­ter­top com­post­ing bins that are avail­able for free at the Trans­fer Sta­tion office.  You can also leave your food waste at the Trans­fer Sta­tion and it is picked up by Watts Fam­i­ly Farm and composted.

Newsletter: February 27 2023

Com­plete Streets
Many vil­lage res­i­dents have already shared their views about need­ed improve­ments to our roads and side­walks.  This is one more chance to raise aware­ness con­cern­ing the safe­ty issues on Com­merce Road and the need for a com­plete side­walk to 6A.

Complete Streets


In col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Cape Cod Com­mis­sion and based on pub­lic feed­back col­lect­ed this past Sum­mer, Town staff have worked to devel­op a Draft Pri­or­i­ti­za­tion Plan: a list of pri­or­i­ty road­way improve­ment projects through­out the Town of Barn­sta­ble ranked by defined eval­u­a­tion cri­te­ria includ­ing safe­ty, mobil­i­ty, abil­i­ty to imple­ment and com­mu­ni­ty support.

The Town of Barn­sta­ble and the Cape Cod Com­mis­sion want to hear from you. Does the Pri­or­i­ti­za­tion Plan reflect our com­mu­ni­ties’ pri­or­i­ties? Are there any road­way improve­ments that should be added to the Pri­or­i­ti­za­tion Plan? The pub­lic com­ment peri­od is now open through Wednes­day March 15th. To view the map of pro­posed pri­or­i­ty projects and to sub­mit com­ments, please vis­it the Cape Cod Com­mis­sion’s web­page: 

Newsletter: January 19 2023

Christmas lights formed to look like a pick up truck

Thanks to Ray and Pip­pa for their cre­ative and enter­tain­ing addi­tion to our vil­lage hol­i­day lights.

Real Estate Taxes

A num­ber of res­i­dents have reached out to me with con­cerns about their tax bills. 

The best place to start is to either look at your bills from last year, or prefer­ably, look up your Prop­er­ty Record on the Assessor’s sec­tion of the Town of Barn­sta­ble website.

Go to   then go to Depart­ments: then Asses­sor:: then: Prop­er­ty Look Up.  From there you can access your prop­er­ty infor­ma­tion, includ­ing assessed val­ues for pre­vi­ous years and your tax info for the last two years.

The present tax assess­ments are based on the real estate sales mar­ket in 2021.  This is the last year with com­plete infor­ma­tion.  On aver­age assessed val­ues rose 27% from the year before.  Assess­ments for most peo­ple rose, but the res­i­den­tial tax rate itself actu­al­ly decreased from $8.64 per $1,000 in 2022 to $7.07 per $1,000 in 2023.  Many peo­ple had their home val­ues rise and their tax­es remained about the same, while some saw high­er home val­ue increas­es and high­er taxes.

While you are look­ing at your prop­er­ty infor­ma­tion, check the bot­tom of your Tax Infor­ma­tion to be sure that, if this is your pri­ma­ry res­i­dence, you are get­ting a Res­i­den­tial Exemp­tion.  This reduces your assess­ment by 20% before your tax­es are cal­cu­lat­ed.  You should have a line at the bot­tom of your tax infor­ma­tion that says: Res­i­den­tial Exemp­tion Received.  You need to have owned your home since the begin­ning of 2022, but call the Assessor’s Office to get check all of the par­tic­u­lars.Exam­ple:

Assessed Val­ue:
Barn­sta­ble FD Tax (Com­mer­cial)$ 0Barn­sta­ble FD Tax (Res­i­den­tial)$ 1,279.32Com­mu­ni­ty Preser­va­tion Act Tax$ 109.91Town Tax (Com­mer­cial)$ 0Town Tax (Res­i­den­tial)$ 3,663.56 Total: $ 5,052.79
Assessed Val­ue: 
$ 548,900
Barn­sta­ble FD Tax (Com­mer­cial)$ 0Barn­sta­ble FD Tax (Res­i­den­tial)$ 1,383.23Com­mu­ni­ty Preser­va­tion Act Tax$ 111.40Town Tax (Com­mer­cial)$ 0Town Tax (Res­i­den­tial)$ 3,713.31 Total: $ 5,207.94
Res­i­den­tial Exemp­tion Received= $151,616Res­i­den­tial Exemp­tion Received= $119,119

You can also review your Prop­er­ty Record Card for accuracy.

If you see a prob­lem with your Prop­er­ty Record Card or you feel your assess­ment is not accu­rate, you have until the end of Jan­u­ary to file for an abatement. 

Ques­tions regard­ing: Res­i­den­tial, Vet­er­an, Senior, Blind Exemp­tions and Defer­ral appli­ca­tions can be direct­ed to the Town Asses­sor’s Office by call­ing: 508–862-4022 or email
Here is a link to a recent­ly pro­duced video which explains how our prop­er­ties are assessed: AN OVERVIEW ‑VIDEOFISCAL YEAR 2023 RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE TAX:

2022 Is Winding Down, But…The Days Are Getting Longer

Gordon Starr
Precinct 1
Town Councilor

Decem­ber 28, 2022

At this time of year, I always enjoy say­ing, “See you next year.“
I hope to see you many of you at the Annu­al Barn­sta­ble Har­bor New Year’s Day Splash, on Sun­day the 1st of the year.  Bring your bathing suit and then join us at the Dol­phin.  There will be music, raf­fles, and many vil­lage friends to begin the new year with.  The funds raised will go to fam­i­lies in need in Barn­sta­ble Vil­lage.  I want us all to rec­og­nize the efforts of Dan Phi­los-Jensen for tak­ing over and orga­niz­ing this fun and worth­while vil­lage event. He has put in many hours and he is a role mod­el for all of us.
There is also a series of First Day HIkes, orga­nized by the Barn­sta­ble Land Trust.
I hope you are all stay­ing warm and if I don’t see you this week, See you next year.