North Quabbin Notebook: Nov. 23, 2021

  • Downtown Orange. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

Published: 11/23/2021 3:10:34 PM
Selectboard holds moment of silence for former HR director

ORANGE — Selectboard Vice Chair Tom Smith announced in a meeting last week the death of Patricia “Trish” (Castine) Barnes, who served as the town’s human resources director from Oct. 9, 2017, to July 9, 2021.

“She will be greatly missed. I can’t tell you what a sad event this is. Very sad,” Smith said on the online video conferencing platform Zoom. “She had many friends here in Orange, especially at the Town Hall, and I can’t say enough good things about this wonderful woman. May she rest in peace.”

The Selectboard then held a moment of silence in Barnes’ memory.

“Thank you very much, Tom. That was really nice,” Chair Jane Peirce said. “We owe Trish a lot. She came to us a human resource director, doing a job that really hadn’t been done before, and she really did so much good work for us and put us so far ahead of where we were. And she was a lovely person.”

According to her obituary, Barnes died peacefully in her sleep during the night of Nov. 10, four days short of her 71st birthday. Barnes leaves her husband of 48 years, Dennis Barnes, and her sons, Patrick and Chad. There will be no public services held, in accordance with Trish’s wishes.

Selectboard appoints Teto to ConComm, Wrigley to Capital Planning

ORANGE — The Selectboard voted unanimously to appoint Matthew Teto to the Conservation Commission and William Wrigley to the Capital Planning Committee.

“Very happy about this,” Selectboard Chair Jane Peirce said during last week’s meeting. “We’re always happy to welcome new members for our town boards and Matt is particularly welcome. We’ve had a resignation from the Conservation Commission, so we were down a person. And it’s wonderful to have Matt step forward and volunteer. He has engineering experience and some real energy and positivity.”

Peirce mentioned Wrigley recently retired as the Stow town administrator and has previously served on the Selectboard in Orange.

“The Capital Planning Committee is always in need of people with expertise in finance, and we sure couldn’t do much better than to have Bill Wrigley on board,” Peirce said. “He’s very well-known and very interested in economic development and understands, very well, municipal finance.”

Selectboard re-votes on Hazard Mitigation Plan

ORANGE — The Selectboard voted unanimously at last week’s meeting to again adopt the Hazard Mitigation Plan, after the town’s planning and community development director explained “the paperwork got lost in the fray with everything else” following the original vote in January.

Alec Wade said the plan needed to be re-adopted “so that it can be submitted formally” to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He said it had “fallen by the wayside” but it is not too late to submit.

Chair Jane Peirce said the plan “links us to eligibility for grant funds and reimbursement in the event of a flood disaster.”

Board of Assessors completes property revaluation

ORANGE — The Board of Assessors has completed a property revaluation for fiscal year 2022.

Valuations, pending certification from the state Department of Revenue, are available for public inspection on the website of the Assessor’s Office until Nov. 26. Taxpayers may obtain a property record and discuss valuation issues from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. They may also send an email to or call the Assessor’s Office at 978-544-1100, ext. 108, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Valuations are available at

According to Orange’s municipal website, valuations reflect market value estimates as of Jan. 1, 2021.


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