Meeting Finally Scheduled Between Mashpee Selectmen and Wampanoag Tribe

Andrew Gottlieb

MASHPEE – After a long period of trying, the Mashpee Board of Selectmen has arranged a meeting with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. The hope is that the tribe will be prepared to discuss a number of important issues that have been on the table.

Selectman Andrew Gottlieb said that the lengthy period of time is not due to a lack of effort by the town.

“We’ve been trying for close to two years to have this discussion. We’ve had long stretches where our communications to try and organize it were not responded to.”

Gottlieb proposed an agenda that the selectmen agreed to adopt. The topics to be discussed include whether the tribe intends to respect applicable zoning laws when constructing a tribal housing complex on 58 acres of land, joint funding for wastewater developments and compliance with shellfish regulations.

After trying for almost 24 months to get the tribe to address these issues, Gottlieb said he wants substantive issues discussed.

“I have absolutely no interest in a meeting that is simply a discussion about what we’re going to talk about the next time we get together. I didn’t wait two years to get a meeting to talk about what the next meeting is going to look like,” he said.

The town recently extended a memorandum of understanding which allows the town to deploy emergency services, such as police and fire, to what is currently considered tribal land. It was lengthened to December 31st due to the tribe’s refusal to discuss the matter before it expired.

The meeting is scheduled to take place on Monday at tribal headquarters and is open to the public.

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