Swifts Beach resident launches write-in campaign for Sewer Commission

Apr 5, 2023

Bob Scanlan, a member of an advocacy group which has strongly criticized the Sewer Commission for its handling of sewer repairs in the Swifts Beach neighborhood, has launched a write-in campaign for a seat on the Commission. 

“The Sewer Commission needs to have a little bit of transparency,” Scanlan said. 

Scanlan is part of the Swifts Beach Citizens Group, which formed in opposition to the Sewer Commission requiring 130 homeowners to install sewage-grinding pumps in their homes, at a cost of $400 to $4,000 per pump. 

The Sewer Commission, and Water Pollution Control Facility Director Guy Campinha, have stated that the pumps are necessary as part of replacing Swifts Beach’s aging gravity sewer system with a low-pressure system.

This replacement is unpopular among neighborhood advocates, who have accused the Sewer Commission and Campinha of not being open about what costs, if any, homeowners would have to cover. 

“They neglected to do their due diligence,” Scanlan said. “The people of Swifts Beach wish there was a little more homework done.”

If elected, Scanlan would want to see the Sewer Commission do as much research as possible about issues facing the sewer system, so the Commission “can make an informed decision.” 

He said that he and other citizen advocates have faced “more questions than answers” as they tried to learn more about the work planned the for Swifts Beach sewer.

It is all but certain that Scanlan will win a Sewer Commission seat in the Town Election on Tuesday, May 2, as two Sewer Commissioners have declined to seek reelection.

Sewer Commissioner Donna Bronk said that she is not running for reelection because of the fallout from the Swifts Beach controversy. 

With Scanlan and Finance Committee Chairman Bernard Pigeon each running for a seat, neither candidate currently has any opposition.

“It’s a grassroots campaign,” Scanlan said. “Hopefully I’ll get a few votes, and I can help the people not only of Swifts Beach, but of Wareham.”

Citizens will vote at Town Meeting this month on whether to cancel the project altogether