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Lamoine Board of Selectmen

 
Gary McFarland
Bob Christie Kathleen Rybarz  
 Minutes - June 18, 2020

Chair Kathleen Rybarz called the meeting to order at 6:02 PM

 

Present were Selectmen S. Josephine Cooper, Robert Christie, Nathan Mason, Gary McFarland, Kathleen Rybarz; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, Code Enforcement Officer Rebecca Albright, Transfer Station Manager Chris Meyer (arrived 6:35 PM).

 

Executive Session – Kathleen moved to enter executive session at 6:03 PM pursuant to 1 MRSA 405(6)(a) for the purpose of conducting annual job performance reviews with the Code Enforcement Officer and Transfer Station Manager.  Gary 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.    Out at 7:00 PM

 

Regular Meeting – The Regular meeting came to order at 7:00 PM.

 

Present in addition to the Selectmen and Administrative Assistant was Fire Chief George “Skip” Smith who arrived approximately 7:10 PM and left after his meeting with the board.

 

Agenda Review – The only change to the printed agenda was accommodating the fire chief to meet with him when he arrived.

 

Minutes – June 4, 2020 – Jo moved to approve the minutes as presented.  Gary 2nd.  Vote in favor was 4-0 (Mason abstained as he was not present)

 

Expenditure Warrant 27 – Selectmen signed the warrant in the amount of $352,897.38.  Stu noted that the education expense included the tuition to MDI High School.

 

Cash and Budget Reports – Stu reported the solid waste budget was going to be very tight, as the water monitoring estimate was higher than planned. 

 

Disposal of Foreclosed Property – Stu reported just one offer from an abutting property owner came in, and Debra Sucy offered $600 for the small, triangular lot.  Nathan moved to accept the bid.  Gary 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.  Stu noted that town meeting approval would be needed, and he would try to schedule a special town meeting to place this sale and the upcoming sale on Map 4 Lot 45-1 for final approval.

 

Pre-approval – history book printing – Stu said it was the opinion of Lamoine 150! Co-chair Cynthia Donaldson that pre-approval of payment to Downeast Graphics and printing would not be required.   No action was taken.

 

Meeting with Fire Chief – Chief George “Skip” Smith said he did not have a particular agenda and asked if the Selectmen had any issues.  Jo complimented the chief and the department on their birthday parades during the pandemic.  Chief Smith said the public seems to appreciate and joy it.  Jo said it seems like the fire department has been there when needed during the pandemic.  She asked about the weekly meetings.  Chief Smith said while the regular membership meetings stopped until mid-May, there were smaller meetings of department officers who kept the trucks in working order and the station clean.  

 

Nathan asked Chief Smith if the department is where he wants it to be.  Chief Smith said with the purchase of the ladder truck, the fleet is where he wants to be.  Nathan asked about personnel, noting that Lamoine has been fortunate to have new members join and members stay on.  Chief Smith said he’s not sure he can take the credit, but it’s a good operation and he tries to treat people equally.  Jo said she knows from experience that the Chief listens.  Nathan said the department is the envy of a lot of communities. 

 

Chief Smith said that when he comes to the Selectmen with needs, they’ve been behind him and the fire department.  He said that makes a difference.  There was a brief discussion about past stories.  Kathleen asked if there was anything more planned for maintenance at the fire station.  Chief Smith said the plan is to paint and fix the ceiling and the floor.  He said you can’t beat the members of the fire department.

 

Stu noted that the loan on the rescue boat is officially paid off, and the town is now debt free.  Chief Smith said that’s a good example of the Selectmen and town being behind the fire department.  Kathleen asked if fundraising has been disrupted this year.  Chief Smith said the department decided to “give people a break” from fund raising, and they won’t send out a letter this year, and the annual auction will take a year off.  He said people continue to be generous.

 

Personnel Appointments

 

Gary moved to appoint the following people to town positions:

Position

Name

Term Expires

Administrative Assistant

Stuart Marckoon

June 30, 2021

Treasurer

Stuart Marckoon

June 30, 2021

Deputy Town Clerk

Stuart Marckoon

June 30, 2021

Deputy Tax Collector

Stuart Marckoon

June 30, 2021

Emergency Management Director

Stuart Marckoon

June 30, 2021

General Assistance Administrator

Stuart Marckoon

June 30, 2021

Addressing Coordinator

Stuart Marckoon

June 30, 2021

Deputy Fire Warden

Stuart Marckoon

June 30, 2021

Road Commissioner

Stuart Marckoon

June 30, 2021

Animal Control Officer

Shannon Byers

June 30, 2021

Fire Chief

George Smith

June 30, 2021

Fire Warden

George Smith

June 30, 2021

Transfer Station Manager

Chris Meyer

June 30, 2021

Code Enforcement Officer

Rebecca Albright

June 30, 2021

Cable TV Operations Manager

Justin Zinke

June 30, 2021

Information Technology Director

William Butler

June 30, 2021

Harbor Master

David Herrick

June 30, 2021

Deputy Harbor Master

Kevin Murphy

June 30, 2021

Planning Board Member

Richard McMullen

June 30, 2025

Planning Board Alternate Member

Stewart Workman

June 30, 2023

Board of Appeals Member

Hancock Griff Fenton

June 30, 2023

Board of Appeals Member

Jon VanAmringe

June 30, 2023

Budget Committee Member

Merle Bragdon

June 30, 2023

Budget Committee Member

 Robin Veysey

June 30, 2023

Conservation Commission Member

Kerry Diskin

June 30, 2023

Conservation Commission Member

John Robichaud

June 30, 2023

Parks Commission Member

Marguerite Andros

June 30, 2023

Parks Commission Member

Robert Ehlers

June 30, 2023

Technology Advisory Committee Member

Brett Jones

June 30, 2023

 

Nathan inquired about the recreation committee openings.  Stu said none of those he sent e-mails had replied one way or the other.  He said he would contact the committee chair. 

 

Jo 2nd the motion to appoint.  Vote in favor was 5-0.  Selectmen signed the appointment papers.

 

Kathleen noted there was a very nice article in the Maine Town & City publication from Maine Municipal Association about the Lamoine 150! Celebration and a grant to help restore the grange backdrop curtain and publish a history book.

 

Rooster Complaint – Stu reported that he had received a second complaint from a neighbor of the Birchlawn Driver woman with a rooster.  He said he drafted up a letter to her from the Board to let he know of the complaint as she had requested.  Bob moved to sign the letter.  Nathan 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.

 

Broadband – Stu reported that Brian Lippold had prepared a report of his contacts with other broadband suppliers to serve the unserved areas of Lamoine.  He said he would recommend to Mr. Lippold to wait until after July 1 to move forward, as funding for the contract is nearly exhausted.    He said that Mr. Lippold had also asked if the town would back support for Question 1 on the July 14, 2020 ballot which would be a bond question to expand broadband.  Nathan said he’s not in favor of the board taking any stand.  Jo said individual Selectmen could express support.  Kathleen said it appears there would be no statement from the town, per se, and the Board would favor waiting until July 1st to proceed with any more broadband expansion activity.

 

Town Meeting Preparation – Stu reported he purchased a box of 50 face masks. Kathleen said she made several scarves that could be handed out and used as face coverings, too.  Bob asked if the town would be asking people to wear masks.  A discussion followed about strongly encouraging mask use.  Stu said he had a concern should more than 50-people want to attend town meeting.  He noted that an amendment will have to be made to the interest rate question on unpaid taxes, as the Treasurer’s Office changed the maximum rate just about the time the new warrant was in preparation to 8-percent.

 

Lamoine Quarterly – Stu reported he’d begun work on the July 2020 edition.  It was suggested following up with Frenchman Bay Conservancy to see where the Blunt’s Pond land donation might stand.   Stu said he hopes to have a draft ready to e-mail before the next meeting.

 

Discussion of Racism – The Board received an e-mail from a Seal Point Road resident inquiring about whether there were any events planned surrounding the national racism issues.  Jo said the subject was interesting to her.  She said a lot of things are coming out of the discussion and she hoped that any change would be real.  She said she her interest is personal and related a story from her childhood.  She said she has 3-young, black sons, and agreed is something is done to help eliminate racism, it needs to be real. 

 

Bob said he never knew diversity until he joined the Army, and he’s been struck by the conversation and the protests about the constitution.  He asked what it means for a body if it doesn’t raise it’s voice.  He said there’s a need to raise consciousness about racism.  Jo said she grew up during the civil rights movement and adopted black children.  She said as they have grown, she has become aware of how racism has become worse.  She said we don’t understand how privileged we are.  She said she didn’t know what the board might want to do with the issue. 

 

Nathan said there are lots of sides to the story, and it quickly gets politicized.  He said there is a shaming that goes on if one doesn’t share the same opinion as another.  He said racism has been an ugly truth worldwide. He said he’s not sure that it’s “systemic”.  A lengthy discussion followed. 

 

Nathan said a long look at what’s really taking place would help all to better understand.  He said painting the issue with a broad brush is detrimental and needs to stop.  Jo said a lot is being practiced in great ways.  Bob said cultures have evolved over the years since the nation’s founding. He said he sometimes felt complicit and wondered what difference he could make.  He said he didn’t know if the town could do any more than express what was being said now.  Kathleen said it might be the role of the Selectmen to have individual conversations.  She said she grew up in Detroit (Michigan), and had a very different perspective.  She said there could be a panel discussion at the appropriate time.

 

Jo said the e-mail was not asking the Selectmen to do anything.  Gary said it’s a small town, and he’s open to being open about a discussion.  He said local law enforcement in our area is exceptional and has relatives and friends who are police officers.  Bob said it doesn’t appear to be an issue here, necessarily, but across the nation.  He said the latest incident is a little different than previous incidents.  He said if there was a way to support the Sheriff’s Department and State Police, we should, but the town should not avoid responsibility 

 

Audit Management Letter – Jo moved to have Kathleen sign the annual audit management letter to James Wadman.  Nathan 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.

 

Communication from USDA-RDA – Stu reported the Board received an e-mail from the USDA-Rural Development Agency (formerly Farmers Home) which held a mortgage on the town foreclosed property (Map 4 Lot 45-1) which is currently up for auction.  He said the person with whom he had been communicating earlier in the year thought the back taxes had been paid and wanted to know if there was a way to redeem the property.  He said he’d drafted a letter from the Board explaining that the town had given the USDA-RDA plenty of time to redeem the property and had not heard back anything until this week, after the foreclosure auction had been advertised.    Gary moved to sign the letter.  Bob 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.

 

Lamoine 150! – Jo said the history book publication is moving forward as earlier noted.  She said the sardine display is wrapping up.  Stu noted the Ellsworth American did a nice article about the sardines.

 

Selectmen Comments – Kathleen said she appreciated the earlier discussion about racism.  Bob asked if the moderator would be wearing a mask during town meeting.  Nathan said that would be up to Harvey Kelley.

 

Next Meeting Dates – Selectmen set the following regular meeting dates:

July 2, 2020

July 23, 2020

August 13, 2020

September 3, & 17, 2020

 

There would be scheduled individual warrant signings in between meeting dates as needed.

 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:26 PM

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst. to the Selectmen