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Administrative Assistant to the Board of Selectmen

Stu Marckoon
Report for Meeting of November 5, 2020

Hello from the extremely busy town office.  I suspect that if this report were to be prepared a week from today, it will be a relatively quiet town office.  Needless to say the week before a presidential election is almost insane.  Absentee balloting has been through the roof (we’re around 650 absentee ballots requested so far).  People have been a steady stream through the office to cast their ballots in person.  The absentee turnout is over 40-percent of the registered voters!  That kind of scares me for November 3rd for in person voting when we’ll expect another 600 or so to cast ballots.  They take a long time to fill out on the ranked choice side and the number of available booths will be diminished due to COVID-19 restrictions.    The election is on your agenda.


I am writing this on October 28th, the Wednesday before Election Day.  You have a very busy agenda for the 5th.


Minutes, October 15, 2020 – Please look over the minutes.  It was a lengthy and full discussion and I hope the notes are correct.  If you have any corrections, it’s helpful if they’re in writing.


Warrant 11 – This (I hope) will be signed Thursday and Friday before your meeting so that we can pay some bills due before the meeting.  I’ve e-mailed you the link. Other than school expenses, it’s pretty small.  The Ellsworth Demo Disposal and Car Wash expenses are for the “dump” that was removed by a small but dedicated cadre on October 24 from the land we’ve been given around Blunt’s Pond.  (I used my truck, it was filthy after 3-trips!).


Warrant 12 – There will be a town payroll on this warrant and a few other bills, but it should be relatively small.


Cash & Budget Reports – This will be posted on the website and updated meeting night in printed form.


FY 19/20 final report – I’ve printed off the final budget report for the previous fiscal year.  After some special town meetings, we stayed within budget and still have a healthy surplus.  The auditors have the general ledger and are working on their thing so it’ll be a while before we have final fund balances.


Checking Account – I’m hoping that it’s so peaceful on Election Day that I can reconcile the checking account and e-mail it to you before the meeting.  (watch out for airborne porcine creatures, too!).


Meeting with Glenn Crawford re: rezoning property – Former Selectman Crawford is considering a request to have the town rezone the property he owns at the end of Gilpatrick Lane as a Commercial Fisheries and Maritime Activities District.   He initially wished to have the property assessed as Working Waterfront, and realized to qualify it would have to be zoned differently.  To change a zone, the town meeting would have to amend the Shoreland Zoning map.  A word of caution – the CFMA district does not allow single family dwellings. 


Transfer Station Design – There’s a report from Chip Reeves regarding re-using material from the existing dumpster building.  He may have some more significant offering for the meeting – I await that.


Road Maintenance Bids – I send out sheets for estimates on some small projects and the road shoulder gravel to the three contractors in town that we’ve been using.  The estimates are due on Thursday.


Appointments – I sent e-mail and posted on Facebook some vacancies that have yet to be filled.  So far two people (see the agenda) have come forward to offer to serve in a couple of posts.


Broadband Grant – Island Institute – I’ve drafted a 2-page application and have sent it for review to Brian Lippold for review.  We should have better info from him by the meeting.


Holiday Hours – Transfer Station – Chris would like to be closed on both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, open on the Saturdays and Mondays after – the Monday opening would be Noon to five.  I plan to contact Pine Tree Waste to make the pickup arrangements, probably before your meeting.


Property Line Agreement – We finally have a line agreement document to sign back from the town attorney.  I’ll ask Mrs. McDevitt to review it and sign if she’s willing prior to the meeting, as she will be here for Election Day (we hope).


Code Enforcement Moldawer II Case – The Board of Appeals upheld Mr. Moldawer’s appeal of the CEO’s redetermination of the building height.  The Board has instructed the CEO to measure form the peak of the roof to the original grade. I believe that is being worked upon. 


Follow Up – Assessors Concerns – I’ve prepared, in conjunction with Rebecca a lengthy memorandum/report after the discussion at last meeting.  If nothing else, it gives the board a place to start discussion.


Election Day Update – I alluded to this in the opening paragraph, but it has been incredibly busy, but I will give credit to Jennifer for keeping up with the onslaught of absentee balloting.  She lined up ballot clerks a few weeks ago, and already two of them have backed out, so we’ve had to expand the list that you had approved a couple of meetings ago.  Lynda Tadema-Wielandt (D) will work the early processing on October 30th, and my wife (R) (Jennifer’s choice) will work early processing on November 1st.  We have ballot clerks assigned in two shifts on Election Day. 


I will be working the office on October 31st mainly to collect outstanding absentee ballots. In person voting on the 31st is not allowed unless there is a special circumstance, so it should not be too bad.  This will also give us a jump on the month end state reports we’re required to do.


The $5,000 grant was deposited to our account this week to assist with the extra election costs.  What a relief.  The Secretary of State’s office has sent a LOT of pens, hand sanitizer and some very awful masks.  We set up the voting booths in the best configuration we can come up with to try to maintain social distancing.  


Friday is going to be a long day as we process well over 550-absentee ballots.   We’ll have a four person team doing that during a 7-hour window.  We’re mandated to stay open for absentee voting until 5pm on the 30th. 


My ultimate hope is to report to you that all went smoothly on Tuesday.


Budget Workshop – I actually made some progress on the 2021-22 budget this week.  First drafts of the Administration, Waste Disposal, and Code Enforcement budgets are in your packet.  I might be able to squeeze in a roads budget before meeting night.  The Budget Committee will hold its first meeting on November 16th. 


That’s a wrap for this meeting.  See you at the polls!