Appointments revive lingering division over defunct tank project
Searsport — The application from a Colorado company that would have brought a 22.7 million gallon propane storage tank to Mack Point has been withdrawn since April, but division among some residents over the proposed project was still evident Tuesday night, Aug. 20.
During the regular meeting of the Searsport Selectmen, the board considered letters of interest from four residents who sought to serve on the recently formed Ordinance Review Committee, a group that came into existence as a result of discussions during the DCP application that unveiled inconsistencies in the ordinance governing the appeals process on Planning Board decisions.
Those seeking the remaining four seats on the committee were Ann Flack, David Italiaander, Janet Williams and Roland LaReau.
After the board voted unanimously to limit the committee to nine members, Selectman Dick Desmarais expressed concern about one of the four applicants.
Desmarais, who did not specify which applicant he objected to, stated that when that individual was asked why they wanted to be on the committee, they referenced the DCP Midstream project application process and how it shed light on the town's need to review its ordinances.
“I don't think this person can walk into that committee with an open mind,” he said. “... That statement totally turns me off. I will not vote for that person.”
Selectman Doug Norman disagreed with Desmarais' position on the matter.
“If you go on the committee you have to abide by the mission statement,” Norman said, adding that he didn't think it would be a problem to appoint the person to which Desmarais referred.
Board Chairman Aaron Fethke said because the committee will be reviewing specific ordinances at the request of Town Manager James Gillway, beginning with the Adult Entertainment Ordinance. After the committee reviews the document, they recommend any proposed language changes to selectmen, who will then decide whether to bring the changes to voters for consideration at town meeting.
“If someone goes in with that kind of agenda I think they're going to be disappointed,” said Fethke.
Fethke said while he understood where Desmarais was coming from, “I don't have enough of a concern for me to vote no.”
Selectman Meredith Ares said during the DCP application process a lot of people in town said things “in the heat of the moment,” but she knows the applicant in question and stated that person is honest and would serve the town well.
“I would be surprised if there was an agenda,” she said.
“I think the heat of the moment has long passed,” said Desmarais.
Ares later called Desmarais out for “singling out” one applicant, and characterized that action as “kind of a prejudicial thing.”
After Fethke took and informal poll to see how many selectmen would approve all four applicants, Desmarais was the lone opposing vote and Selectman Joe Perry abstained, showing the board would make the appointments as the town manager presented them. The board then voted in favor of naming Flack, Williams, LaReau and Italiaander to the committee.
In other news
Selectmen appointed Jim Cunningham to the Regional School Unit 20 Board of Directors; agreed to pay a $100 membership fee to join the Main Community Development Association, and; voted in favor of spending up to $10,000 to replace the roll off can for the trash compactor at the transfer station.
207-338-3333 ext. 109
Tanya has been a general news reporter in Waldo County since 1997.
Recent Stories by Tanya Mitchell
Dec 11, 2013
Dec 10, 2013
Dec 04, 2013
Nov 28, 2013
Nov 26, 2013