In their first meeting since the town election March 6, the Board of Selectmen welcomed newly elected board member Linda Payson March 20.

Expressing gratitude to voters, Selectman Doug Norman said, "I'd like to thank everybody that supported me for re-election, and I would like to also welcome Linda Payson."

"It is an honor and a privilege," Payson responded. "I am just very happy to be here and I would like to thank everyone for their votes.

"I really appreciate the support," she added. "I am just overwhelmed."

Selectmen awarded a Blue Star Banner flag to E4 Seth Brown for his service in the military. His mother, Searsport Assessor Harriet Clark, looked on as Brown shook hands and received the flag from Selectman Jack Merrithew.

"This flag I would like to give you is signed by the board. Thank you for your service, young man," Merrithew said.

According to Searsport Town Manager James Gillway, the Blue Star Service Banner was designed and patented in 1917 by World War I Army Capt. Robert L. Queisser of the 5th Ohio Infantry. Queisser's two sons served on the front line. His banner quickly became the unofficial symbol for parents with a child in active military service.

In other actions, Merrithew was voted in as chairman and Dick Desmarais as vice chairman; Joanne Moulton will remain as secretary.

Gillway recommended the board formally vote to withdraw from the Municipal Review Committee. "Since we are remaining with Penobscot Energy Recovery Company, we no longer need to be a member of the Municipal Review Committee," Gillway said. "I would recommend a vote to withdraw from the MRC and authorize the town manager to sign and withdraw agreements."

The board unanimously approved Gillway's recommendation.

Residents contacted Gillway about a water issue occurring on Mortland Road near the high school. Code Enforcement Officer Randy Hall has been made aware of this situation, Gillway said, and is investigating the original building permit for expansion of the school where offices, cafeteria and the detention pond were added.

"We need to know what the regulations are around the detention pond," he said. "We don't believe there has been any maintenance done since it was built."

In April and May, the revaluation team will be reviewing all homes and businesses they did not contact late in the summer and fall of last year.

Personal private property inventory forms have been mailed out with a due date of mid-April. In June all persons owning property in Searsport will get a preliminary assessed value report in the mail to review. Residents are asked to make sure the Assessor's Office has their correct mailing address.

In late June or early July, there will be a week of informal meetings with property owners to discuss assessed values, disagreements or desires for further explanation. The final commitment will be set late in June with new assessed values. Residents should call the Town Office for more information.