322-7572; 322-5671

To the polls!

After what seems like a 20-year campaign, it’s time to make your voice heard Nov. 3. There are about 1,450 people in Searsmont now, and nearly 1,100 of us are registered to vote. More than 300 voters have already asked for or submitted absentee ballots, and based on the town’s past history of high turnout, more than 600 more will show up at the Community Building polls between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Election Day. This is something to be proud of.

We thank election Warden Tammy Roberts, Registrar Kathy Hoey, Deputy Registrar Contessa Mancini, election clerks Pete and Nina Milinazzo, Bonnie Maguire, Sharon Soule, Roman Polaski and Kathy Pietra-Santa for their service to all of us. We are both election clerks, too.

Thanks also go to absentee ballot election workers Marcie Porter and Sharon Soule (again), Kathy Hoey (again) and Warden Tammy Roberts (again) for working so hard on Monday to process all those early votes. Their count beginning at 10 a.m. is open to the public if you want to see how it works.

We’ll give you the Searsmont vote results when they are available. Because of the election, Searsmont Town Office will be closed on Nov. 3.

Many of us Searsmonters have candidate signs on our properties. Taking a few minutes to take them down next week is the neighborly thing to do.

COVID update

It seems to be Waldo County’s turn. The recent COVID-19 case at Ames School, plus those at Troy Howard and Capt. Albert Stevens and in Brooks, have caused some anxiety in Searsmont. Ames School has undergone a “thorough cleaning,” according to Regional School Unit 71 Superintendent Mary Alice McLean, and has instituted remote learning through Oct. 30. If all goes well, the school will reopen next Monday, Nov. 2.

As a pair of old folks, we ask everyone to join us in wearing face masks, socially distancing, washing hands often, and (dagnabbit) limiting travel and shopping trips until things settle down. Really thought things were looking good when we brought in the last of the tomatoes.

At least, thanks to recent rains, Searsmont’s wells are a bit more reliable and fall bulbs are a lot happier.

Post office shout out

If you’ve noticed the mail is sometimes coming later in the day, it’s no surprise. A big Searsmont “thank you” goes out to the 04973 USPS staff who’ve been handling more letters, more packages and more everything than anyone can remember. You’re doing a great job, and we appreciate it.

At the Town Office

Still no word on filling one Cemetery Committee member vacancy through next Town Meeting. Call the office at 342-5411 if you’re interested. The town will adopt the state’s fireworks ordinance going forward (there are complaints every year, especially in the Village Center).

It’s not too early to get your 2021 dog licenses, a bargain at $6 for a fixed or spayed animal, $11 for all others. And don’t forget that property taxes are due on full-moon Halloween.

Library news

The Oct. 17 “Exploring the Wilds of Searsmont” woods walk was canceled because of much-needed but inconvenient pouring rain. The next one is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 14. More people are making appointments to visit the library or using the curbside service. Call 342-5549 to make arrangements either way.

Happy anniversary

Hard for us to believe, but this column marks one year since we began as your Searsmont town columnists. We are very grateful for all the news that comes our way. Without your input, this would be a much harder task.