322-7572; 322-5671

First trip in a year

There aren’t many advantages to being in your 70s. It takes a while to remember why you walked into the kitchen. But our age made us early vaccination receivers. So when also-vaccinated relatives invited us to a week on a beach 1,400 miles away, we said “goodbye” to the mud, got in the car, drove three days, and put on sunscreen. What a difference it makes to be able to share a space safely with people you care about and have dinner together. We don’t have to tell you what it means to leave the mud for a week. We’ll soon be back and using our masks in public. But we’ve experienced the new normal and we like it.

Town Office

On Tuesday, April 6, the town holds its budget hearing at 5 p.m. at the Community Building. This is your chance, before the May 15 town meeting, to ask questions and suggest changes to every expense that Searsmont will place before voters. With Zoom available, you should really try to make time to be part of the conversation about how the town will spend your tax money.

The same evening at 7 p.m., the Planning Board meets and it’s a good opportunity to meet new Board Clerk Patti Chapman.

Here’s a reminder that April 30 is the deadline to sign up and make the first payment for the Searsmont Tax Club Payment Plan. You make 12 monthly payments through March 2022 on your 2021 property tax bill, instead of writing one humongous check in the fall. Call Kathy Hoey at 342-5411 for more information.

Kathy also has information on applying for the 2021 Searsmont Scholarship for residents who are attending college. By the way, the Selectmen corrected a technical error and appointed Kathy to be registrar for two years (not one) through the 2023 Town Meeting.

And speaking of serving the town, the Appeals Board and other boards and committees will be looking for new members to stand for election this year. Check with Kathy to find out where you might serve. Searsmont doesn’t work without its volunteers.

You can still volunteer for the town’s new Broadband Advisory Task Force by calling the Town Office, or by contacting Mickey Sirota at 322-5671 or The next meeting, by Zoom or in person at the Community Center, will be Thursday, April 8, 6 p.m.

Bits and pieces

Many thanks to the transfer station people, who made it possible for Searsmonters to get their trash out on Saturdays in March without sinking axle-deep in mud. Did we tell you that mud season is here? And it’s only a few weeks until black flies. And brown-tail moths. And ticks. I think we spent most of our stimulus check on bug dope.

Jesse Gogan is a persistent man. Thanks to him, Mack Page, Rico Cenobio and Bruce Brierley, Searsmont may have a Memorial Day parade this year, with a grand marshal and speeches, too. As a bonus, the town’s American flags may have solar power lights. Sometimes it takes a village.