Hello Monroe!

And just like that, it’s time to make the hay! Oliver is on the tedding crew with dad this year, thoroughly enjoying going around and around and around the fields on the tractor. I’m trying not to blink, as I know it’s only a short matter of time before he’s helping on his own, not just sitting on dad’s lap along for the ride.

View of a mid-week, mid-June, freshly mowed and tedded field done by Ethan and Oliver Stubbs at Rosemoore Farm in Monroe. Ashlie Stubbs


Sincere sympathy goes out to the family and friends affected by the recent passing of one of Monroe’s own, Nancy Maddox.

Brief recap

I spent most of the annual Monroe Town Meeting chasing Oliver around the fire trucks parked in the driveway that had returned from a call a few minutes into the start of the 6 p.m. meeting, hence missing more than I would have liked of the action inside the Firehouse.

Over 100 Monroe residents came out that evening, many for Article 30. Many residents chose to speak both for and against the article aimed at developing a comprehensive plan for the town and likely subsequent ordinances aimed at establishing standards for industrial and other like-type operations that generate noise, dust, odors, create an unsightly presence or have the potential for impacting land, air and water quality. The town of Monroe gravel pits and like-type operations currently fall under and are governed by state of Maine regulations. The article wished to consider standards such as setbacks from existing homes, on-site processing, size and expansion.

Resident comments that I happened to be within earshot of ranged along a varying scale of compelling, understandable, eloquent, rudely interruptive of other residents and a bit brasher than necessary, in this town columnist’s opinion. The crowd gathered was obviously passionate about the current way of life in this town and the future direction of land use and their own quality of life on their personal property…and rightly so all around.

Ultimately, the written ballot vote ended up revealing 68 residents against the development of a comprehensive plan, and 44 residents in favor. All articles, except Article 30, were passed at the town meeting that evening.

Our community, like every community in this state, is made up of a colorful collection of groups and individuals. Some have been born and raised and make their bread and butter in this great town; many others have moved here and been contributing members for varying numbers of years. I myself am only a three-year property owner in Monroe. I’m no stranger to Waldo County however, and was raised to find value, harder at some times than others, in all community members, not just those I see eye-to-eye with. I understand that when it comes to regulations and landowner rights, passions tend to flare and lines often get strongly drawn.

If I have to wager a guess, this may not be the end of the pursuit of ordinances above and beyond state regulations, but I’m hoping that going forward community members will be able to come to realistic compromises for the greater good of the town, setting tricky subjective preferences aside. Things do inevitably change, and not all change and ordinance is a horrid thing. This town issue to be continued, perhaps!

Have a great week!

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