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joycesirota@gmail.com; mickeysirota@gmail.com

Thoughts on town meeting

Searsmont residents gathered at the fire station April 2 to conduct Searsmont’s business. From town expenses to a conservation land purchase to charitable donations to an electronic sign ordinance, most warrant items passed without much discussion or controversy, Others gave rise to multiple opinions stated, explained, debated and voted on. This is democracy in action. People can disagree, and they do. Then Searsmont’s voters make their decisions. Many thanks to everyone who showed up, particularly those willing to run for public office or volunteer their time. The selectmen thank Kathy Hoey, Contessa Mancini and Cassie Inman from the Town Office for preparing and doing the work at town meeting. We agree. Searsmonters who serve and make the town work smoothly may not always be apparent, but they make the town livable and wonderful.

Crocus in bloom mean spring is coming to Searsmont. Photo by Joyce Sirota

Town Office

The transfer station is back at Crie Road April 16. The Town Office is closed April 18 for Patriot’s Day. April 30 is the deadline to join the town’s tax club, which allows you to pay your property taxes through next March in 12 monthly installments.

Congratulations to reelected Selectman Arlo Redman, RSU71 School Board Director Catherine Robbins-Halsted, Planning Board members John Robbins, Guy Hamlin and Evelyn de Frees, Board of Appeals members Mickey Sirota and Heather Kennedy, Cemetery Committee member Cenobio Munoz Rico and Library Trustees Jana Herbener and Joanne Robbins.

Selectmen took a deep breath, then met April 4 to deal with sand and salt orders. Mostly they talked about road postings and road work with Steve Lucas and Selectman and Road Commissioner Chris Staples. Makes sense, since roads make up about a third of the municipal budget. Expect to see gravel road grading as soon as surfaces harden up. Look for summer repair, grading, culvert work, ditching, patching or paving on many town roads, including Borough, Lawry, Magog, Peters, Pond, Morrow Hill, Thompson Ridge and West Appleton.

Town Library

The free Searsmont Seed Library is open. The Spring Youth Art Show is on the library walls. The free Tri Town Music Program is fully subscribed, with Searsmont, Belmont and Montville elementary school students starting instruction April 25. The first Outside the Library summer concert, the Abe Ovadio Duo, is Saturday afternoon, May 7. New books include “The Real Anthony Fauci,” Andrew Vietze’s Katahdin stories “This Wild Land,” C.J. Box’s “Shadows Reel,” Janet Evanovich’s “The Recovery Agent,” Stephen King’s “Gwendy’s Final Task,” Donna Leon’s “Give Unto Others” and “Run, Rose, Run” by Dolly Parton and James Patterson. For kids, “Star Wars IV to IX” graphic novels are available, plus “Sweet Pea Summer” by Hazel Mitchell. New DVDs include “All Creatures Great and Small Season 2” and “Shallow Hal.” Not enough for you? The library is letting go of its collection of children’s audiobooks on cassette tape. They are free (donations gratefully accepted), so stop by the library and take your pick.

 Bits and Pieces

Thursday April 21, 7 p.m., Searsmont Historical Society presents a special event. Searsmont producer-writer-director Rush DeNooyer will discuss his upcoming eight-show series on World War II Pacific Ocean sunk ships and share his documentary on the USS Indianapolis disaster of August 1945. There will be cookies. On April 14, SHS speakers were Sheriff Jeff Trafton and Chief Deputy Jason Trundy. There were cookies.

How wonderful to see so many familiar Searsmont faces at town meeting. In under two hours, moderator Lee Woodward told jokes, candidates spoke, folks stood in the back with their arms crossed, there was laughter and applause and a groan or two. We are grateful to those who let us know they enjoy this column.

Deadline to apply for the H. Joyce Withee Scholarship for students in post-secondary library science or elementary education is April 30. Applications are at the Town Office. So are applications for the Searsmont Scholarship, due May 31.

Crocus and snowdrops are in bloom. Daffodils and tulips are up and growing. Buds are ready to pop on the lilacs and rhododendron. Geese are flying by. Did we hear a peeper in the vernal pool behind the house? Can it almost be spring in Searsmont?

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