It’s tough to fully capture the local Waldo news lately as there is a lot to say and this column is not the place to say some of it (but you should send your opinions to the paper!). I greatly appreciate those who are regularly reaching out and keeping me up to date, and providing their own take on things.

The big topics continue to be roads and town management. At the Select Board on Monday, April 18, our municipal officers may take a vote on appointing certain jobs that are currently a part of the elected town clerk position. This may be in order to set the town up to hire a town manager/administrator at a later date, and shift the board members to all being equal, versus a first selectman who does more specific jobs. This could be a smart approach that many smaller towns have moved to. However, we need more clarity and transparency from the Select Board.

Unfortunately the roads meeting on the 12th didn’t result in specific outcomes, and residents are continuing to feel left in the dark by the Select Board. No date was given for a follow-up meeting, and there’s a lack of trust right now that it will be made public in time for people to put it on their calendars.

Many people want to hire a qualified engineer to assess the roads and provide specific recommendations. Two of the three Select Board members are opposed to this. In the past a state engineer was brought out and made recommendations for the long straightaway of East Waldo Road by the Belfast line. While the actual road work was somewhat incomplete, there has been some improvement and the town did not have to pay for that advice. This could be another, free approach to our dirt roads. There was skepticism from one of the board members that someone might not come do that again (although no reason why). Based on comments in a recent Journal article, Shirley Caler seems to support a plan for our roads informed by professionals.

In general there were a lot of vague answers, and so residents may continue to show up at meetings and push the Select Board for the change, improvement, and answers that we all expect from our elected officials.

I will end with a comment that Herb Harnden sent me this week: “I personally feel we as a town need to look forward, have some plans on how we plan to survive and better keep our residents informed of what the town is faced with financially, so that they fully understand what it cost to run the town and keep things up to date and not running like it did 45 years ago.”

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