joycesirota@gmail.com; mickeysirota@gmail.com

322-7572; 322-5671

Searsmont votes

For years, Searsmont has recorded high voter turnouts for almost every election. On Nov. 8, the town can continue its enviable tradition. This year’s votes for governor, congressional representative, state senator and representative, county sheriff and more will mean just as much as they always do, especially with ranked choice voting.

Searsmonters can register to vote right up to Election Day, just by showing any license or utility bill showing your Searsmont address. You can vote by absentee ballot as long as the ballot gets to the Town Office by Election Day. You can even vote early by filling one out in person by Thursday, Nov. 3, sealing it and handing it in. The important thing is to vote. Village store conversation is the same as always: If you don’t vote, you can’t complain afterward.

Town Office

Only two Searsmonters attended the regular second-Tuesday-of-the-month selectmen’s meeting Oct. 11. Here is what everyone else missed. With no public comment, they voted to grade Crie Road this fall, but not to grade Diamond, French South or Limekiln roads. They signed winter snowplowing and sanding contracts, worth about $275,000, with Appleton Ridge Construction, Bill Kenney and Arlo Redman IV (with Arlo Redman III recusing himself).

They began legal action against a local property owner over a building permit matter and discussed hiring a new auditor for the town’s financial records.

Pete Milinazzo reported that Waldo Broadband Corp. is considering five – count ’em, five – responses from internet service providers to its recent request for proposals to build a fiber-optic network in Searsmont and four nearby towns.

The next monthly selectmen’s meeting is 5 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 8, upstairs on Election Day. They also have open work sessions every Monday at 4:30 p.m. in their office.

Helping hand

Pastor Elizabeth Bailey-Mitchell of the Searsmont United Methodist Church tells us their newest program is a regular weekly prayer meeting, every Tuesday, 6 to 7 p.m., beginning Oct. 25. She says “Feeling stresses? Can’t sleep? Want to learn the Breath Prayer? Need someone to listen and pray with you? Our doors and our hearts are open. All in our community are welcome.” Pastor Elizabeth says coffee and light refreshments will be available, and she will be glad to take your questions at 785-4140.

Town Library

Folks are enjoying Janneke Zaadstra’s Tuesday morning, 10 a.m., light yoga classes at the library and are supporting it with modest donations. There is still room for people to join. Bring your own yoga mat or use one of the library’s.

Friday, Oct. 21, 3 p.m., is the time set for the fall’s first “Tea@Three” social gathering and Saturday, Oct. 29, 1 p.m., is the season’s first book group meeting.

Yes, Sarah Crosby and Bill Evans will be leading fall hikes in Waldo County, but will schedule them according to weekend weather forecasts. To get on their “hike coming up” mailing list, or to get the library’s monthly emailed newsletter, or for more information about any of these programs and activities, stop by the library, call 342-5549 or email searsmont.town.library@gmail.com.

That’s also a good way to find out about free tickets to Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and their featured 750,000-light “Gardens Aglow” experience from Nov. 19 through New Year’s Eve. And the library still has appointments available for consultations with the Maine Job Link Career Center.

Halloween candy, a bonanza for local dentists. Photo by Mickey Sirota

Bits and pieces

Many Searsmonters, including your columnists, have not missed a vote in living memory. Keep your streak alive, or start a new one, by voting on Election Day, Nov. 8.

Seniors want to know. Yes, the senior property tax stabilization program that keeps your property taxes frozen for a year is yours for the asking if, by next April 1, you are 65 and have lived in Searsmont. If your 65th birthday or tenth year residency arrives between now and then, you’re fine. And happy birthday.

What a shame that last week’s heavy rains and wind knocked off a lot of leaves. They were some riot of color this year.

Searsmonters without a garage or carport have started scraping ice off the windshield some mornings. Remember back in the day when the first snowflakes fell before Halloween? Nowadays, not so much.

Speaking of Halloween, are there still trick-or-treaters in Searsmont? Based on what we see on the shelves at local stores, area dentists will have a prosperous holiday season.