322-7572; 322-5671

It takes a village

This column often features the Searsmont Town Library for good reason. The library circulates books, movies and music CDs, puzzles, games and Coastal Maine Botanical Garden tickets, provides high-speed computers and a copier, and sponsors music performances for everyone and music classes for kids. It hosts book groups and is a social center for the town.

Searsmont’s library has only one employee. Almost all of this is made possible by the many volunteers who serve on its board of trustees, support it through the Friends of the Searsmont Library, organize art exhibits, run the book sale, bake for the bake sale and welcome and assist everyone at the front desk.

Volunteer trustees Jana Herbener, Susan Hoekstra, JoAnn Robbins, Geri Winslow, Sarah Crosby and Maria Salvaggio and the library director were the ones who hosted more than two dozen people at a recognition brunch Oct. 15. Over quiche, homemade biscuits, pumpkin bread, salad and fruit, everyone shared library stories and were told they are “a network of people who believe in the library as a special place where things are given and shared, where time can pass any way you want it to, a place of meeting and one of the great treasures of this town.”

With full disclosure that we are volunteers and former trustees, we could not have said it better ourselves.

Town Office

It was a busy, hour-and-a-half selectmen’s work session Oct. 17. They discussed roadside grinding and mulching for next year, the search for a Planning Board clerk (the job is still open) with Planning Board chair Chris Halsted, and salt and sand shed matters. They heard that the Waldo Broadband Corp.’s consultant is reviewing internet service providers’ responses to a fiber-optic network buildout request for proposals, too.

The updated list of gravel roads slated for fall grading now includes Crie, Magog, Fowles, Peters, Pond North, Pond South, Morrow Hill and Walker. They also voted to replace the current town culvert replacement policy with the more specific state policy. You have to be impressed by the variety of issues they deal with at each meeting.

The next monthly selectmen’s meeting is 5 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 8. That takes place upstairs while the polls are open downstairs that Election Day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

You can request an absentee ballot until 2 p.m., Friday, Nov. 3, and complete it in the office or turn it in through Election Day.

And yes, you can get your dog license for 2023 any time now.

Bertha, a 49.5-lb. Rouge Vif D’Etampes pumpkin, on display at the Searsmont Town Library, goes to the highest silent auction bidder. Bids close Nov. 1 at 4 p.m. Photo by Mickey Sirota

Town Library

“Transitions,” a new art show, is now on the library walls, with a reception Friday, Oct. 28, 5 to 6 p.m., for artist Kathy Gass, a Rockport painter and RSU 71 teacher. Twenty-five of her works are displayed, with most available for purchase. Kathy describes some of them as inspired by “shadows and light creating a dance of light off the bow of our boat,” the passing of a dear friend, and the pandemic as “a time in which we all face a journey into the unknown.”

Bertha, a Rouge Vif D’Etampes pumpkin on display at the front door of the library, is all yours for a high silent auction bid. The grower tells us “Bertha weighs nearly 50 pounds, is organic and is grown here in Waldo County. She’ll make a lot of roasted pumpkin for soup. Or pies. Or roasted seeds.” The money goes to the Tri Town Music Program run by the Searsmont Town Library and Belfast Flying Shoes. Bidding, which has been brisk, ends on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 4 p.m.

Bits and Pieces

Costumes and candy and trick or treat! Drive carefully, watch out for little goblins and Spidermen, and happy Halloween to all.

The town got off pretty easy in the recent heavy rain and wind. Those Searsmonters who lost electricity got it back quickly and it was good to see CMP repair trucks out as the storm was coming to an end.

An early reminder that clocks “fall back” one hour on the night of Saturday, Nov. 5. Isn’t it about time we all chose a time scheme and stuck to it year-round?

With this column we have been your Searsmont town columnists for three years. Hard to believe how time flies. That said, there will be no column next week while your correspondents take a trip to see family in California. We will be back before Election Day. See you at the polls.