A happening townOne of the pleasures of living in Searsmont is that you can be as involved in town decisions as much as you want. You can attend every Monday evening selectmen’s meeting and say your piece.
You can go to public hearings, like the one held March 14 when the selectmen presented Land Use Ordinance amendments and their budget plan for next year and heard plenty of comments about both.
You can join Searsmont’s town committees, most of whose members are elected at town meeting. Other than some rip-roaring votes around choosing selectmen, committee member votes are usually unanimous.
And you can attend town meeting, voice your opinion and vote on what your town plans to do in the coming year. When only 100 or so people show up in a town of 1,400 folks, your vote really counts.
Town meetingSearsmont’s 2023 town meeting will take place on Saturday, April 8, starting at 9 a.m., back home where it belongs. The nearly 30-item warrant will be presented, talked about, sometimes fought over and voted on at the Community Center for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic moved it to the Fire Station. The warrant was not official at press time, so you will have to wait until next week for more details.
As a preview of coming attractions, one selectman is up for reelection and seven committee members will be chosen. There will be several Land Use Ordinance amendments, including some about electronic and “just sitting there” signs. Lee Woodward will probably be moderator and will find someone to be the butt of his jokes.
At least one item will involve a lot of talk until someone moves to end debate and take a vote on it. Town voters, many in loving memory of the late Anne Wardwell, will raise no objection to allowing the selectmen to use grants “to reduce taxes.” There will be a lot of socializing, and participating Searsmonters will go home pleased they have done their duty and enjoyed an entertaining hour or three.
Town OfficeThree residents attended the March 6 selectmen’s meeting, down from four the previous week. Cemetery summer maintenance and tree cutting contracts got attention, as did a mowing contract for town properties. Joanne Moulton is now officially a “co-town clerk” so she can sign residents’ paperwork while Kathy Hoey is still in place.
The Planning Board needs you. Two members’ terms are ending and at town meeting voters will be asked to select their replacements. The board is still looking for a part-time clerk. If you are interested in being part of, or working for, this active volunteer group that affects everyone in town, give the Town Office a call at 342-5411.
Speaking of the PB, Searsmont will need to form a committee to update its state-mandated Comprehensive Plan in the next year or two. Stay tuned for more information on that.
Historical SocietyMac Smith, author of books on Maine’s RMS Titanic passengers, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and filming “Peyton Place” hereabouts, spoke at the Searsmont Historical Society March 9 about the 1899 “Disaster at the Bar Harbor Ferry,” his newest book. There were nearly 20 folks there to listen, learn and be entertained. And, as usual, the cookies available after the program were very good.
Even the best ukelele players need a drink of water. The TriTown Music Program concert delighted an audience March 7 at the Searsmont Town Library. Photo by Mickey Sirota
Bits and piecesThat joyful noise coming from the library on Tuesday, March 7, was a ukelele concert by the talented young people of the Tri-Town Music Program. The audience got a real kick out of it.
Selectman and Road Commissioner Chris Staples tells us Searsmont got between 14 and almost 20 inches of snow in the big beginning-of-March storm. Why so much more here than, say, Belfast or Brooks? Is there a microclimate down by ponds and streams, or between Levenseller and Moody mountains and Appleton Ridge?
Here’s a feel good story for you. Henry Dow, Searsmont’s new standby Animal Control Officer, had his first call on March 7. With volunteers (including George Sprowl and his tractor ready to help), Henry successfully strapped and lifted a ditch-bound horse to safety. Both ACO and horse are doing just fine. Some start, Henry.
There will be no Searsmont town column next week. You can send in your news, but it may not see print until after the first of April.