Searsmont News

By Joyce and Mickey Sirota | Nov 02, 2019
Joyce and Mickey Sirota, new Searsmont town columnists for The Republican Journal.


Editor's note: We are pleased to welcome Joyce and Mickey Sirota as Searsmont columnists. They kindly volunteered after the untimely passing of Cathy McGahan. Our condolences to Cathy's friends and family; she did a wonderful job of keeping us informed about news and events in Searsmont.

Meet your new correspondents

We are Mickey and Joyce Sirota. The two of us are honored to be your new town ace reporters. Joyce is a social worker, and Mickey is a fund-raiser. Joyce was an editor, copy editor, and proofreader before switching careers, so if you find any typos in these columns you know who to call. Mickey retired from the Red Cross after work with nonprofits for more than 45 years.

Here in town, both of us are ballot clerks, Joyce was chair of the library board for nearly a decade, and Mickey chairs the Cemetery Committee and Board of Appeals. We have been part of the Searsmont community for more than 20 years, choosing to live and work in a place we have grown to love and appreciate for both its beauty and its people.

Need your news

This is your town column — so send us your news. This column is all about you, the people who live in, work in, visit and care about Searsmont. If your town news gets to us by noon on Thursday, we’ll submit what you send us about your organization, yard sale, church events, meetings, visitors, graduations, birthdays, anniversaries, and gardens.

Let us know if your road needs repair, and how long your electricity was out. Brag a bit about your deer or moose. Let us know if you’re starting a new business or see an albino squirrel. And let us know if you want us to tell you about the people who make Searsmont what it is — folks at the transfer station and library and Town Office and post office, church leaders, business owners, and people who make the pies and cookies for every event. We'll do it if you give us the go-ahead. We really want you to read this column BEFORE you read the police blotter.

In appreciation of Cathy McGahan

Cathy McGahan was a wonderful woman, and we were saddened by her recent and unexpected passing. Nearly 70 people attended the Oct. 4 event at the library to celebrate her life. Family and friends, neighbors and acquaintances gathered to remember her sense of humor, dedication to whatever task she took on (including as a library volunteer and assistant library director), wit and wisdom. She was a caring and diligent town correspondent, and we have big shoes to fill after years of town news under Cathy’s byline. We all miss her.

Searsmont Town Library

Friends of the Searsmont Library welcome one and all to the Friends’ annual meeting Thursday, Nov. 7, at 6 p.m. Second Saturdays at the library have been abuzz with the sounds of battle as young and younger folks meet up to play Magic: The Gathering. Whether you have your own deck or would just like to learn to play, come by Saturday, Nov. 9, from 10 a.m. to noon, and join in.

A reminder that the monthly Book Group meets Thursday, Nov. 14, at 6 p.m. to discuss "Falling Angels" by Tracy Chevalier, and new book group members are always welcome. On Sunday, Nov. 15, from 5 to 6 p.m., there will be a reception for local artist Jim Hillmann. And yes, there will be refreshments!

Town Office news

The Town Office will be closed Monday, Nov. 11, for Veterans Day, and Thursday, Nov. 28, for Thanksgiving. It’s also that time of year when weather wreaks havoc with schedules and may cause Town Office closures — last year there were two significant storms in November. If the office is closed or closes early, it is posted on and on WABI-TV and WCSH closure notices.

The Searsmont Planning Board will hold a public hearing Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 6 p.m. in the Community Building meeting room to review and take comments on a site plan review application from the state of Maine proposing changes to the Quantabacook Lake boat launch facility. All are welcome to attend and/or comment. The Board of Appeals meets Monday, Nov. 8, at 6 p.m.

2020 Dog licenses are now on sale at the Town Office. Contessa's goal is to have all dogs licensed by the Dec. 31 deadline and she needs your help to meet it! Did you know that we have 474 dogs registered in Searsmont? Several people have been in already, so there are only 440 left to license! The fees are still $6 for a spayed/neutered dog, and $11 for an unaltered dog. A current rabies vaccination certificate is required if we don’t already have one on file (you can call the office at 342-5411 to check).

Waldo County Humane Society will hold a fall rabies clinic Saturday, Nov. 23, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Troy Town Office, 129 Rogers Road. Dr. Yvette LaHaye will administer shots, and they are free to animal owners who live in Waldo County; $7 for pets from other counties. Donations are welcome. Bring all animals on leashes or in a portable pet carrier, and bring proof of a previous rabies shot so your pet can receive a 3-year rabies certificate. There will also be coupon discounts toward the cost of spaying or neutering. For more information, call 852-5033 or 323-6308, or go to the Waldo County Humane Society on Facebook.

The Transfer Station reminds residents that metal recycling now goes to Soohey’s Auto Sales and Auto Parts, 244 Belfast-Augusta Road, Searsmont. There is no charge for metal recycling, and items with Freon are accepted. Tin cans from food are not considered “metal recycling” and need to be put with the regular town trash for sorting and recycling at Fiberight.

Property taxes were due Sept. 30 and are now accruing interest. People have asked what the deadline is for appearing in “the book of shame” (i.e., the Town Report). The state requires the town report to list “all delinquent taxpayers and the amount due from each.” Jan. 31, 2020, is the end of this fiscal year, so get your taxes paid before then to avoid having your name printed in the next annual Town Report.

Goings-on about town

This has been an incredible fall for apples. Winterberry bushes are bright red and the wild cranberry crop this year is astounding, even with turkey and deer taking their share. The last green tomatoes are coming inside to ripen. People are putting their gardens to bed for the winter and getting them ready for spring. After nearly 30 years of muddy, rutted winter adventures, much of Crie Road into the transfer station was paved this year, and so were Pond and Lawry roads. Residents on their Saturday morning dump runs, the school bus and the post office car should get through now, even after the worst thaw.

Did we say...

... We want to hear from you? We really do. You can reach us by email at or, or by phone at 322-5671


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