Stockton Springs Report

By Jeff Davis | Feb 14, 2014
Photo by: Jeff Davis Lowder Brook where it meets the bay at Fort Point Cove.

Municipal News

The Select Board will convene at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20 at the town hall.

Residents are reminded to set out their recycling on the same day.

Town manager Rich Couch advises, via the town email, of the upcoming meetings regarding the process of bringing the withdrawal from RSU 20 to the people, and other meetings regarding our schools.

The Stockton Springs Select Board will sponsor a meeting offered by town resident Krista Braga. Kris has been investigating AOS/Charter School information and has graciously offered to share her findings. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Feb 22 at the lower meeting room of the Stockton Springs Town Hall.

The Select Board will sponsor a meeting offered by Stockton Springs and Searsport residents at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26 at the same location. Guest speaker of this informational meetings is scheduled to be SDMHS principal Brian Campbell. Mr. Campbell will be speaking on the school's past achievements and future plans for school's the STEM program, Robotics and other programs. Those unable to attend may view a similar talk that Mr. Campbell gave at Union Hall in Searsport on Feb. 12 at the town of Searsport website.

Jim Boothby, Bucksport School Superintendent will be the Guest Speaker as the town sponsors their third meeting regarding the school options. At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Mar. 4, Mr. Boothby will address the option of Stockton Springs sending the children across the other river to get an education.

Our thanks go out to the select board for all the work they have put into this part of the process. After receiving the required number of signatures on a petition, the law requires them to investigate the cost of withdrawal, hold a public hearing and put the withdrawal up for a vote. The required public hearing is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, Mar. 12 at the town hall. The Special Election will be held on Mar 25. The polls, as usual, are open from 8-8 and the vote will be held in the lower meeting room/polling place of the town hall. Voters will also be asked to fill out a non-binding straw poll stating their choice of educational options. The process will be by secret ballot. Absentee Ballots are accepted. To obtain an absentee ballot for someone else, one must go to the town hall and fill out a permission slip for them to pick up the ballot. The voter must sign that slip, which must be returned to the town hall to pick up the actual ballot for the absentee voter. Christie explains the process much better than I do. Call her at 567-3404.

It should be noted that our town officials have gone beyond the duties required by withdrawal law. The decision to sponsor these informational meetings and straw poll shows not only their good intent, but is testimony to the transparency in which they perform their duties. They want us to know what they know, so that we will have a better understanding of the decisions they make. Thankfully, people like Kris were willing to go the extra mile and investigate the option that she supports. Mr. Boothby was willing to come here and speak of what they have to offer. And Mr. Campbell came to town to remind us of what we have.

We live in the cradle of American Democratic self-government and we still use the town hall type of government that gave this nation its start. It is people like our town officials and employees that guide us in that process. It is residents like Kris and neighbors like Mr. Boothby and Mr. Campbell that volunteer their time to give us the tools and information to keep our town a self-governed New England community. We owe them our thanks.

In other town news, the Cape Jellison Bridge on Cape Jellison Road in Stockton Springs is being posted with a maximum weight limit of 12 tons. All vehicles heavier than 12 tons that need to get from one side of the tidal inlet to the other should follow Cape Jellison around in the opposite direction to by pass the bridge. No width restrictions are involved with this bridge posting. Most residents will not be affected by the posting. This restriction comes from MDOT.

Volunteer News

I'm a little short on volunteer news this week. The weather has put a hold on a lot of activities. The library recently posted, via Facebook, that fines would be forgiven during weather closings. Spring is less than 40 days away. Things will pick.

Allow me to take the lack of volunteer news to remind you that we have an adult literacy program, Read with Me, sponsored by the Stockton Springs Library, for adults in Stockton Springs and Prospect. It is a confidential, no cost program, tailored for individual need. Some people have no problem reading a novel, but cannot navigate through textbooks or training programs. Some find that they need government services and cannot decipher the forms and instructions. Assistance may be needed for a week or a year or longer. But the Read with Me program will be there for our residents. You can contact the library at 567-4147 or Jeff Davis at 567-2029.

Resident News

Stockton Historian Faustina Hichborn's chose to begin A Historic Sketch of Stockton Springs with a Shakespearean quote about men being thrust into greatest. In 2014, the nephew of our town's second historian Alice Ellis may become one of those men. Congratulations are in order for Sandy Point resident and town recorder Mac Smith on the upcoming publication of his book Mainers on the Titanic. Due to be released on June 15 on Amazon, Mac traces the stories of passengers on the ill-fated ship with ties to Maine. Amazon describes the book as “a unique and fascinating addition to the Titanic story.” Well, I know the author is unique and fascinating. So, I'll have to agree and can't wait to read it. Once again, I never cease to be amazed at the talent that surrounds me in the beautiful town of Stockton Springs.

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