Stockton Springs Report

By Jeff Davis | Feb 21, 2014
Photo by: Jeff Davis Winter on Cape Jellison

Municipal News

The Planning Board meets at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Mar. 5 at the town hall.

The Historical Society's March meeting is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Mar. 2 at the Colcord House.

I can't imagine anyone having a complaint about the town. But, if you do, the town offers an online complaint form that can be accessed at the town website, Choose the What's New option in the menu column of the home page to access the pdf.

The next community lunch will start at 12 noon, Mar. 4 in the lower level meeting room of the town hall. It is my understanding that Scalloped Potatoes is on the menu this week. The cost is $5. Town manager Rich Couch advises, “This is a great way to get out and visit with friends and neighbors and have a lunch from the Good Kettle (especially while they are closed for January and February).” Come on down for this bi-monthly cabin fever reliever.

As reported last week, on Feb. 22, Kris Bragga was scheduled to present details on the option of forming an AOS community based school in Stockton Springs. At the time of this writing, that meeting has not yet taken place. On Feb. 26, SDMHS principal Brian Campbell will present a program that was presented in Searsport earlier this month (and available for viewing on VIMEO by searching for member George Kemper.) On Mar. 4, Bucksport superintendent Jim Boothby will be in town to offer his presentation. Both meetings are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. There will be a public hearing on the matter beginning at 7:00 p.m. Mar. 12 at the town hall.

I remind you of these important informational meetings because on Mar. 25, the town will hold a special election to ask if residents wish to continue on with the 22 step process to withdraw from RSU 20. If the petition to withdraw is approved, a withdrawal committee will be formed to develop an education plan. Step 17 of the process requires the committee to present that plan for a vote. The Mar. 25 special election includes a straw poll to determine which plan of action the voters would like to see the committee and thus, the town choose. Although this poll is not binding, it will be used by the committee to plot the course ahead. An informed voter will want to attend the meetings.

Couch advises, via his town email, “In other education related news - the Select Board agreed to hire the Bangor Law Firm Rudman & Winchell to assist the Town in the school withdrawal process should it move forward following the March 25th vote. They also established a cost for withdrawal of $20,000. The cost is required for the ballot question on March 25th.”


Couch further advises, “In non school related news, Phil Dion was appointed to the Harbor Committee as an alternate. We welcome Phil back to a position on a Town Committee.”


The town garage is in need of used oil for their furnace. Residents can leave their used oil at the gate. Of course, it needs to be in a container. Don't pour it out on the ground and say that Jeff said it was okay. Its cold out there and the guys at the town garage deserve a little heat. So, please donate your used oil.


School News

Congratulations to the Lady Vikings basketball team of Searsport High for carrying the school to the tourney on their shoulders. After winning the first game, they fought hard, but lost the second. For the Viking, it is not the bounty, but the battle and they battled well. As they take a well earned rest from the court, rest assured that when they return, their opponents will know to Fear the Vikings.


I would also like to recognize another unsung hero of the tournaments and of our daily school lives; the bus drivers of RSU 20. No school day, no school event, no source of school pride would be possible without the brave men and woman who carry our children and young adults safely to their daily battle and back home safely at the battle's end.


Resident News

Our well wishes go out to former ambulance director and knitter for the needy Phyllis Hall. Daughter-in-law Gloria tells me that Phyllis fell and broke her fragile hip. She has been bravely fighting cancer and now faces six to eight weeks of rehabilitation to allow her hip to mend. God bless you, Phyllis and thank you for you have done for us, before and after your retirement.


The flu seems to be going around. My friend Paul Bock was running a fever of over 103 and when I spoke with Rich Couch on the phone, he sounded nasty (no offense). Maybe Gay Dion can offer chicken soup at our next Community Dinner.


Our hearts go out to our town manager as he grieves the loss of his faithful companion, Koop. Rich tells me that he lost his twelve and a half year old yellow lab to pneumonia. It is always sad to lose an old friend. The bond between Rich and his beloved gentle giant is something that only he should attempt to describe. Suffice for me to say that we grieve with him. Rest in peace, Koop.


From the Columnist

Some have asked me which plan that I support in the withdraw issue. I have an opinion and will express it at the polls. But the option that I will support is the one identified as the one chosen by the majority of the residents of the town. This option will be determined in the course of the process. No plan will be perfect. None will be easy. But it is a town decision and should not be made by a group of well-intended residents, but by the majority. I hold this belief as I feel that no plan will succeed with the majority support of the people of the beautiful town of Stockton Springs.


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