Tag Archives: democracy

How we voted

New Gloucester’s results mirror the rest of the state, with the casino going down to serious defeat, and the other three referendum questions passing. As reported on the town’s web site, here are the tallies of yesterday’s votes.

QUESTION 1
 (Casino)
  YES                 190
   NO                  1273
   BLANKS              4
QUESTION 2
 (Medicaid)
 YES                 735
 NO                  728
 BLANKS              4
QUESTION 3
(Bond Issue)
 YES                 871
 NO                  590
 BLANKS              6
QUESTION 4
 (Constitutional Amendment)
YES                 804
 NO                  615
 BLANKS            48
TOTAL VOTES CAST- 1467

Don’t forget to vote!

November 7th is voting day. While it’s an off-year with no state or federal election taking place, there are several referendum items on the ballot. You can vote three ways:
1) absentee ballot by mail– by requesting that the Town Office mail a ballot to you
2) go to Town Office and vote in person
3) go to the polls on November 7th at the fire station, 611 Lewiston Rd. Polls are open 6 am to 8 pm

Here are the questions on the ballot:

  1. Citizen Initiative
    Do you want to allow a certain company to operate table games and/or slot machines in York County, subject to state and local approval, with part of the profits going to the specific programs described in the initiative?
  2. Citizen Initiative
    Do you want Maine to expand Medicaid to provide healthcare coverage for qualified adults under age 65 with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level, which in 2017 means $16,643 for a single person and $22,412 for a family of two?
  3. Bond Issue
    Do you favor a $105,000,000 bond issue for construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways and bridges and for facilities or equipment related to ports, harbors, marine transportation, freight and passenger railroads, aviation, transit and bicycle and pedestrian trails, to be used to match an estimated $137,000,000 in federal and other funds, and for the upgrade of municipal culverts and stream crossings?
    Total estimated lifetime cost is $133,875,000 representing $105,000,000 in principal and $28,875,000 in interest (assuming interest at 5.0% over 10 years).
  4. Constitutional Amendment
    Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to reduce volatility in state pension funding requirements caused by the financial markets by increasing the length of time over which experience losses are amortized from 10 years to 20 years, in line with pension industry standards?

For more information on these questions, see http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/upcoming/index.html

Garage contract signed, petition filed to reconsider vote

Selectmen voted 3-2 Monday night to authorize Town Manager Carrie Castonguay to sign the contract to build a public works garage.Meanwhile, a petition signed by 290 residents was filed with town officials this week asking for reconsideration of last week’s vote approving the $4.6 million project. The vote was 169-139. Keep reading

Medicaid Expansion Forum, Oct. 12

For those interested in learning more about ballot Question #2, regarding the expansion of Medicaid to provide health care coverage for low income individuals ….

…. PLEASE JOIN US!  7:00 PM on Thursday, October 12th at the First Congregational Church Vestry located at 19 Gloucester Hill Rd, New Gloucester, ME 04260.

There will be a panel of experts followed by a Q&A session: Ned Claxton, M.D., a doctor’s perspective; State Rep. Drew Gattine, a state legislative perspective; Charlie Dingman, Esq., a lawyer specializing in reimbursement, regulatory, and government contracting issues for a wide range of clients in the healthcare sector.

CANVASSING OPPORTUNITY: A New Gloucester canvass in support of Yes on 2 will also be taking place on Saturday, October 21st from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.  This will also be taking place at the First Congregational Church located at 19 Gloucester Hill Rd, New Gloucester, ME 04260.

“You took my vote away:” BOS hears from “four old ladies”

Selectmen on Monday night unanimously approved a special town meeting to vote on a $4.6 million garage and sand shed, after four “old ladies” spearheaded a petition drive. Keep reading Ellie Fellers’ report in the SunJournal

New Gloucester marks Independence Day

More than 40 people gathered at the New Gloucester History Barn on Tuesday for the reading of the Declaration of Independence. The ceremony was sponsored by the New Gloucester Historical Society. Steve Rogers, Amy Fryda and the Rev. Linda Gard read parts of the document. Thomas Blake, society curator, talked about the 1776 Bell Tavern sign recently donated to the society by Charles Chandler Jr. See Ellie Feller’s photos in the SunJournal.

Election results

According to numbers posted on the town web site, Joe Davis was elected to the Board of Selectmen, with 311 votes. Doug McAtee had 133 write-in votes, and 36 ballots were blank. Gary Harriman was re-elected to the MSAD 15 School Board with 55 votes. Laura Jane Sturgis recited 9 write-in votes. 416 ballots were left blank. For the Water District, 8 people each received 1 write-in vote, leaving no winner. The school district budget passed with a 303 to 170 vote. The state bond issue failed with a vote of 223 yes and 253 no.

Annual Town Meeting Wrap Up in Sun Journal

New Gloucester voters ban retail marijuana

Ellie Fellers, Special to the Sun Journal

NEW GLOUCESTER — Voters at town meeting Monday banned retail marijuana establishments and retail marijuana social clubs in town.

Two members of a committee tasked with coming up with a townwide ordinance on the issue agreed that the ban could be lifted once state rules governing such establishments were approved to guide the town.

“This issue is extremely important to our quality of life and public safety,” said committee member Richard Maguire, a retired state trooper. “I ask you to keep New Gloucester clean of drugs. Keep our children free. It’s a very serious issue and it affects you. It’s about the children, our children and children’s children.”

Member Peter Bragdon agreed with the ban.

“There will be an ordinance after the state comes up with rules,” he said. “Let the state establish standards.”

For now, retail marijuana establishments, including stores, cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities and testing facilities, and social clubs are banned.

In another issue, residents voted 66-44 to approve an ordinance limiting selectmen to three consecutive terms. After an absence of three years, they may run for and hold the office again.

Read more http://www.sunjournal.com/news/lewiston-auburn/2017/05/01/new-gloucester-passes-retail-marijuana-ordinance/2122353

Why Should NG Adopt Term Limits for Selectmen?

New Gloucester voters will have a chance to weigh in on whether or not to adopt an ordinance establishing term limits for selectmen at our Town Meeting on Monday, May 1.

How does it work?

If enacted, a member of the Board of Selectmen would serve no more than three consecutive three-year terms. After an interval of at least three years, the former selectman may run for and hold the office of selectmen again. Keep in mind that during this absence, he or she is free to apply to serve on other Town boards and committees, if they so choose.

How many years have the longest-serving board members been in office?

One board member has served since 2001. When his term is up in 2019, he would have been on the board for 18 continuous years. Another has served since 2006. When her term is up in 2018, she would have been on the board for 12 continuous years.

Would they be permitted to run again when their terms expire, if they so choose?

No, there is a retroactivity clause in the ordinance.

Why not just vote out a selectman when his or her term expires?

Voting on selectmen occurs at the June election when turnout is historically low. Many times the turnout is at the 15-20% level, and the election is decided by just a handful of voters. The possible reason that a candidate may win is because they are adept at ‘get-out-the-vote’ efforts, rather than being a reflection of job approval ratings by the citizenship at large.

Why would term limits benefit the Town?

Term limits would likely cultivate a healthy balance of fresh perspective and institutional knowledge among board members.

If term limits were enacted, would it produce a shortage of candidates in ensuing elections?

During the last six years (and perhaps in prior years), there has been ample interest shown in running for this office, as evidenced by the fact that the number of candidates has outnumbered the number of open seats. In both 2011 and 2014, two candidates ran for 1 open seat; and in each of the years 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016, four candidates ran for two open seats.

Is the ordinance legal?

The citizen’s petition, which contained the ordinance, passed legal muster by Town Attorney Philip Saucier of Bernstein Shur in January 2017.

Town meeting May 1st

New Gloucester’s annual town meeting will take place on Monday, May 1st at 7 PM in the gym at Memorial School. In addition to the usual roster of budget articles, there are several that deal with new or revised ordinances. Article  21 would ban retail marijuana businesses, (apparently a placeholder until the state gets its act together); article 22 would apply term limits to the Board of Selectmen; and several articles (23-27) that seek to modify zoning ordinances.

You can download the warrant on the town’s website: www.newgloucester.com