Tag Archives: democracy

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

Community Town Hall with Rep. Espling and Sen. Brakey Sparks Spirited Exchange

TownMeetingEsplingBrakey.April2017

The chance to talk with State Representative Ellie Espling drew some twenty New Gloucester residents to the Congregational Church vestry in the early evening on April 5.  State Senator Eric Brakey, newly announced candidate for U.S. Senate, was able to join the gathering, a lively ninety-minute exchange of views and concerns.

Healthcare concerns dominated the conversation. Residents shared personal experiences and expressed a wide spectrum of viewpoints about alternative approaches, costs, and coverage issues.  In particular, community members wanted to know whether the two legislators support Medicaid expansion in Maine, a likely ballot initiative this fall.  On the matter of citizen ballot initiatives generally, residents asked how the representatives typically approach citizen-approved bonds and ballot measures and how they weigh the expressed will of the voters.  Other questions sought the legislators’ positions on proposed cuts to Clean Election funding, whether campaign funds from PACs should be spent within Maine, and what the state should increase spending on.

Briefly stepping back from specific issues to offer a broader view, Representative Espling and Senator Brakey acknowledged partisan differences in Augusta but noted considerable cooperation as well, with many bills enjoying unanimous support in committees and on the floor. Their New Gloucester meeting concluded on a similarly positive note. Attendees thanked Representative Espling and Senator Brakey, and the legislators expressed appreciation and plans to convene additional community listening sessions.

Public Workshop on Televised Candidate Forums

The next meeting of New Gloucester’s Cable TV Committee will feature a public workshop on candidate forums that are televised on NGTV community access Channel 3. Citizen input is being sought to evaluate past practices and apply changes, if any, to the protocol of future forums.

The public workshop will take place at the Meetinghouse, 389 Intervale Road, on Thursday, April 13, 7 p.m. For those who cannot attend the workshop, suggestions and comments may be emailed in advance to ngcabletv@gmail.com.

Chat with your legislators

Invited by NGXchange volunteers to promote citizen engagement and awareness, State Sen. Eric Brakey and State Rep. Ellie Espling will highlight their work in Augusta. Afterward, community members will have an opportunity to talk with their legislators in a more casual format.

The open house event will take place at the Community Building, located behind the New Gloucester Town Hall on Intervale Road. It’s scheduled to occur from 6-7 p.m., Wednesday, March 29.

Townspeople approve moratorium on retail marijuana establishments

Residents voted overwhelmingly Wednesday night to approve an ordinance establishing a 180-day moratorium on retail marijuana establishments and retail marijuana social clubs. Keep reading 

How we voted

OFFICE New Gloucester (n) Maine/District (%)
PRESIDENT
Hilary Clinton 1350 48.7
Gary Johnson 167 5.1
Jill Stein 61 1.9
Donald Trump 1657 44.3
US HOUSE DISTRICT 1    
Mark Holbrook 1716 41
Chellie Pingree 1541 59
COUNTY COMMISSISONER
Susan Witonis 2676 NA
STATE SENATE-District 20
Eric Brakey 2039 65.18
Kimberly Sampspn 1238 34.82
MAINE HOUSE (DISTRICT 65)
Elijah Breton 1314 45.03
Eleanor Espling 1985 54.97
REFERENDUM QUESTION
1-Legalize Marijuana Yes-1684

No-1658

Yes-50.9

No-49.1

2-Public Education Fund Yes-1459

No-1871

Yes-50.9

No-49.1

3-Background Checks Yes-1351

No-1998

Yes-48.9

No-51.1

4-Minimum Wage Increase Yes-1575

No-1768

Yes-55.9

No-44.1

5-Ranked Choice Voting Yes-1591

No-1710

Yes-52.7

No-47.3

6-Transportation Bond Issue Yes-1752

No-1552

Yes-61.56

No-38.44

Local numbers from Town of New Gloucester web site.
State results from Bangor Daily News as of 8:45 am Wed. November 9, 2016