Tag Archives: elections

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.

Election and Absentee Voting

Voting will take place, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 6 a.m.-8 p.m., at the New Gloucester Fire Station, 611 Lewiston Road. The state referendum election ballot will consist of five citizen initiatives and one bond issue question. The general election ballot will contain candidates for county, state and national offices. View the ballots online at www.newgloucester.com or see print versions posted around town.

Absentee ballots are available at Town Hall during regular office hours: Monday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; and Friday 9 a.m.-2 p.m. An absentee ballot application can be printed from the town website and be mailed or hand-delivered to the town office or you can go to the State Election Website www.state.me.us/sos/cec/elec. Another option is to vote in person at Town Hall prior to the election during regular office hours. The last day to request an absentee ballot is Thursday, Nov. 3, without special circumstances. A reminder: The New Gloucester Town Hall service window will be closed on Tuesday, Nov. 8, to allow staff to be at the polls on Election Day.

 

Patti’s Oct. 14th “Inside New Gloucester” Column

pineland-harvest-festival

Pineland Farms is gearing up for its annual Fall Festival and Haunted Woods Walks, which include a number of spooky activities.

3rd annual Harvest Festival

The third annual Harvest Festival at the Pineland Farms Education Barn promises a day filled with harvest-related activities for families with children of all ages. It’s to be held rain or shine from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 22. Activities include apple cider demonstrations, “Click, Clack, Boo” woods walk, face painting, farmers obstacle course, corn maize and a complimentary showing of “It’s a Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.”

The festival admission is $6 per person. Costumes are highly encouraged. Buy tickets at The Market and Welcome Center, 15 Farm View Drive, New Gloucester. For more information, call 650-3031 or email education@pinelandfarms.org.

Scare your pants off

Join in on a spooky corn maize and haunted woods walk starting at the Pineland Farms Education Barn, taking place both Friday, Oct. 21, and Saturday, Oct. 22. Walks will leave every 20 minutes between 6-9 p.m., beginning with an optional trip through the corn maize and finishing with a “scare your pants off” journey through the “haunted” dark forest. Walks are to be held rain or shine, and flashlights are required.

Due to the event’s popularity, the number of tickets available each night is limited to 600. Tickets cost $6 per person and are available online at https://shop.pinelandfarms.org, Classes & Events. For more information, call 650-3031 or email education@pinelandfarms.org.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-52/

Legalizing Marijuana to be Discussed, Oct. 6

Sheriff Kevin Joyce will be providing insight into the legal and social ramifications of legalizing recreational marijuana at a community presentation entitled, “What Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Looks Like.” Representatives from “Yes on 1”  will also be on the panel.

The discussion will take place during a New Gloucester Public Safety Committee meeting on Thursday, Oct. 6, 7 p.m., at the New Gloucester Meetinghouse, 389 Intervale Road. The program will be telecast live on NGTV community access Channel 3 and will be available as video on demand at www.newgloucester.com shortly thereafter.

Patti’s June 10 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Town election

Polls will be open from 6 a.m.-8 p.m., Tuesday, June 14, for the town election, which will be held at the Fire Station, 611 Lewiston Road, New Gloucester.

There are two SAD 15 bond referendum questions, a school budget validation vote, and state primary candidates on the ballot. Additionally, there are four candidates for two openings on the New Gloucester Board of Selectmen, three candidates for three openings on the SAD 15 Board of Directors, and one candidate for one opening on the New Gloucester Water District Board of Trustees. Note that only citizens who reside within the town’s water district may vote for water board candidates. See www.newgloucester.com to view sample ballots.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-29/

Patti’s May 13 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Selectmen candidates forum

Four certified candidates are competing for two open seats on the New Gloucester Board of Selectmen. They are Lenora Conger, Steven Libby, Nichole Stevens and Kathleen Potter. A televised candidates forum, open to the public, will be held Tuesday, May 31 at 7 p.m., at the New Gloucester Meetinghouse, 389 Intervale Road. Tamilyn Wayboer will serve as the moderator.

Citizens are encouraged to send questions to be asked by the moderator by email to ngcabletv@gmail.com before noon Monday, May 23. The format also will include an opportunity for audience members to ask questions.

The forum will be telecast live on local access cable Channel 3 and will be rebroadcast on June 3-5 and June 10-12, at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Also, the program will be available as video-on-demand at www.newgloucester.com.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-gray-new-gloucester-2/

Candidates for Local Offices

Elections for Selectmen, SAD #15 School Board Members, NG Water District Trustee, and School Budget referendum along with State Elections, will be voted on Tuesday, June 14th, at the New Gloucester Fire Station, 611 Lewiston Road.

VOTING HOURS CHANGE: Polls will open at 6:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.

Candidates for selectmen (two open seats) are: Lenora Conger, Steven Libby, Nichole Stevens and Kathleen Potter.

Candidates for the MSAD #15 school board (three open seats) are: Amy Arata, John Cavanaugh and Barbra Thompson.

Candidate for the Water District Board of Trustees (one open seat) is: Vaughn Hardesty.

Bernie Wins Big in New Gloucester Democratic Caucus

Kimberly Sampson addressing group Opening remarks by convener Nichole Stevens

Top: Kimberly Sampson, candidate for State Senate District 20, addresses a large crowd at the New Gloucester Democratic Caucus on Sunday afternoon. Nearly 200 enthusiastic caucus-goers were in attendance.

Bottom: Caucus Convener Nichole Stevens conducts a smooth-running event at the Memorial School Gym, March 6.

The results of the voting:
Bernie Sanders  139 votes (73%) – 9 delegates
Hillary Clinton  54 votes (27%) – 4 delegates

New Gloucester Democrats to Caucus

Do you have a Democratic presidential preference? Here’s your chance to caucus in support of Hillary or Bernie. The New Gloucester Democratic Committee will host its biennial town caucus on Sunday, March 6, at the Memorial School Gym, 86 Intervale Road (Route 231), New Gloucester. Voter registration will open at 2 p.m., the caucus will start at 3 p.m., and doors will close at 4 p.m. for presidential preference voting.

All registered Democrats residing in New Gloucester are invited to attend. Additionally, 17-year-olds, who will turn 18 on, or before, Election Day (Nov. 8), will be eligible to participate in the caucus by registering to vote and enrolling prior to the caucus. New voters, or those not belonging to a political party, may register as Democrats at the caucus; however, enrolling beforehand at the town office is strongly recommended. New enrollees should bring identification and proof of residency (such as a utility bill with a street address).

Those who can’t come to the caucus but would like to vote for a Democratic presidential candidate, may do so by requesting an absentee ballot via an online form at www.mainedems.org. Completed absentee ballots must be received by Wednesday, March 2.

Other matters on the agenda include selecting delegates and alternates to the May 6-7 state convention in Portland, electing county committee members, and nominating election clerks. Coffee and baked goods will be available. The blizzard date is Sunday, March 13. For more information, contact caucus convener Nichole Stevens at 807-7694.