Tag Archives: local government

Board welcomes new town manager

Selectmen welcomed Town Manager Carrie Castonguay to her first meeting with the board Monday, the day she started her new job. Keep reading in Sun Journal.

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

Municipal Budget and More at May 1 NG Town Meeting

A 30,000 gallon cistern for fire protection near Route 100 and Morse Road, firefighter breathing apparatus, and plenty of paving are among the budget items New Gloucester residents will be asked to consider at Town Meeting on Monday May 1 at 7 pm at Memorial School. Traditionally an opportunity for neighbors to reconnect after a long winter, this year’s gathering will offer the chance to impose a ban on retail marijuana establishments, to establish term limits for selectmen, and to enact zoning ordinance changes, as well as set the municipal budget. The warrant for the meeting, detailing the budget articles and other initiatives, can be viewed here.

For the municipal budget, some $4.32 million in expenditures is proposed, about a 6 percent increase over current spending. Departmental operating expenses are up across the board; employee merit pay and new per diem stipends for emergency rescue staff on call overnight, seen as a first step in closing the pay gap with neighboring towns’ EMTs, are included as well. Continue reading

Patti’s April 28 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Historic sign to be unveiled

A special monthly History Barn Open House will take place on Saturday, May 6, from 9 a.m.-noon. At 10 a.m., the original 1776 Bell Tavern Sign, which is a gift from the Chandler Family, will be unveiled. It will hang in the barn as part of the New Gloucester Historical Society’s permanent exhibit.

The public is welcome to attend the open house and learn about the historic tavern. Refreshments, featuring goat cheese, or chèvre, from New Gloucester’s Lazy Dog Farm Creamery, and other tasty treats, will be served next door in the Community Building located at 381 Intervale Road, behind Town Hall.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-101/

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.

New town manager announced

Carrie Castonguay of Jay was hired by the Board of Selectmen to replace Town Manager Paul First, who resigned from his post on April 2. She will begin her duties May 15 at a salary of $68,000. Keep reading in SunJournal

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.

Selectmen honor town manager, successor to be named this week

At their April 3rd meeting, selectmen paid tribute to outgoing Town Manager Paul First, whose last day in office is Tuesday. First served as town planner for seven years before being named interim town manager and then permanent town manager for the past three and a half years.Keep reading in SunJournal.

Patti’s March 31 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Welcome, Neighbor crew Feb 20 2016

Welcome, Neighbor volunteers Kathleen Potter, front left, Penny Hilton, Beth Blakeman-Pohl and Beth Birch finish assembling packets of materials last year to be given out to new residents of New Gloucester. The Welcome, Neighbor group is in the process of assembling new packets.

Welcome, Neighbor provides free publicity

Local businesses and organizations can obtain free publicity by participating in Welcome, Neighbor, a grassroots community volunteer project conducted in conjunction with the town office. The project was developed to welcome new residents to New Gloucester by providing information that may assist in their transition.

Only New Gloucester-based businesses, organizations and community groups have the opportunity to include items, such as business cards, brochures or other promotional materials, in the 100 packets to be assembled. There’s no charge or obligation to participate. Drop off 100-count of your item to the town office by Friday, April 7, to have your materials included. For more information, call Beth at 650-5228.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-100/

BOS reviews bids for playground and culverts

Selectmen opened sealed bids for a future fairgrounds playground and a large culvert on Morse Road at their meeting on March  20th. Town staff is tasked with choosing a company after reviewing both projects with a recommendation to the board. Keep reading Ellie Fellers’ report in the SunJournal.