THOMASTON — Thomaston residents Laura and Michael Burns challenged the Thomaston Select Board to take action regarding speeding drivers on their road, prompting a discussion about speed issues in town and the promise of a letter to the Maine Department of Transportation.

“Someone is going to get very, very, very hurt. Or dead,” Laura said. She spoke on behalf of the couple at the Monday, July 11, board meeting.

Burns said residents should get together and try to fix this speeding issue. She said all members of the community should be brainstorming solutions for speeding drivers rather than saying it did not involve them.

Burns said she and Michael live on Brooklyn Heights Road toward Cushing, and speeding was a serious issue on that road as drivers were headed to Cushing.

She said the couple could not get any help or answers regarding speeding, and they were at this meeting at the urging of Thomaston Police Chief Tim Hoppe.

“If this town cannot get this situation resolved up there, I’ll move,” she said.

Chair Diane Giese said this was an issue on many streets, but the town did not have a large enough police force to be on every street all day.

Burns said this was worse than in other communities, because Thomaston is a small town. She said this speeding problem was out of hand.

Giese asked Burns if she had any suggested solutions.

Burns replied she was at this meeting looking to the board for solutions. “You guys are the professionals in this, not me,” she said.

Resident Kim Matthews said drivers speeding through Thomaston had been an issue since she was a child.

Burns asked why community members have not been “raising Cain” about speeding if it has been a problem for so long.

Board member Zel Bowman-Laberge mentioned the flashing speed sign on the corner of Beechwood Street, which instructed drivers to slow down if they were speeding. Bowman-Laberge said the town had discussed putting such a sign on that side of town.

Giese told Burns she felt her pain, but she did not think there was an easy answer to make her happy. She said speeding was a problem on a number of streets in town, and unless a police officer was constantly present, she was not sure what kind of results they realistically could expect.

Burns asked where the board could go to look for help on this issue. “You’re the Selectmen of the town,” she said.

Board member Sandy Moore said speeding was not just a Thomaston problem, but an issue in every local community.

Hoppe said speeding was a problem on every road in town, and random patrols would not be able to address it. He did say the flashing speed sign Bowman-Laberge mentioned was very effective, even for him.

Resident Charlie Grover suggested involving the Knox County Sheriff Department, as they provide service to Cushing.

Burns asked Town Manager Kara George if she could speak with representatives of Cushing about the problem.

George suggested perhaps the town could draft a letter to the Maine Department of Transportation, as that was a state road.

Vice-chair Peter Lammert said a very effective method for dealing with speeders utilized two old, wrecked cars.

Burns said she was not going to do that. “This needs to be handled in a professional manner, not thrown back to the poor soul that is living on that road now,” she said.

Lammert said in situations like this often it was necessary to “fight fire with fire” and “prepare for war.”

Bowman-Laberge asked Burns if the couple had contacted the sheriff, and provided her with the Knox County Sheriff Department phone number.

Hoppe said the sheriff’s department was short-staffed, just like every law enforcement department in the country. They may not be able to provide much help either.

Burns asked George to talk to the state and ask for their help. George agreed to write a letter to MDOT asking them to look at the speeding issue on Brooklyn Heights Road.

Burns said she hoped the board would remember this discussion and take action. “This isn’t good for Thomaston,” she said.

In other business, the board approved Bill Wasson as interim code enforcement officer.

Wasson had retired from the position in January, and Mandy Everett was hired to take his place. Everett has since resigned, and Wasson agreed to return until a full time replacement was found.

Giese thanked everyone who worked for the town’s Fourth of July celebration, and called it “a great success.” She said it was great to have this event back on the town map again.

The board also addressed the election of the new officers, which was unable to occur at the last meeting due to a tie vote.

Giese said the vote would be held again at the next meeting, as board member Bill Hahn was currently absent.

The next Thomaston Select Board meeting is Monday, July 25, at 6 p.m.

A recording of the meeting can be viewed at