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Select Board disputes lack of vision

By Christine Simmonds | Feb 12, 2020
Photo by: Christine Simmonds Select Board Chair Bob Butler dons sunglasses, and members Jann Minzy and Abden Simmons smile at the Feb. 11 meeting.

Waldoboro — The Waldoboro Select Board took time during their meeting to comment on a letter to the editor in the Jan. 30 edition of The Lincoln County News.

The letter by Waldoboro resident Bill Maxwell, titled “Waldoboro leaders have lost vision,” said the Select Board “have lost the vision of Waldoboro as a town” based on several decisions the board made regarding the location of events.

The board responded by donning sunglasses to demonstrate they still have vision, and briefly discussed the content of the letter.

“I don’t think it’s true,” said Select Board Chair Bob Butler.

Town Manager Julie Keizer said she knows Maxwell, but most of the issues in the letter were only rumors from Facebook and not actual decisions the board made.

“Facebook is a great place to share pictures of cats,” she said, "but you should be careful believing everything you read there."

Select Board member Jann Minzy continued the discussion with thoughts on increasing communication.

Minzy said she went to a Planning Board meeting and was very impressed with the communication and conversation that occurred during the meeting. “We can do the same,” she said.

Minzy suggested everyone consider ways the Select Board can increase their communication, and discuss it at the next meeting.

In other business, Laura Cabot Catering of Waldoboro was approved for a liquor license renewal.

Butler spoke about the Feb. 4 Transfer Station Management Board meeting. Butler said the board decided on a recommended budget for the transfer station, which included a rate increase.

Butler said disposing of waste is going to be more expensive moving forward because the landfill will close May 1.

He also said the Transfer Station Committee will reform to take on projects like increasing communication with the public and potentially adding a swap shop.

Select Board member Katie Winchenbach spoke about an upcoming dance at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post. The dance will be Saturday, Feb. 15 from 7 to 11 p.m. It will be a fundraiser for the gazebo project Winchenbach is working on.

Chief John Lash delivered a quarterly report about the Waldoboro Police Department.

Lash read letters written by citizens who had positive interactions with police officers, even after arrests and traffic stops.

Lash said the police department was fully staffed and on budget, and had zero work accidents in 2019.

Lash also said he recently attended a conference where he learned “disturbing statistics” about police wellness, and he wants to create a wellness program for his officers.

Lash said the number one cause of death for police is suicide, and the number two cause is heart attacks. To combat this, Lash wants to make doctor appointments and psychiatric appointments mandatory. He said he would lead by example for this program.

Keizer thanked Lash for his report, and said she hears positive feedback about the police department.

The board created a five-person Water Department Advisory Committee. Members would not be on the Select Board, but the meetings would be open to the public.

The Select Board approved Keizer to sign and send the annual letter to the Department of Marine Resources in Augusta stating that Waldoboro wishes to retain its right to river herring.

The board reviewed the updated town personnel policy. Keizer said the policy had not been overhauled since 2012, and the new policy “defined things better.”

Some changes included Christmas Eve as a day off for employees, more accurate definitions of employee jobs, an expanded ethics section and language changes.

Minzy said she felt the policy could still be more succinct, and she wanted more time to look through it and suggest changes.

The personnel policy was tabled to be discussed at the Feb. 25 meeting.

Keizer said that Spectrum agreed to provide internet on Chapel Road, and put the agreement in writing.

Resident Robin Philbrook said she and her neighbors had been down this road before. Philbrook said she was afraid that Spectrum would still not stand to their agreement.

“How many delays will we accept?” Philbrook asked. “We have waited a long time already.”

Keizer said because the agreement is in writing, it is easier for the town to hold Spectrum accountable if they do not abide by it.

Town Planner Max Johnstone spoke about the LED lights being installed. He said Hedstrom Electric noticed wiring and grounding issues in Camden’s lights, and suggested Waldoboro budget extra money for the lights in case they have the same issues.

Johnstone suggested the town give up five planned decorative lights to save this money.

Select Board Member Abden Simmons said he would like to keep all the lights in the plan, and instead add the extra money to the budget.

Keizer agreed that if the extra money was not needed, they would regret not having the five lights.

The board agreed to increase the budget for the LED lights instead of giving up the five decorative lights to save the money.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: ROBERT W. KNAPP | Feb 18, 2020 19:19

Of course they have no vision. They have their sunglasses on inside the building.

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