UPDATED: Ratner reelected to Select Board, voters OK commercial marijuana cultivation

Official results, write-in candidates updated
By Susan Mustapich | Jun 12, 2019
Photo by: Susan Mustapich Marc Ratner was reelected to his second three-year term on the Select Board June 11.

Camden — A large majority of the 551 registered voters who went to the polls June 11 approved small-scale commercial marijuana cultivation, as well as excluding formula-based restaurants from downtown Camden and allowing hotels with existing restaurants in the Village District to serve meals to the public in addition to registered guests.

New anti-littering and food sovereignty ordinances also were approved by large margins.

Marc Ratner was elected to a second three-year term on the Select Board with 448 votes.

Voters elected Nancy Caudle-Johnson, 348 votes, Mark Haskell, 331 votes, and Christopher MacLean, 367 votes, to the Charter Commission. Also elected to three-year terms on the Charter Commisson were write-in candidates Steve Melchiskey, Robin McIntosh and Jim Heard.

Lavana Snyder was elected to the Personnel Board for a three-year term, as a write-in candidate.

Peter Orne, 422 votes, and Rebecca S. Flanagan, 414 votes, were both reelected to their positions on the School Administrative District 28 and Five Town CSD boards.

All of the candidates ran for the positions unopposed.

Zoning changes, local ordinances

Commercial marijuana cultivation: Voters approved small-scale commercial marijuana cultivation in Camden by a vote of 326 in favor to 171 against. The ordinance allows the two smallest indoor and outdoor marijuana cultivation facilities defined by the state. The ordinance does not address commercial marijuana retail sales, which are not allowed in Camden.

Establishing a commercial marijuana cultivation facility requires local and state licenses, and a special exception granted by Camden's Zoning Board of Appeals.

Formula-based restaurant restrictions: An overwhelming majority of voters, 445 to 92, agreed to restrict the location of chain restaurants with more than 50 franchise locations, referred to as formula-based food service, to the Highway Business District. Based on the vote, those restaurants are no longer permitted in downtown Camden.

Restaurant service to the public in hotels in the Village District: Voters approved, 455 to 49, a zoning change to allow three hotels in the district to serve the public as well as guests, as long as there has been no increase in seating capacity since Jan. 1, 2019. The zoning change affects Norumbega Inn, and allows its restaurant to serve the public for the first time, pending review and approval by the Zoning Board of Appeals. The zoning change does not affect grandfathering provisions that currently allow restaurants at Whitehall Inn and Camden Harbour Inn to serve the public.

Clean Community Ordinance: Voters took a strong stand on litter enforcement, approving a new ordinance, 506 to 31, that defines various forms of littering and gives the Police Department enforcement authority over violations.

Local Food Sovereignty Ordinance: Voters approved, 458 to 80, a new ordinance that allows transactions of locally prepared food products between the producer and the consumer without requiring state licensing or inspections. This local ordinance does not apply to seafood, poultry and meat products, which still must be state-inspected.

School budgets

Maine School Administrative District 28: Camden voters approved, 412 to 121, the 2019-20 budget for kindergarten through eighth-grade education, totaling $16,930,674.98. After accounting for a 16.04-percent rise in revenues, the overall impact on taxpayers will be 7.26 percent.

Camden's share of the cost totals $8,040,020, a 3.97-percent increase from the previous year.

Five Town Community School District: Camden voters approved, 403 to 115, the 2019-20 secondary school budget totaling $12,907,565.93. This represents an increase of 2.89 percent over the 2018-19 budget. Due to a 2.51-percent decrease in revenues, the impact of the total budget on taxpayers is an increase of 4.02 percent.

Camden's share of the Five Town CSD budget totals $4,091,539, up 5.81 percent from the prior year.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Jun 12, 2019 12:52

Kudos for keeping downtown unique!  Small town is good for Camden and local folks who need to find roots

with  small town pride.

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