Chea Waters Evans, News Editor
Selectboard makes it through a meeting without major controversy
Progression of the Morningside Drive and Morningside Cemetery saga was postponed for the Morningside Cemetery Association and property owners Megan Browning and Will Bown when Selectboard members decided that the town’s general counsel needs to consult on the matter before any further decisions are made. Legal counsel will help the Selectboard determine whether or not the road is a town road, and what the next steps should be.
Before the discussion moved on, Selectboard member Carrie Spear made a statement: “We are talking about a piece of land that is two lengths of my van,” she said. “The amount of discussion and emotions and lawyer bills and everything is just absolutely just a shame. It really is,” she said. “This could have been done two months ago but we spent hours and hours and hours on this, when we all know, with the exception of a couple of people, that Will and family would have done it right…but nope, everybody’s got to go through this huge hoopla.”
Selectboard Chair Matt Krasnow said that the town is hoping to move forward cautiously and respectfully, while maintaining everyone’s property rights. The issue will be addressed again “early on” in the next Selectboard meeting.
The leash law and dog control issues on Thompson’s Point are going to sit and stay for the moment; the Thompson’s Point Leaseholder’s Association is still discussing and has not yet voted about creating a leash law on the point, but they did agree that more signage is needed to remind walkers to keep their dogs on a leash.
Resident Ellen Fallon has had a camp on Thompson’s Point for 30 years; she presented to the board her self-described “blunt” and “straightforward” request: dogs on the point should be leashed. Though her reasons were plentiful and articulated for over ten minutes, the Selectboard declined to vote and make a decision on the leash law that evening. Krasnow said that since the agenda item was merely to approve signage reminding walkers to leash their dogs, they were not procedurally allowed to vote on the leash law itself at that point. The Selectboard will take it up at a future meeting.
Residents of Holmes Road Nancy and Jack Barnes have been working for months to gather bids for paving their road, which heads west off of Lake Road. Residents want the road paved because they said the potholes are an expense and a hassle that they are hoping to avoid in the future, and because residents are hoping to pave their own driveways in concert with the road being paved. The Selectboard decided that legally, bids needed to be collected through the board by an official request for proposals.
Jack Barnes said he was disappointed that there seemed to be a roadblock from the board. “Unfortunately, we have to follow our own processes,” board member Louise McCarren said. She volunteered to work with Road Commissioner Jr. Lewis and Town Administrator Dean Bloch to figure out the finer points of collecting bids and speed the process along, and when Nancy Barnes expressed frustration, McCarren joked, “You can walk over to my house and throw a tomato at me. I’ve got a lot in my garden.”
Recreation Director Nicole Conley added one more plate to her balancing act with the extra task of regularly testing the water at Whiskey Beach on Thompson’s Point for cyanobacteria and E. coli. She will take water samples when she takes them from the Charlotte Beach until after Labor Day.
Juliann Phelps was approved as the newest member of the Recreation Commission.
The Selectboard discussed forming an Economic Development Committee as was set forth in the Town Plan; board member James Faulkner is interested in pursuing the matter, and resident Mike Russell offered to assist. The committee, supported by the town, would provide expertise and advice in various areas to the Selectboard and Planning and Zoning committees.
Town garage and salt shed issues will be monitored by a new subcommittee regarding moving the current salt stash elsewhere to protect it from the elements and make it easier for the road commissioner to access said salt. Board members James Faulkner and Frank Tenney are taking the lead on this project. Jr. Lewis said he’s more concerned about the salt shed than the garage at this point; Tenney and Faulkner will proceed further with the matter at the next Selectboard meeting.