Residents vote to appropriate $1,619,272 for the total cost of funding education for the town of Southwest Harbor by a show of hands. ISLANDER PHOTO BY NINAH REIN

All articles pass at town meeting

Town Clerk Jennifer LaHaye swears in moderator Joe Marshall.

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Residents gathered at the Pemetic Elementary School gymnasium for the annual town meeting on Monday, May 2, and with little to no discussion, approved all articles on the warrant. 

Voters approved an amended Southwest Harbor School Department budget of $4,353,503, which turned out to be almost $30,000 less than anticipated due to a misestimation of health insurance costs. 

“Diesel is $6.89 in southern Maine,” said Select Board member Chad Terry in discussion before the Article 11 vote to authorize the amended $206,497 in expenditures for transportation and buses. “I just hope you’re not cutting yourselves short. I expressed this at our last meeting as well about fuel and diesel.” Terry proposed a motion to change the amount to $208,585. The motion failed and voters passed the article as written. 

Article 47, which sought an additional $743,740 from the town’s reserves to fund the Main Street sidewalk project, passed with voter support. The funds will cover the project’s updated design, which requires that additional grading, drainage, utility and right of way work be funded. 

A total of 311 residents cast their votes in the town’s secret ballot election at the Southwest Harbor Fire Station on May 3. 

James Vallette was elected to the Select Board for a three-year term after receiving 189 votes. Natasha Johnson was also elected for a three-year term on the board with a total of 174 votes. 

Vallette is the president of Material Research L3C, a “low profit” environmental research company, and holds a position on the Warrant Committee that expires this year.  

“During the campaign, I learned there is a lot of support in our town for leaders who listen and serve the public,” said Vallette, who is grateful for the opportunity to serve on the board. 

Johnson, an island native, is the co-owner of Meristem cannabis store in Southwest Harbor. Her grandfather, Les King, served on the Select Board years ago. 

Clifford Noyes will serve a one-year term on the Southwest Harbor School Committee, while Aaron “Beau” Lisy was elected for a three-year term. Both Noyes and Lisy are newcomers. 

Being the sole candidate, Steven L. Hudson was elected to a three-year term on the Mount Desert Island Regional School District Board of Trustees. 

Question 1 found on Article 49 of the ballot, which enacts the “Town of Southwest Harbor 911 Addressing Ordinance” to revoke its public safety street numbering and identification signage for new subdivisions, was approved by a vote of 232-52. 

Article 50’s Question 2, to amend the shoreland zones on the Clark Point Road on Map 4 Lots 41, 42, 43 and 44 from General Development to Commercial Fishery Maritime Activity, that will provide fishermen more access to the Lower Town Dock marina, was approved by a vote of 238-45. 

Ninah Rein

Ninah Rein

Writer at Mount Desert Islander
Ninah Rein, an MDI native, covers the town of Bar Harbor. She is glad to be back in Maine after earning a bachelor's degree in San Diego from the University of California.

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