BAR HARBOR—It took just over an hour to pass all but one article on the warrant for the Tremont annual Town Meeting that was held in the Mount Desert Island High School parking lot on Wednesday night.
Town Clerk Katie Dandurand reported 36 voters of the towns approximately 1,200 checked in to the meeting. Some articles passed with as few as 14 votes cast; almost all of them were a unanimous vote in favor.
Members of the Board of Selectmen and Tremont School Committee were seated inside a tent at the front of the parking lot during the meeting and cast their votes from there.
Moderator Frank Gray introduced all 45 articles, with school principal Jandrea True and members of the school committee on hand to motion for the articles to be voted on.
Town attorney James Collier recommended that one article, number 44, not be voted on at the meeting because of a lack of proper protocol to bring it before voters. Article 44 asked voters to approve amendments to the town’s Site Plan Review Ordinance that would allow it to better integrate with the town’s Land Use Ordinance. In article 43, voters were asked to approve amendments to the LUO for the same reason.
According to Town Manager Chris Saunders, the Site Plan Review Ordinance requires a public hearing be held by the Board of Selectmen prior to amendments to the ordinance going before voters. A public hearing was not held prior to the vote.
“Fortunately, there’s no actual practical effect of it,” said Saunders about the vote to pass over the article and not approving the amendments. “The Land Use (Ordinance) already has the integration clause… essentially it is redundant. It is in one and that’s enough.”
It is likely the article will come up again for voter approval at a future election or town meeting, Saunders explained. But calling a special town meeting to vote on the amendments doesn’t seem to be necessary.
As for the soggy state of the meeting and attendance, Saunders was positive about what will be his last Town Meeting in Tremont. In June, Code Enforcement Officer Jesse Dunbar is slated to replace him.
“I think it all went as well as could be wished for,” said Saunders. “I was so pleased our voters showed up and so pleased with our workers.”