Attendance struggles beset board

TREMONT — Four of the seven current members of the town’s Planning Board have had missed enough meetings in the last year that the town has needed to waive the attendance requirement to allow them to keep their seats.

Board members are expected to attend at least 75 percent of meetings.

In February, the Board of Selectmen dismissed Planning Board chair Scott Grierson from the board for unexcused absences. Grierson had left town in October for an extended trip and notified town officials that he would be away “for the winter months.”

On Monday, selectmen waived the attendance requirement for Planning Board members Susan Snyder and Geoff Young, who had both missed more than a quarter of meetings in the last 12 months, to allow them to continue to serve.

Board members Linda Graham and Wayne Patton also received that waiver earlier in the year. Only board Chair Mark Good and members Wayne Stanley and Maynard Young have met the attendance requirements.

“There’s not a ton of people lined up to go on the Planning Board,” Jamie Thurlow, who chairs the Board of Selectmen, said Monday.

“That’s the issue,” Selectman Mike Mansolilli added.

The seven members of the Planning Board are appointed to five-year terms. Once Grierson was asked to leave the board, Good was elected chair by the other board members. Maynard Young and Graham were both re-appointed to five year terms this spring.

The board is scheduled to meet two times per month but does cancel meetings when there is a lack of business for review or lack of quorum of members. A quorum for the board is at least four members.

“Although we receive a small stipend, we are essentially volunteers and have obligations outside of the Planning Board,” Good told the Islander.

He added that members of the board recognize attendance at meetings is in the best interest of the town and of the people bringing building plans before the board for review, so they strive to maintain that standard.

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

Former Islander reporter Sarah Hinckley covered the towns of Southwest Harbor, Tremont and neighboring islands.

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