TREMONT — At the urging of Harbor Committee members, selectmen on Monday rescinded their decision to put an amended harbor ordinance before voters at the annual May town meeting. Instead, the vote will be scheduled for a special town meeting early next year.
After working for months to amend the harbor ordinance, the Harbor Committee in October voted unanimously to send the new version to selectmen along with the recommendation that it be put before voters at a special town meeting. Selectmen considered that request at their Nov. 21 meeting but voted instead to include the amended ordinance on the warrant for the annual town meeting in May. In making the decision, board members argued that the May meeting attracts more voters than a special meeting and, as a result, allows more people to weigh in on the issue.
The Harbor Committee, unhappy with the earlier decision, met Nov. 30 and voted to “encourage” selectmen to reconsider its action.
Harbormaster Justin Seavey and members of the Harbor Committee attended the meeting Monday and, after selectmen voted 4-0 to reconsider the decision, made a case for consideration at a special town meeting. Voters in the town must approve of the amended ordinance before it goes into effect.
The problem with waiting until May, Seavey said, is that the new ordinance would not be in effect for the early boating season. This especially disrupts the implementation of new regulations concerning moorings, he explained.
“Essentially, we want to start on track with this new system instead of waiting another year,” Seavey told selectmen.
Mel Atherton, chairman of the Harbor Committee, said a public hearing regarding the amended ordinance would be held in advance of the special town meeting, which probably would be held in late January or early February.
Assured that enough notice of the special town meeting would get to voters, selectmen approved 4-0 a motion to have the town manager schedule the meeting for early 2017.
“I think it’s going to be communicated to those most concerned,” Selectman Kevin Buck said before the vote. “That was my concern.”
In other business, selectmen approved the sale of a 1976 Ford fire truck by the fire department. The truck is out of service and has been stripped of hoses and other useful equipment.
David “Jed” Campbell was appointed to fill a seat on the Recreation Board recently vacated by the resignation of Jennifer Gott. The term expires on June 30.