Tax-exempt bid boosted: Group directors named

MOUNT DESERT — Action by the Board of Selectmen Monday night could help Mount Desert 365, the new nonprofit organization formed to promote the revitalization of downtown Northeast Harbor and create affordable housing, to start approaching potential large donors this summer.

The board passed a resolution affirming that town officials would work in collaboration with Mount Desert 365 to further its goals.

The organization’s attorney, Michael Ross, had said the resolution was not essential for achieving tax-exempt status, but it would “help expedite the process.”

He and 365 Executive Director Kathy Miller said summer residents who might be inclined to support the organization financially were more likely to do so if they knew their donations would be tax deductible. So, they had hoped the selectmen would pass the resolution of support at their June 5 meeting.

But two selectmen said they wanted more information about the organization, specifically its articles of incorporation and bylaws and the names of its directors. That material was provided prior to Monday’s meeting.

Selectman Rick Mooers noted that it can take eight months for a new organization to be awarded 501c3 tax-exempt status. But he said the board could help shorten that timeframe by passing the resolution of support.

“If we can assist them by approving (the resolution) and shorten the window for establishing their 501c3 status, while the proverbial iron is hot and there might be some donors in the neighborhood, I would wholeheartedly support their request.”

The three other selectmen at the meeting agreed.

According to Mount Desert 365’s bylaws, the initial members of the board of directors are to be named by the incorporator, who is Ross. On Monday, he gave the selectmen a list of the directors.

They are Lelah Cole, a marketing consultant; Rodney Eason, CEO of the Land and Garden Preserve; sculptor Dan Falt; Winston Holt IV, president of Electron Capital and a College of the Atlantic (COA) trustee; brothers Mitchell and Steven Rales, co-founders of Danaher Corporation; and Nadia Rosenthal, scientific director of The Jackson Laboratory for mammalian genetics and a COA trustee.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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