MOUNT DESERT – The metaphorical food fight over allowing mobile vendors to set up shop on the waterfront in Northeast Harbor and elsewhere was decided by just a dozen votes at town meeting here Tuesday.
Proponents argued allowing food trucks would enliven the marina area and help draw more people to a town that has seen the level of year-round commercial activity steadily erode.
Opponents worried having the town facilitate lower overhead competition to existing businesses would run counter to the goal of supporting year-round commerce.
After an hour of debate, two motions to end discussion, and a call for a secret ballot the food truck ordinance was passed. The actual ballot showed a total of 84 in favor of allowing food trucks with 72 voting against the proposal. A related question concerning allowing food trucks in commercial marine zones was going to be ruled on by voters later in the evening.
After an hour and a half, town meeting still had several dozen ballot articles to consider including all the budget items.