To The Editor:
I write in response to the Aug. 11 article by Dick Bloom, “Ferry Decisions Raise Questions” and particularly to shed light on the efforts of Ronald Axelrod, a resident of Islesford and a professional architect and urban designer.
Most residents of our town recognize that Axelrod and his task force colleagues have worked tirelessly on behalf of the town of Cranberry Isles for the last two years. They have contributed hundreds of volunteer hours to improve the transportation opportunities for this year-round island community. Leading a Transportation Task Force was a challenge given the inherent loyalties to the current ferry service provider. Axelrod, along with the other task force and Municipal Advisory Committee members pursued their responsibilities with transparency, professionalism and diplomacy.
The island residents’ serious concerns for the safety and reliability of travel during their winter commutes on Beal and Bunker boats resulted in an overwhelming vote at the March 2016 town meeting to approve the warrant article charging the task force with writing a request for proposal [RFP] to solicit bids for a consolidated ferry service to serve the Cranberry Isles, Northeast and Southwest Harbors.
The fact that the Board of Selectmen are choosing to bypass the overwhelming mandate of the voters because they felt “circumstances have changed” became an issue of governance that Axelrod correctly pointed out in his letter. Nearly all the attendees at the selectmen’s meeting of Aug. 9 supported his position.
Richard Beal and the other selectmen also agreed that they were obliged to follow the voters’ mandate. The selectmen also approved an additional investment in the services of expert Paul Pottle. He will be a significant contributor to writing the RFP.
Now that the RFP process is back on track, it is the responsibility of the selectmen of the town of Cranberry Isles to reach out to the selectmen of Northeast and Southwest harbors for the purpose of opening a dialogue for the mutual benefit of all three coastal towns.
Franklin A. Reece
Cranberry Isles Municipal Advisory Committee