Letter to the Editor: Understand what you’re voting for 



To the Editor: 

am concerned that many of us have our heads in the sand regarding significant issues that will be decided by vote in Bar Harbor within the next month (by mail-in balloting now and at the polls July 14). Heads up! We are electing three town councilors and voting on eight articles. 

Last fall, the Planning Department presented to the Town Council a muchappreciated housing policy framework for the town. The vision statement for this document says: “Support Bar Harbor’s yearround community by having adequate and affordable workforce housing for residents who work in town, for families hoping to raise their children here, for seniors hoping to stay in the community as they age, and for businesses looking for a stable workforce and housing base needed to expand the town’s year round economy. 

Since then, the Planning Department has focused on preparing four complex amendments to our LUO that create aggregate seasonal housing opportunities for employers to house their employees throughout the greater Bar Harbor community. Huh? What started out as a reasonable request by Dave Witham to consider changes to the LUO that would allow on-site employee housing has become an unintelligible set of new designations (‘Shared Housing’ and ‘Employee Living Quarters’) that appear to benefit large hoteliers and developers at the expense of the stated goal of supporting yearround residential neighborhoods. The language in these amendments is challenging; as you read your ballot, please remember the words of a wise friend and “don’t vote for something you can’t understand. We can, and should, do better than this. 

Shifting gears, three seats are open on our council. Please consider voting for the three women candidates, all of whom have proven track records in our community; I feel their presence would create a balance and perspective much needed in this tumultuous and fragile time.  

Ellen Grover 

Bar Harbor 

 

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