To the Editor: Expect more from town leaders 

To the Editor: 

Starting with the premise that we all deserve good governance, I am often dismayed to see so little of it in evidence on this island. The citizens of Bar Harbor, when they were ignored or stalled by their town leaders, have had to take matters into their own hands with regard to cruise ships.  

The Tremont Planning Board may need to take heed. Last week’s Planning Board meeting was a shameful display of bullying by two of its members towards one of their constituents. Mark Good and Brett Witham alternated between scolding the spokeswoman for Concerned Tremont Residents for not bringing specific recommendations and then telling her that the group was essentially irrelevant to the Planning Board process. The week before, CTR had held a forum designed by a planning expert to help focus the concerns around campgrounds as the campground moratorium is about to expire. While it did not yield specific ordinance recommendations, it did make clear what many residents want and don’t want. Is it the residents’ responsibility to draft a new land use ordinance (LUO)? Had they done so, it seems clear that Good and Co. would not consider it. Which way do you want it, guys?  

It has been painfully obvious for a year that the Tremont LUO is woefully inadequate in the face of development pressures. Has any progress been made on drafting a new set of ordinances? No. With the Planning Board’s recommendation to extend the moratorium another six months, it would seem a set of interim guidance for “light commercial” enterprises is in order. If past performance is any indication, it is unlikely the Planning Board will be able to draft an LUO in the next six months. 

This is a small island with a small population and all of us who live here in any town are affected by what happens in neighboring towns. We need to expect more from our town leaders. They represent us. 

Laura Grier 

Mount Desert 

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