To the Editor: Not my experience 

To the Editor: 

Ms. Goetze’s opinion piece regarding the letting go of Southwest Harbor town manager made him out to be someone I did not experience. She spoke of his approach “to invite dialogue and suggestions, that compromise may be required and that reliable information, careful listening and respectful discussion are the way neighbors can accomplish the task at hand.” I did not experience any of that in my extensive dealings with him. 

I refer to the issue of the re-do of Town Cedar Lane where state laws and surveys provided were ignored, where residents wellbeing was ignored, and where property owners were scoffed at and dismissed as if their concerns had no merit. 

Before the construction began, the engineers hired by the town requested a meeting with abutting property owners who had knowledge of where the survey pins were and who could also provide copies of adjoining surveys. In spite of those provisions and numerous conversations with Mr. VanDongen, Cedar Lane now has curbing in the deeded ROW forcing those who have deeded access to the ROW to drive on private property to access their homes. 

During construction, there were the issues of residents having no access in or out to get to work, medical appointments, grocery store, etc. The town office had to be called just to allow fuel delivery trucks to get in, which required numerous contacts with the construction crew and at least a half hour before access.  Imagine the catastrophic results had there been the need for a fire truck or ambulance. 

I suggested they make available an existing deeded ROW to allow resident access. Mr. VanDongen walked it, survey in hand, and then dismissed it as not wanting to mess up people’s backyards. I pointed out the area was a deeded ROW and not backyards. Then he went on to really mess up some other backyards for people to get in and outone with permission and two others without permission. That really was a colossal boondoggle right off and, as a result, people still had to park on adjoining streets and walk in and out to get to work, etc. 

At no time did I experience the attributes Ms. Goetze ascribed to Mr. VanDongen. 


Marjorie Monteleon 

Southwest Harbor 

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