To the Editor:
Last week’s Islander article on the Town Council’s public hearing on the November Warrant Articles incorrectly reported that I endorse the reduction of the Warrant Committee and misquoted me, saying that I believe the town should “eliminate subcommittees for a smaller Warrant Committee.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. First, I made no comment at all on Article 8 at that public hearing. Second, I have been very publicly opposed to the proposed reduction of the Warrant Committee, as is evident in the voter information postcard sent to Bar Harbor households explaining very serious problems with Article 2, 4, 7 and 8. Third, as a member of the Warrant Committee for over 10 years, I came to respect other members for their contributions and differing viewpoints. This is one of the great strengths of the 22-member Warrant Committee. It permits members to learn from each other and represents the wide social and economic spread of our town.
The Annual Town Budget, currently more than $26 million, is a complex 3-inch thick document that directly impacts our town’s future and our property taxes. To conduct an in-depth review, the Warrant Committee is divided into five subcommittees. Each examines a portion of the proposed budget, asks questions of town staff if necessary, and reports back for the full Warrant Committee’s deliberations and recommendations to voters. Subcommittees also conduct extensive review of all other warrant articles, including proposed zoning changes, citizen initiatives, bond articles and changes to the charter.
Given the extent of the Warrant Committee’s responsibilities, any reduction in size makes no sense. To preserve this comprehensive citizen review of the budget, land use ordinance changes and all other warrant articles, please vote NO on Articles 2, 4, 7 and 8.