To the Editor:
A total of 200 people attended the meeting at the Bar Harbor Municipal Building Monday evening believing that consultants, assigned the task of collecting citizen opinion about the cruise ship pier, really were going to compile those opinions.
Unfortunately, the meeting was revealed as a scam, because no microphones were provided for use by the audience, nor by any of the consultants. Moreover, the only indication that the consultants were compiling audience opinions was that the chairman occasionally scribbled some notes on a pad.
When we asked if comments were being recorded, they said that the little laptop on the speaker’s table was recording all comments. However it appears extremely unlikely that any comments beyond those of the speakers and audience members in the closest row were recorded.
This obvious inattention to the mechanics of seriously collecting audience opinions made it appear that the meeting was a total scam, an enormous waste of time for so many citizens who stayed for two hours to offer a very wide range of excellent opinions.
That was a very big disappointment to the audience, to put it very mildly. Any teenager in Bar Harbor would know how to set up a proper recording system with automatic transcription software. Sure, some garbled comments would be mistranslated, but it would provide at least a rough draft of audience comments that could be posted to a public server so that everyone, even people unable to attend the meeting, could benefit.
Future meetings should be organized by a more competent group of consultants, with some teenage advisors.
Gary W. Conrad