It’s been a whirlwind couple of months since the election in late March as I have gotten more settled into the Selectman position. I find myself taking a lot of notes during meetings – terminology I need to look up, ordinances/procedures/laws that I need to learn more about, general education around how roads are designated, built and maintained, understanding rights-of-way and easements. It’s all good work and I am still excited to be learning more about town management, land development, town services, community and citizenry, and so much more.
One of the things I find myself researching and learning more about recently is the balance between growing the community (adding more homes), absorbing people who want to live in Sidney or planning for better housing to provide better for our older population, and preserving the farmland, open spaces, privacy, beauty, and rural character of Sidney, which is what attracts people to our little town, tucked between Augusta and Waterville.
I am also gaining an appreciation for the subtle shifts in meaning and definitions of specific terms and phrases, and how they are used when describing a situation, process, procedure or establishment.
And I am gaining newfound respect for just how intricate and complicated it can be to do something as seemingly simple as putting a dock in for a boat for our Sidney First Responders. Gating, security, signage, citizen protection, protection of property/assets (life vests, bouys, ropes, etc.), proper storage/coverage for the boat (to keep gauges and sensitive parts safe), making sure that the work is supported by local law enforcements/codes/regulations….not so simple at all.
This work really begins to teach you to take a step back, think before you speak, and consider may more angles and perspectives than you might be prone to do. And to be able to do that, you need to be aware and knowledgeable that those factors exist, let alone how to approach each one.
It’s a learning curve. But so far its manageable, its interesting, and its exciting to begin to understand all that goes on behind the scenes; all the work and commitment it takes on a day to day basis on the part of our town administration, road crews, transfer station employees, fire and rescue, school boards and administration, your selectmen, cemetery maintenance, animal control, and more to ensure that sleepy little Sidney remains the well-oiled, quiet, attractive town it is.