Sidney Selectboard Meeting 1/29/2018

I have decided that I will sit in on Sidney’s Selectboard How do towns handle mass gatherings? meetings now through the time I am sworn in at the annual town meeting.  I wanted to start meeting everyone, get a feel for the flow of the meetings, absorb my colleagues’ energy, and learn more about the issues on the table.

Tonight’s meeting was filled with items from approving the minutes from last week, to discussing the proposal/quote for printing the town’s annual meeting report, to an executive session to review town employees’ performance (I had to leave for the exec parts :-), to AED/CPR training and certification, to the big ticket on the agenda, which was creating a mass gathering ordinance for our town that is fair to all tax-paying residents. We also had a visit from 2 representatives from Spectrum Generations, who asked the Selectboard to consider adding a request for monetary support for approval/vote by the town.

I met Angela more formally tonight. She is the Admin. Assist. to the Board of Selectman and she is very good at what she does. I met Leon, the warm bear of a man who keeps Sidney’s roads in tip-top shape. I got to say hi to Winnie, our Town Clerk, Treasurer & Tax Collector, before she scooted in for her annual review.  And I met Tim, John, Laura, and Sarah, 4 of the 5 current Selectpersons.

You can tell they’ve worked together for a while. They have quick, playful banter, can finish each others sentences, and though they clearly have different views on issues, they speak to each other very respectfully and hear each other out.

I learned that I will have to play catch up on some local and state law and tonight Google was my friend to explain “abatements” a bit more for me. But I am up to the challenge and I look forward to working with this group of dedicated individuals. It feels exciting to be a part of my local government and I am a bit awed at the opportunity to serve the 4,208 residents of Sidney, most of whom don’t even know I exist 🙂  I always did like working behind the curtains!

The Journey Begins

One person can make a difference, and everyone should try. — John F. Kennedy

Today, January 19, 2018, I submitted my signature list to the town office of Sidney, Maine to run for one of the open selectpersons’ positions. Universe willing I will be able to serve after the town vote on March 23rd, 2018. If elected, I’ll get sworn in on March 24th at the Annual Town Meeting.

I have lived in Sidney for 17 years. This is my first foray into public service (so long as you don’t count being part of the PTO or a Cub Scout Den Leader.) I have decided I want to try and make a difference in my community. It takes leadership, cooperation, and organization at this very local level to impact policies and decisions at higher levels. Have to start somewhere. At the very least I am eager for the opportunity to learn how my town operates and to be more involved in decision-making and outcomes.

One of the biggest surprises to me as I collected signatures was how many couples there were in my immediate vicinity, older couples, where the husband was registered, but the wife was not – and the sentiment was that voting really doesn’t matter anyway. I passionately beg to differ. I will find data on close-call local races that shows just how much one or two votes can make a difference.

My intent in setting up this site is to share information, solicit opinions, listen to suggestions and ideas, and to bring your voice to selectboard meetings if you are not able to participate. I sincerely make myself available to you and you have my word that I will do the best job I can.