Town Meeting 2016
It was sunny on Town Meeting day in Greensboro this year, which usually means we have a great turnout for this annual gathering.
Tim Nisbet, our Town Moderator since 1980, got things underway with his welcome dry wit, solid knowledge of parliamentary procedure, and keen ability to keep the meeting running while still recognizing the needs of those seeking further discussion on a topic.
We enjoyed visits from three of our legislators, including Senator John Rodgers (D-Essex/Orleans), Representative Sam Young (D-Orleans/Caledonia), and Representative Vicki Strong (R-Orleans/Caledonia). All spoke to issues currently facing the legislature, including alternative energy projects (both commercial and private), Act 46, medical marijuana, and more.
The town’s amended budget of $1,749,221, passed on a voice vote after some discussion about driveway plowing, highway equipment maintenance, and roadwork plans.
We also re-elected Ernest Machia to a 3-year term on the Select Board and Judy Carpenter to a 2-year term.
Andy and Judy Dales were recognized for their many contributions to life in Greensboro as this year’s recipients of the Greensboro Award.
The final article of the warning, which allowed for the transaction of other business legally coming before the meeting, brought about the request by several attendees to hold a straw poll regarding the presence of the Greensboro Arts Alliance tent on the Town Green this summer. The Select Board tabled the decision at its last meeting and GAAR also withdrew its request. Straw polls are non-binding and all taxpayers, not just registered voters of Greensboro, can participate. Voting by a show of hands, the majority in attendance indicated they wanted the GAAR tent to be allowed to return to the Town Green for one summer.
Other issues discussed during the final article included the combat of invasive Japanese knotweed, cell phone coverage, and the name of the Caspian Lake Beach (vs. calling it Hardwick Beach).
Last but not least, voters agreed to hold the town’s annual Funky Fourth Celebrations on Saturday, July 2nd. Mark your calendars!
The meeting adjourned and we shared a delicious lunch provided by the Four Seasons of Early Learning. This is always a highlight of the day. It’s a chance to visit with neighbors and friends, some of whom we may not have seen all winter.
After lunch, Tim called the annual meeting of the Greensboro Town School District to order. We elected Jerilyn Virden and MacNeil as directors to the town school board. We also elected Amy Skelton and Robbie Hurst to the Lakeview Union School District board, and Jefferson Tolman to the Hazen Union board. We enjoyed a lively and civil discussion about the future of our school and our community. Several townspeople expressed concerns about the attractiveness of Greensboro as a place to settle for a family. Some felt that high property prices can be prohibitive for many families, and without families and children in town, the viability of our school could be in jeopardy in the future. Others expressed concern about the recent divisiveness over development projects in town being off-putting for prospective families considering moving to Greensboro. Planning Commission members in attendance reminded us all that their work for the next few years will provide important opportunities to bring our whole community together to design Greensboro’s future.
As always, Town Meeting brought civil and engaged discussion. If you weren’t able to attend, consider joining us next year. If you were there yesterday, share your comments and observations below.
Kudos to Tim Nisbet yet again – and congratulations to our own Andy Dales, and Judy, for the Greensboro Award! Well deserved by both!
Thank you for this summary. Even though we were not able to be at the meeting, we are interested in the goings-on of the town, including the discussions and decisions made at Town Meeting.