Edgecomb Selectmen

Edgecomb panel still a sore spot

Sat, 10/12/2013 - 5:00pm

    Issues involving an Edgecomb committee have spurred its shakeup, along with an email dustup between two town officials.

    The emails are the latest go-round between leaders of Edgecomb's planning board and Selectman Stuart Smith over the town's ordinance review committee.

    Smith recently criticized the committee as not being focused enough on the land use ordinance; he directed those comments to Planning Board Chairman Jack French, who said he isn't on that committee, Smith is.

    Smith has said he has a conflict with the Thursday meeting times, but could attend on a different night.

    In an October 8 email to Smith, the planning board's vice chairman Barry Hathorne writes that when the committee first formed, the planning board hoped selectmen would participate.

    “The fact is they have done just the opposite! They have not participated, rather they have hindered the effectiveness of the committee by continually not attending meetings,” Hathorne wrote.

    According to Hathorne's email, the committee lacked a quorum at its October 3 meeting.

    That's happened before, and has wasted the time of those who have shown up, Hathorne said in a telephone interview October 10.

    Hathorne said the planning board has empaneled a smaller version of the committee. That should help the panel get quorums, he said.

    Responding to Hathorne's email, Smith wrote: “I think you are a wealth of knowledge and very helpful to the town, Barry. I do not want this to be contentious, but your email ... appears you are making it such.”

    Smith's email continued, “I think we can both agree that we need to work on our Land Use Ordinance. It is what people in the town have been complaining about for years. I know with your help, it can improve.”

    The selectman goes on to ask if the meetings could be moved to another night. “If not, I have no problem moving ahead with what you deem necessary. My first concern is the town in this matter and I think you feel the same way,” Smith wrote.

    The new panel will be able to make more progress, and possibly get a proposal ready in time for the annual town meeting in May 2014, Hathorne said.

    No selectmen are on it so far, but could be added, Hathorne said. Either way, he said he encourages them and everyone else in Edgecomb to come to the meetings, which include a public comment period.

    “I don't care who it is, the more input the better,” Hathorne said.

    The committee's next meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, at town hall.