Selectmen accept town manager’s resignation

Broadband, sidewalks discussed
Tue, 07/09/2019 - 2:45pm

Selectmen voted 5-0 July 8 to accept Tom Woodin’s resignation as town manager of Boothbay Harbor. Chairman Mike Tomko said the board wished to extend a heartfelt thank you for Woodin’s service to the town.

“Over 13 years of experience and work here in the town, he has done a number of significant achievements and we really want to wish him well in the future,” said Tomko.

The board held an executive session under Title 1 MRSA §405 6(A), personnel discussion, and reemerged to vote on three measures: to discharge Woodin as tax collector, to appoint Finance Officer Julia Latter as tax collector and to authorize Code Enforcement Officer Geoff Smith to engage town attorney John Cunningham for an executive session under Title 1 MRSA §405 6(E), legal consultation. The session has since been scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, July 15.

One of the prevailing rumors around Woodin’s departure – the use of a ladder truck for placing a sailboat mast – surfaced during the meeting as resident Bruce Engert expressed concern that, if true, the town may be opening itself up to future liability.

Said Engert, “… The National Fire Prevention Association has standards for the equipment in every town … I'm saying this because this is all in conjunction with the town's rating for your homeowner and fire insurances and if you aren't meeting the standards, then the rate is higher. I would question whether if in fact any of what I have just mentioned is true, then it may require that that particular vehicle be reinspected by the NFPA or appropriate entity.”

Hot spots and hopscotch

Tomko and vice chair Tricia Warren attended Boothbay selectmen's June 28 workshop on Wi-Fi hot spots.

“There's a possibility to broadcast high speed internet over a localized zone or area,” said Tomko. “As we go forward with our broadband committee and research, I'd just like to encourage us to keep Wi-Fi hot spots in mind.”

LCI said it already has the infrastructure in Boothbay Harbor to support a Wi-Fi hot spot system similar to Rockland's, Tomko said. There would be opportunities for advertising, directions and general information on the startup page, and a variety of options to create paid access for extended periods of use. Creating a Wi-Fi hot spot system could be pursued by the town, a local business, or a collaboration of businesses.

Tomko said two applications had been received for the broadband committee since the board last met, and more people are encouraged to apply as the board looks forward to soon schedule a kickoff meeting. Warren and Selectman Ken Fitch volunteered for the committee.

Tomko and Fitch recently met with Police Chief Bob Hasch, Public Works Foreman Nick Upham and Code Enforcement Officer Geoff Smith to inventory all sidewalks and crosswalks in major downtown and abutting areas. Tomko said the group made notes on over 40 sidewalks and crosswalks which will be entered into a database for use in a GIS system with the help of Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission.

Tomko said safety and accessibility will be the main goals – landing zones, signage, distances between crosswalks and sight lines will be evaluated and a summary of the inventory will be shared with the Department of Transportation as a reference for future projects. “It's the first step in evaluating and continuing improvements for our sidewalks and our crosswalks.”

Latter said William Brewer CPA will begin the town's yearly audit July 15 and the deadline for applications for harbor master passed June 14 with none submitted. Selectmen asked Latter to keep advertising for it and a new full-time job in public works.