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Quoddy Tides
Eastport, Maine
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July 27, 2018     Quoddy Tides
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July 27, 2018
 

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27 July, 2018 THE QUODDY TIDES Page 17 " e by J.D. Rule On Tuesday, August 7, registered Lubec voters will choose two members of the board of selectmen and two members of the school board. The polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the town office meeting room. Voters will be asked to choose from the following candidates. SELECT BOARD Two candidates, incumbent Rachel Rubeor and Jason Evasius, are on the bal- lot for two open seats on the select board. Rachel Rubeor Rachel Rubeor, who is running for re- election, speaks proudly of the accom- plishments of the last three years: "Safe Harbor, demol- ishing the Pea- cock building, the new public works garage" and other projects. She is a strong propo- nent of extend- Rachel Rubeor ing fiber-optic cables to town to bring in broad- band Internet connectivity, which she terms a "game changer" for the town as it will enable growth in many areas. "Young people will follow that," she says, "be- cause it will allow them to have good jobs that they can do from their homes." "The town should be judged by how they care for" the older residents, many of whom live in remote parts of town where they have become isolated, she says. "These people are the history of this town, they are who we are. Maybe we can do something with the old nursing home," she suggests. "Make it into some kind of residential facility." The newer residents "are not trying to remake the town," Rubeor says. 'if'hey're trying to make it a better place for all of us." Jason Evasius Jason Evasius was not available for an interview. SCHOOL BOARD Four candidates, incumbent Jennifer Brown, Melissa Lee, Sineidin O'Niall and Arianne Savage, are running for two open positions on the school board. Jennifer Brown Jennifer Brown is running for reelec- tion because "there's more stuff that needs to be done." Her first priority is to "see the boiler through," refer- ring to the need to update the ag- ing system that provides heat to the gymnasium, cafetorium and Jennifer Brown the former high school wing. Also high on her list is to create "account- ability within the sports program to ac- commodate students with different levels of need," citing a situation that has caused a local parent to be critical of the school administration. When it comes to decisions that may have tax implications, Brown says, "The kids come first." As a young mother who will soon have children in the school she once attended, she wants to maintain the "small town values and the community that I was raised in." Brown says the current budget impasse came about "because members of the board couldn't see eye-to-eye on most of the budgeting issues." She pointed out "it's not fair to the new [incoming] mem- bers that they have to vote on a process that started in February." Melissa Lee "Is it good for the town or good for the kids?" asks Melissa Lee, explaining how she sees the policy-making process. '"I'he school board has a clear mandate to work for the kids," she says. "We must provide the best education we can." Lee terms the last decade of reductions in state funding as "unbelievable," and adds, regarding local tax increases, "Your gripe is not with the town, it's with the state." Regard- ing the property tax burden, she says, "Some- body else paid for our educa- tion; now it's our turn to pay for the next gen- eration." As part of the Lubec Memorial Melissa Lee Library, Lee claims much ex- perience with the student population through the Outing Club, the Reading is Fundamental pro- gram and other programs that are often done together with teachers. Her decision to run was based, she says, on frustration with the current state and national affairs. "I want to do what I can," she says. "I am not going in with an agenda." Sineidin O'Niall When asked why she wants to be part of the Lubec school board, Sineidin O'Niall replies, "I have all this experi- ence, I want to put it to use." O'Niall describes how, before becoming an attor- ney, she worked for eight years as a special educa- tion teacher in California work- ing with institu- tionalized high schoolers, then moved into a mainstream mid- dle school class- room. As an Sineidin O'Niallattorney, she says, she worked both sides of the table in representing teachers and also ad- ministration. She acknowledges that shifts in Lubec's demographic makeup have led to divi- sions but stresses that "every kid has a right to a decent education. You can't fa- vor any one group at the expense of edu- cation." Regarding standardized testing, she points out, "It's important to find out if they have learned" the curriculum. O'Niall says she "would favor means for parents to learn more about what their children are learning" as a means of im- proving family support for education. O'Niall is a recent addition to Lubec and is often seen performing in local mu- sical events. Arianne Savage "I'm running because I have two little ones in school," says Arianne Savage, "plus an eighth grader ready to move on idea of the long to high school." Morale is an issue among school consoli- the students, she says, and she plans to dation. "You address that by focusing on student-led can't send a 4- activities such as a student government, year-old off on "If the staff is happy and the students are an hour-long bus happy then it's a better place. Kids need to ride." "The kids feel important, like they have a voice." are our future," Savage is also concerned about the use she says, adding, of drugs in the community and favors age- "I'm a mom appropriate discussions beginning with the first." Savage is lower grades. "They need to know that employed by the you don't have to do that to have fun - Regional Medi- doesn't matter who you see doing it." cal Center at Regarding the increasing taxes needed Lubec as a drug to pay for education, she dismisses the counsellor. bus rides needed for AHanne Savage Lubec select board mulls rodent issue by J.D. Rule tends well beyond the curb. After discus- The July 25 meeting of the Lubec Se- sion, the board voted 4-1 to accept White's lect Board opened with a discussion re- proposal, with Selectman Dan Wagner garding the tax status of the Red Point voting against out of concerns that other Park, which is scheduled to be open to the businesses may make similar requests. Se- public in 2019. Tax Assessor Jim Clark lect Board Chair Carol Dennison, in con- reviewed the changes in the taxes that the cluding the conversation, pointed out that town will receive from the 45-acre parcel White has constructed a wheelchair-acces- being converted to Open Space tax status, sible bathroom, which is open to non-pa- "The impact will not be as great as I first trons when the business is open. "That's a thought," he concluded, after reviewing benefit to the town," she said. current and future assessed value. From a The meeting was preceded by a public current tax of just over $7,000, assuming heating to address two matters that will be no increase in mill rate, the new taxes will before the town during the upcoming town be $6,559. "Anybody can put their land business meeting, set for August 8. The into ordinary Open Space," he said, and first had to do with updating the town's get a 20% tax reduction. "There is nothing Municipal Solid Waste Disposal Ordi- for me to sign," he added, pointing out nance. The proposed alteration would ex- that the state controls the process, clude "clean-outs" from the regular trash Much of the meeting involved the produced by town residences and busi- "wildlife issue in the village," as termed nesses. Several trash haulers were in at- by the agenda. The complaints: rats. The tendance who questioned the need for the town office has received a number of com- change and bristled at the suggestion that plaints of rodents, and several of those such services resulted in "double-dipping" issuing the complaints were at the meet- from charging both property owners and ing. Remediation possibilities were dis- taxpayers for the tipping fees. Ultimately cussed, including trapping, keeping pet the matter was resolved by adding a clause food indoors at night, removing trash and to the proposal to allow management at old vehicles that could be used as nesting the Marion Transfer Station to determine sites, and other actions that individual ho- which is "clean-out" and which is regular meowners could carry out. Town Admin- trash, and to charge accordingly. istrator Renee Gray described a meeting The second item covered in the public with a licensed exterminator who came to hearing was the long-proposed reconstruc- town to assess the situation, and he po'mted tion of the sidewalk on the north side of out the number of abandoned and collapsed Washington Street, which is the termina- buildings within the area where the corn- tion of Route 189. Gray explained that an plaints have been made. Specific reference emall has been received from Mike Lab- was made to the former cat food warehouse erge of the Maine Department of Trans- and also the partially collapsed residence portation (DOT) asking that an additional on Water Street adjacent to Bar Harbor $24,000 be added to the town warrant. Bank & Trust, with the owners of both Taxpayers previously approved $40,000 as having received letters from the town's a 20/80 match for the projected cost, code enforcement officer. "Not one corn- which according to Laberge has increased, plaint came from Water Street," she said. thereby raising the expected town contri- Raccoons were also cited as a problem, bution. The project is now pegged at "Eastport has had at least one rabies situa- $320,000, based on DOT estimates and tion," Gray said. "So far none here." The not on formal bids from qualified contrac- board voted to send a list of suggestions tots. Several residents questioned the need from the town's health officer to every for the sidewalk and also the use of as- household in the sewer district, phalt, which several stated could be slip- Also discussed was arequest fromGale pery during inclement weather, White, proprietor of the Lubec Brewing particularly due to the slope of the hill. Company, for a "No Parking" spot on Also questioned was the timing of the re- Water Street in front of his business. The quest, which came three years after the issue, said White, has to do with becom- original proposal. "Is this going to go on ing more compliant with handicapped-ac- for another three years?" asked one resi- cess guidelines. White has invested in a dent. The matter will be on the town war- ramp that allows wheelchair access, but to rant as requested; however, from the achieve the 19-inch elevation required comments during the hearing its outcome mandates a ramp 11 feet long, which ex- is uncertain. Ridge Baptist Bible Teaching Church Pastor Tony Muniz Sunday School- 10:00 am Sunday Morning Worship - 11:00 a.m Sunday Evening Bible Study- 6:00 pm Wednesday Evening Bible Study& Prayer Meeting- 7:00 pm 274 County Road, Lubec, ME 04652- 207733- 2002 & 207-271 8160 www.ridgebaptistchurchlubec.com