Council updates from the meeting of Monday, December 2, 2013. Our next scheduled meeting will be December 16th.
Here are a few highlights from our most recent meeting. As always the entire agenda and council packet is available on the town’s website.
1) Changes to municipal voting districts. The only substantial piece of business concluded at the December 2, 2013 meeting was to make changes to our voting district maps.
The law requires that each district within the town have approximately the same number of residents. With each decennial census, federal congressional districts are redrawn, then state legislative districts, and finally, according to town charter, our own municipal districts. Both the existing map and the proposed map are available in the packet.
Voters may find themselves in a new districts for the fall 2014 election. But all voting will continue to take place in one location.
The biggest changes are along the boundaries for Districts 5 and 1 as District 5, which had looked a little like an octopus, now has a more compact and contiguous shape; District 5 is up for election next fall (Council, Favreau, School Board, Grant). So now, on a map, both Districts 1 & 5 now look more like New Hampshire and Vermont and less like Rorschach ink blots.
There are smaller changes in other voting districts as well.
The folks to the east of Stanwood Street and west of Spring who had previously voted in District 4 are now part of the downtown district, District 6.
All of McKeen Street Housing is now in District 7, as is the Arrowhead neighborhood.
A sliver of the Parkview neighborhood that had voted with District 3 now joins the rest of Parkview and Meadowbrook in District 2.
UP COMING EVENTS:
A) Public review of Capital Improvement Program.
B) Public input on potential zoning ordinance changes.
C) New councilors.
A) Capital Improvement Program
The CIP is a planning document that explores potential town projects—and their associated costs—over the next five years. Obviously it’s an important document with respect to the next year’s budget because most projects in the first year will have to be accounted for in that year’s budget.
The CIP committee (Brayman Perreault & Pols), along with staff from the Finance Department will hold a public review of the document before it is presented to the council as a whole. The meeting is set for Wednesday December 11th at 3:30 PM at the Hawthorne School (Superintendent’s office) downstairs.
The entire draft document is available on the town’s website. It’s worth noting that the projects are divided in categories “approved,” “projects in development,” and “projects proposed by departments but not recommended.”
B) Major changes to the zoning ordinance. Public meetings for input from the public on changes to the zoning ordinance begin Dec 3, 2013.
This is proposed as a town-wide re-write of our land-use laws. It’s an issue that, at some level, will impact us all.
Here is the Forecaster’s coverage of the first couple days of meetings, along with a link to the consultant’s, Clarion Associates, web page. Below is a schedule of the proposed public meetings on this. All the meetings are open to the public but it is my understanding that public comment will be heard only at those in bold:
2:00pm – 3:30pm Developer/Designers Zoning Forum (Morrell Meeting Room, Curtis Memorial Library)
4:30pm – 8:30pm Introductory Meetings with Town Boards, Commissions and Committees (3-one hour publicly-noticed meetings at Morrell Meeting Room, Curtis Memorial Library)
7:30am – 9:00am Brunswick Downtown Association/Town-sponsored breakfast zoning forum (Morrell Meeting Room, Curtis Library)
9:30am – 1:30pm Stakeholder Interviews with MRRA, Bowdoin and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust
2:00pm – 5:30pm Zoning Educational Forum (Public Session –Hannaford Auditorium, SMCC Campus at Brunswick Landing)
6:30pm – 8:00pm Zoning Ordinance Rewrite Public Input Session (Brunswick Junior High School Cafeteria)
5:00pm – 6:30pm Zoning Ordinance Rewrite Public Input Session (Brunswick Junior High School Cafeteria)
6:30pm – 8:00pm Zoning Ordinance Rewrite Public Input Session (Community Room, MTI Building, 8 Venture Avenue at Brunswick Landing)
10:00am – 12:00pm Staff Review Committee Zoning Session (Publicly-noticed meeting at Hawthorne School Administration Building– Superintendent’s Conference Room)
C) Election results. New councilors and school board members will be inaugurated January 6th, 2013. The full election results for November 2013 can be found on the town website. A quick summary can be found here
About this site. This website was crafted in the fall of 2011 as a campaign tool. Because of the positive response and because I’ve enjoyed working with it, I keep it up as a source of information for constituents. I hope it will enhance my work as a councilor.
Some of the pages on this website give specific statements about my past positions on issues. You’ll be able to see how I have voted and in many cases read news articles on those topics. But other pages simply provide information concerning the history of certain town projects. In most cases you’ll be able to find what I’ve said about issues in the past by reading linked news articles you’ll find at the right under “categories.” The nature of the website to changed somewhat as I made the transition from candidate to councilor. Naturally any views expressed here are mine and not those of the council as a whole.
What’s new? I’m going to try and provide brief updates of issues the council is working on. Where appropriate, I’ll try and direct you to other sources of information, and, of course, you’re always free to contact me or other councilors. Remember lots of information, including contact information for me and all councilors, is available on the town’s own website.
You can also follow me on twitter, or see my facebook page.