Thomaston voters to consider six ordinance amendments

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 1:15pm

THOMASTON — Residents of Thomaston will be voting on six ordinance amendments at the town’s annual Town Meeting on Wednesday, June 12, covering land use, budget and personal committees, and village cemetery trustees ordinances. 

Citizens will also consider doing away with its police department and contracting with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. See separate story: 

At the Town Meeting on June 12, voting will take place for the below six ordinance amendments. To view the full ordinance amendment changes, see the attached PDF document. 

 

Article 39: “Shall ordinance amendments to Chapter 7 of the Land Use, Section 704 Administration be enacted?” 

This ordinance amendment concerns Section 704.1.3, Organization and Rules. 

The amendment denotes alternate members “shall” attend all meetings of the board and participate in proceedings, though the alternate may only vote when designated to sit for a member. The amendment changes the previous reading of the word “may” to “shall.” 

Additionally, the amendment adds information about the rights of the alternate member when they are not designated to sit for a member. 

The amendment also outlines procedures for board members who miss public hearings to catch up on the information they missed during their absence. Furthermore, it is outlined what steps need to be taken for the absent member to be replaced by the alternate when the absent member does not take the necessary steps to catch up on the missed information. 

 

Article 40: “Shall ordinance amendments to Chapter 7 of the Land Use, Section 725 Pre-Application Procedure (Step One) be enacted?” 

This ordinance amendment concerns Section 725.2.3, On-Site Inspection. 

The amendment outlines what procedures need to be taken for on-site inspections — which may be jointly attended by the Thomaston Planning Board and the applicant — before, during and after the inspection. 

 

Article 41: “Shall ordinance amendments to Chapter 10 of the Land Use, Definitions be enacted?” 

This ordinance amendment relates to the definitions of animals. 

The amendment includes relocating the words “large” and “small” to precede the word “animals” in the definitions list. 

Additionally, the amendment provides a definition for service animals: “as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 are dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Service animals are working animals, not pets. Dogs and/or animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals.” 

The rationale for relocating the words “large” and “small” was to allow for the definitions to also fall under L-word and S-word definitions, in addition to A-word definitions.

The service animal definition, meanwhile, came at the request of a Thomaston citizen. 

 

Article 42: “Shall ordinance amendments to the Budget Committee Ordinance be enacted?” 

This ordinance amendment relates to various aspects of Article V, Section 105, Budget Committee. 

First, it allows for the committee to consist of nine members instead of the current seven under 105.2, Composition. 

The amendment then adds an attendance requirement to 105.3, to now be entitled Appointment and Attendance. The amendment would require that any member who misses two regularly scheduled meetings in a budget year be automatically be dismissed from the committee. 

Lastly, the amendment changes how vacancies are filled under 105.6, Vacancies. The amendment gives the power of filling the vacancy to the Board of Selectmen, rather than automatically filling the vacancy by an alternate member, who had been appointed as an alternate by the Board of Selectmen. 

 

Article 43: “Shall ordinance amendments to the Personnel Committee Ordinance be enacted?”

This amendment targets Article IV, Section 104, Personnel Committee. 

The ordinance provides a complete overall of the establishment, organization and rules, power and duties, and process of the committee. 

Some amendments simply change subsection numbers within the ordinance due to the addition and deletion of various subsections. 

 

Article 44: “Shall ordinance amendments to the Village Cemetery Trustees Ordinance be enacted?”

This amendment covers Article VI, Section 106, Village Cemetery Ordinance. 

Specifically, the amendment targets 106.9, Rights, Title and Interest of Lot Owners, adding in “Title, and Interest” to the subsection. 

The exact language being proposed for addition to this subsection reads: “No internment should be made in the Town of Thomaston Village Cemetery until the Cemetery Sexton is furnished a permit such as may be required by the Laws of the State of Maine, together with an agreement signed by the owner of record of the burial lot or their legal representative that indemnifies and saves harmless the town from liability should the dead human body be buried in the wrong burial lot or should the owner of record or their legal representative have insufficient title to the burial lot.” 


Reach George Harvey at: sports@penbaypilot.com