2018-07-27 / Community

News Briefs

CROSSING CONFLICT — Kennebunk officials have their eye on a downtown intersection following a complaint about motorists failing to yield for pedestrians.

At the selectboard’s July 10 meeting, Main Street resident Danna Crowley asked for a sign at the intersection of Main, Dane and Fletcher streets, warning drivers that while they can turn right on red, they do still need to come to a complete stop first, and yield to people in the crosswalk.

“Many times cars do not stop, despite the red light that is there,” Crowley said. “They don’t stop before the red light, or after the red light. They do not stop even when people are in the crosswalk.”

“If someone is injured or killed, I think it will be a serious matter,” she said, adding, “Secondly, the town will have been warned.”

Selectman Shiloh Schulte backed Crowley’s concern.

“My biggest concern in my kids going to the library is them crossing at that particular place, because I see it happen all the time — people just whip through there and either they don’t stop, or they stop and don’t look (before proceeding).”

Asked by selectmen if the town could simply install a “No Right on Red” sign on Route 1 south just before the library, Town Engineer Chris Osterrieder said any such sign requires the blessing on the Maine Department of Transportation. He said he does expect to upgrade the crossing signals soon, to a more modern display that will give pedestrians a better idea of how much time they have to get across the street before the lights change.

The crossing signal is currently configured for an average walking speed of 3.5 feet for second.

Selectman Blake Baldwin said he has seen police ticket motorists for failing to yield to pedestrians at that intersection, leaving it to his peer, Ed Karytko, to suggest a solution.

“More enforcement on that corner might be positive,” he said. NEW BOSS — It’s new boss, same as the old boss in Kennebunk. At their July 10 meeting, the town’s board of selectmen chose incumbent Chairman Dick Morin to preside for an additional year.

Morin is up against term limits and will be obliged to sit out at least one year at the expiration of his current term of office June 30. Selectman Blake Baldwin also was nominated for the leadership role. Instead, he won favor for the vice-chairman’s job over a competing nomination for incumbent Chris Cluff.

After Ed Krytko was nominated for secretary, he quickly broke in to nominate Cluff, who won the election.

Town Clerk Merton Brown named the winners of each race at the July 10 meeting but did not divulge vote totals. On Monday, Brown said actual voting results were not available.

“I did not track the actual votes nor did I save the ‘ballots.’ I would not want to depend on by memory,” he said, via email, adding, “it is a plurality vote and each winner got more votes than the loser. I counted and the count was verified by the (town) manager.”

Maine Public Access Ombudsman Brenda Kielty said Monday she is “not aware of an explicit statutory provision that either prohibits or permits secret ballots” for selectboard voting. ROAD CLOSURES — Kennebunk selectmen will begin taking a longer look at road closures for special events in town, marking off and reserving space for regular annual events.

When the board voted at its July 10 meeting to authorize the closure of Alfred Road from 10:55 to 11:40 a.m. on Aug. 4 for the West Kennebunk Family Fun Day parade, Selectman Shiloh Schulte noted that when the board asked to begin authorizing road closures two years ago, it was with the intent of tracking if too many roads were being closed too often.

“I don’t think the way we are doing it actually accomplishes that,” he said.

Schulte asked instead for an ongoing calendar of road closures that denotes events that happen annually, along with a possible map.

“That would help give us a better idea of how this fits in the overall road closure picture,” he said.

“Will do,” Town Manager Mike Pardue said. DUTY CALLS — Kennebunk selectmen have divvied up their liaison and subcommittee assignments for the coming year, to June 30, 2019.

Of the 27 standing committees in town, Selectmen Blake Baldwin and Christopher Cluff both sit as ex-officio members of the bicentennial committee.

Baldwin, meanwhile, acts as board liaison to the committee on aging, the community garden committee, and the tree committee.

Cluff also meets with the economic development committee.

Board chairman Dick Morin will serve on the historic preservation committee and the dog advisory committee.

Selectman Ed Karytko has selected the comprehensive planning and zoning ordinance update committee, Treasure Chest monitoring committee, West Kennebunk village committee and the energy efficiency committee.

Selectman Shiloh Schulte will serve on the conservation commission, Kennebunk River committee, parks and recreation committee and the ad hoc skate park committee.

Selectman William Ward will liaison with the affordable housing committee, budget board and the planning board.

Finally, incoming selectman Wayne Berry will serve on the Lower Village committee and site plan review board.

As liaison, each selectman is charged with keeping his peers abreast of committee work, while serving as a point of contact for the public on that groups realm of authority.

The beach parking assessment project group, board of assessment review, CDBG facade advisory committee, fair hearing authority, Lower Village master plan project group, shellfish committee and the zoning board of appeals all do not have a selectboard liaison.

The selectboard also has five standing subcommittees of its own.

For the coming year, those assignments will include:

 Communications and Dispatch — Baldwin, Cluff and Morin;

 Finance — Baldwin, Cluff and Morin;

 Ordinance Review — Berry, Cluff and Schulte;

 Solid Waste, Recycling, and Transfer Station Review — Cluff, Karytko and Ward;

 and Social Service Agencies Review — Baldwin and Schulte.

Compiled by Staff Writer Duke Harrington. He can be reached at news@kennebunkpost.com.

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