Matinicus Isle Plantation held the annual Town Meeting on April 25 at 6 p.m. at the Matinicus Island Elementary School. Tom Wellman was nominated and duly sworn in as moderator for the meeting. The meeting was attended by 32 registered voters and seven guests. Kevin Waters of Penobscot Island Air and Chuck Kruger, the Maine legislative representative for District 48, were scheduled to speak, but due to fog, were unable to fly out to Matinicus for the event.
The Matinicus Island Historical Society had funds raised and appropriated to submit an application to the IRS to establish 501(c)3 nonprofit status. This development will allow the Historical Society to gain nonprofit status in order to apply for grants to establish a venue and to provide tax exemption to those donating artifacts to the organization. The society has recently completed the writing of their organizing documents and has appointed members to their Board of Directors with Suzanne Rankin filling the roles of town historian and society director.
The solid waste and recycling center was allocated more funds by the town, which is a positive indication that more people are participating in the recycling program. Last year there were more than five tons of recycling taken off island, and Eva Murray, the solid waste and recycling coordinator, expects a greater amount to leave the island this year, which demonstrates the program’s success.
Elections were held for positions of town assessor, town clerk, treasurer, tax collector, and school board member. School board positions are voted on every three years, as are the town assessor positions, with all other town appointments voted on annually. Lavon Ames III is the outgoing town assessor, and Clayton Philbrook is the newly elected assessor filling that position. Lisa Twombly-Hussey will continue to serve as town treasurer and Nat Hussey will continue to be the town tax Collector for the ensuing year. Jasmine Ames was reelected as town clerk and Director of School Board of MSAD 65. In jest, four island dogs were nominated for town positions in the secret vote. Fortunately for Matinicus, Scout, Jolie, Sadie, and Chloe Ames were not elected to the said positions.
Each year the Island votes to donate $100 to Maine Public Broadcasting and there was a major discussion on this year’s donation because of the transition to digital television. This issue was raised due to the fact that local channels are no longer truly free because of the cost of the digital box. The opposing opinion was that people can still listen to Maine Public Radio. The decision was put to a show of hands; 12 were in favor of supporting Maine Public Broadcasting, 11 were not, so for another year, public broadcasting will supported by the Plantation of Matinicus.
This year’s meeting was adjourned at a timely 8:10 p.m. The annual town report may be requested by contacting Jasmine Ames at the town office at 366-3970.
Lana Cannon is the Island Institute’s Matinicus School and Historical Preservation Fellow.