The 2 new metropolis councilors in Ellsworth say that boosting housing availability, updating the town’s complete plan and discovering the correct individual to rent as metropolis supervisor will likely be amongst their high priorities when they’re sworn into workplace.
Patrick Lyons and Nancy Smith had been the highest vote-getters in Tuesday’s election for 2 seats on the seven-seat Ellsworth Metropolis Council. Each are anticipated to be sworn in Monday to start serving their three-year phrases.
Lyons is a lawyer specializing in municipal authorities for a Bangor legislation agency, whereas Smith is the chief government of nonprofit group Develop Good Maine. Each have moved to Ellsworth lately, with Lyons shopping for a house within the metropolis in 2016 and Smith in 2022.
Smith and Lyons every stated this week that they rapidly felt welcomed in Ellsworth and have gotten concerned in the neighborhood past shopping for properties.
Lyons has served on the board of Ellsworth-based Wholesome Acadia since 2017 and since 2020 has been a member of the Ellsworth Planning Board – a place he’ll now have to surrender for his council seat. Smith, who was a state consultant for eight years through the 2000s when she lived in Monmouth, serves on the town’s complete plan steering committee.
Each stated that Ellsworth wants to keep up an enough provide of reasonably priced housing in an effort to shield the town’s high quality of life that drew them to maneuver right here.
Lyons stated his parents-in-law moved to Ellsworth in 2021, and his father moved to the town this summer time, in an effort to be nearer to Lyons and his spouse, who works in Bar Harbor, and their 4-year-old son.
“It was extremely tough and tense serving to them discover housing, not to mention housing that was reasonably priced,” Lyons stated. “The rising value and lack of housing can also be an enormous pressure on Ellsworth companies, pushing [employees] out of the area.”
Smith stated one of many causes she moved to Ellsworth was to share housing prices together with her daughter, who has labored in Bar Harbor since 2020. A former farmer, Smith stated she helps having a streamlined allowing course of for small-scale, multi-family housing improvement within the metropolis, and incentives that may cut back property taxes for farmers.
“We have to get it proper as extra individuals wish to dwell and work in Maine communities, together with Ellsworth,” Smith stated. “Coordinated use of each methods would make it simpler to develop housing in our development areas whereas supporting the monetary viability of farmers.”
Each councilors-elect stated the town wants to keep up a correct steadiness of range in enterprise improvement and infrastructure enhancements in order that Ellsworth continues to attract new companies and residents. Satisfactory funding for public security and colleges, collaborating with native nonprofit organizations, sustaining roads and utilities, and preserving public entry to parks and inexperienced areas all are a part of ensuring Ellsworth stays reasonably priced and habitable because it continues to develop.
“Folks wish to dwell and work right here,” Lyons stated. “We have to discover good, proactive methods to plan for this development to help all our residents and small companies.”
In addition they every stated that discovering the correct metropolis supervisor to take over that position from Glenn Moshier, who has determined to relinquish that put up however proceed to function Ellsworth’s police chief, will likely be key to creating positive the town pursues the imaginative and prescient and tone set by the council. Whoever is employed as the town’s subsequent high administrator ought to have personnel administration expertise and confirmed management expertise, and a demonstrated capability to rent and help succesful staff, they every stated.