Originally published in The Weekly Packet, March 28, 2013
Blue Hill voters called to choose candidates in contested planning board, selectman races
by Faith DeAmbrose
Blue Hill voters will have many choices when they head to the polls on Friday, April 5.
With two contested races for as many selectman seats, and a contested race for two open planning board seats, voters will see a ballot that is larger than previous years.
There are seven candidates running for two open seats on the board of selectmen. To learn more about the seven candidates running for those seats, The Weekly Packet held a candidate forum at the town hall on March 26. See related story.
There are two open three-year seats on the planning board for which there are three contestants on the ballot.
Danner Curtis seeks election to the board, as do incumbents Peter d’Entremont and Fern Leach.
Danner Curtis was born and raised in Blue Hill. He is a commercial fisherman, maintains 25 acres of productive organic blueberry land and is a builder.
Curtis has built a number of rental homes over the years and amassed significant knowledge of construction and building codes. He also harvests lumber from his property for personal use and has a working knowledge of shoreland zoning and tree growth policies.
Incumbent Peter d’Entremont is the current board chairman, a position he has had for the past six years. D’Entremont has spent the better part of the past two decades on the planning board and believes the current board and Code Enforcement Officer serve the town well. He believes in responsible commercial development and if elected to another term looks forward to continuing to rewrite existing ordinances.
Fern Leach has been on the planning board on and off for the last 35 years. It is his strong belief in individual property rights (and often the behest of others) that keeps him seeking reelection to the board.
Leach, who is interested in town affairs and is a regular attendee at selectmen meetings, has chosen to devote his public service to land use issues because he believes that in addition to life and liberty, property ownership is a right to be protected.
He sees his role on the board as a good fit among its other members and says he often is the person on the board most interested in keeping the breaks on.
Voters will also be asked to weigh in on a variety of topics in a non-binding straw poll.
Voters will be asked about snowplowing operations; whether or not they would pay 2.5 percent of transactions in order to pay town bills with credit/debit cards; whether they would support an effort to establish a recreation department and whether they think the town should require off-street parking for new commercial construction.
In addition there are two questions from the planning board regarding commercial building in and out of the downtown area.
Town of Blue Hill annual town meeting
Voting—Friday, April 5. Polls at town hall are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Warrant—Saturday, April 6, 9 a.m. Blue Hill Consolidated School