The Quoddy Tides

Eastport, Maine

2007 January 26

Selectmen place LNG petition on ballot at March town meeting

by Eileen Curry

Results of the petition for a special town meeting initiated by Selectwoman Jeanne Guisinger were announced at the January 22 Perry selectmen's meeting.

The petition, which was circulated in Perry in December, collected 142 signatures. It calls for selectmen to "conduct all future discussions and correspondence by them regarding issues of the potential citing of any liquefied natural gas facilities in Perry, including discussions and correspondence with the town's attorneys and representatives of Quoddy Bay LNG, only after notice to and participation with full voting rights by a special negotiating committee to be made up of the following members of the Perry community: the board of selectmen; two members of the planning board (to be selected by the planning board); one member of the school committee (to be selected by the school committee); the Perry fire chief, one fisherman to be selected by the Cobscook Bay Fishermen's Association; and three members of the Perry community at large (one to be picked by each selectman). The purpose of this article is to assure community involvement in determining the town's goals with respect to possible LNG development."

Chairman David Turner briefly read the results of the petition signatures that were certified by Town Clerk Janice Scanlon, announcing 134 valid and eight invalid. Turner made a motion to place the article before the town with a referendum question and vote during the annual town election and town meeting scheduled for the last week of March.

Guisinger proceeded to make a counter motion and read from a prepared statement, asking that the board of selectmen "honor the petition presented at the meeting of January 8, 2007, that was signed by 142 registered voters in Perry. The petition requested an open town meeting to discuss passing an article establishing a special, representative committee for the town's negotiations with Quoddy Bay LNG."

Guisinger also read, "With regard to Mr. Turner's decision to hold the vote on the article by referendum instead of by open town meeting, he is disregarding the express request of the petitioners, and he is ignoring the fact that an open town meeting is the very foundation of our town meeting form of government."

Guisinger asked that "we quickly schedule a meeting to be held within the next 10 days to allow for posting requirements." Turner said, "Thank you, Jeannie, that's fine, but I have made a motion we need to act on, and then we can proceed with your discussion."

Guisinger said, "This is not a discussion, David. I am making that a motion." Turner responded, "Jeannie, there can't be two motions out there. We will vote on the first one made, then yours."

The selectmen voted 2-1, with Turner and Adams in favor, and Guisinger opposed to placing the article as a referendum vote during the town meeting in March. The selectmen then voted 2-1, Turner and Adams opposed, Guisinger in favor, of a special town meeting to address the article as presented. With the vote, the article will appear on the ballot during town elections.

Other business

Other town business included a notice from the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) to surrounding towns stating that "effective immediately, because of pollution, it shall be unlawful to dig, take or possess any clams, quahogs, oysters, mussels and other marine mollusks from all shores, flats and waters of the following areas: the St. Croix River, Mill Cove, Robbinston, Loring Cove, Perry, and Frost Cove, Perry." According to the DMR, these areas are classified as restricted and are posted as of January 17, 2007, until further notice. Copies of the regulations are posted at the town office or go online at <>.

The Town of Perry is not issuing gun permits any longer. Anyone wanting to license a firearm must contact the Maine State Police. "Selectmen are no longer in the gun permit business," said Selectman Turner. "We are now with other area towns who have gun owners applying for permits with the Maine State Police."

A report on the Fred Erb property on Gleason Cove Road was discussed. The Environmental Protection Agency has completed its cleanup. Several large trucks were at the site recently, and the project has been reported as finished. Selectmen are now concentrating on other known junkyards in the town.

Selectmen went into executive session at the close of the 35-minute meeting to engage in a conference call with town counsel Erik Stumpfel of the Eaton Peabody law firm.

The next Perry selectmen's meeting is on Monday, February 5, at 4 p.m. at the municipal building.


© 2007 The Quoddy Tides
Eastport, Maine
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.