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Town Passes Censure Resolution
Voters turn down outdoor dining on Shore Road
By Jim Kanak
OGUNQUIT — Voters Tuesday rejected a proposed zoning ordinance that would have allowed outdoor dining in the limited business district, and supported a call to censure President George W. Bush. There was a modest turnout of 354 voters in the primary election/special town meeting.
The proposed zoning ordinance change went down by a 226-124 count. “I’m not surprised by the outcome,” said Selectmen Chairman John Miller. “I could see quite a lot of opposition because of the lack of control. People didn’t know there wouldn’t be noise or music.
“It was that kind of thing that caused people to vote against it.”
Planning Board Chairman Steve Wilkos said voters made an informed decision. “The Planning Board and Board of Selectmen held public hearings,” he said. “The electorate was well informed. The Planning Board thanks them for their support. Zoning is best accomplished through the Planning Board.”
The town supported the call to ask Senators Snowe and Collins to introduce a measure in the U.S. Senate calling for the censure of President Bush, by a 211-141 vote. The reasons stated on the warrant article for the censure were Bush’s “approval of an illegal domestic spying program,” “undertaking a preemptive war in Iraq,” and refusal to “veto even one spending bill during his presidency.”
Resident Jack Leary was one of the leaders behind the petition drive. “We’re very happy,” he said. “We talked to an awful lot of people and knew something had to be done.
“We felt very strongly. This isn’t going to impact me. I’m 83 going on 84. My grandson is 23. I’m concerned about his future.”
Leary said the next step is to write up the petition and get it to Washington. “I don’t know if that’s the [Town Clerk’s] job or ours,” he said. “We’ll figure that out today or tomorrow.”
Miller said he was surprised the measure passed. “I didn’t think there was that much support for it,” said Miller. “But, elections are like that.”
Among other articles, voters approved the appropriation of $100,000 from surplus funds to cover some capital projects (282-62). They approved spending up to $9,000 from the undesignated surplus to purchase a used police vehicle (207-142) and voted to accept the donation of the boat from the old Clam Digger Restaurant (229-120).
There were a handful of competitive races in the Democrat and Republican Party primaries as well. Among the Democrats, Eric Mehnert beat Jean Hay Bright by 57-37 in the race for the U.S. Senate nomination to run against incumbent Olympia Snowe.
Governor John Baldacci got minimal competition from Christopher Miller, winning 106 to 11.
In noncompetitive races, voters supported Tom Allen for U.S. Representative in District 1, Peter Bowman as state senator, Dawn Hill as the District 149 state representative candidate, Nancy Auclair for County Treasurer, Deborah Anderson for Register of Deeds, Maurice Oulette for Sheriff, Mark Lawrence for District Attorney, and Gloria Layman for County Commissioner.
The Republicans had only one competitive race, for the gubernatorial nomination. David Emery received 50 votes, compared to Chandler Woodcock with 32 and Peter Mills with 27. Emery clearly did better in Ogunquit than he did statewide, where he finished third.
Other candidates supported for nomination in the November election included Snowe for U.S. Senate, Darlene Curley for U.S. Representative, Joe Carleton for state senate, Brad Moulton for the District 149 seat, James Atwood for County Treasurer, David Corbett for Sheriff, and Jeffrey Furbish for County Commissioner.
Republicans did not field a candidate for Register of Deeds or District Attorney.