Lewis responds to a newspaper article about antiques

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Steve Lewis didn’t care how the selection committee was characterized in a recent article submitted to the Boothbay Register. He spoke at the July 27 meeting in a public forum. Lewis felt that the article’s author John DeSimone’s remarks about the board’s decision not to allow vendors to charge admission fees to Boothbay Common were unfair. In his article promoting the 62nd Annual Boothbay Area Antiques Show, DeSimone said that show directors received permission from the city in January, but in May the new rental policy prohibited Admission fee.

In his July 14 post, DeSimone writes, “By this time exhibitors had already made motel reservations. They had ordered a big tent and advertised the show all over New England. Canceling the show would have been difficult for exhibitors, many of whom had chosen to exhibit at the Boothbay show rather than others in New England. The Antiques Fair therefore had the choice of either canceling or holding the fair on an “admission by donation” basis.

Lewis thought DeSimone’s comment was out of place considering he didn’t live in the Boothbay area. Lewis thought the Common should benefit the residents of Boothbay. “He basically said the city ‘fucked’ him,” Lewis said. “He’s from out of town and taking advantage of city property during a busy tourist season. And he threw us under the bus and made it look like the community center was going to lose a major donation. Anyone coming here and saying bad things to us bothers me,” he said.

Earlier this month, City Manager Dan Bryer addressed the antique fair in violation of the Common Tenant Parking Ban. Bryer reported that vendors are allowed to park briefly on the grass while unloading. Bryer donated the antique fair parking cones to help keep cars away from the common.

Under the new policy, the city manager, not elected officials, schedules the rental of common space for events lasting less than three days. Board chairman Chuck Cunningham reminded elected officials next year that Bryer would decide whether the antiques show could use the Common. “Dan will make that decision and he knows our concerns,” he said.

In another action, Selectman Dale Harmon responded to a concern about improved street lighting at the intersection of Corey Lane and Barters Island Road. Harmon spoke to Dick Spofford about the fire chief’s concern about poor lighting. Spofford was also concerned about the lighting near the Maine Coastal Botanical Gardens. “I think it’s a good idea. Dick has talked about it informally in the past, and I guess it’s an official request,” Harmon said. Bryer explained that better street lighting was considered when the city purchased LED (light-emitting diode) streetlights “We tried to identify two poles on Barters, but they were too far apart,” he said.

Councilors asked Bryer to request a cost estimate for new lighting at the intersection and for Barters Island Road. The elected officials also plan to hold another joint meeting with their Boothbay Harbor counterparts. Boothbay wants more discussion about changes to the school charter. The two selected councils recently met with representatives of the community school district’s executive committee and building administrators. Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor officials are torn between two options. One is a “repealed and rewritten” charter. The other brings “a few minor changes”. The elected officials want their attorney to meet with the school board attorney to determine how long a “repeal and rewrite” might take.

Selectmen approved two liquor license applications. The Board of Directors voted unanimously to renew a Class I, II, III and IV Restaurant Liquor License for Boothbay Harbor Country Club. The second approval was for the renewal of the Boothbay Harbor Country Club Health Club for a Class I, II, III and IV Restaurant License.

The selectors will then meet at 6 p.m. on Wednesday August 10 in the conference room.

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