Wiscasset getting econ growth committee

Tue, 12/26/2023 - 8:45am

    A month into being Wiscasset’s economic development director, Aaron Chrostowsky told selectmen Dec. 19, “I don’t know Wiscasset,” and he wants residents to inform his work. The board nodded Chrostowsky’s request for an advisory committee of stakeholders. He did not ask to be chair; that could put him in the driver’s seat, he said. That is what they wanted, selectmen said. They made it an ad hoc committee with him as chair.

    Chrostowsky will further draft the committee’s tasks and then members will be sought. Selectman William “Bill” Maloney will be the board’s liaison to the committee.

    Selectmen decided the committee will have at least five members. Selectboard Chair Sarah Whitfield said more might be better, because work will be involved. “My one concern ... is I don’t want you to end up working for the committee,” she told Chrostowsky. “Because that’s not your job. And I don’t want you to be bogged down by requests from the committee ... I know you’re going to want to be helpful, and you will be helpful, but I don’t want you to spend 80% of your time putting together reports and briefs ...”

    “More reason for him being chairman,” to avoid that, suggested Maloney. 

    “Right, because a secretary for the committee could keep track of those kinds of things,” Selectman Pam Dunning said. 

    Chrostkowsky said he sees the committee’s work as “very integral in my own work ... even if I was working with the committee on these issues, (that would) be working for the town.” And if committee members go off topic, he can direct them back to the tasks, he said.

    “Just run it like you’re in charge,” Maloney said. “That’s the only way it’s going  work.”

    Town Manager Dennis Simmons said the committee might draw a lot of talented people. “And if it ends up being nine (members), then fine.”

    Also Dec. 19, the board nodded a liquor license for Back River Bistro; Big Al’s Fireworks Outlet’s annual license to sell consumer fireworks; and the March 5 town meeting warrant on proposed ordinance changes for LD 2003 and solar rules and emergency medical services’ retirement plan. If voters decided the housing changes in June and rejected them, “we’re not going to make the (state’s July) deadline,” Simmons said.