As the summer of strange and still scary on some fronts continues, our towns are getting down to serious business doing their same old business in new ways and places, indoors and out, and different months than usual. Kudos to them all for working hard and creatively to do the right thing with the town meetings and elections postponed earlier in the pandemic, and town offices’ reopenings.
Crafting budget proposals for voters was challenge enough each year; now the towns must get their budgets passed without also passing on a sometimes fatal virus.
And every mask, socially distanced set of chairs and sanitized pen is worth the trouble. Towns around here are showing they get it: Safety first and foremost.
Here are a pair of examples of how towns and groups are managing in this crisis:
Alna has carried out one of its longest, and possibly still ongoing, and more controversial issues of recent memory, Jeff Spinney’s dock-ramp proposal – all via Zoom. Even Zoom’s “Brady Bunch”-like layout of pictures of participants talking, looking and listening in planning board and selectmen’s meetings could bring few smiles in night after night of talks this spring and summer. Whatever the outcome and whether or not it sticks, this labor showed town business can be as prickly online as in person, maybe more so sometimes; but that it gets done, however excruciating, instead of delayed.
And First Congregational Church of Wiscasset has kept up with online Sunday services and adding a Zoom coffee hour and more. The church has also just surveyed its members for their guidance.
Keep it up, everyone. Nationally and in Maine, things are not looking up lately on COVID-19. So let’s do our part in our daily travels, as few as possible. Wear the masks. If you don’t like it, say it with your eyes.