Manchester Council elects officers, looks to future

Tuesday night’s officer elections for the Manchester Community Council came with promises of completing the election process and forming sub-committees at the group’s August meeting.

“This initial process has been laborious and boring,” said newly elected Chair Bob Ballard. “(But) there are so many things we’d like to take a look at to make the community more cohesive.”

Fewer members than normal attended the meeting due to the vacation season, and though the nomination committee received no additional nominations for the officer positions, the council elected to move forward with officer elections after having postponed the elections twice already.

“You don’t get organized until you have officers,” said one member. “(Constantly) putting it off won’t get anything done.”

Elected Tuesday night for a one-year term by unanimous vote were Chair Bob Ballard, First Vice Chair Ron Robinson, Secretary John Winslow and Treasurer Carol Kowalski.

Ballard and Winslow have already been serving as interim chair and secretary.

The council has yet to elect the five members at large, as seven members have expressed an interest in running. Those attending Tuesday’s meeting felt that in order to make an educated vote on the contested races, more council members should be present. The nominations are J.B. Bartel, Dave Kimble, Bob Lamb, Phil Pacquette, Ron Rada, Mark Rebelowski and Debra Trudeau.

The council went on to discuss Manchester’s sewage problems and various other issues. Wanting to get started on the improvement of Manchester right away, members consented to the formation of three committees to be decided at the council’s August meeting.

“We’re going to form three subcommittees for the three most popular issues,” Ballard said.

The Manchester residents attending the meeting had plenty to say about the state of septic tanks in the community.

“I’m sick and tired of the smell in some locations said Manchester resident Debra Trudeau. “It’s pretty rank.”

Discussions centered on the need for an extension of the sewer line up Colchester.

“It’s an issue where we all have to organize as a big group,” WInslow said.

The council also discussed the need for a cohesive and enhanced downtown area, a community center, view protection, (“everyone likes trees until they’re in your way,” Ballard joked), affordable housing, the improvement of crime prevention, and the protection and enhancement of local trails.

An idea that the Port of Manchester should begin to charge for parking at the Manchester dock and boat launch was well-received.

“I want to get involved in my community and make it a better place to live,” Manchester resident Mark Rebelowski said.

At its next meeting, the council hopes to finish its election process and form several committees to begin addressing the concerns of the residents of Manchester. Guests from the County will be invited to attend for those with questions pertaining to the extension of Manchester’s sewers and the construction of a community center.

All residents of Manchester with an interested in serving the council’s efforts are invited to attend.

The Manchester Community Council will meet again on Tuesday, Aug. 24, at 6:30 p.m. in the Manchester Library for its regular meeting the fourth Tuesday of the month.

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