To the Editor: Simply not true | Letters To Editor | mdislander.com – Mount Desert Islander

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To the Editor: 
When I accepted the position as chair of the Bar Harbor Planning Board a few months ago, I couldn’t conceive of any issue on the docket, or in the wings, so important as to need my input outside the walls of the council chambers. So, I’m surprised to be writing to the editor of the Islander this morning, but Charles Sidman’s “Something Rotten in Demark” featured in last week’s paper forces me to respond. The observations and accusations in paragraph three of this editorial are simply false. The entire paragraph focuses on the Planning Board’s action on Warrant Article 3, a proposed land use ordinance amendment limiting the number of persons disembarking cruise ships, scheduled for vote on Nov. 8. 
The Sept. 7 meeting agenda called for the Planning Board, after deliberation, to provide recommendations on each of five proposed land use ordinance amendments that will be voted on at the upcoming election. These recommendations are meant to give voters guidance as to whether or not the town of Bar Harbor should adopt these proposed amendments. Following procedure, the Sept. 7 meeting was the third time the board considered these warrant articles; the first two meetings allowed and encouraged public input, the last did not. Mr. Sidman’s accusation that I allowed public comment on some of the proposed amendments and not on Article 3 is absolutely not true. Neither proponents nor opponents of any of the proposed amendments were allowed to speak.    
In the very same paragraph, Mr. Sidman accuses the Planning Board of following “the inaccurate view of the planning director and town manager that cruise ships have no place in the land use ordinance.” He asserts that there are other areas in our ordinance that set similar restrictions, but cites no examples, because there are none. I assure you that the Planning Board members are not simply puppets regurgitating whatever the planning staff feeds them; whether or not you are pro or con regarding the cruise ship issue, the resolution, the oversight and regulations belong somewhere other than in the Bar Harbor LAND use ordinance. That is why the Planning Board voted unanimously 6-0 that the voters of the town of Bar Harbor NOT approve Warrant Article 3.  
Millard Dority 
Bar Harbor 
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