A longtime Bar Harbor town councilor has decided not to seek re-election this year, but four others are in the running for two available council seats.
Elections in Bar Harbor will be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, June 11, at the Municipal Building on Cottage Street.
After serving on the seven-seat council since 2006, Paul Paradis has opted not to run again. Councilor Matthew Hochman, currently vice chairman of the council, is running again, as are former councilors Jefferson Dobbs and Peter St. Germain. Martha Searchfield, who last week stepped down as executive director of the local Chamber of Commerce, will be the fourth council candidate whose name is listed on the ballot.
Paradis said Monday that he did not have a specific reason for not running again. The timing just feels right for him to step down.
“Thirteen years is a long time,” Paradis said. “I feel like I’ve done my [service]. It’s just time to go.”
Also on the June 11 ballot will be two referendum questions proposed through citizen petitions.
One would prohibit anyone who is not registered to vote in Bar Harbor (i.e., a legal local resident) from being able to vote on any business that comes before a volunteer board to which they have been appointed. Nonresidents could still serve on such boards to provide expertise but would not be able to vote on any measure that comes before the board on which they serve.
Another would prohibit the construction or use of any pier large enough to accommodate a cruise ship that can carry more than 500 passengers or any pier longer than 300 feet. This proposal is driven out of concern among some area residents that the town could allow a berthing pier for large cruise ships to be built at the ferry terminal on Route 3.
Members of the Town Council say they have no interest in creating such a facility for cruise ships with capacity for 500-plus passengers, which are expected to make more than 110 visits to Bar Harbor this year, but some councilors have said they are opposed to an outright ban of such facilities. As it is, large ships that visit Bar Harbor now drop anchor in Frenchman Bay and bring passengers ashore in smaller tender boats.
The open session of Bar Harbor’s annual town meeting will be held in the gymnasium at Conners Emerson School at 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 4. The vast majority of questions voters will decide at the June 4 meeting are about the town’s proposed $6.5 million school budget and the separately proposed $14.4 million municipal budget.