Transportation Committee Minutes April 23, 2008

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Meeting Notes: TCI Transportation Committee
April 23, 2008, Great Cranberry Community Center
Subject: Kick-off Meeting No. 1

Ron Axelrod
Richard Beal
Kate Fernald
Richard Howland
Dan Lief
Barbara Myers
Skip Stevens
Phil Whitney
Eric Dyer
Alyson Mayo
Ron Beard-Moderator, U of Maine Cooperative Extension

The purpose of the meeting was to kick-off the work of the TCI Transportation Committee, discuss the scope of work and workings of the Committee. A very helpful and complete packet of information from Eric Dyer was emailed to all before the meeting and formed a basis for the discussion. The following are notes of the discussion:

1. Ron Beard was appointed as moderator / facilitator of the meeting and reviewed the proposed agenda that was issued by Eric Dyer previous to the meeting. “Ground Rules” were presented by Beard and included:
Sharing airtime
Disagree respectfully
Share information & experience
Humor helps
Look beyond positions & interests
Attend to time and topic
Ask why, explain why
These “Ground Rules” are to be used at all meetings.
2. Each committee member mentioned reasons they were interested in the study:
- Eric said he went between islands by himself because of poor boat schedule
- Barbara talked about schedule and commuting issues and could not take a job off island due to boat schedule
- Phil mentioned his interest in coming here fifty years and no change in schedule
- Katie was concerned about environmental and scheduling issues- & school children to high school commuting
- Skip talked about life of the community- especially children and their future on the islands
- Richard H. spoke of young lobstermen and their interests
- Ron mentioned his interest in late boats, but mainly of getting Maine DOT involved and his experience in Maine water transport work
- Dan discussed his concern for the carbon footprint we leave and that islanders can’t have a full day off island
- Richard B. mentioned how are we going to have better transportation
- Barbara Stainton as a business owner said it was difficult and expensive to bring labor over
- Alyson mentioned scheduling issues make things difficult
3. The purpose of the group was discussed and followed the questions in the handout prepared by Eric Dyer. There are concerns about safety, cost, and budget as well as no change in the ferry schedule for years. Options were explored:
- possible town purchase of a boat
- municipal transportation authority a possible vehicle for change
- Town owns all landings at islands and at Manset which gives us some leverage
- Discussed three plan options to be developed before we recommend on a warrant
- Expect at least two public hearings
4. The group discussed the committee structure, and co – chairpersons were appointed- Kate Fernald and Ron Axelrod. Alyson and Eric’s roles were discussed and they will play executive roles for the committee.
5. A discussion about what would “success” look like for the committee and a draft criteria for success was developed:
- contributes to year round community stability
- helps community members more easily move between islands and mainland access to schools, jobs, health care, shopping, and other services
- respects history and attends to the future
- affordable to the town
- takes full advantage of town facilities
- evaluation of service / operations at appropriate intervals
- responds to community needs
- private companies are interested in participation
- reliability and safety of service
- increase the amount of hope to the community
- environmental impacts are addressed
6. Citizen input was discussed and how to achieve and process it:
- personal one on one interviews
- workshop settings with key stakeholders and with citizens to test ideas
- “ice cream social” as a structure for community input- reference to “Open House Flow Chart” distributed by Eric as process for this type of session
- There needs to be “partnership” of community and provider
- Interviews with providers, Maine DOT, other islands, and a review of the legal issues
7. The schedule going forward was discussed and some dates discussed as referenced to the “transportation Committee Timetable” in the handout:
- Committee meetings should be at a minimum monthly
- “Visioning Process” in the Timetable is to include surveys, historical background data, data collection, and meetings with year round community in May and summer community in June
- October: a proposed plan to Selectmen and public hearings. The ability to make recommendations for October was discussed and it was generally agreed that it is best to make the work of the committee thorough and thoughtful and while pushing to keep to a schedule, have the committee’s work quality and thoughtful driven as opposed to schedule driven.

The next meeting was scheduled for May 6th.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:40pm
Meeting Notes by Ron Axelrod: any comments or suggested changes should be made to the author within three days of issuance May 1, 2008

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