June 15, 2016

Recent ALIC Board Meeting

Filed under: Events & News,General Info — Buddy @ 8:30 pm

At the monthly ALIC board meeting of Monday, June 13th, we discussed the Wayne Planning Board’s current Application for Special Exception Permit to operate a seasonal boat rental business.   Our discussion resulted in a position statement from ALIC to the Planning Board which has also been posted to both the ALIC blog and our e-mail list.

Please visit the ALIC blog at to review related postings, to share your comments, and to take a look at other comments found there.   Also, consider posting something to the ALIC Facebook page at

My primary purpose in writing this posting is to respond to some of the feedback that I, personally, have heard from some of the members of our lake community.   The two things that disturb me most are (1) that many of the visitors to our board meeting felt that they were pressured into renewing their memberships before being allowed to speak and (2) that the position that the board has taken is a far too a conservative position for an organization such as ours and that our position was influenced by contributions or dues paid at the meeting.   I further understand that some of our members, especially those in the cove, are considering dropping their support for ALIC altogether.

I agree that there was miscommunication over who would be allowed to speak, and I understand why there was confusion.   ALIC board meetings have always been open to everyone, and we encourage everyone in our community to attend meetings and to become more involved.   It was not necessary for anyone attending our recent meeting to become a member or to renew their membership before being recognized to speak.   While there was discussion among board members as to whether or not we needed to pass a motion to explicitly allow non-members to be recognized, a measure was, in fact, quickly introduced and unanimously passed to allow this.    I believe that it was this discussion which created the confusion.   And, in hind site, given the nature of the meeting, I believe it is unfortunate that we took time out to accept membership dues at all that evening.

After some discussion, the majority of the voting board members present decided not to take a position on whether or not to oppose this application for exception.   Instead, we focused on formulating a set of recommendations to the Planning Board, in the event that they do approve the application, which would seek to mitigate a full set of environmental issues identified by e-mail messages from the community, visitors to the meeting, and ourselves.

Allow me to add that I, personally, had very much hoped that our board would have taken a much stronger position by recommending to the Planning Board that this application be altogether denied.   But after a straw vote of those voting members in attendance, it was clear that this was not going to happen.   A compromise was reached.  We decided neither to recommend for approval or denial, but to formulate a list of environmentally responsible recommendations to be considered in the event of approval.

I would like to absolutely assure everyone that nobody on our board was influenced in any way by any membership dues or contributions paid that evening or at any other time.   My vote probably could have been influenced by people signing up to volunteer for plant patrols or “Eyes on the Water”, but the rest of the board members are honest people :-).

On Monday, a couple of our board members were unable to attend.  Two others, Don and Aaron, removed themselves from the process due to possible conflict of interest with their respective roles on the Select Board and in the Town Offices.

Overall, in my personal estimation, our board does currently have a somewhat conservative makeup.   If you want to change that, consider serving on the board (send e-mail to   But, please, do not think about withdrawing your support of ALIC.   We do so much good work in preserving and protecting our lake.

John (Buddy) Cummings



1 Comment

  1. I appreciate this explanation, which helps one better understand what happened at the meeting. Thanks for taking the time to write this and share your thoughts. I’m disappointed though, that given ALIC’s mission “… to preserve and protect Androscoggin Lake,” that ALIC did not take the stronger position of opposing, and then providing the list of recommendations as a back-up plan, in case the planning committee was favoring approval.

    Comment by Janet (Perkins) Bernhards — June 15, 2016 @ 11:30 pm

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