Bennett elected selectman in Trenton; marijuana moratorium approved



John Bennett was elected to the Trenton Board of Selectmen Tuesday in a special town meeting.
FILE PHOTO

TRENTON — When Selectman Dick Vander Zanden stepped down in August, selectmen here decided they couldn’t wait until the next town meeting in May to fill the vacancy on the five-member board.

At a special town meeting Tuesday, residents elected John Bennett to the board, Chairman Fred Ehrlenbach said Wednesday. Voters also approved a 180-day moratorium on marijuana sales and a new ordinance allowing the Fire Department to bill insurance companies for calls not involving town residents.

Bennett, a realtor and former Maine Marine Patrol officer, ran unopposed for the Board of Selectmen. He was not immediately sworn in, though, so he could remain a member of the Planning Board for another week to help that body finish its work on a pending application.

The marijuana moratorium was unanimously approved at the open town meeting, which convened at 7 p.m. following the written ballot election held from 3-6 p.m. About 40 people attended.

The moratorium is “for 180 days, with the ability to extend another 180 by a vote of the Board of Selectmen,” Ehrlenbach said. “That will get us to town meeting and give the Planning Board a chance to draft language and present it to the town then” regarding commercial marijuana businesses.

Voters also approved a Fire Department billing ordinance.

“They’ve been responding to motor vehicle crashes on Route 3 a lot,” Ehrlenbach said. “This spring, they were out on scene with a crew for 8 hours because it took out a pole on Route 3. That’s an expense to the town.”

The ordinance gives the department the ability to bill insurance companies for their help with those incidents.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Managing Editor at Mount Desert Islander
Liz Graves is managing editor of the Islander. She's a California native who came to Maine as a schooner sailor.[email protected]