The Stevensville Town Council held its final meeting of the year, and of its tenure, on December 23. An entirely new council will be seated in January, as well as incoming mayor Steve Gibson. Newly elected council members Stacie Barker and Cindy Brown will be tasked with appointing two additional members to replace Jaime Devlin and Sydney Allen, both of whom resigned in December. The Town is currently advertising for town council applicants.
The 23rd’s meeting agenda was light, since the main agenda item, a public hearing on the proposed subdivision regulations, was cancelled due to insufficient public notice. Mayor Brandon Dewey said that it would be more appropriate for the new council and mayor to address this item, as any decision on the changes will be handled by them.
The council consented to the appointment of Keith Nyholm and Eric Wilson as Firefighter Cadets.
Mayor Dewey reported that the sale of the Willoughby property had closed and $243,000 had been deposited in the bank.
Council member Paul Ludington thanked the staff that is continuing on with the new administration.
Council member Karen Wandler wished for a return to the friendly town that she had grown up in rather than the “war zone” that it had become. She said she hoped that the new council members would want to represent all the people in their wards. She thanked the mayor for his service. She said it had been a pleasure to work with the other outgoing council members. She urged the citizens to stay involved and not listen to all the negative comments. “Negativity breeds hate and we all have felt more of that than our town needs… let’s all work together to make Stevensville a better place to live.”
Mayor Dewey said, “Admittedly, I did not accomplish a single thing on my own… Everything we accomplished we accomplished together…” Dewey said much had been accomplished, in particular in the area of efficiency and innovation. He said they had invested nearly $3 million in better equipment for public works, fire department, and police department improvements. He said even with those major investments, the Town is still financially healthy. “The Town is not bankrupt,” said Dewey. He said the general fund balance is currently over $385,000. Total cash in the bank is over $4 million, one million dollars higher than when he took office. He said the organization has been more engaged and connected with the community than ever before. He said that former mayor Gene Mim Mack and the forward-thinking council members of that era had set the stage for what he and his administration had been able to accomplish. He also formally acknowledged former employees Wendy Planti, Laura Miller, Nancy Olson, Bobby Sonsteng, and Audree Tribbensee. He thanked his wife and family for being supportive. He also acknowledged and thanked his four-year-old son Carter who attended the meeting with him.
The final act of the evening was the banging of the gavel to adjourn, with the gavel being wielded by Carter Dewey.