City Council 10/19 Meeting Summary

City Manager Steve Buck

The Sanford City Council met Tuesday, October 19, 2021 via Zoom. Deputy Mayor Maura Herlihy led the Pledge of Allegiance and asked for a moment of silence.

Councilors Ayn Hanselmann, Luke Lanigan and John Tuttle were all absent with notice.

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

Mayor’s Report

Eagle Scout: Mayor Anne-Marie Mastraccio congratulated Sanford’s newest Eagle Scout, Will Kiley, son of Bill and Julie Kiley. He will be celebrated this Friday at an Eagle Scout court of honor. He is the first Eagle Scout from Troop 327 in almost ten years. “This achievement is a recognition of his hard work and dedication. Will, you have made your parents and your community very proud, and the City Council and I wish you the best in all your future endeavors,” she said. Deputy Mayor Herlihy said Will’s Eagle Scout project was an informational installation on the Rail Trail near Deering Pond regarding the sunken railroad car.

Subcommittee Reports: Mayor Mastraccio and Councilor Bob Stackpole gave updates on last week’s Subcommittee meetings. See previous story.

City Manager’s Report

Hiring Update: City Manager Steve Buck reported that all eight new Fire Department employees started this past Monday. They will work from 7:30 to 4:40 daily during their two weeks’ orientation before receiving their shift assignments. This is the largest single hiring in the Department’s history. He said two of the new hires came directly from Sanford Regional Technical Center’s firefighting program. The City’s new Communications Coordinator has been hired and will start the first week of November. Seven of Sanford’s police officers took the written test for the vacancy at the Sergeant’s position, which was created when Chad Allen was promoted to Lieutenant, and all passed. Oral interviews will select the candidate who will succeed him, and, for the next 18 months, the others will stay on the list for possible promotions. He is interviewing candidates for Parks and Recreation Director this week, and hopes to have someone in the position by the end of November. Hiring also continues in the Public Works Department for CDL drivers, mechanics and laborers.

Planning Update: Mr. Buck went through the list of projects that have been through the Planning Department in the past few months. See previous story.

Airport: Mr. Buck reported that the three-phase expansion of Presidential Lane at the Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport is being prepared for new hangar development. Construction is moving forward and estimates for phase I have already been exceeded. The Council will have an update on that soon.

Covid Update: He went over the latest Covid-19 statistics from the York County Emergency Management meeting. The state is focusing on vaccinating students and is preparing for the rollout of the vaccine to children ages 5-11. Nine private schools in York County have vaccine clinics scheduled. There are currently 171 Covid outbreaks in Maine, up from 158 last week. There are 28 outbreaks in York County, of which 24 are schools and 4 are health care facilities. The PCR positivity rate is up as well. However, it is dropping in surrounding states so he is hopeful the trend will turn in that direction here soon. A representative from Senator Susan Collins’ office attended the meeting and said the OSHA rule requiring employers of 100 or more people to require vaccinations or weekly testing has been written and is pending implementation. This will impact both the City of Sanford and the Sanford School District.

Mr. Buck said two Sanford firefighter/EMTs have been taken out of service for non-compliance with the state law requiring health care providers to be vaccinated. They are currently using vacation time until November 12, when there is expected to be final rulemaking which incorporates mandatory vaccination into the licensing requirements for EMTs. If they are still not in compliance with the law, they will be separated. On a positive note, the state has removed dispatchers from the definition of health care providers, so they will not need to comply with the vaccine mandate.

Communications and Presentations

There was no public participation. There were no public hearings on the agenda.

Growth Council Update: See separate story.

New Business

Holly Daze: The Council approved the road closures for the Holly Daze event on Friday, December 3. Main St. from Lenox St. to St. Ignatius St. will be closed from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. that evening for the parade. It will conclude with the lighting of the Christmas tree in Central Park by Santa. Stay tuned for more details on this event.

Extra Mile Day: The Council voted to declare November 1 to be Extra Mile Day. The proclamation read by Mayor Mastraccio concludes: “We urge each individual in the community to take time on this day to not only ‘go the extra mile’ in his or her own life, but to also acknowledge all those who are inspirational in their efforts and commitment to make their organizations, families, community, country or world a better place.”

Snow Plowing: The Council voted to contract with Landry Landscaping of Sanford for on-call snow plowing services this winter, and with JMS Construction Services of Sanford for on-call plowing of two routes in Springvale. Mr. Buck explained that these contracts were necessary as the Public Works Department is currently shorthanded. Funds to pay for the contracted services, if they are needed, will come from the labor portion of the budget. He noted that JMS is already contracted to do hydrant clearance for the City.

Dangerous Building hearings: See separate story.

Other

Councilor Comments: Councilor Stackpole spoke about litter, and in particular the number of disposable face masks he has seen littering the parking lots of stores including Hannaford and Lowe’s. He asked for the public’s help in being more careful with disposing of used masks.

Mayor Mastraccio reminded people that Election Day is coming up in two weeks. She encouraged everyone to get out and vote, or get an absentee ballot. In-person voting at City Hall is available Monday through Friday.

Future Agenda Items: Mayor Mastraccio asked if the Council could take a look at rules or licensing for dumpsters in the City, which she is concerned are attracting rats. Another issue she wanted to review is animals in the urban compact area of the City. She said a resident of State St. has a pig in the front yard. Deputy Mayor Herlihy said she would like to know where the City stands if the “right to food” constitutional amendment on the ballot (question 3) passes.

The full City Council meeting video may be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESHVSe7hdsE&t=1781s.

The 286-page pdf file with all the backup material for the meeting may be accessed here.

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