With Election Day behind us (though I am writing this while voting is still in progress!), I want to start by thanking Town Clerk Denise Samolchuk and her crew of election workers who conducted very smooth and efficient days of voting. This year, early voting, in addition to absentee voting, was an option. Some 1500 of just over 4000 registered voters took advantage of voting prior to November 8. Strip away all the political ads and conflicting messages, and elections come down to individual voters making their choices in the privacy of the voting booth. It is good to see the core of democracy alive and well, especially here in Manchester where voter turnout is always very high for presidential elections.
As part of Election Day, residents had the option of filling out a brief survey on Town expenditures and revenues. The Selectmen and Finance Committee are looking for suggestions as they prepare to review the proposed budget for the Fiscal Year 2018 budget which begins July 1, 2017. The survey also is available on the Town’s website and is open through November 21. The preliminary budget will be presented to the Selectmen and the Finance Committee at a meeting on December 12th – more on this as the date gets closer. Click here to take the survey.
On a more entertaining note, the movie Manchester by the Sea makes its debut later this month. The movie was written and much of it was filmed here in town. As a thank you to the community, the distributor, Amazon, is providing a free screening for residents at Liberty Tree Mall tentatively scheduled for Sunday, November 20 at 6:30pm. Tickets can be picked up (limit of two per household) at the Selectmen’s Office beginning Monday, November 14 on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition to recognizing scenes from around town, you will see a few familiar faces on the big screen as well. The movie is a serious drama about relationships and the struggles of the human spirit in the face of tragedies life can present. UPDATE: The free screening of Manchester by the Sea has now been confirmed for 8pm on Thursday, November 17 at The Cabot in Beverly.
In other good news, the boat ramp behind Town Hall is finally getting its base course of paving and new curbing. This rather protracted project is about to be closed out. The project has prompted a more rigorous procurement and project oversight process with clear checklists in place and multiple checks and balances institutionalized here at Town Hall to ensure we avoid the problems that hampered the ramp project. The other projects being completed this fall are the new seawall at the Tuck’s Point beach area and the reconstruction of the sewer pump stations in town. During the winter, we will undertake a comprehensive upgrade of fire hydrants and broken water valves, which will greatly enhance our fire protection capabilities and help minimize disruptions if a water line breaks. Come the spring, paving projects will include Pine Street, Tuck’s Point Road, Ancient County Way, Jersey Lane, Tappan Street and Sea Street.
Please take the time to complete the budget survey if you have not done so already. And stay tuned to see the results of the Master Plan survey which will be posted soon on the Town’s website.