Ron Savage responds to letter
To the citizens of Bethel: I feel it necessary to respond to the Lyons' Letter to the Editor in last week’s paper, I will address each accusation.
The Lyons accused us of trying to circumvent the will of the voters in regards to the roadside directional signs for Black Diamond Steakhouse, you couldn’t be further from the truth. The town vote was practically unanimous in favor of the new signs for businesses.
I was a member of the sign committee and was adamant that other businesses be allowed to have roadside directional signs, not just food, fuel and lodging, as was proposed. This change will allow small shops like the Sunday River Gem Shop, among others to have a sign. The tapes and minutes of the meetings will show that I worked for a solution that would benefit many businesses, not just ours.
As to the accusation that there was only a perceived DELAY in installing the newly accepted signs, I can say that two selectman told me in person, they felt that the town manager was purposely delaying the process from moving forward.
They also stated that my company would be graded an “F” in the “plays well with others” category. I don’t normally publicize my company’s charitable donations, but because of the accusations, I feel compelled to list our recent contributions that prove them wrong. We donated the walking path under the bridge past Big Adventure and onto the North Road. We donated a large portion of the skate park, trucked snow for days to both Snowmen, trucked snow for the maze and the first Snowcano. For years we have donated the wood for the Homecoming bonfire and we founded Contractors Day at Telstar. We built the bathhouse at Angervine Park. We were among the volunteers to assist the Water District when the town’s water source was destroyed, we built a dam and laid pipe down the mountain to get the system up and running. We then offered the Water District the use of one of our wells in Mayville, if needed. We have donated the use of our moving van to the Rotary, Bethel Outing Club, Maine Adaptive Sports, the Gem Museum, the Drama Club at Telstar and countless other Bethel citizens. We have supported Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the fifth grade class trip to Boston, Project Graduation, the Troopers Assoc., Mollyockett Day, the Art Fair and Harvest Fest, Rotary auction, the Telstar track, the football program, the Mahoosuc Realty Team and relocated the District Exchange into its new building. In short we have done our part to support our community and have worked collectively with many volunteers and area businesses to make Bethel a great place to live. If that warrants an “F” so be it.
As I stated in an earlier letter to the citizens of Bethel, we will be happy to fully comply with the new sign ordinance once the town has the process in place and the authority to implement it. The town manager was required to get pre-approval from the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation for the new sign ordinance per the agreement that allows the town to manage the roadside directional sign program. He failed to do this prior to the town vote. By voting for the new ordinance without preapproval, the town violated the agreement. As far as I know the state has yet to agree to the new ordinance. Without a new signed agreement the state has authority over the town.
This and the delay by Jim Doar are the reasons we contacted the state directly. We would like to thank Governor LePage and his staff for their assistance with a temporary solution to this long standing problem, (18 months and counting). We will continue to support our community, not for accolades but because we feel it’s important. We appreciate all the support and will continue trying to push for a business friendly town.