Why to vote 'no' on Article 5

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On Article 5 regarding appeals change that will be presented at the June 7 Town Meeting:

The Raymond Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen want to force residents to appeal the decisions of the Planning Board before the Superior Court instead of our own Zoning Board of Appeals.

This is costly, and it is wrong.

Our appeals should be heard locally and by our own residents and neighbors, not by a Portland judge who is not familiar with our town.

If we permit this to pass, it allows our Planning Board too much control by taking our appeal rights out of our locale and disrupting the appeals process that has worked successfully for us for many years.

The use of a local Zoning Board of Appeals is one that many other towns have been using and are continuing to use – used because it works. These towns are Casco, Frye Island, Naples, Raymond, Sebago, Standish, Windham, Bridgton, Brunswick, Falmouth, Freeport, Gorham and Harrison. So Raymond is not, as the Planning Board claimed, out of step with other towns.

Please attend the town meeting. Residents and non-residents can stand and speak. You can also write or email the Planning Board (mary.quirk@raymondmaine.org) and the Board of Selectmen(kaelagonzoles@raymondmaine.org).

Vote no on Article 5 on June 7. Don’t let an essential part of checks and balances be removed from Raymond’s government.

Barbara Lovell
Raymond