January 1, 2013

Augusta swears in city councilors, school board members, mayor on Thursday

By Keith Edwards kedwards@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA -- City councilors, school board members and Mayor William Stokes will be sworn in to office in an inauguration ceremony Thursday, to be followed by a brief council business meeting.

click image to enlarge

William Stokes, left, greets a voter while campaigning earlier in Augusta in May 2011.

Staff file photo by Andy Molloy

Joining Stokes in taking their oaths of office Thursday will be David Rollins and Darek Grant, city councilors re-elected to office in November.

Rollins defeated challenger Harold Elliot Jr. to return to the council. Stokes and Grant were unopposed.

Board of Education members taking the oath of office, all for the first time, are Amanda Bartlett, Laura Hamilton and Nicole Desjardins.

Bartlett and Hamilton were unopposed in the November elections, while Desjardins was elected, also unopposed, as a write-in candidate.

City Clerk Barbara Wardwell will administer the oath of office.

The swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday in council chambers at Augusta City Center, to be followed by a council business meeting.

Councilors are set to consider a final vote on a proposal to better define commercial firewood processing, which is allowed only in a few zones in the city, as opposed to cutting firewood for personal use, which is allowed throughout the city.

The ordinance change was proposed in response to complaints of residents about a neighbor who they think is cutting firewood commercially at his home in a residential neighborhood.

"It will provide a clearer definition of firewood processing, to prohibit firewood processing from taking place in residential neighborhoods," City Manager William Bridgeo said.

Cutting and splitting wood at the same spot a tree was cut down is considered part of timber harvesting under city ordinance, which is allowed in a wider area of the city than cutting up felled trees after they are brought to another site, which is considered firewood processing.

Keith Edwards -- 621-5647

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