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Council Outlook

2024 Council Goals

In January of each year, Town Council holds a goals workshop to develop their priority initiatives for the year ahead. Their goals for 2024 are as follows:

Financial Goals
  • Net Budget increase less than 5%
  • Update financial modeling, Cost-to-Serve analysis and Downs’ TIF/CEA Modeling
  • Review and/or update CEA Policy to align with council goals regarding expenditures, growth and housing options
  • Maintain an optimal credit/bond rating
  • Explore expanding tax rebate programs
Housing/Homelessness
  • Continue to support workforce and affordable housing options
Growth/Development
  • Update Impact Fees
  • Limit the expansion of growth initiatives outside of existing permitted land/zoning uses
Capital Improvements & Facilities
  • Partner with School Department, BOE and community to develop a plan for school facility needs and help facilitate it through a public process
  • Establish multi-year Capital Facilities prioritization list representing investment needs of $5M or more over the next 20 years.
  • Continue to support the Ad-Hoc Community Center Committee and their planning efforts
Conservation & Sustainability
  • Advance Land Bond for 2024 ballot to replenish open space/conservation funds
  • Continue to support efforts to increase open space/conservation efforts in town such as the 30x30 goal
  • Support a Climate Action Plan for Scarborough utilizing data from the Vulnerability Assessment
Traffic & Transportation
  • Identify priorities within the Town-Wide Transportation Study once completed and develop plan to implement the most significant and impactful changes to address traffic congestion and transportation improvements around town
  • Identify land use implications and impacts of the Gorham Connector
  • Continue support of the Gorham Connector as a way to reduce traffic congestion in Western & Northern Scarborough
  • Raise awareness around a multi-year investment plan to improve town infrastructure, streets, sidewalks and transportation initiatives
Communications
  • Raise awareness and effectively communicate the town revaluation process and impacts
  • Have all committee work conducted be available using the hybrid methodology (online & in person) as well as recorded and available for easy public consumption.
  • Improve Council/Town communications to enhance understanding around council decisions
  • Provide easier and clearer information to the public surrounding major topics within the community via the implementation of an “issue tracker sheet”.  The tracker sheet should contain information on the topic, hearing dates, and disposition for the public to easily follow issues of interest to them.
General
  • Phase out Cannabis cultivation with negative impacts to residential areas
  • Improve residential water quality standards – pursue a clean drinking water standard vs. potable standard


2024 Council Norms:

  • Begin and end with what is best for the community in mind (listening and acknowledging community input and considerations during the process). 
  • Be Present - Come to meetings prepared to be an active participant. Refrain from the use of cell phones and other distractions during public meetings.  
  • Practice civility and decorum in all interactions with each other, town staff, as well as members of the public.
  • Refrain from public criticism of individuals. 
  • Be familiar with, and actively adhere to, Council Rules and Robert's Rules of Order.

Town Council Corner

As the Town Council discusses relevant issues in Scarborough, learn more about their perspective and how you can join the conversation. Council Corner articles serve as a way for councilors to educate and expand upon these topics outside of the meeting setting. They often encourage public participation through sharing links to recent or upcoming meetings and inviting public comment. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Scarborough Town Council.


By Karin Shupe, Town Council

One of the potential referendum questions for the November ballot includes a request to replenish the land bond fund. The land bond fund is a Town fund that was created in 2000 for the purpose of purchasing land for conservation. Unlike what a traditional bond referendum looks like, the land bond does not have an immediate impact on taxpayers, as it authorizes future bonding for land conservation.  

By Don Cushing, Town Council

I remember the first time I voted. I registered as a Republican so I could vote for California Rep. Pete McCloskey. I thought it was important to oppose Richard Nixon even though there was no chance that the incumbent President would not be his party’s nominee. I have voted in every national election since. It has always felt like a duty. I wish I could boast about my voting record in state and local elections. I can’t. I had a busy life. I did not give it much thought. I didn’t care about who represented me. What real difference did it make? 

By Nick McGee (Chair) & April Sither (Vice Chair), Town Council

After the failed school referendum in November 2023, Town Council and School Board leadership knew that we had a responsibility to lead our community through the contentious time and toward a solution for our school facility needs. In early 2024, the Town Council and School Board unanimously approved the formation of a School Building Advisory Committee (SBAC), which was open to any resident (18 years or older) who wished to join. Within a few weeks, more than 70 individuals had signed up.

By April Sither, Town Council 

The FY25 budget marks my sixth as an elected official. In that time I have served on the School Board finance committee twice and the Town Council finance committee twice, once as a reluctant chair. I have voted in favor of budgets that I didn’t like because I appreciated the compromise it took to get there. This year was no exception. The budget put forth by the Town and School Department will result in a projected 1.5% increase in the tax rate - half of our well established 3% goal.

By Nick McGee, Town Council Chair

“Prioritizing the Priorities” is a phrase that I’m starting to hear more and more frequently. It’s reflective of a general concern that perhaps the Town and its leadership are trying to do too much at one time. I think it’s a fair criticism – it can be difficult to determine what the priorities are when even casual observers can clearly see substantially impactful issues being simultaneously put through the paces over a short timeframe. Most of these projects and initiatives come with hefty price tags, which understandably adds to the overall anxiety our residents feel as it relates to their individual tax burden. So, what are the priorities?

Council Chair Reports

Every few months, the Town Council Chair provides a full update to councilors on anticipated upcoming agenda items, current and future initiatives, and a general timeline for action items on current issues. These reports give a comprehensive look at the most timely issues under Town Council review.


April 2022 Chair Report


Past Chair Reports

February 2021 Chair Report

January 2021 Chair Report 

November 2020 Chair Report