MINUTES OF COMMUNITY ADVISORY RESPONSE TEAM May 5, 2020
Next Meeting Tuesday May 12 at 2 pm.
Committee Attendees: Bev Johnson, Mary Holt, Donna Damon, David Hill, Leila Bisharat, Eliza Jane Adams, at large; Ann Kirkpatrick, School; Denise Hamilton, Library; Marjorie Stratton, Town; Carol Sabasteanski, CTC; Polly Wentworth, CBL; Erika Neumann, Communications; Jim Gallagher, GCGC; Kim Venkataraman, Tennis.
Public Attendees: John Holt, Donna Colbeth, Marcia Howell, Stacie Webb
Minutes: Minutes of April 21 moved and seconded: Unanimous.
Donna Damon chaired the meeting because Melissa Yosua-Davis had a week off.
Donna welcomed Kim Venkataraman representing the Tennis Club and Jim Gallagher representing the GCGC. Donna reached out to Michael Porter re: Yacht Club representation, but she hasnŐt heard back.
Discussion: There was a general discussion re: how to send the message that Chebeague is not as people knew it. The community resources are being stretched. How do we send the message without making people who still want to come to the island feeling that we donŐt want them or are shaming them? Everyone agreed that the message should be a fact based positive statement that explains the reality of our situation and the fact that we are following the GovernorŐs orders.
á The committee discussed Susan StranahanŐs article in the Portland Press Herald.
á Donna informed the committee that her daughter, Rachel Damon, was coming home from Albania via a US Embassy flight, and would be quarantining alone in David MillerŐs house. Donna described how Albania is controlling Covid 19, which means NO ONE is allowed outside without a code and no one is allowed to drive a car.
á Most people who have come to the island have followed the rules to quarantine however, some have not, causing some islanders to think that no one is. Concerns about the pandemic have created stress in some parts of the community.
á We want the message to be that we are one community even if our friends and relatives cannot be with us. Messaging is so important! If people really want to come they should but need to know the rules set forth by the Governor.
GCGC: Jim Gallagher reported that the Club is unsure what the summer will look like. The opening has been postponed and they are unsure when or if they will open.
á Cary is coming out to work on the course in his own boat and he and Michael Hamilton are both working at the course but not interacting.
á Jim feels based on the GovernorŐs directive, that out-of-staters must quarantine, therefore the Club will not have out of state day players. Jim will keep the committee posted. Erika commended the GCGCŐs decision making.
á Revenue is an issue for the ClubŐs viability.
á They want the course to be enjoyed but the GCGC doesnŐt want the Club to bring Covid-19 to the island.
Erika commented that we needed to share good stories of folks who are doing the right thing. Bev has been telling folks who are coming here to call the Town Office. Marjorie refers people with logistical questions to call CTC. Several people suggested registering at the Town Office. Leila pointed out that we have talked about this before. Perhaps we could create a ŇCompact of BehaviorÓ. No action. Leila also pointed out that businesses need to seek state certification before reopening to make sure they are following the State Safety Measures.
Transportation: Carol reported that CTC is still not running the bus. The Cousins lot is full, and there are a dozen cars in the Mellin lot. Those cars need to be moved before the end of May. Carol is going to ask the power company again if CTC can park cars there. They have said no once. Contractors are coming back putting stress on the Cousins Lot. CTC has created protocols re: how the bus will function if it goes back into operation. The State would have to ok any plan. CTC is receiving calls from folks who want to come to the island. There is a concern re: transporting people from out of state on the bus because of the quarantine rules. Donna suggested that folks could park at Rt. 1 and take a taxi or Uber or bring their car and supplies over on the barge.
á CTCŐs insurance company is no longer requiring signed waivers.
á CTC is trying to create protocols that do not require making its employees ŇenforcersÓ
á CTC will be going back to regular priced tickets. CTC has lost revenue.
á Polly noted that CTC and CBL are really the gatekeepers re: how many people can come to the island based on their social distancing protocols.
á Carol agreed with Polly and explained that if the bus comes back it will take fewer passengers just as the boat takes only 20 passengers, but the actual ridership is much less. This may require extra trips as more people come, and will cost more money. She also pointed out that the folks on CI may have concerns about the extra trips.
á Carol also reported that CTC has received a PPP grant to help with wages.
á She noted that John Wilkinson, the bus driver, is shopping for islanders if they have mainland errands. He doesnŐt charge but accepts tips.
CRC: Eliza Jane reported that the Rec CenterŐs plan are still up in the air based on State regulations and are trying to find ways to open safely. Users must be educated to understand the rules and be held to those standards. The Governor has discussed opening day camps in June for Maine children and for folks who have quarantined. CRC needs more guidance.
CUMC: Polly reported for the Church in MelissaŐs absence. The Church is doing well. Zoom meetings have brought about 25 people together each Sunday from several states. More than 20 people used the Food Pantry last week. Masks can be found at the Food Pantry, Post Office, and the Store. Donna noted that folks visiting the Food Pantry need to social distance.
LIBRARY: Denise reported that the Library is closed until further notice. Sanitation is an issue due to the numerous surfaces. It is also difficult to social distance. She also reported that the Hall is also closed as well as the Health Center. They hope that the Vet and the nurse will return in June, but it will be based on the GovernorŐs directives and how safe the space can be made.
CIHS: Donna reported that the Museum is closed to the public; the Committees have not been able to meet but Donna has been working on the exhibit and some merchandise has been ordered. Opening will depend on the Governor as well as the ability of CIHS to make the Museum safe. The CIHS is applying for a humanities grant to help organizations that have lost income and/or had increased expenses.
School: Ann reported that the contractor wanted to return to finish the punch list re: the school renovation project. 3-4 workers will come to the island and use the school van that will be left for them at the wharf. Carol mentioned that they had called CTC, and she had asked them to car pool on the mainland because of the lack of parking spaces at CI. Ann will explain to the workers that they should bring their own lunch and should only go to and from the work site.
á A suggestion was made that a community statement similar to the schools, relating to off island workers protocols, be developed. Donna suggested that the Communications Committee might draft a statement.
á Distance learning is going well and students are receiving 1:1 instruction in many cases.
á The school is planning a remote 5th grade celebration
á Hope to return to the school in the fall but it will depend on many factors
á Ann was asked if the playground could be reopened. She replied that it couldnŐt open now because of construction and the GovernorŐs orders. She stated that people have not respected that the school grounds were closed. She is waiting for direction from the governor.
á Last day of school will be decided this evening at the School Board Meeting.
Tennis: Kim noted that the Tennis Club hadnŐt decided if or when they will open. If they donŐt open any dues paid will be applied to 2021.
á Erika reported that the Mental Health flyer will be posted today. Thanks to Erika and Eliza Jane!
á Leila noted that the committee is still struggling with how to get some messages out to the community. They are working on FAQs but they need some more work.
á The committee wants to include island organizationsŐ updates.
á Erika noted that short updates can be found on Chebeague.org and ChebWeb
á The challenge is to provide best practices/protocols but the communications canŐt be too long or updated too often.
á Communication must be Chebeague relative.
Donna asked if the Committee had any requests of the Selectmen. Bev commented only if the BOS makes stricter orders. Donna asked the group if they are ok with the GovernorŐs orders. Jim felt the orders needed more clarity. A discussion ensued re: the rules for Maine residents vs. those from out of state. Lelia commented that while Maine residents can travel within Maine, they should consider the best ways to keep themselves and others safe if they decide to come here.
July 4th: Eliza Jane reported that as of now all festivities as we knew them have been cancelled. They are thinking of Ňout of the boxÓ ideas. Donna suggested Ňpod picnicsÓ around the island. Photos could be taken of each picnic and photos sent to Chip Emery to create a community video.
Memorial Day: Program cancelled but flags will be set before the holiday. Individuals may decorate the graves as usual.
Chebeague Inn: Polly reported that the Inn staff will be here by May 10 and will quarantine for 2 weeks. Islanders are doing the gardening. The Inn has not yet decided when they will open for food or lodging.
Polly moved to adjourn at 3:40pm; David seconded; unanimous.
Next ZOOM Meeting Tuesday MAY 12 at 2 pm