Ethics, Council Candidates, and Public Image

Town Council Reschedules Bond and Town Manager Search Meetings

Carrie Jones

BAR HARBOR—At Tuesday night’s meeting, the Bar Harbor Town Council quickly mentioned updating the town’s ethics ordinance, which has come under public scrutiny multiple times in the last decade.

The most recent public scrutiny has been about the Cruise Ship Committee and Warrant Committee in relation to the cruise ship caps which were voted in by voters this past November. The Warrant Committee is an elected committee. The Cruise Ship Committee is appointed and has set representation on it according to the town regulations.

This January, town attorneys wrote a memo specifically about the ethics ordinance, which is printed below. Now, the council hopes to create a survey in PolCo via Town Planner Michele Gagnon with four open questions about potential issues or suggested changes in the town’s ethics ordinance, looking for suggestions for training or education pieces. There will also be, according to Council Chair Valerie Peacock, a chance for public input before the council.

All the information gathered will be given to the town attorney. The council will look at the attorney’s suggestions, come back to council and then the councilors will see if there are changes or refinements that can be put in place. 


A meeting with the town’s bond advisor that had been cancelled in March because of a winter storm has been rescheduled for April 5 at 5 p.m..


At the Tuesday night meeting, Councilor Gary Friedmann discussed the council’s public image saying, “The Town Council has taken quite a beating in the media.”

He said that while councilors don’t always agree about how to create change, the current council has been the first active council that has worked toward decreasing cruise ship visitation, which he said, is quite a difference from when he first sat on the council.

“It’s a lot harder to unwind the cruise ships than bringing them in,” Friedmann said. “It’s troubling to me to see the council denigrated and slammed from various viewpoints.”

“I neglected to put into my letter, my wishes are that the business community and the private community work together rather than take sides,” Councilor Jeff Dobbs said, referencing his March 8 resignation letter. “That’s the goal that this council should work toward, and the community.”


Despite these public image woes, at least five people have pulled nomination papers to potentially run for the three contested three-year council seats. Those who have already pulled papers include: incumbent Council Chair Valerie Peacock, Comprehensive Planning Committee Chair Kyle Shank, former Communications Coordinator Maya Caines, Julia Cuchelo, and Brooke Blomquist. Blomquist is known as Zana.

There is also a two-year seat available because of Dobbs’ resignation.

Papers are available now for all open seats. Those papers are available at the town clerk’s office on Cottage Street in the municipal building.

Pulling papers is the first step in running for office, but people can take out forms and not return them.

The deadline for filing nomination papers with the Town Clerk is Friday, April 14, 2023 at 5:00 p.m..  

There are also numerous board and committee vacancies. To start the application process candidates must fill out, sign, and return the Boards and Committees Application to the town clerk.


Next Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. there is a two-hour public workshop on the town manager search. This is also a rescheduled meeting.


Editor’s Note: I corrected the misspelling of Brooke/Zana’s last name and added a bit of information about her name. I am so sorry for the error.


You can check out the Elections-June page or call 207-288-4098 for more information about running for office in Bar Harbor.—June

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