City of Ellsworth Says No to Rainbow Crosswalks
The City of Ellsworth turned down the request from the Ellsworth High School Gender/Sexuality Diversity Alliance group to have rainbow crosswalks painted throughout the City. The vote was 3 to 3 with Councilor Kaplan abstaining
The final votes were Yes - Dale Hamilton, John Phillips, Robert Miller; No- John Moore, Heather Grindle, Marc Blanchette. Michelle Kaplan abstained.
The GSDA had proposed 2 or 3 crosswalks for painting with suggested locations on Main Street - across Finn's and The Grand; on State Street by the Ellsworth Public Library; on 3rd Street by Knowlton Park and on Forest Avenue by the Downeast YMCA
Lisa Sekulich, the Ellsworth Public Works Director did note that colored crosswalks needed to be on roads where the speed limit would be 25 miles per hour or less, and white bars would need to remain. She did raise the safety concerns of having the GSDA paint the crosswalks, and that public works employees should do this. This would require overtime
The GSDA has received a 3 year grant from Healthy Acadia for the paint of the sidewalks, and Heart of Ellsworth has offered to cover supplies needed in painting the crosswalks.
Former Ellsworth Councilor Gary Fortier noted that according to Robert's Rules of Order and abstention should be considered as an affirmative vote. After checking further, it was noted that a member is not required to vote and can abstain and their vote doesn't count, effectively meaning 4 votes would have been required to approve it with 6 councilors voting.
Council Chair Dale Hamilton moved that an ad hoc committee be formed of representatives from the GSDA, Council and City Staff be formed to discuss logistics and bring back the recommendations to the Council. This was seconded and passed unanimously