Talk of the Towns 11/8/23: Elected: What Is It Like to Serve as a Member of Local Town Government

Producer/Hosts: Ron Beard and Liz Graves
Theme music for Talk of the Towns Theme music for Talk of the Towns is a medley from Coronach, on a Balnain House Highland Music recording.

Talk of the Towns: Local Community concerns and opportunities

This month:
– What are some of the differences and commonalities of these forms of governing: selectboards, town and city councils?
– What motivated our guests to seek an elected position in their community, what do they find satisfying about that role, what are some of the challenges?
– What are some of the issues and concerns in Belfast, Blue Hill and Bar Harbor, and what is the role of elected officials in dealing with them?
– How does what used to be known as “common civility” play out in your community… how does your selectboard or council manage dialogue with citizens? Have you any techniques or projects that have improved public discourse?

Jill Goldthwait, former Council Member, Town of Bar Harbor
Eric Sanders, Mayor, City of Belfast
Jim Dow, Selectboard member, Town of Blue Hill


About the hosts:

Ron Beard is producer and host of Talk of the Towns, which first aired on WERU in 1993 as part of his community building work as an Extension professor with University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant. He took all the journalism courses he could fit in while an undergraduate student in wildlife management and served as an intern with Maine Public Television nightly newscast in the early 1970s. Ron is an adjunct faculty member at College of the Atlantic, teaching courses on community development. Ron served on the Bar Harbor Town Council for six years and is currently board chair for the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, where he has lived since 1975. Look for him on the Allagash River in June, and whenever he can get away, in the highlands of Scotland where he was fortunate to spend two sabbaticals.

Liz Graves joined Talk of the Towns as co-producer and co-host in July 2022, having long admired public affairs programming on WERU and dreamed of getting involved in community radio. She works as the Town Clerk for the Town of Bar Harbor, and is a former editor of the Mount Desert Islander weekly newspaper. Liz grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.