WINTHROP — The Town Council unanimously approved amendments Monday night to Winthrop’s remote meeting policy, COVID-19 exposure policy and marijuana ordinance, moves municipal officials said will not result in significant changes to previous policies.

Winthrop Town Manager Jeffrey Kobrock Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal file

The remote meeting participation policy amendment allows the Town Council chairperson to call for remote meetings under circumstances deemed appropriate.

The Maine Municipal Association was “was confident in writing the policy in this manner because of the way the state interpreted the legislation in running their own departments,” Town Manager Jeffrey Kobrock said. “In other words, we’re simply bringing our own policy in line with the way the state government is interpreting the legislation.”

Council Chairperson Sarah Fuller thanked the other councilors after they passed the amendment.

“I think this is going to be important,” Fuller said, “because as much as I appreciate seeing you all in person, I think that for our continued health and safety for the foreseeable future, remote may be the way for us to go.”

Winthrop Town Council Chairperson Sarah Fuller Kennebec Journal file

The amendment to the town’s COVID-19 exposure policy allows the town manager to make updates consistent with rapidly changing guidelines set by the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention.

Advertisement

“This policy became dated almost as soon as we adopted it,” Kobrock said, “because the CDC guidance changed, and it continues to change.”

Kobrock said the amendment also requires the town manager to report to the Town Council when changes are made.

“I agree that the CDC is changing pretty much by the millisecond these days,” Fuller said.

Councilors also discussed adding information on policy updates to the town’s website, and adding a prompt to the Town Office’s telephone system that would direct callers without internet access to the state’s 211 line for updates.

Fuller said the town could look into making these changes, and the motion to amend the COVID-19 policy was passed unanimously.

The marijuana ordinance amendment only affects the wording by replacing “store” with “dispensary.”

“That simply brings the town in accordance with the state statute,” Kobrock said. “It has no effect on the (existing) ordinance, how it’s implemented or its meaning.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.