OTISFIELD – Many questions during the draft Comprehensive Plan hearing Thursday night concerned code enforcement.

Selectman Leonard Adler noted code enforcement has been loose recently.

“The first few CEOs were so strict that residents said to back off, so we went the other way,” Adler said.

Residents asked how new regulations for code enforcement will be enforced.

Comprehensive Plan Committee members said it is up to the selectmen because they hire the code officer.

“After the annual town meeting we came up with a checklist for Rodney [Smith, the code enforcement officer],” Adler said. “One of the problems facing him was he had no rules. He’s reviewed the three-stage checklist and plans to use it. Hopefully this will improve the process.”

Residents also raised concerns about sharing Smith with the town of Oxford. Smith is a full-time employee for that community.

“When we met with Rodney he said he can do it,” Adler said. “He plans to work weekends, nights and Oxford lets him come over when he is needed here.”

One of the main emphases of the updated plan is the protection of natural resources, Comprehensive Plan Committee Chairman Jim Bishop said. It calls for the forming of a conservation commission or committee.

It also calls for long-range financial planning for the community. Bishop noted the update calls for a look at town government to be aware of what means of government is best for the future of the community.

The plan calls for forming another comprehensive plan committee made up of a few existing members, as well as a representatives of the Planning Board and Board of Selectmen, and residents to implement the plan.

The five- to seven-member committee is to be appointed by the selectmen. Comprehensive Plan Committee members noted they unanimously support the draft plan.

“We really paid attention to the information that came out in the town forums,” Comprehensive Plan Committee member Bill McCoy said.

Copies of the plan are available at the town office and Bishop recommends reading it.

A second hearing for the draft plan will precede town meeting at the end of the month for residents who were unable to attend the meeting Thursday night.

Following the public hearings, the draft becomes the updated plan to be voted upon during a special town meeting scheduled for Thursday, June 26, at community hall. The hearing starts at 7 p.m. and the special town meeting immediately follows.

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