Comments made at Harbormaster Hearing

  1. Introduction

  2. Letter to Selectman with request for fulltime Harbormaster

  3. Email to members of Committee informing them of Selectman Weil's offer

  4. Email to Selectman Weil requesting advice on how to present amendment

  5. Flyer given out at Town Meeting

  6. Comments I have received

  7. Comments made to Selectmen 5/26/05

  8. Comments made at hearing for Harbormaster

Comments for Harbormaster Hearing.

I am Burr Taylor, of Cundyís Harbor. Let me add that I am not here as a representative, or even a member of the Harbor and Waterfront Committee because my reappointment application was opposed by Selectman Weil. For the benefit of those who do not know, Selectman Weilís comments supporting his opposition to my reappointment were unfair, inaccurate and without basis in fact. If you would like details, reasons and evidence, you can check out my website at

1.     At town meeting in March, the selectmen, including Selectman Weil, were opposed to a full-time harbormaster and even opposed to a more time harbormaster. Could you tell the hearing what has changed between then and now such that you now support a full-time harbormaster.

2.     Were you aware that there were several members of the committee who were reluctant to support a full-time harbormaster? While they were not opposed, they thought more study and discussion were appropriate.

3.     Harpswell has not always had the best history with harbormasters since many have had the reputation of abusing their power either for their own gain or whatever. Have you given any consideration to how to ensure a new harbormaster would provide a positive experience for all.

4.     The harbormasterís job will probably require a great deal of tact and perseverance, and support when he/she really gets down to reorganizing Mackerel Cove and other places. Some decisions he will make will undoubtedly offend or anger people. Are the selectmen prepared to support the harbormaster in these conflicts, even if they are politically difficult?

5.     Fishermen have most reason to be concerned about a harbormaster. They already know more about the water than most people who might be harbormaster. What do you say to a fisherman who is concerned that a full-time harbormaster will be more of a hindrance to his independence, freedom, and making a living, than a positive addition to the Town of Harpswell?


I am in favor of a fulltime harbormaster. If we want people to take our waterfront seriously, I believe we need to create a full-time harbormaster and treat him seriously.

You have heard about how long the coast line is, how many harbors we have, and how many moorings we have. I do not think anyone would disagree about how important the water is to Harpswell. Of our 2400 plus moorings, only 300-400 belong to fishermen. I would like to see a harbormaster who would accommodate all these owners, who could provide guidance for all who need it, while not unduly infringing on the freedom, livelihood and independence of fishermen, and who would provide a voice to the selectmen on the needs of this most important resource.


In my opinion, there is a great diversity of people, attitudes and skills in Harpswell. We need to adapt our ways, including the harbormaster, to include all of these people, skills and attitudes in a way that educates the new without infringing unduly on the independence of the old