On June 22 Essex will be holding its election for town positions.  There are ten candidates total, but only one slot—filling the vacancy made by Selectman Andrew Spinney—is an actual race, in which Guy Bradford is running against Peter Hoare.  Next week, a virtual “meet the candidate” session is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 3 that will offer the two candidates the opportunity to share why they’re running and what they hope to accomplish if elected.

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Two topics -- the Annual Town Meeting and COVID-19 -- continue to dominate much of our work.  As explained by Town Moderator Alan Wilson, Select Board Chairman Eli Boling, and Town Clerk Christina St. Pierre in a separate article, our Annual Town Meeting will take place June 22 (rain date June 24) outdoors on the high school football field.

This weekend Manchester Harbormaster Bion Pike sent out an interim communication, a mini “Waterline” if you will, that tips off a brewing issue for mooring holders accessing their boats at Tuck’s Point.  This season’s new “haul-out solution” to address the condemned ramp that accesses the dinghy dock off the rotunda is seen by many to be not enough. 

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Perhaps it was appropriate that Memorial Day 2020 began with a fog, a heavy one, and perhaps it was also appropriate—at least for the more optimistic of us—that by 10:30 a.m. when the official ceremony kicked off at the Amaral Bailey American Legion Hall in Manchester, the sun began to surge.

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Last week, the American Legion lined 19 flags along Beach Street starting at Reed Park in Manchester and extending to Masconomo Park to signify the men killed in action and the Legion placed flags at all veteran graves in Manchester cemeteries for Memorial Day 2020.  

The Selectmen, in consultation with the Board of Health, have approved the partial opening of town beaches starting Monday, May 25 The opening is restricted to residents and only for transient use -walking and running.  Residents will be required to show a beach tag to enter Singing Beach. Beaches will remain closed on weekends and no facilities or parking will be provided during this initial stage.  

The controversial owner of a car sales and automotive repair business on Eastern Avenue tried the patience of the Board of Selectmen on Monday when he was called to account for overstepping—three times in less than two years—the rules of his operating license. 

This report was presented by Essex Town Administrator Brendhan Zubricki at this week's Board of Selectmen meeting on May 18, 2020, and it covers topics of interest for town business from May 2 to May 15.

Town Hall remains closed to the public. Staff is available to help you with your business needs. Please email the appropriate department directly for assistance. Phone lines are currently down and being worked on as quickly as possible.  

Starting just before 9 a.m. last Saturday, residents began lining up in their cars for the town’s first ever “drive thru” selling at Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School on Lincoln Street to secure their seasonal municipal tags, licenses and placards for resident beach access, dogs and boating.

Next week, on Thursday, May 21, the owners of a proposed recreational cannabis retailer in Essex will  host last of two state-mandated community outreach meetings required in order to set up shop.  The public meeting will give BB Botanics an opportunity to share its final plans and field public questions about the dispensary and cultivation establishment planned for 242 John Wise Avenue. 

There’s a nice turn of attention these days to the water.  Locals are thinking about beach passes and moorings, harbormasters are getting ready for summer management.  In fact, the town is offering “drive through” service to purchase licenses and boat placards tomorrow and next week at the M-E Regional High School parking lot.  Coastal town parks are now open for walkers and beaches are also opening, albeit in a “phased” fashion and it all is starting to feel a bit more normal for many of us

The Essex Board of Selectmen meeting Monday voted to keep the status quo on “residents only” for the town’s public boat ramp and it heard about the prospect of participating in an oyster bedding program to help the environment. 

With postponements and changes in the 375th Anniversary Celebration scheduled events, last week the Manchester 375th Committee announced two events that would both mark the town’s milestone during public safety distancing but also mark the incredible efforts of our community’s safety officials and first responders.