Thank You Mike Burns!
Transportation Planner Mike Burns is leaving the island at the end of the month. We had a chat with him and asked some questions to share with you.
Mike, tell us some of the most interesting/challenging projects you have worked on during your time with the Town.
There have been so many over the years. I was hired and started on June 25, 2001 with the task of implementing a program to limit the number of vehicles on island, and I failed that one. It was challenging. The proudest accomplishment was being part of the initial phase of the In-Town Bike Path. That was a decade's old project that was finally completed along a causeway between Washington Street Extension and Orange Street literally 100 years after the causeway was no longer needed for the railroad. A very close second is the Hummock Pond Road Bike Path, mostly for the overwhelming community support and $620,718.31 raised privately to offset the $2.9 million construction cost. The Sparks Roundabout is special because it was the probably the first big project I helped with and I believe was my first exposure to speaking at Town Meeting. Paid parking is something that has been discussed for well over a decade and is still on-going. Understanding and explaining the evolving technologies with that program has been very interesting and challenging. Working with the various WPI student teams over the years on transportation websites, wind turbines, parking management, and accessibility improvements was probably the most rewarding.
What was your experience living on Nantucket?
Housing was always a stresser, just like it is for most year-round renters, and a few times I felt forced to leave much earlier than I am now. About 12 years ago I was in that situation and former Selectman and Planning Board member Frank Spriggs heard about it and offered his garage apartment to me for a very reasonable price. He and his wife, Bette, said they wanted to help people like me who contribute to the community. I’ve been there ever since. They even lowered the rent a few years into the lease after paying off the loan that built the apartment…who does that??
As far as the lifestyle that Nantucket offers, I’ll absolutely miss being a 5 minute drive from the beach (Lady’s is my favorite), the quiet of the off-season after a crazy summer (I like it), and the feeling of seeing the island from a boat or plane after a time away (it’s one of the best feelings).
How was the experience of working for the Nantucket community?
There is a passion that a lot of people have who live here (seasonally or year-round) that may be a little bit stronger than anywhere else, I’m not sure. Public outreach is very important. Most professional Planners will say do not live in the community where you work, but I couldn’t avoid that. Sometimes public outreach can happen at the grocery store, and that can be awkward.
I worked in the transportation field in the public sector for a living, but I also feel that I worked for the community in other capacities – volunteering my time to feel more a part of the community. I will miss serving as parking coordinator in Town and Sconset for the Chamber of Commerce during the Daffodil Festival, and I’ll miss grilling sausages for the Rotary Club in the Stop and Shop parking lot during Stroll. My experience with the Rotary Club is something I will always value. I served as President (I was actually up for another term in July) and I contributed and served as a chaperone on the recent High School student service trip to Puerto Rico. The Rotary four-way test is something that anyone can apply in the things we say, write, and do, especially working for the public and the Nantucket Community – 1. Is it true? 2. Is it fair to all concerned? 3. Does it build good will and better friendships? 4. Does it benefit all involved?
June 28, 2018: Town Manager Libby Gibson with Sewer Dir. David Gray (left) who receives the Heartbeat of Nantucket (citizen of the year) award and Mike Burns (right) who receives the Robert W. Allen (Rotarian of the Year) award.
Coronavirus Update from Health Director Roberto Santamaria
The Novel coronavirus from the Wuhan province in China is an emerging illness that belongs to a large family of viruses that are common throughout the world. In recent years, we have heard of other coronaviruses in the news. Illnesses like SARS and MERS are all types of coronaviruses. As such, we know that the new virus presents in the same way that the previous viruses did too. Symptoms like runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever are common and can be easily be mistaken for many other illnesses, including Influenza A and B.
There are currently no cases of coronavirus on Nantucket. However, this does not mean that you should not be practicing good respiratory and hand hygiene.
The influenza virus has a significant presence on the island and New England as a whole. If you have not received the flu shot yet, please make an effort to do so. Influenza currently is the illness of concern on Nantucket and your efforts, as well as ours, are what keep the island healthy and happy. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the health department or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov/flu.
Island-Wide Efforts to Protect Nantucket’s Ecosystem
2020 Single-Use Plastics Ban
Do you or anyone you know has a business? The Town of Nantucket’s Single-Use Plastics Ban takes effect on June 1, 2020 and it is applicable to most if not all businesses on the Island. The Single-Use Plastics Ban, voted by the Town at the October 10, 2018 Special Town Meeting, prohibits the following single-use plastics from commercial use, sale and distribution:
If you are not sure whether your business is in compliance with this bylaw, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free audit of your merchandise and/or ask any questions about the ban.
Mark Your Calendars: Second Annual Nantucket Litter Derby!
Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 28th and join us for the Second Annual Nantucket Litter Derby! Look what we can accomplish as a community when we work together and have fun while doing it.
To everyone who participated in last year’s event, thank you! With your participation, together we can make an even bigger impact for the well-being of Nantucket’s neighborhoods, shorelines and wild places. The DPW was instrumental in making this happen last year when the event brought in over 3.5 tons of litter composed of:
- 2,400 pounds Non-Recyclable & Non-Compostable Waste/Construction & Demolition Debris Waste (1.2 tons)
- 2,280 pounds of Recyclable Glass
- 1400 pounds Scrap Metal including 4 bicycles (0.7 tons)
- 280 pounds of Recyclable Plastic
- 270 pounds Recyclable Tin/Aluminum
- 15 Tires- 300 pounds worth!
- 3 TVs
- 1 washing machine
- 6 bags Compostable Waste
- 8 batteries
- 5 quarts motor oil (hazardous waste)
- 1 syringe
Merrill Mason, High School Art teacher, and the HS Art and Environmental Clubs put a piece of art work in a downtown store window in February and March. Yesterday, a bicycle made out of recycled plastic was installed by the students in Young’s window. (Coordinated by Emma Young.) The art work reflects the ban on single-use plastics as well as the desire to have something in storefront windows in the winter.