We have had a good early voting turnout. I hope everyone will cast a ballot either during early voting which ends at 3 pm on Saturday, or on Tuesday, November 3rd, Election Day. As I have said before, we need a strong turnout to let officials at the Macon County Courthouse know we vote on the plateau. I would love to see a 100% turnout, or there about.
The staff at Town Hall has been getting calls about the bear resistant toter requirement. The ordinance requiring these toters was passed by the town board in August of 2019. Implementation of the ordinance was scheduled for August 1 of 2020, in other words a year from the time of passage. In August this deadline was postponed in order to give some folks an opportunity to get toters that were on back order. There seems to still be a back order of the small 30 gallon toters. Implementation of the ordinance has again been rescheduled to November 16. I want to thank the overwhelming number of residents who purchased the bear resistant toters months ago.
Last week the kick off of the Highlands Community Plan went very well with a 73% attendance at several stakeholder meetings. There will be more meetings to follow, including ZOOM sessions. It is critical that residents participate in this process which will set the vision for Highlands for the coming decade. I completed the community survey this past week. I encourage everyone to go to the town website and click on the Highlands Community Plan. There is a button to access the survey. The survey is well designed and takes only a few minutes to complete. As I have said now many times, this will not an elected officials plan, but rather a community and citizens plan. During this planning process, my goal is to cutback on the talking and listen to the Highlands stakeholders participating in the process.
From all incoming reports, we may be facing a national surge in COVID-19. It will be more important than ever to practice the 3 Ws. They are; wash hands frequently, wait and social distance, and wear a mask in public places. We have seen very high participation in mask wearing in businesses and on commercial sidewalks. Again, let me stress that the wearing of masks on sidewalks and streets in residential zones is not a part of the town mask ordinance. The mask wearing requirement applies to businesses and on sidewalks in commercial zones.
I have been in conversations with folks at the Highlands Chamber of Commerce concerning holiday events. These events will not be like they have been in past years due to COVID-19.
There will be a Christmas Parade, just at a different time and format. Details will be announced soon. Highlands will continue to have beautiful Christmas lights throughout the town, but the town lighting will be modified. Representatives of the chamber will be presenting specific plans at the November town board meeting.