BUCKFIELD — The Board of Selectmen has narrowed its search for a new town manager from 13 applicants to two candidates. Current interim Town Manager Brad Plante will be stepping down Jan. 31 and intends to have his replacement ready to assume office by Feb 1.
The finalists were expected to be interviewed Jan. 3 at the town office.
Plante outlined what work remains for him to do: sorting out the available commercial property and addressing the appraisal of fine artwork and historical artifacts that are owned by the town.
He has finished his governance report and it contains several recommendations Plante leaves as parting thoughts and suggestions to Buckfield.
“I’ve recommended some significant changes in some areas,” said Plante. “Take what you want, and think is good, use it, and if you don’t like it, throw it out, but I’ve covered everything,” he said. The board will be reviewing it in a workshop on Jan. 10.
The snowfall over Christmas weekend caught a largely unprepared Public Works Department.
“We had a plow driver leave during the storm; we called in an on-call driver to finish the operation,” Plante stated in his manager’s report. On Christmas Day another driver was sick and several other plow drivers were called out on the holiday.
Plante apologized to the people of Buckfield for the delay and commended the department’s newest hire, Jared Ames, for the exceptional work he did on Christmas. The town is still advertising for plow drivers.
Selectman Adelbert Dunn informed the board that he contacted the Maine Municipal Association’s Legal Services Department and was informed that it is permissible for a selectperson to send verifiable communication such as an E-mail or text message when necessary, such as in emergencies; as Dunn did not have actionable information to offer questioning citizens during inclement weather.
In other news:
- Members of the Historical Society appeared before the board for information and to accept an invitation of historical town property to the town office’s second level for eventual display.
- The deputy clerk will be cross-trained in some of the clerk’s capacities such as payroll and accounts receivable.
- The town is looking for a large fire-proof cabinet, contact the town office with details.