Rescheduled Buckfield meeting to tackle governance, petition

By Christopher Crosby

BUCKFIELD— Selectmen will delay a decision on the future course of town government for a week after Tuesday night’s meeting was canceled due to a snowstorm.

Selectmen have rescheduled their meeting for Feb. 25, when they’ll likely address how to fill the vacant town manager position. Selectmen have discussed changing the role, including merging positions or reducing the job from full-time to part-time.

The vacancy comes as former Town Manager Dana Lee resigned in January to take a job in Eliot. Since Lee’s move, Town Clerk Cindy Dunn has been hired as Interim Town Manager until the role can be filled permanently.

Selectmen are seeking to define the job’s parameters before hiring their new chief executive, a search process which could involve promoting from within the current pool of municipal employees or hiring from outside the town.

Lee’s departure has served as the impetus for reconsidering whether the town needs a full-time manager, or whether the role can be merged with that of the town clerk.

Selectmen will also likely set a date for both a public hearing and a special town meeting for residents to discuss and vote on whether they want to vote in June on rescinding plans to withdraw from the RSU 10 school district.

A petition from former RSU 10 director Maida Demurs-Dobson garnered 115 signatures, requiring selectmen to schedule two meetings in which residents will be able to discuss and vote whether the petition should be added to the ballot.

Demurs-Dobson maintains that Buckfield taxpayers will likely pay more if they choose to educate students outside the RSU, while withdrawal supporters maintain the town is paying too much for a lower quality of instruction.

Selectmen will meet next Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Buckfield Town Office.

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