Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, April 3, 2014
Deer Isle’s first selectman has heart surgery, Knowlton named to admin post
Recently hired Administrative Assistant Rebekah Knowlton works in her new space in the Deer Isle, Maine selectmen’s office in April, 2014. Knowlton also serves as the town clerk and will remain in that position.
by Faith DeAmbrose
“The town of Deer Isle is proceeding along just fine,” said Third Selectman Lewis Ellis as he sat in the office April 1. A number of changes, brought by the sudden illness of First Selectman Neville Hardy, have been put into effect to provide a stopgap measure for the town office.
Hardy, the town’s first selectman for more than four decades, was rushed to a Bangor hospital last week and underwent emergency open heart surgery to replace a valve, said Ellis. Hardy was moved to Blue Hill Memorial Hospital after the surgery, but has since been readmitted to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. He is expected to be out of the office for at least 10 weeks.
“Neville is being brought up-to-date on town affairs even as he rests at the hospital,” said Ellis, showing some paperwork Hardy had recently signed. Until such time as Hardy can return to the office, Ellis said he has been coming to the town office each day to work for a few hours.
To satisfy the immediate need for an administrative assistant for the selectmen’s office, Ellis said current town clerk Rebekah Knowlton has been hired. Knowlton was one of four “very qualified” applicants to apply for the position, said Ellis, but due to the fact that Hardy was unable to help train a new employee, it was decided to hire Knowlton who had already been working closely with Hardy over the past many months. “We decided that since the treasurer and town clerk had been working with Neville to help him with paperwork, that we would continue that relationship,” he said.
Knowlton will work in the front office as town clerk from 8 a.m. to noon and then in the selectmen’s office from noon to 4 p.m. A desk and computer have been added to the selectmen’s office to accommodate Knowlton.
“We have our hands full,” said Ellis, “but we are managing and are beginning to make some changes to the town’s operations.” Ellis said the first step is organizing the selectmen’s office.
In other business, Ellis said the town will bring its E-911 Addressing needs “in-house.” With the recent resignation of long-standing 911 addressing officer John Maberry, Ellis said the new administrative assistant will handle the paperwork and the town’s road crew will deal with posting the street signs and poles.
In other business, absentee ballots for the run-off race for road commissioner are available at the town office. The election has been scheduled for April 22.