Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, June 1, 2017
Hearing set to discuss Deer Isle government transition
by Monique Labbe
A public hearing to discuss the possible transition to a town manager form of government is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, June 8, at the Deer Isle Town Office.
Selectmen have been in early talks about the process and what it would mean for staff at the town office for a couple of months; however, moving forward with public hearings was tabled at an early May selectmen’s meeting so board members would have more time to review information.
One of the major concerns voiced by Selectman Ron Eaton was how the town’s officials and positions would be chosen under a town manager. Now, the town clerk, treasurer/tax collector and road commissioner are all elected by voters in March. Eaton said that from the research he has done, it seems as though those positions would be appointed rather than elected. He also added that further research on this was needed before he could “feel confident” in making a decision.
Selectman Lew Ellis said that if a town manager was hired, he felt sure that whoever it was would not come into the town office and “clean house,” and would instead work with the existing staff in the day-to-day operations.
The public hearing is being held a week ahead of the vote which will accompany the June referendum, scheduled for Tuesday, June 13, statewide.