DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Piscataquis County residents will vote in November on whether to abolish the position of elected county treasurer and replace it with a treasurer appointed by Piscataquis County commissioners.
Rather than rely on a popular vote candidate, Commissioners Eric Ward, Tom Lizotte and Fred Trask want to ensure that such an important seat is held consistently by someone with appropriate skills for office. It is the only county seat that legally can be changed from elected to appointed, and commissioners voted Tuesday to place a referendum question on the November ballot to decide the matter.
The treasurer’s position is held by Paul Raymond, who has an accounting background and is well qualified for the job. Lizotte said Raymond was elected to serve until 2010 and the commissioners are very willing to appoint him to the position if he chooses to remain beyond his elected term. The worry, according to Lizotte, is who will fill the seat when Raymond retires.
Piscataquis County has no charter, so attorney Erik Stumpfel will be consulted on the matter.
Sheriff John Goggin updated the commissioners on a recent meeting with Scott Ferguson of the Maine Board of Corrections regarding continued operation of the county jail. The meeting was “very productive and encouraging,” Goggin said. He said that he, Ferguson, and County Manager Marilyn Tourtelotte went over the jail budget in detail.
Since the federal government plans to continue to board prisoners at the Piscataquis County Jail, which generates revenue for the county, it appears the state will allow the jail’s operation to continue as is, Goggin said. While he has nothing in writing to confirm that, Goggin noted that proposed mission changes regarding Maine jails to be aired before the Legislature on May 26 exclude the Piscataquis County Jail.
The commissioners on Tuesday opened bids to replace Spencer Bay Road Bridge, the access route to the Lily Bay Transfer Station. Three bids were received: C.L.G. Inc. of Greenville Junction bid $5,651.88, and Moosehead Dock Works Inc. of Greenville Junction bid $5,500. Dan Daigle of Lily Bay Road offered three options in his bid: Replace the existing bridge, $5,000; replace the timber planks with a concrete deck, $11,750; and enhance the timber deck and steel supports, $4,500. Daigle’s latter bid was accepted by the commissioners.