Corinna elects new leaders in town meeting

Posted March 09, 2014, at 6:15 p.m.
Last modified March 09, 2014, at 7:28 p.m.

CORINNA, Maine — A new slate of town leaders was elected last week, including a new fire chief whose informal appointment apparently bothered the incumbent, officials said Sunday.

Kerbon Littlefield led the vote-getters during a town meeting on Saturday, drawing 99 votes and securing one of two open seats on the Board of Selectmen. Francis Lee Kaughman will join him after earning 79 votes, while Lloyd Alden Bolstridge got 57 votes and incumbent Corinna Caron was defeated with 43 votes, Town Manager Kimberly Godsoe said Sunday.

Voters filed 151 ballots during the town meeting, Godsoe said.

“I figured we would have more voters out than what we had because we have 1,493 registered voters,” Godsoe said Sunday. “I just assumed there would be more participation.”

No one ran for two open seats on the Regional School Unit 19 board of directors, so selectmen will try to appoint residents to fill those positions, Godsoe said.

Selectmen meet at the fire annex on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. RSU 19 serves the towns of Corinna, Dixmont, Etna, Hartland, Newport, Palmyra, Plymouth and St. Albans.

Selectmen also will appoint a fire chief when they meet on Wednesday, following an election last week among the volunteer Fire Department members that made Alan Emerson the town’s new top firefighter, Godsoe said. Interim Chief Alan Clark and firefighter Stephen Brown were defeated.

Clark posted a tart message on the town fire department’s Facebook page that Caron, one of the page’s moderators, said she removed.

“After 34 years at the Corinna fire Dept, they finally managed to drive me out,” Clark wrote, “34 years [thrown] away.”

When reached at his home, Clark issued a brief statement and then hung up.

“He quit,” Clark said before identifying himself. “That’s all you need to know.”

Clark did not answer when called back.

“I think there were probably hard feelings,” Caron said. “That is a long time to be on the department and not get the majority vote.”

Godsoe said she was unsure of all the vote totals, but believed that Emerson received 13, Clark “eight or nine,” while Brown received two. The fire department’s volunteers hold annual elections in March, she said.

Caron referred questions to Deputy Chief Shawn Richards, who declined to comment on the election.

Roger Whitney, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said that as far as he is concerned, Clark is still interim fire chief. The fire department election, he said, is more like a straw poll than anything binding.

“We have not received anything officially from him or the fire department that indicates that he is not the interim fire chief,” Whitney said Sunday.

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