June 24, 2018
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Wife succeeds husband on Sangerville Board of Selectmen

By Bill Pearson, Piscataquis Observer

SANGERVILLE, Maine — Voters decided to keep the selectman’s seat “in the family” as they elected the wife of a former selectman to succeed him on the board. Melissa Randall won the special election held on Oct. 25 during a special town meeting to assume the position previously held by her husband.

Brent Randall resigned earlier in the month due to health issues. He had served for 1½ years before undergoing emergency surgery on Oct. 1.

In his resignation letter, Randall indicated that he would be recuperating for six months, which would preclude him from completing his selectman’s duties.

Melissa Randall defeated Bill Roe, 54-51, in the final round of voting. Hillier Artman was the other candidate. Each candidate spoke prior to the election. They all opposed the east-west highway proposal and each one also has participated in several civic organizations.

Melissa Randall told voters that she knew the issues facing the town because she had done research for her husband during his tenure as a selectman.

“If you like what’s going on in town and want to keep the town moving in a positive direction, then vote for me,” she said.

Roe has lived in town for more than 30 years. He is currently a member of the budget and bicentennial committees. He said his experience in town affairs would serve him well as a selectman.

He said he would do his best to give each issue a thorough study in arriving at a decision in the town’s best interest. Roe believed it was important for the town to elect somebody who could disagree without being disagreeable.

“I don’t always have to win an argument. I can walk away from a disagreement without taking it personally,” Roe said.

Artman has lived in town for 25 years. He was a volunteer Sangerville firefighter for 20 years. He worked for the town of Dexter for 15 years in the public works department. Artman served as Dexter’s public works department’s representative to deal with the town council. He believed these experiences would serve him well as a selectman.

“I’m willing to work with any one of you to come up with good solutions to any problem the town faces,” Artman said before the vote.

The winning candidate needed to win a majority of the votes. In the first round of voting, Randall led with 54, followed by Roe with 36 and Artman with 32.

In other action, voters unanimously passed separate articles dealing with accepting a 500-foot portion of Knowlton Mills Road and Jackson Corner Road as town ways. Both roads were thought to be town ways, but a request last month to make a section of Jackson Corner Road exempt from regulations regarding all-terrain vehicle use resulted in the discovery that neither was.

Town officials researched the road’s history. They found that Jackson Corner Road, in 1946, and a 500-foot section of Knowlton Mills Road, in 1945, were both discontinued by the town. Residents indicated that the town had reaccepted Jackson Corner Road in the late 1970s, but a search through past town meeting minutes failed to produce any evidence.

After accepting the roads as town ways, the residents approved two separate motions to perform winter and summer maintenance on them.

Voters also authorized the selectmen to spend up to $15,000 from undesignated revenue to repair a malfunctioning septic system. All costs associated with the project will be recovered from a special supplemental tax assessed on the property.

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