(from the July 2009 Maine Townsman)

The North Yarmouth Board of Selectmen’s voted unanimously on July 7 to hire Damaris “Marnie” Diffin as the town’s administrative assistant. Diffin is currently the town manager of Islesboro, where she has been employed since 1994. Diffin also served as administrative assistant for the Town of Durham prior to Islesboro. She will start her new job in early August.

Paul Bernier has resigned as the first regional community development director for the towns of Frenchville and St. Agatha. Bernier was hired in 2003 and is credited for securing more than $6 million in federal and state grants; he was named Maine’s 2006 Community Development Block Grant program administrator. He resigned to accept the job as public works director for the unorganized territories of Aroostook County.

An estimated 500 firefighters from throughout the northeast gathered June 16 in Biddeford for the funeral of Debra Cole, 40, a South Portland firefighter and paramedic who died of an apparent stroke while on duty on June 11. Cole also served as a volunteer captain in the village of Goodwin Mills in Lyman.

Greenville Selectman Bonnie DuBien was honored for her 19 years of service during a selectmen’s meeting in June. DuBien, chairman of the board for the past five years, will not seek re-election when her term expires this year. DuBien, who also has served on the school board, was presented with a plaque and a clock for her longtime efforts on behalf of the community.

Lionel Gilbert, who has logged more than 70 years of service to the town of Manchester, retired from the planning board in June after 35 years. Previously, Gilbert worked for 35 years as the town tax collector and treasurer, as well as serving one term as selectman.

Longtime Dexter police officer and Sgt. James Gudroe has been named chief after almost 30 years with the department. Gudroe, 58, has worked as acting chief since the resignation in April of Arthur Roy.

Robert Hagopian received 162 votes to win a Madison selectman seat, defeating two other candidates for the three-year term.

Philip Haines held off three other candidates to win the open seat on the Vassalboro Board of Selectmen. Haines received 155 votes, followed by Lee Trahan with 134, Roland H.J. Poulin with 81, and Stephen Rogers with 49.

Cape Elizabeth Town Councilor Paul McKenney has announced he will resign in December with one year remaining on his term. McKenney said his council work took away time and energy for his family and work demands. He was elected to the council in 2005 to serve the remaining two years of a vacated seat and was re-elected in November 2007. He will serve until year’s end to avoid the need for and cost of a special election.

Canton resident Donald St. Laurent has been named the new highway department foreman for the town of Livermore. St. Laurent replaces Moe Laverdierre, who is retiring in late August.

Gerald Sampson, former Lisbon code enforcement officer and assessor, was hired by Paris selectmen last month to replace Claude Rounds, who leaves the municipal code enforcement job to work for a private firm in Lewiston-Auburn. Sampson, a resident of Buckfield, has 15 years of experience and will work 24 hours a week.

Donald Shepley received 222 votes to win a seat on the Hermon Town Council, followed by Donna Pulver, who will fill the second open seat after collecting 214 votes. Brooke Green received 199 votes and former Councilor Louis “Buzzy” LaChance won the support of 141 voters.