People
(from the April 2010 Maine Townsman)

Durham Selectman Wesley Bennett Jr. died March 10 at the age of 73. He served 20 straight years on the board, many of them as chairman.

Mitchell “Mitch” Berkowitz, Bridgton town manager, was struck by a falling tree while clearing downed trees after a storm in early March, sustaining serious injuries to his lower body. Berkowitz underwent surgery and is recovering at home. He was expected to be out of work for three months, although he has told selectmen he is available by telephone and e-mail. Administrative Assistant Georgiann Fleck will serve as staff for the selectmen board until Berkowitz returns.

Thomaston Selectman Thomas Bertocci died April 4. He was elected for the first time last November and beat his opponent by a margin of 2-to-1. Bertocci once ran the Rockland field office of former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell. Bertocci was finishing the term of Mona Stearns, who resigned. Bertocci’s successor will be elected in June.

Joseph Clark, Sangerville town manager since 2008, has resigned for personal reasons effective April 9. The announcement at town meeting in March surprised residents.

Strong Selectman Rebecca Croteau resigned last month, two years before the end of her term. Croteau was elected in the past and also resigned. Her replacement will be elected in June.

Sidney Town Clerk Shawna Foye was honored for 25 years of service to the town during the annual town meeting last month.

Leslie “Les” Grover, who served 41 years for the Orrington Volunteer Fire Department, died March 20 at the age of 74. Grover, a businessman, served as fire chief for the town for 21 years.

Sharon Jackson was hired as administrative assistant to the Fryeburg Board of Selectmen after the board dismissed Town Manager Martin Krauter. Jackson is presently appealing her firing as manager of the town of Paris. Krauter also is appealing selectmen’s decision not to renew his contract, which expired last June.

Brunswick Fire Chief Clark Labbe has retired after almost 40 years with the department, the last five as chief. He joined the department in 1973 as a call firefighter, one year before the elder Labbe retired. He became a full-time firefighter three years later and served as assistant chief for 20 years before being named to the top post permanently in 2005. Labbe will be replaced by Kenneth Brillant.

China selectmen honored James Lane during the March town meeting. The retiring police officer and animal control officer worked for the town for 30 years.

Albion 911 dispatcher Sally Lindsay received a United Way “Spirit of America” award for her 20 years of helping people in emergencies.

Biddeford City Councilor Bob Mills announced in March he will seek the Democratic primary nomination to replace state Rep. Stephen Beaudette, who is termed out of office this year after four straight terms.

St. Agatha selectmen have named interim Town Manager Christy Sirois the permanent manager following the March resignation of Ryan Pelletier. Sirois previously served as town clerk.

Etna Town Manager Evelyn Serval’s job was eliminated by town meeting voters in March, who gave the manager one year before having to leave the post she has held for five years. The vote was 65-35 and reflected voters’ frustrations over a revaluation of property last year, which resulted in a tax increase, according to officials.

Litchfield firefighter Michael Sherman, 24, has been deployed to Afghanistan. He left in mid-March for training in Texas with his Bangor-based National Guard unit. Sherman will become a captain in the 35-member volunteer department upon his return, officials said.

Jonesport Selectman Ralph Smith Sr. resigned last month for health reasons after serving the town for nearly 25 years. Residents were not expecting Smith’s resignation, which was announced during the annual town meeting in early March. Smith was first elected in 1988 and has served as chairman for the past decade.

Harold West, nicknamed “Mr. Milbridge” for his decades of public service to the town, county and state, died March 12 in Ellsworth at the age of 85. West served 18 years as a Milbridge selectman, through the late 1980s.