(from the
January 2006 Maine Townsman)

Longtime Penobscot County Deputy Sheriff Bill Laughlin is retiring. Laughlin had been serving since 1996 as a contract deputy for the Town of Hermon. His tenure in Hermon was preceded by 28 years service with the University of Maine’s Department of Public Safety.

Augusta City Manager William Bridgeo has appointed Roger Audette as the new chief of fire and ambulance services. Audette had been serving as the acting chief.

In Cherryfield, Randy Perry has been appointed road commissioner. Perry is a former selectman.

Wells is losing both its treasurer and assessor. Rachel Daigle became treasurer in September 1993 and Kathy Chase was first elected to the assessor’s office in 1988. Chase plans to run for state representative in House District 147.

The Turner Board of Selectmen have reappointed Steven Fish as fire chief. The board had voted unanimously – months ago – not to reappoint him. After the Volunteer Firefighters Association in town expressed disagreement with the decision, the board reversed itself.

In Ogunquit, Patricia Arnaudin has been named interim police chief. Arnaudin has been a sergeant with the department since 2000, preceded by 19 years as a patrol officer.

Selectmen in Livermore Falls have hired Martin Puckett of Old Town as new town manager. Puckett, 28, was a town manager in Washington County for four years.

Longtime Baileyville Fire Chief Lawrence “Gus” Gillis retired effective December 19. He has been involved with the fire department in various capacities since the 1950s. On December 12, the town council appointed Darren Ireland to replace Gillis.

In Madawaska, Fred Ventresco submitted his immediate resignation as town manager on December 19, citing personal reasons. In addition to duties as manager, Ventresco was also serving as the town’s treasurer and clerk.

Hollis selectmen John Wood and Leonard Van Gaasbeek voted out of office at a special recall election on December 20. The petition to recall the two selectmen had been started in the fall of 2005. Selectman Irving Severance remained as the sole member of the board following the recall election.

Former Machias selectman Edward Pellon was elected to the board on December 6 after having been voted out of office last August. The second seat on the board went to newcomer Warren Gay.

Karen Geraghty , city councilor in Portland, has been named chair of the National League of Cities (NLC) Human Development Steering Committee for 2006. In 2005 Councilor Geraghty served as vice chair of the steering committee and has been a member of the committee for more than seven years.

Patrick O’Reilly , town councilor in Scarborough, has been reappointed as a member of the NLC Finance, Administration, and Intergovernmental Relations Steering Committee for 2006. O’Reilly has served as a member of the Steering Committee for several years.

Jill Duson , Portland city councilor, has been named as a new member of the NLC Community & Economic Development Steering Committee for 2006. In 2005, Duson served on the NLC Community & Economic Development Policy and Advocacy Committee and the NLC City Futures’ Panel on Public Finance.