Many town government slots up for grabs

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ANDOVER — The year ahead could see many new faces in town government.

“This is one of those years when the entire Andover government could change since (many) positions are up for reelection,” Selectman Jane Rich said Thursday.

Voters in March will fill a three-year town clerk/tax collector position, selectmen positions of one- and three-year terms and the town fire chief’s position for a three-year term. Also open for three-year terms: the town road commissioner and a school board position.

Nomination papers for the positions are available at the Town Office and must be returned by Jan. 16. The election is scheduled for March 20, following the annual town meeting March 17.

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Town Clerk and Tax Collector Melinda Averill is seeking reelection, and Jane Rich is running for another three-year term.

Selectman Sharon Hutchins, currently holding the one-year term, has resigned, effective Dec. 31,  because she is wintering in Florida.

Fire Chief Justin Tibbetts is not seeking reelection because he is working full-time in Kingfield and no longer has time for the position in Andover, Town Secretary Martha O’Leary said Thursday.

Road Commissioner Mark Farrington has decided not to run for his current position. School Board member Pete Coolidge, meantime, is seeking reelection.

In other matters, Andover’s volunteer fire department needs volunteers, Rich said. Firefighters and others who can staff the fire station office, drive or direct traffic are all needed, she said.

Rich said selectmen met Tuesday with a representative from Bruce A. Manzer Inc., a paving company of Norway.

“We’re in desperate need of major road repairs and that’s not reconstruction, that’s just paving,” Rich said.

The town took out a bond for the roads more than 10 years ago, with two years left to pay on the bond before the roads are paved, she said. The selectmen want to establish a plan so the town will have money to put toward road repairs on a regular basis, Rich added.

Rich also said residents are reminded to register their dogs with the town clerk in January. A certificate of spaying or neutering and a valid rabies inoculation certificate are needed to complete the registration.

The licensing fee is $6 for a spayed or neutered pet or $11 for an unaltered pet. A $25 fine will be assessed for animals not registered by Jan. 31.

mhutchinson@sunmediagroup.net

Andover selectmen, from left, Jane Rich, Sharon Hutchins and Mark Thurston at a selectmen’s meeting earlier this year. (Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times)

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