What You Need to Know: Paris Board of Selectmen

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Paris Board of Selectmen

Sept. 25, 2017

Paris Town Office

Citizens petition

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What happened: Selectmen voted to not hold a special town meeting to address a citizens petition submitted by Budget Committee member Richard Merz to restore funding to the Fire Department.

What it means: Selectboard Vice Chairman Chris Summers was the only one who voted in favor of holding the town meeting. Voting against were Chairman Scott Buffington and Selectmen Gary Vaughn, John Andrews and Rusty Brackett. At annual town meeting in June, residents voted to cut more than $145,000 from the Fire Department budget and to cut the per diem program and transition back to an all-volunteer Fire Department. All per diem firefighters will be laid off on Saturday, Sept. 30, as part of the transition. Deputy Fire Chief Jon Longley — who will become fire chief after the transition and current Fire Chief Scott Hunter leaves — reported the volunteer firefighters who have joined the department are eager to learn and there are enough to run the Fire Department.

What’s next: If there are issues with changes at the Fire Department, it can be revisited at June 2018 town meeting, according to Buffington.

Assistant fire chief

What happened: Town Manager Vic Hodgkins announced he hired a new assistant fire chief and the board adopted assistant chief’s job description.

What it means: Mark Blaquiere is the new assistant fire chief. He begins work in that role on Monday, Oct. 2, and will work from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is a managerial and working firefighter position and he is responsible for the day-to-day administrative and supervisory work for the department’s firefighting and fire prevention programs. This is also part of the changes in the Fire Department.

Tax-acquired properties

What happened: Selectmen voted to put tax-acquired properties out to bid.

What it means: The 11 properties were foreclosed on for back taxes, totaling $60,881. The list includes April Berry, Duane and Debbie Bonnie, Katherine Colby, Sheldon and Marcia Green, heirs of Edwine Guyer, Jeffrey and Pamela Hodgdon, Thompson Moore Jr., Thomas Littlefield, George Pannell, Bert Rugg and Albert Whitehead. Town Clerk Liz Knox sent out certified letters in August to inform residents of their last chance to buy their properties back. Hodgkins and Knox are working with two or three residents to get paid in full before the properties go out to bid. If all goes to plan, the town could recoup another $20,000 in back taxes.

What’s next: The properties will go out to bid sometime next week and will be advertised throughout the month of October. Minimum bid for each property is all back taxes, fees and interest. Selectmen will address the bids at their Monday, Nov. 13, meeting.

Quitclaim deeds

What happened: Selectmen issued a number of quitclaim deeds to residents to sell them back their tax-acquired property from the town.

What it means: All back taxes, interest and fees were paid so the deeds could be issued, totaling $62,497. Deeds were given to Raymond Garnett and Heather MacPherson, Alpheus Rust Jackson, Zoltan Matolcsy, Billie Lynn Coolidge, Roger Poulin, Daniel Reavis and Rose Starbird.

Handyman

What happened: Selectmen approved a handyman job description.

What it means: Maine Municipal Association required a job description to allow Code Enforcement Officer Kingston Brown — who previously worked as a contractor — to do handyman work around the town’s facilities. He will be covered under the town’s insurance and paid $20 an hour for work he does outside of his CEO responsibilities.

What’s next: Once MMA gives the go-ahead, Brown will seal and fix a leak coming from the Town Office roof. 

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