Recently, the Fryeburg selectmen met at the Legion hall because they knew they would have a large number of citizens present. On the agenda that night were several important issues for citizens of Fryeburg to be aware of and make informed decisions about. I was given the opportunity to provide some basic information concerning the topic of a town manager for Fryeburg.

I’d like to mention a few of the points I believe are important in making a good decision at town meeting in March.

A survey of 122 Maine towns shows that 89 of 122 towns use the town manager form of government.

A survey of 13 Maine towns similar in population to Fryeburg that utilize a town manager showed that all 13 utilize the State of Maine Statutory Town Manager Plan as the foundation of their government.

Those two statistics alone convince me that Fryeburg would be wise to follow the overwhelming evidence that the town manager government must work very well and will benefit our town.

If Fryeburg adopts the statutory plan then the authority and responsibilities of the town manager are outlined by state law and not subject to change at the whim of selectmen or any town official.

Some people would have you believe that the salary of a town manager would be much greater than the position of administrative assistant that it would replace. I believe we should hire an individual and pay them what their experience and knowledge warrants. Not base the salary on a title.

Some people propose changing the present title to town administrator, revising the present job description and adding a new administrative ordinance that would try to ensure the job description and title were followed. All of these changes would be subject to change at a town level.

I propose we take the simple, already proven in many towns, action of adopting the statutory plan for town manager government. Then Fryeburg would change to a government that would run with effectiveness, accountability, stability and direction. A town government to take great pride in.

Jim Dutton, Fryeburg

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