FARMINGTON — The Board of Selectmen appointed Nancy Porter to serve as interim director on the Regional School Unit 9 board on Tuesday.

The seat became available when Yvette Robinson resigned because her family was moving to Wilton. Robinson’s term expires in 2016.

Porter, a former selectman for the town, will serve until the town election in March, when a director will be elected to serve a three-year term. By state law, selectmen can appoint an interim director to serve until the election.

Porter received three votes by secret ballot, a majority of the five-member board.

Other applicants were Douglas Dunlap, a chaplain, licensed psychologist and retired faculty member at the University of Maine at Farmington; Scott Erb, a faculty member at UMF; Judith Murphy, a retiree who has previously served on school boards and planning boards in other towns; and Rebekah Collins, a stay-at-home mother who served on the Student Senate at the University of Maine.

According to her application, Porter feels children should be learning more basics like cursive writing, mental math, geography and basic civics.

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“If I’m on the board, perhaps I can make a difference,” she said.

In other business, Farmington Police Chief Jack Peck sought approval to accept more donations for the REC program, which stands for Remembering Every Christmas. The program is intended to honor the memory of former Police Chief Richard E. Caton III, who passed away in 2011 due to complications from leukemia. REC are also his initials.

On Monday, officers started handing out gift cards to area residents at their discretion. Some were passed out during traffic stops. 

A family donated over $1,000 to the cause and the Police Benevolent Association also donated funds in order to start the program. Gift cards called Chamber Bucks were purchased from the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. The cards can be used at more than 50 area businesses.

After reading media reports about the Police Department honoring Caton, a local businessman brought $1,000 cash to Peck for the program. The businessman was a friend of Caton’s and respected him, Peck said.

The original family also brought in another $275, Peck told the board. Peck said he intended to use the extra funds to purchase more Chamber Bucks.

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Selectman Michael Fogg asked if all of the cards need to be passed out by Christmas or whether some could wait until the middle of January.

There is no urgency, Peck said.

“It is a tough time for a lot of people in the community,” Peck said. A young woman was crying yesterday when a police officer stopped her and then gave her a gift card, he said.

The REC program is expected to continue each year.

The board unanimously approved accepting the two extra donations and any other donations that come in.

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