NEW SHARON — The town is breaking with tradition this year by moving the annual town meeting to the second Saturday in March.

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 12, at Cape Cod Hill School, Town Clerk Pamela Griswold. 

The Maine National Guard holds a drill weekend at the first of the month, so to ensure service members, including Selectman Travis Pond, could attend, the meeting was moved, Lorna Nichols, chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen, said.

The meeting has traditionally been held the first Saturday of March.

Although residents nominate from the floor and elect during the meeting, some are already expressing interest in a three-year selectman’s seat and a one-year treasurer position.

Treasurer Bonita Lehigh is not running again, Nichols said.

Other positions to be filled are a road commissioner, a town clerk and tax collector and a school board representative.

The town is not facing any major issues or decisions this year, she said.

After Third Selectman Milton Sinclair announced his intention to not run again, Mercy Hanson decided she would like to step up and help with the transparency the board is working to create, she said.

“They are trying hard and I like what they are doing,” she said. “I enjoy working for the town and would like to add my own input.”

Hanson, 68, of Cape Cod Hill Road has served in various positions since moving to New Sharon in 1977 to build a home and raise two daughters. She has previously served as tax collector for 10 years, deputy tax collector, assisted the treasurer, and is general assistance administrator.

Hanson is treasurer for the New Sharon Water Department. She does bookkeeping for several local businesses and individuals, she said.

As town clerk and tax collector, Griswold wants to continue the work she started last August.  She was elected after the previous clerk resigned. 

Griswold, 58, of Mile Hill Road said she has found the work a learning opportunity. So much has changed, including the use of electronics, she said. The position is also a huge responsibility, she said.

She has previously served the town as deputy town clerk and deputy tax collector over 17 years. 

“I’ve worked with the public all my life,” she said.

With a bachelor’s degree in business and economics from the University of Maine at Farmington, she has experience that includes working for a crisis center for 17 years and another five years for Life Enrichment Advancing People.

Erin Norton, municipal treasurer for neighboring Starks, is interested in the New Sharon treasurer position. She has served Starks for eight years and plans to seek re-election next year.

“I thoroughly enjoy working in municipal government,” she said. “It offers a diverse range of responsibilities, some challenges and the ability to truly make a difference.”

A native of Starks, where she now lives with husband, Jared, and sons, Gabriel and Grayson Norton, has served as a deputy tax collector, deputy registrar and deputy clerk.  

She has nearly a decade of experience working on boards and committees, including the Starks Enrichment and Education Society’s board of directors, the budget committee, the building committee and water district board. She has been a ballot clerk, moderator and warden at local and statewide elections, she said. 

Norton has training with Maine Municipal Association and the Internal Revenue Service and is proficient with Trio software,, she said.

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This story was changed since posted to reflect Hanson assisted town treasurer but did  not serve as an assistant treasurer as reported in article.


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