FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted Tuesday to approve revised bylaws for the Franklin County Regional Communications Center that clarify the roles of commissioners and the Dispatch Advisory Board. 

Members of the board came to commissioners in July looking to clarify the panel’s role and wanted to know what commissioners expected of them.

Stan Wheeler, director of the county’s Regional Communication Center, and board members made the revisions. He told commissioners that Advisory Board members voted unanimously to approve the revisions.

The language makes it clear that the board is advisory in nature and that in the instance of a disagreement between the director and the board, commissioners will “act as judge on the matter,” Wheeler said.

There is also the addition of the chief of the Jay Police Department and two at-large positions from the fire service, he said. The fire service vacancies will be filled by the Franklin County Firefighters Association.

Edward Hastings IV, a past chief of Chesterville Fire Department, fills one of the at-large vacancies but has to be confirmed by the association. He had previously been on the board as Chesterville’s fire chief. Hastings is now the fire chief of the Livermore Falls Fire Department.

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The additions make it an 11-member board that also includes the sheriff; Farmington, Wilton and Jay police chiefs; county emergency management agency director; Farmington and Rangeley fire chiefs; two fire service representatives; and a representative of NorthStar EMS ambulance.

Commissioner Charles Webster of Farmington asked Wheeler if the advisory panel will be involved in developing a budget for the communications center.

“I will keep them in the loop on my budget,” Wheeler said.

In other business, commissioners approved hiring Jocelyn Kelly as a part-time dispatcher. She is a full-time dispatcher at the Lewiston-Auburn 911 Center in Auburn, Wheeler said. She is certified in all areas of dispatch and is a certified dispatcher instructor.

Commissioners also moved dispatcher Kristianne “Kit” Edwards to a permanent full-time dispatcher position and Deputy Derrick Doucette to permanent full-time status. They both have completed probationary periods. Edwards and Doucette have done an exemplary job and have exceeded expectations, supervisors said.

In other action, commissioners voted to award the contract Mattson’s Flooring and Window Treatments of Hallowell to replace the remaining 20-year-old carpet at the Sheriff’s Office with vinyl tile. The company submitted the lowest price of two  proposals.

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The replacement will do away with any air quality issues, Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. said.

In another matter, Webster said it irritated him that Commissioner Gary McGrane of Jay had the county pay for 500 business cards for his position as commissioner seven weeks before the Nov. 8 election. The cost was about $95.

McGrane, a Democrat, is being challenged by Terry Brann, a Republican, of Wilton for the District 1 position that McGrane has held for 27 years. Webster, a Republican, is unopposed in the District 2 commissioner election.

They should not be buying business cards before being elected, Webster said. He said he did not feel it was an appropriate use of tax dollars, especially right before an election.

Other county employees such as department heads have business cards, McGrane said.

The only reason he ordered them was because all of his information is wrong on his current cards, including his phone number. When people need to contact him, they will have correct information, he said.

When Commissioner Clyde Barker of Strong is in attendance, commissioners will discuss the matter.

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