COUNTY — The message of Tiff Maiuri’s campaign to represent the residents of District 1 (Carthage, Jay, Temple, Wilton, and Washington and Perkins townships) on the board of the Franklin County Commissioners is: Three words – Experienced, Respectful and Forward Thinking.

As a member of the Wilton Select Board, for seven years, including three as its chair, four as a member of its public safety committee, and three as its representative on the Commissioner’s Budget Committee, Mauiri has had a front row seat observing the work of the Commissioners.

“There’s a need to change the structure and culture of the commissioners if the county is to move into the 21st century,” says Maiuri. But talking with voters about how she came to that conclusion, and what she would do about it if elected, will look a bit different than it has in the past.

“For the sake of our community—our neighbors—campaigning for office, like many things this year, must be handled differently,” says Maiuri. Because of the pandemic and the need for physical distancing to protect residents, Maiuri won’t be knocking on doors to shake hands like candidates have previously. Instead, she plans to drive throughout the district distributing cards to doors while masked… cards featuring numbers for helpful community resources, and link to her website for folks to learn more about her.

“I want folks to be able to contact me directly, with questions and thoughts on moving Franklin County forward, in whatever way they feel most comfortable and safe,” says Maiuri.

In addition to her five goals, her website provides a detailed explanation of how the county commissioners spend the $5 million it collects in taxes — noting that the residents of District 1 will be paying $1.6 million in taxes in 2020 as their share of running Franklin County’s government. It’s probably the first time such information has been made available in an easily readable format. It’s one of her goals: making the governing of Franklin county more accountable and accessible.

Why is it that only three people represent a population of 30,000? Why is it that the Commissioners only meet during the work day when voters aren’t able to watch or participate? Why is it that they just meet in Farmington, and there is no written annual report and annual meeting? Why is it that all the meetings aren’t regularly televised, and substantial business is sometimes addressed in ‘housekeeping’ meetings that aren’t live-streamed or videotaped for the public? “The town’s do all of the above, why don’t the Commissioners?” asks Maiuri.

If elected on November 3 to represent the residents of District 1, Maiuri, who serves as a State of Maine Emergency Responder, says she sees the Commissioners broadening their vision to include working collaboratively with governmental and non-governmental organizations in areas of public health, public safety, economic development and broadband infrastructure.

There was an apparent need to do so before the pandemic arrived. It is now a given. “We need to move into the 21st century if we are to meet the challenges the pandemic is presenting us with,” says Maiuri.

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