Buckfield Fire Chief Adam Dupile is sworn into office by Town Clerk Cindy Dunn in 2019. Dunn resigned her position Tuesday night. Sun Journal file photo

BUCKFIELD  —John Andrews’ first meeting as town manager was rocked Tuesday when longtime Town Clerk Cindy Dunn stunned everyone by submitting her resignation.

Dunn, who has worked for the town since 1983 and has twice served as town manager, silenced the meeting following her unexpected resignation, which she said is effective Monday, Nov. 16. No one spoke for more than a minute after she left the meeting after reading her letter of resignation.

Not only is Dunn the town clerk, her many roles include town treasurer and tax collector. She is also the bookkeeper, payroll clerk, registrar of voters, assessor assistant, motor vehicle registration agent, watercraft-ATV-snowmobile registration agency, and state Department of Inland Fishers and Wildlife agent for the community with 2,009 as of the 2010 Census.

In announcing her resignation, Dunn complained about the 60- to 80-hour workweeks she has endured the past few months with no assistant and no extra compensation. The added workload was due to having no office help, the town’s struggles to pass a budget and the recent election.

She said her salary is $38,000 a year and noted that nearby Sumner with half the population of Buckfield pays their town clerk more than $50,000 per year.

The recent hiring of Andrews as town manager does not appear to have played a roll in her decision to resign.

Selectwoman Martha Catevenis questioned whether the board could accept her resignation as tax collector due to state statute. Dunn is bonded and all money collected through taxes must be certified before a resignation is accepted. The Select Board instructed Andrews to contact the Maine Municipal Association and the town attorney for guidance.

The board has scheduled an emergency meeting for 6:30 p.m. Friday to discuss its options.

Outgoing interim Town Manager Mitch Berkowitz updated the board on his hiring of a Public Works director and the purchase of two plow trucks. He said the town spent $6,000 for new snow tires. The winter tires that came with the plow still had an estimated 30 to 35% lifespan remaining and will be put back on the plow after the worst of the winter season.

The board unanimously approved an auto salvage/junkyard permit to Richard Dobson of R.C. Garage and Auto Salvage on Town Line Road.

Andrews, who was formally introduced by the board, said he was happy to be there and was looking forward to working with them.


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