BUCKFIELD — The town is still struggling to close the books with its former tax collector.

With the “consideration and discussion of settlement and discharge with tax collector” on its agenda Thursday night, the board requested that Town Manager John Andrews contact the town’s attorney on what their next step should be.

The motion, proposed by Martha Catevenis, passed unanimously by the three members, who include Cheryl Coffman and Chairman Tina Brooks.

“The term ‘settlement and discharge’ is the standard language used when a tax collector separates from a municipality,” Andrews said on Friday.
“Basically it means to settle accounts to make sure everything they were bonded for matches up and then they are discharged from their tax collector duties,” he added.
Last week, the board held an emergency meeting with its auditor, Ron Beaulieu to prepare for the town audit. Nearly the entire meeting was held in executive session to discuss the town’s finances and an employee, according to the stated purpose for moving into a closed-door session.

Following that executive session, Brooks gave a statement saying the auditor required follow-up documentation and that completion of the audit would be delayed due to a new office staff.

During his report Thursday, Andrews said, “The Town Office will be working to get the auditor the materials that they requested from the previous town manager and treasurer in June 2020.

The previous town manager was Joe Roach, who left in August 2020 to take the town manager’s job in Rangeley. The treasurer was Cindy Dunn, who quit in early November. In addition to treasurer, Dunn, who worked for the town for more than 30 years, was also the town clerk and tax collector.

There has been no suggestion of wrongdoing, but the town remains mum on what document or other items may be missing.

In other business, the select board appointed Michael Averill, Derek Galway and Sandra Fickett to the Budget Committee. Andrews reported he and Deputy Town Clerk Melissa Wolf are bonded and are training with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles so they can issue license plates at the Town Office.

The town is seeking applications for a bookkeeper/human resources coordinator, a new position, Andrews said.

The board was scheduled to discuss and prioritize a long list of tabled items, a list that Catevenis said goes back 18 months. Since not every selectman had the complete list of those items, the board tabled discussion on the matter until next week when a master list can be compiled.

Steve Sherlock — 207-689-2883

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