At the Tuesday, Feb. 23, Farmington selectmen meeting Police Chief Kenneth Charles at right gives updates on personnel in the department. New patrol officer Christoph Mutschin at left was also introduced. Screenshot

FARMINGTON — Tuesday night, Feb. 23, selectmen were given an update on personnel changes at the Police Department by Chief Kenneth Charles.

“I do have some bad news first,” he said. “Sgt. Michael Lyman tendered his resignation last week. His last day was Friday.”

Lyman has taken a position with the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office, a good opportunity for him, Charles said.

“We’re sad to see him go, he’s been here about seven years,” he said. “As a supervisor, he’s provided mentorship. He’s done a great job for the town.”

The sergeant’s position has been posted in-house and after it has been up for a time, the department will go through the hiring process, Charles said.

There will be a promotion unless no one is interested in which case the position will be posted outside the department, he said. The department now has three positions to fill: a patrolman, sergeant and detective, he added.

Informal communications with prior Maine Criminal Justice Academy graduates may lead to filling some positions, Charles said.

The good news is that in January Christoph Mutschin began as a patrol officer, he said.

“By all accounts he’s doing an outstanding job, getting to know the community, learning the responsibilities of a policeman,” Charles said. “He doesn’t come from a law enforcement background. However … he has an interesting background.”

Munschin is a 2019 University of New Hampshire graduate with degrees in history and security studies, he said.

“I’m originally from Germany, lived there until I was six,” Mutschin said. He moved to the states in December of 2001 and was a resident of New Jersey. German is his first language and he still speaks it at home with his parents and other relatives.

“I’ve experienced city life,” Mutschin said. “The quality of life up here is definitely a lot better.”

Charles used that as a prime example of recruiting efforts for the department. Sell the quality of the department’s professionalism but also the quality of life, he said.

Munschin said he has dual citizenship in Germany and America.

“I’m excited and happy to be here,” he said. “I came up one and a half months ago. With no family of my own it was easy to move. I’m excited to start my career up here, get involved with the community.”

“You speak German, now you’ll have to learn Maine,” Selectman Michael Fogg said.

Selectman Scott Landry asked how Mutschin ended up in Farmington.

A Google search showed Farmington had an opening posted, Munschin said.

“I did research on the area and the department,” he said. “Seemed very positive online. I applied and here I am now.

“I enjoy being up here, my parents enjoy being up here,” Mutschin said. “All of us are very pleasantly surprised to see how friendly and helpful everyone up here is compared to New Jersey.”

After Mutschin was welcomed, Selectman Chair Matthew Smith thanked Lyman.

“He served the community well, he will be missed,” Smith said.

In other business, the board approved amendments to the Town of Farmington Purchasing Policy.

The policy had stated, “Purchases of goods or services in excess of $5,000 shall be accomplished by competitive bid. When purchasing goods/services costing more than $2,500 but less than $5,000, at least three quotes shall be obtained and every effort shall be made to obtain quotes from as many local vendors as possible, particularly if no advertising is published. If verbal quotes are obtained, they shall be summarized in writing and the record of quotes shall be maintained for at least one year.”

The three dollar amounts listed in the policy were doubled.

The board talked a little about this at a previous meeting, Town Manager Richard Davis said prior to the vote. He gave an example of the wastewater department needing some electrical work but there was only one contractor in the area qualified to do the work.

Sometimes local contractors who are able and available can’t be found, Davis said. The increases will give a little more flexibility, he noted.

“I think it addresses the needs,” Selectman Joshua Bell said. “Costs have gone up.”

The board also approved a new commercial waste collectors/haulers license for Gregory’s Disposal, Inc. of Fairfield and accepted a $4,700 donation from the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce to the Parks and Recreation Department. The donation from the annual Seth Wescott golf fundraiser will be used for the Dragon’s Nest Skateboard Park on Perkins Street, Davis said.



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