WELD — Municipal elections will take place 4-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 1, in the multi-purpose room at the Town Office/Post Office Building.

Richard Doughty, chair of the Board of Selectmen is seeking another three-year term.

Naomi Doughty, chair of the Planning Board is seeking another five-year term.

Three people are seeking two three-year positions open on the Budget Committee. Current members Rebecca Durant-Vining and Ernestine Hutchinson are running, as is former Selectman Tom Skolfield.

Durant-Vining has served on the Budget Committee since the fall of 2019. In an email Wednesday, Feb. 23, she noted she wants to serve on the committee again because, “I like to keep in touch with what is going on financially with the town.”

Durant-Vining has been a practice manager for an Ameriprise Financial Advisor in Jay for 20 years.


“With my experience there, it is my hope to offer suggestions that may be of benefit to the Town of Weld,” she wrote.

Weld’s portion of the Regional School Unit 9 budget is an issue Durant-Vining considers could have the most impact on Weld’s budget.

“Per student it is costly, but there isn’t much we can do about that, we can only look at what we have control over,” she wrote. “In the years that I have served on the Budget Committee, I believe with all the different backgrounds that the Committee Members have brings a wealth of knowledge to the table.”

Hutchinson began her tenure on the Budget Committee in the fall of 2015.

“I am one of the original people who started with the committee,” she said in a phone interview Wednesday, Feb. 23. “I brought the idea up at a Town Meeting to have a committee to look at financials, to not put it all on the selectmen.”

Hutchinson brings knowledge of how things have progressed, the history of the committee.


“It’s nice to have that knowledge base,” she said. “We were looking at wage increases a couple of years ago, hadn’t looked at that as a town.”

Infrastructure, needs of every department can be looked at, Hutchinson noted.

“It’s good,” she said. “I’m able to give insight on history, progression. I am very passionate with numbers.”

Hutchinson served as Weld’s treasurer from March 2001 to December 2002. From 1988 to 1996 she worked in the city clerk’s office in Portland. She has worked for the University of Maine at Farmington for 25 years.

The impact of inflation on hiring employees and infrastructure needs are “two huge things that will affect the budget,” Hutchinson said. “Being able to stay ahead of that. Plan accordingly for equipment, large buildings, keeping and hiring quality employees.”

“We’ve done well to keep the mil rate down,” she noted. “That’s always the goal.”


Skolfield was a selectman for nine years, serving as chair eight years. He is a state representative and worked for the Maine Park Service for more than 44 years.

“I’m the one that got the Budget Committee going when I was on the Board of Selectmen,” he said in a phone interview Tuesday, Feb. 22. “Members had been appointed, this is the first time they are being elected.

“A Budget Committee is really great,” Skolfield said. “We had one years ago. It’s important, allows a group of individuals to look at things aside from the Board of Selectmen. It makes town meeting smoother because people have already vetted things.”

Through his time as a selectman, legislator, and with the Park Service Skolfield is very familiar with the budgeting process.

“Budgets are your best guestimate of the needs of the entity you are serving, keep you cognizant of the facts, that people are paying the bills,” he said. “They allow you to keep up with things. You can’t defer costs.”

An example Skolfield shared was purchasing a cheap lawnmower that might last a year versus a higher quality one that could last 10 or more years.


“Doing the best for the people with the funds available,” he said. “It’s a continuing battle. We did a lot to upgrade buildings, grounds, infrastructure. Some things had been neglected, we brought them back.”

One issue that could impact Weld’s budget is broadband and how receptive people are to embracing it or not, Skolfield noted.

“As always equipment needs to be taken care of, looking into winter maintenance of our town roads,” he said.

The town has always done it, Skolfield noted. It may be time to explore contracting that out or continue buying equipment, he added.

The annual Town Meeting will be held 10 a.m. Saturday, March 5, at the Town Hall on School Street.

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