Hebron voters participate in Saturday’s town meeting at the Hebron Station School. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

HEBRON — New Assistant Town Clerk Angela Packard was keeping track of voters entering the Hebron Station School for the annual Town Meeting on Saturday when one resident expressed surprise.

“Check in?” she asked Packard. “We’ve never had to check in before.”

With a smile, Packard responded, “That’s because Joan knew everybody in town.”

Saturday marked a changing of the guard in this Oxford County town. Not since the 1970s has Hebron held a town meeting without Joan Clough serving as town clerk. Clough retired Dec. 31, 2021, after 46 years. Saturday also marked the end of another era as Select Board Chairman Richard Deans stepped down after 36 years.

With Gino Valeriani elected to to fill Deans’ large shoes and Brianne Bailey serving as town clerk, residents took nearly 2½ hours to review and vote on 57 articles under the direction of moderator Vern Maxfield.

An article to amend the Hebron land-use ordinance to allow in-law or multi-generational apartments, whether in the family home or in a detached dwelling on the property, proved to be contentious. With the ordinance lacking the correct punctuation, the resulting language changed the meaning of the proposed ordinance and read “single family detached dwelling” instead of “single family, detached dwelling.”


The missing comma meant the proposal did not include apartments inside a single-family home, only detached dwellings.

Residents also felt that the change did not involve enough town residents. Selectman Elizabeth Olsen noted that two public hearings were held, but most voters in attendance said they were never aware of those hearings.

Residents overwhelmingly rejected the ordinance change.

Some residents questioned the large increase in the town office expense account from $143,955 to $224.204. While part of the increase was due to adding liability insurance and withholding taxes to the article instead of listing them in separate questions, the select board and budget committee were recommending that the Town Office shift from 32 hours to 40 hours per week.

“Do we need to be open 40 hours?” asked one resident.

Selectman Curtis Smith explained that it was important to keep the town running with two full time employees in the office and some residents have had to go to neighboring towns to conduct business when the Hebron office was closed. The article passed with a couple of negative votes.


Residents approved a request to spend $52,000 from the fire truck reserve account on a ¾-ton Ford pickup to replace one of the old ambulances the department uses to transport firefighters and equipment. A $3,000 increase to the fire department budget, made at the request of Fire Chief James Trundy for body work on one of the town vehicles, also met with approval.

Voters also appropriated an extra $100 for the Cancer Resource Center of Western Maine for a total of $700.

The highway truck reserve account was increased by $20,000 for the future purchase of a plow truck. The budget committee could not agree on a recommended amount, while the select board suggested $30,000.

Valeriani, a resident of Hebron since 1979 and a former school board member, defeated former Oxford Town Manager Butch Assellin for selectman by a 35-13 vote.

In other elections, Sandy Bruno was elected trustee for the Moody Library, Amanda Fearon was reelected as a director for Maine School Administrative District 17 and Bruce Conant and Fred Greenwood will serve on the budget committee.

Deans and Clough were both honored by the town with plaques before the start of the meeting.

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