Oxford selectmen voted unanimously Thursday night to accept an offer of $54,000 from 88 Bethel Road Holdings for the former municipal building on Pleasant Street. It has been for sale for six months and was the only bid received, Town Manager Adam Garland said. Nicole Carter/Advertiser Democrat 2021 file photo

OXFORD — Becky Mason and Gay De Hart were appointed by selectmen Thursday evening as interim members of the Maine School Administrative District 17 board of directors.

The women submitted applications after the resignations of longtime Director Stacia Cordwell on Dec. 5 and Director Shauna Broyer on Dec. 22. Both
cited misconduct by other directors in the aftermath of the school board approving the first reading of a proposed student gender identity policy.

The policy, which has since been tabled indefinitely for review and revision, contained provisions that would require school staff to keep information about a student’s gender identity confidential from their parents and allow students to use bathrooms and locker rooms according to their stated identity based on their consistent assertion of gender identity. Opponents have stated that the confidentiality requirements of the policy would be a violation of parental rights and put educators in positions they have not been trained to handle.

Selectman Floyd Thayer suggested scheduling an executive session to interview Mason and De Hart. Selectman Scott Hunter agreed, saying he wanted to question them as well.

Vice Chairman Dana Dillingham said both women are qualified and he saw no need to schedule additional time.

Board Chairwoman Sharon Jackson advised questioning could not be done in executive session, adding that with Oxford only having two of its four directors on the board, a decision should be made sooner than later.


Both seats will be open for election in June.

Hunter, Jackson and Dillingham voted for the appointments; Thayer opposed.

Selectman Caldwell Jackson was absent.

During his report, Town Manager Adam Garland told the board only one bid was received for the old town office building at 85 Pleasant St.: $54,000 from 88 Bethel Road Holdings. Selectmen voted unanimously to accept the offer. The town would be given time to remove its sewer control panel from the building as part of the sales agreement.

The 1.2 acre property has been on the market since Aug. 5, 2022. Its assessed value at that time was $800,000.

The two-story building was constructed about 1900 and served as Oxford’s school for decades. The town acquired it in 1998 and converted it to municipal offices.


Residents at the annual town meeting June 5, 2022, authorized selectmen to sell the property.

The decision to sell came after years of dealing with persistent problems such as water constantly leaking into the basement, the spread of black mold throughout the building, an unreliable elevator, unsafe stairwells and a heating system that regularly required repairs.

Last month, staff moved into the newly renovated building at 127 Pottle Road, which was purchased May 5, 2022, from Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway for $750,000.

During public comment, June Marie Mosher asked selectmen to consider supporting a language change in the town’s marijuana ordinance to limit the number of businesses allowed to operate.

Before the ordinance was put before voters in 2021, former Code Enforcement Officer Joelle Corey and former Town Manager Butch Asselin had estimated that no more than four licenses could be granted in commercial and mixed use zones. However, several more medicinal and recreational retail stores and grow facilities have opened, including one in a residential area on Tiger Hill Road.

Mosher said she would start a petition to collect the roughly 200 signatures required to have the ordinance revised, but if selectmen propose changing it, it would not be necessary.

Dillingham asked Garland to put discussion of the marijuana ordinance on the agenda for the next board meeting Jan. 19.

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