BUCKFIELD — Roughly seven months on the job, Town Manager Cameron Hinkley received a glowing review from the Select Board during a 40-minute executive session during Tuesday’s meeting.

Hinkley, a former selectman with no town managerial experience when he was hired last fall, has brought stability to the Town Office.

“We just went over the town manager review,” board Chairman Robert Hand said after the executive session. “We all feel that he is doing very well. This has been a breath of fresh air for all of us. People in town feel it. One thing that we noted is that Cameron has our trust. He has just done an excellent job. Everything is transparent. It’s clear, and we’re making great progress.”

Town government had been in a state of turmoil when Hinkley became the sixth manager in a little more than two years.

The town has had a long string of town managers since Joe Roach resigned in August 2020 to go to Rangeley. The list includes interim Town Managers Mitch Berkowitz and Bradley Plante, as well as John Andrews, who left after six months for what he cited as a “toxic environment.”

Andrews wasn’t helped when the entire town office staff quit after he was hired. The Town Office remained closed for several months until Plante reopened it after training a new staff.


While Plante helped steer the town away from disaster, Lorna Nichols ably provided the town with needed stability, leadership and direction, starting with trying to fill in the many holes in financial records. But she left after 10 months due largely to the long commute from her home in New Sharon.

Hinkley has brought additional stability and a functioning government. For the first time since 2019, the annual Town Meeting will be held before the end of the fiscal year, which ends June 30.

In two of the past three years, the Town Meeting was held in August, and in 2021 it was held the last week of September, three months into that fiscal year.

Hinkley met early with department heads to develop a budget, which was presented to the Select Board in early March.

In other business, the board approved the new cemetery policy and fee schedule that had not been reviewed since 2014.

The town’s cemetery committee had originally proposed a full lot of 20 feet by 20 feet, which can hold up to 10 caskets or 16 urns, be priced at $3,500. But after reviewing the cost of cemetery plots in neighboring towns, the committee dropped the fee to $2,500, which keeps it affordable and in line with its neighbors.

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