BETHEL — Town Manager Natalie Andrews of West Paris, who announced her resignation Aug. 10 citing a lack of cohesiveness among selectmen, received public praise from some of the 35 residents filling the Town Office meeting room Aug. 16.

Her decision followed a chaotic Board of Selectmen workshop Aug. 7 when former Town Manager Scott Cole was allowed to sharply criticize her and select board member Pat McCartney.

Andrews resigned the next day. Her last day is Sept. 22.

“She is doing a hell of a job here and I’d hate to see her leave,” Mike Everett said to applause.

“It’s a shame that there are bullies in our town that are making it very difficult for our leaders to do their jobs that they were hired for,” Jim Bennett said. “It is also a dishonor that some of our members of our select board do not stand behind our town manager when she is being verbally harassed and bullied by these individuals. It is an embarrassment that our town has come to this disgraceful negativity.”

Selectmen “need to do something to keep her here,” Tabaitha Steward said.


“I am very disappointed in this board,” Lori Swain said. “You people are up there as our elected officials you are supposed to take care of each other and town employees. You didn’t do that.”

Sheri Thurston said, “I think Natalie is the best town manager we’ve ever had.”

“This is going to seem like nothing to all of you,” Jackie Schuster said. “I have been here 25 years. I have never received a Christmas gift and never received a raise in 25 years. Natalie came in and I got a gift and a raise. And she took it out of her pocket.”

Andrews responded to the support, saying, “For all your comments, I am humbled by the outpouring of the community and I thank you.”

During the business portion of the meeting, the board approved a liquor license application by Paul Legault of Gourmet in a Pinch at The Wedding Barn on Mayville Road.

A resident, who said she spoke with the owner of GraceNote Inn, an abutter, said, “There were issues last weekend in terms of noise levels that created an unsatisfactory situation for her guests and it had an impact on her business.”


Legault reminded the board that his events are allowed to end at midnight but he doesn’t have many that go past 11 p.m.

“Just for clarification, we don’t have a noise ordinance,” board Vice Chairman Michele Cole said.

New Code Enforcement Officer John Steward said the noise levels need to be under 55 decibels and suggested the owners use an app to test the decibel levels.

In another matter, the board accepted a $2,500 donation from Sunday River to the Bethel Airport.

Town vacancies include deputy town clerk, recreation department director, one each on the Budget Committee, Board of Appeals and Recreation Board.

Hali Andrews of Greenwood was unanimously voted for the recreation board, leaving one open seat.


In her report, Andrews said the wastewater treatment plant has damage on the dewatering building and a contractor will provide an estimate for repairs. “We have treated five million more gallons of water in the first six months than we did at this time last year,” she said.

The board unanimously approved waiving the bidding process to hire an auditor. Andrews said her staff called every one on the state’s list and nobody is taking on new clients. They will pay the auditor they retain $12,500.

They board voted unanimously to disallow private signs at Memorial Corner, site of  a Civil War monument at Main and Mechanic streets. Some veterans think the signs are disrespectful.

The board unanimously approved a $72,858 grant for an airport improvement plan. The town share would be $4,049.

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