Mexico Selectman Kevin Jamison stands Tuesday in front of Aubuchon Hardware in Rumford, where he has been manager for more than six years. He is working with local, county and state officials on a public forum set for Sept. 15 to address residents’ concerns about drug use, unsightly properties, encampments and other issues in the River Valley area. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

MEXICO — Town officials have scheduled a public forum Sept. 15 to address residents’ concerns about drug use, unsightly properties, encampments and other issues in the River Valley area.

Selectman Kevin Jamison is working on setting up the forum with assistance from Town Manager Raquel Welch-Day and other board members. It will begin at 6 p.m. in the Lecture Hall at Mountain Valley Middle School, 58 Highland Terrace.

Jamison said the idea came from a board meeting earlier this summer when residents on Middle Avenue in Mexico complained about the living situation in that area, hindered by the drug situation and the unsightly condition of several properties there.

He said the board met afterward and realized this “is a small piece of a bigger problem we’re all dealing with right now. We have multiple buildings that people are just camping in and there are also small encampments … The scope of the problem is so large, we need to get more people involved.”

“At this meeting, people need to be heard, face to face,” he said. “That way, our elected officials can see that there’s a bigger problem here and we need to do something. I’m not saying they’re not doing their job, but they can only do so much.”

Jamison said officials from surrounding towns have been invited as well.


“I don’t think we’re going to get answers, but maybe we’ll get some results from this meeting,” he said.

As they enter the school, those who wish to be heard will be asked to write their questions on a card, along with their last name. Questions will be taken in the order they were signed up and each person will be given three minutes to speak.

Terry Hayes of Buckfield, former state treasurer, will be moderator.

Following public comments, the following service providers will speak for up to three minutes each:

• Glenn Gordon, Oxford County Mental Health Services.

• Michelle Worthley, Rumford Group Homes.


• Berta Broomhall or Paul Landry, Med-Care Ambulance.

• Kayleigh Bordeau, recovery success story.

The following public officials will then speak for up to three minutes each:

• Mexico Police Chief Roy Hodsdon.

• Rumford Police Chief Tony Milligan.

• Dixfield Town Manager Alicia Conn.


• Mexico Town Manager Raquel Welch-Day.

• Oxford County Commissioner David Duguay.

• State Rep. Tammy Schmersal-Burgess.

• State Rep. Rachel Henderson.

• State Sen. Lisa Kiem.

• District Attorney Neil McLean Jr.

A question and answer session will follow.

“This is an invitation to a debate,” Jamison said. “Questions can/should be directed to a particular official. Answers must be brief and clearly expressed. For time management purposes, ‘I don’t know’ is an acceptable answer when that is the case.”

When asked about his expectations, Jamison said, “Ultimately, I’d love to see the governor here to say, ‘Maybe we need to do something different.'”

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