The latest Selectmen’s Meeting, held on October 16, 2023, saw a diverse range of topics discussed, reflecting the community’s concerns and aspirations. Here’s a snapshot of the key highlights from the meeting. The meeting commenced with the announcement that Selectman Ethan Shaffer was absent, but a quorum was present.

Sheriff Scott Nichols was a prominent guest, engaging in a dialogue with the Selectmen. Sheriff Nichols shared insights into the plans and future of the Sheriff’s Office in the area.  He assured the community that there were no intentions of reducing the Sheriff’s Office’s coverage of the plantations and surrounding areas. Instead, they aimed to enhance their capabilities by adding additional workforce. Currently, the Sheriff’s Office is in the process of filling two vacant positions, and permission is being obtained to add more personnel in the future through available grants.

Sheriff Nichols acknowledged the area’s growth and the increasing number of calls for service. He recommended a team of 5 police officers for the Town of Rangeley.  He emphasized the need to adapt to the changing times and discussed the challenges of recruiting law enforcement officers. The importance of attracting experienced officers and creating appealing incentives for them was highlighted. Sheriff Nichols also underlined the need for creative marketing and addressing health insurance issues as crucial factors in attracting officers to the area. Ethna Thompson, Chairperson, reiterated that “the selectmen intend to have a police force, and whatever that looks like and works best for this community is what they aspire to.”

Jonathan Adkins, the Sewer Commission Chair, provided a comprehensive update on the new connection fee increase and rate study. A public hearing will be scheduled for February or March to discuss an increase in rates that have remained stagnant for nearly two decades. The Sewer Commission also highlighted the progress in addressing out-of-compliance connections and rate changes. It was decided to raise new connection fees by $1,000 per bedroom, effective January 1, 2024.

The Selectmen reviewed a proposal from Waste Management to renew the town’s solid waste disposal agreement. The Town Manager recommended renewing the contract for another five years, with a 5% increase each year. The board unanimously approved this motion, considering it a favorable option due to lower fees compared to other towns.

A discussion centered on Adam and Virginia McFawn, who were present to address an attorney’s letter regarding their internally illuminated sign at Rangeley Lakes Builders Supply. The Ordinance Committee was working on updating the signs section of Chapter 28, with plans for enactment at the Town Meeting in 2024. The McFawns requested permission to turn off the sign instead of dismantling it, with the promise of compliance in the future.  Concerns were raised about other internally illuminated signs in town and the necessity for proper permitting consistency. Revising the sign ordinance was emphasized to maintain the town’s character while adapting to modern technology and future needs.


The board reviewed the Banking Request for Proposal (RFP) and Investment RFPs in new business. These discussions will be further explored in upcoming meetings.

The Town Manager provided insights into various operational aspects, including the state of tennis courts in Oquossoc and building permits submitted over the past quarter. Additionally, concerns about a shortage of fleet mechanics in the state were highlighted, with some 73 positions open in the state, including Saddleback. Code Enforcement is having to use their own vehicles (which they are paid for mileage), and the town needs to look at putting on the agenda for the town meeting purchasing or leasing another vehicle for them to use for the Town Meeting.

Discussions also touched on hiring challenges around Fleet Mechanics in Maine. Town personnel considerations were explored, including the hiring of a front-office staff member.

The meeting concluded with a note about a citizen guide to voting being available on the town’s website, emphasizing the town’s commitment to keeping the community well-informed.

The Selectmen’s Meeting continued to be a platform for the community to address concerns, discuss future plans, and work towards a vibrant and efficient local government.

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