ANDOVER — Andover selectboard Chair Brian Mills will step down after 18 years and five terms serving the town.

He does not plan to run for re-election June 19.  He said he is frustrated with the town’s inaction to hire a town manager or similar position.

Other open positions are for school board, fire chief, road commissioner, tax collector, and town clerk. Melinda Averill will run again for her positions as tax collector and town clerk.

Averill and two other of Mills’ 10 siblings, Peg Madigan and Trish Cox, were at the sparsely attended selectboard meeting on Feb. 13. Madigan is a planning board member.

Mills’ fellow board members, Justin Thacker and Joe Luce are not up for re-election. Luce, who has missed several board meetings, arrived late.

Thacker, a pastor, had come to the meeting after officiating at the funeral for two Mexico women who had died in the Dec.18 floods.


Nomination papers for all the open positions will be available at Town Office on March 5.

March 5

A public hearing to discuss a special referendum was held after the regular 5 p.m. selectboard meeting.

The town will vote in the Maine state primary on March 5 in Town Hall and on whether to reinstate the school budget validation process, which was ended in 2019 by a town vote. It had been binding for three years. A citizens’ petition last fall requested a new vote.

Resident Pete Coolidge said the ballot was very confusing. “I disagree with the format of the ballot … is this the prior wording from the last referendum we did?” He and 10 others sat in the audience.

“Why are we doing this now as a special town meeting? What’s the emergency? … Nobody knows about this,” said resident Tim Akers who is on the school board.


Averill explained she didn’t have time to get the question on the November ballot. She talked with the school superintendent who said the town initiates the process [not the school board].

Mills said they had been talking about the referendum since November. They voted on it back in October, said Averill. The petition required 10% of the number of voters from the last gubernatorial election. They needed 48 signatures; they had 50 or 60 signatures.

When Akers kept badgering him, Mills responded that there will be more voters out on March 5 [the primary] than any other time.

Regarding the wording of the ballot, Susan Mills asked what they could do to educate voters.

Thacker said, the more bulk mail the Town could send to inform residents, the better. He said that on state and federal ballots the wording is  often confusing. He felt that at the local level they could try to better explain the ballot and hold more public hearings like the one they had held that night.

“Sometimes you can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip, either,” said Thacker with regard to voter apathy.


General Assistance

An executive session for a general assistance (GA) request that Planning Board member, Lynda Airhart wanted to discuss, was delayed for a discussion of how GA matters are handled generally.

Airhart and Thacker are Andover’s GA representatives.

“The authority lies with the administrator or the clerk,” said Thacker,

“There is no town ordinance,” said selectboard Secretary Diana Nadeau, who had investigated the matter on Thacker’s behalf.

“Selectboard cannot override the clerk’s decision,” said Thacker.


“I have never heard of having an executive session for a GA,” said Madigan.

“Years ago selectmen did all of them [GA applications] in executive session,” said Mills.

“There is something in this application that is not meant to be public,” said Airhart.

They voted to go into executive session, returning 10 minutes later.

March 16

Mills said he would like to meet with all of the local recreation clubs on March 5 at 5 p.m to discuss replacing the town’s tennis courts. “I would like to get a little bit of input from these organizations before [we write the state grant]… [and] see if anyone wants to help with it.”


The Board selected Sat. March 16 at 9 a.m. for a special town meeting. The meeting members will discuss the grant and changes to a planning board ordinance.

Mills asked if there were any updates from the porta potty chairman. A committee to investigate if Andover should have a public bathroom had agreed to place a porta potty by Town Hall. Averill said, “they will see how it goes. They may invest in buying one. It is still being decided.”

At the January meeting The Board approved the town common for the Andover Concert Series and for Olde Home Days.

They adjourned the second and final meeting at 6:26 p.m.

The next selectboard meeting is February 27 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall. Starting in March they will meet weekly.

Andover Town Meeting will be held on Sat., June 15 at 8 Town Hall.

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