Chair Matthew Smith, left, on Monday evening, March 25, presents outgoing Selectman Stephan Bunker with a plaque recognizing 52 years of service to Farmington during the annual town meeting held in Bjorn Auditorium at Mt. Blue Campus. Also seen is Town Clerk Diane Dunham. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

FARMINGTON — Town meeting on Monday night, March 25, saw a report of municipal election results, two people recognized for their years of service to the town, and all articles passing with only a few questions raised.

Moderator Paul Mills reported incumbent Matthew Smith [who was unopposed] received 159 votes for a three-year term on the Select Board while Richard Morton received 112 votes and Sydney Brown 89 votes for the remaining two-years of the term that had been held by Stephan Bunker.

For the Regional School Unit 9 director positions that were unopposed, Gloria McGraw received 164 votes for a three-year term and J. Wayne Kinney 163 for a one-year term, Mills noted.

Bunker was recognized and thanked for 52 years of service to Farmington. Chair Matthew Smith presented him with a plaque “for your many years, decades really of your service to the town of Farmington.

“Thank you for your kindness,” Bunker said. “I am not sure where the time went. 99% of the time it’s been an absolute thrill. I have joked I’m only in it for the money. The reality is I have been enriched by it, not by the dollars and cents but it’s the people I have known and visited and worked with.”

Bunker noted he has gone through seven town managers, is now on the eighth. He has worked with countless Boards of Selectmen, learned so much from. “Like the board here, we have been able to disagree without being disagreeable,” he said. “I will miss this board very much for all their good work.”


Department heads and town employees were recognized by Bunker for their conscientiousness and making Farmington a great place to receive municipal services. Attention was also given the Fire Rescue Department, which he is a member of and plans to hit the 50-year mark with and possibly beyond.

Volunteers on the many town committees “that really keep the wheels on” were also noted by Bunker.

“I am not going to go away,” he stated. “I am going to find some way to still contribute to this beautiful community that I love so much. I am going to encourage you to do something like that also, do something to give back.”

Bunker recommended becoming involved with organizations such as Kiwanis, Rotary, American Legion, and historical societies or ecumenical groups that help fund heating assistance and area food pantries. The hospital and school district need volunteers, he noted.

“You will see me out there somewhere also,” Bunker stated. “Thank you very much for your kind support.”

Fenwick Fowler, a member of the Budget Committee, presented Lloyd Smith with an award and gift upon his retirement from that committee. Smith has been a member for 25 years.


“Lloyd’s insight, experience with Farmington’s budgets for over two and a half decades have helped all of us better understand the real cost of doing business in Farmington as well as how to spend taxpayers money wisely,” Fowler said.

Smith was speechless.

Mills then began taking up the various budgetary and other articles being presented to the voters. Most drew few questions or comments before being enacted.

When asked about the almost 13% increase for Farmington Public Library this year, Barb Marshall, board president said, “Our initial budget isn’t huge, so any increase would be a larger percentage. The reason why we are increasing it is we want to increase staff hours. Friday afternoons we have been classically understaffed, just need to include more hours.”

The young adult room at the library is offering more programs for young adults but doesn’t have staff hours to facilitate that, Marshall stated. More grants for young adults, teens programs would like to be applied for but if grants were awarded there isn’t staff to implement them, she noted.

A question was asked about an amendment raising the amount for the Legal Reserve Account from $9,000 to $14,000.


“The increase is due to a major lawsuit this last year that had to be settled which took all of our reserves plus about $9,000,” Town Manager Erica LaCroix said. “So the $14,000 is to cover that overage and start reseeding the fund with another $5,000.”

At the March 12 selectmen meeting, the article was amended after LaCroix realized the wrong number had been copied. The larger number was included in the proposed budget, she said then.

Regarding zero funding for nonprofit economic development and social service agencies, Fowler said Farmington voted this in for the last seven years, with the last two almost unanimous.

“This year several citizens showed up at a county commissioners meeting and encouraged the commissioners to follow through and they funded the nonprofits,” Fowler stated. “This last month Lance Harvell and another county commissioner recommended full funding for next year so we no longer need to come to the town of Farmington. I would like to thank Commissioner Harvell for that.”

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