SKOWHEGAN — Lloyd Trafton of West Forks and Robin Frost of Palmyra were sworn into office Wednesday as the newest members of the Board of Somerset County Commissioners.

They join incumbent commissioners Gerald York of Fairfield, Robert Dunphy of Embden and Lynda Quinn of Skowhegan.

A new five-member board took effect Jan. 1, based on the county charter passed by voters in 2010. The board previously had three districts and three county commissioners. Wednesday’s session was the first of the new year. Commissioner Lynda Quinn was absent for health reasons.

Trafton and Frost took the oath of office from Dedimus Justice Karen Morrill.

The office of dedimus justice is unique to Maine. The justices, appointed by the governor, and serve for life, administering the oath of office to elected and appointed officials.

“Thank you; you are great asset to the county,” York said to Trafton and Frost. “I see great things.”

Frost said it was a privilege and an honor to serve.

Dunphy, the incumbent chairman, was re-elected by the board to return as chairman. York was elected vice-chairman. There was no vice chairman when the board was just three members.

Voters in November also approved a county charter amendment that extends the term of office for each of the five county commissioners from three years to four.

Under the new charter, the initial term of office for the commissioner representing Districts 1 and 2 — York and Dunphy — will expire Dec. 31 of this year. The initial term of office for the commissioner representing Districts 3, 4 and 5 — Frost, Quinn and Trafton — will expire on Dec. 31, 2014.

A new county budget committee also will be formed soon to reflect the two new districts.

Trafton, 65, is a former game warden, school board member and selectman. Robin Frost, 61, is a citizen member of the Maine Sheriff’s Association.

County Administrator Larry Post said he is impressed with the two new members and looks forward to working with the new five-member board.

“If you have five members, you have, perhaps, more diversity of opinion,” Post said. “You also have more of an ability to form consensus better; more voices added.”

Dunphy said more members on the board will mean less work for each individual commissioner.

“If we can spread the work out, I’m going to love it,” he said. “That’s what it’s supposed to be able to do. It’s more fun with more people.”

Currently each county commissioner earns a $6,000 annual stipend for service, with the chairman getting an additional $1,000. Members of the County Budget Committee have suggested dropping it to $5,000 per year. The fiscal year ends June 30.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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