NORRIDGEWOCK — Twenty to 30 years ago, it wasn’t unusual to find Maine towns that required their selectmen candidates to run every year.

Though the practice is gradually changing, Norridgewock continues to elect all five selectman positions every year, which means there are usually a lot of people running. Last year there were 12; this year there are nine.

Current candidates are split on the issue of whether to lengthen and stagger terms.

Though the entire board has not been voted out before, some candidates say it’s a risk to potentially have five new selectmen who have never previously governed. This year, four incumbents are running for re-election and one former selectman is running.

Others say they like that residents have the freedom to vote out officials quickly if they aren’t doing a good enough job. The town has no recall procedure for selectmen.

Geoff Herman, director of state and federal relations for the Maine Municipal Association, said it’s up to towns to decide how to organize their selectmen terms, but having a staggered system, usually where people serve for three years, allows them to maintain more of a historical memory that can be helpful in making decisions.

“We don’t have a preferred method, but definitely the trend is moving toward staggered terms,” he said.

Town Manager Michelle Flewelling said there is no movement to change selectmen’s terms, but the matter is raised periodically. A change in the structure would require a vote at a town meeting.

Elections are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday, March 5, at Mill Stream Elementary School. The town meeting starts at 7:30 p.m.

The following people are running for five seats:

Charlotte Curtis

Though Charlotte Curtis, 66, has filed a complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission against the town for alleged age discrimination and was fired from her clerical duties in the town office, she said she’s not worried about it affecting her bid for a seat on the board.

“The reaction I’ve had has been nothing but good,” she said.

Curtis was fired Jan. 30 from her 40-hour-per-week office clerk position for recording conversations at the front desk, though she said she wasn’t recording the public. Curtis will hold the separate elected positions of town clerk and treasurer until the election.

She was the town’s office clerk for 23 years and has been town clerk and treasurer for 21 years. She is not running to be re-elected for the clerk and treasurer posts.

She wants to improve relations between selectmen and residents, she said. “There are limitations, I know that,” she said. “But I still think the selectmen could be more responsive to the public in general.”

She is on the planning board and in the past served as registrar of voters and on the library board and budget committee. She supports keeping selectmen terms one year.

Donna Davis

It’s Donna Davis’ first time running for elected office, and she said she wants to be a fresh face on the board.

“I feel it gets to be same old, same old, so it takes new people on the board to come up with new ideas,” she said.

As head teller at Franklin Somerset Federal Credit Union in Skowhegan, and teller trainer for the four branches, Davis, 44, said she has learned good people skills and the ability to work in a fast-paced environment.

She would like selectmen’s terms to be staggered, she said, so there will always be new and old members.

She has volunteered her time on several boards and committees, including those with Big Brothers Big Sisters, March of Dimes, Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce, Norridgewock Chamber of Commerce, Skowhegan Lions and Norridgewock Sportsmen Association.

Matthew Everett

This is the second time that Matthew Everett, 30, has run for selectmen, and he said he wants to bring youthful vitality and objectiveness to the board.

He would like an increased police presence to put a stop to vandalism, he said, and he wants to improve the downtown.

“We just need to entice businesses by sinking a little money into our own Main Street,” he said. “If we won’t invest in our town, certainly no one else is going to.”

He supports staggered terms for selectmen because “if you change out all five, you’ve lost a quarter of a year just getting everybody up to speed.”

Self-employed, Everett runs 4 Seasons Home Repair & Camp Care and 4 Seasons Property Preservation. He volunteers as a firefighter and as a baseball, basketball and soccer coach with the recreation department and is secretary of the recreation board.

Reginald Frederick

Reginald Frederick, 38, is relying on his persistence to secure his first elected position. He’s running again after losing last year.

The current selectmen are doing a good job, he said; he just wants to “try to give my opinion and give them some help.”

His goals are to improve the downtown and bring in more businesses, he said, but a specific plan would have to be discussed with the town manager and the rest of the board.

He supports one-year selectmen terms, he said, because if residents “get somebody in there that they really don’t like, they’re not stuck with them longer.”

He is employed by Brownie’s Auto in Madison. The current select board chairman Ron Frederick is his cousin.

Ron Frederick

A machinist for General Electric in Bangor, Ron Frederick, 44, has been a selectman since 2005 and chairman since 2007.

He wants to continue serving the town, he said, in order to keep the tax rate low. The town budget is scheduled to decrease slightly this year.

“That’s something we’ve been working really hard on,” he said.

One change he’d like to see, he said, is a greater promotion of the town’s Central Maine Airport.

He said it would be a problem if there were five new selectmen on the board, but he doesn’t mind having to collect signatures every year in order to run.

James Hilton

Dairy farmer James Hilton, 54, has been on the board for one year and said he’s learned that the position requires someone who is willing to ask a lot of questions.

“I would like to be on the board again to finish the unfinished business and to keep an eye on town affairs from a taxpayer’s point of view,” he said.

Changing to a system of longer, staggered selectmen’s terms would have to be initiated by the voters, he said, but he supports the idea.

“I went to (Maine Municipal Association) training, and if I get booted out there’s a little bit of town money down the drain. It would be good to have a go for a couple years,” he said.

Born and raised in town, he’s been farming with his family at Hilton Farm since 1993.

Richard Holt

Incumbent Richard Holt, 70, is running for a seat because he enjoys the work, he said, and wants to help usher in a natural gas pipeline through town.

A selectman for seven years, he said he also aims to keep taxes low and help those on fixed incomes.

He supports staggering selectmen terms. “That way, you wouldn’t end up with five new people, which could happen,” he said.

Holt was a machinist for 36 years at Solon Manufacturing Co. before it closed; he retired in 2003. This is his second year on the Somerset County budget committee. He’s a member of the Free Masons and East Madison Grange.

Thomas Lint

Thomas Lint, 70, was selectmen in 2009 and 2010 and said he’d like to return to the board because he enjoys the work and has the experience to help.

One improvement he’d like to see, he said, is the combining of the board of selectmen with the assessing board. The merger would reduce redundancy, he said, as some selectmen are already assessors.

He is satisfied with having one-year selectmen terms, he said, because it gives residents the opportunity to vote out members who aren’t performing as they’d like.

Before his retirement, was a supermarket manager. He is an assessor and has served on the library and planning boards, board of appeals and budget committee.

Sara Wilder

Sara “Sallie” Wilder, 69, is seeking a second year on the board because she enjoys being involved with town affairs, she said.

“I do like to keep the taxes down and curb spending,” she said.

In addition to being chairman of the board of the Norridgewock Public Library — she’s been on the board for at least 14 years — she’s also been on the budget committee and involved with the grange, Village Improvement Society, Norridgewock Historical Society, and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

She said she likes the current selectmen’s terms. “The chances of having an entirely new board come on is not very good, but one never knows,” she said.

Erin Rhoda — 612-2368

[email protected]

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.