SKOWHEGAN — Residents have just over a week to get their name on the ballot for an open seat on the Board of Selectmen in townwide elections in June. As of Thursday, no one had taken out nomination papers for the seat to be vacated by the sitting board chairman, Donald Skillings.

Filling the open position of police chief could end up being a challenge as well for a new search committee appointed earlier this month. The interim chief, Sgt. Joel Cummings, has said he is not interested in seeking the job.

With no names on the ballot, a write-in candidate for selectman could be elected to the five-member board with only a handful of votes and could turn election night into a marathon of counting write-in votes, Town Clerk Gail Pelotte told selectmen last week.

The deadline for filing nomination papers is May 1.

Town Manager Christine Almand said it is possible that a write-in candidate could be elected for the three-year term of office.

“You could get a write-in candidate, but any write-ins would have to be counted and verified and they would have to provide their legal name,” Almand said. “A write-in candidate could take the position.”

She said there is no minimum number of votes needed to elect a person to the board.

Skillings has hinted that he is not seeking re-election, Almand said. He had not taken out nomination papers as of Thursday. Skillings was unavailable this week for comment on his candidacy.

He won a three-year seat on the Board of Selectman in June 2014, finishing first in a five-person field. He previously served as chairman of the Planning Board.

Skillings unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Rep. Jeff McCabe in 2012 for his seat in the Maine House of Representatives.

There also are open seats with no candidates as of Thursday for an assessor for three years and an overseer of the poor, also for three years.

Four people have taken out the necessary papers for four open seats on the school board. Incumbents Mark Bedard, Jeanine Conley and Margaret Lovejoy have taken out papers. Kristen Washburn also has taken them out for the remaining school board seat. The position is for three years.

Davida Barter is seeking a five-year term as park commissioner.

Cummings was named interim chief when former police Chief Don Bolduc offered his resignation in March, effective April 9. The Board of Selectmen decided in a consensus majority to let him go immediately.

Members of the search committee are Almand, Selectmen Soren Siren and Paul York, town finance director and human resource officer Trisha Austin and Lt. Mark Brooks, commander of the State Police Troop C barracks in Skowhegan.

“That’s a personal decision for Joel to make,” Almand said of Cummings’ decision not to apply for the chief’s position. “I just have to respect that as a personal decision.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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