SKOWHEGAN — There was a flurry of activity when word got out April 20 that there were no candidates for an open seat on the Skowhegan Board of Selectmen, and the deadline for filing nomination papers was fast approaching.

The prospect of a marathon of counting write-in votes on election night was not a welcome one, Town Clerk Gail Pelotte had told selectmen a week earlier. There also was the distinct possibility that someone with just a handful of write-in votes could be elected to the board for a three-year term of office.

The deadline for filing was Monday. Four candidates had their names verified by Pelotte’s office Tuesday morning.

Gene Rouse, who, with his wife, Amy, was recognized for their volunteerism by the Spirit of America Foundation for 2016, threw his hat into the ring on April 20, a Thursday.

Selectman Donald Skillings, the current board chairman, whose seat will become vacant in June, said late Tuesday that he decided not to seek reelection. Skillings said someone — he doesn’t know who — took out nomination papers on his behalf, which town records say happened on Monday, April 24. Skillings said via email late Tuesday night that when he found out about this, he “very quickly put an end to it” so the papers were not returned and his name will not appear on the election ballot June 14.

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

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

On Tuesday, April 25, two more people took out papers for the open seat on the five-member board. Randall Franck, a Skowhegan plumbing contractor, and Christopher Kruse, a local developer and Planning Board member, took out their papers and returned them before the deadline.

Steven Emery, a local building contractor, took out his nomination papers April 27 and returned them on Monday, the filing deadline.

On April 20, there were also no candidates for assessor, for three years ,and overseer of the poor, also for three years. Since then, Bonnie Alice Baker has submitted her nomination papers for assessor and Lisa Toles, for overseer of the poor.

Four people had taken out the necessary papers in March for four open seats on the school board. Incumbents Mark Bedard, Jeanine Conley and Margaret Lovejoy have taken out papers and returned them on time. Kristen Washburn also had taken papers out for the remaining school board seat but had not returned her nomination papers by Monday so her name will not appear on the June ballot. The position is for three years and currently there are just three ballot candidates for four open seats on the school board.

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

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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