SKOWHEGAN — The Board of Selectmen met Tuesday night for the first time since the death last weekend of one of its members, Selectwoman Vanessa York. She was 48.

“It is with great sorrow that I tell you about a loss to our community,” Skowhegan Town Manager Christine Almand wrote in a prepared statement Tuesday to be read at the meeting. “Vanessa York passed away on Saturday, Jan. 19 after a brief illness. Vanessa was a selectman, a business woman, a community member, and a dear friend.

“Her death affects our entire community, and I know that all of us send our deepest expressions of sympathy to Vanessa’s mother, daughter, family and friends. May we forever find ways to keep our memories of Vanessa alive.”

Town department heads offered their condolences to the family during the open session of the meeting.

York was elected to the board in June during the 2018 Town Meeting.

She was the manager of Quinn’s Hardware store, owned by her parents, Lynda and Tom Quinn. Tom Quinn died Nov. 20, 2018, two days before Thanksgiving. He was 72.

“My reason for running for selectman is because I have been in the community for a long time, and I like to support Main Street Skowhegan and I’m on the board of the chamber,” she said during a pre-election interview with the Morning Sentinel. “I have a lot to learn, but I want probably what everyone wants — to make sure that we can keep our infrastructure, but not go too crazy with taxes.”

York said she was a good listener and able to see both sides of every issue. She said it is important to get municipal government to work based on the needs of the community, not on just a couple of people.

York was married previously and has a daughter.

Now, after York’s death, the board is down to four members.

Town Manager Christine Almand said the board will make a decision on what to do about the open seat at its next meeting, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Feb. 12.

She said the process is similar to what happened when Newell Graf stepped down to become a Somerset County commissioner. The town can hold a special election or wait until June, when the regular Town Meeting vote takes place, she said.

They cannot appoint a member to the board, Almand said; the position has to be filled by election.

In other business Tuesday night, the board rejected a bid to allow the proposed Woodlands Senior Living of Madison LLC on East Madison Road to connect to Skowhegan’s sewer line.

Police Chief David Bucknam also accepted a check for $150 for the Police Department from the American Legion Post 16 Women’s Auxiliary, presented by Steve and Ann Spaulding.

“Buy coffee,” Ann Spaulding said.

“Buy doughnuts,” Steve Spaulding said.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter:@Doug_Harlow


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