SKOWHEGAN — Selectmen on Tuesday night voted to wait until Town Meeting in June to fill a vacancy on the five-member board after the death of Selectwoman Vanessa York.

The vote was unanimous, 4-0.

“It is with great sorrow that I tell you about a loss to our community,” Skowhegan Town Manager Christine Almand told the board at the Jan. 22 regular meeting. “Vanessa York passed away on Saturday, Jan. 19, after a brief illness. Vanessa was a selectman, a businesswoman, a community member and a dear friend.”

Town department heads offered their condolences to the family during the open session of that meeting, and Town Manager Christine Almand led a moment of silence.

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. He was 72.

The town had two options to fill Vanessa York’s seat on the board — hold a special election or wait until June, when the regular Town Meeting vote takes place.

Board Chairman Paul York said it would be difficult to run a campaign, solicit the necessary signatures and hold the election if a special meeting were to be called. He moved that the town wait until June.

“My take is that at this point we don’t have a lot of time,” York said, noting that under the town’s guidelines, the board had 90 days to call a special election.

Town Clerk Gail Pellotte said nomination papers for open seats this year on the Board of Selectmen will be available March 1, agreeing that time was running short. She said a special election would shorten the process and cost somewhere between $500 and $1,000.

Seelctmen agreed and voted to wait until June.

Pellotte said board members Betty Austin and Paul York are up for re-election on the Town Meeting ballot this year. Both positions are for three-year terms.

Vanessa York’s open seat would be filled to complete her term of office. There are two years left in her term.

All three open seats will be voted on at the Town Meeting election in June.

Selectmen Tuesday night also voted to give this year’s Spirit of America Award to Lynda Quinn and to dedicate the annual report to Randy Gray, the town’s longtime code enforcement officer and building inspector, whose retirement notice the board accepted Tuesday night.

There also will be a memorial page for Vanessa York in the town Report, Almand said.

 

Doug Harlow — 612-2367
[email protected]
Twitter:@Doug_Harlow


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