SKOWHEGAN — Two residents in town are hoping to be chosen to fill the open seat on the Board of Selectmen that has remained vacant since June.

A secret ballot election between Derek Chretien and Steve Govoni will be held Aug. 31. Voting is scheduled from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Council Room of the Municipal Building at 225 Water St.

The seat has been vacant since June 16 following longtime selectwoman Betty Austin announcing her resignation. Austin, after two decades of community service, resigned because she was relocating to Starks.

The remaining term of the vacant select board seat will expire in June 2022.  The full term of that board position is three years.

Goals of the Board of Selectmen, which were discussed at a July 16 special meeting, have been to review the following list of items: review policies and ordinances; Run of River/economic development; utilizing outside services; marketing/celebrating Skowhegan; Public Safety Building; sidewalks and bike trails/lanes; the Second Bridge; and solar power.

Derek Chretien Contributed photo

Chretien, 50, is currently serving on the Skowhegan Planning Board and was previously a secretary for the former Somerset Regional Dive-Rescue Association.


Chretien said that he was “born and raised in Skowhegan” and has lived in Skowhegan most of his life.

“I’ve always come home to Skowhegan,” Chretien said.

His interest in being on the board is to give back to his community; he added that there’s “nothing specific” in terms of selectmen goals/priorities that he has taken an interest in yet.

“I want to give back to the community that I have lived in most of my life,” Chretien said. “I see a need for fiscally responsible people on the Selectmen Board.”

He added that if elected, he does not come with any set agenda and wants to fully represent those he serves.

“I do not have an agenda. I only want to represent all of the people of Skowhegan in a fiscally responsible manner,” Chretien said. “I intend on listening closely to my constituents and representing them to the best of my ability.”


Govoni, 55, is a structural engineer who works at Wentworth Partners & Associates Inc. in Skowhegan. He currently serves on the Skowhegan Second Bridge Committee and Public Safety Building Committee and Sidewalk Committee. Previously, he served on the Skowhegan Planning Board for five years and also served as a chairman of the Main Street Skowhegan Board of Directors.

Steve Govoni Contributed photo

Govoni, who has lived in Skowhegan since 2004, said he is interested in the position because he’d like to be a part of the “great things happening” in town.

“There’s a lot of great things happening in Skowhegan; we are starting to see some growth,” Govoni said. “This is growth that affects not only local businesses but all of us.”

The growth, he said, includes an upcoming new school in town for School Administrative District 54 and the new public safety building. He added that his three and a half decades working in the structural engineer industry as well as other positions have put him in a position where he feels he is “in the right spot” to assist the town manager’s office.

“I get involved in committees that I think I can help; I’m not just going because I’m bored or have an agenda,” Govoni said. “If there’s expertise to be added, with all of the stuff that is going on, I think (my expertise) puts me in the right spot to be assisting (Town Manager) Christine Almand and (Executive Secretary) Cara Mason.”

He added that with all of the moving parts in town, including road and sewer upgrades, it’s important for the experts in these projects to lay these things out in a way that people without those backgrounds can understand; but he has not seen this done effectively.

If elected, he said that it would be “good to have someone that deals with this all the time on the Board of Selectmen.”

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