Former Franklin County Commissioner Clyde Barker of Strong died Saturday. He had critical congestive heart failure. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal file photo

FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners held a moment of silence with their heads bowed to remember former Commissioner Clyde Barker of Strong, who died Sunday.

Barker, 82, had critical congestive heart failure and pushed himself to continue in his position until he decided it was best to resign on June 2. He wanted to finish his 12th year, serving three terms representing District 3 — including Rangeley, Strong, Carrabassett Valley, Kingfield, Phillips and Eustis — which would have expired on Dec. 31.

“I can’t fight it any longer,” Barker said in late April. “It was probably the hardest decision I ever made in my life was giving up my commissioner’s position. I have enjoyed the people. A lot of them need help.”

Barker served the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in various capacities, including as a deputy.

Barker was the county’s Emergency Management Agency director for about 13 years, resigning Dec. 31, 2003. He saw the county and its residents through the 1998 Ice Storm, being away from home for 72 hours at a time to make sure people were cared for and in shelters if needed. He also was a selectman for Strong for several years.

“It was a pleasure to work with him,” county commission Chairman Terry Brann of Wilton said. “He was always joyous.”


“It is a sad day,” Brann said.

Commissioner Bob Carlton of Freeman Township, who was appointed by Gov. Janet Mills to serve after Barker resigned, said he knew him well.

“When he decided on resigning his position, he asked me to call him,” Carlton said. “We had a very, very serious conversations about his wishes.”

Carlton said he is trying very hard to follow those wishes.

“He has been sick for a long time,” said Mike Pond of Strong, the county’s road supervisor who also previously served as a Strong selectman. “Clyde did a pretty good job as commissioner.”

In regular business, commissioners voted to appoint county Administrator Amy Bernard as manager of the unorganized territory. Thirty percent of her salary will come out of the unorganized territory budget.


Commissioners also opened the sole bid for a new transport vehicle for the jail from Quirk Ford. The bid was $42,271.34 for a Ford Explorer Interceptor. It was the only one that could be found in stock.

The Sheriff’s Office included $51,000 in the jail budget for a transport van for those people in custody who may need to be brought somewhere or picked up. The county’s vehicle will most likely not take a sticker the next time it is inspected.

The jail has a newer van to use but needs a second vehicle in case multiple inmates have to go somewhere or be picked up.

Chief Deputy Steven Lowell said previously he was told it would take a year to get a van for the jail, which needed to be rated for law enforcement.

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