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Select Board opposed to hiring replacement during interim manager’s vacation

LIMESTONE, Maine — Members of the Limestone Select Board voted Wednesday against temporarily hiring a town manager to serve during interim town manager Tom Stevens’ two-week vacation in late June. 

Stevens told the board that “for continuity,” he thought they “ought to designate someone to serve” in his absence, adding that the choice was ultimately up to the board.

“I think it does help with continuity,” he said, “and it gives town staff a clear direction of who they might turn to.”

Stevens said he will be in Florida, and that while he doesn’t mind being called for “any item, big or small,” the cell phone reception is “a little sketchy,” and he may not be able to promptly respond.

Selectperson Melissa Devoe motioned to appoint police chief Stacey Mahan, who served as interim manager earlier this year, in Stevens’ absence.

Board Chair Tom Albert asked why this appointment was necessary.

“My feeling is that he will only be gone for two weeks,” said Albert, “not an eternity. In the past, the clerk took care of everything. If something happens that they can’t handle, then they can call Tom.”

He added that this will only distract Mahan from his duties in the police department.

“The chief has a job to do,” Albert said.

Stevens said he would be good with whatever the board’s decision.

“I’m available by phone,” said the interim manager, “but I will be out of state as opposed to being more local.”

The board then voted against appointing Mahan as interim manager during Stevens’ vacation, with only Devoe in favor of the motion.

After the vote, Selectperson Patrick St. Peter asked if the town had ever hired an interim manager to serve during a manager’s vacation. Albert told him that it has not happened in the past.

“If it works for the board,” Stevens said, “then it’s OK with me.”

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