Town of Orient elects Zakupowsky, holds annual town meeting

3 years ago

ORIENT, Maine — The town of Orient elected Heather Zakupowsky and re-elected Paul Lamach to its Board of Selectmen, beginning a new era for the town following a year of noted controversy. 

Zakupowsky takes the place of Dale Foley Sr., who had resigned in July following criticism for failing to produce an audit for the town over the past several years. Foley’s sister, Mary Beth, had also been on the Board of Selectmen for many years before being ousted by write-in candidate Keith Hayes in last year’s election.

Foley ran in this year’s election for selectmen against incumbent Paul Lamach, but was defeated with a vote of 59-10. Zakupowsky was elected with 60 votes. According to the board, it was the small town’s biggest voter turnout in the last 20 years. 

“I just want to thank everyone for your support and thank you for coming,” Zakupowsky said in the opening remarks of the town’s annual town meeting, which was held on Saturday Sept. 18, a day after the election. “Many of you have been attending the selectmen’s meetings the last couple of months we had them, and I certainly hope that continues. I encourage everybody to be a part of this town moving forward. I think we’re headed in the right direction, but it’s going to take input from all of you.” 

As part of its annual meeting, the town voted to raise and appropriate $35,000 for General Government spending throughout the year, which includes funds the town will use in the auditing process. The total amount of appropriations from property taxes in 2021 is around $285,000. 

“We are working on the 2017 audit, which should be back very soon,” Zakupowsky said. “My understanding is that we are doing the 2018, 2019 and 2020 audits in quick succession.”