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Selectmen, town manager discuss roles in possible municipal restructuring

MADAWASKA, Maine — Selectmen agreed at a recent meeting to step away from developing any restructuring proposals for municipal departments which may result from recent and pending retirements, choosing instead to leave the task to Town Manager Gary Picard. 

Board chair Brian Thibeault said at the group’s Nov. 13 meeting that having selectmen involved in the process would conflict with the town manager form of government Madawaska uses.

Ambulance director Dan Chasse will be retiring at the end of the year, following 39 years of service. Gerald Ouellette who had been a longtime employee with Grounds and Building Maintenance retired this fall.

There was some discussion at the board’s October meeting of working with Picard to address these personnel changes, which could involve restructuring. However, after subsequent discussions with Picard, Thibeault wanted to clarify the role of selectmen at this stage in the process.

The board chairman said that having selectmen involved in restructuring would be “crossing the lines,” between their and the town manager’s roles.

“I think that’s Gary’s responsibility,” Thibeault said.

Selectmen Don Chasse agreed, as did select persons Denise Duperre, Alan Nash-Pelletier and Brenda Theriault.

“It’s part of his job responsibilities, Chasse said.

Chasse did want clarification, though, that selectmen were not relinquishing any of their duties regarding giving feedback and ultimately final approval of Picard’s plan.

“Regardless of what happens, he has to take it back to the board for our approval,” Thibeau responded.

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