NORTH YARMOUTH — The Board of Selectmen Tuesday appointed Debbie Grover as interim administrative assistant from July 1 until they hire a new top administrator later this summer.

Selectmen said they expect to have a new administrator in place by August to replace Scott Tilton, whose two-year contract was not extended past June 30.

Grover, who has been employed by the town since 1987, is now the town’s office manager. The additional duties and pay she will receive while serving as interim administrative assistant will be negotiated in a closed session with town officials. Grover’s duties have not yet been formally discussed, either.

Selectmen suggested they were happy to appoint the veteran employee, especially since they’re currently in the hiring process for a permanent administrator. To hire an outside person in the interim while also looking for a permanent one, Selectman Rob Wood said, would be “an overload of time and more money than we need to spend.”

“If she’s comfortable with (the new role),” added Selectman Candy Burgess, “then I’m comfortable with her.”

Selectmen are scheduled to meet with representatives of the Maine Municipal Association May 12 in a closed session to begin going through resumes for the administrative job, which was advertised last month on local online job boards, through the MMA and in a newsletter for town managers and administrators.

Also discussed Tuesday were issues surrounding the recent dissolution of the regional paramedic program. North Yarmouth took part in the program run by Cumberland, Falmouth, and Yarmouth, because the town doesn’t have its own paramedics.

Yarmouth and Falmouth, looking to move toward a firefighter-paramedic model rather than having separately trained paramedics, opted out of the regional program, and Cumberland followed last month by deciding to combine its fire and rescue programs in one department.

Because Cumberland is “in a swirl trying to reorganize,” Fire Chief Clark Baston said, “they certainly would help, but can’t really deal with us.”

Instead, the town will begin discussions with Yarmouth, which has offered to continue paramedic service. Baston said that though nothing has been written, North Yarmouth has been told the cost of service will not increase.

Town officials are expected to meet and put an agreement in writing within the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, North Yarmouth is also discussing the possibility of privatizing paramedic service. The private paramedic service the town has spoken with, however, has expressed that it would be difficult to add North Yarmouth to the list of towns it serves “because we don’t have enough calls to make a profit,” Baston said. 

The regional program will continue to serve the town through June 30. If nothing is put in place in North Yarmouth by July 1, the town will continue to be served by mutual aid.

But mutual aid is not a permanent solution to the issue, Baston said. “We need to pay our share,” he said.

Sarah Trent can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 108 or [email protected].

filed under: