SKOWHEGAN — Voters will decide in a referendum vote Nov. 8 whether they want to continue electing their town clerk, town treasurer and road commissioner, or whether they want to have them appointed by the town manager.

Selectmen voted 5-0 in February to present the question on the November ballot and not the town meeting voting ballot in June, when fewer people tend to go to the polls.

Some residents, selectmen and town officials have suggested that Skowhegan voters are smart enough to pick their own officials in town-wide voting, but others said it is time to plan for the future and structure town government in a more orderly fashion by having officials appointed and therefore more accountable.

Board Chairman Donald Skillings said earlier this year that he was asked to bring the issue to the board, noting concerns that in future elections a person who is not qualified could unseat Greg Dore, the elected road commissioner, or Gail Pelotte, the elected town clerk and treasurer.

Some say that from a managerial aspect, it is easier for a town manager to manage an appointed employee versus an elected one.

Dore, 60, has been Skowhegan’s elected road commissioner for 23 years. He has been challenged for the job every three years but has prevailed each time.

Pelotte, 55, was re-elected unopposed for a three-year term in 2015. She is in her third three-year term.


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