The Chebeague Island Board of Selectmen accepted the resignations of two town officials and the board chair at its meeting Wednesday night.

Several people who spoke at the meeting suggested a lack of respect by the board toward its employees was behind the resignations, but no official reasons were offered.

The passenger ferry Independence arrives at the dock on Chebeague Island in 2020. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

“Thank you for your comments. They were meaningful and they all point to the same thing … We need to do better,” said acting Select Board Chair Robert Earnest. Earnest said the letters of resignation are all public record.

“I would like for us to focus on the road ahead, and to learn from our past experiences,” Earnest said in an email after the meeting. “And, to thank all involved for all they have given to the community.”

Town Administrator Viktoria Wood has agreed to stay on for a while to help with the transition, Earnest said.

Wood said in an email that she would not discuss why she resigned. The former town clerk was appointed town administrator in January 2022 to replace Justin Poirier, who resigned to become Monmouth’s town manager. In addition to serving as administrator, Wood is also the town’s treasurer, finance director, General Assistance administrator and tax collector.


Earnest told the audience that a temporary code enforcement officer should be on staff within a few days while the town searches for a permanent replacement for James Butler, who left earlier this month.

“We will have a short-term solution in place very soon,” Earnest said.

Selectman Mark Dyer said the town needs to hold a special election on Nov. 7 to find a replacement for outgoing Select Board chair Jen Belesca.

Several island residents spoke at Wednesday’s meeting and urged the board to show more respect toward town employees regardless of their differences. Some worried that the resignations will leave the administration short-handed and unable to serve the needs of island residents.

“I want to find a way to move forward to work productively for the good of the whole community,” Selectwoman Carol White said.

Chebeague Island seceded from the town of Cumberland in 2007 and became the town of Chebeague Island. It is the largest island in Casco Bay, and is located 10 miles north of Portland. The 2020 census listed the town’s population as 396.

“Several years ago we decided it was time to row our own boat, but right now that boat is sinking,” island resident David Hill told the board. “I think it’s time we take stock of where we are and to make sure we can row our own boat.”

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