Campbell succeeds Delaware as Dexter public works director

By Mike Lange
Staff Writer

    DEXTER — Eric Campbell was named to succeed Dexter Public Works Director/Road Commissioner Mike Delaware at the Nov. 13 town council meeting, but only after some discussion about his job title and the nomination process.

    Delaware recently announced his retirement after 34 years as a municipal employee including 22 years as head of the highway department.
    Campbell’s appointment was announced by Town Manager Shelley Watson, who, by law, has the authority to hire department heads.
    But Councilor Mike Blake suggested that the title of “road commissioner” be deleted from Campbell’s title and assumed by Watson until he completed a probationary period. “He and Shelley (Watson) are going to work together, anyhow,” Blake said.
    Watson said she didn’t see any value in the suggestion. “The town manager does the hiring and firing, and I’m certainly not in favor of hiring myself as road commissioner,” she said. “If the job doesn’t work out, then we’ll look at other alternatives.”
    Watson added that Campbell, who has been employed by the town since 1999, was willing to return to his regular position if the new one doesn’t work out for him.
    She conceded that some residents were unhappy because the town didn’t advertise the opening, but said that she didn’t solicit application for a new town clerk or facilities director, either. “I feel that people who are already working in that department who have knowledge of what needs to be done … should be rewarded and move up in the ranks,” Watson said.
    Councilor Sharon Grant said she agreed. “Shelley will be on top of things,” Grant said. “If he’s (Campbell) not doing his job, she’ll be after him.”
    Campbell’s nomination was approved by a 5-2 vote with Blake and Councilor Michelle Stone opposed.
    In other business, councilors approved renewals of a special amusement permit and liquor license for the Moosehead Trail Motor Lodge; accepted the new general assistance guidelines and sold three used municipal vehicles to the highest bidders.
    Steve Lawson was the high bidder for a 2004 Ford F-350 at $8,250; Matt McKusick submitted the high bid for a 2000 GMC Sierra at $805; and Blake, who abstained from voting on the approval, had the top bid for a 2008 Chevy Silverado at $6,101.
    The council also accepted a bid of a 2.82 percent fixed interest rate on the $750,000 road repair bond from Bangor Savings Bank. The bond will be repaid in 10 annual installments starting Jan. 15, 2016.
    The council also approved an extension of the moratorium already in place to prohibit construction of “private corridors” through the community, which includes roads, pipelines and high-tension transmission lines.
    The ban, aimed at the proposed East-West highway, was also endorsed by voters at the Nov. 4 general election.
    Boy Scout Bryce Greaves also addressed the council and asked if they were interested in having him repair the walls at the municipal ice skating rink as an Eagle Scout project next summer. Watson noted that the public works department has done some repairs on the walls this fall, which made them sturdier and improved the appearance of the rink, but said she supported the Scout’s project.
    The council agreed and asked him to bring more information and a timeline to a future meeting.

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