TREMONT — With one of the five members of the Board of Selectmen absent Monday at the first meeting of the new board following Town Meeting, the remaining members opted to elect a temporary board chair.
Selectmen serve three-year terms, but officers of the board are elected every year for one-year terms. The election of officers was planned for Monday, the first meeting of the new board after Town Meeting.
Selectman Howard Goodwin nominated Jamie Thurlow, who was reelected to the board last week and whose term as vice chair had expired, to the position of chair.
Thurlow was not able to attend the meeting, and Selectman McKenzie Jewett said, “I’m not comfortable voting for someone who is not here.”
Former Chair Kevin Buck also expressed his discomfort with voting for Thurlow without having him present.
“But if Jamie wants the job, he can have it,” Buck said.
Jewett asked if the vote could be tabled until the next meeting when all would be present.
Town Manager Chris Saunders explained that they could not conduct the meeting without the position and said that the term of chair was one year.
And so it went to a vote that resulted in a 2-2 split, with Goodwin and Mike Mansolili in support of electing Thurlow chair. Buck and Jewett were opposed.
This left the board without a chair to conduct the meeting.
Bass Harbor Library Treasurer Mike Hayes, who had attended the meeting to update the board on the library building project, offered a solution. Hayes suggested that the board vote for someone to temporarily fill the position.
After Jewett made a motion to nominate Kevin Buck as chair until June 2, 2019, the board voted unanimously to approve Buck to serve for the next two weeks.
Goodwin nominated Mansolilli as vice chair and after a brief discussion, the motion went to vote, with only Jewett opposing.
Jewett made clear that she was not voting against Mansolilli.
“I’m not voting on anything until we’re all here,” she said.