Blue Hill Selectman James Schatz passionate about rural areas

Blue Hill Select Board Chairman Jim Schatz and his wife, Marcia, moved to Blue Hill in 1980 from Denver, Colo. They had traveled to Washington, D.C., so he could attend a luncheon sponsored by Barbara Bush, and with Marcia desiring to own an inn, “we had some extra time and came up to Maine,” Schatz recalled.

Drawn to Hancock County, the Schatzes explored the region from Hancock to Stonington. “I remember the real estate agent gave us a bottle of mosquito repellent, which was interesting,” Jim said. He and Marcia “found an old farm in Blue Hill, and we turned it into an inn” and operated the Blue Hill Farm County Inn about 30 years before selling it.

A selectman since April 1995, Schatz also served three terms in the Maine House. Passionate “for rural areas” and “an advocate for the town-meeting form of government,” Schatz has served on various town and regional boards. He enjoys living in Blue Hill, where “you see people and chat. You have good friends. It’s a comfortable” way of life, “like an extended family.”

As the chairman of the Board of Selectmen, Schatz often works weekdays in the town office, handling correspondence and reports for a town that’s growing and facing challenges, from developing a broadband system to awaiting the state’s decision on the Falls Bridge on Route 175.

“In a sense I’m doing this full time,” he said. “I sense a town this size needs a town administrator.”

Marcia Schatz served as head librarian at the Blue Hill Public Library and worked as a public-school librarian. She and Jim have children from previous marriages and have eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Jim indicated that he will step down when his term expires this spring so he can “spend time with my extended family.”

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