Farmington board discusses town clerk, HR positions; sets annual town meeting date

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FARMINGTON – The town of Farmington has entered into a short-term employment agreement with Twila Lycette as the interim deputy town clerk, interim deputy registrar of voters, and interim warden. Lycette has over 35 years experience as the town clerk for Lisbon, and members of the board expressed that they are fortunate to have her on board.

Now that the town is through the general election, Lycette is in the process of going through and updating the active voter logs to help streamline the process of checking in voters at an election. Once that is accomplished, along with some other bookkeeping related projects, Town Manager Christian Waller indicated that she will likely take more of a consultant role if her services are necessary.

The town is looking to fill middle management positions in the town office. Waller has two candidates in particular that he would like to bring on board; one is trained and experienced in Human Resources and the other has experience as a treasurer.

Farmington does not currently have a dedicated HR person or department. Those responsibilities currently fall on Waller and individual department heads. This takes away time from other responsibilities, and because these individuals are not specifically trained in HR, there is a concern about the increased liability risk.

Waller is working with ‘jigsaw pieces’ to try and figure out how to bring on both candidates under this year’s budget. As the town does not have a dedicated HR person, he is trying to find a way to hire the qualified candidate to meet that need while fitting within the parameters of the budget allocations. Part of the goal is to have staff members cross-trained in different roles to allow consistency and resiliency throughout the town operations, and this may require some reorganization in the office structure. He will bring it back to the board if necessary.

The board reviewed the results from the general election on November 8. Forty-eight percent of the registered voters in the town of Farmington cast their ballots during the election, which is reportedly a high turnout for a non-presidential election year. In addition, of the 3,233 municipal ballots cast, around 1,100 were absentee ballots.

Police Chief Ken Charles requested that the board authorize the acceptance of a potential criminal forfeiture of three firearms that were confiscated during a drug investigation. The firearms may go through the forfeiture process as the case proceeds through the judicial system. If the firearms are forfeited and turned over to the police department, the department would be able to keep them; dispose of them; put them into service, which Charles felt unlikely; or sell or trade in towards other equipment. The board approved the request.

Looking ahead, the board set the date and time for the annual town meeting. The elections for school board and select board will take place at the Farmington Community Center throughout the day on March 27, 2023, while the annual town meeting will take place at Mt. Blue High School at 7 p.m. that same day.

The board agreed to table a decision on the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) until their next meeting, in the hope that they may see the estimates for COLA decrease somewhat.

This meeting was livestreamed and recorded by Mt. Blue TV and may be viewed online at MtBlueTV.org

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