Edgecomb’s longest serving current selectman is resigning. Jack Sarmanian, who has served 13 years, announced Sept. 24 he would resign following the Oct. 5 meeting. Sarmanian made the announcement at the end of the selectmen’s meeting.
On June 29, Sarmanian told selectmen prior to seeking his fifth term it was “unlikely” he would finish another three-year term. Earlier this year, Sarmanian and his wife Sandy put their home up for sale. “I’ve sold my house and the closing is set for Oct. 9. So the Oct. 5 meeting will be my last,” he said. “It’s been a privilege working with a fine group of people and committed volunteers.”
In June, Sarmanian indicated he and his wife planned on moving to southern Maine. Selectman Ted Hugger has served four years with Sarmanian. “It’s been a great experience. Jack is old-school and understands town politics and how to bring people together through compromise.”
Mike Smith served with Sarmanian on another municipal committee prior to joining the select board. Both served on the Fire Department Search Committee. “Jack is a very dedicated individual and the town has been lucky to have his service over the years,” he said.
Smith and Hugger will call for a special election in December to fill the vacancy,
In other action, selectmen assisted an Etna man straightening out the title of a school bus sold in October 2019. Bradley Drake plans on using the bus as a recreational vehicle. When he attempted to register the vehicle in Newport, the town clerk said the document was void. “She told me white out was used on a former owner’s name and I need the original owner to sign it over to me,” Drake said. Selectmen complied with his request. Drake plans on using the converted RV to travel around the country.
A recent mold outbreak at Edgecomb Eddy School was discussed. On Aug. 8, staff found mold growing on instructional materials in the school lab. Maintenance workers performed an in-depth cleaning of materials and carpet shampooing. An air quality control test followed which discovered mold in the air and outside the room. School officials expect mold mitigation costs to run between $187,000 and $230,000.
The mold mitigation is one of 21 articles on a special town meeting referendum scheduled for Oct. 15. Smith reported the mold is gone and the school is open. Sarmanian urged residents to participate in a Sept. 28 zoom public hearing for the referendum vote. “This is an important vote. This (school mold) was an unexpected and enormous expense to the town so it’s important as many people as possible participate,” he said.
In anticipation of a record amount of early voting in November, the Secretary of State’s office is offering financial assistance of up to $1,500 to buy an additional lock box for holding absentee and mail-in ballots. Selectmen declined the state’s offer and Smith will build one for municipal elections. “I think we can do better for less,” Smith said.
Selectmen also received another resignation. Bob Leone, who has served 20 years on the Schmid Preserve Advisory Board, sent a resignation letter. He recommended selectmen appoint Rick Nelson to succeed him. Leone is also the advisory board’s chairman and recommended member Lisa McSwain replace him for that post.
Selectmen meet next at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5 in the town hall’s upstairs.