Westport Island town office staff to keep working remotely for safety

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 8:45am

    Westport Island selectmen agreed via UberConference call Monday night, as state agencies the town works with are still working remotely under Gov. Janet Mills’ first stage of restarting Maine’s economy, the town office staff can also.

    Deputy Town Clerk and Deputy Emergency Management Agency Director Gaye Wagner said staff met via Zoom last week to discuss what they felt most comfortable with. “We talked about lots of adaptations we might be able to make to allow some foot traffic at the town office, but at this point, everybody decided that they would feel safer not doing that.”

    Towns whose offices are open have lobbies to limit entry and have front counters with plexiglass, Wagner said. “We talked about a couple of configurations we might try in order to do something like that, but we generally felt like we were doing a pretty good job of keeping up with citizens’ needs.” So the staff agreed they would like to stay remote and take turns coming in to sort the mail and check on other business, she told selectmen. “And then we’d like to revisit it as we approach June 1 to see what the current state of affairs is and look at seeing what adaptations we might make at that time to continue operations.”

    First Selectman George Richardson added he is in “about every day, seven days a week.” Richardson thanked the staff for doing a good job. He added: “By being home, you’re not taking any risks with this very serious virus.” 

    Also Monday, the board kept XPress Copy of Portland as printer of the town report, with a $923.66 bid – $5 less then last year, Richardson said – over Lincoln County Publishing’s $1,290 one; and selectmen decided to put the comprehensive plan committee on the front cover. “I’m for (that),” Selectman Ross Norton said. “Those guys did a lot of work in a short amount of time.”

    The board meets next at 7 p.m. Monday, May 11.