Nichols says goodbye, thanks Buckfield for opportunity to serve as city manager

Aug. 12 – BUCKFIELD – City Manager Lorna Nichols said goodbye to the city Thursday night as she chaired her final board meeting.

Nichols, who has held the position since Oct. 4, 2021, tendered his resignation last month. She leaves to become a municipal administrator in Belgrade.

Former board vice-chairman Cameron Hinkley will serve as interim city manager until the council decides its next move.

“Thank you, Lorna, for all your wonderful work. We wouldn’t be where we are today without all you have done,” said President Cheryl Coffman.

Nichols closed his report to the board by thanking everyone for allowing him to serve the city for 10 great months at the helm.

“The work over the past year has been challenging, but rewarding,” said Nichols. “Maine has some of the best small towns in America, and Buckfield is one of them. Even better, I had the opportunity to work with some very special people and build lasting relationships that will continue after I’m gone. would like to publicly thank the board of directors and department heads for their support.”

She added that she was delighted to have Hinkley replace her, at least for the interim.

The board has not yet indicated what steps it will take to permanently fill the position, but it will likely wait for the election of the elected officials next week before making any decisions.

Voters will choose two elected for the five-member council in the annual elections on Tuesday. Robert Hand is running for re-election against challengers Azalea Cormier, Sandra Fickett and Kyle McCafferty.

Coffman is not seeking re-election, leaving a second seat open.

Hinkley resigned from the board before being named chief executive. His seat will be filled in November.

Much of Thursday’s meeting was spent discussing the cost estimate to have the fire department’s tank truck inspected and the truck’s pump tested. The board balked at the estimate of more than $10,000 from Greenwood Emergency Vehicles in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.

The rear tires were the biggest expense at over $3,000.

The council had several questions, but Fire Chief Adam Dupile was not at the meeting. Members wondered if the expense would keep the tanker on the road for more than a year. They also wanted a list of repairs that Dupile considered a priority and wondered if there was another company available to provide a repair estimate.

“I don’t feel comfortable having enough information to recommend a dollar amount for this,” Coffman said. “I would have hoped the chef would be there tonight to help us.”

“I don’t think we have enough information,” coach Janet Iveson added.

The board voted unanimously to table any decision until they receive more information on priority and what repairs can be postponed.

To facilitate Hinkley’s move as acting city manager, he was appointed as Treasurer, Bureau of Motor Vehicle Officer, Freedom of Access Law Officer and General Assistance Administrator.

Erin Hinkley was reappointed to the Planning Board.