DOVER-FOXCROFT – A contract that includes a 4 percent increase in pay for deputies enrolled in the local union was ratified Tuesday by the Piscataquis County Commissioners.
The members of the local chapter of the American Federation of State, Municipal and County Employees also have approved the document.
“I think it’s fair for both sides, the county and the employees of the sheriff’s department,” Commission Chairman Eben DeWitt, said Tuesday. He said the contract was negotiated in two sessions and a few telephone calls. “I do feel good about it,” he said.
The three-year contract from 2001 to 2003 also includes an added step in the salary schedule that will give Sheriff John Goggin the authority to promote an employee to the level of lieutenant, if he so desires.
The contract allows for an upgrade in the salary level of dispatchers when E911 is implemented in late summer, and it upgrades the salary level of a computer technician.
The commissioners on Tuesday approved the nomination of David Harmon of Milo as jail administrator. Harmon served as a patrol officer for the sheriff’s department in the early 1970s was a former police chief of Milo and a former sergeant with the Lincoln Police Department.
For the past 16 years, Harmon has been employed as a Prudential insurance agent.
Sheriff John Goggin, commenting after the meeting, said Harmon is very well known, well liked and very capable of the job. “I just think we’re very fortunate we’ve been able to lure David from Prudential,” he said. Harmon has a degree in law enforcement but will need some training in corrections.
After the death of long-time jail administrator Edward Marsh of Dover-Foxcroft, the department advertised the position and interviewed five of the 17 people who applied for the job. One candidate who was offered the position turned it down at the last minute because of the pay, according to Goggin. The position was then advertised a second time and three candidates were interviewed, he said.
In other business, the commissioners denied a request for a fuel adjustment from Duane Lander, the winter road maintenance contractor for the unorganized territories in the Moosehead Lake region. The denial was, in part, because the price of gas has dropped 10 to 11 cents a gallon since his request for the fuel adjustment.
The board members, who agreed all contractors should be treated fairly, said the contractor should have taken the increase in fuel into consideration during the bidding process.
A California man who considered the response from Dover-Foxcroft officials on a request for a tax abatement as unacceptable, has requested a hearing before the county commissioners.
The commissioners were asked by Richard Dyer to conduct the hearing via telephone because he will be unable to attend a hearing within the 60-day limit the law allows for such a proceeding.
Commissioner Gordon Andrews said he would speak to Dover-Foxcroft officials about the matter before any action is taken by the county board.