CARIBOU, Maine — Caribou might change into the primary municipality in Aroostook County to determine town supervisor’s scope of duties by way of an ordinance.
With long-term workers tough to search out, Caribou Metropolis Supervisor Penny Thompson has taken on duties that belonged to different employees members, together with financial growth. A proposed ordinance would require a majority vote earlier than councilors might request something past the established scope of Thompson’s place.
It might be a dramatic step for the council to take as a way to stop particular person councilors from including duties to town supervisor’s already lengthy checklist of jobs with out board approval.
Presque Isle, a equally sized metropolis 11 miles south of Caribou, has no ordinance guiding council members’ requests to town supervisor.
The town constitution’s description of duties for the supervisor doesn’t specify what council requests are thought of cheap given the calls for of the job.
Although councilors have made casual requests for metropolis managers to analysis and report again to them on sure matters, there has by no means been a coverage requiring the council to vote on them.
Councilors supporting the ordinance stated they didn’t wish to overwhelm Thompson, who already has extra roles than many previous metropolis managers.
However Councilor Doug Morrell took offense to the ordinance and steered that councilors needed to close down his request that Thompson contact the native hospital board about offering month-to-month monetary updates.
“I’ve full authority to ask for info,” Morrell stated. “You six [councilors] won’t ever management [my council] seat identical to I’ll by no means management your seats.”
Morrell had expressed considerations earlier than that the nine-member board of administrators for Cary Medical Heart, the hospital that serves Caribou and surrounding cities, was withholding vital monetary data from town.
Morrell argued that since Cary is positioned on metropolis property, councilors ought to obtain common updates in regards to the hospital.
“They’re a division of town,” Morrell stated. “Their board chair has taken it upon himself to override the request of an elected official.”
Caribou’s web site doesn’t checklist Cary as a metropolis division, however its board is appointed by councilors. Thompson is certainly one of two non-voting members of the board.
The town council’s supplies for July 25 included the newest Cary board assembly minutes, which disclosed the hospital’s newest checking account stability however didn’t clarify gross affected person income, internet working income, bills, COVID-19 funding and internet revenue loss.
Efforts to succeed in Cary Board Chairperson Doug Plourde for remark Tuesday have been unsuccessful.
Many councilors disagreed with Morrell and stated the ordinance was to make sure that Thompson was not overburdened.
“I don’t see what this has to do with Cary,” stated Councilor Lou Willey. “Until all of us agree [to make a request], I don’t assume it’s our place to create extra work for workers members who’re already working laborious.”
Prior councilors had mentioned making a metropolis coverage just like the one proposed with reference to a former metropolis supervisor, Councilor Joan Theriault stated.
“I believe the council’s thought [at that time] was that if a single councilor [in the minority vote] needed to get sure info, they might nonetheless request that info themselves,” Theriault stated.
Councilor Mark Goughan questioned whether or not that situation would result in extra confusion on what info Thompson can not analysis, per her job duties.
Even when the vast majority of councilors vote in opposition to making a request of Thompson, these within the minority would possibly nonetheless need sure info, Goughan stated.
The ordinance concept got here up within the metropolis’s constitution committee, which incorporates Willey, Theriault and Mayor Jody Smith, Thompson stated.
“It’s not in my energy to run a full audit of the hospital. I’ve to request that info from another person,” Thompson stated. “So possibly ‘scope’ is the improper phrase.”
If the ordinance added a coverage to town’s constitution, Caribou must deliver the matter earlier than voters within the November election, Thompson stated.
A public listening to for the ordinance can be held through the council’s subsequent common assembly on Aug. 22.