Kennebec Journal from Augusta, Maine (2024)

By RACHEL OHM Portland Press Herald The chair of the board of the Maine Turnpike Author- ity and its executive director said Thursday that they are reviewing recommendations for agency improvements laid out in a report detailing problematic behavior by the former chief financial officer, and that they believe many of the proposals would be good to implement. discussed (the recommendations) prelim- board Chair Daniel Wathen said. will discuss them finally and will discuss them with employees. So we taken a position, but many of them are, at least to my way of thinking, com- monsense, good recommen- dations that we should take advantage of considering the perception of employees and just good Wathen and Turnpike Ex- ecutive Director Peter Mills weighed in Thursday on some of the recommendations and findings of the 17-page report, prepared by an outside arbi- trator, that was first present- ed to the board of directors in executive session earlier this month. The Press Herald obtained a copy of the report and published a story on its findings Thursday.

The report does not include names but is highly critical of the former chief financial offi- cer Doug Davidson who left the agency last year. Based on interviews with more than 22 employees at the headquarters in Portland, it describes Da- vidson as threatening and intimidating, showing favorit- ism and creating in the agency so that all information would funnel to him. REPORT GIVES SEVERAL RECOMMENDATIONS In separate interviews, the recommendations in there board chair and executive and being studied. director said Thursday that they are still digesting the findings of the report and be- lieve it will be important to include employees in discus- sions about next steps. But they said many of the recom- mendations for organizational improvements are good ideas, and some are things already doing.

report speaks for it- said Mills, who is the brother of Gov. Janet Mills. are some very good KENNEBEC JOURNAL Oldest Newspaper Founded in 1825 Baseball, softball playoff pictures coming into focus ahead of final games C1 MSAD 54 Mostly sunny WEATHER, C6 Skowhegan-area voters accept proposed $48.89 million budget B1 Friday, May 24, 2024 Copyright 2024 $2.50 An edition of Central Maine Sunday INDEX Kennebec Journal Address: 22 Leighton Road, Augusta, ME 04330 Phone: 207-621-5700 smartphone desktop laptop tablet READ THE ePAPER A digital replica of the newspaper is available at SIGN UP NOW! Volume 200, Number 125 Maine Trust for Local News Heloise Horoscope D4 Obituaries B4 Opinion A5 Sports C1-4 TV Crossword C5 Business A4 Classified D1-2 Comics Puzzles D4 Community B5 Entertainment C5 Maine Turnpike considers changes after scathing report ADDICTION RECOVERY Man killed in a crash remembered as Top: Nora Knowlton, middle, a senior at Gardiner Area High School, places a plant into soil Thursday alongside classmates Emily Grover, left, and Julia Jamison during a MORE PHOTOS Day of Caring event in Gardiner. Right: Lauren Arnold, the principal at Gardiner Area High School, takes a photograph Thursday of GAHS seniors who are planting flowers during a Day of Caring event in Gardiner. Anna Sentinel photos ON OUR WEBSITE STUDENTS SHOW THEY CARE Residents pass Hallowell-area school budget Rich Sentinel file Brock Peters, 29, at a local recovery center Feb.

6. The Fairfield man was killed Wednesday afternoon when his motorcycle was hit by a pickup truck on Ward Hill Road in Norridgewock. By EMILY DUGGAN Kennebec Journal MONMOUTH Voters passed the Hallowell-area school pro- posed $29.9 million budget, plus an additional $85,000 for a civil rights coordinator after hearing emotional testimony from the audience over the need for the position at Wednes- day annual budget meeting. Around 50 members of the public attended Regional School Unit annual budget meeting to vote on each portion of the proposed school budget. With the $85,000 added to the budget, the community passed a $29,978,620 budget, about a $1.8 mil- lion increase from the current budget, and will have to raise $8.23 million in local additional funds.

Adding the $85,000 to the budget was supported by most of the voters attending, except a few residents who audibly sighed when Terri Hewett took to the podium and ex- pressed the need for a culture, or civil rights coordinator in RSU 2. a mental health councilor in a different district and see the need and support in helping teachers manage the problem with said Hewett, a Hallowell resident. reaching to be a mass problem in schools and we are seeing the ef- fects on kids where they able to take on Deb Large, a member of the RSU 2 School Board, spoke in favor of proposal and shared how her son experienced a racial- ly motivated attack in the RSU 2 schools around a decade ago. She also shared that her grandchildren of color have different experiences at school than her white grandchil- dren. At the time of her attack, she thought the case was at the forefront of the responsi- bilities, but did not hear anything from the school district until three months later.

it was handled by someone whose full-time job was to work on these (cases), we would know what to do and the outcome would have changed (my Large said. Jeffrey Bickford, a Dresden res- ident and member of the School Board, was strongly against the co- ordinator position. As chair of the RSU 2 Budget Committee, he explained that add- ing the money to the budget does not necessarily mean the money will go toward a coordinator, and he wondered if racism is an issue in the schools, why taxpayers are paying for it. An $85,000 budget addition accounts for a civil rights coordinator, which some said is needed to combat bullying. TERRI HEWETT reaching to be a mass problem in schools and we are seeing the effects on kids where they able to take on Mental health councilor, Hallowell resident By DYLAN TUSINSKI Morning Sentinel FAIRFIELD Brock Peters was just beginning to get his life back after years of opioid addic- tion and several stints in jail.

The 29-year-old Fairfield path toward a better life ended Wednesday afternoon when his motorcycle was hit by a pickup truck on Ward Hill Road in Nor- ridgewock. Many who knew Peters de- scribed him as a constant source of inspiration, both for his own recovery process and his willing- ness to help others recover from addiction. Peters was one of the first to join a groundbreaking addiction treatment program at the Som- erset County Jail in Madison. In an interview with the Morning Sentinel in February about his experiences, Peters described the process as but said he was not sure he would be alive without it. The jail was the first rural cor- rectional facility in the country to offer the new form of addiction treatment.

After graduating from the program, Peters became a dedicated advocate for others who are incarcerated and dealing with substance abuse disorder. you Google Pe- ters my arrest is what comes up. I want that to be my Peters said in Febru- ary. want people to think of the person I am Brock Peters, 29, was just starting to get his life back after years of addiction. Please see PETERS, Page A6 Please see BUDGET, Page A6 Based on interviews with more than 22 employees at the turn- headquarters in Portland, the report describes Doug David- son as threatening and intimidating, showing favoritism and creating in the agency so that all information would funnel to him.

Officials are reviewing recommendations for improvements after problems are revealed. Please see CHANGES, Page A6.

Kennebec Journal from Augusta, Maine (2024)


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