Natural Resource Agency Positions Up Next For LePage
Sportsmen and other outdoor recreationists may get a couple of Christmas presents this week from Governor-elect Paul LePage: Commissioners of the Departments of Marine Resources and Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
On Monday and Tuesday of this week (December 20 and 21), members of the LePage transition team are interviewing commissioner candidates for the Department of Marine Resources.
Nine applicants will be interviewed for the position of Commissioner of the Department of Marine Resources. Incumbent Commissioner George LaPointe tops the list.
Jeff Kaelin is a former State Representative and director of the Maine Sardine Council. Ken Lemont is a lobsterman and former State Senator. Michael Conathan works for Senator Susan Collins. Avery Day used to work for Collins and now is an attorney at Pierce Atwood.
Hank Soule is the former manager of the Portland Fish Exchange. Bruce Chamberlain is a fish inspector with Maine’s Department of Marine Resources. Sherm Hutchins is a Deer Isle lobsterman. Chris Shoppmeyer is a special law enforcement agent with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Other members of the Transition Team completed interviews with applicants for Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture yesterday (December 20). Four candidates were interviewed a week and a half ago, including incumbent Commissioner Seth Bradstreet. Yesterday three additional applicants were interviewed including former State Representative Walter Whitcomb.
The transition team working groups were required to submit policy proposals last Friday, and some worked feverishly throughout last week to prepare these policy papers. No word on if and when these important papers will be made public, although I am hopeful, given the Governor-elect’s promise to conduct “the most transparent transition in history.”
Although the list of interviewees for each position is not long, it’s very difficult to find out who is being interviewed. Actually, it’s not that easy to find out the names of the transition team members doing the interviewing. LePage himself, or high level staff members, are reviewing all the applications and selecting those candidates who will be interviewed.
I will note that Bill Beardsley’s nomination to serve as Commissioner of the Department of Conservation was announced by Governor-elect LePage on December 16, confirming what you read in this blog on December 6.
So take this news for what it is, coming from multiple sources inside and outside the transition team and LePage Administration.
In fact, one of my sources for this report is the Governor-elect himself, who told me last Thursday that he would definitely select a Fish and Wildlife Commissioner by the end of the month and that candidates for the position would be interviewed this week. I’m pretty sure this is correct!