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February 27, 2018 | last updated March 7, 2018 3:59 pm

Merrill steps up as chairman of MaineHousing's board

Courtesy / MaineHousing
Courtesy / MaineHousing
Lincoln J. Merrill Jr., right, is the new chairman of MaineHousing's board of commissioners, replacing Peter Anastos, left, who had served in that position since his 2011 appointment by Gov. Paul LePage.

Lincoln J. Merrill Jr. is the new chairman of MaineHousing's board of commissioners, replacing Peter Anastos, who had served in that position since his 2011 appointment by Gov. Paul LePage.

Anastos, who announced his retirement at the board's Feb. 20 meeting, reflected on what he described as the "mission-focused work" the board and MaineHousing staff accomplished during his tenure. He highlighted the leadership of former Director John Gallagher "for keeping everyone's attention on efforts to provide quality, affordable housing that meets the needs of Maine's people."

"The dedication, professionalism and the hard work being done by MaineHousing ... and the commitment towards what you do is outstanding," Anastos said about MaineHousing's employees.

MaineHousing's Interim Director Peter Merrill thanked Anastos on the agency's behalf, saying "we appreciate the guidance you have given us."

In addition to serving as board chairman, Anastos worked with the agency's Development Department and partners to review and address building development costs. In 2013, he received the Elizabeth H. Mitchell Leadership Award from the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition during the 2013 Maine Affordable Housing Conference, sponsored by MaineHousing and MAHC.

Lincoln J. Merrill Jr. of North Yarmouth, who was appointed chairman by LePage, has been a member of MaineHousing's board since 2011. He has served as its vice chairman and secretary. He is president and chief executive officer of Patriot Insurance Co. and has served on many insurance-related trade boards as well as community organizations.

Committee to review MaineHousing nominees

MaineHousing also reported in its latest newsletter that LePage's nominations of George Gervais to be director of MaineHousing and former MaineHousing Director John Gallagher to serve on its board of directors will be considered by the Legislature's Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee on March 1.

Gervais, of North Yarmouth, currently is commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. Gallagher retired from MaineHousing on Jan. 5 after more than five years of service.

Gervais' confirmation, however, is uncertain, since, as the Bangor Daily News reported, the Legislature's Labor, Research and Economic Development Committee voted 7-6 against him at the March 1 committee meeting. The partisan vote, with seven Democrats voting against Gervais, means he would need a two-thirds vote to be confirmed, according to the BDN.

Editor's note: This story was updated to include new information based on the March 1 meeting of the Labor, Research and Economic Development Committee in which Gervais' nomination was rejected in a 7-6 partisan vote.

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