Polki recites deans’ oath, looking to advance mental health mission

OWLS HEAD – There were two nominations. One for the governor to nominate the mayor of Knox County for the temporary vacancy. The second is for the Secretary of State to place the political party’s candidate in the November ballot.

Paperwork, signatures and background checks. They all took time, but there was no time. A month ago, then-Vice President Patrick Polke was years away from considering a run for mayor.

“I was very practically minded,” he said, “and wasn’t much interested in politics.” “And probably more so because we kind of have a succession planning idea with Tim at the helm.”

The plan was for former Knox County Sheriff Tim Carroll to campaign unchallenged this year, and serve at the helm for another four or eight years. Then, and only then, will Polkie consider his progress.

Fates have different ideas.

On Monday, August 1, 2022, Polkey was sworn in for mayor of Knox County. He has been unceremoniously covering duties for the past few weeks as Carroll transitions out of office after accepting the Rockland Police Department’s hiring committee’s offer to be Rockland’s next chief.

Carroll was among his co-workers and family who witnessed the brief ceremony on Monday morning, in a garage on the Knox Regional Airport campus, as Heidi Norwig, Didimos Justice, a Knox County Jail worker, recited to Polkey’s pledge by Maine Mayor. County Commissioners Dorothy Meriwether and Sharyn Pullman also witnessed the exchange of Polkie costume pins conducted by Polki’s wife, Stephanie.

As the sheriff’s office is elected officials, Polkey’s August 1 ceremony acknowledges the July 28 appointment of Democratic Governor Janet Mills to fill the role for four months from now through November. At this point, Polky is expected to run unchallenged in November to officially become Maine’s 23rd mayor for Knox County.

“I was definitely surprised,” he said. “I didn’t realize how much support I would get [from the Democratic party].

But now Polki has to play catch-up in an election year when candidates typically start setting up their support systems in April. Now, he’s balancing the previous job title with the new job title while continuing to consider options for the new vice president position, also known as vice president.

As Vice President in the previous campaign, Polki has held the position of Senior Vice President since 2019. Along with his regular duties, he settled on side projects, which paved the way for his future desires.

Going forward, Polky hopes the Knox County Recovery Collaborative Network will become more public about its resources, whether they are for mentoring someone who wants to help, or links for someone who is struggling a bit.

This future goal is based on side projects already underway:

• Works with Jason Trundy of Waldo County on restorative justice and similar programs.

• Makes time for Knox County Recovery Collaborative, a joint venture created by Carroll and Polke as a way to unite Knox County’s resources, skill sets, ideas, and partners.

“One of the things I’ve been personally advocating for in the past year or so is the mental health aspect,” he said.

Many people experience some form of mental health crisis, whether it is a true chemical imbalance combined with a disorder such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder; Whether it’s Covid fatigue and the inability to socialize, or even mental health’s response to how society has changed since the start of the pandemic.

“For me, it’s a very big problem,” he said, “but I don’t think it’s unattainable.” “I think a lot of the work that we’ve been doing on substance abuse really reflects mental health in that you have to identify the problem and work with causation, and then work with them to build coping skills, to be flexible. Sometimes, maybe it’s just being in a room with Other people with the same issues, just being able to talk to people who are going through the same experiences.”

Contact Sarah Thompson at news@penbaypilot.com

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