Peter Ault

The Passing of Peter Ault

The Passing of Peter Ault

The Selectboard and Town Staff would like to offer our deepest condolences to the family of Peter Ault for his long-time service and commitment to the community of Wayne.

Peter’s longstanding commitment to public service began as a young child growing up in Wayne watching his mother actively participate as a member of the Selectboard and the Cary Library Board of Trustees. He has numerous family members who have gone into public service, too. While his upbringing led him to public service, his positive role modeling lead many more family and friends to public service including his late nephew Stefan Pakulski, who was the former Readfield Town Manager.

After graduating from the University of Maine, Orono returned to Wayne and began a 33-year career with the Maine Department of Transportation (1962 – 1995). He married his wife, Eloise, and raised two children in Wayne.

He started his long and distinguished public service career in Wayne in 1968. He was first appointed to the Planning Board (1968-1972) where he helped develop the Town’s first Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance. Wayne became one of the first communities in the state this size to write a Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance. He only stepped down from the Planning Board for professional reasons but his wife Eloise filled in for him.

He became a member of the Historical Committee (1974-1993) where he was involved in managing Town archives and planning a Main Street celebration, where he participated in the Wayne History Helpers program educating youth at Wayne Elementary School about Wayne's fascinating history and encouraged the restoration of the 1840 Wayne Town House.

He actively planned Wayne’s Memorial Day festivities – parade and service. He joined the Memorial Day Committee (1974 – Present). This parade regularly draws several hundred people downtown for the parade and service. This event marks the beginning of the tourism season in Wayne and is a tradition for many visitors to attend. This event is always done thoughtfully and spoken highly by everyone.

Peter was a founding member of the Conservation Commission (1989 – 2011) and co-chair for many years. His love for the community meant protecting its natural resources for future generations. He was briefly Wayne’s representative to the 30-Mile River Watershed Association.

He put his years of management experience at the MaineDOT to good use. He first served on the Selectboard (1994-1996) because he was concerned about the community's direction. During this time, he hired the Town’s first professional manager, Peter Nielsen. Once, the Town was in the capable hands of Peter Nielsen, he felt comfortable stepping down from the Selectboard but volunteered to run for Treasurer (1996-2005) to ensure appropriate oversight of town funds. During his tenure as elected Treasurer, he recommended to the community that the Town appoint a Treasurer position to ensure adequate oversight and management of Town funds. He stayed on as appointed Treasurer (2005-2007) until the Town could find a professional Treasurer with bookkeeping experience. While appointed Treasurer, he ran for the Budget Committee (2004-2014 and served two terms. He was the first Treasurer to work with the Budget Committee annually. He ran for Selectboard (2014-2016) again because he was concerned about the community’s direction.

Besides, serving Town government, he was a member of the Wayne Library Association Board of Trustees (1965-2010). This private non-profit organization manages the Cary Memorial Library and the Williams House (a local community arts center). He was instrumental in raising money to purchase the Williams House and renovate the Cary Memorial Library.

Peter was genuinely concerned about the welfare of the community. He often drove around town checking on a road project and attending community events. Not just as a participant, but as an active volunteer. He regularly stopped by the Town Office to lend an ear to the Town staff going through a personal or professional crisis. He often remembered Town staff birthdays and brought them treats. He regularly volunteered his technical (civil engineering) assistance to the Town staff. Occasionally, he would visit the Town Office late on Friday, and tell us, “We had the next two days off,” with his wry sense of humor.

In 2014, he was awarded Maine Municipal Association’s most prestigious award, the Ethel N. Kelley Memorial Award for his “straightforward selfless concern for people, demonstrated capability and willingness to “Hold the Community Together,” longevity of conscientious service, and dedication to the cause of good local government.