Rotary Club meets new Houlton town manager
HOULTON, Maine — The Houlton Rotary Club met for its luncheon meeting at Watson Hall on Monday March 4, 2019. Visiting from the Mars Hill Rotary Club was Tomi Henderson, and Richard Ford was a guest of Rotarian Chris Carmichael.
New Houlton Town Manager Marian Anderson was the guest speaker, and was hosted by Rotarian Chris Anderson (no relation).
Chris Anderson introduced the town manager as the second female manager the town has hired. She comes with a lot of experience, having managed such towns as Wiscasset, Boothbay and Richmond, Maine. She spent the summer of her junior year of high school in Okinawa in the USO.
She graduated from the University of Maine and also the Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service and Leadership. She is a certified assessor, code enforcement officer and certified plumbing inspector. She serves on the Maine Municipal Employees Health Trust board at MMA and also on the Maine Town and City Manager’s Association scholarship committee. She has worked to improve transparency in government.
Anderson explained that this is her fourth week in her new job and she thanked the Rotary Club for all that they do in the town. She has attended two council meetings so far and is working at meeting individually with the council members to get to know them as well as the various town department heads. She finds the staff of the town to be amazing.
Anderson is meeting with the development committee concerning the new business at the airport and finds Houlton to be a “quiet gem.” She explained that she is in her “listening and learning stage” as a new manager. And then she did just that: she asked the club to speak up about what they feel is needed in Houlton.
Some suggestions were improving winter sidewalks, improving the look of rundown houses in town, the ability to pay taxes with a credit card and with a payment plan, and to create a community place for families to gather in the winter months. Anderson invited future suggestions on her confidential voicemail and in her “open door policy” office.
She is encouraging new businesses in town under the business programs that she works on with Nancy Ketch, and added these funds have been underutilized.