Limestone search for town manager continues

6 years ago

LIMESTONE, Maine — Newly appointed interim Town Manager Paul Beaulieu participated in his first Select Board meeting on November 7.

Among other topics, officials discussed both publicly and privately during the meeting their efforts to find a new, permanent town manager.

Selectman Chris Durepo suggested taking a “second look” at one of the 31 candidates, and Selectman Pat St. Peter agreed, adding that the discussion should occur during an executive session scheduled for that meeting.

Limestone residents Julie Weston and Irma LaBreck also pressed the board members about their search during the meeting.

Weston said she was glad that an interim had been hired, but asked about the board’s progress in finding a full-time manager.

“It’s been 11 months,” she said.

“And people are asking about it,” added LaBreck.

“Tell me about it,” said Selectman Pat St. Peter.

The community has been without a permanent manager since December of last year, and has appointed both Police Chief Stacey Mahan and former Limestone and Presque Isle municipal manager Tom Stevens during the interim. Stevens’ last day was Oct. 23.

On Oct. 30, the board appointed Beaulieu, a military veteran with years of experience in the education field, to the post. He started on Nov. 1.

Wednesday night, Beaulieu, who also formerly served as Limestone’s Town Manager in the early to mid 1990s, said that with unemployment at a low point, candidates are not easy to find, adding that there are not many people in the field, plus there are municipal management openings throughout the state.

“It’s not an easy process, where you have the best candidate knock on your door the next day,” he said.

Irma LaBreck agreed with Westons’ assessment that 11 months was too long, and pointed out how the town of Madawaska had been able to hire a new town manager in just one month after Ryan Pelletier left to become County Administrator.

Weston suggested hiring a headhunter to assist the town in recruiting a new town manager, adding that it may be worth the money.

“Obviously what you’re doing now,” she said, “not to be insulting, is not working. It’s been 11 months.”

LaBreck added that the town is “very blessed” that Beaulieu agreed to be interim manager.

The board then went into executive session to discuss the town manager search, and took no action upon returning to public session.

The following morning, Beaulieu said the town has offered the position to several individuals over the past couple months, but the candidates declined.

“People in the community think [board members are] not doing anything,” Beaulieu said, “but they’re working hard to fill a position. They just haven’t been met with any success.”