Madawaska Public Works director resigns as town government turmoil continues

2 weeks ago

MADAWASKA, Maine – Madawaska Public Works Director Mark Berube has resigned, citing personal reasons for his departure. 

Berube was formally appointed as the director on Feb. 5. Prior to that he had been serving as interim director since late last year when Kevin Dube, the previous director, quit with two other employees.

The resignation was not on the agenda for Tuesday’s selectboard meeting. Interim Town Manager Dan Foster announced it as an addition to the agenda when the board met.

Foster also read the resignation letter during the meeting. In the letter, Berube said the role has taken up too much of his personal life.

“I have made this difficult decision due to personal reasons that require my immediate attention,” the letter concluded. “I apologize for the inconvenience, but also thank you for the opportunity to try.”

Upon hearing the letter, the board accepted Berube’s resignation.

The resignation comes amid a period of turmoil in the town’s government. Town manager Gary Picard resigned in early February. Foster was hired as interim town manager last month. Selectman Christopher Braley resigned on Feb. 14.

In the wake of Dube’s resignation last year, town officials met with remaining public works employees who shared concerns about wages, benefits, and a lack of appreciation from the town. The selectboard then approved $5 raises throughout the department in addition to a $3 shift differential for nights and weekends. Madawaska could do this because of a Maine law that lets municipalities spend an additional 15 percent of their public works budget if they’re in a position where they can not effectively maintain or repair the roads.

Two other employees had quit prior to Dube’s resignation last year, however the town has since filled most of the department’s vacancies. Some residents, however, complained in January about a delayed response to snow cleanup.

As of April 3, the town’s public works department has three vacancies. Aside from the director position, there is an opening for office manager and another opening for a mechanic and equipment operator.