Ex-head of Bass Park gets top economic post

Gov. John E. Baldacci swears in Thaxter Trafton as the acting Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development Monday, November 16, 2009. (Photo courtesy of Governor's Office)
Gov. John E. Baldacci swears in Thaxter Trafton as the acting Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development Monday, November 16, 2009. (Photo courtesy of Governor's Office)
Posted Nov. 16, 2009, at 9:19 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Thaxter Trafton, a graduate of Husson College and former head of the Bass Park Complex in Bangor, was sworn in Monday by Gov. John E. Baldacci as the acting commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. Trafton replaces John Richardson, who resigned to run for governor.

“Thaxter Trafton brings exceptional experience and leadership skills to this post and has a proven track record with Maine’s business community,” Baldacci said. “He will be a strong advocate for job growth and business development.”

Trafton had served as deputy commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development since 2006. He was the director of business development at the department from 2003 to 2006.

Trafton also has an extensive private sector background. Before returning to Maine in 2003, he was chief administrative officer of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, where he supervised operating agreements with Coliseum sports franchises including Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics, the National Football League’s Oakland Raiders and the National Basketball Association’s Golden State Warriors.

Trafton served as president and commissioner of the International Basketball League from 1996 to 2001. He has also owned and operated a consulting firm to the entertainment industry and handled operations for a production company for entertainment events.

Trafton was team president of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Richfield Stadium in Richfield, Ohio, from 1985 to 1989.

Trafton served as executive director of the Bass Park Complex in Bangor from 1965 to 1980.

He is a graduate of what is now called Husson University in Bangor. He lives in Augusta.

In his acting capacity leading the department, Trafton is charged with developing economic sectors, promoting new businesses, growing existing businesses, and creating economic opportunity for Maine residents.

Baldacci said he will nominate Trafton as commissioner of the department during the next legislative session. Trafton’s appointment will be contingent on approval by the Legislature’s Business, Research and Economic Development Committee, and confirmation by the Senate.

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