PORTAGE LAKE, Maine — The first time Francis Grey drove through this northern Maine town he was struck by the claim on the welcome sign: “Recreation Center of Aroostook.”
Less than a week into his new tenure as town manager here, he plans on using that distinction to guide the town’s future.
“That really is a very good moniker for the town,” Grey, a native of Bangor, said Friday afternoon. “It’s a solid identity and we need to focus on recreation and the idea this is a very rustic and attractive town.”
Grey, 37, replaced outgoing Town Manager Rita Sinclair, and now holds the posts of tax collector, treasurer and road commissioner in addition to town manager.
Most recently Grey was the town manager of Danforth.
“This is an exciting time for my family and I,” Grey said. “Although I love Danforth and all of the people I have met there, the Portage Lake position offers me an incredible opportunity.”
A 2001 graduate from the University of Maine’s public administration program, Grey has worked with the Maine Department of Transportation and during his undergraduate years completed an internship with Bangor’s Department of Economic and Community Development.
Grey spent five years with the city of Gardiner in the areas of economic development, city management, code assessment, finance administration and wastewater treatment.
He also spent time as the town manager of Gouldsboro.
Grey said his first priority is to become fully educated about his new town and thus far is impressed by all he has seen.
“There are opportunities here for people who like to hunt and fish or for those who are less inclined in those activities,” he said. “This town has fantastic facilities like the town beach, picnic area and swimming areas.”
As he learns his way around Portage, Grey said, the outgoing town manager and the residents have given tremendous support.
“They have been just phenomenal to a guy coming in as town manager to Portage Lake,” he said. “All of the people I have met have been so welcoming and helpful to me as I have begun this transition that I know this will be an excellent fit.”