VEAZIE, Maine — The Town Council hired Joseph Hayes to serve as Veazie’s next town manager during Monday night’s council meeting.
Hayes, 57, is the town manager of Stockton Springs, a position he has held for the past eight years.
Hayes, a Brewer resident, said after Monday’s meeting that he’s excited to start fresh in Veazie and to have a much shorter commute to work.
“I actually have mixed emotions leaving Stockton,” Hayes said. “We’ve done fantastic down there.”
He said he will have to get adjusted to working inland rather than in a coastal town because the two face very different issues. Hayes said he’ll use his first few months in Veazie to get to know the town and the people in the office.
Hayes worked at the Bangor Daily News starting at age 16 as a copy boy in the press room. Later in his newspaper career, he became an assistant to the production manager and then moved to the credit collection department. He left the BDN in 2004.
He served as town administrator in Lamoine from 1988 to 1992.
Hayes serves on the Brewer Planning Board but said he will leave that post after more than 20 years of service because it would conflict with his new role in Veazie.
“The council is very happy that Joe has agreed to come work for the town of Veazie,” said Veazie Council Chairman Joe Friedman, “and we certainly are looking forward to working with him.”
This hire ends a 2½-month search after the council chose not to renew Town Manager Bill Reed’s contract back in September.
The town hired Larry Varisco, a retired Holden town manager, to temporarily fill the role while the search was under way. Varisco has been working two or three days per week handling the town manager’s duties.
Varisco said he planned to go back into retirement.
“This is the day I’ve been waiting for, and you’ve made me very, very happy,” Varisco said to the council with a laugh. The councilors thanked him for his help.
Varisco will continue to work one or two days per week until Hayes officially takes over on Jan. 1, 2012.
Hayes said the people of Veazie could expect a manager who will closely review and consider every dollar spent by the town.
“I try to keep the services at the lowest cost possible, is what it comes down to,” Hayes said.