AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage nominated John Gallagher of Bath on Monday to serve as the next director of Maine State Housing Authority.
Gallagher has served as executive director of the Westbrook Housing Authority since 1999. He previously served as manager of Maine State Housing Authority’s development division.
Before that, he co-owned a small real estate and management firm in midcoast Maine, according to the governor’s office.
If approved by the Maine Senate, Gallagher would succeed Dale McCormick, who resigned in March after a series of bitter conflicts with State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin and four new LePage appointees to the housing authority’s board. McCormick, a prominent Democrat who previously served as a state legislator and treasurer, had led Maine State Housing Authority since former Gov. John Baldacci nominated her for the post in 2005.
Peter Merrill, the housing authority’s director of communications and planning, has served as interim director since McCormick’s departure.
“Mr. Gallagher’s many years of experience in housing and real estate, both in the public and private sectors, give him a keen perspective on how best to deliver MSHA programs to the people of Maine,” LePage said Monday in a release announcing Gallagher’s nomination. “I believe his ability to bridge the communication gap between the public and private sector will serve the people of Maine well.”
“I am honored to be nominated by the governor to run MSHA,” Gallagher said in the release. “I look forward to working with the governor and his administration to serve the people of Maine and address their housing needs.”
House District 125 Rep. Ann Peoples, a Democrat who represents part of Westbrook, praised LePage’s choice of Gallagher.
Noting that she has worked with Gallagher as a city councilor, Westbrook Planning Board member and legislator, Peoples said, “I think very highly of John Gallagher. I can honestly say that I have no reservations.”
Peoples described Gallagher as a creative leader who “managed to get a lot done with limited resources.”
The Maine Senate is scheduled to convene Sept. 6 to consider LePage’s nominations.