Bangor Council recognizes outgoing members; OKs arena management, new fire chief

Posted Oct. 22, 2012, at 10:23 p.m.
Scott Lucas, Bangor’'s new fire chief.
Courtesy photo
Scott Lucas, Bangor’'s new fire chief.

BANGOR, Maine — Wearing elastic bow ties, the Bangor city councilors thanked two colleagues who participated in their last meeting on the council and a third who couldn’t attend.

The bow ties were meant to honor 9-year Councilor Geoffrey Gratwick, who is wrapping up his final council term to run for a Maine Senate seat. He’s known for wearing bow ties on the council and in his practice. Mayor Cary Weston’s term also runs out this year. He isn’t running for a new term and plans on focusing on his consulting business and family, he said after the meeting.

Councilor Patricia Blanchette was ill and did not attend Monday’s meeting. Her term also is up this November, but she is running for re-election.

Taking turns around the table, councilors thanked the trio for their service.

“Unfortunately, this will be the last time we get to say ‘Chair Weston’ on this Council,” Councilor Nelson Durgin said.

Councilor Joe Baldacci credited Gratwick for his thorough approach to meetings and willingness to ask questions that delved deep into issues facing the community.

“Even when the rest of us wanted to move on, you kept us there,” Baldacci said with a smile.

During Monday night’s meeting, the council gave City Manager Cathy Conlow the go-ahead to execute an agreement with the Philadelphia-based firm that will manage Cross Insurance Center for the next five years.

The agreement with Global Spectrum, L.P., sets a management fee of $10,000 per month for the first year, with the option for annual increases, as well as an additional incentive fee based on performance or a reduction in the management fee if the company doesn’t meet certain standards.

The city entered into a one-year agreement with Global Spectrum in the fall of 2011, with the understanding that the agreement would be extended after that year was up.

In other business, the council confirmed Michigan native Scott F. Lucas as Bangor’s new fire chief. Conlow announced the selection last week.

Lucas, 45, is a 21-year firefighter who spent the past three years as assistant fire chief for the Westland Fire Department in Michigan, which serves an area with a population of approximately 84,000. He was picked from a pool of 49 candidates, according to Conlow.

Lucas is scheduled to begin his new post on Dec. 3 under a two-year contract worth $81,754 per year. He will replace the city’s former fire chief, Jeff Cammack, who retired last February after 32 years as a firefighter and the past 15 as Bangor’s chief.

Councilor James Gallant was the lone dissenting vote in the appointment, saying he believed there were qualified candidates for the position within Bangor’s fire department.

Also at the meeting, Kate Dickerson, a former member of the Bangor School Committee who resigned Oct. 9 citing what she called a “culture of passivity” and absence of debate on the committee, asked that the council quickly address the vacancy on the committee.

Because her resignation came fewer than 90 days before the Nov. 6 election, the committee seat would have to be filled through a special election, which can carry a $4,000 price tag.

“That $4,000 is a hard pill to swallow” during difficult fiscal times, Councilor Charlie Longo said.

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