Veazie councilors make appointments during emergency meeting

Posted Jan. 11, 2013, at 1 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 11, 2013, at 7:42 p.m.

VEAZIE, Maine — Veazie town councilors made more than a dozen appointments — almost all of them pertaining to this week’s change of command — during a brief emergency meeting late Friday afternoon.

The meeting was called around noon to address appointments that needed to be made in the aftermath of Town Manager Joseph Hayes’ resignation late Monday night.

Hayes, who previously served as manager for Stockton Springs and Lamoine, was hired as Veazie’s manager a year ago. His resignation, accepted by town councilors in a 3-2 vote, takes effect at the end of January.

Afterward, Veazie’s councilors unanimously voted to name Police Chief Mark Leonard interim manager, an appointment Leonard accepted.

Leonard attended Friday’s meeting. Hayes did not.

During the meeting, the four councilors present appointed Leonard to 12 positions related to the town managership, specifically interim safety manager, interim National Incident Management System compliance officer, interim town clerk, interim deputy registrar of voters, interim Community Development Block Grant program administrator, interim health officer, interim budget officer, interim personnel director, interim road commissioner, interim treasurer, interim tax collector and interim overseer of the poor.

They also named Julie Strout interim motor vehicle agent and appointed Norman “Buddy” Webb to a vacancy on the Veazie Sewer District board of trustees. In his application letter, Webb noted he has been a resident for 37 years.

The sewer district post opened up in November, when former Trustee Gary Brown resigned, citing differences of opinion with the other two trustees over sewer district funding and other management issues.

The sewer district appointment was among the items on the council’s Monday night meeting agenda. The matter was tabled at that time at the request of a council member who wanted more information.

On Friday, Councilor Jon Parker said he attempted to get the rest of the council to revisit the appointment during Monday’s meeting but was told he could not. Parker said he since has researched the matter in Robert’s Rules of Order and concluded he was within his rights to bring it back before the council that night.

Although Council Chairman Tammy Olson said she wasn’t sure that items could be added to agendas during emergency meetings, she agreed to allow it if there were no objections from the rest of the councilors. There were no objections and Webb was appointed in a 3-0 vote, with Olson, the sewer district’s former officer manager, abstaining.

Hayes’ hiring in Veazie ended a 2½-month search after the council chose not to renew Town Manager Bill Reed’s contract in September 2011.

After Reed left, the town hired Larry Varisco, a retired Holden town manager, to temporarily fill the role on a part-time basis while the search was under way. Varisco had been working two or three days per week handling the town manager’s duties.

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