Bucksport town manager abruptly resigns

Posted Jan. 13, 2014, at 2:15 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 13, 2014, at 6:33 p.m.

BUCKSPORT, Maine — Halfway into his first three-year contract, the Bucksport town manager has resigned, according to the chairman of the Town Council.

Michael Brennan announced his resignation, which is effective immediately, at Thursday’s Town Council meeting, said David Keene, the town’s mayor and council chairman. The council did not give Brennan the option of staying on until the position was refilled, according to Keene.

Keene said that though there was not an adverse relationship between council members and the town manager, the resignation did not come as a surprise to the council.

“Both [Brennan] and the Town Council felt we needed to go in a different direction,” the mayor said. “I think he realized he didn’t have the support of the council.”

“It wasn’t a severe disagreement,” Keene added without going into further detail. “I think he and the council felt as though it wasn’t a really good fit. We wished him well.”

Efforts to reach Brennan on Monday were unsuccessful. Other members of the council reached Monday referred questions to Keene.

Pursuant to his contract, Brennan will receive a lump sum payment of half his annual salary and health benefits for six months from the date of his resignation, according to a prepared statement from Bucksport’s town office. Brennan’s annual salary was $81,200, according to a resolve from a Sept. 26 town council meeting where town employees salaries were changed.

Keene said Monday that the process of advertising for a replacement has already begun.

Brennan was hired as town manager in 2012, replacing Roger Raymond who had held the position for 27 years. Originally from Illinois, he had served as executive of Bancroft, a town in Iowa with a population of less than 1,000, for five years prior to relocating to Bucksport.

During Brennan’s tenure as town manager, Bucksport saw progress on a 13-year effort to get natural gas into the community and acquired a $10.5 million grant to upgrade the wastewater treatment facility.

Keene said the town’s criteria for hiring a new town manager will be slightly different from when Brennan was hired.

Instead of requiring the town manager to move to Bucksport within a year of taking the job, he or she will now have until the end of his or her first three-year contract to do so. That will open up the position to applicants from nearby communities who are willing to commute to Bucksport but do not necessarily want to give up their home immediately, Keene said.

He said that applicants also will be required to have five to eight years of administrative experience but will not necessarily have to have gained that experience governing a municipal body.

Keene said the managerial duties will be split between the economic development director, the finance director and the town clerk until a new town manager can be hired.

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