BUCKSPORT, Maine — Three months after the prior town manager abruptly resigned, the Town Council is close to signing an agreement with his replacement.
David Keene, who as chairman of Bucksport’s elected Town Council serves as the town’s mayor, said Tuesday that the council decided last week to offer a three-year contract to Derik Goodine, who currently serves as town manager of Naples in Cumberland County. He said the town and Goodine have agreed to terms verbally and are expected to have a signed contract soon.
“It’s basically a done deal,” Keene said.
He described Goodine as a “workaholic” who supports the town’s tongue-in-cheek vision of itself as the center of the known universe.
“That’s basically what we’re looking for,” Keene said. “He’s very enthusiastic. He sees Bucksport as a hidden treasure.”
Goodine is a native of Brewer who graduated from University of Maine with a degree in public administration, Keene said. Before working in Naples, Goodine held municipal positions in Sangerville and Levant.
Keene said Goodine will be paid an annual salary of $79,000 during an initial six-month probationary period that, if completed successfully, will increase to $82,000 a year. The agreement is for a three-year contract.
Goodine is expected to start work in Bucksport by mid-June and will be required to move to Bucksport by the end of his initial three-year contract, though Keene said he expects Goodine will make the move much sooner than that.
Keene said 50 people applied for the job, and the council interviewed five of them.
“There were some good candidates,” the mayor said.
Bucksport’s prior town manager, Michael Brennan, resigned abruptly on Jan. 9, halfway through a three-year contract. Brennan was hired as town manager in 2012, replacing Roger Raymond, who had held the position for 27 years.
Originally from Illinois, Brennan had served as executive of Bancroft, a town in Iowa with a population of less than 1,000, for five years before relocating to Bucksport.
Goodine said Wednesday that leaving Naples will be bittersweet but that he’s excited about working in Bucksport and moving closer to where he and his wife, a Bangor native, grew up. They have two daughters who are 12 and 14 years old, he added.
The Naples town manager said there are similarities between the two towns — both have waterfronts that draw seasonal visitors, he said — and some differences. Naples has a larger influx of tourists in the summer, he said, but it does not have a dominant, large-scale employer along the lines of the Verso Paper mill in Bucksport.
Bucksport has an estimated population of nearly 5,000 residents. Naples’ population is estimated to be nearly 3,900, according to information posted on the town’s website.
Goodine said he already is familiar with Bucksport — Crosby’s is one of his favorite drive-ins in all of Maine, he said — but his interviews with council members are what sold him on the job.
“They really sold me on the community,” Goodine said. “They really love their town.”
He said he is looking forward to getting involved in business development efforts in Bucksport and in planned expansion projects for the town’s business park and sewer treatment plants. He said the town’s efforts to enhance its waterfront along the Penobscot River also appeal to him.
“There’s a lot of great things on the horizon in Bucksport,” Goodine said. “The sky’s the limit on what can happen.”