HERMON, Maine — Town councilors and the Bucksport man who has been serving as their interim town manager since June have made it official.
During a meeting Thursday night, town councilors unanimously approved a five-year contract with Roger Raymond, who retired in April after nearly three decades as town manager of Bucksport.
Raymond has been overseeing day-to-day municipal operations in Hermon on a part-time basis since June, when former Town Manager Clinton Deschene left for a similar position in Auburn. He also was serving as interim manager for the town of Milo.
“It worked out excellent. We found the right guy,” McCluskey said after the meeting.
McCluskey said Raymond’s long tenure in Bucksport was a testament to his abilities and his strengths, chief among them his financial acumen and sound management principles.
Raymond’s achievements there included overseeing the completion of the walkway along the Penobscot River, as well was the construction of a new treatment plant and sewage systems to stop wastewater from flowing into the Penobscot.
“The waterfront development is right up there among my proudest moments,” Raymond told Hermon officials.
“Roger is well known and recognized widely for his extraordinary financial skills and forward-looking strategies,” McCluskey said. “We are delighted to welcome Roger Raymond to the town of Hermon.”
These qualities, he said, have been keys to his success and earned him the respect of his colleagues. They also were factors in the council’s decision to hire him.
Raymond, 61, will receive $83,000 a year, or the same compensation that Deschene did, however, his take-home pay will be a little higher because he opted for an individual insurance plan as opposed to family coverage, McCluskey said.
Raymond, who is winding up his interim work in Milo, officially becomes Hermon’s town manager as of Sept. 1, McCluskey said.
According to McCluskey, the council received 19 applications for the position, narrowing the field down to five before offering the job to Raymond.
Though it was not a condition of his employment, Raymond said he and his wife Rella plan to move to Hermon once they sell their home in Bucksport.
Raymond began his career in municipal government in Eagle Lake, where he worked for nine years until early 1985, when he was chosen to serve as Bucksport’s town manager and treasurer. He retired in late April after having served in that capacity for 27 years.
Raymond said Thursday night that he looks forward to working in what he described as a fast-growing community, with a solid school system, but that it’s the challenge of finding ways to improve the town that are even more appealing.
Planned improvements at Jackson Beach and along the Route 2 corridor as part of the town’s Village Master Plan and the town’s upcoming bicentennial celebration are some of the initiatives he said he is eager to work on.
Raymond was the assistant director of the Halfway House for Aroostook County in Houlton before he became Eagle Lake’s town manager.
Raymond holds a bachelor’s in education from the University of Maine at Fort Kent as well as several professional certifications.