LINCOLN, Maine — Cemetery, Parks and Recreation Director Ron Weatherbee was named Lincoln’s interim town manager, replacing William Lawrence, officials said Tuesday.
The Town Council emerged from an executive session and voted 7-0 during a meeting Monday night to name Weatherbee as Lawrence’s temporary successor. The 60-year-old Weatherbee is a Lincoln resident who earns $47,146 as parks and rec director. The town budgeted a $288 weekly stipend for his interim role, Town Clerk Shelly Crosby said.
Council Chairman Steve Clay said that Weatherbee is an experienced manager who can handle the extra responsibilities and his present job.
“We had two strong finalists,” Clay said Tuesday. “Honestly it was a comfort factor. Everybody on the council knows Ron and it felt overall a little bit better [to select him]. This needs to be a smooth transition from Bill to the interim to Bill’s successor and Ron gives us that.”
Weatherbee met with town department heads on Tuesday to get updates on the projects they are managing. Department heads will largely take care of the day-to-day work themselves, he said.
“My job is to keep things moving in the direction that they were moving in. I am going to attempt to help town department heads with any of their work that I can,” Weatherbee said.
Lawrence, 58, said July 2 that he would resign from his job, which pays $71,500, on July 11 to take a job in Florida. He said he had hopes of retiring in Florida, where his wife’s family resides, within a few years. He also said he was resigning because he felt some councilors were micromanaging.
Hired as Lincoln’s police chief in April 2011, Lawrence was named town manager at a salary of $70,000 in June 2013. He had served as interim manager twice before.
The town has several projects ongoing.
Weatherbee is assisting an effort to build Phase I of Lincoln’s first collection of public multiuse, nonmotorized recreation trails. The first portion of trails is about eight-tenths of a mile and will run near Mattanawcook Academy and Ella P. Burr School to town-owned land off Route 6 slated for a recreation center.
A Bangor gas company is installing a gas line from a pipeline near Interstate 95’s Exit 227 to Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC. That work is expected to finish this fall.
The town is also continuing its efforts to develop its regional airport and a nearby industrial park. Several new businesses also are being built on West Broadway and Main Street and the town is working with the Maine Department of Transportation to widen part of West Broadway.
The widening will permit the development of 10 more business lots on that road, one of the town’s main commercial arteries.