Conflict with members of the board of selectmen led another Orrington town manager to resign Tuesday, marking the second transition in that position in six months.
Interim Town Manager Andrew Fish announced his resignation in a letter to Orrington residents, citing disagreements with two members of the Board of Selectmen. He did not identify the two selectmen in the letter.
Fish emphasized his connection to the people and local government of Orrington and said he had “a deep and clear understanding” of why his predecessor, Paul White, resigned.
White stepped down in July 2018 over conflicts with the board of selectmen’s chairman, Keith Bowden.
“I had the pleasure of having a set of parents that instilled a set of very strong core values such as integrity, honesty, loyalty and trust,” Fish wrote in his resignation letter. “I truly feel that my employers, the Board Of Selectmen specifically two, have tested the limits of these values.”
Fish and Bowden did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.
With the position left vacant, Town Clerk Susan Carson will be the point of contact for anyone who needs to deal with the town manager. Carson will also work with the board of selectmen until a new manager is hired.
“We’ve had great relationships in the office for so many years now. This is a heartbreaking change,” Carson said about the past few months. “We’re going to try to get through this and work together hopefully in peace and harmony until a new town manager is hired.”
Carson said she had no idea Fish was planning to resign, but she thought he ran into the same problems White did.
“Andy stepped in and did us a tremendous job,” she said.
Fish took over as Orrington’s town manager as residents debated a proposal to build a new $3.5 million public safety building to house police and fire operations. Residents rejected that proposal at a special town meeting last month, and selectmen have since formed a committee to develop a less expensive building proposal.
Selectmen have been in the process of hiring a new manager for the past few months, and Carson said she hoped they would pick someone within the next month.
Meanwhile, Carson will appoint one of her deputy clerks to assume the role of tax collector that Fish also left vacant.
“The board of selectmen know I’ve been here for 17 years,” Carson said. “I’m confident that they know that I will do everything in my power to keep everything running smoothly for the people in the town and the employees.”