The former interim town manager in Orrington received a job offer from neighboring Holden the day he submitted his resignation letter in Orrington last week, blaming his departure on conflicts with two of the town’s five selectmen.
Andrew Fish was hired as Holden’s finance director Jan. 29, and he started work three days later, on Friday, Feb. 1, Holden Town Manager Benjamin Breadmore said.
Fish declined to discuss his resignation letter, which did not say he had accepted a new position.
With his resignation, Fish became the second Orrington town manager to quit in six months after his predecessor, Paul White, resigned in July. White also cited conflicts with selectmen as his reason for leaving, and Fish wrote in his resignation letter he had developed “a deep and clear understanding” of why White resigned.
Orrington was in the process of interviewing candidates for the town manager position when Fish submitted his resignation. Selectmen are expected to fill the position later this month.
A group of residents last week initiated a recall petition against Keith Bowden, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, and Selectman Mike Curtis, citing the recent managers’ resignations as the reason. Another reason the petition outlined for the selectmen’s recall was the two men’s perceived opposition to a proposed $3.5 million public safety building that would jointly house police and fire operations.
The request for recall petitions accused Bowden and Curtis of working behind the scenes to defeat the $3.5 million proposal after the board of selectmen had endorsed it.
Bowden, who was first elected in June 2014, did not reply to a request for comment on the recall effort. Curtis, who was elected last June, declined comment.
To initiate a recall, five residents had to form a committee and request petitions from Town Clerk Susan Carson. That happened Friday, Carson said.
The petitioners are Michelle Harmon, Jim Goody, Chad Bean, Janice Deans and Timothy Kenney.
They have 30 days to gather 206 valid signatures from Orrington voters — 10 percent of the residents who voted in the last gubernatorial election. When and if the five residents submit petitions to Carson, she would have seven days to validate them and send them on to the board of selectmen.
Under state law, the recall votes must be held within 30 days, and they would require support from two-thirds of those voting to be successful. If the recall is successful, a special election to fill vacant select board seats must be held within 30 days after that.
Bowden and Curtis both could run in the special election or any other municipal election after that, Carson said.