KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — Longtime Kennebunkport Selectman Stuart Barwise announced his resignation from the board earlier this month, saying a new job out of state will keep him out of town for the foreseeable future, and unable to serve the remainder of his term.
“Serving as selectman in Kennebunkport, a town I dearly love, has been one of the most rewarding times of my life,” he said.
In a telephone interview on Aug. 14, Barwise, the former general manager of the Cape Arundel Golf Club, said he has taken on the position of general manager at the Tides Inn in the Chesapeake Bay town of Irvington, Virginia. With more than 30 years of hotel and resort management experience, Barwise said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take over the historic resort.
Town Manager Laurie Smith said Barwise’s service to the town will have a lasting impact.
“He was instrumental in representing the town in the RSU negotiations and helped to craft the beach use agreement which was accepted by two-thirds of the beachfront owners and solidified the public’s access to Goose Rocks Beach for the foreseeable future. We will miss his steady hand on the tiller keeping us pointed in the right direction and his quick analysis of the most complicated situation, unveiling the solution before our eyes,” she said.
Nomination papers are now available in the town clerk’s office for Barwise’s seat, which expires in June 2021. Nominations papers are due by 4:30 p.m. Sept. 6, and a special town meeting has been scheduled for Nov. 5 to fill the vacancy.
Barwise served as a selectman from 2004 to 2007 and from 2009 to August 2019. He was on the budget board from 2007 to 2008, and served on the committee tasked with forming RSU 21.
Barwise and his wife, Bibi, are not leaving Kennebunkport. They will keep their home and make the trip between Virginia and Maine as his work schedule allows, he said.
“You are going to be sadly missed,” Selectman Allen Daggett said during a recent board meeting, a sentiment echoed by the remaining members. “We have worked together for so many years, and you have done so much for this town.”
“It’s been a pleasure and you have really helped me grow as a human being,” Selectman Ed Hutchins told Barwise. “You will definitely be missed here.”
The board presented Barwise with framed paintings of several iconic views of Kennebunkport to hang in his home in Virginia.
“I feel truly honored to have been able to serve and I can’t help imagining that the future might hold more for me here. Kennebunkport will always be my home. And while I’m stepping away for however long, I will hold with me the sincere hope that I can return to service here someday,” Barwise said.
He noted that he is most proud to have served with his fellow selectmen in town for so many years.
“There are so many things I’ve enjoyed about being on the Board of Selectmen in Kennebunkport, but the most important is the exceptional and extraordinary people who sat to my left and right on that board. The synergy on that team and the team work was second to none. We had healthy debate, but always with respect for one another,” he said. “We kept it about business, and we took care of Kennebunkport.”