BUCKFIELD — There is finally a new manager in town.
Incoming Buckfield Town Manager Joe Roach, who is currently finishing up his position as the Public Works Director for the Town of Rangeley, will assume his new post on February 23. The selectboard was expected to formally appoint him January 31.
In his time in Rangeley, Roach worked closely with the town manager, met with development consultants to reach infrastructural goals, secured grants for new docks and managed an annual budget of $1,800,000. Roach had been the director there since September of 2015.
Before working in Rangeley, Roach was the road commissioner in his hometown of Peru since 2008.
He grew up in the Western Hills, and has “a decade of municipal government experience with increasing levels of responsibility in towns similar in size to Buckfield.”
To prepare, Roach has met with Plante and Selectboard Chairperson Maida Demurs-Dobson and reviewed Plante’s recently completed governance analysis report. Roach writes that he intends on acclimating with the town quickly, and is “looking forward to meeting the residents and learning about the hopes for their town.”
“My first goal is to get familiar with the town’s employees and facilities. I intend to learn about current operations and levels of service. After that comes getting the budget ready and learning about the board’s goals.”
Roach did not have the easiest time scheduling the interviews due to the call of civil service that affects everyone, jury duty. Roach said, “I’m thankful the board was willing to work with my schedule during the interview process.”
There will be a gap in a town manager, the first three weeks of February after Plante leaves and Roach begins.
Town officials describe Roach as a friendly, approachable man.
“I enjoy collecting old tractors,” he says, ” and bringing them to life … I have rekindled my interest in gardening. Last fall I started working on a compost pile and I look forward to incorporating it … this spring.”
Roach holds a B.S. and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Maine, and says he was drawn to this position by the potential he sees in Buckfield.
Roach said, “I see a town that is ready to look at itself closely and make the right moves to become strong organizationally and vibrant economically.”
Roach is also a member of the Maine Town and City Management Association and the American Public Works Association.